Kefka's Discworld MUD ...Stuff

Witches' Cottages

Yard Types


This is part of the Witches' Cottages idea, relating to customisable outdoor player housing rooms.


This is the default state of such a room, and does not allow for any special features. It would function pretty much as existing outdoor player house rooms do. A number of outdoor furniture items, such as an outhouse and a well would be suitable for such an area.

Allowing for perhaps a single flower (or even herb/vegetable) bed in a yard could be a way to encourage people to experiment with gardening (explained in the 'garden' section) without needing to go the whole hog and change yard types.


As an introduction, here's an example of how I imagine a garden could look:

This is a garden, situated on the west side of a cottage.  Two garden beds have been laid here.  A
wooden planter and a wheelbarrow planter skirt the garden.  A tool rack has been placed in the corner.
It is a slightly chilly autumn prime's afternoon with almost no wind and medium cloud cover.
There are two obvious exits: west and east.

>look bed 1
The garden bed is little more than a rectangular patch of fertile soil bordered by stones.
The soil is bone dry.
The garden bed contains a potato patch.

>look bed 2
The garden bed is little more than a rectangular patch of fertile soil bordered by stones.
The soil has been well tilled.
It is completely empty.

>look wooden planter
This roughly rectangular planter has been roughly carved out of a single solid section of tree trunk.
A simple design of a large sunflower has been etched into the side.
The soil is wet.
The wooden planter contains a carrot patch.

>look wheelbarrow planter
A rusty tin wheelbarrow has been born again as a fully functional planter.  One handle has
completely rusted away, and the inside has been reinforced with planks of wood, but this has just
increased its "rustic charm".
The soil is barely damp.
The wheelbarrow planter contains a yarrow patch.

>look rack
This is a simple, sturdy tool rack made of pine.  It was probably hand made by a rural craftsman
and has one purpose; to hold gardening tools.
The tool rack contains a ploughshare, a shovel, a hand trowel and a watering can.

Gardening works as follows... First, a bed or planter must be acquired (purchase/created) and placed in the garden. A limit to the number of beds and planters would be a good idea. They can not be used as regular containers. You can't 'put' anything in them. Planting and picking are the only way to change the contents, as well as perhaps a command to empty the contents (could just use 'pick').

Beds should hold more (double?) than the planters, and some things should only be plantable in one type. Also, allowing only one crop per structure and no half filled structures would probably make things easier. Some planters could come with lids or covers which can be opened and closed (and maybe even locked) to prevent rain or reduce heat, etc. Mushrooms, for example, could only be grown successfully in a covered (dark) environment.

Once the bed or planter has been placed, the soil needs to be tilled before anything can be planted. This can only be done while holding a ploughshare/hoe/shovel (for beds) or a hand trowel (for planters). Your success is based on your bonus, however it is impossible to fail. Soil must be re-tilled after picking a crop before a new crop can be planted.

With a low bonus, you till the soil badly and hence slightly more watering is required, as the badly tilled soil doesn't retain the moisture as well.
With a medium bonus, the soil is simply tilled. No modifier is applied to the watering rate.
With a high bonus, the soil is well tilled. Water will be better retained, and hence require less frequent watering.

>till planter 1 with trowel //low skills
You kneel beside the wooden planter and begin making sloppy ditches in the soil.
You continue to prepare the wooden planter, turning the soil over haphazardly.
Your knees crack as you stand up, having completed your tilling with some degree of success.

>till bed 1 with ploughshare //high skills
You slowly move down one side of the bed, carefully turning over the soil.
You begin making neat furrows in the soil of the garden bed.
You finally finish tilling the last edge of the garden bed and stand back to admire a job well done.

With the soil tilled, it's time to plant. Packets of seeds/bulbs can be purchased from shops. Making 1 packet enough to plant 1 bed/planter full would keep things simple and go with only being able to have beds/planters full of a single crop. This would also mean the seed packets would not have to be containers. Seems a lot easier than having 'many' or '42' seeds in the packet and having to plant them separately or being able to plant half here and half there, etc...

Seed packets could have information written on them, viewable when browsing, such as:

This information should be available somewhere else too - perhaps the seed store could sell a gardening book.

>look seeds //description changes when empty (seeds planted)
This small flax packet has been filled with seeds.  It has a picture of a carrot (not amusingly
shaped) on one side.
It appears to have something written on it.

>plant seeds in wooden planter //message is for moderate bonus
You tear open the packet and sprinkle the seeds into the wooden planter.

