Using Roles and Permissions

Ares has a robust and flexible roles/permissions system. This article describes how you can utilize roles on your game. For specific command syntax, see the “Roles” help topic in-game.

Roles vs Permissions

There are two levels to the Roles system: roles and permissions.

Roles are assigned to characters. You could have a ‘builder’ role or a ‘pilot’ role. Some things - like channels or forums - can be locked so that only people with certain roles can use them.

Permissions are assigned to roles, and allow you to further refine what people with a given role can do.

Default Roles

The default Ares database comes with several roles:

  • Admin gives access to all game commands except tinkering. This means they can use the existing commands but can’t alter the database directly.
  • Coder gives access to the tinker command (which lets them execute arbitrary code) and commands to reload the game code.
  • Builder gives access to building commands, the ability to describe rooms, and the ability to teleport around.
  • Guest doesn’t give any permissions, but the role is used to identify guest characters so the game can choose one when someone tries to log in as a guest.
  • Approved grants some basic permissions that are available to approved characters, such as the ability to use the ‘home’ command and post to the forum.
  • Everyone is a default role granted to all characters, approved or not.

Additionally, there is a special character - the master admin (default name Headwiz). The master admin has both the admin and coder roles, and is the only one that can assign those roles.


Roles contain permissions, which control access to most commands. For example, the ‘home’ command is limited to people with the “go_home” permission. The ability to create and delete channels is limited to people with the “manage_channels” permission.

You cannot assign individual permissions to characters. Permissions may only be assigned to roles, which are in turn assigned to characters.

Characters with the Admin role automatically have access to all permissions.

Creating a New Role - App Staff

Let’s say you wanted to create a more limited admin role for apps staff. You want them to have access to review and approve characters, access to read jobs in the APP category, and access to an Apps forum.

  1. Create the role using role/create app_staff.
  2. Assign permissions using role/addpermission app_staff=<permission>. You probably want to give them things like manage_apps, view_sheets and access_jobs.
  3. Set permissions on the Apps job category using job/categoryroles <category>=<roles>
  4. Set permissions on the Apps forum using forum/readroles <forum>=<roles> and forum/writeroles <forum>=<roles>.

Using Permissions in Code

In your code, permissions can restrict who can use commands. For example, if you wanted to lock the ‘home’ command to only people who have the ‘go_home’ permission, you would add the following error checker in the home command handler.

  def check_can_go_home
    return "You are not allowed to do that." if !enactor.has_permission?("go_home")
    return nil

Many plugins have helper methods to check for the necessary permission. For example:


Default Permissions

Use the permissions command in-game to see a list of all permissions.