(Note:  much of the information here is still in process.  There are no game directions here yet - just press H while playing for online help.)

Slaves to Armok: God of Blood

Instruction Manual (Outdated!!!!!!)
By Tarn Adams
Copyright © 2000-2001

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. A Description
    1. Overview
    2. The Universe
      1. Persistence of the Universe
      2. The Universal Cycle
      3. Legends
      4. Worlds
      5. World Features
    3. The Inhabitants
      1. Creatures
      2. Physical Structure
      3. Souls
      4. Attributes
      5. Skills
      6. Professions
      7. Personality
      8. Stances and Movement
      9. Combat
      10. Styles
      11. Damage
      12. Dying
    4. Items
      1. Types of Items
      2. Materials
      3. Inventories
    5. Entities
      1. Civilizations and Beyond
      2. Foci
      3. Rules
      4. The Personality Factor
      5. Culture
    6. The Supernatural
      1. Armok and The Pantheon
      2. Spells
      3. Ether and Auras
      4. The Arts
      5. Supernatural Forces
  3. Interface
    1. The Editors
      1. The Material Editor
      2. The Creature Form Editor
      3. The Creature Motif Editor
      4. The Creature Grouping Editor
      5. The Creature Editor
      6. The Model Editor


Slaves to Armok: God of Blood is a fantasy role-playing game.  The basic purpose is to inject a great deal of complexity and an enormous random element into the standard format.  Computer games such as Rogue, Hack, and Moria (among many, many others) gain much of their strength from their randomness: the dungeon is different every time.

They also profit from having more options and detail than the average game.

Here we take the idea to its extreme.  The universe is made up of random worlds, containing random dungeons and other random sites, random civilizations made up of random creatures, random items constructed from random materials, random spells cast by practitioners of random magical arts, priests of random faiths praying to random gods, and so on.  The player has some control, of course, over how random things are.  If desired, a standard Tolkienesque universe of pre-generated stock creatures and items can be used, or even a non-fantasy world consisting only of mundane humans.  At the other end, a player can choose to banish humans entirely from the universe - or even the concept of humanoids - bending and breaking natural laws such as gravity.  Materials such as granite and iron need not exist.  In the middle of this spectrum, common motifs such as "humanoid", "metal", "tree", "quadruped", "kingdom", "mammal", "reptile", and "priesthood" are respected, generating a world where the actors are different but the basic scene is predictable.  In general, the idea is to have a fully customizable game in order to support a variety of preferences.

Complexity is also important.  The standard ideas of class, hit points, and experience points have all been abolished in favor of more complex replacements.  Dungeon levels have been replaced by an authentic three-dimensional system (though the graphics system is not a 3D polygonal one - it is quite rudimentary).  Civilizations have all of the institutions necessary for their survival rather than a scattering of shops, and they struggle amongst themselves and other forces.  Worlds have ecosystems that change with their surroundings and with world events.  The worlds are also enormous - if a map square that the player occupies is roughly five feet by five feet by ten feet, an earth-sized world might have six hundred trillion squares (and that is only in two dimensions).  Our worlds are that large and larger.

A Description


 So what is the point?  The player controls a character in a vast, random, complicated world.  The player sets the goals and the options are virtually limitless.  Sometimes circumstances compel the player to act in one way or another, and if desired such circumstances can be arranged by default.  That is, starting options determine how rigidly structured the universe of the player is.  Depending on personal preference, a player might choose to strike out into the world from a neutral starting location, such as a hometown.  A player who wants more direction to be imposed by the game may begin with an affiliation of some kind, as the soldier of a king or the student of a wizard, and the player can inherit the goals of the master.  A player in search of the more traditional dungeon-crawling experience may choose to start in a cave or other such place with modest or no provisions - the goal being escape or to do something important deep inside.  Of course, these goals are optional, and those who choose to impose some structure on their game are not beholden to follow the directives at all times, or at all.

There are some extraordinary circumstances under which the player might choose to end the game.  For example, if the player had chosen to become the priest of a chaotic fire deity, and succeeds in bathing the entire world in perpetual fire, it might be time to retire.  A player who achieves all of his or her goals and retires will live on in the world as a non-player character in subsequent games if desired.

The goal of this chapter is to describe the Armok universe in a level of generality sufficient to get the flavor of the game but not to spoil too many of the surprises and the fun of discovering things for yourself.  It is not necessary to read this chapter to play the game, although it might be a good reference.

The Universe

Persistence of the Universe

At the end of the previous section, it was suggested that old players might appear again in the next game.  This is part of a larger theme - the persistence of the game universe. Once the world is randomly generated, the player can keep it around as long as they like.  Depending on how wild the changes brought about during the previous game, subsequent games may start a few days or an entire age after the death or retirement of the last player.  Even in the most random worlds, players will therefore have an opportunity to become accustomed to things.

