Area Archives

An area, also sometimes called a zone, is a file that holds the rooms, mobiles and objects in which and with which the players of a MUD interact. An area is often broken into many sections, or, as in the case of early DIKUs, the sections themselves are isolated into separate files, each of which holds an important, and common, collection of things. For example, in the ROM area format, a ROOM section contains all the rooms of an area, and a MOBILE section holds all the mobiles found in the area.

Common area files, or stock areas, appeared soon after the release of public MUD codebases. In fact, it's hard to find, even today, a MUD based on one of the public codebases without running into one or more of the stock areas released for that codebase. Without a doubt the most famous of the stock areas is Midgaard, typically the starting point for any player new to a MUD, which was released and rewritten to accomodate DIKU, Circle, Merc, ROM, Smaug and their derivatives. Other stock areas include Haon Dor, Miden'nir, the High Tower of Sorcery, the Elemental Canyon, and many more.

Not all MUDs use area files to store the contents of their worlds: some newer codebases turned to databases and dynamic generation to bring themselves to life. The vast majority of MUDs, however, continue using area files, and moreover use stock areas—recruiting builders (people who write areas) is a daunting, sometimes hopeless task.

A list of stock area repositories follows:

Curious Areas Workshop Among the earliest of stock area repositories, the Curious Areas Workshop, or C.A.W. for short, remained online for over two decades after shutting its doors in 1996, providing vital content to hundreds of MUD admins who needed their worlds to breathe. In all, C.A.W. released about a dozen areas and one builder's handbook, a guide written for anyone wanting to create an area of their own.

Today the site is found only in archived form. The link above, for example, points to an Internet Archive snapshot of the site. If that link doesn't work, someone wrote up an alternate take of C.A.W. at Fandom (mirror.)

While the Curious Areas Workshop has been archived, its areas have not; instead you'll need to grab them from this github repo or from other places on the web. I've also zipped and mirrored tbaMUD's copy of the Workshop's areas here:

C.A.W. Areas

Handbook included. Just be aware that these areas may take some work to make usable.

ROM Area Sanctuary Hosted by Ansalon MUD, a Dragonlance-flavored text game, this repository hosts dozens of stock areas created for the ROM codebase, among them the areas mentioned in the introduction above. You also can find here several areas written for the MERC codebase.

Areas Directory | tbaMUD Development on the CircleMUD codebase stopped in 2006 and was followed immediately by the release of CircleMUD's successor, tbaMUD. tbaMUD hosts area files written specifically for CircleMUD, which should be compatible with both CircleMUD and tbaMUD. Notice the C.A.W. directory... This website hosts several codebase flavors as well as an area repository for the SmaugMUD codebase. They've shied away from providing Midgaard, but you'll notice a few other stock areas for download there.


Grim Wheel is a site dedicated to old school text gaming.


Click the links below to go from section to section of this site.


Buildcraft Articles which discuss the craft of building on Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs).

MUD Forums Links to offsite forums that concern themselves with all things related to Multi-User Dungeons.

MUD-Dev Where you can find archives of the former mailing list known as "MUD-Dev", as well as a link to the newest mailing list.

Imaginary Realities Archives of articles from the now-defunct online magazine Imaginary Realities.


MUD Listings Websites which list the many text games still in existence.

MUD Clients Clients which you can use to connect to an active MUD.

Other Resources

Netbooks A repository of supplements for tabletop roleplaying games.

Miscellaneous Links that do not fall easily into any other category.


Codebases The various public codebases in existence today.

Area Archives Areas for public codebases such as Circle, ROM and Smaug.