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The term alteration refers to a relatively common merchant service which allows for an item to be given a custom 15/15/15 or base description and potentially either a custom long or show description. General alterations are limited to either a long or show description, though some special items (or special merchant services) allow for both. Standard alteration rules can be seen using the ALTER verb.

Player alteration designs can be denied by merchants for both policy and merchant in-character reasons. Merchants will also require players to provide any rare materials (including woods and metals labeled as rare/very rare in official documents, expensive/uncommon gems, and body parts). Players may also provide dyes to merchant to get certain effects such as "glowing." Glowing colors may only be made via alchemy (the full glowing color must be provided, but can be shortened from, say, "glowing emerald green" to "glowing green").

Besides items, players may also get feature alterations on characters, adding unusual hair styles and colors, eye shapes, scars, birthmarks or other visual descriptors.

Alteration is also often used as a generic term for a merchant service.