The Universal Cycle

So what of the world of our fire priest, burning in everlasting flame?  There are a number of options.  The player could reset the world on his or her own.  A new world might be introduced into the universe, with the possibility of visiting (and restoring) the old one.  An age might pass, leading to a change in the old world large enough for play to continue.  Finally, Armok, who created the universe in the first place, might decide to destroy it and start anew.

The destruction of the world by Armok will arise inevitably in most game worlds.  As civilizations spread and the frontier closes, the world will start to look homogeneous.  Armok, looking upon this decadence in disgust, will reform the world.  Basically, when the universe has become too boring, it will be changed.

The player who has worked many games to achieve the spread of civilization or some other homogenizing influence may consider this to be the ultimate success.


Even with the destruction of the world, all is not lost.  Except when the player chooses to reset the universe entirely, fragments of myth survive.  The ruins of the ancient civilization that brought down the wrath of Armok may persist, along with the legends of its heroes.  The fire priest, having achieved such a superb result, might ascend to the side of the fire deity as a god in his or her own right, to be worshipped by subsequent players.

Within a single universe, legends are also propagated.  Great warriors that conquer neighbors, rule wisely, or slay fell beasts will live on in stories long after they pass away.  Vile necromancers that threaten civilization will live on as well, even after their evil influence has subsided.  And be warned: the exploits of the pathetic will make good jokes for the barkeep, to be told over and over again for the amusement of more talented adventurers.


Generally, a universe will be made up of one major world and several adjunct worlds.  The major world will be a vast expanse much like earth (or not - depending on creation options), with mountains, rivers, forests, and other recognizable features.  There may also be similar worlds connected in a variety of ways to the major one, with similar features, much like planets in a solar system.  Then there are less traditional types of worlds.  There may be parallel worlds to the major one.  For example, the major world might have a shadow world parallel to it where dark beings dwell, and to which wizard-thieves can slip away to avoid detection and to move past physical obstacles.  There may also be other worlds that are not parallel to the major world, such as a plane of fire where our fire deity resides.  These are connected to the major and other worlds by various means, such as dimensional gates and portals. Supernatural beings may have small worlds under their control, and the truly powerful player might actually create a world of his or her own.

World Features

The rivers and forests of the world are not static.  Fluids flow and drag things with them.  A breach in a natural dam might cause a cascade of flowing water.  Ecosystems change and adapt to their surroundings.  Weather patterns drop rain and snow.  Winds blow that can put out fires or knock creatures to the ground.  Temperature variations are catalogued - a creature might freeze in one locale and bake in another, all with real results affecting game play.

The Inhabitants


The worlds are inhabited by a plethora of creatures.  These may be predefined natural creatures such as humans, goats, and chipmunks, as well as standard fantasy creatures like orcs and kobolds.  The game may also mix forms like "humanoid" or "quadruped" with motifs like "mammal" and "reptile" to generate random creatures that are still recognizable.  At the most extreme, creatures can be produced from a chaotic arrangement of parts.

Physical Structure

The body parts of creatures are well defined: a squid has tentacles, and a human has arms and legs.  There is very little abstraction.  Each body part is also made up of tissues such as muscle and skin, and each tissue might have growths such as hair.  The player may interact in full with all of these constituents.  Hides may be tanned, and hair woven into garments.

Body function is not abstracted into a general health meter.  Some of the body parts are linked into tracts, such as the circulatory tract, respiratory tract, and digestive tract (at least in those creatures which have these).  In this way, damage to certain parts can have the proper effect on a creature.  Other body parts might control functions such as metabolism/blood-cleaning (like the human liver and kidneys).  Consciousness is also controlled by a body part or by body parts.

Bodies also undergo development, with age or other factors.  For instance a tadpole changes into a frog, losing its tail and sprouting four legs.  These changes occur to the player as well.  A single type of creature may have several castes.  Examples are gender in humans and the soldier/worker/drone/queen castes of stereotypical ants (ants actually have a variety of caste systems).


The metaphysics of universes vary, but the mind/body debate is herein resolved as follows: creatures have physical bodies, and they have souls.  Not much more can be said.  Souls may or may not perish with the body.  More than one soul may inhabit a body, and a soul may control more than one body.  After death, if the soul does not simply evaporate, it may lurk in the physical world where the body died as a ghost or spirit, it may move on to some other place, or something entirely different.  Game play does not necessarily end at body death.


