v 3.0.1

Written and compiled by:

Updated and HTMLized by:

with special thanks to:
Kiri  Divebomb Temper
Delton   Matai  Mazrim
Brand   Ahab   Kytar   
all of whom contributed to the
previous version of this guide
and helped to make this brand
new version possible.

(Barren Realms: barren.barrenrealmsmud.com 8000)

* For any questions regarding building, please see Everybody (EB) on BR, on the forums, or email him at: mdosch@uwalumni.com
Questions about code should be directed to Scavenger.

   Original DIKU code by:  Hans Henrik Staerfeldt,

                           Katja Nyboe, Tom Madson,

                           Michael Seifert, and

                            Sebastian Hammer                            

   Original MERC code by:  Kahn, Hatchet, and Furey       
BR Supplemental code by:  The BARREN REALMS Coding Crew   


Working with the Barren Realms Builders Guide:

Building, if done right, can be a very complex process, and reflecting this complexity, the Barren Realms Builders Guide has grown over the years. To help you navigate the massive amount of information accrued by the various builders the guide has been divided into three principal sections. Rules and Environment, Nuts and Bolts, and Puzzles and Interaction.

In brief, Rules and Environment describes how to write the language of an area, Nuts and Bolts details the syntax of an area file and object guidelines, and Puzzles and Interaction is concerned with issues of gameplay for your area.

Rules and Environment:

Areas do not stand alone. Should you choose to write an area, it must blend into the world fabric of Barren Realms as seamlessly as Barren Realms blends into the fabric of your world. Because we want builders to be able to create as rich and engaging an area as possible, we have a series of requirements that every area must meet. These rules are intended to help add a level of uniformity to the Realms which in turn will provide a better backdrop for your own area.


Before you write ANYTHING.

1. Talk to Everybody, our Senior Area Administrator. He will work with you to ensure your area will be compatible with the rest of the realms. All themes must be approved by Everybody.
2. We require that any area submitted is not of a modern theme. We are no longer adding modern areas.
3. Capitalize words in room titles (Except connecting words and prepositions like and, of, a, the) Always capitalize the first word of a room title.
4. Every room must have at least four lines of text in its description and mobs at least three, use your imagination.
5. Do not reference people or creatures that are actually in the room as mobiles. If you want to reference patrons talking in the corner that’s fine, but do not then put those patrons in as mobs. Any descriptions of people that are mobs should be saved for the mob description itself. It seems odd to reference the mob that is in the room in the description when it may be killed and no longer be sitting in the room.
6. Do not put speech in the room description for the same reason as above. It is acceptable to include speech to the player in the mob description, as it is the only way currently to enable speech.
7. All rooms need to read independently of direction and player motility. Never indicate that a character is travelling in a specific direction in your room descriptions or the way in which they are travelling (walking, running, swimming, flying) since they are unknowns and changeable. Few things are worse than seeing a room that says 'you follow the road to the north' or 'a red brick castle lies ahead.' What if the player is heading south along that road, or has just come from the castle and is now heading away from it? Remember that it is possible to travel through the area in multiple directions, and your descriptions should still fit no matter which route a person takes through your area. Likewise, comparing phrases such as 'this room is warmer than the previous one', 'ascending and descending', 'closer and farther', and 'the sounds are growing louder' are to be avoided, since players won't always have entered from the "appropriate direction".
8. Do not use the word you, there is almost no exception to this rule, any sentence written with the word you, can be rewritten without the use of it to make it impartial. Do not tell people what they see, create an image. Tell them what is out there, but let them create their own visual interpretation. Let them discern what is going on in the room on their own. Example "The water in the river is crystal clear" not 'You see crystal clear water in the river'.
9. Do not indent the first paragraph.
10. Do not double space at the beginning of a sentence. An area is a work of fiction not a technical paper.
11. Make sure ALL descriptions line wrap at 79 columns max. (The BR Builder does this for you.)
12. Too prevent overly easy areas, there must be at least one to two aggressive see invis mobs in your area.
13. Adhere to the object guidelines.
14. Do not make wearable weapons, if you want a mob to wear a weapon instead of wield it, that's fine, but do not include a type weapon that is wearable anywhere but in the wield or offhand slot for players.


You can never go wrong building if you just keep one basic rule in mind.

Pay attention to detail.

All other suggestions in this section are variations on this same idea. The more detailed and realistic your world, the better the area.

Word choice, Word choice, Word choice!

One of the hardest things to learn about writing good descriptions is learning the difference between 'telling' and 'showing.' It is rather dull and boring to simply tell a player the reaction that they have upon entering a room. Rather, focus on what brings about that particular reaction. Show the players those details, and let them come to the right conclusions on their own. Don't use phrases like "The hallway looks quite scary." Instead, it sounds much better to say something like "The hallway is filled with deep pockets of shadow, any of which could hide a creature waiting to strike." I think it's pretty clear which sounds better.

Be sure to have a good thesaurus handy when you are writing your room descriptions. Too many builders develop a small group of words that they like to use, and then they use them over and over and over. Unless you're careful, you'll probably end up using certain words way too often in your writing. Words like 'dark' and 'small' tend to be overused. Finding some good synonyms can avoid problems of repetition and can add an interesting, more literate feel to your rooms.

The heart and soul of your area is your language, and the more rich and varied the language you use is, the more interesting and real your area will be for the players. If you keep using the same sets of words over and over in all of your room, object, and mob descriptions, the area will look hastily thought out and sloppily put together, no matter how much work has gone into it. If, on the other hand, you've used your thesaurus to carefully select varied words and avoid repeating yourself more than is necessary, the players will see that you, as a builder, understand the subtleties of your area and are able to be very specific about the details. For example, instead of using dark repeatedly, you can replace some of them with phrases like shadowy, dusky, gloomy, obsidian-colored, pitch-black, or, for the really ambitious builders, tenebrous. All of those words are good substitutions for the word dark, and in many cases do a better job of providing a detailed description. It should go without saying that if you don't know what the word in the thesaurus means you should look it up in a dictionary first to ensure it fits where you'd like to use it.

As a general rule of thumb, try not to use the same noun or adjective more than once in any one description.

For those of you using the Barren Realms Builder, you can track word frequency under Tools: Word Count.

As much as possible try to write in active rather than passive voice. For example, Bluestar smacks Timmy vs. Timmy is smacked by Bluestar. The key to noticing it is the helper verbs (is/are/was/were/be/am/been) plus by (if the action is directed). The more active your writing the more involved the players will be. Passive voice tends to put people to sleep.


All areas should contain some mundane, even fairly useless equipment.

Basic clothing-like equipment for your mobs like cloaks and leggings with no stats are a good example of this. Generally, people don't wander around naked and neither should your mobs. Even animals "wear" things, thick coats of fur about their bodies and hooves on their feet. Create a few tunics and jerkins and such so your humanoid mobs don't have to cover themselves with their bare hands. The more detailed your world the more interesting your area will look and the easier it will be for you to hide some of the "better" pieces of equipment.

Likewise, create some 'plain' items to leave sitting around the rooms. If you create a woodworkers shop, there should probably be some saws, chisels, and other tools that a character could pick up and take with them, even if they serve no practical purpose in the game. Rubble or fallen logs, a pebble that can be picked up, use your imagination. Even a dragon probably has piles and piles of junk in amongst the valuable goodies and your world should reflect this mishmash. Remember, enchanted and magical items are supposed to be somewhat rare. Not every peasant is going to be running around with a Rake of Smiting +4/+4.

The world does not consist of men alone. Not all the players in the game want to be running around in full plate mail. Remember we have a female audience and male players role-playing as female, so try to balance some of your better equipment more evenly between the sexes. We could use some more dresses, skirts, lace gloves, bodices, etc. with good stats.

Along the same lines, we have a dearth of similar statted objects, its ok to make items with stats that mirror other objects in the game! In fact, this is a great way to get players wearing some of your area equipment without upsetting balance. Many players are drawn to the more unique sounding items and would much prefer to be the only one wearing a shimmering pair of illithid-hide boots than the same equipment everyone else wears at that level and slot. Don't outstat your fellow builders, outwrite them ;-)

Don't give everything away in the long or short description of an item. A phrase like "a yellow potion of see invisible" is not nearly as interesting or engaging from a game-play perspective as something like "a frothy yellow potion that bubbles."

As an overall stylistic note, try to avoid long descriptions for objects that wrap to a second line, it looks messy and the additional information can always be added to an extra description instead.

Try to include extra descriptions for every keyword of your object. It will make things far more detailed and interesting. You don't have to assign each individual keyword its own description. You can link them all to one or two good extra descriptions.

Not all objects need to be takeable by players and no-take objects can add new layers of depth and realism to your rooms, even if they are never going to be used for any practical in-game purpose. Especially when used as containers, no-take objects can be used in lots of very creative, clever ways. They don't even have to be 'containers' in the conventional sense of the word. You could create a container called 'a hole in the wall' that players can reach into and remove stuff or you could create some eggs and place them in a container called 'a bird's nest'. Try naming a container 'a tree' and making some fruit to put inside it. You've got a fruit tree that players can 'pick' fruit from. The possibilities are almost endless.

While the mud will automatically generate the level of your equipment based on the level of the mob on which it loads, it never hurts to add this information (especially if using the Barren Realms Builder because it determines the balance of your objects based on their assigned level) and may help with future debugging down the road. Objects loading on the ground, however, will load based on the level of the mob in the first reset above the object in the resets section. (If your using the BR Builder, it will take care of this for you.)


Make your list of keywords as thorough as possible. Too many people write areas where the mobs have a long description like 'An ugly witch cackles as she stirs her bubbling cauldron', but the only keywords that work for the mob are 'Brunhilda' and 'evil'. Players will get frustrated very quickly trying to interact with a mob like that. If you want to be a successful builder, do not be vague with your keywords. A good rule of thumb is to include every noun and adjective from both the long and short description when you create the list of the mob's keywords.

Try to be as detailed as you possibly can in the mob's look description. Close your eyes and try to get a good mental picture of the mob. Once you've done that, put into words as many of the details you came up with as you can.

At the same time, be objective about your descriptions. Put less emphasis on any interacting between the mob and the character, and more emphasis on the mob by itself. Also, try not to come out and state the mob's emotions directly. Don't say that a creature is "happy." Say that it is "smiling and giggling." If you let the players come to their own conclusions about the mob, they will enjoy your area better.

Keep your mobs consistent with the theme of your area and with the overall theme of the mud. Your mobs should not look out of place in our fantasy world.

Be detailed with your mobs, but remember that not every mob needs to be extremely interesting. A typical village will probably have several ordinary children and adults who have nothing outwardly special about them. Likewise, your area will probably have its share of mobs that are rather 'plain.'

As an overall stylistic note, try to avoid long descriptions for mobs that wrap to a second line, it looks messy, especially if more than one mob is in the room.

Be aware that any keyword you assign to a mob will prevent that word from being used as a character name. If you were to assign the keyword 'Faustus' to one of your mobs, he would not be able to log onto the mud any more. If you submit an area with mob keywords that overlap with existing character names, you will be asked to change those keywords.

For mob distribution (also see the section on chutes), try to aim for approximately one mob for every two rooms in your area. If there are a lot of sentinels, increase the ratio to something a little closer to one mob for every one and a half rooms.


Avoid 'moron mazes'.

A moron maze is a term that describes a long series of rooms with only two exits each. It’s impossible to deviate from the path, because there is always just one exit you haven’t already taken in each room. Moron mazes are usually used uncreatively by lazy builders. When someone wants to make their area seem bigger without putting in the necessary work, the easy solution is to add a few long hallways or roads that use up five or six rooms to take you from point A to point B. While this does add size to the area, it is really boring because the extra space is just filler and does not give the players anything new or unusual to explore. A good builder, on the other hand, will leave points A and B fairly close together in terms of the number of rooms, and will use creativity in the room descriptions to *show* the players that the area itself is large. With the right descriptions, two rooms can seem like a much bigger space than six poorly written rooms in a straight line.

If you find that you are prone to using ‘moron mazes’ when you design your areas, there are a few simple solutions you can use:

Put some twists and turns on the path. A crooked path is naturally more interesting than a straight one. Just make sure you don’t lengthen the path even more by making it crooked.

Make some side trails that branch away from your ‘moron maze.’ You can use them to link to other parts of the area, or you can leave them as dead-ends. Either way, things are more interesting because the players will actually have a choice as to where they go rather than being forced to follow a pre-determined path.

Eliminate a few rooms. A few well written rooms can take the place of a long string of boring ones. Plus, the players will thank you because they won’t have to keep following a long and boring path.

Be sure to use up and down exits in your area wherever they fit. Too many people create flat areas that could easily be more interesting if they included a few rooms on an upper or lower level.

As a counterpoint, however, do what you can to ensure that the rooms connect to one another in a logical manner. In other words, if you start at room one, then go south, then east, then north, then west, you should end up back in room one. Players should easily be able to map your area with graph paper if they want to. At times, this rule can be broken if it fits the area, but you had better have a good reason for doing so.

Occasionally, it is necessary to add a few extra 'moron maze' rooms to ensure your area maps properly, but try to minimize their use.

Remember distance in an area is relative, a house in your town may take up more than one room in the actual map, but you may want to only consider it one "room" on paper. A closet in your house, for example, may take up an entire room, but would clearly be a small amount of actual space compared to the street outside or even the main bedroom that it adjoins.

