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Frequently Asked Questions

Discworld Concepts


So, you wanna play in the MUD?

Written by: Turtle
Updated by: Turrican, Balin, Solace, Wyvyrn, Feantur
Maintained by: Skye

This is a list of the Frequently Asked Questions of the Discworld MUD. This should save you a lot of time and frustration when playing the game.

Q: Where the hell am I? What's going on?
A: Calm down. Take a deep breath. Feel better? Good. Okay, now we can talk. You are in a role playing game based on the series of books called Discworld written by Terry Pratchett. This game is put together by people who:
a) like the books and/or
b) like to create challenges for other people.

Q: That's all great. Really. But back to my original question. Where am I?
A: You start out in a newbie area that should help familiarise you with some of the concepts you'll run into while playing the game. There are many help files and people available there to help you. Read well.

Q: Where do I go first? Is there a beginner area?
A: There is no specific beginners area, besides the one in which you started. The city in which you start will depend on the city you choose as your start location. Ankh-Morpork and Bes Pelargic are easier start locations than most, though they do of course have their dangerous sections. Those sections are, for the most part, clearly marked.

Q: So what am I supposed to do?
A: Well, if you look at the bottom of the room description, you'll see that there is something that tells you the obvious exits. You can go in a direction by typing that exit name, or s for south, n for north and so on.

Q: I've got a question that's not listed here!
A: This is what the fancy newbie channel's made for. To ask a question just use the newbie command ('help newbie'). All your questions will be answered. Well, most of them at least.

Q: Now what smart guy?
A: Keep going. Explore a little. See if you can get a picture of the game in your head. This is all up to your imagination, so if you can't see it there, this is going to be a little tricky. While you are doing this, you may want to make a map for yourself. Sure, they sell them, for some areas, and there are some available on the web (see the Discworld home page) but the best way to get it burnt into your brain is to make one yourself. After that, you don't really need it anymore.

Q: I'm lost in this gods' forsaken city!
A: Don't worry. Just lean back, relax and ask your fairy godmother for help. Call on her by using the "godmother" command (see 'help godmother'). She will help you get back to where you entered the game. But be careful, eventually she will demand tribute for her services. Once you have ventured further afield, your fairy godmother will take you to a nearby safe location she knows, rather than all the way back to the town you come from.

Q: It's easier to get to the right subway station in New York than to find that famous Temple of Small Gods. The map isn't any help either!
A: Okay, okay. If you want to go ahead and find it the easy way, I'll tell you how. But don't expect me to like it... *hrmpf* You might want to look at an atlas (see 'help atlases') or ask a newbie helper (try the 'helpers' command). If you start in Ankh-Morpork, in the Drum (as well as some other places), are street urchins who are employed as guide. They're there to... you to some of the major locations in Ankh-Morpork. To get one of them to help you, just say 'help' (as long as there is a guide in the same room as you are). When you found a place you'd like to go to, just say 'take me to X', where X is the place you'd like to go to.

Q: Okay, I walked around, got a little lost and I'd like to do something more serious now. What do I do?
A: There are various guilds you can join: The warriors, thieves, priests, wizards, witches, and assas... assass.. buggrit, professional killers (never did learn how to stop spelling that). You have to find the guild you want to join and go there (try 'help maps'). There is a room in each guild where you will be allowed to join it. Be warned: you can only join once per character. Be sure before you choose. Some guilds are based mainly in one location, though they may have outposts in others, for example, the Witches' Guild is based mostly in Lancre and the Thieves' Guild is based mostly in Ankh-Morpork.

Q: How do I know what's best for me?
A: Do you want to steal crap, be death from above, forward the cause of your god, command the mysteries of the universe, or strap on a sword and kill stuff?

Q: What is the best guild?
A: Each one has its good points and weak points:

Warriors - Basic, no nonsense killing machines. Advanced fighting commands, braincells in the single digits, etc.

Thieves - These guys have tricks everywhere. Hiding, stealing, picking locks. The problem is that they also have a quota that they have to steal over a set time period (and stay within). This is a popular profession.