As in many role-playing games, attributes are used to describe characteristics of a creature that might vary greatly even between members of the same species, but unlike skills are difficult to change over one's lifetime.  Attributes are divided up between physical and mental attributes.  Physical attributes like strength and dexterity are tied to the creature's physical body, and mental attributes such as intelligence and creativity are tied to the creature's soul.  Attributes may be altered slowly by exercising them.


a. Description

Unlike attributes, skills are all associated with the soul and are more easily altered through practice.  There are many types of skills:  those related to manual labor, handling items, fighting, communicating, surviving in the wilderness, practicing magic, and many others.  Creatures also have skills relating to their own bodies, such as walking and flying.  In addition, creatures become more familiar with their bodies.  This is not apparent for the initial body, since these basic skills are learned during early development for the most part.  However, if for instance a druid becomes a sparrow in hopes of evading capture and has little experience in such a body, the situation might become even more dire.

b. Note on Advancement

The standard system of advancement in many CRPGs is to have experience points and levels.  That is, gain a certain amount of experience points (generally through killing monsters) and you gain a level.  When you gain a level, your skills increase.  Armok does not work this way.  First of all, there are no levels and no general experience points.  Skills and attributes are improved by performing relevant activities:  attack and your item wielding skills will improve, experience pain and your willpower will improve, sculpt and your sculpting skills will improve.  The following cannot be overemphasized:  you do not have to kill an opponent to obtain a reward.  In fact, the amount of skill you obtain from attacking an opponent is equal to the amount of resistance the opponent puts forth.  If your opponent is unconscious, you will gain no skill in the attack (although your physical attributes will still improve slightly).  Thus, in order to learn combat skills quickly, you must fight able opponents (which can be quite dangerous, of course).


Professions are collections of skills.  A carpenter, for instance, is familiar with many types of wood (Material Familiarity skills), is good at sawing and hammering (Manual Labor skills), has an eye for distance (Measuring skill), and is able to handle tools of the trade (Item Wielding skills).  An individual carpenter is also familiar with specific items, such as the balance of his or her own hammer.  Finally, a carpenter has the knowledge of how to construct various wood joints and perhaps how to build many types of furniture, among other things (Construction skills).  The talent of the carpenter is roughly the sum of his or her skills and the attributes that are used to perform these skills (that is, a clumsy carpenter, no matter how knowledgeable, is still clumsy and might hammer his or her thumb).  Teams of professionals working together can complement each other by doing what each does best.


In addition to attributes and skills, creatures have personalities.  These characteristics do not move upward toward perfection, as attributes and skills do, but are simply indicators of a creature's goals, values, and how it responds to various situations.  The player does not have a personality per se (he or she inherits that of the user), but the game nonetheless assesses the player's actions, and other creatures are able to form their own opinions of the player in a rudimentary sense.

Stances and Movement

Although most of us are accustomed to walking around on our two feet, there is nothing forcing this to be the situation (other than natural constraints).  The player may therefore select any combination of body parts to move on.  There are certain odd circumstances under which walking on one's hands might be useful, for example.  In addition, when playing a quadruped, the natural state (and the one in which movement is fastest) is being on all fours.  Non-standard stances are generally more awkward and require more talent to maintain balance.

There are a number of ways to move.  Walking, for our purposes, is using everything from the stance points "up" to move (that is, using the legs when standing on the feet).  Crawling is using everything from the stance points "down".  So if the player lies on his or her upper body, walking is meaningless and crawling means using his or her arms and legs to move.  However, if the player tries to crawl when standing on his or her feet, the toes are the only parts involved.  Progress in this case is very slow.  In addition to walking and crawling, players may also climb, swim, and fly.  Climbing involves using grip to move along a surface.  Swimming is using the body to move through a liquid, and flying is using the body to move through a gas.  There may also be other more exotic forms of movement.  The capabilities of different creatures are quite varied of course, and the game will advise the player as to his or her own (known) abilities.


Although it is never strictly necessary, the player might find it advantageous to engage another creature in battle for some reason.  Melee combat is possible, as is ranged combat.  Melee combat involves using one's body or an item to strike or wrestle with an opponent.  Ranged combat involves a thrown, fired, or otherwise launched projectile.

A number of attributes and skills come into play during combat.  The value of strength and dexterity during a melee is apparent, as is the value of item handling skills.  Creatures also become fatigued during combat, and high endurance is helpful to counter this.  General combat skills are also of importance.  These include situational awareness, parrying, and feinting.  A creature without situational awareness might not use terrain to his or her advantage, and might become too focused on a single opponent to notice other dangers.


