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Alterations are GM mediated custom changes to a facet of your character, usually an item. In most cases, these alterations are purely cosmetic, but sometimes additional factors can be added.

In addition, there is also a specific type called LTB Alterations or Premium alterations and Feature alteration that have their own special rules. This tool can be helpful in keeping your alteration idea within character count limits:


Alterations can come from a variety of sources, but the two most common are merchant sessions and scroll alterations.

Merchant Sessions

Most common at festivals, alterers will show up either randomly or at prescheduled times. They will open a list, that when JOINed will place your name on said list. The list usually remains open for some time, to allow everyone to join, an occasionally it will remain open during the entire event. But usually, it will be closed after a decent amount of time, preventing any other joiners.

At this point, the alterer will usually either pick the first name (very uncommon) or a random name from the list (usual) to do work with. It should be noted, getting on the list does not guarantee work unless the alterer specifically states it. Some alterers will only work for five or ten people, others do multi-hour events working for fifty or more.

Like all alterations, all rare materials must be on hand and as well as payment required by the alterer.


It has become more common in recent years for alterers to employ player assistants to do the initial examination of someone's idea, as these people tend to be experienced in the process. They'll help people with incomplete ideas enhance them, pick out any typos or rules violations, and just generally clean up the idea. While it is not required that the assistant's ideas be listened to, it is highly likely the alterer will not look favorably upon complete disregard of their rule corrections.

Role-playing Considerations

Role-playing considerations are always in play. This is the case with any live merchant anywhere, regardless of if it happens during a paid event or not. Live merchants are role-playing events.[1]

For example, if you're playing a Perverse-aligned character, it might not go well when you show up to a religious Rakash merchant.


Scroll alterations are often done either through the LTB system or as a reward for purchasing an event. These differ in that all contact with the alterer is done via an ingame item, the scroll, and depending on the complexity or requests, may take several days.


General Rules

  • The tap (the name of the item that you see when you type INV HELD) cannot exceed 80 characters (including the leading article a/an/some and spaces)
  • The tap cannot contain commas. (Commas serve as separators in inventory lists.)
  • The look (what you see when you type LOOK [ITEM]) cannot exceed 500 characters, including spaces and punctuation. (There must be two spaces between sentences.)
  • A read (what you see when you type READ [ITEM]) should be no more than 50 characters and 10 words. (Most writing should be in a separate read and not in the tap or look.)
  • Words or phrases in any racial language will have to be verified and may not be possible at all times.
  • Character names are generally not allowed.
  • Items cannot dictate how people feel or react. (For example, your armor can't strike fear into the hearts of your enemies.)
  • Glyphs, runes, and sigils are not permitted. Other synonyms, such as "symbols," are usually permitted.
  • Items cannot glow or otherwise emit their own light (unless one of its materials naturally glows). Shimmering and other similar words are acceptable.
  • Merchants generally do not add special mechanics or scripts to items.
  • Merchants generally do not change where an item is worn or how much it can hold.
  • Items cannot imply that they have mechanics they do not have. For example, stalking leathers can be "designed to aid stealth," but they do not actually and cannot be said to aid the wearer in moving about.
  • Items named after a race are usually not permitted. For instance a Kaldaran shield needs to be specifically described in such a way that it can only be Kaldaran.
  • Some descriptions should specify "when worn" or similar phrasing to prevent confusion or strangeness when an item is not being worn.
  • If containers are being used as a source for material (and not the item altered), they must be empty.
  • Obvious out-of-genre or out-of-character references/designs are not permitted.
  • Nothing obscene, vulgar, or sexually explicit is permitted.
  • Instrument material cannot be changed via scroll alterations. IE. If you have a wood instrument it must stay a wood type. Only a live alterer can change the composition of an instrument (wood to metal for example).

The history of the item cannot be described, as a stranger looking at it would have no way of knowing this information:

  • Descriptions of the origin, provenance, or chain of ownership of the item are not permitted.
  • Descriptions of the cause of damage to an item are not permitted. However, the damage itself is usually acceptable. (For example, you might describe a robe as "scorched" but can't say that the damage was caused by a lightning strike.)

Noun Changes

General Items

A dress can change into a gown – they are both the same thing, usually worn in the same place! A pack can be a rucksack – they're both the same thing, usually worn in the same place! Shoes can be boots, or slippers, or flats, or heels. These changes are ok! A ball can be a globe, a medallion can be a medal. A charm can be a trinket! But if we're changing it, it has to make sense for the item and match the worn place.

Note: An example of an item from years ago with an incorrect worn-place is not justification to make your item a thing it doesn't make sense to be!

Some merchants are willing to change the noun to a racial noun when appropriate. For example, a "robe" might become a "gamantang" or an "odaj."

Always, noun changes are up to the discretion of the merchant. If they say no, that means no.

Weapons & Armor

Weapons and armor have templates. Many systems touch them, and they should generally be left alone. When a katana is made it uses a katana template. A sword has a sword template.

