Darkness & Despair MUD

DnD is online at: telnet://dnd.desolation.org:4201/

Old characters: We have many old player files, however the old passwords are incompatible and need to be manually reset by an admin.  

Either follow the contact info on the login screen or nag me in game with a newbie!

8/20/2019 – MUD moved.

The MUD has been moved to a new host and is now up at dnd.desolation.org (, still on port 4201.  There’s a new compilation of the v2017 FluffOS driver and it seems much more stable, but I’m still mopping up a few incompatibilities as they crop up.

3/26/2012 Update 

Great news everyone — I am running out of problems to fix!  Last night the Qajip desert was brought back online.  Most of Deepingdale has been scouted out for broken stuff.  A lot of old weapons and armor had problems caused by printing special messages to the room when equipping “Soandso wields the mace and looks ready to crack some skulls!” — This caused errors when being equipped by monsters that weren’t in a room yet (because they were being spawned in).   Eventually I fixed this by wrapping the message efun with a simul_efun that checks if the message target exists.  This single change knocked out more errors than any other.  The remaining errors out there are usually keyword problems such as “new” or “class” being used as variables in special item code.

There has also been a few rounds of cosmetic polish added to the starter village of Rotwood including new npc emotes and greetings as well as some signposts around town to help you find your way to various destinations.

There is also a “recall” command that will teleport you to your start location from any broken room.  This is becoming less and less useful.

Also over the week/weekend I got involved in something much sooner than I wanted to — fixing combat problems.   Firstly, some class abilities such as rogue’s slash, fighter’s aim, execute used a basic spell extension of the combat system.  This was causing slash for example to print “Your powers fail you.” when you got a missed attack.   You can still miss, but now you get a more melee appropriate message — and it is no longer using your Intelligence stat to do the hit calculation for these older style abilities.

Additionally, as you would expect, armor provides a reduction in the damage you take, however there was an invisible issue in this due to integer precision.   The way that it was set up, armor was supposed to provide 1.5% damage reduction per point of AC, but was only providing 1%.  I have converted the damage code to use floating point numbers and then round the final result at the end so that you actually receive the full benefit of your armor.

The mage ‘feed’ command had a similar issue.  It was not supposed to give you a feed that gave no mana and no healing back.  I effectively doubled the amount of mana that it gives and it is now always returning mana — however it still seems fairly insignificant.

3/20/2012 Update — Super Secret Launch

The mud is up and running at desolation.org, port 4201 ; Deepingdale still needs a walkthrough and password recovery is manual for now.  Not all commands/abilities are ready, but the game is playable especially in the starting areas.  Contact me if you would like back into your old characters.

All function pointer problems have been resolved, wolfwere shadow object now works, intermud 3 repaired, changes to the inventory command, fixed and slightly colorized the missile spell.  I also fixed a problem with the advancement daemon where level 2 cost more than level 3 (because you had “pay back” level 1), the leveling curve should be smoother now.

3/19/2012 Update — I received a copy of the mud from Chewdog and Chugach on the 16th and am in the process of bringing it back up.  I currently have the mud running under a much newer driver (FluffOS instead of the older MudOS).

  • There are 1,850 items/rooms left that need function pointers fixed.  (There were 8,700 function pointer errors to begin with.) This is down to set_items and some oddball stuff like set_read, set_struck, etc.
  • Commands need to be checked for bugs.  Most direct damage abilities have variable redeclaration errors.
  • Incompatible include paths in monsters/rooms/objects.  Caused by wizards using #include <mydefs.h> instead of #include “mydefs.h”  Hopefully I can fix this without editing all the effected files.
  • Walkthrough testing!
    • 2 areas left for Rotwood/newbieland
    • start walkthrough testing for Deepingdale & Krenim
  • Build a password recovery system, and mail old players.

In the mid 90’s I used to play on a MUD called Darkness & Despair.

When I started playing, it was originally hosted at dnd.europa.com:4201 where the administrator was Vyle.    At some point here, Vyle stepped down and Wulfgar took over hosting/administrating the mud.

I mostly played a Minotaur Warrior (Anti-Paladin) named Spine-Snapper, but I also had a Rkpathkre Cleric? that was a Creator for a bit.

Darkness & Despair – Logfile from 5/18/1997 – In this I appear to be doing a round of approval on Grazzt’s area, then discover Loki and Wulfgar were tweaking/twinking their characters.  So much drama!