Styles are combat skills that involve using one's body or an item in a stereotyped manner.  Common examples are boxing, karate, and fencing.  In general a style will be restricted to either a type of creature ("humanoid"), a type of item ("swords"), or perhaps both.  As a creature practices combat in a particular style, they will gain benefits beyond those provided by normal attributes and skills.  These range from causing more damage to special moves to powerful magical effects.  Styles can be randomly generated and can even be introduced by the player.


Damage can be caused to the player in any number of ways.  Fighting may be the most obvious cause, but falling from great heights, suffocating, poisoning, burning, disease, overexertion, and countless other factors also play a role.  Damage causes wounds to the physical structure, and wounds impair function.  Impaired movement leads to lack of mobility, dropped items, and poor combat performance.  Impaired respiration or circulation leads to nutrient loss, toxin buildup, and ultimately cellular damage, which in turn impairs more functions.  Wounds also might lead to blood loss, which causes a lack of nutrients and toxin buildup.  This again leads to cellular damage and impaired function.


Only when a creature's ability to sustain consciousness is completely lost does a creature die.

This is either caused by direct wounding to the physical consciousness structure (such as the brain) or by somehow permanently separating the soul from the body (leaving a mindless husk).  All other forms of damage contribute to death only by causing indirect cellular damage to the physical consciousness structure through blood loss or otherwise.


Types of Items

There are many types of items.  These include weapons, tools, clothing, containers, corpses and corpse pieces, processed or constructed items, and many others.  Complex items are built of constituent parts, and items can be constructed by the player or other creatures with the appropriate skills.  The player may even construct novel items within certain constraints.  Items are subject to damage of all kinds, depending on how they are made and what they are made of.


All items, creatures, terrain, in fact, EVERYTHING, is constructed from materials.  A material may be something simple like "iron" or it may be something more complicated like "orc skin".  All materials have characteristics such as boiling point, melting point, hardness, rigidity, color, and so on.  By defining general categories such as "metal", the game can produce random materials that are still somewhat sensible.  In the extreme case, materials that behave in fantastic ways might be produced (defying gravity, boiling at low temperatures and solidifying at high ones, producing light without heat, and so on).

The game world interacts with the materials in a detailed fashion.  If, for instance, our fire priest were to launch a fireball at an armored opponent brandishing a wooden club, not only would the opponent be scorched, but the club would also be set ablaze, and any metal components in the opponent's armor would melt over the opponent causing further hardship.  Different parts of the opponent's body might react to the inferno in different ways.


Creatures must possess items in order to use them.  That means holding them, wearing them, or keeping them in a possessed container.  Unlike many games in this genre, most items in containers cannot be used without taking them out first.  This often means balancing the defensive value of a shield and the light provided by a torch - such is life.

Inventory items, whether worn or carried, are associated with particular body parts.  If a creature loses its hand, any rings or grasped objects will go with the hand and out of the creature's possession.  Items, particularly clothing, are subject to damage in this way.  A long-sleeved shirt may lose a sleeve with an arm, and so on.  Skilled professionals or players can repair damaged items, although these items might not be quite as good as they were before the damage occurred.


Civilizations and Beyond

All creatures are not fully independent.  Sometimes creatures band together (out of common interest or otherwise), and this is what we call an entity.  Entity types include, but are not restricted to, kingdoms, families, guilds, schools of magic, religious sects, natural forces and their worshippers, philosophies, causes, monetary ventures, and criminal organizations.


The central rallying point of an entity is its focus.  Entities can have many foci. A religious sect might worship several different gods for instance.  Merchant guilds and bandits might just be focused on profit and the self-interest of each member - this is certainly allowable.  The focus of some philosophies and cults might be nearly inscrutable.  Each entity decides through some process how to achieve its goals, and then through some process tries to get each of its members to contribute.  These processes are individual to a given entity.


Every entity also has rules that govern the conduct of member creatures, and rules that describe who can join and how this is accomplished.  To give the rules meaning, they must be enforceable and the sanctions dealt out for infractions must be severe enough to discourage violations.  The clarity of the rules depends on the entity.  A family entity may have rules and sanctions that are simply understood - no new members (other than infants, adoptions, and perhaps marriage partners) will be joining the entity, so no codification is necessary.  Other entities, such as kingdoms, could very well have codified laws and a judicial system to decide on sanctions.  Religious sects might codify their rules in a book such as the Bible, and the religious authorities - or even the deity - can deal with sanctions.

The Personality Factor

All entities are made up of member creatures, and there are very few entities in which the goals of each creature are completely in harmony - especially when the player is involved.  Even within a single entity, creatures will work to achieve their own goals, and most creatures will be members of more than one entity.  The tensions between conflicting loyalties will cause conflict - keeping the world interesting for Armok.