Assissaiiasiis screw it - As a killing type person, you get to become an artist of inhuming (killing things, in an artful kind of way). Assassins must do the run, which can seriously reduce your lives and they *all* become player killers. It's not really for the first timer or the moron. Oh, and you get to wear a lot of black.

Priests - As a priest, you have a few choices. You pick a god and then get rituals, similar to Wizards' spells. A powerful priest is a popular person, due to their ability to heal (among other things). If you have some patience, the rewards are good.

Wizards - In the beginning, they can't fight, and they can't cast spells very well. They just sit there and fume a lot, feeling bitter. Hell, getting spells means going into the Library, which is a horrible experience if you don't have a map. Ask anyone. However, a high level wizard is one of the toughest people around. This guild is not for those that don't have a lot, and I mean a lot, of patience.

Witches - Them of the feminine persuasion wot likes to use a bit o' headology. You get to cast spells, brew healing tea and other concoctions that do a variety of things, and you get a spanking new broomstick to zip around on. Is a bit for them wet hens wot are that way inclined with dancin' about skyclad and wotnot.

Q: Okay, I joined a guild. What's the next step?
A: Type the word 'help'. This will give you a list of all the basic concepts Discworld uses. Make sure you read the docs on 'liaisons', 'multiplechars', 'skills', 'rules' and 'taskmaster'. Typing 'help command_list' will give you a list of all the commands available to you as a player.

There are a few others that you can get help on later, as you get more skills. Go through the list one by one so that you can get a feel for it. This may take you a while.

Q: How should I rearrange my stats?
A: Everyone has different rules for how they set up their stats by rearranging in a retrophenologist's office. Here's a list of what they are for:

Strength - How strong you are. Says it all, really.
Dexterity - Think reflexes and coordination.
Constitution - How resistant to disease and wounds you are.
Wisdom - Most useful for priests who use it for rituals & prayers.
Intelligence - Most useful for wizards who will be casting spells.

However, it is strongly recommended not to change your stats until you're 100% sure on how you want them to be, a rearrange can only be done once. Reading 'help rearrange' is a good idea.

Q: I've joined and I need cash.
A: There are lots of ways to make money. There are places where you can do jobs for payment, and also some quests which give money. A good way for a beginner is to walk around the city, using the search command, and sell what you find. DO NOT try to kill things at random. There is an opportunity before you leave the newbie area to learn some basic combat skills, and there is the useful 'consider' command, which will give you a very rough guide as to your chances in combat. And when you think of equipping stuff that you find, remember, no one else picked it up for a reason. It's crap. With a few rare exceptions.

Also, some guilds have funds especially set aside for newbies where they give you a sum of money, just to get you started. The guilds that do this have their own guidelines for eligibility, so it's probably best if you have a chat to the other members of your guild to see if you'll be able to get some help financially.

Q: What is experience and why do I want it?
A: Experience points are not altogether necessary; our lovely taskmaster system increases skills with use & practice. However, experience is still handy for advancing skills that aren't used very often. When you do certain things, you get experience points (or xp for short). When you join a guild, you can go to a special room in your guild and advance your skills, which help you fight/steal/cast/pray better. The more xp you spend, the better you get at something.

Q: What about talking to people? What is the best way?
A: Cursing is discouraged just because in a place where everything is made of words, you should know how to be more expressive. Don't worry about being too wordy though, no one is expecting perfection or Shakesspear.

Q: You spelled that wrong.
A: *silence*

Q: I heard someone say "afk brb" then they stopped playing. Is that a disease of some kind?
A: No, there are lots of shortcuts that people use when typing. Here are a few of the common ones.

AFKAway From Keyboard - this means a bathroom break or something of the like.
BRBBe Right Back
IMHOIn My Humble Opinion
BBLBe Back Later - They are off to do something else. The conversation is over.
AFAIKAs Far As I Know
IIRCIf I Recall Correctly
HTHHope This Helps
HANDHave A Nice Day
TLAThree Letter Abbreviation - very popular online, like the ones above

You can find a few more with 'help TLA'

Q: Where do I go for experience?
A: There are a few ways to get experience.

