Quarters are areas that can be bought by players who want a place for their characters to call home, a place for privacy, or just a place to store extra stuff. Characters can customize own quarter by placing fixtures in it.
Each quarter and guild house has a sign (normally out in front, but some are more secretive) which displays the name of the owner (if there is one) and its name. Displayed owner names are considered IC information. If the quarter is available then it shows the price of the quarter and an option to buy it. When a character buys a quarter from another character the money spent goes straight into bank account of previous owner. All options regarding an owned quarter are accessed through this sign.
Quarter and house doors can be bashed or opened by lock-picking. The owner can pay money to increase the strength of the door or the lock, but it also increases their rent/taxes. All items inside a quarter still fall under rule against excessive theft. A group of thieves working together may only take one item/stack, regardless number of thieves involved.
Different quarters and houses will have different prices for purchasing them, keeping them (taxes) and upgrading their security. This is dependent for example on their size, location, layout and accessories. Taxes are influenced also by politics in the settlement where the property is located.
When owner uses the sign, additional options and information are displayed. They will see the current tax bill in gold coins that is payed from their bank account once per game month and possibilities for managing the property.
After a confirmation, this option will cease your character's ownership of the property. Note that if you do this, then anyone will be able to buy it and your character will not receive any money which the next owner pays to purchase the quarter. Your character will immediately stop paying taxes.
- Replace Locks
- This costs quite a lot of money, and will invalidate all keys (see below) which your character may have given to other PCs. This allows your character to re-decide from scratch to whom they wish to give access to their quarter.
- Manage locks
- Increase/decrease DC
- Increase/decrease strength
- Both of these options will increase/decrease the monthly tax your character pays to keep the quarter, but will make it easier/harder for other characters to pick your character's lock or break down your character's door, respectively.
- Manage traps
- Increase/decrease DC
- Increase/decrease strength
- These will also affect your character's monthly tax (far more significantly than Lock DC and Strength), but will add/remove an increased level of security to the quarter.
- Create key
- When a character wishes to share property with someone, they can create a key for them. This is free, can be done as many times as you wish, and the key can be passed around freely between other characters. Having the appropriate key in their inventory will allow a PC entry to a quarter (as if they owned it) until the owner Replaces the Locks (see above), or the quarter changes ownership. Note that possessing a key does not allow a character to create more keys, change the locks and so on - only the owner can do that.
- Toggle public
- When character wishes to make property available for everyone to enter.
The strength of the lock, trap and door itself to resist bashing caps at 127.
The moment quarters are bought by a new owner, the old owner and all those with old keys lose access to them (unless they lock pick their way in).
- The name you give to your character's quarter will appear both in "dialogue" with the door(s), and when mousing over or in "dialogue" with the quarter sign.
Put Property Up For Sale
- This is similar to "Release Property", but there are a couple of differences. Most notably, your character will remain owner of the property (thus paying taxes) until somebody else purchases it, and they receive the gold paid by the new owner into their bank account when it is bought. It is not possible to set the price you put a quarter up for sale for with this option - this is predetermined.
Many quarters (but not all) contain a storage chest in which to permanently store items. Storage chests can store up to 20 items and will inform the user of how many items are in the chest when they are closed. Any excess items will be lost when the server resets.
There are 5 ways in which character can lose ownership of property:
- Characters may choose to abandon or sell a quarter by using sign to "Release Property" or "Put Property Up For Sale".
- All quarters have a (Real Life) time limit, within which the owner must visit the quarter (interact with one of the doors) at least once. If they do not, the quarter is considered abandoned and is "Put Up For Sale" (per the option on the sign) automatically.
- If the owner doesn't have enough money in their bank account to pay the monthly rent, the quarter will go up for sale.
- Settlement leaders can evict owners from real estate in their city (for IC reasons). Note that interactive roleplay is required by the Settlement Leader before this is done, per the Roleplay Rule.
- DM can remove ownership from those breaking the quarter rules (for OOC reasons).
Time Limit for Abandonment
If character does not visit their quarter at least once within the real life time limit, then it will go up for sale and can be bought by anyone. The majority of quarters have a limit of 14 days (realtime), whilst most guildhouses (see below) have a limit of 28 days. There are some with limits of 4 days, 14 or 48 days, however - it is currently impossible to be certain, short of painstaking tests, what the time limit on any given quarter is.
DMs will never return a lost quarter to player because the timer ran out and someone else got there first. If you don't intend to use your quarter for a lengthy period of time it is considered polite to give it up so that other players can use it. DMs generally frown heavily on those who log in once a week only to renew their hold on a quarter or shop. There is a hugely limited quantity of Shops and Quarters in Arelith, and DMs are generally inclined to remove them from the possession of Characters who only login rarely to keep them, in order to let them be used by people who wish to use them for regular roleplay.
Some areas may have (IC) restrictions on who can buy quarters there. These ought to be apparent IC. Check the surrounding area carefully for restrictions if you aren't sure you can buy a quarter somewhere. People buying quarters they shouldn't will usually be evicted by settlement leaders.
There are a very small number of OOC, DM-Enforced restrictions on quarter ownership in the module. These will always be very clearly denoted by OOC Signposts.
As a major, mandatory rule, you may own only one quarter or guildhouse per character. If you have another in your possession, you should try to sell or give away the other a soon as possible.
- "A guildhouse is defined as a quarter that has one or more quarters inside it, which are purchased separately and thus have different keys." -Mithreas
Any large building which has no internal quarters is just a large quarter, not a guild house. Even big house with two floors and chest is still considered to be a quarter OOC.
For guild houses is valid most of the information mentioned above for quarters. The time limit for their abandonment is usually 28 RL days.
When interacting with the door of a quarter that you don't own, you have both the option to try and pick the lock, or try to bash the door open.
If the door is trapped, the trap will spring every time that you attempt to open the door. With enough point in Search, the option to disable the trap will appear in the prompted menu. This will require, as well, Disable Trap ranks.
The lock and strength DC can go up to 127, making a maxed lock virtually impossible to open without specialized artifact gear or using every possible bonus to raise the skill to the maximum. Thieves' Tools cannot be used with quarter doors. The traps can deal severe (200~) amounts of damage with impossible reflex saves to prevent some damage.
Bashing, instead, uses only strength to open the door.
Generally, due to the low prices, most doors bear maxed DCs. So if you are taking Open Lock ranks in hopes to open quarters... you are going to be met with disappointment most of the times.