In 1999, Wulfgar transfered the MUD to Cwnanwnn and his cousin Chugach.  It was hosted at cipollo.ugate.net:4201, and this is what the mud-gateway homepage looked like: http://web.archive.org/web/20060518144100/http://cipollo.ugate.net/

On Jan 3rd, 2003 it was listed in The Mud Connector Mud List at http://www.mudconnect.com/zmud/mudlist.txt

Mud : Darkness and Despair (DnD)
Code Base : [LP] Heavily modified
Telnet : cipollo.ugate.net 4201 []
WWW : None
Description :

Darkness and Despair (DnD) is a large, player friendly
mud, with 20 races, 8 classes(more to come), 10 professions,
and 10 guilds. Roleplay is not mandatory, but it is
encouraged. The combat routines, are extremely rich with
many unique and varied emotes. The staff at DnD prides
itself on providing a robust and diverse environment for
all skill levels. We offer loads of player interaction,
with a minimum of interference from the Arches and Immortals.
This mud will definitely get your adrenaline flowing.

Want to kill without the fear of a prison sentence??
Come see us at Darkness and Despair, you'll be delighted
with the world we've created

In 2001, Wulfgar passed away and his nephew (Kinslayer?) wanted to take the MUD in a different direction than Ari/Isil had.  This was up as ‘DND-Legacy’.  Via http://www.scribd.com/doc/38083718/Mud-List , I found this old mud listing:

Mud : DND-Legacy
Code Base : [LP] Mudlib: DnD/Nightmare Classic
Telnet : dnd-legacy.kicks-ass.net 5000 []
WWW : None
Description :It's back ladies and gents. The prevoius Admin 
unfortunately has passed away. This is 1998 version of DND,
fully restored and player-wiped. It was put up just recently
(May 13th), 2002. All new players are welcome, and hopefully
some old ones will come back too. Has all the original areas,
minus only 2 or 3. Some new areas will be added to replace
what's missing, and MASSIVE BALANCE CHANGES will be ongoing to
make the mud even more fun than it has been for the last 10
years. The balance changes will encourage partying, fix obvious
weaknesses with specific classes, and newbie land was made easier.
Come take a look! And welcome back!

Kinslayer/Evil Admins

I’m not sure what happened with this version of the mud.

Chugach reports the cipollo.ugate.net version was up for a few more years.  A copy of the lib was left with Loki, and a group of old players picked up the original server the MUD was running on, but never got the mudlib recompiled for a new server.

Recently Chewdog/Hellspawned got the old test server from Chugach and near the end of 2011 and got it running on a cloud or virtual machine at dnd.gatewaymud.org:5201.  At some point recently this went down, and Chewdog has been unable to get in touch with the host here.

Before the MUD was called Darkness & Despair, it went under the name of “Out of Balance”.

Splash screen from the old Darkness & Despair website.
“Your gateway to adventure…”


As far as I can tell, DnD was largely a stock Nightmare 3.2 mudlib.


  • Artrell – Four armed insectoids / Spoke Artrexcian
  • Bastet
  • Centaur / Farsi?
  • Cyclopskin
  • Draconian
  • Drow
  • Dwarf / Malkierien
  • Elf / Eltherian
  • Gnome – Spoke  Nibelungen
  • Halfling – Spoke Ersi
  • Human- Spoke Farsi
  • Kender
  • Minotaur – Spoke Minosken
  • Neanderthal
  • Ogre – Spoke Shangtai
  • Rkpathkre – The Rkpathkre were a ugly misshapen race with a 3rd stunted arm growing out of the middle of their chest. It was a fatal limb, as it was supposedly connected to their heart.  The Rkpathkre diety was Rknamor?  Their special ability was basically sucking.
  • Saurian
  • Skurvyn
  • Windwalker – I don’t remember these guys, but there is an old help file about them below.
     The mystical windwalker is one of the most illuminating creatures to
     wander the realm. They are extremely magical in nature, but sometimes their
     inherently impulsive behavior causes them to place themselves in strange
     situations. Although they are one of the tallest creatures known across
     the land, the windwalker is exceptionally thin and slightly frail as their
     mysticism has allowed them to progress beyond needing pure physical strength.
     Gangly in size, they move without awkwardness when they stride across the
     lands. The mysterious aura that surrounds the windwalker provides the windwalker
     with an almost magical charm to the casual observer. But do not underestimate
     the behavior or extreme determination of the windwalker, as they are wise
     enough to impose their vengeance upon those who cross them.
    Special Ability: Shimmer
     Syntax: shimmer
     The windwalker, with their years of evolution, have the ability to move
     their thin body in a shimmering motion. Although the windwalker expends
     energy to maintain their shimmer, the windwalker becomes a very tough target
     to strike in combat.
     The windwalkers venerate the mighty god Vascholl.
     Their primary language is Arrenian.
     Common occupations: Reaver, Mage.
    This document was written by Loki on June 14, 1997
  • Wolfen
  • Wolfwere – They had the ability to transform between man and wolf forms, and were a popular choice for the monk class.
  • Yuanti – The Yuanti were a race of snake-men that had the ability to do a spit attack.