Be aware of the flow of the terrain through your area and to any areas your area adjoins. Deserts should not logically be right next to a swamp. If you wish to include multiple terrains in your area, be sure that they mix together in a way that makes sense. It is important that you know the area(s) your area will be connected to well so that you can appropriately transition between them. The connections between Western Woods and Impling Village, Hunting Grounds and Tropical Forest, and Wyhtl and Siberfels are good examples of new areas being written to fit in with their surroundings.

Remember that a character can see and hear not only what is in their immediate surroundings, but also what lies farther away, particularly when they are outside. Don't be afraid to create a few major landmarks in your area that can be seen from several different places or even to reference landmarks of other areas that may be within sight or sound of yours, particularly if your area lies near a major city.

Make your room descriptions as detailed as possible, but don't make them too long. If all of your room descriptions are eight to ten lines or more in length, players will start to ignore what you've written. If you've got a lot of information, try putting some of it into extra descriptions. When players have to search for this deeper information (plot lines/story content and puzzle information works well especially here) they feel more actively involved in the area.

Similarly, you don't want too many rooms with long descriptions to surround a room with a short description or vice versa. There should be some flow between room length from room to room. (5 lines, 6 lines, 7 lines, and 6 lines, rather than 4 lines, 8 lines, 4 lines, 8 lines etc.)

You may want to avoid no exit rooms that players must recall from. People hate them and they are a good way to drive players away from your area.

ASCII art looks out of place in a room description. If you feel that you must use some, save it for the extra descriptions.

Consider your audience.

Part of getting the environment for your area just right is knowing and targeting your audience. There are primarily three types of players. Hack and Slashers, Explorers, and Socializers. If you want your area to be successful, you need to write it to include all three groups. The Hack and Slashers are perhaps the easiest to satisfy, they like lots of mobs to kill and equipment to loot. The Explorers are perhaps the hardest to satisfy. They are the players who will demand puzzles, hard to reach or difficult to find rooms, mobs, or objects, and a unique player experience. The Socializers are most interested in the group experience, they want places to chat and areas that a group can hunt together and still get adequate experience. If your feeling particularly industrious, you can consider sections of higher and lower difficulty to cover the range of player ability as well (veterans may want something more challenging that would be too tough for relatively new players.)

More Rules

After your area is written.

1. Spellcheck, spellcheck, spellcheck. Did we mention spellcheck?
2. Check your grammar and look carefully for typos. A spellchecker will only catch so much, so read your area or have someone else read it and check for mistakes like it's vs. its and their vs. there.
3. Compare your items to object guidelines, make sure your area has no overly powerful objects. Balance, Balance, Balance.
4. Double check your object and mob keywords. A good rule of thumb is to include every noun and adjective from both the long and short description when you create the list of the mob's keywords.
5. Spellcheck again!

We reserve the right to modify your area for purposes of keeping the Realms balanced and stable. Prepare to get summarily smacked around if you submit an unspellchecked area.

Nuts and Bolts

Barren Realms has been around since 1994. In that time it has constantly grown and developed, mainly through the contributions of the players who have volunteered their time and energy to making Barren Realms a better place. One of the ways that players like you can help to add to the Barren Realms experience is by building an area. Anyone can create an area. You don't need any programming experience or any special tools. All that it takes is a little creativity, dedication, and drive.

This section of the guide is designed to help anyone who wishes to write an area for the mud. It is primarily intended to help someone who wants to use a text editor to create their area file, or someone who is trying to better understand how area files work. (Barren Realms does not offer on-line building and there are no plans to add this feature.)

Hopefully, by the time your this far into the guide you've already talked to Everybody about your area. Your theme has been approved, and you've been assigned vnums.

What are vnums? Vnums are the ID numbers that identify each unique mob, object, and room in your area. When you are working on an area, you will be assigned a specific range of vnums, say for example, 1001 through 1100. Each number in that range can be used for 1 mob, 1 object, and 1 room. Thus, you can have a room with the ID number 1015 as well as an object with the ID number 1015 and a mob with the ID number 1015. You cannot, however have another object with that number. An ID number used for a mob is generally called an 'mnum'. An ID number used for an object is often called an 'onum'. An ID number used for a room is usually called an 'rnum'.

Most areas have more rooms than they have objects or mobs. That's why we want an idea of how many rooms your area will have. That way, we can be sure that we are assigning you a sufficient number of vnums.

Once you have received approval for your area, there are a few more things to do before you sit down and type out the area file. If you haven't done so yet, map the area out on a piece of graph paper. Creating a map ahead of time will make writing the area file much easier. Also, jot down some notes about the mobs and objects you want to include in the area. You don't have to have full details about everything that will be found in the area at this point, but at least start thinking about these things.


This section will walk you through each of the eight parts that you need to write for the area file. The file itself is a basic text file. You can create the file in any word processing program or text editor. Whatever program you use, though, make sure it is capable of saving files in a plain text format. Most, if not all word processors will give you the option to "save as text only' when you are in the program's save screen. If you save your file as anything other than plain text, there will be extra formatting information that can confuse and crash the mud. Always save your area file as a text only document.

Always keep back ups of your area file to safe guard your progress.

As you type out the area file, try not to let the text wrap from one line to the next. If you are typing something that is going to spill over onto a new line, be sure to hit return before the text reaches the right edge of the file. Then, continue with what you were typing on the next line. This will keep things formatted correctly on the mud. No line should have more than 79 characters. Also, try and type the file in a mono-spaced font. That will also help you to format things correctly.

The area file itself is broken into eight different sections, as follows:


Each of these sections goes into one area file in the order listed above. The following pages will detail each of those items in depth.


The line that starts your area file is where you set the area's name as well as the level range for which it is intended. The line should be written as follows:

#AREA {<level range>} <your name> <area title>~

As an example, I could start an area with the following:

#AREA { 0 15} Faustus The Tavern~

Be sure to use brackets (like this '{}') and nor parenthesis around the level range. This way, your area will be consistent with all the other areas in the area list. Also, since the name of your area is a title, you should be sure to capitalize any and all important words.

The symbol at the end of this line is called a tilde (~). It is a very important symbol that appears often throughout the area file. The symbol tells the mud that certain lines are finished. In these instructions, pay special attention to where tildes are placed. The mud will always expect a tilde to be in that spot and will probably crash if you omit any tilde.


The next section of your area file is where you can include any help files, should you desire. Some writers like to create a help file that details the specifics of their area. Other like to use help files to include interesting or bizarre messages for the players.

The first line of the helps section should be typed as follows:


After that, use the following sets of lines for each help file your wish to include.

Line A: -<level>

The level (which should be typed with numerals) determines how high of a level a player will need to be in order to read the help file. If you want everyone to be able to read the help file, use -0 on this line. For hero and immortal only help files, put -51 here. If you wish to reserve the help file for the immortals only, use -152. You can also set minimum level to any number in between.

For my example, I'd like everyone to be able to read the file, so I'll put:


Line B: <keywords>~

The keywords specify what a player has to type in order to see the help file. You can include one single keyword, or you could make a short list of several available keywords.
For my example, I'll use:

sample area~

Thus anyone who types 'help sample' or 'help area' will see the this help file. Be sure to include the tilde at the end of the line.

Line C: <help file>

Here you will type out the text that you want players to see when they request this particular help file. You can type more than one line, but be sure to hit return at the end of each individual line.
I'll continue my example with:

This is a sample area that Faustus has put together for the area writing guide. Hopefully, this file will allow you, too, to create areas that we can use to make Barren Realms an even better place.

That message will be displayed to anyone who types 'help sample' or 'help area'.

Line D: ~

On the line following the text of your help file, simply type a single tilde all by itself.

If you wish to include more than one help file, just repeat lines A through D once again. You may include as many help files as you wish.

On the line after the ending tilde of your last help file, type the following:

0 $~

That tells the mud that you are finished with the Helps section.

If you do not wish to include any help files, you mush still type '#HELPS' on one line, and follow it with '0 $~' on the next line.

Once everything is put together, your Helps section should look something like this:

sample area~
This is a sample area that Faustus has put together for the area writing guide. Hopefully, this file will allow you, too, to create areas that we can use to make Barren Realms an even better place.
This information is for immortals only. It's so secret that I can't even type what it really is, for fear that is might fall into the wrong hands.
0 $~


The mobiles section is where you create the details of all of the people, creatures, animals, spirits, etc. that will inhabit your area. This is probably the easiest of all the major sections in your area file to write. As long as you follow the guidelines about which special characters go where, you'll be fine. Since this part of the file is relatively easy, take the time to do a good job. Make your mobs original and put as much detail into them as you can. How interesting your mobs are corresponds directly to how much work you put into them. Spending a few extra minutes to make truly noteworthy descriptions for your mobs will pay off in the end.

The first line of the mobiles section of your area file must consist of the following printed on a line all by itself: #MOBILES (in capitals with no other punctuation). When the mud reads your area file, this is how it knows where to find the mobs.

All of your mobs will follow that line, and each individual mob will follow the same pattern of lines.

Line A: #<mnum>

This tells the mud what id number the mob will have. Start with the first vnum you have been assigned. For each new mob that you add, continue in numerical order until you run out of mobs that you want to include. I'll start an example mob with '#101'.

Line B: <keywords>~

This line specifies the word (or more commonly, the group of words) that a player can use to interact with the mob. There is no limit to the number of keywords a mob can have, and generally the more it does have, the better. Be sure to include the tilde after the last keyword in the list. For my example mob, I'll write this line as 'guard elf elven young~'. Do not include any articles such as a, an, or the on this line.

Line C: <short description>~

The mud displays the short description as part of a longer sentence whenever a mob enters or leaves a room, and whenever a players interacts with the mob. The short description should just be a noun or two, along with any appropriate adjectives and articles, such as a, an, or the. I'll continue my example with the line 'a young elven guard~'. Do not capitalize this line, and do not use any sort of ending punctuation. Do be sure to include the tilde, though.

Line D: <long description>

The long description is a message that is displayed after the room description whenever a player enters a room or types look. This message alerts the player to the mob's presence. It always appears on its own line, so be sure that you write the long description as a complete sentence, including proper punctuation and ending punctuation. For my example, this line will look like 'A young elf stands here, watching over the hallway.' with no tilde at the end.

Line E: ~

This line needs to be a single tilde all by itself.

Line F: <look description>

The look description can (and should) actually be more than one single line. This is the description that is shown when a player actually looks at the mob. Assuming your description spills over onto more than one line (and it should), be sure to hit return before your words drop down onto the next line. This will prevent the mud from doing ugly things with word wrap. The look description of my example mob will look like this:

An elf with sandy blond hair paces back and forth along the hallway. Every few steps, he stops and swivels his head from side to side. Sighing, he places his hand over the hilt of his sword and continues pacing.

You'll probably be using more than one sentence here. Be sure all of them are capitalized and punctuated properly.

Line G: ~

This line comes right after the last line of the mob's look description. All you need in a tile by itself.

Line H: <act bits> <affect bits> <alignment> S

This line will contain a bunch of numbers. Act bits determine any special sets of behavior that the mob might have. These can be found in TABLE A. Feel free to assign more than one act bit to you mob, but be sure to separate them with the | character. Affect bits determine any spells effects that will be permanently assigned to the mob. You can find the different affect bits in TABLE B. Again, you can use more than one affect bit, as long as you use a | to separate them. If you chose not to use any act bits or affect bits, just put a 0 in one or both of those spots. Alignment is a numerical value that falls between 1000 and -1000. Remember, high numbers mean good, low numbers mean evil. Finally, the S at the end of the line has no real meaning on the mud. Farther back in mud history, that spot was important, but our code just ignores it. If that S isn't there, though, the mud gets upset and crashes. Don't forget it. My example mob will have the following values written on this line: '1|4|32 4|8 500 S'. This means that it is an NPC, it will pick up objects off of the floor, it is aggressive, and it is affected by detect evil and detect invisible. Its alignment is 500, meaning that it is good aligned.

Line I: <mob level> 0 0 0d0+0 0d0+0

Mob level is, as you would expect, the level of the mob you wish to create. When the mob loads into the mud, its level will be within two of whatever number you assign here. All of those zeroes after the mobs level are needed, even though the mud never actually bothers to read those numbers. For my example mob, this line will be '20 0 0 0d0+0 0d0+0'. The mob will always load between levels 18 and 22.

Line J: 0 0 0 0 <gender>

The first four zeroes are ignored, but needed. For the last number, use 1 for male mobs, 2 for female mobs, and 0 for neuter mobs. Those are the only options you have on this line. I'll finish up with this line as: '0 0 0 0 1', meaning that my mob is male.

That's it. At this point we have a complete mob. On the line next line, you can start over again at Line A with the next vnum for the next mob. If you have finished that last of the mobs for your area, type the following on the line immediately following the gender of your last mob: #0 That signifies that the #MOBILES section is done.

Putting all of my example lines together, we get the following, which gives you an approximation of what the #MOBILES section will look like:

guard elf elven young~
a young elven guard~
A young elf stands here, watching over the hallway.
An elf with sandy blond hair paces back and forth along the hallway. Every few steps, he stops and swivels his head from side to side. Sighing, he places his hand over the hilt of his sword and continues pacing.
1|4|32 4|8 500 S
20 0 0 0d0+0 0d0+0
0 0 0 0 1
etc. etc. etc.


