A modern MU* engine with AberMUD universe. Based on dumserver https://github.com/wowpin/dumserver

Bob Mottram 3c476d350f Add data types 3 weeks ago
def 28476e9495 Command to step over tripwire 3 months ago
docs 86b516dc3f Documentation for familiars 4 months ago
events 3f2d644ab7 Remove axe 4 months ago
players d50f3a07c1 Charm person spell 4 months ago
.gitignore fb39740fae See CHANGELOG.MD 7 months ago
CODE_OF_CONDUCT.md 87da0dbc21 Create CODE_OF_CONDUCT.md 9 months ago
LICENSE a73b90e9b8 Upgrade license to AGPL3 5 months ago
README.md a31cbd340d Wording 3 months ago
abermush.py 113718c3ed Add traps 3 months ago
cmsg.py 75e66a4e35 pep8 formatting 4 months ago
combat.py 9bef383f7f Add data types 3 weeks ago
commands.py 3c476d350f Add data types 3 weeks ago
config.ini 5e21bc35c3 Guild definitions 4 months ago
environment.py 1fdb09fd47 Add data types 3 weeks ago
events.py 0d3f60ab02 Add parameter for times of npc activity 3 months ago
familiar.py 55ed254a8c Familiar checks room size 3 months ago
functions.py 113718c3ed Add traps 3 months ago
installer.sh fd9d7dad14 Don't clone 5 months ago
motd 5864a998d4 File used to close new registrations 4 months ago
mudserver.py 75e66a4e35 pep8 formatting 4 months ago
npcs.py 888da732a2 Use local time 3 months ago
playerconnections.py 12bf76002c zero values 3 months ago
proficiencies.py 6e3d17fe0c Tidying 4 months ago
reaper.py b3cbfe1b63 Move function 4 months ago
scheduler.py b3cbfe1b63 Move function 4 months ago
traps.py 3a28e7a74d Trap with darts 3 months ago



A modern MU* engine with AberMUD universe.

Based on dumserver by Bartek Radwanski and Mark Frimston https://github.com/wowpin/dumserver

You can also use a mud client of your choice if you wish - use connection details below:

telnet [hostname] 35123

Running the Server

- IMPORTANT - Python >= 3.6.7 is required (Ubuntu >= 18.04 LTS)!
  1. Update your system sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
  2. Get the repo git clone https://code.freedombone.net/bashrc/AberMUSH
  3. CD into 'AberMUSH' and install the server sudo ./installer.sh
  4. Run it by typing python3 abermush.py

You now should be able to connect to your server on <server IP/hostname>:35123


Player Commands

All players can use the following commands:

bio [description]                       - Set a description of yourself
change password [newpassword]           - Change your password
who                                     - List players and where they are
quit/exit                               - Leave the game
eat/drink [item]                        - Eat or drink a consumable
speak [language]                        - Switch to speaking a different language
say [message]                           - Says something out loud
look/examine                            - Examines the surroundings
go [exit]                               - Moves through the exit specified
attack [target]                         - Attack another player or NPC
check inventory                         - Check the contents of your inventory
take/get [item]                         - Pick up an item
put [item] in/on [item]                 - Put an item into or onto another one
drop [item]                             - Drop an item
whisper [target] [message]              - Whisper to a player in the same room
tell/ask [target] [message]             - Send a tell message to another player or NPC
use/hold/pick/wield [item] [left|right] - Transfer an item to your hands
stow                                    - Free your hands of items
wear [item]                             - Wear an item
remove/unwear [item]                    - Remove a worn item
open [item]                             - Open an item or door
close [item]                            - Close an item or door
push [item]                             - Pushes a lever
pull [item]                             - Pulls a lever
affinity [player name]                  - Shows your affinity level with another player
cut/escape                              - Attempt to escape from a trap
step over tripwire [exit]               - Step over a tripwire in the given direction

Spell Commands

Some characters can use magic with the following commands:

prepare spells                          - List spells which can be prepared
prepare [spell name]                    - Prepares a spell
spells                                  - Lists your prepared spells
clear spells                            - Clears your prepared spells list
cast find familiar                      - Summons a familiar with random form
dismiss familiar                        - Dismisses a familiar
cast [spell name] on [target]           - Cast a spell on a player or NPC

Spells are defined within spells.json and the system for spellcasting is a simplified version of the one within conventional D&D games. You prepare a spell, it gets added to your list and then you can cast it and it disappears from the prepared list. Some spells require certain items to be in the player's inventory.