  • Adventurer — starting newbie class
    • class skills: scratch?
  • Fighter
    • spells: swing, berserk
  • Monk
  • Mage
    • spells: bolt, cone
  • Reaver
    • spells: sacrifice, bloodburn, demonbolt, wither, demonfire, agonize, doom
  • Rogue
    • spells: trip, slash
  • Cleric
  Mage Fighter Monk Rogue Cleric Reaver
Melee 0.75 4 6 2.25 1.5 0.5
Attack 1 6 5 4.25 2 4.25
Defense 2.25 5 5.5 3.75 2.25 1.25
Double Wield 0.25 5 0.5 2 0.25 3.25
Knife 2.5 4 1.5 5.25   3
Blade 0.5 5.5 0.25     2.25
Blunt 4.5 4 3.5   4.75 0.25
Two-Handed 2 5 0.25   2  
Projectile 2 3.5 4.5 3 2 5
Locks       5 0.25  
Stealth   0.75   5   2.25
Murder   0.75   5.25   3
Stealing       5    
Bargain 3 2.5 1.75 4.5 3.75 1
Faith     5   5 5.5
Heal         5.5  
Conjure 5.75       2.25  
Magic Attack 6.25       0.75 2.25
Magic Defense 5       5  


After a certain level, and typically a difficult and secretive quest you could unlock a additional prestige class.

  • Elementalist (with subspecialties, Hydromancer, Pyromancer?, Geomancer, Aeromancer)
    • firestorm, disintegrate?
  • Anti-Paladin
    • Available to: Warriors, ???
  • Assassin
  • Necromancer
  • Runemaster
  • Psionicist
    • Skills: clairsentience, metapsionics, psychokinesis, psychoportation, telepathy, psionic defence
    • Available to: Monks, ???
    • Spells:
      • Fear: Properly trained psionicists are able to sense their opponents worst fears, and project those fears back at their opponents. This fear causes your opponent’s heart to skip a beat or two, which not only hurts you opponent, but causes your opponent to become preoccupied with their terrors.
        Syntax: fear [target]
      • Project: This ability allows you to leave your body and travel in astral form. While in this form, you are totally unable to physically or magically affect, or be affected the outside world.
        See also: fade
        Syntax: project <astrally> | <off>
      • Nondetection: Nondetection is the ability to lock your mind so tight that it becomes impossible for people to locate you through any means short of being in the same room as you.
        Syntax: nondetection on|off


Stats were increased by spending experience points via the ‘Beseech’ command, which would bring you before your racial deity to buy adjustments.  Each race had different weight costs.

  • Strength
  • Dexterity
  • Constitution
  • Charisma
  • Intelligence
  • Wisdom


Alignment shifted between good and evil, and affected which spells you could cast.  If you were a good-aligned Reaver (by killing evil monsters, you would lose your ability to cast spells.)

Players & Staff:

Some other names of players and staff that I recall.  If your name isn’t here, it’s my fault, not yours:

