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Cwn Annwn

A Guide to Indexing and Addressing in Materia Magica

One of the most basic things about game mechanics is something new players often have a lot of trouble with: addressing multiple items or NPCs. However, all you have to do is learn how to 'index'. After you learn how indexing works, it quickly becomes second nature and game play becomes much more enjoyable.

I'll do a quick rundown on how to address things first, to get you moving. After that I'll talk a bit about 'Descriptions'. Feel free to skip that until you're more interested.

Text in bold CAPITAL letters is just to mark the stuff you'd be typing in. But the server does not care. You will likely use lower case in the game.

The Basics of Indexing

Every item and NPC has a set of keywords that can be used as a 'handle' to interact with. You use them all them time when you do things like GET SWORD or KILL GOBLIN. Here, 'sword' and 'goblin' are keywords.

What if you want to pick up an item, but there is more one item in the room has the same keyword? GET SWORD would pick up the first sword listed in the room. KILL GOBLIN would attack the first goblin in the room. If you want to pick up the second sword or attack the second goblin, you must use an 'index' like so: GET 2.SWORD or KILL 2.GOBLIN.

That's almost all there is to it. Almost. For NPCs that is it. For items, you have to remember that there are *two* sets of items that you can interact with in each room. There are all the items just sitting there in the room, of course. But first, there are all the items in your inventory. The rules of thumb are:

  • The system will look in your inventory first, and if it does not find the keyword you are using there, it will look in the room.
  • There are exception to the above rule when it does not make sense to look in your inventory at all. For example, you never use 'get' with your inventory, just with the room.
  • The indexing does NOT continue from inventory to room. So if you have 4 bags in inventory, LOOK 5.BAG will not look at a bag in the room.

More Compilicated Addressing

You might want to skip this section until you have a question. I've tried to make it simple, but the terms get confusing fast. Sorry about that.

  • Sometimes, you will be confused about how to address what is in your unattached inventory (inv-list) and what is in your worn inventory (eq-list).
  • Some commands do not care which list items are in, treating them as a big pool with an index running from start to finish. 'Look' is such a command.
  • The 'remove' command checks the eq-list first. If a search through eq-list fails it will try to remove something from inv-list. Even if it finds something in inv-list, you're not wearing it, so it will fail.
  • The 'wear' or 'hold' command is exactly the opposite of remove. It checks the inv-list first. If that fails, it tries the eq-list and fails.
  • Spell targets always refer to inv-list first, then to eq-list.


Every item and NPC has four types of 'descriptions'. They are as follows:

  1. A set of keywords:
    These are the words that you may use to address an NPC or item directly. They can normally be abbreviated if you do not have 'novice' set to 'on'.
    • Here is an example of some of an NPC's keywords:
      • gardener
      • spirit
      • undead
    • Here is an example of an item's keywords:
      • black
      • stone
      • tourmaline
      • multiclass-gemstone
    • I should point out that there are several 'automatic' keywords. These are special ways of addressing items and characters. Some automatic keywords are listed here:
      • mount — the NPC you are currently riding
      • self — you
      • me — you
      • an NPC's or PC's race — in the example of the spirit gardener 'undead' is his race.
      • item type — in the example of the tourmaline, 'multiclass-gemstone' is the item type. This is very useful for addressing 'weapon' and 'armor'.
  2. A short description:
    This is the 'noun' form of the item or NPC. Thus it's what you see when you interact with an item or NPC, such as picking something up or giving something to an NPC.
    • Here are examples of the NPC's short description and how the system uses it:
      • A spirit gardener
      • A spirit gardener leaves north.
      • You give a ripe lemon to a spirit gardener.
      • A spirit gardener is in good health.
    • Here is an example of an item's short description and how the system uses it. The last line is from the output of using the identification spell on the item:
      • a black tourmaline
      • ( 2) a black tourmaline
      • You take a black tourmaline.
      • The Powers give you 315 gold coin for your sacrifice of a black tourmaline.
      • Item 'a black tourmaline' is type multiclass-gemstone, alignment 0, made of stone
  3. A long description:
    This is what you see when you enter the room and an NPC is present or an item is on the ground.
    • Here is an example of an NPC's long description:
      • An undead gardener is here looking after the realty grounds.
    • Here is an example of an item's long description:
      • A fist-sized, shiny black stone has been uncovered here.
  4. An extended description:
    This is what you see when you 'look' at an NPC or an item that is not identified.
    • Here is an example of the same NPC's extended description:
      • The gardener wears a benign smile upon his face as it floats around clearing the grounds of trash or looking at the bushes and hedges for a crooked branch, a rotten leaf to repair. He bows as he notices your presence and hurries along his way. It appears to be very happy staying here then waiting for reincarnation.
        He is an undead approximately 5'7" tall.
    • And here is an example of the same item's extended description.
      • Tourmalines are a semi-precious gemstone in the world of Alyria, but the black tourmaline is one of the rarest gems of all. Normally the size of a man's clenched fist, they are heavy stones that are thought to have powerful magical qualities when exposed to moonlight. Lord Agrippa constantly wishes to acquire more of these strange stones and rewards those who bring them to him.