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Old 01-15-2006, 08:21 PM   #1
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Hi, I'm Ratek (<---- as seen over there)

Uhh basically, I've never done any MUDing. I've done some Roll-playing (hey look at me I read an article on this subject) with my friends but mostly my interests include reading, acting in school and village theatre productions and producing some awful fiction writing.  

In order to improve my writing I was directed to MUDs by a friend. Apparently if I can find one I like it'll really help with my character development in acting and my writing. Trouble is, im know next to nothing about all this. Questions that quickly became apparent. For instance, what's a MUSH? is it different from a MUD? How do I know if a MUD is for experienced or inexperienced roleplayers? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:50 AM   #2
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MUSH stands for Multi User Shared Hallucination, and is geared more toward player interactions.  MUD (it is argued) stands for Multi User Domain, Multi User Dungeon, or absolutely nothing, depending on who you ask. A MUD can be a rich roleplay environment and many allow the player to advance in levels through combat and other activities (including, in some cases, roleplay).

Many MUDs provide areas for the inexperienced and new player, covering basic commands and actions.  Some lists will provide MUD profiles, and a newbie-friendly ranking is often an indication that the game has provided this.  In other cases, diving in and looking around is an option.  If a game has such an area, and the staff are willing to answer questions, you have landed in a good place to start.

Explore, ask questions and check out several different games - there is a wide variety of genre and theme available, from medieval to futuristic, and everything in between.
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Old 01-16-2006, 02:15 AM   #3
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Welcome to mudding, Ratek!! Now, I'm not a game owner or Immortal (that means game administrator or coder), I'm just a player, that has no axe to grind re any particular game.

Re MUSH games, I'll let someone else respond, as I've never played on one.

As far as MUDs go, first there are some elements you may want to consider when playing them.

If you are interested in RP, then you will look for the words roleplay accepted, encouraged, or enforced, when you look at their website.  RP enforced MUDs would be for a more experienced roleplayer, as there is often permadeath (if you die, you start from scratch with a new character) involved, & sometimes fellow players may not be very forgiving if you, as a beginner learning the ropes, do not RP to their "standards".
So you may want to try an RP encouraged MUD, where they aren't so strict, to learn the ropes of mudding & RP.

Are you interested in player-killing?  Some MUDs allow unrestricted player-killing without any RP.  Godwars (that is a codebase) MUDs are an example of MUDs that are played by folks looking for a competitive game between players, & are not that interested in RP.  Some muds allow restricted pkilling, which means there are limits on who a player can kill, usually dependant on what level the combatants are at.  All RP games usually allow for playerkilling, but it has to be supported by roleplaying. For example, my paladin wouldn't attack the good or neutral cleric unless attacked first, but might consider attacking the evil necromancer, who is raising an undead army.

Some MUDs are "hack & slash", which means the playerbase is not into RP, so it's more questing, & killing monsters, although there will usually be some element of player-killing (usually by joining a clan).

What you can do is go to  Click on "search", then click on "advanced search" on that page.  There will appear a search interface that will allow you to pick out options to search for like "newbie friendly", "RP" encouraged", etc. Make you picks, & hit the search button, & the website will give you a list of MUDs that fit the criteria that you've selected.  Then just start trying them out, until you find one you like.

Good luck!!
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Old 01-16-2006, 02:26 AM   #4
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Re: MUSHes.

These are a sub-genre, if you will, of the broader MUD genre. The name stems from the usual codebase employed: PennMUSH or TinyMUSH, primarily.

They tend to be RP-focused and don't *always* have a lot of coded systems (although there are certainly quite a few MUSHes that offer plenty to do when it comes to bells and whistles). But even those that do feature coded systems still tend toward a reliance on interactive improvisational storytelling between the players.

You'll probably find that there's a higher premium put on interaction, language and literacy on a MUSH than on a more traditional MUD. (However, this doesn't mean some code-heavy MUDs *can't* be excellent RP venues. Just as some MUSHes can allow coded toys and RP to co-exist peacefully, so too can more familiar MUDs.)
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:19 AM   #5
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Hello and welcome to the madness! You said your primary reason to try out a text game is to improve your writing. You also mentioned experience in acting. Because of those two things, I would recommend you try a MUSH, or a RPI (RolePlayIntensive) game rather than the more common hack-n-slash with lots of coded features.

With a MUSH, the emphasis is on writing, and roleplaying (improvisational acting, via text). RPIs share similar qualities, but use a different code base (the computer code that creates and generates the game itself), and with that different code base comes various commands that support the roleplay. As someone mentioned above (I think Brody, who's a great guy round these parts), some MUSHs have built-in commands as well beside the "pose" or "emote" command.

Emote/pose are commands that allow you to portray your character through text. In a MUSH (from what little I've experimented with one) you can insert dialogue between yourself and someone else, using an emote/pose. With an RPI, emote functions only to allow you to express behaviors, and you'd use "say" or "tell" or "talk" for dialogue. This is because in an RPI, there's the possibility that the person your character is talking to, speaks a different language. So they make oral abilities seperate, and the code determines whether or not you are being understood.

In RPIs there is the capability of coded combat. Some MUSHs might have that too but the emphasis of a MUSH is acting out a story, often taking place in a single setting. RPIs are more geared toward people who enjoy adventure type games, where they would ride out into the mountain range, exploring, risking life and limb for the chance to find the lost city, finding that little outpost where they can pick up a dozen doodads that their employer is paying scads and scads of money for, etc. etc.

MUSHes, again from my very limited perspective, is more about telling a story than becoming an integral heart-pounding part of the story. Each attracts different types of players, but I would definitely recommend you check out one or the other (or both). The three RPIs I'm aware of are Armageddon, Harshlands, and Shadows of Isildur. There are dozens of MUSHes and the only one I ever tried out, I can't remember its name, so you'll have to do some poking around to find them yourself.
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:25 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback everyone, and I think that on top of the clarifications I asked for (thanks by the way) I think the overall advice is dive-in!

That's a little scary given how well-versed some are at this Roleplaying deal, but I'm sure that if I can keep myself motivated through the learning process I'll find something I can really enjoy.

Thanks again everybody,
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Old 01-16-2006, 04:26 PM   #7
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It's not much different from improv, Ratek! Imagine...

You get to the theatre, the director says:
Originally Posted by
OK. Setting is Tolkein's world, 500 years before Bilbo Baggins was born. You are playing the role of Balbrad, 3rd generation wizard and second cousin to the very young Gandalf. You have learned the very basics of magic and know there are specific spells that will do specific things. Your task is to learn two of them, in the next hour, on stage. Here are your props: a goblet of clear water, a loaf of bread, enough coins to buy a nifty robe and a donkey, and a magickal aura that surrounds you invisibly except for other wizards, who can see it.

You walk into a small village of humans, and...GO.
The director has already given instructions to each of the cast members, privately. You have no idea what their characters' goals are, or if you need to interact with them or not. Each of them has their own set of tools, some similar (such as food and water), some not so similar. Your job is to act out the part you believe you were given, interpret it as you feel appropriate, and not let your character get killed in the process.

In a roleplay text game, it's the same as the improv on stage, except it's done live, in text instead of live, in person.
The different "commands" are entirely dependent on the codebase you pick, but the function of gameplay is the same. In addition, you get to decide what your character's goals will be, and to some extent what types of skills you want him to have. This will only be limited by the rules and regs of the game.
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