ACT BIT Explanation
NPC 1 All mobs should be set with the NPC bit.
SENTINEL 2 SENTINEL mobs will not wander around at all.
SCAVENGER 4 SCAVENGER mobs will pick up any objects on the ground.
MEMORY 8 If a mob has MEMORY, it will remember any player that has attacked it and fled, and will attack that player on sight.
ILLITHID PRACTICE 16 The various PRACTICE mobs will train skills that correspond to the specified race. It is possible for a mob to be a trainer for multiple races.
AGGRESSIVE 32 AGGRESSIVE mobs will attack any player lower than them in level.
STAY AREA 64 STAY AREA mobs will not leave your area. This must be used if the rooms that connect your area to other areas are not set to be no-mob rooms.
WIMPY 128 WIMPY mobs flee when they get too injured.
PET 256 If any of your mobs will be sold in a pet shop, set those mobs with the PET bit.
ENHANCE 512 Mobs that have the ENHANCE bit can enhance a player's stats for the appropriate price.
ELF PRACTICE 1024 The various PRACTICE mobs will train skills that correspond to the specified race. It is possible for a mob to be a trainer for multiple races.
HEALER 2048 HEALER mobs will heal any level 1-10 character for free and will heal all characters for a price.
UNDEAD 4096 When a player fights an UNDEAD mob, the mob's arms and legs may be lopped off and continue to fight on their own.
DRUID PRACTICE 8192 The various PRACTICE mobs will train skills that correspond to the specified race. It is possible for a mob to be a trainer for multiple races.
KENDER PRACTICE 16384 The various PRACTICE mobs will train skills that correspond to the specified race. It is possible for a mob to be a trainer for multiple races.
HUMAN PRACTICE 32768 The various PRACTICE mobs will train skills that correspond to the specified race. It is possible for a mob to be a trainer for multiple races.
DWARF PRACTICE 65536 The various PRACTICE mobs will train skills that correspond to the specified race. It is possible for a mob to be a trainer for multiple races.
IDENTIFY 131072 A mob set with IDENTIFY will, for a price, identify any object that a player gives them.
REPAIR 262144 A REPAIR mob can fixed damaged equipment for a small fee.
SELL MID 524288 SELL MID is used in conjunction with shopkeeper mobs. This bit will set the levels of items that load into the inventory of a shopkeeper to level 10.
SELL MID-HIGH 1048576 SELL MID-HIGH is used in conjunction with shopkeeper mobs. This bit will set the levels of items that load into the inventory of a shopkeeper to level 20.
SELL HIGH 2097152 SELL HIGH is used in conjunction with shopkeeper mobs. This bit will set the levels of items that load into the inventory of a shopkeeper to level 30.
STAY TERRAIN 8388608 Mobs with STAY TERRAIN will not wander off of the terrain type of the room where they start out. (Terrain type is set in the #ROOMS section.) This is useful for confining certain mobs to specific portions of your area.
AVIAN PRACTICE 16777216 The various PRACTICE mobs will train skills that correspond to the specified race. It is possible for a mob to be a trainer for multiple races.


Be aware that any mob set with a HEALER, REPAIR, IDENTIFY, ENHANCE, or PRACTICE bit will be protected and players will be unable to kill that mob.

CURSE 1024
* 2048*
SWIMMER** 16384
SNEAK 32768
HIDE 65536
SLEEP 131072
CHARM 262144
FLY 524288
PASS DOOR 1048576
PLAGUE@ 2097152
MUTE 4194304
* 8388608*
DIRT KICK 16777216
VERTIGO 33554432
FIRM GRASP 67108864
EMPATH** 134217728

* Used within the code only. Do not set on any mob.
** These affect bits have no practical effect on mobs.
@ Because mobs permanently affected with plague can spread plague to other mobs and this can severely cripple mobs, do not use this except as expressly referenced in the chutes section.

Each of these aff bits will permanently give the mob the effects of the spell listed. Most are self explanatory, and if you need any extra information, you can find them in the help files on the mud.

Note that shopkeepers, identifiers, repairmen, healers and the like should all have DETECT INVIS and DETECT HIDDEN, unless you don't want them to be able to interact with invisible characters/objects.

There are a few other options for mobs. You can chose special skills such as spell casting and pick pocketing to different mobs. These will be covered in detail in the #SPECIALS section, where those skills are assigned.

That's all there is to creating mobs. If you want to assign some of your mobs as shopkeepers, you will do so later in the #SHOPS section.


The objects section can be somewhat tricky, because many builders tend to want to see every player walking around with equipment that they wrote. As such, it is tempting, while you are building, to create objects that are more powerful than anything that currently exists on the mud. Resist this temptation. Please. To keep things somewhat realistic, your area should contain more 'mundane' equipment that 'exceptional' equipment. It's all right to include a few powerful items, but they should be the exception, rather than the norm. Yes, this does mean that you might be creating many objects that players will never use, but your area will be more well rounded and detailed as a result. Enough with my moralizing for now. Let's move on to how you actually write the objects section.

The objects section of your area must begin with: #OBJECTS typed on a line all by itself. This tells the mud that the following lines will contain the info necessary for all of the objects in your area.

After the line that signifies the start of the objects section, repeat each of the following entries for each object you want to include:

Line A: #<onum>

This tells the mud what id number the object will have. Start with the first vnum you have been assigned. For each new object that you add, continue in numerical order until you run out of objects that you want to include. I'll start an example object with '#101'.

Line B: <name>~

The name (which can be more than one word) tells the mud what keywords can be used with this object. For example, if this line reads 'wand oak crooked~', then a player could use any of those three words to interact with the object. Do not include any articles, such as an, a, or the on this line. Be sure to include the tilde at the end of this line.

Line C: <short description>~

The short description is what is shown when an object is in your inventory. It is also displayed as part of a longer message when any player picks up, drops, wears, etc. said object. For example, I could continue this object with the line 'a crooked oak wand~' or something similar. Do not capitalize the start of this line unless the short description of the object begins with a proper noun. Do not use any sort of ending punctuation, but do be sure to end the line with a tilde.

Line D: <long description>~

The long description is what you see when an object is lying on the floor. Since the mud displays this on a line all by itself, you need to write the long description as a complete sentence, including capitalization and proper ending punctuation. I could, for example, continue my object with the line 'A crooked wand made from oak lies here in the dust.~' Don't forget the tilde after the ending punctuation. Also, do you best to keep this long description from spilling over onto a second line.

Line E: ~

Yep. That's it. Just put a tilde all by itself on this line.

Line F: <object type> <extra bits> <wear bits>

The object type is a single number that determines how the object behaves. The number can be found in TABLE C. Extra bits are one or more numbers that determine if the object has any special properties, such as glowing, invisibility, etc. You can find a listing of extra bits in TABLE D. Wear bits are one or more numbers that determine whether or not an object can be picked up and if so, where it can be worn. You can find the different wear bits in TABLE E. Continuing on with my example object, my next line would be '3 1|1024 1|16384'. This means that the object is a wand, it glows and cannot be used by evil characters, and that it can be picked up and held in the hand. Note that if you use more than one number for the extra bits and wear bits, you must join them with a |. If you do not wish to include extra bits or wear bits, put a 0 in that spot.

Line G: <value0> <value1> <value2> <value3>

These four values help to determine exactly how the object works. This is where you set which spells a potion will cast on a player, or how much weight a container can hold, or what type of damage a weapon deals, etc. Each type of object uses these four values in different ways, so you'll need to have a good look at TABLE F. That table will tell you how to set these four values based on the object type you set in the previous line. For my wand, I can set this line to be '20 8 8 10'. This means that the wand cast the spell colour spray at level 20, and has 8 charges.

Line H: <weight> <cost> 0

The weight is simple a single number that determines how heavy the object is. Use some common sense when designating weights. Obviously, a steel breastplate should weigh much, much, much more than a linen shirt. Objects weights should logically correlate to one another Pay special attention to the weight for weapons, since characters with low strengths may not be able to wield heavier weapons. See TABLE G to find out what strengths are needed to wield weapons of differing weights. Cost can be ignored unless the object is a potion or pill. For those object types, you must designate a value, or shopkeepers will not be able to sell them. The 0 at the end of this line gets ignored by the mud, but it has to be there, or the mud will crash. For my wand, I'll write this line as '3 0 0'.

Extra descriptions are where you get to tell the players a little bit more about your objects. You are not obligated to include any extra descriptions for any of the objects you write, but we highly recommend that you do use them for most, if not all of your objects. Otherwise, when someone looks at the object, the mud will just show them the long description again, even if the object is in the character's inventory. If you do not wish to include extra descriptions, skip lines I, J, and K.

Line I: E <extra description keywords>~

When players look at any of these keywords, they will see the corresponding extra description. Since I want players to be able to find out a little more about the wand, I will write this line as 'E wand oak crooked~'. Again, don't forget the tilde.

Line J: <extra description>

This is the message that is displayed whenever a player looks at one of the keywords listed in the line above. Just use this space to give a little more detail about the object. For example, I'll put 'Tiny runes are carved into the length of the wand. The wood seems to radiate an aura of power.' It's perfectly all right for this description to spill over onto more than one line, but just make sure that you hit return at the end of each line, rather than simply letting your word processor wrap the words onto the next line by itself.

Line K: ~

On the line just below the end of you extra description, put a tilde all by itself. Don't put a tilde here if you're not using any extra descriptions, though.

If you want, you can include multiple sets of extra descriptions. Just repeat lines I, J, and K for each different extra description you wish to add onto the object.

Line L: A <apply bit> <apply value>

Apply bits and values tell the mud to modify a player's stats when they are wearing the object in question. The different apply bits can be found in TABLE H. The apply value is simply how much the stat specified by the apply bit is altered. For my wand, I'll use 'A 13 15'. This means that when the wand is held, the character's maximum number of hit points goes up by 15. If you want the object to affect more than one stat, repeat line L on a new line for each affect you wish the object to have. Line L is optional. If you do not wish for the object to affect stats, simply skip this line.

At this point the object is finished. The next line in the area file will be line A once again, specifying the number of the next object. If you have just written the last object you wish to include in your area, type '#0'. That tells the mud that the #OBJECTS section is finished.

Putting together all of the lines from my example, the start of my objects section would look like this:

wand oak crooked~
a crooked oak wand~
A crooked wand made from oak lies here in the dust.~
3 1|1024 1|16384
20 8 8 10
3 0 0
E wand oak crooked~
Tiny runes are carved into the length of the wand. The wood seems to radiate an aura of power.
A 13 15
etc. etc. etc.


KEY 18
FLY 28
TIMED 16384
HOVER 32768
POISONED* 131072
SLIPPERY 2097152



ANTI-ELF 268435456
ANTI-DRUID 536870912
ANTI-KENDER 1073741824
ANTI-DWARF 2147483648
ANTI-HUMAN 4294967296
ANTI-ILLITHID 8589934592
ANTI-AVIAN 17179869184
ANTI-DEMON 34359738368

**These bits prevent a particular race from wearing the equipment.

Use common sense when applying these bits. Ask yourself, WHY is this piece of equipment anti-dwarf etc. Does it make sense?

ARMS 256
WRIST 4096
WIELD 8192
HOLD 16384

*If you don't include the TAKE bit, players won't be able to pick up the object.

Type # Value0 Value1 Value2 Value3
LIGHT 1 0 0 hours 0
SCROLL 2 spell level spell # 1 spell # 2 spell #3
WAND 3 spell level max charges curr. charges spell #
STAFF 4 spell level max charges curr. charges spell #
WEAPON* 5 spell weapon # min dam max dam damage type
TREASURE 8 0 0 0 0
ARMOR** 9 ac condition 0 times repaired
POTION 10 spell level spell # 1 spell # 2 spell # 3
FURNITURE 12 0 0 0 0
TRASH 13 0 0 0 0
CONTAINER 15 max. weight state ONUM of key trap spell
DRINK CONT. 17 max. capacity cur. capacity liquid type poison
KEY 18 uses left 0 0 0
FOOD 19 nourishment 0 0 poison
MONEY 20 0 0 0 currency vnum
FOUNTAIN 25 0 0 liquid type 0
PILL 26 spell level spell # 1 spell # 2 spell # 3
SCUBA 27 0 0 hours 0
FLY 28 0 0 0 0
QUIVER 29 max. weight state ONUM of key 0
THROW 30 0 0 0 0

*Min Dam and Max Dam are ignored from the area file: the mud sets these automatically based on item load level.
**AC is ignored from the area file: the mud sets this automatically based on item load level. Condition is from 0-10, with lower being better. Any item with a condition not in this range will be unrepairable. Times repaired rises from 0-10, at 10 or above, the item will be unrepairable.


HOURS designates how many hours of game time the object will last. If set this number to -1, the object will last forever.

Spell numbers for potions, staves, wands, pills, and container traps can be found in TABLE I.
MAX CHARGES and CURRENT CHARGES for wands and staves should generally be set to the same number.
DAMAGE TYPE for weapons can be found in TABLE J.
STATE options for containers and quivers can be found in TABLE K.
If a container has no key, use -1 for the key number.
If a container is not trapped, use o for the trap spell number.
MAX CAPACITY and CURRENT CAPACITY for drink containers tell how many units of liquid a player can drink from the container before it disappears. A typical drink is anywhere from 5 to 10 units.
LIQUID TYPES can be found in TABLE L.
POISON denotes whether the food or water is poisonous. 0 means it is fine. Any other number means it is not.
QUIVER type objects are used to hold THROW type objects.

The following table lists the weight limits for weapons that a character can wield based on their strength. Keep these in mind when you are creating weapons.

13 13
14 14
15 15
16 16
17 22
18 25
19 30
20 35
21 40
22 45
23* 50
24* 55
25* 60

*Since only dwarves can have a strength of 23 or higher, any weapon that weighs more than 45 pounds is effectively a dwarf-only object.

Use the bits in the following table to specify which attributes an object will affect.


For armor class and all the save vs. whatevers, a negative value is a bonus, and a positive value is a penalty. For everything else, positive is a bonus, negative is a penalty.