Kill things -
Self explanatory I hope.
Use guild commands -
Guild commands are commands that you learn as you progress through
your guild and that can be viewed with the 'commands' command.
Each guild has their own set of commands and when you use them,
you gain a some experience points.
Teach other people -
Once you get good enough, you can teach commands and skills to
other players, and this will give you experience.
Explore -
That's right, just by wandering to far-flung places you've not dared
yet wander will result in a boost of experience. Be careful not to
wander too far though, you might get lost!

See also 'help experience'.

Q: Any tips for fighting people?
A: Remember to 'consider' prospective opponents before you attack them. Turn the command 'monitor' on. You can type 'help monitor' and 'help consider' for more details about these commands. Don't let the hp get too low. You can also use the wimpy command ('help wimpy') to make you automatically run away if your hit points get too low, but remember, some monsters will chase after you.

Occasionally while fighting, you will see messages like, 'You feel that you can now block better.' or something along that line. This is because the game is set up so that the more you do something the better you get at it. Isn't this much nicer than "getting experience" and "learning" at a guild? :)

Q: How do I find a quest?
A: Quests are what make the game a challenge. Otherwise, all you would do is walk around and kill stuff. Spotting quests can be very hard at first. But don't get discouraged! Look at things carefully, read the room descriptions, and the messages that appear in some rooms. To get you started you could have a look around the river and in the post office. Asking for quest solutions is against the rules. If you're really stuck some nice players may give you a hint, but don't go asking for solutions and don't ask creators. If you're a little confused still about what exactly quests are, and what is OK to ask, and what isn't, have a read through the quests help page ('help quests').

Q: I searched around and got myself killed. I am now a distant cousin of Casper. Am I stuck like this?
A: Nope. There are a number of places to get a new body: in Ankh-Morpork try to find Harry in the Temple of Small Gods, in Bes Pelargic look for Tu Silent Llamas on Chopsticks, plus many other locations across the disc.

Alternatively, type 'who priests' and look for a priest of Pishe. If you ask them nicely, they may come and raise you from the dead.

Watch it though, you only have seven lives. Maybe.

Q: Maybe?
A: Take a hint.

Q: How do I know who is a player and who is part of the game?
A: Type 'finger', 'users', 'who' or 'qwho', and you will be given a list of the people playing at that moment. It changes pretty rapidly. Sometimes there are only a few dozen people playing, but usually many more.

Q: Why does it take my commands so long to do sometimes?
A: That is called the lag. This game is played over the Internet and there are lots of things to drag it down. Think about keeping one hundred people playing the same game all at once. It's gonna be slow sometimes.

Q: Does it help if I yell lag?
A: Nope. It will actually make it a little worse. It's not much you can do about the lag as it can come up because of so many different reasons. Using MCCP ('MUD Client Compression Protocol') will help you if you're having serious lag troubles (see 'help mccp' for more information). Getting a faster internet connection might help sometimes.

You could of course also kill the Lag. He walks around Ankh-Morpork remembering the old days when lag was an important part of the game*. It won't decrease the actual lag but it might make you feel better.

Q: How do I make friends?
A: When you enter a square with someone, say something witty, like "Hi". Lots of people are willing to help a newbie. You should be nice to people. This is a social experience as well as a gaming one. Those are real people on the other ends of the terminals. Just because it's a computer screen doesn't give you a reason to be a jerk. Also type 'help inform'. The inform command lets you know when people come and go on the Disc.

Q: How do I do that cool stuff like make my person sneeze and laugh and stuff?
A: Those are called "soul" commands. Type 'look soul' for a very lengthy complete list.

Q: Should I attack other players?
A: Only registered player killers may attack other players (who also must be registered player killers). This is mostly for you, the newbie; things wouldn't be very much fun if you were slaughtered moments after logging in.

Q: Why did Carrot arrest me?
A: Good question. Who knows? He gets in that kind of mood sometimes. Trying to murder people in front of a constable generally doesn't get them in a great mood.

Q: Can I kill Carrot?
A: *uncontrollable laughter*

Q: How long do I have to stay in jail?
A: Go get a drink and wait patiently, but keeping an eye on things all the time. 15 minutes or so, real time. You have to let your person sit there until you get let out, or some one bails you out. There are a couple of other ways, but not for newbies.