Witch Commands

Witches are the admins of the system, and have additional supernatural powers. The first user to create an account gains witch status. Additional witches may be assigned by appending them to the witches file, which is located in the same directory as abermush.py is run from.

close registrations                - Closes registrations of new players
open registrations                 - Allows registrations of new players
mute/silence [target]              - Mutes a player and prevents them from attacking
unmute/unsilence [target]          - Unmutes a player
freeze [target]                    - Prevents a player from moving or attacking
unfreeze [target]                  - Allows a player to move or attack
teleport [room]                    - Teleport to a room
summon [target]                    - Summons a player to your location
kick/remove [target]               - Remove a player from the game
blocklist                          - Show the current blocklist
block [word or phrase]             - Adds a word or phrase to the blocklist
unblock [word or phrase]           - Removes a word or phrase to the blocklist
describe "room" "room name"        - Changes the name of the current room
describe "room description"        - Changes the current room description
describe "tide" "room description" - Changes the room description when tide is out
describe "item" "item description" - Changes the description of an item in the room
describe "NPC" "NPC description"   - Changes the description of an NPC in the room
conjure room [direction]           - Creates a new room in the given direction
conjure npc [target]               - Creates a named NPC in the room
conjure [item]                     - Creates a new item in the room
destroy room [direction]           - Removes the room in the given direction
destroy npc [target]               - Removes a named NPC from the room
destroy [item]                     - Removes an item from the room
resetuniverse                      - Resets the universe, losing any changes from defaults
shutdown                           - Shuts down the game server

NPC Types

NPCs defined within def/npcs.json have a few different modes. The rooms which they can occupy are defined within the path list and the ways in which they move is defined by the moveType parameter. Movement types are:

  • cyclic - Move from the start to the end of the list of rooms
  • inverse cyclic - Move from the end to the start of the list of rooms
  • random - Move to random rooms in the list
  • patrol - Move from the start to the end of the list, then back again
  • follow - Look for players and follow them around
  • leader:name - Follow a named leader, which may be a player or NPC

If no moveType is specified then random movement is the default.

The speed at which NPCs move between rooms is defined by moveDelay and randomFactor parameters. RandomFactor just makes the delay between movements not completely predictable.

NPC Presence

NPCs may be present at certain times of day or days of the year. To define this use the moveTimes list within npcs.json.

"moveTimes": [["hour",8,19],["day","saturday","sunday"],["inactive",238]],

In the above example the NPC will be active between 8:00 (8am) and 19:00 (7pm) on the weekend and when inactive will be in room 238. So for example a cleric might be present at a church only on Sunday between certain hours and then be at a monestary at other times. If the inactive list isn't specified then when inactive an NPC will go to a default purgatory room.


NPC Conversations

You can create simple kinds of conversations with NPCs by editing npcs.json and adding line entries within the conv parameter. For example:

"conv" : [
    [["serve","beer","?"], "Yes, of course"],
    [["serve","wine","?"], "We only serve the more disreputable wine"],
    [["have","order","like","beer","ale","drink","please"],"Here you go","give","114"],
    [["have","order","buy","purchase","trade","like","weapon","dagger","knife","please"],"This weapon may come in handy on your adventures","buy","624","1367"]

This uses a simple "bag of words" matching, so serve and wine could be in any order.

You can then tell the NPC something like:

ask inn-keeper Do you serve wine?

The system will then try to match words within your ask command and pick the most appropriate reply:

the old inn-keeper says: We only serve the more disreputable wine.

The NPC can also give an item if some words are matched, or exchange/buy/barter an item such as a gold coin for a small dagger. The numbers refer to item numbers within items.json.

Possible types of actions within NPC conversations are:

give [item ID]                       - Gives an item
teach [skill] [adjustment value]     - Adjusts a skill level
transport [room ID]                  - Moves the player to a different room
taxi [room ID] [itemID]              - Moves the player to a different room in exchange for an inventory item
date [dd/mm]                         - Conversation can only occur on a given day of the year
buy [obtain item ID] [give item ID]  - Obtains one item in exchange for another
experience [points]                  - Increase player experience

Spoken Languages

Players and NPCs have their own languages: common, dwarvish, elvish, draconic and druidic. Goblins and humans may not be able to understand each other.

The language spoken and understood by NPCs can be defined with two parameters within npcs.json. language is a list of languages which the NPC understands and speakLanguage is the language which they are currently using to communicate.

