Advanced Building: Yourself

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Home, Sweet Home

Every player (and most objects) have a home. For players, your home is where you go when you sleep. When you @quit Valhalla, your player is whisked away to home. You can also teleport home by typing home.

By default, your ‘home’ is The Fields of Valhalla. If you create your own room, or find another place you’d rather call home, go there and type:


Balder's Hall is your new home.

From now on, this is your home.


You click your heels three times.

Balder's Hall

The ceiling is made of huge vaulting oak beams. The walls are the hide of some great scaled lizard, and its scales glisten in the light of the flickering fire in the stone fireplace at the hall's north end.

Clicking your heels three times may not be appropriate for a great warrior of Valhalla. You can change this. It’s what is called a message. Type

@home me is "You smash your boots to the ground and the earth opens up.

You set the "home" message of Balder (#78).

and your ‘home’ message is changed.

Yourself: Password

You can (and should regularly) change your password. Use:

@password old-password new-password

For example,

@password iqoqoj LoveSexy

New password set.

You should choose a password that is easy for you to remember, and hard for anyone else to guess. Your password keeps other people from using your player when you’re not looking.

Page Messages

Home is an example of a message. Your player has many messages that you can change. To see a list of the messages that you can change, type @messages me. Many people commonly change the page messages, page_absent, page_origin, and page_echo. Page_absent is the message other people get when they try to page you but you’re asleep. Page_origin is the message other people get when you page them, and page_echo is the message other people get when they page you.

The syntax for changing a message on yourself is

@message me is "New Message.

For example,

@page_absent me is "%N is sleeping in %l, dreaming of pillaging the European countryside.

You set the "page_absent" message of Balder (#78).

When someone else pages you and you’re not in, they’ll see:

page balder "Hey, Balder, what's up?

Balder is sleeping in Balder's Hall, dreaming of pillaging the European countryside.

The “%N” and “%l” are pronoun substitutes. I’ll talk more about those later. For the moment, use %N to refer to your name when it appears at the beginning of a sentence, and %n when it appears inside of a sentence. The same goes for %L, which is the location of the person who owns the message. Use %l (lowercase L) when it appears inside a sentence, and %L at the beginning of a sentence. Pronoun substitutes only work with certain verbs (of which page, obviously, is one).

Pronoun Substitution

‘Pronoun subs’ are ways to make your messages more personal. They are ‘place-holders’ for the name of the person using an object, the location of the object, or whatever personal or possessive pronoun the person using the object needs. For a full description of how to use pronouns, type @help pronouns.

Pronouns come in two flavors: capitalized and uncapitalized. Use capitalized pronouns at the beginning of sentences, and uncapitalized ones inside of sentences. You’ve already seen “%L” and “%l” for location. It’s the location of the object that the message is on. All pronouns are preceded by a “%” sign. If you really want a “%” sign, use “%%”.

Let’s say we’ve got a drinking fountain, and once in a while it sprays the drinker embarrassingly. We could use the message:

@oembarrass fountain is "%N sprays water all over %r, and a puddle forms around %o and the %t on the floor of %l.

@embarrass fountain is "The %t sprays water all over you. %L grows quiet as everyone turns to look at you.

This is overdoing it a just a bit. Let's say the drinking fountain is in “the Fields of Valhalla”, and Balder takes a drink, triggering the embarrassing message. Balder sees:

The drinking fountain sprays water all over you. The Fields of Valhalla grows quiet as everyone turns to look at you.

Everyone else sees:

Balder sprays water all over himself, and a puddle forms around him and the drinking fountain on the floor of the Fields of Valhalla.

Here are the commonly used pronoun substitutions. Each one also has a capitalized version.

%n the player

%t this object (i.e., the object that holds the message,… usually)

%d the direct object from the verb line

%i the indirect object from the verb line

%l the location of the object

%s subject pronoun, either `he', `she', or `it'

%o object pronoun, either `him', `her', or `it'

%p posessive pronoun (adj), either `his', `her', or `its'

%q posessive pronoun (noun), either `his', `hers', or `its'

%r reflexive pronoun, either `himself', `herself', or `itself'

Yourself: Keys

Objects can require keys in order to ‘use’ them. The player who attempts to use the object must either be or have the key.

Object Class Key required for:

$thing taking

$note/$letter taking or reading

$container taking or opening

$exit leaving

$room entering

If you @lock an object with yourself as the key, then you are the only person who can use that object. If you want to specify more complex keys, you have to understand the ‘language’ of keys, which is a bit weird. It’s sort of like saying “let Bob or Jo or Bill but not anyone carrying my donut use this object”. But you have to say it in computer talk:

@lock here with (Bob || Jo || Bill) && !donut

It’s like that logic stuff you got from algebra. Use ‘||’ to say ‘or’, ‘&&’ to say ‘and’, and ‘!’ to say ‘not’. And you can group parts together with parentheses. In the above example, if it’s Bob, Jo, or Bill trying to get in, the part between parentheses comes out true. And as long as none of them are carrying your donut, !donut comes out true as well (because donut comes out false, and not donut is the opposite). Which lets them in. If anyone besides Bob, Jo, or Bill tries to come in, that part turns out false, and the room doesn’t let them in. Likewise, if anyone is carrying your donut, that part comes out false and the room doesn't let them in, even if they are Bob, Bill, or Jo. At least, until they drop your donut.

The Truth Table, in case you’ve forgotten your high school algebra:

English Computerese Result
true and true true && true true
true and false true && false false
true or true true || true true
true or false true || false true
not true !true false
not false !false true

Here are some complex examples:

(Bob || (Jo && Balder's Key) || me) && !#13

Anyone who is carrying whatever object has number #13 is locked out., even me: suppose I’m carrying object #13 and Balder’s Key:

(false || (false && true) || true) && !true

(false || false || true) && false

true && false


Bob can come in as long as he’s not carrying #13, and Jo can only come in if she’s carrying my key. No one else can come in at all. Let’s say Fred, who is carrying my key but not object #13, tries to come in:

(false || (false && true) || false) && !false

(false || false || false) && true

false && true


More commonly, you’ll probably use simple things like only allow yourself into the room:

@lock here with me

or only allow your friends and yourself into the room:

@lock here with me && CapVideo && Thor && Jenni

or lock a particular obnoxious person out of your room:

@lock here with !Fred

You can also use keys to make it so that only certain people can read notes and letters. I’ll talk about that in a moment. Type help keys for more detailed information about keys.

  1. Talking to the MOO
  2. Advanced Building
  3. Objects