This primer was created to help new players understand the housing system and answer a lot of questions that I was hearing after the raffle. I try not to go into too great of detail, I leave it up to you to decide what you want to discover on your own from here and what you want to research deeper. Please send any feedback, I hope I was mostly accurate in my data. Player housing in Shroud of the Avatar is a fun way to take a break from adventuring and carve out your own spot in the world. It gives you a flexible way to express some creativity in the game and create a space with your friends or for yourself. To understand housing there’s a few initial concepts to run through quick as houses are placed on lots that are claimed with deeds. You may also need to pay taxes on lot to maintain ownership. Below is a brief overview of these ideas before we dive into the house itself. Lots Lots for housing are the most basic part of the housing system in Shroud of the Avatar. This is the actual area of land you will have to build your home. The size of the lot is broken down primarily into Row, Village, Town, City, Keep and Castle. These sizes tell you the actual size of the space you will have access to but also dictate the amount of taxes to pay, the size of the house allowed and the number of decorations you will be able to place both inside and outside the house on the lot. When checking to see if a town has an open lot you can visit the town crier to see a list of current lots and owners as well as if any are open for claim and set your compass to that location. You can also use ‘p’ to help find nearby empty stones. Row housing is a bit different from the other options as the housing is less flexible than the other types of lots. With Row housing you need to place a house, empty row lots are not allowed and there is little allowed for external decorations. The row houses size come from number of floors rather than floors and foundation size. From village onward you have a greater variety of home options with the ability to take up the majority of the lot with no yard or small houses with a large yard to work with. The larger the lot the more flexibility you have as you may place any house of that lot size or smaller. So with a City lot you can chose from the City, Town, Village or Row housing for your lot. Lots also let you place permissions upon the property to allow different control and access to different levels of guests. This is accessed by double clicking the lot stone or sign that grants you the ability to claim the lot with your deed as well as set permissions and bind to that lot for recall. You will find this on the front of the lot and can also use it to see who owns a lot and what type of house is placed on it. Key lot details for common lots: Row Lot size: 150 square meters NPC limit: 1 Outdoor decoration limits: Lights:1 Containers:1 Items:5 Indoor decoration limits: Lights:20 Containers:40 Items:350 Basement decoration limits: Lights: 50 Containers: 200 Items: 1500 Tax: 500gc per New Britannian month (about 1 earth day) Village Lot size: 600 square meters NPC limit: 2 Outdoor decoration limits: Lights: 6 Containers: 18 Items: 400 Indoor decoration limits: Lights: 30 Containers: 50 Items: 500 Basement decoration limits: Lights: 75 Containers: 250 Items: 2000 Tax: 1000gc per New Britannian month (about 1 earth day) Town Lot size: 1200 square meters NPC limit: 3 Outdoor decoration limits: Lights: 8 Containers: 22 Items: 700 Indoor decoration limits: Lights: 30 Containers: 50 Items: 400 Basement decoration limits: Lights: 125 Containers: 330 Items: 3500 Tax: 2000gc per New Britannian month (about 1 earth day) City Lot size: 2400 square meters NPC limit: 4 Outdoor decoration limits: Lights: 12 Containers: 28 Items: 1000 Indoor decoration limits: Lights: 120 Containers: 84 Items: 1000 Basement decoration limits: Lights: 200 Containers: 420 Items: 5000 Tax: 3500gc per New Britannian month (about 1 earth day) Note on NPC limits: Each lot has 2 different NPC limits, one above ground and one in the basement. The limit total is the same but is not shared. This means you could have 2 NPCs above ground on your lot and 2 in your basement with a village. More on taxes: As listed above each lot size has a tax cost associated with it. You must pay taxes unless you use a tax free deed to claim the lot (more on that later). Taxes are paid per in game month which works out to approximately 1 real world day, you are able to pay as many days in advance as you wish. As you can see taxes scale quickly with the size of the lot so consider that when deciding what you would like to claim. You are able to use Gold Crowns of the Obsidian to pay taxes which can be purchased from players or the add-on store, each Gold Crown of Obsidian is worth 3500gc in tax value. In the event you fail to pay your taxes your claim to the lot will be lost and your deed and all other objects placed on the lot will be moved to the local bank of the town it was placed in. You do not lose any of your property but you will owe back taxes on any lot you try to claim in the future. To manage your lots and deeds as well as access the menu to pay taxes you can use ‘u’ or access it from the menu list in game. From here you can see all placed deeds, current days you have taxes paid, or time until expiration of tax free lots and pay taxes for lots. Deeds Deeds are the object you require in game to claim one of the above lots. Deeds get a little more complicated as they have a few properties to consider. These properties will tell you what lots you can use your deed to claim. First is the deeds align to lot sizes, this means that their are Row, Village, Town, City, Keep and Castle deeds. This designates the maximum size of lot that deed can be used to claim. A city deed for instance can claim a city lot or smaller lot in the game. Keep in mind the taxes are tied to the lot you claim not the deed so if you were to win a large lot in a raffle but do not think you can afford the taxes yet, you can claim a smaller lot to use until you feel like upgrading in the future. Second the deeds can be of two main types, ‘place anywhere’ and ‘player owned town (POT)’. The play anywhere deeds are less common but allow you to place your house