These are the guidelines that were developed a long time ago by Oakley. I try to stick to them as closely as I can, and we require that you do too. I know that it's tempting to create an object that adds 50 to you hitroll and damage that can be used at level 7, but that would totally throw off the balance of the game. Balance is what you must keep in mind when you are assigning apply values. If you submit an area with objects that are out of balance, it'll be sent back to you to be fixed. Your area will be added to the mud much more quickly if you follow these guidelines to begin with.

Alicia's Barren Realms Builder calculates all of this for you and will warn if anything is out of balance.


At most +1 for every 10 levels the object will load.
EX. At level 10, no more than +1, 20 +2, etc.
Do not affect by more than 8 attributes TOTAL on any one object.
EX. +5 str +1 wis +2 int


No more than 15 for every 10 levels, 20 on RARE occasions.
EX. For a level 40 weapon, no more than 60 hp.
For a TOTAL of no more than 25 for every 10 levels.
EX. a level 10 weapon can affect hp by 15, mana by 5 and moves by 5.


No more than 1 for every 10 levels on each.
No more than 7 total COMBINED on any one object.
EX. a level 30 weapon can have +3 hit +3 dam, but NO MORE.

A lot of areas have been coming in with +12 hitroll or damroll at LEVEL 10...this is a problem.


No more than -10 for every 10 levels.
EX. level 20 armor should affect by no more than -20 in addition to the naturally assigned AC for the armor.


No more than -5 TOTAL for each save.
No matter what level, -10 is the MAX.

Above all, use some common sense...

Don't have boots raising hit/dam, that doesn't really work. No helmets that raise strength, or gloves that raise int. Try and keep the +hit and +dam to WEAPONS or things worn on hands, helmets that raise hitroll are a bit ridiculous.

NO APPLIES on light sources, containers or wearable containers. Keep the applies to armor and weapons only, occasionally hold items.

There are a few cases where these guidelines can be fudged a little. Anything that restricts the object in some way, such as anti-alignment, or no-drop, etc. means that you can fudge the stats up a *little* bit.

If you have a question about object balance, talk to Everybody.

The following table lists which numbers correspond to which individual spells. Not all spells will work with all types of objects. This table also tells you whether or not any given spell will work when placed on different object types.

acid blast 70 yes yes no
acid breath 200 yes yes no
adrenaline control 470 yes yes yes
agitation 471 yes yes no
armor 1 yes yes yes
astral 100 no no no
awe 473 no no no
ballistic attack 474 yes yes no
bamf 700 yes yes no
berzerk 92 yes yes yes
bless 3 yes yes yes
biofeedback 475 yes yes yes
blindness 4 yes yes no
buddha finger 600 yes yes yes
burning hands 5 yes yes no
call lightning 6 yes yes yes
cause critical 63 yes yes no
cause light 62 yes yes no
cause serious 64 yes yes no
cell adjustment 476 yes yes yes
change sex 82 yes yes yes
charm person 7 yes yes no
chill touch 8 yes yes no
chin kang palm 601 yes yes no
colour spray 10 yes yes no
combat mind 477 yes yes yes
complete healing* 478 yes yes yes
concentrate 602 yes yes yes
control flames 479 yes yes no
continual light 57 yes yes yes
control weather 11 no no no
create food 12 yes yes yes
create sound 480 no no no
create spring 80 yes yes yes
create water 13 yes no no
cure blindness 14 yes yes yes
cure critical 15 yes yes yes
cure disease 501 yes yes yes
cure light 16 yes yes yes
cure poison 43 yes yes yes
cure serious 61 yes yes yes
curse 17 yes yes no
death field* 481 yes yes yes
detect evil 18 yes yes yes
detect hidden 44 yes yes yes
detect invis 19 yes yes yes
detect magic 20 yes yes yes
detect poison 21 yes no no
detect presence 618 yes yes yes
detonate 482 yes yes no
disintigrate 483 yes yes no
dispel evil 22 yes yes no
dispel magic 59 yes yes yes
displacement 484 yes yes yes
earthquake 23 yes yes yes
ectoplasmic form 485 yes yes yes
ego whip 486 yes yes no
enchant weapon* 24 yes no no
energy containment 487 yes yes yes
energy drain 25 yes yes no
energy transfer 91 yes yes no
enflame weapon 97 yes no no
enhance armor 488 yes no no
enhanced strength 489 yes yes yes
expose 617 yes no no
faerie fire 72 yes yes no
faerie fog 73 yes yes yes
fire breath 201 yes yes no
fireball 26 yes yes no
firm grasp 610 yes yes yes
flamestrike 65 yes yes no
flesh armor 490 yes yes yes
fly 56 yes yes yes
frenzy 609 yes yes yes
frost breath 202 yes yes no
gas breath 203 yes yes yes
general purpose 205 yes yes no
giant strength 39 yes yes yes
harm 27 yes yes no
heal** 28 yes yes yes
high explosive 206 yes yes no
identify 53 yes no no
inertial barrier 491 yes yes yes
inflict pain 492 yes yes no
insight 611 yes no no
intellect fortress 493 yes yes yes
illusion 613 yes yes no
infravision 77 yes yes yes
invis 29 yes yes yes
iron monk 603 yes yes yes
know alignment 58 yes yes no
laughing buddha 604 yes yes no
lend health 494 yes yes no
levitation 495 yes yes yes
lightning bolt 30 yes yes no
lightning breath 204 yes yes no
locate object 31 no no no
magic missile 32 yes yes no
mass invis 69 yes yes yes
mass heal** 608 yes yes yes
medicine 605 yes yes yes
mental barrier* 496 yes yes yes
mind scramble 615 yes yes no
pass door 74 yes yes yes
plague 503 yes yes no
prayer 606 yes yes yes
poison 33 yes yes no
project force 498 yes yes no
protection 34 yes yes yes
psionic blast 499 yes yes no
psychic crush 460 yes yes no
psychic drain 461 yes yes no
psychic healing 462 yes yes yes
quivering palm 607 yes yes no
refresh 81 yes yes yes
remove curse 35 yes yes yes
repel 612 yes yes no
sanctuary 36 yes yes yes
scry 614 no no no
sizzle 616 yes no no
share strength 464 yes yes no
shield 67 yes yes yes
shocking grasp 37 yes yes no
sleep 38 yes yes no
spite 90 yes yes no
stone skin 66 yes yes yes
summon 40 no no no
telepathy 619 no no no
teleport 2 no no no
thought shield 465 yes yes yes
transform energy 95 yes yes yes
ultrablast 466 yes yes no
ventriloquate 41 no no no
weaken 68 yes yes no
web 93 yes yes no
word of recall 42 no yes yes

*These spells are under restricted use. Talk to Everybody first.
** No more than 1 charge per 10 levels of the item on staves and wands.


The damage type determines what message will be displayed to the player when they do damage with their weapon. There is no actual game-play difference between any of these damage types, with the exception of piercing-type weapons. Weapons that pierce are the only weapons that can be used by a kender for the backstab skill.


Use a combination of these flags for value1 of container type objects. If you use more than one of these flags, be sure to separate them with the | symbol. For example, if you want to have a closeable object that is closed when it loads, but not locked, you would use '1|4'. The closed and locked flags will determine whether the container is closed and locked when the container loads into the mud. If you want the container to load in the closed state, be sure that you also give it the closeable bit as well, or no one will be able to open it. Lastly, it you don't want the container to be closeable at all, just put a 0 in value1 for the object.

0 - water 1 - beer* 2- wine*
3 - ale* 4 - dark ale* 5 - whisky*
6 - lemonade 7 - firebreather* 8 - local specialty*
9 - slime mold juice% 10 - milk 11 - tea
12 - coffee 13 - blood% 14 - salt water%
15 - cola 16 - ice water 17 - stagnant water
18 - sewer water 19 - soda water 20 - tonic water
21 - ginger ale 22 - root beer 23 - cherry cola
24 - orange soda 25 - herbal tea 26 - lemon juice
27 - pink lemonade 28 - grapefruit juice 29 - orange juice
30 - tomato juice 31 - pickle juice 32 - banana juice
33 - watermellon juice 34 - cantaulope juice 35 - beet juice
36 - kraut juice 37 - cranberry juice 38 - pineapple juice
39 - cherry juice 40 - grape juice 41 - apple juice
42 - blueberry juice 43 - blackberry juice 44 - raspberry juice
45 - kiwi juice 46 - mango juice 47 - apple cider*
48 - coconut milk 49 - chocolate milk 50 - chocolate milkshake
51 - vanilla milkshake 52 -strawberry milkshake 53 - pink goat milk
54 - buttermilk 55 - clabbered milk 56 - cream
57 - vanilla extract 58 - tabasco 59 - melted butter
60 - olive oil 61 - barbecue sauce 62 - gravy
63 - beef stew 64 - vegetable stew 65 - broth
66 - borsht 67 - tomato soup 68 - chicken noodle soup
69 - beet soup 70 - mushroom soup 71 - clam chowder
72 - strange brew 73 - Reisling* 74 - Chenin Blanc*
75 - Gewurtztraminer* 76 - Pinot Blanc* 77 - Gris*
78 - Trebbiano* 79 - Muscat* 80 - Semillon*
81 - Chardonnay* 82 - Cabernay Fran* 83 - Sangiovese*
84 - Tempranillo* 85 - Syrah* 86 - Grenache*
87 - Zinfindel* 88 - Gamay* 89 - Nebbiolo*
90 - Cabernet Sauvignon* 91 - Pinot Noir* 92 - Merlot*
93 - Meritage* 94 - fermentation* 95 - house blend*
96 - sparkling wine* 97 - sherry* 98 - port*
99 - mead wine* 100 - stout* 101 - cream stout*
102 - oatmeal stout* 103 - porter* 104 - honey porter*
105 - lager* 106 - honey brown lager* 107 - summer brew*
108 - winter brew* 109 - honey wheat* 110 - honey brown ale*
111 -dark and dry cider* 112 - brown ale* 113 - chocolate amber ale*
114 - stock ale* 115 - stock lager* 116 - pub draft*
117 - pilsner* 118 - nut brown ale* 119 - mocha stout*
120 - amber ale* 121 - triple malt ale* 122 - wicked ale*
123 - pale ale* 124 - grain alcohol* 125 - vodka*
126 - gin* 127 - rum* 128 - sloe gin*
129 - dry vermouth* 130 - sweet vermouth* 131 - tequilla*
132 - liquer* 133 - bitters 134 - blended scotch*
135 - single malt scotch* 136 - 15 year old single malt*
137 -50 year old single malt* 138 - bourbon* 139 - sour mash*
140 - straight bourbon* 141 - bile% 142 - grape slushee
143 - cherry slushee 144 - cola slushee 145 - pepsi
146 - mountain dew* 147 - blood% 148 - saliva

Liquids marked with an * will increase a player's drunk state.
Liquids marked with a % will actually increase a player's thirst.

There are a few other special characteristics you can add to you objects, but they will be covered in the SPECIALS section.


Once you are familiar with creating objects for your areas, try out some of these options. If you're new to building, you might want to skip this section for now.


It is possible to create a weapon that casts a certain spell sometimes when it hits. Spell weapons are very cool, but they shouldn't be too common. Moderation is the key. If you wish to create such a weapon, follow these steps:

1. Add the 'spell weapon' extra bit in the extras spot for the weapon. The bit for spelled weapons is 33554432.

2. Set value0 for the weapon to the spell number you wish to use. DO NOT, however, use the spell numbers from TABLE I. Use the numbers below, instead.

acid blast 1 fire breath 89
acid breath 87 fireball 46
adrenaline control 117 flamestrike 47
agitation 118 flesh armor 137
armor 2 fly 48
aura sight 119 frost breath 89
awe 120 gas breath 90
bamf 6 general purpose 115
ballistic attack 121 giant strength 50
biofeedback 122 harm 51
blindness 7 heal 52
buddha finger 8 high explosive 116
burning hands 9 illusion 189
call lightning 10 inertial barrier* 138
cause critical 11 inflict pain 139
cause light 12 infravision 54
cause serious 13 insight 187
cell adjustment* 123 intellect fortress* 140
change sex 14 invis 55
chill touch 16 iron monk 56
chin kang palm 17 laughing buddha 58
colour spray 18 lend health 141
combat mind 124 levitation 142
complete healing$ 125 lightning bolt 59
concentrate 19 lightning breath 91
continual light 20 magic missile 61
control flames 126 mass invis* 62
create food 22 mass heal*$ 63
create spring 23 medicine 64
cure blindness 25 mental barrier*$ 143
cure critical 26 mind scramble 191
cure disease 27 pass door 65
cure light 28 plague 66
cure poison 29 poison 68
cure serious 30 project force 145
curse 31 protection 70
death field$ 128 psionic blast 146
detect evil 32 psychic crush 147
detect hidden 33 psychic healing 149
detect invis 34 quivering palm 71
detect magic 35 refresh 72
detect presence* 194 remove curse 73
detonate 129 sanctuary 74
disintegration 130 share strength 150
dispel evil 37 shield 75
dispel magic 38 shocking grasp 76
displacement 131 sizzle 192
earthquake 39 sleep 77
ectoplasmic form 132 stone skin 79
ego whip 133 teleport** 81
empath* 186 thought shield 151
energy containment 134 transform energy 82
energy drain 41 ultrablast 152
energy transfer 42 weaken 84
enhanced strength 136 web 85
expose 193
faerie fire 44
faerie fog 45

$ - Denote spells that are not to be used without express permission from Everybody.

* - These spells will be cast on the weapon's wielder, not on the mob.

