Undum 2 documentation


The system represents the interface between your code and the user-interface. You don't create your own System object, it is passed into your code.


Since version 2

Removes all content from the page, clearing the main content area.

Although Undum is designed to keep the flow of the narrative on one page, sometimes you do need to start a new page, and this allows you to do so.

The elementSelector is options. If you give it, then the DOM element matching the selector is cleared, rather than the whole document.

write(content, elementSelector)

Writes new content to the main flow of the story. The content you pass in must be either valid DOM elements already, or else be a string containing text in Display Content format.

The elementSelector is optional. If you provide it, then the new content will be added after the DOM element in the document that matches the selector. This allows you to do out-of-order addition of content. Simply add a paragraph with an id in your game, then later you can give this id as a selector to write, and the new content will be inserted immediately following that paragraph, regardless of how much extra content has been added since that point. If no selector is given then #content is used, i.e. the content is added at the end of the document. The writeBefore method inserts content at the start of the document, or before a selector.

The story will scroll to the start of the insertion point. If you do not wish to animate this scrolling, but just jump right there, you can switch off jQuery's animation system by adding jQuery.fx.off=true to your initialization code. This is particularly useful when debugging.

writeHeading(content, elementSelector)

Writes new content into the story and formats it as a heading. This method work exactly as write, but wraps the content you provide into a h1 html tag.

writeBefore(content, elementSelector)

Writes content into the story. This method is identical to write, above, except that the content is written at the start of the story, or if a selector is given, inserted before the matching element. On browsers that support it, the story will be scrolled to the insertion point.


Since version 2

Creates a standard block of choices, one for each of the given situation ids. The text used in the links will be whatever is returned by the situation's optionText method. In addition, if the situation's canChoose method returns false, then the option will be displayed, but will not be clickable.

getSituationIdChoices(listOfIdsOrTags, minChoices, maxChoices)

Since version 2

This function is a complex and powerful way of compiling implicit situation choices. You give it a list of situation ids and situation tags. Tags should be prefixed with a hash # to differentiate them from situation ids. The function then considers all matching situations in descending priority order, calling their canView functions and filtering out any that should not be shown, given the current state. Without additional parameters the function returns a list of the situation ids at the highest level of priority that has any valid results. So, for example, if a tag #places matches three situations, one with priority 2, and two with priority 3, and all of them can be viewed in the current context, then only the two with priority 3 will be returned. This allows you to have high-priority situations that trump any lower situations when they are valid, such as situations that force the player to go to one destination if the player is out of money, for example.

If a minChoices value is given, then the function will attempt to return at least that many results. If not enough results are available at the highest priority, then lower priorities will be considered in turn, until enough situations are found. In the example above, if we had a minChoices of three, then all three situations would be returned, even though they have different priorities. If you need to return all valid situations, regardless of their priorities, set minChoices to a large number, such as Number.MAX_VALUE, and leave maxChoices undefined.

If a maxChoices value is given, then the function will not return any more than the given number of results. If there are more than this number of results possible, then the highest priority resuls will be guaranteed to be returned, but the lowest priority group will have to fight it out for the remaining places. In this case, a random sample is chosen, taking into account the frequency of each situation. So a situation with a frequency of 100 will be chosen 100 times more often than a situation with a frequency of 1, if there is one space available. Often these frequencies have to be taken as a guideline, and the actual probabilities will only be approximate. Consider three situations with frequencies of 1, 1, 100, competing for two spaces. The 100-frequency situation will be chosen almost every time, but for the other space, one of the 1-frequency situations must be chosen. So the actual probabilities will be roughly 50%, 50%, 100%. When selecting more than one result, frequencies can only be a guide.

Before this function returns its result, it sorts the situations in increasing order of their displayOrder properties.


Carries out the action associated with the given URL, as if it had been the href of a HTML link that the user clicked. This allows you to procedurally change situation and carry out actions from your code.


This holds a general purpose random number generator. It is an object derived from the Random prototype, so see Random below for details on its API.


This is a numeric value holding the current time, in seconds, since the player began playing the game. This value is correctly propagated across saves, so it is the only way you should track timing. In particular you should never call new Date() and use that value to determine the outcome of any event. You can use the current date to display the current date, for example, but not to control what actions or situations are available. See the section on Loading and Saving for more details of why this is important.

setQuality(qualityId, newValue)

Sets the character's given quality to the given value. This function also updates the character panel, animating the change in value if that is necessary. Do not directly set quality values in the character, because the user-interface will not detect and reflect those changes.

animateQuality(qualityId, newValue, options)

Like setQuality, this function changes the current value of the given quality. In addition, however, it displays a progress bar that shows to the user how the value has changed. The options parameter should be an object containing options for how the bar should display. The available options are:

  • from: The proportion along the progress bar where the animation starts. Defaults to 0, valid range is 0-1.

  • to: The proportion along the progress bar where the animation ends. Defaults to 1, valid range is 0-1.

  • showValue: If true (the default) then the new value of the quality is displayed above the progress bar.

  • displayValue: If this is given, and showValue is true, then the given value is used above the progress bar. If this isn't given, and showValue is true, then the display value will be calculated from the QualityDefinition, as normal. This option is useful for qualities that don't have a definition, because they don't normally appear in the UI.

  • title: The title of the progress bar. If this is not given, then the title of the quality is used. As for displayValue this is primarily used when the progress bar doesn't have a QualityDefinition, and therefore doesn't have a title.

  • leftLabel, rightLabel: Underneath the progress bar you can place two labels at the left and right extent of the track. These can help to give scale to the bar. So if the bar signifies going from 10.2 to 10.5, you might label the left and right extents with "10" and "11" respectively and have the from and to value be 0.2 and 0.5 respectively. If these are not given, then the labels will be omitted.


Sets the block of character text that appears in the character panel. As for the write method, this text should be either valid DOM elements, or a string meeting the Display Content requirements.


Call this function with an Undum link URL (e.g. ballroom, or ballroom/open-cabinet). It will remove all occurrences of that link from the page. This is equivalent to what happens when you change situation, or when you click a link marked with the once CSS class. It allows you to control what options are available dynamically, from your code.


The Random object provides a set of tools for simple random number generation, in a way that is guaranteed to work with the Loading and Saving functionality in Undum. An instance of Random is provided in the rnd property of the System object, so you will never need to create your own. It has the following methods:


Generates a random number between 0 and 1, where 0 is inclusive, and 1 is exclusive. You can use this to check against known probabilities, such as:

if (system.rnd.random() > 0.5) {

To check for a 50/50 chance.

randomInt(min, max)

Return a random number between the given two values, where both values are inclusive. So randomInt(2,3) generates either 2 or 3.

dice(n, dx, plus)

Rolls n dice with dx sides and adds plus to the result. This allows you to easily get results for rolls from regular RPG-style games, such as 3d6+2. The plus parameter may be negative or positive.

aveDice(n, plus)

Rolls n averaging dice, and adds plus to the result. Averaging dice are a special type of d6 with sides marked [2,3,3,4,4,5]. They represent the fact that most people are fairly average, and results should not lie at the extremes.


Rolls dice according to the given definition string. The string should be of the form xdy+z, where the x component and z component are optional. This rolls x dice of with y sides, and adds z to the result, the z component can also be negative: xdy-z. The y component can be either a number of sides, or can be the special values 'F', for a fudge die (with 3 sides, +,0,-), '%' for a 100 sided die, or 'A' for an averaging die (with sides 2,3,3,4,4,5).