Now, as a general rule the noun is not alterable. There is a slim chance that you may happen across a special merchant who is run by a GM that has the knowledge and ability to see what else a certain template touches, what other systems are effected by the templates, and make modifications so as to not break your thing in the certain circumstances that you touch another one of those systems with it.

The number of GameMasters approved to make these changes on the fly is very low and those with the necessary clearances generally do not have much time for performing alterations.

It’s not a never thing but it is super rare and if the merchant says no that means that they literally can’t.

Maker's Marks

Maker's marks on player-made equipment have some special rules:

  • If a mark is present on a piece of equipment, it must be incorporated in the new design. There are no exceptions, even if the crafter is present to waive the requirement.
  • If a mark is not present on an item, and you want to add it to the item, the merchant must be able to independently verify who made it. There appears to be a short window of time (a few days) in which it is possible to tell who made it even without a mark.[2]

Magical/Scripted Items

Many items with special magical effects or scripts can only be worked on by certain merchants. Please ask in advance and come prepared with a Plan B in case your merchant cannot work on the item.

Additionally, some items (such as the dull serpent earcuff) have special alteration rules or cannot be altered at all. If known, such rules or limitations will be described on the relevant item page.

Note: generally, an item cannot have two scripts. For example, feature-modifying jewelry can not also function as a magical item hider.

Examples of items with magical effects or scripts that may require a special merchant:

Feature-modifying Items

Q - Can they be altered?
A - Yes, they can be altered, but only the TAP usually shows up in features, and sometimes (depending on the setup) only the SHORT. Alterers likely will not change that setting in a session.
Q - Can they be altered via LTB scroll?
A - Yes, but probably not "location" change.
Q - Are there any special rules (character limits, etc)?
A - No limits other than the normal. Because these can be pushed into the features and pulled out, the TAP should never mention anything about the features, it should only be the item.
Q - Is their script stackable with any other scripts (like hiders, etc.)?
A - Not stackable, but should work with beard jewelry script as well, so you can wear both.

Titles/Professions in Item Designs

Unless the profession or title you want to use is listed below, you must display the title to prove that you have earned the right to use it. Additionally, the item design should explain how that title is appropriate. For example, a "legionary's" pack might be designed to be more comfortable on long marches.

Explicitly Permitted Titles

  • actor
  • advocate
  • alchemist
  • animal handler
  • apothecary
  • architect
  • archer
  • aristocrat
  • armorer
  • artisan
  • artist
  • astrologer
  • baker
  • banker
  • barber
  • barkeep
  • barmaid
  • beekeeper
  • beer seller
  • beggar
  • blacksmith
  • boatman
  • bookbinder
  • bookseller
  • brewer
  • buckle maker
  • builder
  • butcher
  • caravan leader
  • carpenter
  • cartographer
  • captain (nautical themed)
  • chandler
  • charioteer
  • chatelaine
  • chef
  • chieftain
  • chirurgeon (surgeon)
  • clergyman/clergywoman
  • clerk
  • clock maker
  • clothworker
  • cook
  • cooper
  • copyist
  • counselor
  • courtier
  • cowherd
  • crossbowman
  • cutler
  • dairymaid
  • diplomat
  • distiller
  • diver
  • diviner
  • domestic servant
  • explorer
  • farmer
  • fighter
  • first mate
  • fisherman
  • fishmonger
  • footman
  • furrier
  • gardener
  • gladiator
  • glovemaker
  • groom (animal groomer)
  • harness maker
  • hatmaker
  • hay merchant
  • hearthwitch
  • herald
  • herbalist
  • herder
  • hermit
  • highwayman
  • illuminator
  • innkeeper
  • interpreter
  • inventor
  • jailer
  • jester
  • jeweler
  • jongleur
  • judge
  • knight
  • laborer
  • lady
  • lady in waiting
  • leatherworker
  • locksmith
  • longbowman
  • maidservant
  • majordomo
  • man at arms
  • mason
  • mercer
  • merchant
  • messenger
  • midwife
  • miller
  • miner
  • minstrel
  • monk
  • mortician
  • mourner
  • nun
  • nurse
  • page
  • painter
  • pariah
  • pastry cook
  • peasant
  • perfumer
  • philosopher
  • physician
  • pigkeeper
  • pilgrim
  • plasterer
  • potter
  • priest/ess
  • professor
  • pursemaker
  • ratcatcher
  • roofer
  • ropemaker
  • rugmaker
  • sailor
  • scabbard maker
  • sculptor
  • saddler
  • scavenger
  • scholar
  • scrivener
  • servant
  • shaman
  • shepherd
  • ship's captain
  • shoemaker
  • silversmith
  • smith
  • soldier
  • spice merchant
  • squire
  • stablehand
  • storyteller
  • steward
  • surveyor
  • swordsman
  • sycophant
  • tailor
  • tanner
  • tavernkeeper
  • tax collector
  • teamster
  • thatcher
  • tinker
  • town crier
  • trapper
  • vendor
  • vermin catcher
  • vintner
  • warrior
  • water carrier
  • weaver
  • wine seller
  • witch
  • wizard
  • woodcarver
  • woodcutter
  • wood seller

Prohibited Titles

Some titles are not permitted in items, even if the character can display the title.