Members, foci, and rules make up the core of an entity's structure.  Culture makes up the rest of an entity.  Traditions, legends, language, names, rites, fashion, means of education, the division of labor, art, dancing, calendars, and sports are just a few of the cultural elements that may be part of a given entity.

The most rudimentary entity, such as a wolf pack, might not have much in the way of culture, whereas a kingdom or religion might have an advanced culture consisting of all of the above and more.

The Supernatural

Armok and The Pantheon

Armok, the God of Blood, is just about the only constant in these chaotic random universes.  A general sense of conflict keeps Armok appeased - when the universe becomes too boring it is set on the anvil of creation to be reforged.  In some universes, Armok may be very involved, inspiring priesthoods and millions of followers.  In others, Armok may take a lesser role, or no role at all, up until the apocalypse.

There may be other deities that are a bit more transitory.  These gods may or may not last between different incarnations of the universe, but in a given universe, they are the most powerful beings next to Armok.  They can do virtually anything - although the scope of a deity's powers is sometimes restricted greatly.  That is, a god of earth has control over everything relating to that element but not over water.  A god of disease can spread plagues but cannot or will not cause earthquakes or make farms more productive.  It is not for us to say whether the powers of the deities are actually restricted, or whether their divine thoughts are so focused on their unwavering purpose that other things simply do not matter to them.


Almost all otherwise unexplainable effects fall into the category of spells.  The miracles of a deity, the charms of an enchanter, the curse of a mummy, the brews of an alchemist, the construction and animation of an automaton, and the hex of a coven of witches are all types of spells.  At their core, spells run like computer programs with steps and tests.  Each step of a spell has some kind of ritual - from as simple as a thought to as complicated as a yearlong rite - that enacts it.  For the uninterested player, the mechanics of spells can be cloaked in mystery, and a fireball is a fireball.  To a player interested in spell craft, a fireball might proceed as follows (this is by no means the only way): first the caster performs a targeting gesture, inscribing in the ether a sort of arrow to the target and tying the inscription to the spell.  Then the caster performs another brief motion to open a portal to the fire plane, and a focused chant leads to the drawing in of a flickering mass of elemental flame.  The flame is tied to the ether by a gesture similar to the first, and the rest moves beyond the caster's control - the flame, impelled by ethereal forces and guided by the ethereal tie between them, seeks the target.  The caster does not need to maintain concentration after this point, and may even leave the scene before the damage is done.

Ether and Auras

As suggested in the previous section, ether is a sort of ubiquitous magical field that is the driving force behind some types of spells.  Ether does not need to exist in all universes, but it is one convenient way to answer that burning question: how does the spell act as if guided by intelligence when the caster isn't paying any attention, anyway?  The solution is that the caster has altered the ether in such a way that it can follow simple instructions.  Another solution might be to have some supernatural intelligence, such as a deity or evil spirit, handle the non-caster thinking.  A final solution is to force the caster to concentrate on any spell that requires further care.  All of these solutions can occur among the various magical arts.

Auras are produced by altering the ether and by other types of supernatural activity, such as divine intervention and the presence of pure evil.  Auras can be detected by certain types of spells and can even be altered.  Although magic that relies on concentration or on materials is in a sense more difficult to cast, it has the benefit of not leaving an aural trace.

The Arts

Any collection of magical skills constitutes a magical art (much like any collection of mundane skills constitutes a profession - they are no very similar).  In the sense being used here, priests that ask for divine intervention and witches brewing potions in a cauldron are practicing a magical art.  Aside from their collection of skills and perhaps a collection of spells, arts are much like the entities described above and have all of their characteristics (members, foci, rules, and culture).

All spells boil down to basic effects such as "teleport" and "impart velocity".  Different arts have access to different effects.  In addition, the various arts have different ways to cause these effects.  There are also different side effects and costs to the caster.  These differences give each art its flavor.  An evil necromantic art might for instance be restricted to summoning spirits and animating corpses.  The cost might be the blood of the caster, and any use of ether encoding might cause a tainted, evil aura, rendering the ether unusable by less sinister spell casters.  Another side effect might be the appearance of low black fog anytime a spell is cast.  The focus might be populating the world with undead, a rule might be an oath of silence, and the culture could be fleshed out with various macabre rituals and black clothing.  The membership might be restricted to those with terminal diseases (a kind of kinship with death), and those wishing to join (for some reason!) without such an affliction might be given one through some twisted rite involving a disease carrier.  With just two spell effects, one spell cost, two side effects, one focus, one rule, and one membership requirement and rite, you may already have a good picture of these fiends.  The game can impose many more details.  In addition, the two spell effects briefly described (summoning spirits and corpse animation) can be combined in spells pre-generated for the art, randomly generated, or researched by the player, to give rise to a variety of different total effects.

