[ Index of Daggerfall Tool Repository ]

# Starting Location

Created Monday 31 October 2011

## Starting Location of New Player Characters

— originally (AFAIK) described by Donald Tipton ~2002 on alt.games.daggerfall.
— rewritten by Delphisnake 2011 to include new information and fix some errors, and (hopefully) more direct instructions on how to change the starting location.

The z.cfg file in the installation directory specifies where new characters start in the game world.

A standard z.cfg file contains three lines:

startMap 179
region 17
mapfile d


These values specify Privateer's Hold as the starting location, where:

region is the province number.
startMap is the internal site address.
mapfile is the type of location.

## Changing the starting location of new player characters

You can edit the the z.cfg values to start new characters at any location on the world map.

### Tools needed:

- text editor: used to edit the z.cfg file
- ATLAS by Donald Tipton: used to find location ids

There are detailed instructions on how to use ATLAS included in the ATLAS file archive. However, in my experience with DOSBox, you will always need to define the MAP variable to point to the game directory.
For example:
X:\> set map=X:\games\dagger

### region and startMap

Use the ATLAS tool to find both the startMap and region values for any dungeon or town site on the world map.

##### Example of ATLAS output using Privateer's Hold as the site:
-- 1331 sites, 268 dungeons in province Daggerfall (17).
-- Found Privateer's Hold (179) at 0x53a323.
-- Quest source:  reveal _aPlace_ in province 17 at 0x2699d
-- Site: 0xc381, color: orange (may be absent initially)


Note the region number of 17 for Daggerfall province, and the site address of 179 for Privateer's Hold.

### mapfile

The mapfile entry determines whether the starting location is an exterior or a dungeon interior. The default z.cfg requires the starting location to be a dungeon interior.

Use:
mapfile d for startMap entries which are interiors of dungeon locations.
mapfile m for startMap entries which are exteriors of any location type: towns, dungeons, temples, or homes.

Tipton originally reported that "m" must be used for exteriors. However, during testing I found that "a" and "b" also worked for exteriors. I didn't continue trying different values, but I figure that any value other than "d" will work. Not that I can think of any need for other values.

### Mapfile d: changing the starting location to a dungeon interior

Mapfile d works only works for locations with interiors, which means dungeons only. Also remember that game engine considers the castles of Daggerfall, Sentinel and Wayrest to be dungeons. Any type of dungeon may be used, from the small crypts/graveyards up to the labyrinthine "mating octopuses" dungeons. However, note that covens are grouped as dungeons but have no interior and so can not be used with mapfile d.

When your new character first spawns inside the dungeon, it will be placed at the dungeon exit. This means that no dungeon crawl is required upon starting a new game. However, the exit can sometimes be mobbed with enemies — except in crypts or the castles of the major powers.

There is one minor issue with changing the starting location to a dungeon other than Privateer's Hold. Note that this does not happen with all dungeons, and so far I haven't noticed any pattern. For some dungeons, when the player character exits the dungeon they will not be placed on the exterior map on the other side of the door. Instead, they will be teleported to the extremity of the area the dungeon is located within. That is, when you exit the dungeon it will seem like you just fast-travelled to that place. When using the castles of Daggerfall, Sentinel or Wayrest this means you are teleported outside the city walls. This can be a problem in Daggerfall city if you exit the dungeon after nightfall — Lysandus' undead army will be waiting for you. This is usually not a problem as most characters start the game during daylight hours, and is easily overcome by simply waiting until daylight to exit the dungeon.

##### Example: changing the starting location to Castle Mordyval in Dwynnen province

Use ATLAS to rip the startMap and region values of your selected dungeon.

For Castle Mordyval in Dwynnen province, ATLAS reports:

-- 778 sites, 151 dungeons in province Dwynnen (5).
-- Found Castle Mordyval (540) at 0x21dff6.
-- Quest source:  reveal _aPlace_ in province 5 at 0x15daf
-- Reference origin: 0000b800, 00000103, 00000000
-- Site: 0x3b41, color: orange (may be absent initially)


Note the region number of 5 for Dwynnen and the startMap of 540 for Castle Mordyval.

To start inside this dungeon, you must set mapfile to d.

Edit your z.cfg file to show these values. It should now look like this:

startMap 540
region 5
mapfile d


This will start the the player character at the exit of Castle Mordyval.

### Mapfile m: changing the starting location to an exterior location

When your new character first spawns at an exterior location, it will be just like having fast-travelled to that location. Any dungeon (including covens), temple, town or home can be used. So far, I have not encountered any issues or strangeness when using exteriors as starting locations.

##### Example: changing the starting location to the town of Dwynnen in Dwynnen province

Again, use ATLAS to rip the startMap and region values of your selected location.

For Dwynnen in Dwynnen province, ATLAS reports:

-- 778 sites, 151 dungeons in province Dwynnen (5).
-- Found Dwynnen (522) at 0x217464.
-- Quest source:  reveal _aPlace_ in province 5 at 0x151e0
-- Reference origin: 00000800, 000000f8, 00000000
-- Site: 0x3a7e, color: light rose


Note the region number of 5 for Dwynnen and the startMap of 522 for Dwynnen.

As this location is an exterior, you must set mapfile to m.

Edit your z.cfg file to show these values. It should now look like this:

startMap 522
region 5
mapfile m


This will start the the player character at the west gate just outside the city walls of Dwynnen.

### Potential problems

Changing the starting location does break continuity with the opening message "...Once free of the cave..." but you can correct this by editing the _brisien quest using TEMPLATE.

Whichever province you choose to start new games in, Lady Brisienna should send you a letter inviting you to meet her at an inn in that province. Beware, it is possible for this quest to break if the quest engine can't find the locations it needs. If this quest breaks, the main quest will be broken for the character. So if you want to use a province with very few locations, like Cybiades or maybe the Isle of Balfiera, test it out before spending an hour designing a custom class for a new game.

Finally, the tutorial quest is somewhat broken by changing the starting location. When I tested it, it will immediately skip through to Lesson 8 (triggered by the player character _not_ being in Privateer's Hold). I doubt anyone uses it anyway — it was broken even in 213 (I think it was since fixed in DFQFIX by PLRDLF).

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