Chapter 1 - Introduction

What is Crossfire ?

In the words of its original author Frank Tore Johansen :

``Crossfire is a multi-player graphical arcade and adventure game made for the X Windows systems environment. It has certain flavours from other games, especially gauntlet and the rogue-like games (mainly and ). Any number of players can move around in their own window, finding and using items and battling monsters. They can choose to cooperate or compete in the same world.''

In the years of development that have followed, Crossfire has grown to encompass over 150 monsters, ~3000 maps to explore, an elaborate magic system, over 15 character types, a system of skills, and many, many artifacts and treasures.

Crossfire is freely distributed under the GNU license and the code may be obtained from a number of FTP sites ( Obtaining crossfire). Take note: you will need at least an ANSI C compiler (i.e. gcc) and UNIX to build the game. X Windows are necessary to play. A screen shot of the Crossfire display appears below

This screen shot is real size, using XPM display mode

Crossfire is currently being maintained by Mark Wedel ( and is awaiting the ``great leap forward'' to a true client-server status (Look for version 1.0+). Not to fear, Crossfire is certainly playable in its present form! But the game is in flux and new releases of Crossfire occur on a quasi-monthly schedule. You may want to subscribe to the announcement mailing list (see section mailing lists) to get notified of updates.

1.1.1. What is included in this document?

This document is a guide intended to focus on the game-play aspects of Crossfire. The original intention of this text was to help aspiring players create and play a character and more quickly initiate them into the intricacies of Crossfire . But, as things went along, many of the older docs began to be incorporated and lots of good reference material slipped in; this document may also be a good resource for more experienced players.

Having said all of that, lets point out that each release contains a fair amount of documentation and the Crossfire Player's Handbook is definitely not the last word! Certainly, every player will want to obtain the spoiler, and while this may sound flippant, its still true\emdash a good place to start tracking down much of the information you may want is the README document in the top directory of your release.

1.1.2 Getting started: beginning players

First-time players may want to skim over sections character attributes, generating a character, Basics, and Beginning players before playing the game. Don't be daunted by the apparent complexity of Crossfire - in reality Crossfire is quite easy to play and character generation is simple. Later on, when you have some experience playing the game, you may wish to go back and re-read skimmed material and expand your knowledge of the unread sections.

If you just want to damn the torpedoes and ``roll'' up a character quickly then proceed to section generating a character, in this text. You may still find section Beginning players helpful reading.

Crossfire Mailing Lists

Two mailing-lists exist; the first is for discussing bugs and development while the second is for just announcing new versions. If you want to join or leave any of the lists, send mail to with the subject ``subscribe'', ``unsubscribe'',``subscribe announce'' or ``unsubscribe announce''. If you use the subject ``subscribe'' or ``unsubscribe'' you will (un)subscribe to both lists.

To send messages directly to the list, mail While the development/bug list is not supposed to be used for helping players solve problems, sometimes a knowledgeable reader of the list can be tempted into answering your question.

An archive of old messages can be found at in the directory /pub/crossfire/archive.

Obtaining Crossfire

FTP sites where you can look for the latest versions are: (
Please use the one nearest to you. ``.se'', ``.no'' or ``.uk'' in Europe, ``.au'' in Australia, ``.net'' in North America, and ``.jp'' in Asia.

Document Credits

B.T. provided the bulk of the written material; K.E. and (to a lesser extent) J.K provided expert editing and typesetting advice. The Crossfire Player's Handbook uses material borrowed from older documentation written by the following people (in rough order of borrowing magnitude):

Sam Mackrill (lots of bits from the old FAQ)
Laurent Wacrenier
Kjetil T. Homme
Lars H. B. Olafsen
Peter Mardal
Rupert G. Goldie
Frank T. Johansen

If I left anyone out, please send me some email!

Brian Thomas

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