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Room Building Tutorial

Room Editor Console

The Room Editor is similar to the character editor. Actions made on this panel will open the Room Editor to customize your rooms.
Click the images below to display more information

Console Actions

  • Enter the name of the room you wish to create and press Enter or click the Create/Edit button
  • If this room already exists and you don't own the room, you will receive an error message
  • If your total number of rooms reaches the limit, you won't be able to build more rooms until you delete a room
  • Warning: Room won't be created untill you hit "save" in the Room Builder Console
  • To edit an existing room, select the room name from the dropdown menu and press Enter or click the button
  • Displayed here is the total number of rooms you've built along with the number of RP rooms you've built
  • You may also type in a room name to access a room that is not yours, if the owner placed your MA in their Builder Access List (described below)
  • Renaming a room is similar to Deleting a room
  • Select your room from the dropdown menu, type in the new name, check all three boxes for Rename, and then click the button
  • To delete a room, select the room name from the dropdown menu and check the delete boxes, then hit the create/edit button
  • As long as this is a room you own, the room will be deleted immediately and the appropriate room counters will be decremented

Room Builder Console

Once you enter the room builder, you'll be given a list of options. At this stage, your room is still set to defaults.

Basic things to know:

  • New rooms will not be created until you save it at least once!
  • If you havenít saved the room, you can back out without taking up one of your room slots.
  • If you make a typo in the room name, it can still be changed afterward with the rename function.
  • Room owners and moderators can change any of these settings so select your mods with care!

How It Works...
...from the top down
Change Rooms
Use to return to the Room Editor Console
Primary Options
Use to toggle between room option windows:
  • Main Options - Primary Room Settings are here (and explained below)
  • Extended Options - Use these to set additional options for roleplay rooms
    • While limited to 512 characters, they allow for dynamic room descriptions
    • This includes 9 time-of-day descriptions: midnight, late night, dawn, morning, noon, afternoon, dusk, twilight, and night
    • The times are based on Pacific Standard
    • Also includes 4 seasonal descriptions: winter, spring, summer, and autumn
    • Filling these is not mandatory
    • Trick: The same description in multiple slots to create a sense of timelessness or perhaps emulate a shorter day or night
  • View Log - Allows owner and moderators to download or delete room logs
    • If "Log posts in this room" is checked, each post will be saved for owners and mods to view anytime
    • Recommendation: Save log onto your computer occasionally and clear the log to save space and bandwidth, especially if your room gets a lot of traffic
Room Colors
Use these to select your room colors. These values are defaults, and please note the HTML-friendly syntax (#000000)
Consider using an HTML color picker like this one for codes that customize your room look

You may recognize these color attributes from HTML code, but if not, this enables you to set a look quickly:

  • Background - Dropdown list with all the default backgrounds already on the Shards server
    • Select "Custom" from the dropdown to use your own background
    • You may also use dropdown selection "None" to have no background
    • Keep in mind, players can turn off backgrounds to reduce visual clutter
  • URL - Use your own background, hosted elsewhere on the Internet
  • bgcolor - Set default background if background image does not load for the player
    • Important! Make sure the text and bgcolors have sufficient contrast so your players can read!
      Go through your rooms with backgrounds off at least once to ensure that this is the case.
    • bgcolor will also be the background color of the form inputs (message box and suck) for people using HTML 4.0 mode.
  • text - Default room font color
  • link - Color of links posted in the chat
  • alink - Active link color (when highlighted)
  • vlink - Visited Link (link has been clicked in the past)
Room Redirect Link

The link address is an optional address to a page you want linked from your room
For example, if you use off-Shards forums or Setting information, link it here and it will appear in the chat room

  • Link Address - Insert URL to off-site
  • Link Text - Insert name of URL
Room Classification
Freeplay, Roleplay and Para-RP Zone classifications allow people to quickly gauge what to expect in terms of In-Character (IC) roleplay and OOC behavior

Ordered from most lenient and forgiving to least:

  • Freeplay Zone - Rules here, if any, may be very lax, where frequent OOC chatter, pseudo-RP, and wackiness are acceptable
  • Roleplay Zone - Posts are expected to be IC unless players clearly mark OOC posts with .ooc or (()) tags
    • Rules usually offer a basic set of guidelines for play
    • Individual rooms may be vastly different from one another in terms of genre, power level and rules
    • Short post, or "One-Liner RP" is acceptable here unless rules stipulate otherwise
  • Para-RP Zone - Paragraph Roleplay tells players that the room owner expects a certain level of responsibility and quality of roleplay
    • Such rooms will have a stricter set of rules, and may be more heavily monitored than normal Roleplay rooms
    • As the name implies, these rooms require paragraph-length posts at minimum, often verging to "novella" style RP
    • One-liners will generally not be tolerated by the players in these rooms

