MUD Basics

MUD Topics:

What is a "MUD"?

MUD, pronounced like its spelled, stands for "Multiple User Dungeon". Basically, a MUD is a program that allows a user to create a character who can then role play in various fantasy world settings. It is a text based game, with no pictures. Not all MUDs are the same, but the game concepts in all MUDs are the same. MUDding is a popular tool for communication and a form of entertainment. When a person logs on to a MUD, they have the opportunity to engage in an imaginative role playing game, and they can communicate with other users from all over the world in this fantasy setting.

Why do I want to use a MUD?

MUDs allow you to adventure through a text-based virtual fantasy world with friends next door or Internet users on the opposite side of the world. You can chat with old friends, no matter how far away, or you can make new friends by chatting with individuals who are also using the MUD.

What do I need to use a MUD?

You need Telnet client software to use a MUD, as your browser cannot directly connect to them. However, it is easy to locate one, and simple to get the Telnet application up and running. See Telnet Basics to locate and configure the Telnet client software.

How do I use a MUD?

This site will explain the basics of using Telnet client software, but much more in-depth and advanced information is available. You can find links to many sources of Telnet information at Yanoff's Internet Services site.

Logging On

After connecting to the Internet, the user starts a Telnet application and connects to the computer which is running the MUD. The actual computer running the MUD can be anywhere on the Internet, and anywhere in the world. Anyone who can connect to the Internet can connect to any of the MUDs running on the Internet. Therefore, people can connect to a single MUD from anywhere in the world where there is an Internet connection available. MUD addresses can be found most easily through newsgroups or through running a "search" on MUD in your browser. Some "Navigating the Internet" or "Index to the Internet" style books might also contain various MUD addresses.

Creating a Character and Entering the Game

Once connected to the MUD, the user can either create a new character or use a character they have already created. The program prompts the user, once connected, to decide which of these options they wish to use. When the user needs to create a new character, they are given several prompts to create the type of character they want. The four choices in most MUDs are Cleric, Fighter, Mage, and Thief. The user selects which class of character they wish to create, the gender, and has an option of entering a description for their character. They also are prompted to assign a name and password for the character so that, in the future, every time they wish to play using that character they have a way of accessing it. If the user has an existing character which they wish to use, they can log on to the MUD using the character's name and the password selected when they first made the character.

Now you're in the game…

The Game Environment

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When the character enters the game, they are usually put in some sort of "safe room" where nothing can harm their character and they can get their bearings or rest their character. The first thing that a new user should always do when they enter a MUD is learn how to look around at their surroundings. By typing "look" the user prompts the machine to provide a description of their character's surroundings. This includes all exits from the room the character is currently in. Note this command is for every room a character goes into, or any time the user wants a description of the room they're in.

Navigating Within the Game

The directions a user can go from any given room are listed under the room description. Simply typing the letter of the direction the person wishes their character to exit to makes the character go in that direction (i.e. "u" for "up", "s" for "South", etc.).

How to Play

Once in the game, the user encounters what are known as "MOBs" ("mobile" encounters) and other users who have connected just as they have. The "MOBs" are part of the program, made to respond to the users in certain ways to make the game interesting. Also, most MOBs are there for the characters to battle, allowing them to gain experience and gain levels, becoming more powerful.

Characters can only do what the program allows them to do. Every character operates by the rules of the MUD. The other characters are under the control of some other user who has logged on to the same MUD server. Users can either play the game alone, by simply navigating their character through the game and the encounters therein, or they can "group" with other users' characters and go on the adventures as a team. If in a group, the group is usually led by the most powerful member, who is known as the "tank"

The user plays the game by going around and gathering equipment and then using the equipment to fight "MOBs". By doing this, the user's character gains "experience points". All members of a group gain experience points when the group successfully encounters and combats a MOB. The more experience points the user earns, the higher his character's level will become. When the character reaches higher levels, they get more abilities, and the user is able to use the character in encounters with higher level MOBs, and explore more areas of the MUD. When the character reaches a certain level, they actually become "God characters" and have even more special abilities. Once they reach this level, however, they can't play the game with that character as a normal player, because they are granted power to alter MOBs and playing as a normal character really doesn't provide the same challenge or entertainment.

Why would I want to MUD?
MUDding is a popular tool for communication and form of entertainment. When a person logs on to a MUD, not only do they have the opportunity to engage in an imaginative role playing game, but they have the opportunity to communicate with other users from all over the world in this fantasy setting.

How do I find an address for a MUD?
MUD addresses can be found most easily through newsgroups or through running a "search" on MUD in your browser. Some Internet books might also contain various MUD addresses. To start you off, here are a few good places to look:

MUD Characters

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What do I do once I connect to the MUD?
Once connected to the MUD, you first create a character with which to enter the MUD and play the game.

What is a Cleric?
A Cleric is a character class users can choose when creating their characters. Clerics are the "holy persons", using divinely granted magical spells to heal people and handle encounters and obstacles within the game.

What is a Fighter?
A Fighter is another character class that can be selected for a new character. Fighters are the strongest characters physically, and have the most skill with weaponry.

What is a Mage?
Mages are the magic-user characters who cast various spells for offensive and defensive purposes in the game to deal with encounters and obstacles.

What is a Thief?
Thief characters are those characters who can sneak around and backstab opponents. They are better with weapons than Mages or Clerics, but not as good as Fighters.

MUD commands

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Used to gain information on the character's surroundings and the current exits to the character's location.

N, S, E, W, U, D:
Used to navigate through the game by telling the MUD program which exit the character will use or which direction that character wishes to leave by.

This command makes the character follow another character. In order to "group" with people, all the characters must first follow the same person, who is usually the group's "tank" (most powerful/highest level member).

Look <character_name>:
This command gives a description of the character's appearance being looked at.

Who is controlling the other characters?
The other characters encountered in the MUD are other people somewhere in the world who have connected to the same MUD server to play the game.

What is "Soloing?"
When a user decides to travel through the game alone and deal with the encounters by themselves, they are "soloing".;

What is "Grouping?"
"Grouping" is when the character joins with a group of characters so that they can collectively battle more powerful opponents, thereby gaining more experience and better equipment than they could by soloing.

What is a "tank?"
A "tank" is the person who leads the attack when a group encounters a MOB. This person takes all the damage when the MOB strikes back.

What is a "MOB?"
A "MOB" is a "mobile encounter" that is generated within the MUD's program. These are the "monsters" or interesting obstacles that the characters encounter and deal with in order to gain experience.

What is a level?
A character's level denotes the amount of experience that character has from playing the game. The higher the level, the more or more difficult MOBs they have battled with and conquered.

What are "experience points" and how do I get them?
Experience points are awarded to characters when they successfully encounter a MOB and, usually, destroy it.
They tell how many MOBs the character has encountered successfully and show how high of a level the character is at.

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