"speakLanguage": "common",
"language": ["common","dwarvish"],

Players also have the same parameters and if they are multi-lingual then they can switch between languages using the speak command. For example:

speak common
speak dwarvish

Stateful NPC Conversations

It may be useful for an NPC to keep track of the state of your conversation and it's possible to do this via state variables. There is only one conversation state variable per NPC/player combination and it can be named anything you like. For example:

"conv" : [
    [["order","beer","please"],"Free as in beer","state:beer given","give","114"],
    [["state:beer given","order","beer","please"],"Have another one then","give","114"]

Here whenever you ask for a beer the state variable beer given will be set for the NPC. If you subsequently ask for another beer the NPC gives a different response by matching the state variable. In this way you can have branching narratives dependent upon conversational context. Maybe an NPC only gives you some item after an appropriate sequence of dialogue.

NPC Conversation conditions

It's also possible to add extra conditions to the conversation response selection.

"conv" : [
    [["order","ale","please"],"Have an ale!","state:beer given","give","114"],
    [["strength>90","order","ale","please"],"I'm sorry, we don't serve bodybuilders here."]

The variables available are the various player attributes: level, experience, strength, size, weight (of inventory carried), perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility and luck. You can match multiple conditions if necessary.

Conditional Room Descriptions

You may want the description of a room to change if some condition is met. For example, within rooms.json:

"conditional": [
    ["hour","<2","The night's drinking is over and amidst occasional complaining the inn-keeper is kicking the remaining crowd out of this disreputable establishment. Displaced coasters, drug paraphenalia and cutlery remain strewn around. The door leading back out looks inviting."],
    ["hour","<10","Not much is going on within this disreputable establishment. It's dark, customers have been kicked out and the bar is empty. The inn-keeper is still around, cleaning up spilt ale, opium pipes, lost darts and randomly displaced cutlery. The door leading back out looks tempting."],
    ["date","25/12","Punters are engaging in festive celebrations in this disreputable boozing establishment. The inn-keeper looks busy behind the bar, and also slightly under the influence of the clouds of opium smoke wafting over from the merrymakers. The door leading back out looks tempting."],
    ["hold","114","You stare dispondently into your flagon of ale, but matters don't seem to improve. Is it worth drinking a beverage this cheap, you ask yourself. There's a door leading out."]

This provides different room descriptions in the morning to at other times.

Possible condition types are hour, month, season, dayofweek, date, skill, hold and wear.

You can use this to do things like describing a dark cave by default but changing the description if you are holding a lamp, of having different descriptions for different seasons of the year.

"conditional": [
    ["season","spring","You are in an orchard with blossoming trees"],
    ["season","summer","Bright sunlight casts shadows through the trees"],
    ["season","autumn","The ground is covered with leaves."],
    ["season","winter","The trees look bleak and bare"]

Seasons in this system are not accelerated, so if it's summer where you are it will be summer in the MUSH.

Adding Doors and Opening things

To add a door, or other object to be opened or closed you will need a pair of items, like the following:

    "429": {
        "name": "old trapdoor",
        "state": "closed",
        "exitName": "up|down",
        "linkedItem": 430,
        "lockedWithItem": 0,
        "open_description": "As you push open the trapdoor bright light streams in.",
        "open_failed_description": "You try to open the trapdoor, but it's locked.",
        "close_description": "You close the trapdoor and it takes a few moments for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.",
        "exit": "$rid=433$"
    "430": {
        "name": "old trapdoor",
        "state": "closed",
        "exitName": "down|up",
        "linkedItem": 429,
        "lockedWithItem": 0,
        "open_description": "You carefully lift open the trapdoor. It looks dark down there.",
        "open_failed_description": "You try to lift the trapdoor, but it's locked down.",
        "close_description": "You gently close the trapdoor",
        "exit": "$rid=431$"

These are the same trapdoor as seen from two rooms. The linkedItem parameter links the two and the exit parameter defines which room to go to when going through. Exits called down and up are added if the trapdoor is open.

You should make some vague suggestion that these items can be opened within their long_description parameter.

If you need a key to open the door then specify the item number within the lockedWithItem parameter.

Lever Operated Doors

It's possible to have doors which can't be manually opened but are lever operated.

To define a lever:

    "518": {
        "name": "ivory lever",
        "short_description": "There is an ivory lever set in the wall, next to the door.",
        "long_description": "It is highly polished, and the end is ornately carved in the shape of a skull. It is in the up position.",
        "state": "lever up",
        "open_description": "With great effort you yank the lever down",
        "open_failed_description": "It doesn't appear to have any handle",
        "close_description": "You push the lever up",
        "lockedWithItem": 0,
        "exitName": "east|west",
        "linkedItem": 526,
        "exit": "$rid=528$",

Here linkedItem is the item number of the door which will be opened and exit is the room which it goes to. exitName defines the door as heading east from its location, with the opposite direction back to this location being west. The state variable can be lever up or lever down.