** - Teleport will work on a spell weapon, but will always result in a mis-teleport, sending the wielder to some random location. Use this very, very sparingly, if at all.

Be aware that, with the exception of those spells marked with an *, all spell weapons will affect the mob being fought. Yes, it is possible to create a weapon that will cast sanctuary on a mob in the middle of a fight, but you should have a very, very good reason for using a non-offensive spell on a spell weapon.


You can designate certain containers in you area as enterable. This means that you could create, say, a tent that players can sleep in, or a fireplace that a character can enter and root around in the ashes, looking for hidden items. Generally, enterable objects should not be takeable, but if you have a good reason that fits with the theme of your area, you can create enterable objects that can be picked up and carried around.

To create an enterable container, first create it like any other container. Add an extra flag with the value 133680 to the container's Value1 (the spot that determines that container's state).

If you want, you can create a special interior description for the object that can be seen by players who are inside. Simply add an extra description with the keyword: inside_description (the underscore is required). The extra description text will automatically be shown to players on the inside of the object.

You will probably have to set the Value0 of the container to a fairly high number, since the container's max weight will have to be great enough to hold the character *and* all of their equipment. If you want to be mean, keep that number fairly low so that a player will have to drop most, if not all of their equipment before entering the object. Meanness is always an admirable quality in a builder.


You can set up an object so that only someone who kills the mob at originally owned said object is able to use it. The process is tricky and must be followed exactly, so read this part very, very carefully.

First of all, you have to create an owner list for the object. This list is just an extra description for the object with the keyword: owner_list (make sure you include the underscore). The description that goes along with this keyword will be a list of the keywords for all of the mobs you wish this item to load onto. You must use all of the keywords for these mobs as they appear in the #MOBS section of your area file. Each group of mob keywords must be surrounded by single quotes ('). put a single space between each set of mob keywords, if there is more than one mob you wish to be able to use this item.

Suppose you wish to create a personalized sword that will load onto three different mobs: a hobgoblin, a goblin, and an elf.

The hobgoblin's full set of keywords is: hobgoblin hob green
The goblin's full set of keywords is: goblin gob short
The elf's full set of keywords is: elf short blond

You then have to set up an extra description for the sword as follows:

E owner_list~
'hobgoblin hob green' 'goblin gob short' 'elf short blond'

Any player that kills a mob holding said item will have his or her name added to that list, so that they can use the object, but other people can't.

The last step to making a personalized object is to set the object as speco_personalized in the #SPECIALS section. More info on that in the instructions for SPECIALS.


Using the normal object creation guidelines, any piece of armor that you create starts out in perfect condition. Only after fighting for a while will equipment get damaged. However, it is possible to make equipment that starts out in less than perfect condition.

TABLE F states that Value0, Value1, Value2, and Value3 should all be set to 0 if the item is armor. If you want a piece of armor to start out as damaged, though, you'll have to change value1. The following chart shows the possible numbers for Value1 and their corresponding damage states:

0 Like New
1 Broken In
2 Scratched
3 Nicked
4 Dented
5 Damaged
6 Hammered
7 Smashed

If Value1 is set to 10 or higher, the piece of armor will be destroyed completely the next time it gets damaged. Players can, at any time, restore the armor to like new condition by having it repaired.

Number of Repairs

Normally, armor can be repaired a total of ten times. When you create your objects, though, you can choose to set a lower limit for the number of times a piece of armor can be repaired.

Instead of setting Value3 to 0, as indicated in TABLE F, set it to 10 minus the total number of repairs that object can have. (Thus, if you want to limit the total number of repairs for an object to four, set Value3 to 6.) You can make an object that is unrepairable by setting Value3 to 10 or higher.

It is possible to used damaged armor and a limited number of repairs together on a single item. It is even possible to create a very fragile item that cannot be repaired and will be destroyed easily by setting both Value1 and Value3 to 10.


The rooms section is arguably the most important section in your area file. Sure, you can create plenty of interesting monsters and items, but without a good rooms section, the whole area is just boring overall. Connecting rooms can be a little bit tricky, since you have to keep very good track of which rooms connect to which and in what direction these connections lie. This is where designing a map of your area ahead of time comes in very handy. Some people tend to repeat room descriptions, giving identical details for multiple rooms. Generally, this reflects very shoddy workmanship. If you serious about building a quality area, you can spend the time it takes to write unique descriptions for each room. The only time that repeated room descriptions are acceptable are in a random maze. (More info on random mazed later.)

Your rooms section will begin with the following line: #ROOMS (again, all caps, no other punctuation). This tells the mud that the information that follows contains details on all of the rooms.

After that, follow the same pattern of lines for each room that you want to include in your area.

Line A: #<rnum>

This is the ID number for your room. As you create each room, take careful note of which room number is assigned to which room. When you link your rooms together, you will link them according to the room's ID number. The easiest way to keep from getting confused is to have a map of your area on graph paper with the numbers written in the space for each room. I'll start my example room with the following: '#101'.

Line B: <room name>~

This is the name that is displayed to the player above the room's description and above the list of exits. Keep in mind, the room name is to be written as a title. This means, do not use a complete sentence as you title. Do not use ending punctuation. Always capitalize the first word and also capitalize every other word in the room name with the exception of articles and prepositions. To show a title in the appropriate format, my example will be 'In a Dusty Wooden Hallway~' (with that oh-so-important tilde at the end, but no other ending punctuation).

Line C: <room description>

This is definitely not the place to scrimp creatively. Here, you must write multiple lines of description. Areas that are submitted with single sentence room descriptions will be returned to their authors for further work on this section. Once again, close your eyes and picture every detail of the spot you are trying to describe. Think objectively. Describe concrete details that can be experienced through the five senses. The more detail you can include, the better. An example of a decent looking room description is as follows:

A wood-lined hallway, roughly eight feet in height, extends away from a thick oak door set into the southern wall. A thin, ashen layer of dust coats the hardwood panels of the floor, but this layer is disturbed in several places by delicate footprints. A low bench sits against the western wall next to an open doorway. As the musty air swirls about, a set of quiet footsteps echoes from the north.

You should be sure to hit return at the end of each line before the words wrap down to the subsequent line. This will keep the mud from doing funny things to the word wrap of your description and keep things from looking ugly. Be sure that you use complete sentences and that you don't put a tilde at the end of the last line.

Line D: ~

This is where the tilde after your room description goes. It belongs all by itself one line down from the end of your room description.

Line E: 0 <room flags> <sector>

The zero at the start of this line will always be a zero. The mud doesn't actually care what number goes in that spot, so it's not worth wasting brain power to try and think of anything else to use there. Room flags are a series of numbers that define any special characteristics that the room will have. You can find the bits to use for the room flags in TABLE O. If you use more than one flag, be sure to join them with the | character. If you do not wish to use any room flags, simply enter another 0. Sector is just a single number that determines the terrain type of the room. It affects how much movement a character must spend to move through the room, and in some cases can restrict which rooms a person may enter. For the sector, simply chose the number from TABLE P that corresponds to the terrain you would like to use and enter that number at the end of this line. In the room I'm creating here, I'll use '0 8|8192 1'. This means that the room is indoors, players cannot recall from this room, and its terrain type is 'city'.

If this is a no-exit room, skip lines F through H. Otherwise, repeat those lines for each of the room's exits.

Line F: D<direction number>

All that you should have on this line is a capital D and a number between 0 and 5 with no spaces between them. The directions correspond to the following numbers: north=0, east=1, south=2, west=3, up=4, and down=5. These values are repeated in TABLE Q.

If you have multiple exits, write them in numerical order (i.e. if your exits lead south, east, and up, first write out all of the info for the east exit, then everything for the south exit, and lastly all of the specification for the up exit). In my room description above, I mentioned that the hallway leads to the north, so I'll start the exit in that direction with the following info on this line: 'D0' (with nothing else at all on the line).

Line G: <exit description>

The exit description is a brief message displayed to the player whenever they look in that particular direction from within the room. They are an excellent way to give players hints and warning about what lies nearby. Here, I'll include the line 'The light from a nearby torch fills the hallway with flickering shadows.' Write the exit description as a complete sentence and do not use a tilde. If you chose not to use an exit description, skip this line completely. Do not even leave a blank space in it's place.

Line H: ~

Regardless of whether or not you chose to include an exit description, place a tilde all by itself on this line.

Line G: <exit keywords>~

If you wish to use a door for your exit, this is where you will designate one or more keywords that can be used to open, close, lock, or unlock that door. If the exit has no door, there is no need to create keywords, but you still need the tilde. Since my north exit for this room has no door, I'll skip the keywords and just put '~' on this line.

Line H: <door type> <key #> <connected room #>

If the exit has no door, just use a 0 as the first number on this line. If you wish to use a regular door at this exit, start this line with a 1, and if you want to make a pick-proof door, put a 2 as the first number on the line. As of now, there are no other options for doors. The key number is whatever onum is assigned to the object that locks and unlocks this exit. If you have no door here, you don't need a key at all, so just put -1 in this spot. If you do have a door, you are not required to assign a key. If this is a door that is not going to be locked at all, just enter a -1 as the second number. Only enter a key number if this is a door that is normally going to be locked. Lastly, the connected room number is the rnum of the room that this exit leads to. As I mentioned earlier, its best to have a detailed map of your area written out so you can just glance at that to be sure of the room number you wish the exit to lead to. This line for my example will look like: '0 -1 102', meaning that there is no door, no key for this exit, and that this exit leads to room 102.

If you need to see an example of an exit that does include a door, just look a little further down. When I assemble all of the parts of my example room, I'll show the info for all of the exits, not just the one to the north.

If your room has more than one exit, repeat lines F through H for each exit.

Lines I, J, and K are optional, although we do encourage you to use them. These lines detail any extra information you might want to give to the more observant players concerning the room. You can include as many of these extras as you want. Simply repeat lines I, J, and K for each one. If you do not want to describe any extra things in the room, skip these lines completely.

Line I: <extra description keywords>~

This tells the mud which keywords will be linked with the extra description you are creating. Whenever a player looks at one of those keywords, they will see the message that you designate. Look back up at the description I wrote earlier for my example room. I mentioned a bench, and someone might be curious about it. I'll write this line as 'bench low~' (including the tilde) so that anyone who looks at either of those two words will see the extra description.

Line J: <extra description>

This is one or more lines of text displayed to the player when they actively look at one of the keywords listed above. This is an excellent place to give clues about nearby hidden objects or doors, or it can simply be a way to make your rooms more detailed and realistic. Either way, extra descriptions can help make your rooms come alive. I'll use the following paragraph to match with the keywords I designated in the previous line:

The finely carved scrollwork of this bench marks it as being of elven craftsmanship, probably dating back over a hundred years. Its surface shines with signs of frequent polishings. A small scrap of paper sits folded over near the center of the bench.

Note that is this description spills over onto multiple lines, you should be sure to hit return before the words wrap down for each of the lines.

Line K: ~

If you have made an extra description, end it with a tilde on a line all by itself.

At this point you could go on and repeat lines I, J, and K to add another extra description (in this case I could add another description about the paper) or you can simply end the room description with the last item for each room.

Line L: S

All rooms need to finish with a capital S all by itself. Put it on the line after the tilde of your last extra description, or, if you have no extra descriptions, on the line after your last door. Every single room in your area must end with this S.

Just below the S, start over again with the rnum of your next room. If you have no more rooms to write, Just enter '#0" after the last S.

When we put all of the parts of the rooms section together, it should look something like this:

#ROOMS #101
In a Dusty Wooden Hallway~
A wood-lined hallway, roughly eight feet in height, extends away from a thick
oak door set into the southern wall. A thin, ashen layer of dust coats the
hardwood panels of the floor, but this layer is disturbed in several places by
delicate footprints. A low bench sits against the western wall next to an
open doorway. As the musty air swirls about, a set of quiet footprints echoes
by from the north.
0 8|8192 1
The light from a nearby torch fills the hallway with flickering shadows.
0 -1 102
A door fashioned from heavy oak beams hangs from polished brass hinges.
door oak heavy~
0 102 103
A dimly lit sitting room lies beyond an open doorway.
0 -1 103
E bench low~
The finely carved scrollwork of this bench marks it as being of elven
craftsmanship, probably dating back over a hundred years. Its surface shines
with signs of frequent polishings. A small scrap of paper sits folded over
near the center of the bench.
E scrap paper~
This delicate slip of paper bears the following message:

I am deeply sorry that I had to take your keys without telling you first.
You may retrieve them at your convenience from the bartender at the tavern
across the road. Thanks for your understanding.
etc. etc. etc.


SAFE 1024
BANK 16384


Players will need a fly spell or a vehicle to move through a non-swimmable water room.
Players will need a fly spell to move through air rooms.
Players will need scuba gear to move through an underwater room.

UP 4


Some of the following items might be a bit tricky or confusing for first-time builders. If you'd like to try some, be sure to read the descriptions fully and don't be afraid to ask for help from one of the other more experienced builders.


Most shops are easy to make. Simply create a mob for a certain room and then set that mob's characteristics in the SHOPS section. Pet shops are more complicated, though.

First, you must assign the PET SHOP room flag (4096) to the room that you wish to use as your pet shop. Next, create a special storage room for the pets. This storage room must have the vnum immediately after the room that you created as the pet shop. There should be no exits that lead into or out of the storage room and it should be flagged nomagicin and nomagicout. Lastly, when you set up your mob resets, load the shopkeeper into the pet shop room, and the mobs to be sold as pets into the storage room.


Random mazes, where all of the rooms have the same description and the exits rearrange themselves whenever the mud resets, can add a new challenge to your area. They make things more difficult for the players, but can also be a serious headache for you if you are trying to correctly incorporate one into your area.

