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Chore Wars

What is Chore Wars?

Chore Wars lets you claim experience points for household chores. By getting other people in your house or workplace to sign up to the site, you can assign experience point rewards to individual tasks and chores, and see how quickly each of you levels up.


Experience points are tracked both as weekly high-score charts, and as ongoing character sheets - every time you rack up 200XP of chores, your character gains a "level", and their class changes to match the type of chores that they've been doing.

What would I use it for?

Primarily, it's a system to let you measure how much housework people are doing - someone who only seems to wash the dishes might actually be putting in a good couple of hours a week, when it's all added up, and the housemate who appears never to do anything might be at their busiest when everybody else is out...

As you can see from the testimonials from existing players, it's completely up to you what you do with the data. You could:-

  • Use it just for a few weeks, to get a sample reading of your household and make sure that everyone's pulling their weight.
  • Use the weekly high-score table to give out a prize every weekend. (Maybe the winner gets bought drinks, or chooses what television to watch on a Saturday night.)
  • Use XP or gold as a target for children - award treats for levelling up, or allow them to 'spend' in-game gold pieces on toys and games in the real world.
  • Agree to pick out the lowest scorer when the household needs a scapegoat to do a particular, urgent chore (or when you need to pay a takeaway bill).
  • Keep track of how often a particular chore actually gets done, when it was done last, and who does it the most often.
  • Use the chore comments as a mini weblog for the household, or for a micro-blog of one particular chore ("making dinner" works quite well, if you want to keep track of what you're eating).
  • Use the site as a single-chore tea-making roster at work.
  • Award XP for housekeeping duties on your Internet forum or wiki.

How do I get a party set up for my household or office?

First things first: create an account for yourself if you haven't already.

You can then click the "Join a Party" tab and choose to create a party, which you'll be the Dungeon Master of. Once you've done that, you can generate invite codes from the "Admin" tab, and hand these out to everyone else (whether or not the others have already registered an account). You can give them a URL which they can click to get set up, or they can create an account normally and enter the code you gave them. If your party includes young children, you can log out and create accounts on their behalf (and if they're very young, you can set them up as "NPCs" later on, which means they don't have to log in to claim chores, and the Dungeon Master can do all the online paperwork).

By default, all these new members will be Apprentices, meaning that they can only claim chores, they can't create them. It's up to you as Dungeon Master to decide whether they should be allowed to add their own chores to the system, or whether they should even be promoted to Henchlings or secondary Dungeon Masters.

Is it free? What are Gold Accounts?

Yes, basic accounts are completely free - you can use the site indefinitely without paying anything. The only restrictions on basic accounts are to do with how much historical party data can be stored and explored:-

  • You can only see seven days of a player's chore history.
  • You can only see thirty claims of a specific chore history.
  • Your party's chore history won't go back more than three months. (You'll still continue to gain XP and level up, you'll just lose the precise record of which chores got you there.)

A one-off payment of $10 will upgrade you permanently to a Gold Account and remove all of these restrictions - it also means that you won't see any more ads on the site. And if just one member of your party has a Gold Account, then your entire party's history will be stored in perpetuity.


Who chooses which chores exist, and their XP?

The players do, within each individual party. Any player with sufficient privileges can add a new chore with an XP value of their choice, and that makes it privately available to the whole party. You can either limit the creation of new chores to the "Dungeon Master" who set up the party, or you can give everyone permission to add new ones.

How much XP should a chore give?

It's entirely up to your group, but a useful rule of thumb is that a chore's XP value should be the number of minutes it takes to perform.

If everyone would agree that something was particularly unpleasant or strenuous (maybe "phoning the insurance company" takes twenty minutes, but feels like an hour), you can bump it up a bit. If a chore tends to be a bit spread out and multitasked with other things (if people tend to listen to music while casually washing up), the XP can be reduced to a hypothetical "actual work time". Just go with what everyone is happy with.

How do I edit a chore?

Chores can be renamed and edited by anybody with the Dungeon Master or Henchling role (this is initially just the creator of the party). To do this, just click the relevant "edit" link in the adventure list.

How do I delete or unclaim a chore?

To delete a chore, edit it and set its status to "retired" - it'll be removed from the main adventure list, and will no longer be claimable by your party.

To undo the claiming of a chore (and deduct the XP and treasure gained for it), just click the box with the "X" in it, on your character sheet or the weekly view, and the chore will be crossed out.

What do gold, treasure and equipment do?

Adventurers can spend gold and use up treasure items, by clicking "Use or drop items" on their character sheet. This has no in-game effect (the objects are just removed from the game), but the act of spending or using is visible to everyone else in the party, so you can use it if your group wants to establish a particular reward for spending a saved pile of gold or cashing in a treasure object. Perhaps "fizzy potion" treasures could be used as free-drink vouchers, "golden dishmop" objects could be gained from washing-up and used as a "get out of washing-up free" card, or the younger members of your party could spend a pre-agreed amount of Chore Wars gold to buy a toy.

You can also drop items in the same way - they're removed from your inventory, but your party is not alerted.