Q: So when will I lose the annoying title, newbie?
A: When you stop asking questions like that.

Q: Who's in charge of this place?
A: Type finger and in the list you'll see that a few names have a 'C' or a
'T' or 'S' or something next to them.

C = A Creator, attached to a domain.
S = A Senior Creator, not always attached to a specific domain.
I = An Independent, a highly experienced creator, usually not
attached to a specific domain.
D = A Director, usually in charge of the Creators of a domain
and attached to that domain.
T = A Trustee, in charge of Directors and General Admin, sometimes
attached to domains.
X = Someone who is still logging in.

Liaison Domain creators are there to liaise with and help the players in general. To find out who's in Liaison just type 'finger liaison'. To find out which liaisons are online at the moment, type 'liaison'. You can ask them about stuff, but for general questions, use the newbie channel. It's best not to really bother them unless you have a good reason. Knowwuddimean?

Q: What about when I get sick of this city?
A: First, make sure that you've visited a few places. Some of note are: the Post Office, the pubs, and the travelling shops (good luck *snicker*). They are central locations for doing things like mail and getting information. After that, there are a few gates that will let you out to the countryside where a whole Disc of challenges await. Watch it though, it's a little tougher out there.

Q: How close is this to the books?
A: Vaguely. Some quests are easy if you've read the books. Generally, it starts off from the books and goes on from there. The thing that is consistent is that it's all pretty goofy. In some cases a deadly kind of goofy, but still goofy. Other MUD's are much more serious. Not this one.

Q: What if I don't like it here?
A: You don't have to stay. Thanks for giving it a whirl.

Q: What if I do like it here. How long till I become a regular?
A: Forever. The game never ends and there are new quests being added all the time. You'll know that you're getting good when your name appears on the top ten list in your guild.

Q: Who are you anyway?
A: I'm the letter A. :)

Q: I am laughing so hard. What was that thing after the sentence?
A: Lighten up. That was a smiley face (turn your head sideways to the left) that meant that I was saying that in jest. You use those when you talk to people because it's hard for people to see you smiling at your screen.

Q: Who are you really?
A: Turtle. Your name tells people a lot about how you want to be thought as. A name like Flatulence will not be treated seriously. Yes, I know that this is supposed to have a light mood to the place, but we're still human. It's tough to ever listen sincerely to Flatulence. See what I mean? I mean, when Flatulence enters the room, people are going to be naturally turned off.

Also keep in mind that when people talk to you they have to type your name, so something like Qmartisimia will be kind of annoying to type. Of course, a real name, like Bob, is kinda dull. Don't try to be clever either. People will laugh the first time. But in the months that follow, it'll get old. Just remember this is the only name you'll get.

Q: Do you have any suggestions?
A: Flatulence.

Q: When do I get good enough to be a creator?
A: The real question is: Do you want to?

Q: Okay, do I want to?
A: Glad you asked. Creators are a far cry from players. As a player, you have the challenge of exploring and reaching new goals. As a creator, you can do anything and get anything. Not much challenge in gaming terms. A reason to become a creator is if you were always the Dungeon Master. You like to create the challenges and you know how to program. Once you become one, the game will never be the same because you've seen all the secrets.

You have to be ready to work really hard, helping people, answering questions, all while trying to finish the project your Director assigned you. :) It's not all fun and games.

Q: So how do I become one?
A: There are certain requirements to becoming a creator:

* You must be at least 5 days old
* You must be at least guild level 150 in your guild

This might sound like a lot, but it's important that you gain experience playing the game, before you start creating for it. It also shows a level of commitment.

If you've done all this you can apply to be a creator using the 'apply' command.

Good Luck!

Q: What does segmentation fault mean?
A: That's one of the most important signs of a well developed MUD. MUDs that after ten years still have lag problems are no good. Discworld has moved away from that and has entered the much more interesting crash stage of development.

Q: How do I get about? Which forms of transport are there?
A: Aside of your feet, witches can fly, wizards can portal and priests can use divine hand. All can use carriages which are going various routes around the Disc.