Being in the RP Zone has several benefits:

  • Anyone been barred from RP Zones (damned to Limbo) won't be allowed into your room
  • Automagically generated system posts are turned off in the RP Zone
    You will not see "User left for x" or entrance posts when people login
  • System-wide broadcasts will not be posted in the RP Zones
Genre & HTML

Next, you can enter extra genre information that'll give users a quick idea of what your room's "feel" is supposed to be. This space is also useful to let others know if your room belongs to a specific hub (explained in the RP Introduction Guide).

The box next to the space for Genre sets the system to record (log) each post in the room, when selected. Even posts that are removed by a user in the chat or erased using the .clear command will appear in the log. For more details on the room log see below.

HTML posting and image posting
Turning off or limiting HTML posting can be beneficial because it'll make it nearly impossible for someone to fake output from the dice codes
  • Only allows players to use <p>, <br>, <center>, <i>, <b> and <u> tags in the room
  • Allows everything the "Some" setting allows, plus:
    <font>, <H#>, <sup>, <sub>, <pre>, <blockquote>, <s>, <a>, <blink> and <marquee> tags
  • Denies any attempts to use HTML in the room
In all cases,
  • People can always use the pseudo-code tags to do limited text appearance modification:
    [b], [i], [u], [shout], [whisper], etc.
Room Type Definitions

Room Type Attributes
What different room types do
  • Public rooms allow anyone into the room, unless they are explicitly banned
  • Public rooms are visible to everyone on Who's Here
  • Private rooms deny access to everyone not explicitly allowed to enter.
  • Private rooms are not visible on Who's Here except to:
    • Administrators (magistrates and emperor)
    • People actually IN the room
    • and the person who built the room.
  • People in private rooms cannot be located with the .locate command except by the room owner and super users
Invisible This is useful when roleplaying in a secret hideaway but still want anyone who knows the room name to gain access
  • Invisible rooms allow access to anyone not explicitly denied, like public rooms
  • Like private rooms, they are not visible on the Who's Here and people in invisible rooms cannot be .located
Invitation This room should be thought of as an exclusive night club. Everyone knows where it is, but not everyone can get in
  • Invitation rooms deny access to anyone not explicitly allowed (like Private rooms)
  • Like public rooms, they are visible on Who's Here and people can be .located while in the room
Arena This type of room is ideal for tournaments and structured debates where only specific users are allowed to post
  • Arena rooms act like public rooms so far as access and Who's Here visibility is concerned
  • Instead of controlling access, you control who can post publicly in these rooms
  • Anyone can watch, but will not be able to interrupt the event with public postings
  • Anyone not on the user list will be limited to PMs only while in this room!
Entrance & Exit Permissions

Setting Room Entry Permissions:

  • Allow - Players are allowed to enter from from any room
  • Deny - if you only want them to be able to get in from rooms you put on the entry list.
  • Exit - Determines whether players can leave to a room

The Room Entrance and Room Exit lists work similarly:
Room Entrance & Exits

Use commas to separate room names to allow Entry and Exit from your rooms:

  • A basic list might read "Portals, The Void, Limbo"
  • Hide an exit or entrance by prefixing a room name with a '*': *Portals or *The Void
    • People can still enter/exit from these rooms, but they will not appear on the drop down
  • Deny an entrance or exit by prefixing a room name with a '!': !The Void)
    • This will always deny entrance from or exit to that room, regardless of how you've set the room entry/exit permissions
    • Exception: users can always exit back to The Void, or use .escape to leave any room
  • You can create regions within a hub with sections that are offset with dashes: ----City Map----
    • Consider this Baltimore example, where the Room Exit uses the following code for the dropdown:
      Example: "----Ghetto Sectors----, Berea, Sandtown, Ellwood Park, ----Locations----, Bunker Row, Blue Moon," ...etc.