If a treasure is "stackable", then players may collect any number of those items (which is useful if you want to run a voucher system). By default, treasures are considered to be for atmosphere only, and do not stack - if an adventurer finds a treasure that they already have, they don't pick it up.

Note that if an adventure has a monster, you'll need to defeat the monster to gain its treasure item, but will earn the gold regardless.

Do I have to fight the monsters I encounter?

No, viewing the combat is optional. The battle is precalculated and you'll earn the XP (and gold and treasure) as soon as you click "go forth" - the combat description is just flavour for anyone who wants to click through it.

What are locations?

These are effectively categories of chore - adventures with the same location will be grouped together in the "claim" dropdown, and also on the "Adventures" list. They're just to make it easier for people to find the adventure that they want to claim.

You can name the locations however you like - it probably makes most sense to name them after areas of your house (with whatever fantastical spin you feel like giving the names), but you're free to make up your own system.

What are quests?

Quests are adventures that delete themselves automatically when they've been claimed. You can use them for logging rare or one-off events, or to make added-incentive versions of other chores.

If, say, your kitchen really needed cleaning, you could create a "cleaning the kitchen urgently" chore that was a quest, and that had double the XP and gold of the normal "cleaning the kitchen" adventure - the next person to clean the kitchen would claim the quest, get the reward, and the quest would be retired (to be reactivated the next time the kitchen really needed cleaning).

To make a quest, select "Quest" in the "Adventure Status" dropdown, when creating or editing an adventure.

How do I import pregenerated chores?

We've prepared a list of the fifteen most common Chore Wars adventures, along with the average XP that other parties have assigned them - you can import any or all of these, and can edit them as much as you like after you've imported them.

What's to stop me claiming a chore that I haven't done?

Nothing! But the only prizes and high-score tables are those within your party, so listing a load of chores that they know you didn't actually do isn't going to do you any good.


Can I join multiple parties?

You can't have the same character in multiple parties, but you can create multiple accounts and have them join different parties.

How do the stats and character classes work?

Characters gain a level for every 200XP they earn. When a character levels up, their strength, dexterity and other statistics are adjusted to reflect the chores that the character has performed - if you've gotten most of your XP from high-constitution vacuuming and gardening, then your character will muscle up and develop a higher constitution value; if you've not done any intellectually-challenging chores, your intelligence will go down, and so on.

Character stats don't work as in normal role-playing games; in Chore Wars they're more of a chart of your recent adventuring behaviour - your highest stat is the one you're the most skilled in, and your lowest is your weakness. This means that some of your stats may actually go down when you level, if you've started doing different chores.

The character classes are simply derived from these stats - a high intelligence will make you a wizard, a high strength will make you a fighter, and so on. Your character class will probably change a bit as you level up.

Can my character die?

No. You may be injured and lose hit points during combat, but these will be fully healed between adventures, and being "defeated" by a monster has no permanent effect.


What are Dungeon Masters, Apprentices, Henchlings, NPCs and Exiles?

These are the roles that players can be given within their party. Initially the creator of the party is the Dungeon Master and everyone else is an Apprentice, but the Dungeon Master can promote and demote the others as required, using the admin page.

An Apprentice is a limited account; they can claim existing adventures, but cannot create new ones. New characters must be promoted before they can create adventures, but the role can still be useful for younger party members, or for groups that have a small, fixed range of chores.

An Adventurer is a standard account; they can create new adventures, but can't edit them.

A Henchling is a semi-admin account; they can create adventures and also edit existing ones.

A Dungeon Master is a full admin account; they can edit adventures, and have access to the "Admin" page (which allows them to assign the roles of other party members, and to change other party settings). The creator of a party is automatically a Dungeon Master, but your party can have multiple Dungeon Masters if you wish.

An NPC is the same as an Apprentice, except that a Dungeon Master can also fill in chores on their behalf, without the NPC having to be logged in. This can be useful for children too young to claim chores themselves, for house guests, for inanimate objects, or anything else you can think of. If you have any NPCs in your party, a name selector appears in the "Claim:" box at the top of each page.

An Exile is a temporarily disabled account; while exiled, they cannot claim adventures, have no access to party chore histories, and do not appear on the party list.

Is there an RSS feed for my party?

Yes, each party has an RSS feed, showing the most recent chores performed by its members.

By using a feed reader such as Google Reader or My Yahoo, you can subscribe to the party's RSS feed and be automatically notified about each adventure that takes place, without having to visit the Chore Wars site.

Note that because an RSS feed is publicly available for anyone to subscribe to, it won't list the chores of an adventurer who has their privacy set to "just my party".


Can I put my character's profile on a web page?

Sure. You can generate a Character Badge image which you can put on any other site you like, and it'll be updated to show your character's progression through adventures.

My character has the wrong XP total.

An obscure bug may cause the XP on their character sheet to drift from its true total. If you think this has happened, head over to the Hall of Memories to fix your XP score.

How can I report a problem?

If you're having a problem or think you've found a bug, drop us a line.

Who made this?

Chore Wars was developed entirely by Kevan Davis and went live in July 2007. All artwork is by Craig J Spearing, and thanks go to Holly, Brendan and Catriona for weeks of gruelling proof-of-concept playtesting.