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Terrains are very important to an area if you want it to act like you envisioned it and they're relatively easy to setup. Yet there are a lot of areas throughout LS that have them setup incorrectly. I wanted to try to clarify a few things to possibly help developers get this right so that we can limit the number of Warnings being broadcast about there not being any associated fieldcraft skill for the specified terrain, or lack there of.

Here are some general guidelines.

  • If it's not in the following list. Don't use it. There are some terrains defined in /lib/terrains.h that are abstract terrains and not meant to be used when adding terrains to your areas. The most commonly used one that I've seen is Terrain_Underwater.
  • Never use Terrain_Ground. I think this should be looked at being changed to an abstract terrain. Especially since it has no field craft skill associated with it. This is the number one warning I see associated with terrains. Which makes sense if you think about it. Terrain_Ground could be anywhere: mountains, plains, desert, etc. So you need to be more specific.
  • If you add a terrain to your area, all of it's parents from the following tree view will automatically be added as a terrain. So there's no need to add every terrain. For example: If you add Terrain_Meadow, then Terrain_Grasslands, Terrain_Plains, and Terrain_Ground will automatically get added as terrains to that area.
  • If you're unsure if there is a fieldcraft skill associated with the terrain you pick, then go to that terrain file located in '/def/terrain/<terrain>.c and check it out. For example lets say my area is a trail through some woods. I see that there is a Terrain_Trail and definitely want to add it. If I go and look at it's definition file though I'll notice that it has not fieldcraft skill associated with it. So I need to make sure I also add what type of terrain the trail is part of. In this case it's a forest, so I would also add Terrain_Forest.

NOTE: This list probably needs to be updated, but it's a good place to start.

Files and Directories

  • /lib/terrains.h
  • /def/terrains/


Terrains are best referred to in code by the macros defined in /lib/terrains.h. They also can be referred to as a string, for example Terrain_Air can also be referred to as "air," but as this will merely reference the macro, it is strongly suggested that the macro be used instead.

Listing of Terrain

Terrain_Air             -- Aerial terrain.
  Terrain_Cloud         -- Upon or inside a cloud in the sky.
  Terrain_Downdraft     -- Areas where the dominant air currents are falling.
  Terrain_Solid         -- Aerial terrains where one does not need to be able
                           to fly to maintain one's position -- skybridges,
                           solid clouds, etc.
  Terrain_Stratosphere  -- Extremely high altitude; little air and low 
                           pressure. Also combined as a subset of the terrain
                           type 'unbreathable'.
  Terrain_Updraft       -- Areas where the dominant air currents are rising.

Terrain_Dream           -- Life is but a dream here.

Terrain_Enchanted       -- Regions with magical effects of some kind laid 
                           upon them.
  Terrain_Blessed       -- Regions with positive enchantments upon them.
  Terrain_Cursed        -- Regions with negative enchantments upon them.

Terrain_Ground          -- Terrains located on the surface of the planet.
  Terrain_Arctic        -- Cold terrains.
    Terrain_Taiga       -- A marshy coniferous forest, usually located 
                           between tundra and plains.
    Terrain_Tundra      -- A frozen plain.
  Terrain_Forest        -- A dense growth of trees and underbrush covering 
                           a large tract of land.
  Terrain_Hills         -- A rolling plain.  Often these are foothills where
                           plains meet mountain ranges.
  Terrain_Jungle        -- A virtually impenetrable thicket or mass of 
  Terrain_Mountains     -- Any part of a landscape which projects
                           conspicuously over its surroundings.  Generally 
                           it must be several thousand feet tall or more.
  Terrain_Plains        -- Level lands, particularly those covering a broad
                           stretch of land with few variations in altitude.
    Terrain_Grasslands  -- Plains regions dominated by grasses.  Primarily 
      Terrain_Meadow    -- "Tame" grasslands, particularly when used for the 
                           growing of hay and other tall grasses.
      Terrain_Prairie   -- Grasslands with more brush and small trees added.
    Terrain_Scrub       -- A tract covered with dwarf or stunted trees.
  Terrain_Plateau       -- An elevated tract of land, used as a modifier to
                           other terrain types.
  Terrain_Sandy         -- Terrains whose dominant material underfoot is sand.
    Terrain_Beach       -- A sandy region where an ocean or lake meets land.
    Terrain_Desert      -- An arid region lacking moisture to support 
                           significant vegetation.
  Terrain_Swamp         -- Regions of land generally saturated with water.

Terrain_Maze            -- Convoluted areas difficult to navigate, whether 
                           urban, subterranean, or otherwise.

Terrain_Sacrosanct      -- Areas that are sacred for one reason or another.
  Terrain_Holy          -- Areas sacred to good forces/deities.
  Terrain_Unholy        -- Areas sacred to evil forces/deities.
  Terrain_Chaos         -- Areas dedicated to the forces/deities of randomness.
  Terrain_Order         -- Areas dedicated to the forces/deities of law.

Terrain_Trail           -- Has some feature making it more conducive to travel
                           than ordinary terrain of its type.
  Terrain_Road          -- Contains a definitely artificial feature making it
                           more conducive to travel.

Terrain_Unbreathable    -- Environments hostile to any form of life.
  Terrain_Space         -- Supra-atmospheric vacuum.

Terrain_Underground     -- Subsurface terrains.
  Terrain_Cave          -- Large open spaces below the earth's surface.
  Terrain_Tunnel        -- Underground passages and corridors.

Terrain_Urban           -- Terrains significantly modified by intelligent 
                           life.  May potentially be combined with any other 
                           sort of terrain, though simply 'ground' is the 
                           most common.
  Terrain_Building      -- Some sort of sheltered construction.
    Terrain_Castle      -- Self-sufficient fortified enclaves.
    Terrain_Keep        -- Larger version of towers, often located within 
    Terrain_Palace      -- Extremely large, impressive buildings generally 
                           housing cultural VIPs.
    Terrain_Street      -- The thoroughfares and byways of urban areas.  
                           Includes the terrain 'road'.
    Terrain_Temple      -- Places of worship.  Often combined with 
                           'sacrosanct' and subsets thereof.
    Terrain_Tower       -- Multilevel buildings often seen as distinct 
                           from the surrounding urban area.

    Terrain_Tavern      -- A tavern, bar or any building where one
                           is likely to find things like bar stools, 
                           bottles, etc.

Terrain_Vehicle         -- Artificial vehicles of one sort or another.
  Terrain_Ship          -- Waterfaring vehicles.
  Terrain_Wagon         -- Wagons, carts, and so forth.

Terrain_Water           -- Waterborne terrains.  Unless the terrain 'surface' 
                           is present, contents are assumed to be wholly 
  Terrain_Bottom        -- The bottom of any body of water, that things can 
                           walk on.
  Terrain_Fresh         -- Specifically non-salt water.
    Terrain_Lake        -- Large bodies of fresh water surrounded by land.
    Terrain_River       -- Flowing water conduits.
  Terrain_Salt          -- Briny water.
    Terrain_Ocean       -- Great expanses of salt water.
  Terrain_Deeps         -- Serious depths, where pressure is much 
                           greater and little light reaches.
  Terrain_Surface       -- Interface between water and air, where swimming 
                           skill is important to avoid inhaling water.
    Terrain_Shallows    -- Shallow areas where no swimming skill tests are
                           necessary to avoid inhaling water.  Also includes
                           the terrain type 'bottom', since in this case the
                           surface essentially is the bottom.
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