Most random mazes are set up as two dimensional or three dimensional grids. If you want to make a simple two dimensional random maze, start out with a series of identical rooms laid out and connected in a square, like this (dashes show the connections between rooms):

Next, add exits to the outside rooms that "wrap around" to the opposite side. (I.e. C leads east to A, D leads east to F, B leads north to H, I leads south to C, and so on.) This way, each will have four different exits. Once all of the rooms on the outside are connected to each other, a player will be able to travel infinitely far in any direction even though there are only nine rooms.

After this, you need to attach an entrance and an exit to your maze so that players can get in and out. To do this, simply reassign a pair of your outside exits so that they connect the maze to outside rooms. We can take the previous grid and add an entrance room (which I'll label as 1) and an exit room (which I'll label as 0). It should look something like this:

If you've already connect all of the wrap around exits, there are two extraneous exits that the mud won't like. The code doesn't like the idea of being able to head north from C, and then south to 0, or of being able to go south from G, and then north to 1. If you leave the exits like this, the mud will complain. To remedy the situation, simply change the south exit from G so that it leads to C, and the north exit from C so that it leads to G. Now all of the exits line up nicely.

The last step is to assign all of the rooms (A through H) as random rooms in the RESETS section. Once that is done, the exits in those rooms will randomly reassign themselves each time the mud repops. See the RESETS part of the guide for the final details.

If you wish to make a three dimensional maze, the process is basically the same, there are simply more exits to deal with. For the most basic of three dimensional mazes, lets start with two 2 by 2 grids:

Next, arrange things so that A is directly over E, B is directly over F, and so on:

As before, add "wrap around" exits, so that B leads east to A, H leads south to F, D leads up to H, G leads down to C, and so on. Change one of those exits to an entrance for the maze and one to an exit. Make sure all of the exits balance out. Then finish by setting all of the rooms in the maze as randomized rooms in the RESETS section.

There is no set upper limit for the size of a random maze. It is possible to create a 20 by 20 grid of rooms and use them as a random maze, but it will be almost impossible to navigate. Players will avoid such a place and, if you create a maze like this, we'll probably send the area back to you to reduce the size of the maze.

Also, your maze does not necessarily have to be set up in a square or a cube, nor do all of the rooms have to have the same number of exits. Once you are used to creating randomized mazes, you may wish to experiment with unconventional styles.


The RESETS section tells the mud what the state of the area should be whenever the mud starts up or goes through a repop. In this section, you will specify which mobs load where, what equipment they are wearing, which doors will be locked, which rooms will have random exits, and other details as well. Most lines in this section will follow the same basic format, but you'll be working with many, many numbers. As such, you'll need to keep careful track of all of your mnums, onums, and rnums so that things work out the way you intend.

The mud executes each line of your resets when it first loads. It also checks each line whenever it repops. During a repop, it may run a particular reset, or may skip over it. I'll point out which ones may be skipped as I describe each type of reset below.

The first line of this section must look like '#RESETS' so that the mud knows to begin the resets section.

Each of the following lines will follow the same basic format:

<reset type> 0 <value1> <value2> <value3> <comment>

The reset type will always be a capital letter, and values 1, 2, and 3 will be numbers. Comments at the end of the line are optional, but recommended. Comments are generally used to remind yourself (or anyone else reading your area file) what each reset is supposed to do so that you can easily track down any resets that might be causing problems.

Below, you'll find details and examples for each type of reset that you can use. (Note that any 0 listed in the details for a particular reset will be ignored by the mud, but is still necessary.)


M 0 <mnum> <total number in the mud> <rnum> <comment>

The mnum tells the mud which mob to load. The total number tells how many of that particular mob belong in the mod. At each repop, the mud counts how many of this mob already exist. If the there are as many or more than the number listed here, the mud will skip this particular reset. Otherwise, it will load one copy of this mob. The rnum tells the mud which room the mob should load into. Finally, the comment is your change to leave yourself notes on what this reset line is supposed to do.


E 0 <onum> 0 <wear location> <comment>

This reset tells the mud to equip a mob with a certain piece of equipment. The onum tells the mud which particular piece of equipment is to be placed onto a mob. The wear location tells the mud which equipment slot to load the item to. (See the chart below for the list of equipment slots and there corresponding numbers.) While the wear location reset for a mob usually corresponds with the wear location on a player, this is a good place for creative exceptions. For example, the fangs of a snake might be a weapon set for the wield slot for a player, but you can place them on the head location of the snake using resets. Again, the comment is where you can leave yourself any pertinent notes.

NECK (1st slot) 3
NECK (2nd slot) 4

Note that an equip reset must come just after the mob you wish to equip.


G 0 <onum> 0 0 <comment>

A give reset loads a particular piece of equipment into a mob's inventory. The onum tells the mud which item to put among the items that the mob has. The only other detail to worry about on this line is the comment at the end. Like the equip reset, a give reset must come just after the mob that is to receive the item.

Equip and give resets are only executed when a mob is actually loaded into the mud. If the preceding mob does not load for any reason, the mud will skip the G and E resets.


O 0 <onum> 0 <rnum> <comment>

This type of reset will load an object that will be placed on the ground in a particular room. The onum tells the mud which object to load, while the rnum tells the mud in which room it should load the object. The mud will ignore this reset if a copy of the object already exists in the room. Thus, you cannot load two copies of a particular object into a room.


P 0 <contents onum> 0 <container onum> <comment>

Put resets load a certain item to the interior of a container. The contents onum tells the mud what object to load. The container onum dictates which container will receive the contents. If the object you designate to receive the contents is not actually a container, the mud will simply ignore this reset. Also, like an O reset, the mud will skip this reset if there is already a copy of the contents object inside the container. As such, two or more copies of the same object cannot load into a single container.

Also, be aware that the mud cannot tell the difference between multiple copies of the same container. Thus, if you create one single chest and instruct the mud to load that chest in two different locations, you will not be able to put items into both chests. Avoid using multiple containers with the same onum.

It doesn't really matter where in the RESETS section you place your P resets. The only thing you have to be careful about is that the container in question must load somewhere higher up the list of resets than the object you wish to place into it.


D 0 <rnum> (direction> <door state> <comment>

A door reset tells the mud what state a particular door should be in whenever the mud repops. The rnum tells the mud what room this reset will affect. The direction is a number between 0 and 5 that tells the mud which exit direction you wish to set. Exits directions correspond to the following numbers:

UP 4

The door state dictates whether the door should normally be open, closed, or closed and locked. Whenever the mud repops, the door will return to this default state. Use the following to set the state of the door:


If your coding your area by hand, remember when you wish to create a door, you must define it twice, once for each side. In other words, if you want a door that lies between room A and room B to the east, first you have to define a door for the east exit in room A. Then, you must define a door for the west exit in room B. The mud won't automatically create the door in both directions for you.

Also, be aware that if you try and set the door state for an exit that has no door, the mud will crash. Make sure that any door that you try and set with a door reset has already been defined as a door in line H of your ROOMS section.


R 0 <rnum> <highest exit number> 0 <comment>

The randomize reset is used to rearrange the exits in a room to create a random maze. Obviously, the rnum is the number of the room whose exits you would like to randomize. When the mud rearranges the exits in a room, it starts with the north exit, and mixes up all the exits up to and including the exit with the highest number that you designate. (If you need to remember which exits have which numbers, look back a few paragraphs.) If you have a flat, two dimensional maze, you should set the highest exit number as '3'. This will make the mud rearrange all of the exits between north (0) and west (3). For a three dimensional maze, set the highest exit number to '5', so the mud will rearrange the exits in every direction at each repop.


Any line in the RESETS section that begins with an asterix (*) will be ignored by the mud. This means you can dedicate a line entirely to comments by beginning with an asterix. It is not necessary to have comment lines, but we highly recommend that you do. Comment lines can be used to group certain resets together to make this section easier to read and debug, should the need arise.

IMPORTANT - After the last of your resets, type 'S' on a line all by itself.

A typical RESETS section might look like the following:

* room 101
M 0 101 2 101       Load a copy of mob 101 into room 101
E 0 101 0 16        Mob 101 wields object 101
E 0 102 0 6         Mob 101 wears object 102 on head
O 0 103 0 101       Load object 103 to the floor of room 101
P 0 104 0 103       Put object 104 into the contents of object 103
D 0 101 2 2         Close and lock the southern door in room 101
* room 102
R 0 102 3 0         Randomize north, south, east, and west exits in room 102
M 0 102 2 102       Load a copy of mob 102 into room 102
E 0 105 0 17        Mob 102 holds object 105
G 0 106 0 0         Put object 106 in mob 102's inventory
* room 103
M 0 101 2 103       Load a copy of mob 101 to room 103
E 0 107 0 8         Mob wears object 107 on it's feet
G 0 108 0 0         Put object 108 in mob 101's inventory
D 0 103 0 2         Close and lock the northern door in room 103

That's it. Keep in mind, though, that your resets section will probably be a lot longer, but it should still look basically the same.


In the shops section, you will designate which of your mobs will be shopkeepers, as well as what items they will buy, when they will conduct business, and other important information.

Begin this section with the following on its own line: #SHOPS

Each subsequent line will define a particular shopkeeper and must contain the following information:

<mnum> <type0> <type1> <type2> <type3> <type4> <%sells> <%buys> <open> <close>

Mnum tells the mud which particular mob you wish to set as a shopkeeper.

Type0 through Type4 determines which types of items a shopkeeper will buy. Use the object type numbers from TABLE C to define these values. For example, if you want the shopkeeper to buy wands, set one of these values to 3. If you would like it to buy armor, set one of the values to 9. You chose to have your shopkeeper buy up to five different types of items. If you do not wish to use all five of these fields, simply enter a zero (0) for any of these fields you chose not to use.

Be aware that you do not need to tell the mud what types of objects a shopkeeper will buy. It will automatically sell any item that is in its inventory. Thus, it is possible to create a shopkeeper that will refuse to buy anything, but will still sell any object that normally loads into its inventory.

%sells and %buys will affect the price that a shopkeeper will offer for of charge for an item. The mud naturally assigns a monetary value to all items. If you would like the shopkeeper charge this normal value for anything he sells, set the %sells to 100 (100% of the normal value). If you want to shopkeeper to mark up prices, set the %sells to a higher value (for example, a %sells of 120 means that the shopkeeper will mark up all values by 20 per cent). Likewise, a number less than 100 means that the shopkeeper will sell items at a discount. Naturally, %buys affects the amount of money that a shopkeeper will offer when it buys an item. If you set %buys to 100, the shopkeeper will pay the full normal value when it buys an item. If %buys is set to 50, it will only offer half of the objects normal value.

Note: You should never, ever set %sell to a lower number than %buys.

Open and close tell the mud what time mob will start and stop buying and selling items. All times are based on a 24 hour clock with 0 representing midnight and 12 representing noon. If you wish the shopkeeper to do business between the hours of 7 AM and 10 PM, you would set the open to 7 and the close to 22.

After the last shopkeeper you wish to define, type a zero (0) all by itself on its own line.

Once everything is put together, your SHOPS section might look like this:

110 2 10 3 4 0 125 85 10 18
115 5 9 0 0 0 110 65 8 20

This would mean that mob 110 buys scrolls, potions, wands, and staves, sells them at a 25% profit, pays 85% of full value for them, and is open between the hours of 10 AM and 6 PM. Mob 115 buy weapons and armor, sells them for a 10% profit, pays 65% of full value for them, and is open between the hours of 8 AM and 8 PM.

If you wish to create a shopkeeper that sells pets, define them as normal in this section, but do not set any object types for it to buy. Then, make sure that this particular shopkeeper loads into a room that has been set as a pet store in the ROOMS section.

Lastly, be aware that on our mud, any mob that you designate as a shopkeeper cannot be attacked by players. If you want a certain mob to be killable, do not make it a shopkeeper.

If you do not want to include any shopkeepers in your area, you still must have a SHOPS section. Simply begin with the opening line (#SHOPS) and follow that with the number zero (0) on a line by itself.


In the SPECIALS section, the final section of your area format, you can assign certain special attributes to any of the mobs and objects in your area. You can chose to have certain mobs cast spells during combat or interact with players in unusual ways, and you can make objects do unusual things to a player that uses them.

The opening line of this section must be '#SPECIALS' all by itself. Each subsequent will consist of either a mob special or an object special.

If you want to assign a special function to a mob, the line will follow this format:

M <mnum> spec_<special type> comment

The mnum is the number of the mob to which you wish to assign the special function. The special type determines what unusual properties this mob will exhibit. (Note that the underscore (_) after the word spec is necessary.) As an example:

M 115 spec_breath_fire

would give mob 115 the ability to breathe fire in combat. A complete list of specials available for mobs will come later in this section.

For special functions assigned to objects, use the following format for the line:

O <onum> speco_<special type> comment

The onum tell the mud which object to assign the special function to. Again, the underscore is needed in each line. A line written as:

O 120 speco_social

would mean that object 120 will make any character that holds it execute random socials. There will also be a complete list of object socials later in this section.

It does not matter what order the lines in your SPECIALS section are written in. Although most people arrange them in the order of mnums and onums, there is no reason that this section must be written this way.

After the last special you wish to assign, write '#$' on a line all by itself. This will be the last line of your area file. If you do not wish to assign any of these special function, the you still need to write '#SPECIALS' and '#$' on their own lines. The mud expects there to be a specials section even if it does not contain anything.

Be aware that mobs and object cannot currently have more than one special assigned to them. If you try to assign multiple specials, the mud will ignore all but the last one.