Supernatural Forces

In addition to all of the supernatural beings and practices describe above, there are other forces at work in the world.  Two of the major ones are elemental forces, such as water, and regional forces, such as the life force of a major forest.  Forces act much like deities, and are worshipped as deities are, but they do not have a distinct persona as deities do.  Elemental forces might reside on elemental planes, where they have a primal desire to see the world filled by their element.  Regional forces might seek to protect their boundaries and natural inhabitants, while more aggressive regional forces might seek to expand their range.  As in most cases, elemental forces or regional forces may not exist in the universe - it is completely random.


The Editors

It would be ideal if the player were allowed to fully customize his or her game universe.  The editors are a step in this direction. There are several editors at your disposal.

The Material Editor

This is the most straightforward editor to use.  Only three of the material values are currently of any importance:

The Creature Form Editor

The creature form editor allows you to make new creature forms, such as humanoids.  Creature forms are constructed from form nodes, such as "head", "body", and "legs".  Look for example at the humanoid form.  The "stock" forms should be loaded when you start the editor.  The humanoid form is made up of four nodes.  Each of the nodes has a type.  For the humanoid, these are "body", "head", "arm", and "leg".  A node is either the top node (the body) or a child.  Some of the nodes are numbered.  For instance, a humanoid has two arms.  Creature forms are used by creature motifs (mammals, etc.) to construct creatures.

What about hands?  Hands will be added on later by the motif.  A form is only meant to capture the essentials of a given type.  In general, the motif will take each form node and break it up into several pieces (body parts).  For instance, a mammalian "body" becomes an upper body and a lower body, while a "leg" becomes an upper leg, a lower leg, and a foot.  Another motif could realize the form in a completely different way, but the resulting creature would still be "humanoid".

This brings us to connection locations.  Once the motif breaks a form node into body parts, how does the creature maker handle the children of that form node?  For example, once the body node is broken up into the upper body and lower body, how does Armok know to place the arms on the upper body and the legs on the lower body?  This is achieved through connection locations.  You can see by looking at the humanoid form that the arm node is marked "central" and the leg node is marked "outer".  When the body is broken up into the upper body and lower body, the mammal motif contains further information, telling Armok to mark the upper body "central" and the lower body "outer".  In this way, the arm and leg nodes will be attached to the proper location.  There are other connection types:  "all" and "linear".  When a node is marked "all", it will be attached to every body part that the motif constructs (for example, both the upper and lower body).  "Linear" should not be used here -- it is meaningful only when used to mark a body part.  We'll examine this in the next section.

The Creature Motif Editor

The creature motif editor lets you construct mammals and reptiles, for instance.  These are used in conjunction with creature forms to construct random creatures.  A single motif can be used to construct billions of creatures of any given form.  Unfortunately, this means that the motif editor must handle a great deal of complexity. We'll touch upon some of the more obscure aspects of it here.

In the General Statistics section, the most cryptic element is the Size Divisor entry.  Since the size range above gives the minimum and maximum sizes for the creature, what else do we need?  These ranges are recorded in integers.  If you want to make a very small creature, you should set a high size divisor.  The ranges given above will simply be divided by this number.  For instance, if you wanted creatures ranging from .01 to .1, you might set the size from 100 to 1000, and set the size divisor to 10000.  Note for comparison that most humans are around size 6000.

The next section is File Lists.  Here you can import form files and material files.  You can also set the permissible forms for this creature motif.  This is to exclude certain forms in the files that you load.  For instance, the stock form file includes a "serpentine" form, which you would not want to use for stock mammals.  To avoid this probably, we include the stock form file in the list, but only permit quadrupeds and humanoids as allowable forms.  You can also import material files to use common materials like steel to construct your creature motifs, rather than custom materials like skin and bone.

You can set the physical attributes (such as strength and endurance) in the Physical Attributes section.  For each attribute, there are a number of parameters that must be specified. The "Modifier" is the number that is added to a creature's attribute value by their species.  Certain exotic creatures might not have need for a particular attribute, so you have the option not to define each of them.

Skin and bone, along with any other motif material you might want to have, are constructed in the Material Specifications section.  The editor here is fairly straightforward.  It is much like the Material Editor, but you must now set ranges for the material values rather than set numbers.

Growths are small body parts like hair, scales, claws, and teeth.  For a creature motif, you must define growth definitions that will later be referred to by the body part tissues.

For a creature motif, adjunct body parts are organs such as the heart and lungs that are not realized as parts of nodes in the creature form.  In the creature generation process, the creature form nodes are realized first, then adjuncts are added into the node body parts.