in any city you can find a spot (excluding water lots, these require specific types of play anywhere deeds). The POT deeds can only be placed in a player owned town, there are extra caveats with player owned towns as they are owned and operated by actual players in the community and may come with restrictions. The governor of the town can evict you at any time so you should always talk to them to understand the specifics for that town before placing. At times lots may be locked and require permission to place as well. Third there are taxable and non-taxable deeds. These are exactly as they sound, a taxable deed will require you to pay the tax mentioned in the lots section to maintain where the non-taxable deeds will only expire if you do not visit the game for a long enough period of time. Non-taxable deeds are only available as rewards from pledges and bundles and come in both place anywhere and POT types. Note on water lots and deeds: There is a subset of non-taxable deeds from the early pledges that can be used to claim water lots. These Founder and Royal Founder deeds are currently the only options for claiming water lots. To acquire a deed you can purchase a game bundle that includes a deed, purchase an individual deed from the store, trade with a player for a deed, or win one in the in game raffle currently held monthly. Tax free deeds are only available via trade with a player or the store. A note on the raffle: The raffle is currently held monthly, you can purchase tickets for either play anywhere deeds or POT deeds from the housing vendors in game for 10,000gc or 5,000gc respectively. Portalarium will publish the number of each type that will be raffled. The tickets will enter you in the raffle for all sizes of that type. Houses Once you have a deed claiming a lot you can place a house down. Houses can be purchased with gold coins or crafted in game for row and village sizes. They can also be purchased through the add-on store which includes Town and City size houses. The houses purchased through the add-on store are more varied and more extravagant but the houses found in game are completely functional for use. If you are in a POT you may want to make sure with the governor that there is no theme to attempt to adhere to or rules on houses. Once you place the house on the property you should note it has a fixed position in the the center. You are not able to adjust your homes position within the lot so keep this in mind. Your home will also always face the front of the lot as determined by the lot stone or sign. Within the home is where the indoor decoration counts listed above come into play. Those numbers apply to objects within the home itself. In addition to having a separate item count the interior of the home allows you to place items that cannot be placed freely outside. Items such as painting and shelves can be placed on the walls of a home but cannot currently be placed on objects in the lot. More details on this can be found in the section on decorating. Exterior to the home you will be able to place objects on the walls of the house itself as well as the floor of the lot. To a limited degree store bought fencing can have objects placed on top of it as well. There are exterior only items that you may come across that you enjoy that may dictate the size of house you want on your lot. Keep this in mind as you think about what you want. The exterior portion of your lot can include balcony and open roof spaces of homes so keep this in mind when planning your decoration. Examples of all currently purchasable and retired house options can be found in the city of Hometown for you to explore before deciding. Basements Basements for your lot can be purchased in game from the housing vendor or via the add-on store. They are available in the same sizes as the lots in the same way houses are and give you some added space to work with. Basements are placed by putting a basement door on the floor your lot or house and accessing it like you do a lot stone or sign. The basement will have a unique set of permissions and can even be set as a pvp zone, this is because basements have their own instances. Basements can be decorated similar to the interior of your house, they do also have decoration limits to keep in mind, they are typically more difficult to reach unless you are dealing with a very large basement. Decoration This is where we move to the real fun of housing in Shroud of the Avatar. The ability to decorate your lot and house to fit you can be a fantastic break from adventuring the land of New Britannia. It can also be a little daunting at first to understand the decorations, how to manipulate them and where to find them. The first thing to know is the 3 types of decorations which will tie back to the limits you have your lot. The limitations are primarily for performance reasons and that is why they are broken out the way they are. Below are the three main types. Lighting: any object that is a light source Container: any object you can store items in Items: all other items NPC: Anything with an AI, includes vendors, pets and training dummies Decorating basics: When you wish to place an object you need to be standing within the boundary of your lot. While within the lot simply drag the item out of the backpack and it will become a live preview of the object for you to place. The object itself will appears transparent and either red or green to indicate if the location you have it hovering over is legal for placement. When it is green you can simply release the mouse button to place the item. To rotate the object you can use the ‘q’ and ‘e’ keys to rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise. In addition you can rotate 45 degrees with the default binds found in the control menu, this can be useful when attempting to get items parallel, especially with fencing on the lot line. A few objects, most notably books and wax cylinders, can be laid flat as well. To lay an object flat you can use the ‘r’ key, however flat or upright are the two options in these cases, you cannot rotate in 3 dimensions. Some items such as paintings that can be placed on walls cannot be rotated, they will snap to the wall you place them on. Another key component to objects is the