The following specials are available for use with mobs:

spec_align_change The mob will change a character's alignment during a fight.
spec_breath_any The mob will be able to use all five of the available breath weapon spells during combat.
spec_breath_acid The mob can spit acid onto a character during combat.
spec_breath_fire The mob can breathe fire as a attack in combat.
spec_breath_frost The mob can breathe a cone of frost during a fight.
spec_breath_gas The mob can breathe toxic gas as an area attack during combat.
spec_buddha The mob will be affected by both spec_breath_any and spec_cast_cleric.
spec_cast_adept The mob will randomly cast armor, bless, cure blindness, cure poison, cure light, and refresh on characters of up to level 10.
spec_cast_cleric The mob can use blindness, cause serious, earthquake, cause critical, dispel evil, curse, change sex, flamestrike, harm, and dispel magic against a player during combat.
spec_cast_judge The mob can cast the spell 'high explosive' in combat.
spec_cast_mage The mob will cast blindness, chill touch, weaken, teleport, color spray, change sex, energy drain, fireball, and acid blast during a fight.
spec_cast_undead The mob can use curse, weaken, chill touch, blindness, poison, energy drain, harm, and teleport while in combat.
spec_executioner The mob will push players labeled as killers and thieves out of the room. It will also clean up blood stains.
spec_fido The mob will eat any corpses that it finds.
spec_grue The mob will destroy any light that the character is using or holding in their inventory. Talk to Everybody before you use this.
spec_guard The mob will attack players labeled as killers and thieves. It will also join an existing fight on the side of whichever fighter has the higher alignment.
spec_hate_avian The mob will automatically attack any avian characters that is sees.
spec_hate_druid The mob attacks any druid character in the same room.
spec_hate_elf The mob will start fights with any elf that it encounters.
spec_hate_human The mob attacks any human that enters the same room.
spec_hate_illithid The mob will automatically try to kill any illithid characters.
spec_hate_kender The mob tries to attack any kender character in the same room.
spec_janitor The mob picks up any objects that it finds on the ground. It will also clean up blood trails.
spec_kung_fu The mob can use human skills and spells including medicine.
spec_kungfu_poison The mob can use the 'poison palm' technique to poison a character during combat.
spec_poison The mob has a poisonous bite that it can use to poison a character during a fight.
spec_psionic The mob can use illithid spells and skills.
spec_thief The mob will attempt to steal gold from any character in the same room.

The following specials are available for use with objects:

speco_airfill The object can be used to refill the air in scuba type objects. *This special is only to be assigned to no-take objects.
speco_attach The object will automatically jump into a character's inventory and attempt to force the characters to wear said object.
speco_burper When equipped, the object will cause the character to use the 'burp' social at random intervals.
speco_drain_hp The object will cause physical damage to any character that uses it as equipment. Talk to Everybody before you use this.
speco_drunker The object will periodically make any character that uses it drunk.
speco_recycler This special is for use with containers. If a character put a trash type item into the container, the object will be destroyed and the container will create a small amount of gold in return. *This special is only to be assigned to no-take objects.
speco_social Any character that uses this object or has it in their inventory will execute random socials.
speco_personalized Limits which characters will be able to use the object. See the OBJECTS section for more information.

If your area needs some sort of special function to assign to a mob or an object that is not covered above, it is possible for us to add new specials to the mud. The easiest way to accomplish this is to write a new special yourself. Of course, this isn't always an option since not everyone has the programming know-how. If there is a new special that you absolutely need, but cannot create by yourself, talk to the coders on the mud. It is possible for us to create new specials for you, but we aware - our coders are very busy people who are usually tied up with other important business for the mud. The special that you might need would have to be very, very essential to the mud for us to be able to add it to the to-do list of our coders. It never hurts to ask if it's possible though, as long as you ask nicely and are willing to accept rejection.

The '#$' at after the SPECIALS section marks the end of your area file. Once everything is done, all you have left to do is look for any errors and submit the finished process.

If you would like to see what a full and complete area file looks like, please see the appendix to this file.

After many long hours of work and frustration, you've finally completed your area. Typing the '#$' at the end of the area file certainly gives you a great sense that you can finally take a break and relax. There still is a little more work to do, though.

Despite your best efforts, some spelling and grammar mistakes have undoubtedly slipped past you. Look through your area once again from start to finish. Do not rely on your computer's spell checker to find mistakes for you. Dozens of misspellings, if not more, will slip past. Take the time to actually read through everything line by line. Not only will you find many of your spelling and grammar mistakes, you might even find some ways to rewrite and improve your descriptions.

Yes, we know that spelling mistakes are not uncommon on the mud, but we are constantly working to remove them and do not need any more. If you submit an area with blatant spelling and grammar errors, we will send the file back to you, ask you to clean up the writing yourself and probably smack you around some. One of the biggest favors that you can do for yourself is to make sure that all of your writing looks good before you submit the file you have written.

The Barren Realms Builder provides a Strings to Clipboard function under Tools that will put all of your mobs, objects, and rooms into the clipboard without the special area file characters. This makes it much easier to spellcheck your area, by pasting the clipboard into your prefered writing program.

In addition to spell checking your area, you should try to debug the file as well. If you access to a copy of Merc, you can try to add your area into the collection of areas included with Merc. Running the program will automatically search the area for any errors and tell you not only if it runs onto any problems, but also where in the area file it found those problems.

If you don't have your own copy of Merc, you should still look through the area file to determine if you have omitted any tildes or zeros. Any missing characters could cause the mud to crash. If you have no access to Merc yourself, we can run your area through the debugging process ourselves, but that will probably delay the implementation of your area.

Once you've checked and double checked the area file (which should, if you remember, be saved as a text only file) send a copy to Everybody. (Again, you can find his current e-mail address by profiling him on Barren Realms.) Then, sit back and wait. Your area will be examined by one or more of the other builders on the mud. If there are any problems with your area, we'll let you know what they are and return the area to you so that you can fix them. Problems may include, but are certainly not limited to: too many mobs, too few mobs, overpowered objects, poorly connected rooms, sub-standard descriptions, and descriptions that are repeated too often. If your area is returned to you for any reason, don't be discouraged. We strive for high quality areas on the mud and we are committed to helping you write the best areas that you can.

Before long, your area will most likely be accepted, either upon its first submission or after one or more revisions. At this point, we will work with you to find the best spot for connecting your area with the rest of the mud. We will do our best to work with you, but be aware that we cannot always honor your exact wishes.

Soon, your area will be added to the mud, and you and everyone else on the mud can enjoy your handiwork. It may take a few days before your area is finally added, or it may take a few weeks. Be patient. It's worth the wait.

A few disclaimers.

Just because you complete and submit an area does not mean that we are obligated to add it to the mud. We would love to add everyone's work to the mud, but we also have certain standards to maintain. Occasionally, there will be problems with an area that simply cannot be fixed. We cannot guarantee that every area submitted to us will be added to the mud.

After an area has been added to the mud, it may become necessary for us to make certain changes. Spelling mistakes may be found, or we may discover that your area is unbalanced for some reason. For the well being of the mud, we will correct any problems that we find. Assuming that you have provided us with up-to-date contact info, we will work with you to implement these changes. If we cannot reach you, we will still go ahead with necessary changes to your area as we see fit.

Once an area is submitted to us, the administration of Barren Realms will have final say over whether it is added or removed from the mud. Occasionally, it may become necessary to remove an area for any number of reasons. Once again, if you have provided us with accurate contact info, we will let you know if your area must be removed.

Now, a few words about the completeness of this guide. We've done our best to cover all possibilities in area building, but be aware that new code is always being developed for Barren Realms. By the time you read this, there may be new spells, or new options for mobs and objects. Whenever any significant changes are made to the mud, we will update this guide to reflect those changes. These changes may take some time, though. If you know of something that has been added to the mud that you don't see reflected in this guide, by all means ask about it.

Lastly we value what you can bring to us as a builder. Anyone who is interested should talk to us about any ideas you might have. Questions are welcomed and encouraged. We're always on the lookout for new builders and would love the opportunity to add someone to the team.

Puzzles and Interaction

The best way to keep players coming back to your area is to make it as interactive and changeable as possible. The following section is intended to help builders design areas that have repeated playability.


What is a mob chute? A chute is a room or series of rooms that players cannot access that loads mobs and controls their distribution into an area. At its most basic, the purpose of a chute is to spread mobs throughout an area in a more random fashion rather than resetting the mobs in the same places each time.

The most simple mob chute would consist of one room with multiple one way exits to different rooms in the area. Remember your chute rooms should all be nomagicin and nomagicout to prevent players from teleporting in or summoning mobs out.

If you want to increase the number of rooms that a mob can appear in, you can link two or more chute rooms and attach multiple one way exits into the area from each of these rooms.

Distributing mobs, however, is only the beginning. Perhaps the most useful purpose of mob chutes is controlling the rate at which certain mobs or equipment become accessible to players.

Of this variety, the hallway model is the most basic chute. In the hallway model, the chute is an elongated series of rooms that eventually dumps out into the area. The longer the hallway the slower the rate in which the mob "spawns" into the area. Because the mob only has two directions in which to travel, however, this method of controlling the mob spawn rate results in only a slightly slower than normal "loading" time even with a fairly long hallway.

Adding currents that run away from the exit point will help further slow the rate of a hallway model spawn, but again you would be surprised how quickly mobs will manage their way into the area. If you are trying to prevent a player from repeatedly killing the same mob, both the basic hallway model and hallway model with currents will suffice.

Adding a small grid at the top of the chute (the point on the hallway furthest from the exit) and loading the mob in the grid will further slow the spawn rate, perhaps to a real life hour or more depending on the size of the grid. A simple two by two grid is usually quite sufficient, although a small three dimensional grid will seriously impact the spawn rate. Usually in this model, the only necessary current room is the first hallway room adjoining the grid.

If your goal is to create truly rare mobs, you can use either the blocker (or "Waldo" model) or the radioactive decay model chutes.

In the basic blocker model chute, a blocking mob that is never intended to leave the chute (We'll call him Waldo) is loaded on a particular terrain type, we'll use desert in this example. Two one way exits lead from Waldo's loading room, one north and one south. Through the north exit is a pair of linked rooms, both desert terrain. It is important to have that second room, because mobs do not enter noexit rooms. Through the south exit is a room also flagged desert terrain, with an east exit that leads into the area and a south exit that leads into a small hallway chute. The hallway chute is flagged anything, but desert terrain, as is the east exit. Assign Waldo to Stay Terrain and all room flags in the entire chute to Solitary. Load your mob(s) at the end of the hallway chute. This will create a 50% chance per boot of loading your mob(s).

If you want to vary the types of mobs in your area, you can do a modified "Waldo" chute. Instead of making the north exit a dead end pair of rooms, repeat the design of the south exit. As Waldo travels north, there is an east exit to the area and a north exit to another small hallway chute. In this way, only the north or the south chute can be open at any one boot. This design is good for completely changing up the player experience from boot to boot. In one boot all the mobs in the area are caterpillars, in the next boot they are all butterflies.

Multiple intersecting Waldo chutes can further control the percentage of loading per boot. This is better for small groups of rare loads rather than for large numbers of mobs. An insane enough builder with enough intersections could load a single same looking mob each boot, but with 50 copies of varying levels in his hallway chutes, such that every boot the mob would load in the area proper at a different level from 1-50 and with different equipment. One boot Captain Morgan is level 10, and the next boot he's level 40 for the entire boot. With our current reboot times, a mob set to load 12.5% of the time (see the double castle model) is approximately a once a real life year load.

In the most basic version of the radioactive decay model, the chute consists of two rooms, the loading room for the mob(s) and a blocking room between the loading room and the exit that leads to the area. The blocking room is flagged solitary, and a sentinel mob with plague is loaded into the blocking room. It is very important to keep the plague mobs sentinel and always in a solitary room to prevent plague from spreading to the rest of your mobs. The level of the mob will determine the rate at which the mob(s) from the chute are released. Higher level blocker mobs take longer to die both because of greater hit points and because of faster hit point recovery rates. Poison can also be used, but only on much lower level mobs. The following is a chart of approximate hit point and decay rates for mobs affected with poison and plague. Remember that hit points can vary widely per load and that variation in level will also affect the decay rate. A blocker mob set to load at level 24 and flagged with plague is the highest level plagued mob you can load safely and expect to decay, since mob loading levels are +/-2 levels of the reset and level 27 mobs do not decay. This in itself may be a way of randomizing the frequency of loads, however, since a level 25 reseted mob will only open the chute so often before it loads too high to decay. The advantage of poisoned mobs is that although they die much faster, they do not spread poison to other mobs and so can be used in more complex chutes without worrying about crosscontaminating your other blocker mobs. Ideally mobs travelling through radioactive decay chutes should not be set to scavenger or they will pick up the gold piles dropped by the dead blocker mobs.

1 11 1 11 ticks
3* 36 1 36 ticks
4 52 1 52 ticks
5 60 1 60 ticks
6 79 0 Never

*Highest reset level with guaranteed death because of variable level load.

The hitpoint loss per tick is a calculation of damage done by the spell minus the regenerated health for the tick.

6 88 4 22 ticks
7 86 4 21 ticks
10 117 4 29 ticks
15 319 3 106 ticks
15 341 3 113 ticks
20 330 2 165 ticks
20 497 2 248 ticks
20 559 2 279 ticks
21 542 2 271 ticks
24* 672 1 672 ticks
25 501 1 501 ticks
25 660 1 660 ticks
26 880 1 880 ticks
27 589 0 Never

*Highest reset level with guaranteed death because of variable level load. In this example, 672 ticks is around 5 1/2 hours of Real Time.