When the motif decides to realize a form node and construct body parts, it needs more information to fully realize the tissues and functions of the parts.  These are given in the building block definitions. Each body part is made up of tissues, which in turn can have growths. For instance, a mammalian leg is made up of skin, muscle and bone, and skin has the hair growth.  There are two types of building block definitions, default and custom.  Default building block definitions are used in any context that requires a body part to be constructed.  If for instance, a wizard caused a reptilian arm to sprout from your back, the default appendage definition would be used.  The form node upper bodies, lower bodies, arms, and legs are all constructed from default building blocks.  There are some exceptions.  A mammalian finger, for example, is not fully specified by the default appendage -- it will generally have a claw or finger nail.  To force it to have this growth, one must use a custom building block.

We now have building block definitions, but how do we tell the motif how to realize creature form nodes in the first place?  This is done through body components.  A body component is simply the realization of a given form node.  Notice that if you move to select the "0-th" body component, you'll be brought to a screen that lets you define "Form Node Maps".  This is the starting point of creature form node realization. Each type of node ("head", "leg", etc.) will be mapped to a given body component.  Each body component is one of two types.  The first type is simply a list of body parts.  As explained above, the motif turns each form node into a number of body parts.  Those will be the body parts in this list.  The second type of body component is a "Group".  Groups are lists of body components, with a probability attached to each one.  For instance, in the form node maps, you might map the "head" to a group.  The first member of the group could be a body component that is just a head body part, while the second is a head and a neck.  These could have chances 95% and 5% of occuring, respectively.  This means that when this motif is constructing a creature with a head, it will also give it a neck 5% of the time.  The same mechanism can be used to give creatures tails.

Alterations are changes that are applied to forms either before or after the realization of the nodes.  For example, there is a form node type "foot".  Instead of forcing all humanoids to have separate feet, the mammal motif has an alteration that will append a "foot" node on to any leg node that is provided to it.  One can also delete certain node types, if they don't fit a particular motif.  There are also more subtle alterations.  Consider mammalian humanoids and quadrupeds.  For both, the lower legs are connected to the bottom of the lower body.  However, we'd like to move the extra quadruped legs that are connected to the upper body up to connect at the shoulders.  This is accomplished by an alteration (you can look at this in the mammal motif to see how it is done).

Tracts define the ways that different body parts are connected together.  Tracts are made of nodes, and are connected to other nodes.  When a tract node is defined, it be set to have various passaging properties.  If a node has no passaging properties, nothing is done.  If passaging is set to "normal", Armok will place enough of these (adjunct) body parts to connect all of the tract nodes siblings together.  If passaging is set to "branching", Armok will place enough of them to connect all of the main, adjunct, and sense centers together.  This might be used to string something like a spinal column through the large sections of a body (no matter what overall shape it has).  Branching can be restricted.  For instance, once would want to connect main and adjunct centers with an aorta, but exclude the head (sense center).  Similarly, one would exclude the adjunct centers to string a carotid artery from the main center to any heads.  Note that by selecting the "0-th" tract, you can set up the circulatory material for your motif.

The Cluster, Relation, and Caste System editors should become easy to use once you look at an example motif.

The Creature Grouping Editor

Again, this should become fairly straightforward once you become proficient with the Creature Motif Editor.  Creature groupings are used to further restrict motifs.  For instance, you might want to make "rabbits".  This will be a particular type of mammal.  There would be constraints on the size and ear shape, among other things.

The Creature Editor

Many of the elements of the Creature Editor will become clear once you read the section on the Creature Motif Editor above. Some points will still need clarification.

Once you add a creature motif file to your creature motif file list, Armok will let you construct a random creature.  After this creature is generated, you'll be able to make one of your own more easily, provided you aren't making something too outlandish.

In the Body Part section, you'll define functions that tell what a part is for.  Functions reside in tissues.  A body part MUST HAVE TISSUES.  If a body part is left without tissues, the game will crash when it tries to construct the creature.

Also in the Body Part section, once you decide on a model file to use for a body part, you'll be confronted by a number of additional entries.  Posture (rotation and direction) will allow you to position the model more to your likely.  This is purely aesthetic.  For instance, the ant would look horrible if all of its legs were facing straight out from the body.  Thus two of them point forward forty five degrees, and so on.  This is accomplished by changing the direction vector.  If you imagine your initial body part to be pointing straight up (the vector [0,0,1]), then the direction vector is the vector to which you rotate [0,0,1] (and your whole body part).  Since this might twist the body part around unpredictably, you are also permitted to rotate the body part (in degrees) to compensate.  You can also prepare deformations.  Deformations are defined in the model file.  We'll talk about them in the later section on the Model Editor.  The "Symmetry Body Part" refers to deformations and posture.  Say, for example, that you had a creature with a right ear and a left ear.  If you change the posture or deformations of one, you'd like the other to change.  By setting the Symmetry Body Part of the left ear to be the right ear, you can accomplish this.  Remember to only set the Symmetry Body Part of the second part.  Do not set the Symmetry Body Part of the first part.