Planting involves a (for vegetables) or (for herbs) check which influences the size of your crop. A low bonus will result in a smaller crop (seeds not spaced correctly in soil, not covered properly, etc) while a high bonus will give you a larger crop.

Of course, what you end up with depends on how well it's looked after - they need water!

>look wooden planter
This roughly rectangular planter has been roughly carved out of a single solid section of tree trunk.
A simple design of a large sunflower has been etched into the side.
The soil is bone dry.
The wooden planter contains a carrot patch.

>look carrot patch in wooden planter
The seeds have only just been planted and have not yet begun to grow.

>look watering can
This steel bucket has a spout protruding from one side similar to a kettle.
The end of the spout widens and splays into a mesh, allowing for liquids to be poured like rain.
It is completely full with two quarts of water.

>water wooden planter with watering can
You slowly shower the wooden planter with the watering can, thoroughly watering the contents.

>look wooden planter
This roughly rectangular planter has been roughly carved out of a single solid section of tree trunk.
A simple design of a large sunflower has been etched into the side.
The soil is soaked.
The wooden planter contains a carrot patch.

//some time later!

>look wooden planter
This roughly rectangular planter has been roughly carved out of a single solid section of tree trunk.
A simple design of a large sunflower has been etched into the side.
The soil is barely damp.
The wooden planter contains a carrot patch.

>look carrot patch in wooden planter
Tiny green shoots have emerged from the soil.

//even more time, with watering when needed!

>look carrot patch in wooden planter
Small healthy looking tufts of carrot stems are spaced over the soil.

//later still...(don't forget to water now and then!)

>look carrot patch in wooden planter
Moderately sized healthy looking tufts of carrot stems all but cover the earth below.

//and finally...

>look carrot patch in wooden planter
Large sized healthy looking tufts of carrot stems form a canopy in the wooden planter.
They look ready to be picked.

The scale of soil moistness goes 'bone dry', 'dry', 'barely damp', 'damp', 'very damp', 'wet' and 'soaked'. Watering will bring the soil to 'soaked' from any stage, but watering when the soil is already 'very damp' or above will be bad for the crop. Allowing the soil to get 'bone dry' before watering will also be bad for the crop.

If watered too much or too little, the descriptions of the crop can replace 'healthy looking' with 'drooping' or 'wilted', respectively. In either case, not keeping the crop healthy will result in some of them being thrown out when picked. Perhaps the speed which they deteriorate could also be influenced.

Obviously, the weather should play a part in this - rain should water your crops, high temperatures should make the soil dry quicker... Some crops could be susceptible to snow, or simply not be grown in certain seasons. I'm not quite sure how this part would work, as incorporating the impact of a constant force such as weather even when no players are around seems like a complex and resource-hungry thing to do.

Anyhow, once the crop looks ready to pick, it's time for the hard work to pay off! For things like carrots, onions, herbs, pumpkins, etc, you don't need a tool for picking. Things like potatoes need a shovel. This could be indicated on the seed packet.

>pick carrot patch in wooden planter
You bend down and begin to pluck the carrots from the soil of the wooden planter.
The carrots have been well looked after, and all of them are of good size and quality.

//alternatively, "The carrots have been over/under watered, and you choose to discard some."

And there you have carrots. The amount you get, time to grow, time between watering, etc, are all details which someone who isn't me can think about.

This may seem like a lot of trouble to go to for some carrots, and well, it is. Considering you can buy them all over. But it's not as much work as it sounds... Once you have the tools and equipment, you just need to buy and plant seeds, water occasionally, and pick when ready.

Of course there would be many more exciting (well, maybe not THAT exciting) vegetables available, and maybe when some of the craft tree is more in use, these will have more purpose... Having yarrow etc close at hand would be convenient, and growing vegetables would be good if a cooking system were to be implemented one day.

I've noticed that the process doesn't contain very many skill checks - just one when tilling, and one when planting. The main focus is on the attention needed to keep the crop healthy until it's mature. A husbandry check could be added to watering, if more skill checks are deemed necessary.


Setting a room to be a pen allows animals to be kept in it. This section will use four goats as an example. Different feed and equipment would be required for things like chickens.

First things first, you need equipment. The only essentials are a food trough and a water trough, but other equipment could include food storage sheds, lockable gates and fencing, shelter, a mud patch, grazing grass, killing block... lets not go there just yet.

>look trough 1
A simple trough. Made from half of an old tin barrel, the trough has been securely fastened to oak
supports on each end.  Patches of flaky rust pattern the outside, giving it a well worn appearance.
It is completely full with some straw.