A solitary flagged hallway of one way exits with alternating plague blocker mobs and free spaces can be used to stack the delay. In theory with enough calculations any real life load time can be achieved.

Another interesting chute is the spillover chute model. This can be used for a variety of purposes, but one of which is the loading of one same seeming mob at a time, but with varying equipment. A solitary flagged hallway and reverse current rooms is created. The loading room at the beginning of the hallway is filled with your mobs and a one way exit leads towards the chute. For example, you can load 5 peasant children each with separate mnums. Assign the special set of equipment to only one child. As the children file out of the loading room, they slowly fill up the hallway preventing the other children from moving backwards in the current. Eventually the hallway will be filled, and the first child out will be close to the chute exit. The number of hallway rooms should be at least one more than the number of loaded mobs. The greater the number of rooms than mobs the slower the rate of mob loading and the better chance that only one mob will load in area at a time. As each child in the area is killed, it will reset in the mob loading room and help move all the other children closer to the exit.

The spillover chute model is particularly good for loading keys into an area with some scarcity, although another method is to load the key directly on the ground of a basic chute with a current pushing the mob into the area. Set the mob to scavenger and it will only be able to pick up the key sometimes before being blown out of the chute.

Not all chutes need to function without divine or player intervention. The most basic of the summon chutes, involve a blocker mob in a summonable (magicout), nomagicin room. With appropriate hints within the area, players who discover this mob can summon it out and temporarily open the mob chute.

At its most advanced, the summoning of the mob initiates a series of events within the chute, perhaps permanently opening or closing a mob chute. For example, load a blocker sentinel mob in a current room blowing east. Flag the east room solitary, magicout, and also with an east current. Load the summonable blocker mob inside a container so that it cannot be blown by the current, but so it can block the sentinel mob to the west. Have two hallway chutes, one to the east of the summonable mob and one to the west (being blocked by the sentinel mob). When the mob is summoned, the current will blow the sentinel two rooms east in total, thus permanently opening the west chute and closing the east chute. (Remember to have all rooms within this chute set to solitary.)

Some other things to consider while building chutes, currents will blow stay terrain mobs from one terrain to another, but not flying mobs through water, nor will flying mobs travel through water rooms, so water rooms can be used to block some mobs and not others or flying blocker mobs can be maneuvered to block chutes.


Another way to make your area more dynamic and interesting is layering. Layering, involves overlaying one set of rooms over another. Essentially your creating a series of one way exits that look like two way exits by copying room descriptions. For example, in a hallway you create a closet. The connection from hallway to closet is actually a one way exit. The exit in the closet back to the hallway is also a one way exit, and leads to a room that looks exactly like the room the player left to enter the closet. In actuality, the player has moved from the "normal" map onto a layer. This layer consists of a duplicate copy of part of the hallway, four rooms in length. If they travel too far in either direction, they "fall off" the layer through means of a one way exit back onto the "normal" map. Since all the rooms appear the same, there is no way for a player to realize this without some form of hint like modified exit descriptions. Now, here is the interesting part. On this special layer of the duplicate hallway, you attach an east exit, a closed door that leads to a room with a chest, or mob or whatever you wish to hide. Keep in mind, players with track can track any mobs you hide on the layer. In this way, a player who is exploring my enter the closet and then later find your hidden door, but when returning to the area at another time, because they ignore the closet, they cannot find the hidden door since it is not on the "normal" map, but instead on the layer.

Fun with Resets

While we highly recommend using Alicia's Barren Realms Builder for your area writing, knowing what an area file looks like and how Muds work is an important part of building. Some of the more complicated tricks still require hand editing of the area file and proper debugging can only be done if you have at least a rudimentary understanding of the area file format. To this end, Faustus has written a small area included in the appendix for your perusal and a very detailed explanation of the area file format is contained within the Nuts and Bolts section.

Resets are instructions in the area file on where to place a mob or object and how to set its state (Should a door or chest be open or closed etc.) Each time the mud boots or an area repops, the mud goes through the reset section of your area file to relock unlocked containers, load mobs that have been killed, and so on. This process is done in the order of the resets and can result in some strange, but useful phenomenon.

The mud pays close attention to mnums when it comes to resets. You may have noticed some areas where mobs start to form together in clusters after awhile. This is the result of a builder using the same mnum, but assigning several resets loading that mob in different parts of their area. For example, a hobgoblin guard is assigned mnum 5 and set to reset (load) six times, one in each of six consecutive rooms (a long hallway.) When the area loads at boot, one hobgoblin guard is placed in room one, a second in room two, and so on, one guard per hallway room. A player enters the hallway and kills the hobgoblins in the last two rooms. When the area resets again, two of the six hobgoblins are dead and need to be reset, but because resets are done in order, the hobgoblins from rooms five and six are placed in rooms one and two, thus doubling up the hobgoblins in rooms one and two and leaving rooms five and six empty. This is why it is important when placing sentinel mobs to ensure that each mob has a separate mnum unless you want them to cluster.

This feature of resets can also be used for some interesting effects. Because equipment resets are separate from mob resets, you can load different sets of equipment on mobs with the same mnum such that certain pieces of equipment do not always load. For instance, if in the example above, the hobgoblin guard in the last hallway room is assigned a special piece of equipment, a key to the dungeon and only he is killed then he becomes in effect the first hobgoblin reset rather than the sixth and will not load with the key. The only way for players to access the key again would be to clear all of the hobgoblins.

If a pair of mobs is used, one set to load in a nomagicin, nomagicout, and noexit room (effectively unreachable by players) and the other set to load in part of the area accessible to players you can make once a boot equipment. Assign the player accessible mob to the second reset and give it the unique equipment. Once killed, when the area resets it will fill in the first reset in the area file, placing the mob in the player inaccessible room.

A more complete explanation of resets can be found in the Resets section of Nuts and Bolts.

Blank Lines and Hidden Objects

It's possible to create "hidden" items by leaving the long description line of an item blank. When this item is placed on the ground the object won't show up on the players' screens, but can still be manipulated. This works especially well if the room description includes something like "a chest of drawers." You can create a hidden chest that clever players who read the room descriptions will open to discover the cool contents you put inside. Hidden items like this work best if they are no-take. Do not attempt to put two hidden items in the same room. The result is just plain ugly.

Another example for the above. Say that you have a series of rooms with a river running through them. You could create an invisible fountain type object with the keyword 'water' or 'river' and the short description 'a river' and put that hidden item into each of those rooms. That way, it would be set up so that a player could drink from the river in any of those rooms.

A side effect of these "hidden" objects, however, is that the room they are placed in has an extra blank line after the room description which can be a give away that many players have learned to exploit. There is a "fix" for this, but it should be used lightly for several reasons. For one, small hints about the whereabouts of certain hidden items never hurt, players who have learned to search for the extra blank lines should be rewarded for their cleverness. Secondly, if an object like a spring or turd is created in a room with the fix, items or mobs in the room can appear offset in an unusual way. Thirdly, the fix requires hand editing of your area file and programs like the Barren Realms Builder and MZF will no longer load your area once you have done so. For this reason, this is best done after your area is completed and a back up of your area has been made (You are backing up your area regularly right?)

In order to remove the extra blank line, move the tilde directly beneath the room description to the end of the last line of the room description.

Be creative!

Writers should consider multiple ways into and out of areas they are writing.

Areas should be designed for future expansion, not all areas need to or should be written as dead ends in and of themselves.

Areas should have tricky toys in them. For example, in Faustus's Impling Village, because the mobs are so small, the lederhosen cannot be worn by players, and the necklaces of the imps are worn as rings!

Don't miss the opportunity to reference other areas or add to Barren Realms's history. What kinds of vases are those on the mantelpiece? Thalosian perhaps? Where was that crate of pickled herring shipped from? Twilight care of Chuff the Fishmonger? There is a great backstory already in place in which to frame your area, places and people to reference, plot abounds that you can add to or take advantage of. By all means use it.


"You know how the mouth in RHPS works, can I have that in my area?"

NO, it's hard coded.

"You know how the obelisk works, can I have that in my area?"

NO, it's hard coded.

"Why Build?"

If the idea of creating an area sounds appealing to you, ask yourself the following question: Why do I want to make an area?

There are several possible answers you might come up with. If your answer is something like:

-I want to be in a position of power on the mud and building an area will help me to get there.

-I want to create an area that has equipment far more powerful than anything else on the mud.

Perhaps you should reconsider. Building an area will not directly net your character any benefits or promotions on the mud. Likewise, the area you write will be checked to ensure balance with the rest of the mud so things do not become too easy.

On the other hand, if you answer that question with something like:

-I want to try a new way of expressing myself creatively.

-I have an interesting idea that I think would enhance the mud.

by all means, give it a try. We welcome any contribution that you could provide for us.

Once you've decided that you do want to create an area, start to think about the following details for your area:

What is the theme of your area? What kind of things will a player encounter there?
Where is the area located? What can be found in the surroundings of your area?
What kind of npc's will populate your area? Who will players find there?
What are some of the major features of the area?
What is the terrain like? Are there any significant landmarks?
How large and spread out will your area be?
Will all of the rooms be tightly packed together, or will there be lots of empty space in the map? (Don't make the area overly large, especially if this is your first try.)

What kind of area should I build?

Please, no cliches. We have plenty of castles and towers. The Kiri loves it when people do literary areas, or areas about parts of the world we don't have. Grid areas like Clock Tower are too easy, and do not make the Kiri happy. Also, the Kiri does not like areas that span too many levels (no more than 15 for mort, and 30 for hero.) Expansions to parts of the world that are hinted at, but do not currently exist are also good. The BR Forums are a good place to get ideas, or if you're really stuck you can talk to Everybody.

What level range should my area be?

It is very important to check with Everybody about what level ranges we are currently accepting as this can change overtime. Cities should generally be safe for all levels. Currently we are not accepting any areas ranging from 40-50.

"I have started working on my area, but there are a few things which are different from the builders guide. The editor I am using has a lot more options for creating mobs, such as their gold, hp, hitroll, damroll and the number of attacks with some dice thing? So I was wondering if I should just leave this blank, and do only what the guide says to do, and if someone else, or the computer deals with all of these options?"

First of all, we highly recommend you use the Barren Realms Builder, as it has been customized for use with Barren Realms code and has all sorts of handy features.

As to your question, as it turns out, all of the information listed here, such as hitpoints, number of attacks, damage, and so on do actually exist in our area file formats. However, our code ignores any values that you give to these attributes. Each of those fields is assigned by the mud when the mob loads based on the mob’s level. (This is done so that mobs of the same level will have comparable stats, otherwise it would be a lot more complicated to keep things balanced) Just because the mud ignores these values doesn’t mean you can ignore them completely, though. The mud expects some number to be there, but it doesn’t care what. If you’re using an editor that asks for anything besides act bits, affect bits, alignment, level, and gender, simply put zeros in for the other values.


Copyright (C) 1990, 1991
All Rights Reserved
DikuMud License

Program & Concept created by

Sebastian Hammer
Prss. Maries Alle 15, 1
1908 Frb. C.
(email quinn@freja.diku.dk)
Michael Seifert
Nr. Soeg. 37C, 1, doer 3
1370 Copenhagen K.
(email seifert@freja.diku.dk)
Hans Henrik St}rfeldt
Langs} 19
3500 V{rl|se
email bombman@freja.diku.dk
Tom Madsen
R|de Mellemvej 94B, 64
2300 Copenhagen S.
(email noop@freja.diku.dk)
Katja Nyboe
Kildeg}rdsvej 2
2900 Hellerup
31 62 82 84
(email katz@freja.diku.dk)

This document contains the rules by which you can use, alter or publish parts of DikuMud. DikuMud has been created by the above five listed persons in their spare time, at DIKU (Computer Science Institute at Copenhagen University). You are legally bound to follow the rules described in this document.

* Rules: *

!! DikuMud is NOT Public Domain, shareware, careware or the like !!

You may under no circumstances make profit on *ANY* part of DikuMud in any possible way. You may under no circumstances charge money for distributing any part of DikuMud - this includes the usual $5 charge for "sending the disk" or "just for the disk" etc. By breaking these rules you violate the agreement between us and the University, and hence will be sued. You may not remove any copyright notices from any of the documents or sources given to you. This license must *always* be included "as is" if you copy or give away any part of DikuMud (which is to be done as described in this document). If you publish *any* part of DikuMud, we as creators must appear in the article, and the article must be clearly copyrighted subject to this license. Before publishing you must first send us a message, by snail-mail or e-mail, and inform us what, where and when you are publishing (remember to include your address, name etc.) If you wish to setup a version of DikuMud on any computer system, you must send us a message , by snail-mail or e-mail, and inform us where and when you are running the game. (remember to include your address, name etc.) Any running version of DikuMud must include our names in the login sequence. Furthermore the "credits" command shall always contain our name, addresses, and a notice which states we have created DikuMud. You are allowed to alter DikuMud, source and documentation as long as you do not violate any of the above stated rules. Regards, The DikuMud Group

We hope you will enjoy DikuMud, and encourage you to send us any reports
on bugs (when you find 'it'). Remember that we are all using our spare
time to write and improve DikuMud, bugs, etc. - and changes will take
their time. We have so far put extremely many programming hours into
this project. If you make any major improvements on DikuMud we would be
happy to hear from you. As you will naturally honor the above rules, you
will receive new updates and improvements made to the game.

Subscribe to the Barren Realms newsletter by emailing brnews-join@barrenrealmsmud.com.
For the builders forum, email barren@barrenrealmsmud.com.


Barren Realms: barren.barrenrealms.com 8000