      Results in this dropdown list:
      Baltimore-Room-List Example

Room User Lists

The user list is a comma-separated list of character names:

  • The user list's default effects are specific to room type
  • If you put a characterís name in this list, it will only affect the specific character
  • Conversely, if you put someoneís master account handle on the list, it will have a blanket effect on all of that personís characters

Owner Pemissions on User Lists

  • You cannot be banned from your own rooms
  • You always have permission to be in the room, whether or not you are on the user list
  • You always have permission to post publicly in any Arena rooms you've created
  • All your characters/subhandles will have permission to be in rooms you created, or post publicly in your Arena rooms

Effects Per Room Type
Public & Invisible Default
  • Names on the user list default to banning those people from the room
Private & Invitation Default
  • Only characters on the user list may enter the room
Arena Default
  • Characters in the user list may post publicly

Modifiers are entries that are globally effective:

Modifier Basics
Modifiers are characters that change default interpretation
  • Prefixing a name with a '!' will always ban them, regardless room type: !Lamer
  • !Lamer would ban ALL of Lamer's handles from the room, not just "Lamer"
    • If you need more control, you can still ban/admit users by placing their name on the list to ban them from public/invisisble rooms or delisting them from private/invitation room lists to ban them
  • Special note about bans:
    • If you use the ! prefix to ban someoneís character, it WILL ban all their other handles too
    • However, if that person later deletes that character from their list, the ban will be rendered ineffective
    • In some cases, a person sneaks back into a room they were banned from, by using this loophole to circumvent a ban
    • If you suspect someone is circumventing a ban, notify an admin immediately so proper measures can be taken
  • Prefixing the name with a '*' turns them into a Room Monitor: *My Best Friend
    • Room monitors can add and drop people from the user list with the .adduser and .dropuser commands
    • They cannot add or drop room monitors (cannot change entries starting with a '*')
  • Prefixing a name with a '#' gives them permission to use the .narrate and .note command: #KickAss RPer
  • You can ONLY use one modifier on a given name, so modifiers are hierarchical:
    • '*' confers all the same permissions as a '#' and also allows the user to use the room monitor commands
    • Users prefixed with '!' cannot access permissions granted by '#' or '*'
  • You can use a % prefix to override the default owner displayed on the room info page: %Name
    • This name will be displayed as the owner instead of your master handle, but has absolutely no effect on who is actually considered owner of the room
    • This is often a style-device so a character/subhandle is listed as a room owner
    • Alternatively, this is used to add flavor to the room, or list its hub affiliation
    • Note: Only the first entry on the list will be shown

Serparate names with commas:

Tag Keys
  • !Name - Ban/Kick user from room
  • *Name - Moderator
  • #Name - Narrator
  • %Name - Set Room Title
  • RoomName# - Blocked exit/entrance
  • Name* - Room monitor
  • Name$ - Room narrator
  • Name% - Permanently blocked user
Room Introduction, .intro

The Intro Blurb is the text that appears when someone first enters your room. It is limited to the length of a post (2048 characters).

Room Description, .scope

Room Description is longer description text that will appear when someone uses .scope in your room. This text is of virtually unlimited length so you can put things here that you couldn't put in the intro, including HTML and CSS code. Please note, however, that use of java is blocked by the system.

Why do we ban javascript in character profiles and room descriptions? It can be used maliciously against other users, so this is good security practices that ensures Shards users are not abused.

Room Rules, .aup

Room Rules is a space to allow you to specify your own set of rules for the room. Again, this is of virtually unlimited length, you can use HTML and CSS, and it will appear when someone uses the .rules command in your room.

You are requested to post rules in your room if you have specific expectations for how the room is to be used. If you do not post room rules, nothing bad will happen, but people will be understandably irked if they're banned from your room without explanation.

Final Thoughts

Click the Save button to save changes you make to your room every time you change them. The room editor's appearance will reflect the changes you've made.
Changes will be lost if you do not save your room!

Put some thought into any RP rooms you are creating. Avoid building redundant rooms or rooms with no clear theme. We will not delete such rooms, but they may not see much use. Each room should contribute to roleplay, and should even be treated like another character.

If you have any especially good backgrounds, send them to for inclusion. Not all backgrounds will be included, but if they are good and/or thematic they stand a good chance of being added!

Administrators can lock owners or moderators out of the room editor if they abuse room building privileges, but this will not happen unless you build rooms purposefully designed to trap users or cause other denial-of-service type occurrences. If you get trapped, execute .escape to get to The Void.

Finally, further questions can be sent to

[Privacy Policy]