>look trough 2
A simple trough. Made from half of an old tin barrel, the trough has been securely fastened to oak
supports on each end.  Patches of flaky rust pattern the outside, giving it a well worn appearance.
It is about half full with two gallons of water.

Then we need our animals... Here's how I imagine ordering them.

Joe's Livestock Barn is filled with the noises (and smells) of various farm animals. Straw and
seeds cover the ground and the walls are lined with pens and cages. A hastily swept area has
been fenced off at the front of the barn to provide a standing space for customers.
The obvious exits are: south.
A crude sign is hanging here.
Joe is standing here.

>read sign
Written in messy lettering:

         ~o Welcome to Joe's Livestock Barn o~

Let Joe know if you would like to order some livestock
or see a list the feed and equipment we have available.

//troughs (for food and water), buckets, seed, straw, other livestock related equipment.
//purchased like normal items and furniture

>say order livestock
//check to see if the player has a house with an available pen or pond room, etc.
Joe asks you: Would you like these animals for your pond, your west pen or your east pen?

>say west pen
Joe asks you: Okay, the west pen it is. What animals are you after, or would you like me
to list what we have available?

>say list
Joe says to you: We currently have goats, sheep, cows, pigs and chickens available.

>say goats
Joe says to you: Alrighty, goats it is. How many goats are you after? Remember, you can
have a maximum of four in a single pen.

>say four
//choosing the gender, type, etc, of the animals is way too much for me to think about now.
Joe says to you: Ok, that's four goats for your west pen, coming to LSov 4|7|6|8.
Joe says to you: I can have them delivered for you immediately if you say yes, or you can cancel
your order.

>say yes
You pay Joe LSov 4|7|6|8.
Joe says to you: Thanks for the business, Keb. Your goats will be delivered by the time you arrive
Joe says to you: Remember, we can also supply feed and equipment for your animals.

As owning animals has little functionality at the moment, keeping them alive is about all we can do. This would be achieved by putting food and water into the troughs. Food can be purchased from the livestock barn, stored somewhere closer in bulk, or even grown (see Field). The rate at which food and water disappear from the troughs is based on how many (and what type of) animals are in the pen, and possibly the season (animals generally drink more in summer and eat more in winter).

If animals aren't fed and watered they'll eventually die. From 'full health' (it's easier to assume animals never over-eat and get fat) they should take about two Disc weeks (~5 RL days) to die without water, or one Disc month (~10 RL days) to die without food. This seems like a fair realism/gameplay balance. If a full water trough can last a full pen of large animals during summer for at least 2 RL days, it would take a minimum of a RL week for anything to die.

The animals would produce regular spam of them scratching, pooing, making noise and doing other animally things as well as ones when they go to eat or drink (this includes going to a trough and finding it empty). Perhaps looking at the animals could tell you how healthy they are (or even hp loss/the health command?) with something to indicate food (plump, skinny) and water (glossy coat, dehydrated) in their descriptions.

At the moment, animals don't do much... goat pellets could be useful for witches, and I'm not sure how much killing and eating animals is good for yet. But the new crafts tree has skills in the area, so eventually breeding, skinning, milking, shearing, eating... animals could happen. In combination with a Garden, people could produce most common cooking ingredients.


Apart from housing fish and water birds, ponds would pretty much be a source of water and spam (nice spam though). The pond life would be purchased in the same way as animals for pens. A choice of various fish breeds, ducks, swans, etc, would be plenty. Some pond plants such as reeds and lilies would be nice as well.

I don't think feeding pond animals should be necessary, or if so, just something simple and not very often. Being able to toss the birds bread would be nice though.

Furniture, like benches and maybe even little ceramic gnomes, would be purchased and placed as normal.

Being able to order a custom pond would be nice... Maybe an 'able-bodied-young-men' store could be used for all the manual labour 'furnishings' like ponds and garden beds.


Fields allow players to grow grains and crops, and trees. Several configurations are available - 2 crops, 4 trees, 1 crop and 2 trees. Crops are things like wheat and corn, while trees bear orchard fruit.

Sowing and growing a crop would work much the same way as growing vegetables in a garden, except possibly taking longer and bearing more. The process of till, sow, water and pick would essentially remain the same

Fruit trees are different in that they don't need to be replaced once they fruit. Growing them from saplings takes years, so buying grown trees seems to make more sense, however a delay between planting and first fruiting could be appropriate. Different trees fruit at different times of the year/seasons. Trees need watering, which could be indicated by a line at the end of the description along the line of "The soil at the base of the apple tree is bone dry.".


Hives work pretty much like existing beehives do. It would be cool if you could also plant flowers (only require occasional watering, never needs replanting) to speed up the honey production.