For Adjunct Body Parts, depth refers to how deeply embedded in the parent body part the adjunct is. Depth runs from 0 to 15, with 15 being the deepest.  This is the starting depth.  Therefore if skin is at depth 0, and muscle is below it at depth 9, then skin occupies depths 0 through 8.

In the Growths section, selection the "0-th" growth takes you to "Shared Growth Names".  This is simply a convenience (and a space saver).  If all of your parts have hair growing on them, you won't need to type "Hair" and "Hairs" that many times.

The Tracts section in the Creature Editor is more tedious than that of the Creature Motif Editor.  For every adjunct that is involved in the tract, you must define its role and connections.  Thus if the spine runs from the head to the neck to the upper body to the lower body, you must define its parameters four times.  The spine is, after all, four different adjuncts in the eyes of Armok.

In the Interactions section, you define Contacts (grasps used to pick things up), the primary stance, and default attacks.

The Model Editor

The model editor is a tedious and disgusting thing.  There are five different editing modes.

In Construction Mode, you place the vertices and triangles of your model.  The coordinates of each vertex must be entered explicitly.  X is front(+)/back(-).  Y is right(+)/left(-), and Z is up(+)/down(-).  Each triangle must be given three vertices, which must be arranged in counterclockwise order when viewed from the front.  Triangles also need six texture coordinates.  Texture coordinates run from 0 to 1, and you need two for each vertex. These are the coordinates on the texture bitmap (that will later be mapped on to the triangle).

In Add Point Mode, you define the gluing behavior of your model.  Remember that in most cases, you will be modeling a body part which will later be stuck to other body part models to form the overall image of your creature.  Therefore, you need to tell Armok how to place them together.  All gluing takes place on squares.  Each square should have no more than two texture triangles over its surface.  Each Add Point is given a connection location.  Don't worry about defining all 54 connection locations:  Armok is capable of choosing the best one (most of the time!).  You will however, need to define enough of them, or your model will look bad.  Vertices on an Add Point Square must be defined in a certain order according to the first word in the connection location, given by the following diagram:

Model Editor

The "Glue Verts" tell how you will be glued into your parent.  "Add Points" tell how things will be glued on to you.  You must define the Glue Verts according to the diagram (ie, you must match arrows with your parent).  In general this means that a given model can only be attached in one major connection location (top, bottom, right, left, front or back).  This is why there are both "human_rua" and "human_lua" models (right and left upper arms, respectively).  These models are identical, except that they have been flipped over and the Glue Verts have been rearranged.  You can also define the gluing texture.  This lets you choose points on the texture bitmap to make the triangles that are used to merge the model into its parent blend in smoothly.

Deformation Mode allows you to construct deformations to provide individuality to your creatures and to reuse one model for other creatures.  A deformation is a list of vertices and vectors.  Each vertex in the deformation is assigned a vector that tells how far it will be moved.  You can use the "Test Degree" value to see how your deformation looks.  This degree value is exactly the same as the number used in the Creature Editor to set up the actual deformation degree, so using the test degree is a very valuable way to see which numbers you might want to assign to the creature.  One fast way to prepare a deformation is to set the "Test Degree" to one, and then simply set the vectors of your deformation vertices so that the picture is "fully" deformed.  Once the fully deformed creatures looks how you want, you'll know your deformation is done.  Then you can experiment with different test degree values to see what ranges you might permit in actual creatures.

Texture Mode allows you to assign a texture to your model.  Textures must be in the BMP format.  They must be placed in the textures subfolder of the art folder.  Textures should only be shades of gray. Color is added by Armok later, according to the coloration of the creature.  If you select show default texture, you'll see a texture that is gray, green, and red.  The texture coordinates of your triangles should be arranges so that the green side is the right side, the gray side is the front, and the red side is the left.  If you load up "human_upperbody", "basic", or any of the other models and select "Show Default Texture" then you'll see how things should be arranged.  In order to make your own textures look right, they should be aligned with this coloration. You can use the file "model.bmp" in the textures subfolder (in the art folder) to begin.

Looking at the models that have already been created should be helpful in getting you started.  You might try making minor modifications at first, and then make more drastic ones to see how things behave.  Every model currently used in the game was constructed using this editor, so it can be done.  It just takes some practice and time.