The door is then defined with:

    "526": {
        "name": "wooden door",
        "short_description": "The door is closed.",
        "long_description": "The old wooden door made from solid oak beams is closed.",
        "state": "closed",
        "lockedWithItem": 518,
        "exitName": "east|west",
        "linkedItem": 527,
        "exit": "$rid=528$",
    "527": {
        "name": "wooden door",
        "short_description": "The door is closed.",
        "long_description": "The old wooden door made from solid oak beams is closed.",
        "state": "closed",
        "lockedWithItem": 520,
        "exitName": "west|east",
        "linkedItem": 526,
        "exit": "$rid=530$",

lockedWithItem indicates that the door can only be opened with the lever with the given item number.

You can then use the following command to open the door:

pull ivory lever

You can get as devious as you like with this and have levers which open or close doors in some entirely different location, or one way doors which once shut with the lever can't be opened from the other side.


Containers, Chests and Tables

Other than opening and closing doors you may also want to have items which can be opened or closed, and have things removed or put into them. For example a treasure chest containing gold coins. To define an item as openable the relevant attributes are similar to the following:

    "207": {
        "name": "clothes chest",
        "state": "container closed",
        "open_description": "Tiny moths flutter out as you open the clothes chest.",
        "close_description": "The clothes chest closes with a satisfying thud.",
        "contains": ["107","1386","1389","1390"],
	"useTimes": 10,
        "lockedWithItem": 0,

The state of the item can be container open or container closed. You can then use commands such as:

open chest
examine chest
take hat from chest
wear hat
close chest

The useTimes parameter defines the maximum number of items which can be put into a container.

Similar to doors, items may be locked with another item which could be a key. Tables can be a special type of always open item.

    "1289": {
        "name": "inn table",
        "state": "container open always",

You can then use a command such as:

put hat on table

It's also possible to have items which can be opened and closed but which can't have things put into them. Use noput within the state parameter to indicate this.

    "1289": {
        "name": "dusty book",
        "state": "container closed noput",
        "open_description": "A dust cloud emerges as you open the ancient tome.",
        "close_description": "You close the book and blow off some dust from its cover.",

With commands such as:

open book
close book


Food or drink can be defined by setting edible to a non-zero value within items.json. If the value is negative then the item is a type of poison.


The system includes a dynamic weather simulation with varying seasonal and daily temperatures, passing clouds and rain. The ambient weather conditions may affect your combat performance, especialy if you are wearing armor or carrying a lot of weight.


For coastal locations an optional alternative description may be entered into tideOutDescription. When the tide is in the default description parameter will be used.


Players in Combat

Collecting weapons or armor will alter your chances of success in combat. In order to use a weapon you first need to be holding it. Merely having it in your inventory isn't enough for it to be effective. For example:

take dagger
hold dagger

You can also choose which hand.

hold dagger right
hold dagger left

With the possibility of using two weapons at the same time.

Similar applies with armour:

take chainmail
wear chainmail

To see what you or other players are wearing or holding use the bio command or:

examine [player]

The mod_str parameter within an item which is a weapon defines how much damage it can inflict during combat. mod_endu defines how much protection a wearable item will provide against attacks.

There is a limit to how much weight you can carry and carrying or wearing a lot of heavy items will reduce your agility.

If you are attacked then your hit points will decrease. Rest, or the consumption of food or drink, can restore your hit points.

The type or armor which players (including NPCs) are wearing can also modify their agility, altering their combat performance. Agility values for armor items can be set with the mod_agi parameter. Negative values mean that wearing the item slows the player down. Positive values improve fighting performance.

NPCs in Combat

NPCs are able to pick up and use any weapons or armor available in the vicinity. For some types of NPC, such as small animals, this isn't appropriate and so it's possible to set canWear and canWield parameters to zero within npcs.json if necessary.

Parental Controls

If you don't want certain words or phrases to be used by players then you can create a file called blocked.txt containing them in the same directory that you run abermush.py from. Entries can be on separate lines or comma separated and the matching is case insensitive. This then alters the say, tell and whisper commands such that recipients won't receive messages containing blocked text.

You can also use the commands block and unblock to update the blocklist without restarting the server.

Affinity Levels

The system keeps track of affinity levels between players, including between players and NPCs, via sentiment analysis and friendly or unfriendly actions. This enables NPCs to adjust their narrative based upon how friendly or hostile a player is towards them or other individuals which they know. For example:

"conv" : [
    [["affinity>0","serve","ale","?"], "Yes, of course"],
    [["affinity<0","serve","ale","?"], "Begone, scoundrel!"]

