ocean waves
papermc the high performance fork

Paper MC and Grief Prevention

Like a lot of folks, this pandemic has been a time when we're home a lot, and we end up necessarily spending a lot of time on technology. For my kids, who are 9, 7, and 4 right now, one of the only ways to interact with their friends is to play together on the computer.

Minecraft... of course.

Like everyone else's kids around that age, my two older kids are both into Minecraft a good amount. Even my middle daughter likes to play, though they both find it much better to play in a world together. I came across a server run by the Do By Friday Podcast, which had a unique trait I'd never seen before--the inability touch anyone else's stuff! You couldn't break their blocks, you couldn't dig on their land, you couldn't steal their items. I was amazed. I felt like this was the answer to the shouting matches (they would assure me they were still having fun) happening between siblings.

So, I set out to build a Minecraft server of my own. I was able to ask on the DBF Discord what software was being used, and took it upon myself to set it up.


I had run simple vanilla servers on my home server before, it's honestly not that hard. It's a simple Java JAR you can download, and run (get fancy and get an init script going for it if you want), and you have a single world that's always on that your kids can join.

With that said, it's not always that fun. Just like my son LOVES his Minecraft mods, there are mods available for servers, but you need to be running one of the specialized forks in order to get anywhere with them. There's a number of these out there, but as I was using a somewhat underpowered local machine, I wanted something that was snappy, so I settled on PaperMC.

As it turns out, there's not much to setting up Paper. You download it, and you execute it with Java in a similar way you would run your vanilla Minecraft server. But, it supports plugins.


GriefPrevention is a Bukkit plugin (Bukkit is one of the many Minecraft servers available, and Paper can run Bukkit plugins) that touts that you can:

Stop responding to grief and prevent it instead.

As mentioned before, GriefPrevention prevents users from messing with other players' stuff. It does this by establishing a system of "claims" where you get a claim surrounding the first chest you put down. You also can gain additional "claim blocks" by spending time adventuring in the world (it's even smart enough that if you're just standing there you don't accumulate claim blocks).

You can expand claims or start new ones using a golden shovel, and you can give other players access to your claims if you want. On our current server, for example, my daughter and son and I share some claims out in the world, but we do not do this for our "main homes" that we started at.

This really works to prevent my grief (my son loves to come "help himself" to resources when we don't have GriefPrevention on), and though he's figured out how to still fly in this world (using something called a "fabric?" Someone may have to enlighten me), there is peace throughout the land nonetheless.