ability to stack items. Many items can be stacked on top of each other such as dishes and food on a table or books on a shelf. Stacking has a couple key features to keep in mind. First is that you can only add to the top. For instance if you have a table and wish to put a rug under it, you would need to first move the table and place the rug, then you could place the table on top of the rug. If you attempt to place the rug directly under the table it will fail. The second thing about stacks is they are ‘sticky’. If you grab an item in a stack, all items above it will be included. For instance if you take the table and rug of the first example that you have already stacked. When you select the rug, it will also select the table allowing you to move the whole stack at once. If you were to grab the table, it and anything on it could be moved without affecting the rug. If you wish to move the rug but not the table you would have to first remove the table from the rug, move the rug, then put the table back in position. It is at times possible for objects to clip through each other or the house walls, keep an eye out for this, rotating or a bit of move can correct this problems. Sometimes creative covering with another object will obscure the problem as well. Lighting your home: If you look at the decoration limits you will notice that lights are the most restricted. Different lighting options give off different brightness, bright light sources like wall torches and braziers are a good starting point in establishing some light without maxing out your light sources right away. Lighting outdoors is especially restricted and takes the most planning. Where to get decorations: Decorations for your lot and home come from a variety of sources, below is a breakdown of some of the major ones. Crafting: Crafting offers a variety of decorations for your home, from furniture to rugs and wall mounted trophies it is worth exploring what you can craft or buy from a crafter in the game. There are a number of resources out there to explore further the crafted options. One item of note though is player crafted walls cannot be decorated so items such as castle walls you may want to craft could not have paintings hung from them. At least at this time. The house decoration vendor: Typically near or in banks but at times located in their own shop you will find house decoration vendors with a variety of wares for sale for gold coin. There are a number of items that overlap with crafting available from the vendor but there are also a number of items like paintings, different colored rugs and bookshelves that you can only acquire from these vendors. The add-on store: Like with houses and basements there are decorations available in the add-on store. These tend to be more elaborate versions of options found in game along with a few unique options. These are not required but can give you some options you may enjoy. If you cannot afford an item you may find a player selling one they no longer use for gold. Notes on the add-on store: Like player crafted castle walls, those bought on the store cannot be decorated. Items like the crypt and outhouse are external decorations and such you cannot decorate their walls, but you can place items on the floor in them. Double check with folks before deciding on an item if you plan to decorate the walls to avoid issues. Some objects are large and require a decent yard space to place, especially be aware with trees and bushes as they are limited by your house and your lot boundary. Some tree types are narrower than others and easier to place. Concept art vendor: In the city of Adoris you will find a vendor who sells ingame paintings and wall hanging of concept art for the game for 1 Gold Crown of the Obsidians each. I highly recommend checking out the shop as many of the paintings are hanging on the walls to see. You will also see the difference between the wall hanging and the painting versions. Dungeons and towns: Throughout the world you can find items on tables that you can pick up, including decorative food, plates, cups, jars, books and other interesting items. These can be picked up and used as decoration in your own home as they are in those locations. Beware though as taking items in a town is not very virtuous and is frowned upon by the locals. There are even a couple of unique looking items out there in dungeons to be had. Other vendors: There are a few vendors that have items you can use as decoration beyond the house decoration. Booksellers carry a number of things as well as a couple of items on other vendors. Keep an eye out but know that many consumables cannot be placed as decoration. Trading with players: There are a number of items referred to as rares in the game. These come from short sales on the add-on store, events and expired pledges. The only way to acquire these items is to trade with another player. Beyond those the majority of housing decorations are tradable and you may find a better deal with a player that no longer needs an item. Additional tips: Items have their own permissions letting you share containers, have drop off points, or share decorating with people. Right click objects to learn more about their permissions. You can bind the ability to toggle your decorating off and on to a shortcut. If you do not want to accidentally nudge something bind this toggle and only enable it when making changes to your decorations. Set your default object permissions to co-owner before you start getting too far into decorating, this will save you a lot of trouble if you ever decide to share the house or get help decorating down the road. Explore the houses around you for examples of decorations and ideas for how to arrange things. There’s no lack of places to look in the towns and cities around you. You can bind your recall ability directly to your house lot, from your house stone/sign select the bind to lot option. Keep an eye on release notes and announcements for new decoration options and new housing features coming your way. Visit Hometown and check out all the house styles and the size of the yard they give you. Special thanks to the Moongate Travellers and Tarin Merrywhistle, Fourth Duke of the Mended Flute for their assistance in creating this primer.