In some cases this may mean that you need to sufficiently charm an NPC before it will give you an item, skill or clue.

You can also see your affinity level with other players or NPCs with the command:

affinity [player name]


Interacting with Familiars

Some characters can have familiars, which are arcane spirits in the form of an animal and with a telepathic link to the player who summons them. Familiars follow the player and can also be commanded to scout, hide or distract other players. They don't have much strength or intelligence and so can easily be killed, but can be summoned again if that happens. Every time a familiar is summoned it takes a random animal form.

To summon a familiar:

prepare find familiar
cast find familiar

or witches may use the conjure command:

conjure familiar

By default the familiar will follow you, or you can tell it to:

ask familiar to follow

You can have it scout around in the local area:

ask familiar to scout

or in a particular direction:

ask familiar to scout north

When scouting familiars will be visible and attackable by other players or NPCs.

Familiars are small and so can easily conceal themselves in obscure nooks and corners. To make the familiar hide:

ask familiar to hide

Once hidden a familiar will remain in place regardless of where the player moves. Only the player can see the familiar once it is hidden.

It is also possible to ask the familiar what it sees. Because it is a spirit from the arcane realm it is only able to describe the scene in abstract elemental terms. It can see other players and has a sense about whether they are friendly and how large they are.

ask familiar what do you see?

Room height and capacity

Within rooms.json the parameters maxPlayers and maxPlayerSize can be used to define the maximum number of players which a room can contain (including NPCs) and also the height of the room. The numbers corresponding to player size are:

0 - Tiny (raven, cat, imp)
1 - Small (dwarf, halfling, goblin)
2 - medium (human, elf, witch)
3 - Large (giant)
4 - Huge (ogre, dragon)

Thus you can have rooms which are accessible to halflings or familiars but not to humans, which could add an extra element to the story. Maybe certain rooms enable humans to escape from giants.

For small rooms you might want to only allow one or two players to occupy it at any point in time.

If these values are set to -1 then there are no limits on player size or numbers.


Various kinds of traps can cause minor damage to players or prevent them from moving temporarily. After being activated they get reset again after a period of time.

To set a dart trap when exiting north within rooms.json:

"trap": {
    "trapType": "dart",
    "trapExit": "north",
    "trapPerception": 2,
    "trapActivation": "tripwire",
    "trapActivationTime": 0,
    "trapActivationDescription": "",
    "trapEscapeMethod": "",
    "trapDamagedMax": 1,
    "trapDamaged": 0,
    "trapEscapeDescription": "",
    "trapDuration": "0 min",
    "trapPenaltyType": "hp",
    "trapPenalty": 10,
    "trapResetTime": "2 hours",
    "trappedPlayers": []

This causes a sting of up to 10 hit points. trapPerception specifies the minimum perception (per value in player json file) needed to see the trap, and it gets reset after two hours if activated.

To create a falling net trap activated by a pressure plate:

"trap": {
    "trapType": "net",
    "trapExit": "north",
    "trapPerception": 2,
    "trapActivation": "pressure",
    "trapActivationTime": 0,
    "trapActivationDescription": "",
    "trapEscapeMethod": "slashing",
    "trapDamagedMax": 20,
    "trapDamaged": 0,
    "trapEscapeDescription": "",
    "trapDuration": "5 min",
    "trapPenaltyType": "hp",
    "trapPenalty": 0,
    "trapResetTime": "2 hours",
    "trappedPlayers": []

When the net falls on a player it will prevent them from moving for up to 5 mins. During that time they can try to cut themselves out if they are holding a slashing type weapon. They will need to do 20 points of damage to the net to escape. Hence with a sword it may be easy to break free, but with a small dagger it may take a while. If you're trapped by a net then other players or NPCs have an advantage when attacking you.

Constructing the Universe

AberMUSH is already large by the standards of the late 1980s when AberMUD was originally developed, having about 600 rooms. But you don't have to stop there. Witches have the power to alter the universe arbitrarily by adding or removing rooms, items and NPCs interactively while the game is in progress. They can also change the descriptions.

To change the description of a room:

describe "This is a new description of the room."

You can also change the name of the room:

describe "room" "New room title"

To create and describe a new room:

conjure room south
go south
describe "room" "Cave Entrance"
describe "The cave entrance is narrow with rocks strewn around."

To remove the room just created:

go north
destroy room south

You can also create and remove items in a room:

conjure sword
destroy sword

And similar with NPCs:

conjure npc "Huge Ogre"
describe npc "The ogre is huge and angry looking."
destroy ogre

If you make any blunders then you can reset the universe back to its original state with the resetuniverse command, then restart the server.