  • ambassador, royal advisor, seneschal, etc.: This includes any items with names or descriptions that imply royalty or royal appointments.
  • assassin, enforcer, hitman, etc.: This includes any items with crime-related names or descriptions.
  • commander, corporal, general, sergeant, etc.: This includes any items with names or descriptions referring to military ranks or insignia (other than "Captain" for ship owners).
  • galley slave, slave, slaver, etc.: This includes any items with slavery-related names or descriptions.
  • sniper, hunter: This includes any items with sniper- or hunter-related descriptions.
  • Torturer: This includes any items with torture-related names or descriptions.

Do not ask for any adornment or description with wording that signifies a special military rank, governmental position, royal connections or appointments. The exception to this rule is the title "captain" for nautical/boat themed items. Any ranks above captain (admiral, etc.) ARE, however, subject to this rule.

Avoid requesting an alteration that mentions a reference to royal ancestors or divine lineage. We want to try to keep historic lore within that which has been approved for the game. Likewise, we have a distinguished list of gods and goddesses and feel there are enough to go around.

Restricted Materials

If you wish to use the below materials in an alteration you must provide them. This doesn't cover depictions of the materials (e.g. embroidery of a vela'tohr flower). Some of this information was taken from the list on the DragonRealms Wedding Team website and Keishalae's list.

Some materials have special alteration rules or limitations. If known, such rules or limitations will be described on the relevant material page.

Below is a partial list of restricted materials. Please check the relevant material's wiki page for any special materials you may be considering.


Furs & Leather

Creature Parts & Bone


Stone & Runestone Materials


Flowers & Plants

Flower-specific guidelines as per GM Winna, Nov 2018: Actual flowers need to be provided if actual flowers are intended to be in the altered item. For example, if a person wanted 'an elaborately woven wreath of dusky purple phofe flowers', they would need to provide the flowers. If they only wanted 'an elaborately woven wreath of sculpted silver phofe flowers', they would not need to provide the fresh flowers.


Special Techniques & Processes

Some items are created with special techniques and processes and may have special rules. Items utilizing these processes may not be alterable, or may require a special merchant.

This is not a definitive list. As always, the merchant has the final say.


General Rules

These are mainly common sense, and shouldn't be considered a comprehensive list. As with all alterations, the alterer has the final say. This list also designed to provide information for Assisted Wedding tattoos, which may be very different than those provided by the average tattoo merchant (the main difference being that wedding tattoos can cover multiple body parts in the description).

Tattoos are available for Queen's and King's weddings. There is a maximum of two per wedding, and they go to the couple only -- so no tat for the mother-in-law. They also count as a verbed item slot.

Generally speaking:

  • Tattoos cannot appear to move on their own.
  • As with all wedding alterations, they must not be sexually themed or be inappropriate for a family game.
  • No tattoos with pictures of people mentioning only their name. How do I know that's your neighbor Samantha on your bicep? I wouldn't, but I would be able to see a blonde with green eyes perched on a boar.
  • Tattoos are ink only. No throwing gems on top, scarification, branding, etc.
  • Limit for the length of tattoos is approximately 512 characters, spaces included. Don't forget that in DR, we double space between sentences!
  • Tattoos must begin with "She/He has a tattoo of" and end with "on his/her (area)".

Tattoo Rules for Prydaen

Prydaen tattoos should be kept minimal and on areas where the fur is likely to be thin or sparse (like limbs, wrists, cheeks). Something on a back or chest or the like would never actually show up unless they are bald in that area.

Valid Areas

  • face
  • neck
  • arm
  • chest (male) / shoulder (female)
  • back
  • leg
  • hand
  • ankle
  • wrist
  • tail
  • shoulder
  • forehead
  • cheekbone
  • thigh
  • left wrist
  • right wrist
  • chest
  • abdomen
  • forearm
  • chin
  • left cheekbone
  • right cheekbone
  • calf
  • left ankle
  • right ankle
  • left temple
  • right temple
  • left hip
  • right hip
  • lower back
  • left palm
  • right palm
  • right knuckles
  • left knuckles
  • upper lip
  • lower lip
  • lips
  • shins
  • knees
  • right shin
  • left shin
  • right knee
  • left knee
  • scalp (only if a bald race)


  • 2 words, maximum
  • 20 characters, maximum (may have a very LITTLE wiggle room here)
  • Title cannot currently be in the system.
  • If your request uses a title that is in the system, you must meet all requirements for that title. If I wanted "Mystic Scythe", for example, I'd need to be able to display the Mystic title to the GM working on it in order to use the title.
  • The GM working with you has the final say on the title.
  • Please do NOT pick up the custom title pins with only one title in mind. If your initial choice is turned down, there are no refunds on these pins. You should only get a custom title pin if you have numerous potential titles in mind.


Specific SubTypes


  1. Post:Social_Outrage_-_12/03/2017_-_13:03
  2. Personal alteration experience

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See also