  • Khar-Goth the Knave of Chaos (Arch)   – my friend Aaron, who mostly cre’d
  • Oxide/Halide/Brightshadow? – my friend Scott. I think he played a gnome mage.
    “I played Halide more than Oxide, and he didn’t do much other than throw decimate spells around. They were too slow for PKing, even if they were instakills versus a lot of people. ;p”
  • Kinslayer/Pe’Ell? – Kinslayer was his assassin character.  I think Pe’Ell was a wolfwere monk.
  • Zaknaifen (Arch) – cre who had built some horrible evil tower.  At the top you could fight  a mirror image of yourself.  There was also a Medusa and some lethal traps on the way up.
  • Wulfgar (Admin)- I think he took over the mud after Vyle, but I think I remember hearing that he had died?
  • Yildor (Arch) – another arch wizard.  I remember him being cool, but I don’t remember why.
  • Loki & Nex the Lord of Death  – mentioned above in the windwalker class description.  I remember at some point he was the law arch? Member of the Syndicate.
  • Gazelle – centaur cleric played by Jen
  • Godan Jackie Blue the destroyer  – warrior played by Tom
  • Thorin/Niroth? – another assassin?
  • Raven – I don’t remember much about this guy, except that he visited Portland and we saw a film at Cinema 21.  I think he may have later left for Zhing! mud.
  • Kate – Prominent and prolific creator who built a lot of areas that left the game when she left.  She went over to Zhing! mud.  She was an area approval arch.
  • Eshin
  • Maduin – Artrell Rogue (assassin) also Silentone & Entity – played by Joel
  • Johnny? – want to say that he was also a monk…
  • Nidan Malaclypse the Abbot  – wolfwere monk, created by Jess and later taken over by Jeremy
  • Malifestro – halfling rogue (ninja) played by Richard
  • Grolsch?
  • Ari (mudlib arch)
  • Azash the wrath of God
  • Godan Screamer the Abbot
  • Kayla the wrath of God
  • Manshoon the Mystic
  • Initiate Goliath Soldier of Chaos
  • Bel’al the Mystic
  • Mug the Mistress of Elements
  • Void the Assassin
  • Cinnabar the wrath of God
  • SARGE the Crimelord
  • Azile the Dark Priestess
  • Gorthol the arch-mage
  • Lady Death the adept (newbie)
  • Chugach (Arch)
  • Cwanwnn (Arch)
  • Isil (Arch)
  • Chewdog / Hellspawned (wizard)
  • (Croaker) (Arch) /Initiate Spine-Snapper Soldier of Chaos – Me


Money was fairly easy to come by, and rampant mudflation was a problem.
Known currencies: electrum


  • The Brotherhood / Brotherhood of Virulance – The guild I was in, first created by Vyle.  Their hideout was a shack north of Deepingdale, guarded by a shadowy figure.  People would break in and deface our message board, unaware of the evil temple below.
  • The Ancients – All I remember about these guys is they didn’t like my guild very much.
  • The Syndicate – These guys had a windwalker who would wander the mud picking up dropped items and depositing the proceeds in their guild bank.


  • Newbieland? – The huge starting area, that you couldn’t go back to once you left it.
  • Deepingdale – The main city.
  • Zaknaifen’s Tower?
  • Pyramid/Desert area, built by Ari I think
  • Hobbiton
  • The Ruins, with those horrible manticores in the bottom
  • The beach with the pirate shipwreck

                ice mt.   

 @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ | @                           ::
   @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@|@@:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~:@  @@
    @@@@ @@@@@@ @@@@|@@::~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~::::@ /\
 @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@|@ @::~~~ocean?~~~~~~~:::@@@@ /  \
  @@@@@@@   @@@  @@@|@@@@:~~~~~~~~~~~~~:::@@@      calderra mts.
  @@@@@@ luunari --@|@@::~~~~~~~~~~~:::@@@      /\  ^ ^^   ^  /\
  @@@@@@@        @ |@@ :~~~~~~~~~~::@@@         -------  ^/\^
 @@@@@ @@@@@@@@@@@@|  ::~~~~~~~~::@@@    -------^^^ ^   /\   /\
 @@ @@@@@ @forests@ | ::~reef~~:@@------- ^^       / \
   @ @@@@@ @@@@@@ []| ::~~~~~~:@@-     ^
 ------------------[D] :~~~~::@@-          fields  @@@@ @@
  @@ @@@@@ @@@@@@@ _|   ::::@@@-                  @@@ @@
 @@@@@@@@@@@@ @@ _-  -_      _-garden           @@@@
    @@ @@@@@@@  _  ^   --------_                  @@ ruins
      @@ @@@@ --       |        _
 savana @@@ --     pond |        --_
                        |           -
      fog                 park        reaver city

                   desert                hellgate


My Files:

I managed to find a zipfile of my personal files from my stint as a Creator on the MUD, it’s not much.  This mainly has my personal effects, some area proposals, the hidden rooms and guild items for the Brotherhood, and an unapproved extension area to the main city of Deepingdale.

Misc Darkness & Despair Files