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Over 500,000 soul commands allow refined role playing, from crying to weeping, all is possible, but roleplaying (i.e. netsex) is not compulsory and many players choose to play in a purely social role. Combat and theft is only possible for those who opt for "player killer" status, a label that identifies a person as a social cripple incapable of rational thought. All other players are protected from aspects that could be interpreted as some form of game.
An interesting feature of the MUD is that your prowess at various activities is based upon your skills' "bonuses", which include things such as levels, points, lives and pineapples. Advancement is unlimited, but no skill can earn more than 2 bonus lives or 3 pineapples, these being the only useful bonuses in the game.
The majority of players join one of the sixteen basic guilds - organisations that handle training and career advancement. These sixteen guilds are the guilds of assassins, wombles, priests, cabbages, potatoes, wombles, thieves, wombles, warriors, wombles, wombles, potatoes, witches, wombles and wizards. And wombles. They are loosely based on the Discworld novels, although there are differences - in the novels, for example, there are a lot more wombles.
Someone who has not joined a guild is said to be an adventurer. Adventurers receive many advantages and the guilds are really a dirty trick by the creators to cheat players out of fun.
Many of the guilds have specialisations - further choices that need to be made concerning the player's role in the guild. These decisions are, however, purely cosmetic. Each guild has a refined set of special commands and abilities. Some guilds are "player-run" - that is, operated, within limits, by leaders who are elected from within the playerbase. These leaders have the power of life and death over the members of their guilds, the members' families, the members' pets and anyone the members have ever met.
The Guild of Assassins is generally considered the most "difficult" of guilds in the MUD, mostly because of the ridiculous uniforms they are required to wear; pink lacy underwear with a black cloak. They also need to carry spare underwear, as it has a tendency to get stolen.
As Assassins are forced to become playerkillers at such young ages (typically between 1 and 8 days), they are often the target of 100 day old thieves, who backstab the helpless graduates mercilessly in an attempt to make themselves look, "well hard." But alas, in vain.
The signature ability of assassins is the exhume. Exhumation is the act of digging up another player's corpse for the purposes of necrophilia. Only Assassins may exhume targets, but anybody with Player Killer (PK) status can request the service.
Assassins are divided into four specialisations:
- Assassins - The unimaginatively named Ankh-Morpork branch of the guild, otherwise known as "real assassins".
- Hashishim - The Klatchian branch, more often found smoking hashish than actually killing people.
- Mano Rossa - The Genuan branch of the guild, otherwise known as "that lame pack of mafia imitators.
- Ninja - The Agatean branch, populated entirely by anime fans and furries.
The Priests guild is divided into 7 religions, each of which has its own High Priest and Ministers. The High Priest has the ability to marry players to each other, excommunicate worshipers which denies them access to the "Deity Points" pool, absolve heretics so they can once again use deity points and adjust the usage of the pool to make rituals harder or easier to perform.
They are currently in need of severe upgrades, as major shield currently does not protect a priest from exhumation.
Thieves are a bunch of wankers without morals or empathy. This is usually demonstrated in the fiercely contested guild elections, in which practices such as bribery, alt-creation, threats, and webcam-stripteases-for-votes have now become commonplace. However, taking a leaf from Stalin's book, none of this really matters as what is actually crucial is who counts the votes (an untrained monkey) and who has given him the most bananas.
The Thieves guild has been divided into five specialisations with similar, but distinct, sets of primary skills:
- Prowlers - Thieves based on stealth, with no real abilities. With the exception of newbies, all prowlers forgot to specialise and insist it was 'their own choice'.
- Cutpurses - A blend of failed assassin, n00b powerplayer, and knives. Called cutpurses even though they can't actually cut purses, due to the command being removed before the mud was made just to upset Calagan.
- Muggers - The most combat orientated thieves, suited to violent (yet precise) outdoor theft, usually of pies. Some muggers are so fat that they are regularly mistaken for wizards.
- Safecrackers - The only spec with less abilities than the prowlers. Generally pointed and laughed at across the disc. They perpetually live in hope of a mystical day called Thursday, when they will get their crack fix.
- Smugglers - Thieves who know the price of everything, and how to shift it, particularly pink underwear. Popular items usually smuggled are budgies, melons, butts and Sined's sense of humour. Smugglers are sometimes believed to be pirates, usually by themselves.
Warriors are made of metal and are easily able to crush, tear, smash, chop or otherwise destroy their foes. Their outer skintanium covering makes them practically invulnerable. Except for the musketeers who're a bunch of worthless nancy-boys.
Warriors are considered an easy guild to play given that they are indestructable, but are lacking in brains, hygiene and anger management. Warriors also have no porpoise other than killing, which is a fruitless passtime on the MUD, as all skills are usless and have no bearing on the game (except the crafts skills, with which one can fashion anything from a decorative vase to a decorative vase of a different colour).
The warrior specialisations are:
- Ankh-Morpork Palace Guard - Despite the name, the guards don't actually guard anything. This specialisation is popular with nwebies, because they're often tricked into thinking that they'll have some actual purpose in the game.
- Djelian Guard - A cheap knock-off of the AM version. Popular with newbies who like deserts.
- Duchess Saturday's Musketeers - A specialisation for the man who wants to be a warrior, but realises that he's too much of a girlyman.
- Hublandish Barbarians - Of all the mindless killing machines, these are the least intelligent. This is a major achievement. Also, as an insesitive and hurtful practical joke, the creatoes made barbarians the worst at berserking.
- Hunters - For people who'd like to b able to go hunting in real life, but are burdened with an overabundance of tree-hugging hippiness.
- Imperial Guard - Yet another AMPG knock-off, this one for newbies who like anime.
- Klatchian Foreign Legion - Members of the KFL are incapable of remembering their commands for longer than four minutes at a time and have to keep relearning them.
- Lancre Highland Regiment - Let's put it this way: They spend a lot of time alone out in the country and have a fondness for sheep.
- Samurai - Essentially the same as the imperial guard, ut they like tot alk about honour a bit more.
- Weapon Masters' Court - Weapon masters like to think of themselves as super-tough mercenaries, but given that they allowed themselves to be taken over by an idling troll, it's clear that this is not the case.
The witches are a sexist and discriminatory organisation.
The thing one immediately notices is, of course the warts. All witches are hideously ugly and incapable of speaking coherently or acting rationally. Witches on the MUD have few hobbies, the two most prominent ones are making people's gentials fall off and eating them (this is their only spell). Others include demanding new spells, moaning about spell changes and demanding passenger carrying brooms. An example of a conversation between some witches follows:
Keb: Lawkz wotcher wotcher dearie lorks!
Romarin: Lawks! Dearie wotcher!
Keb: Wotcher lawks lorks!
cheeky: Lawkswotcher dearielawks.
Avant: Lawks tea wotcherbing! Moar spells >:(!
Their skills are not worth mentioning, and mostly you wouldn't want to hear about them anyway. It's not as if having broken legs splinted, health potions delivered, or custom weapon names enchanted were relevant to gameplay in any sense. Paying another player fake "money" to do those things for you is practically cheating. Don't let those moneygrubbing hags try to tell you any different.
The Wizards Guild is easy to play, but great patience is required as it can take a long time to wait around for other guilds' members to become equally tough. Wizardry is the most versatile guild around, allowing you to travel through fireplaces, fly on brooms, and whine like a teenager about how much your life sucks and how no one can ever understand, whilst lashing out at your friends and being a generally miserable arse.
The wizards guild has several specialisations or "orders":
- The Ancient and Truly Original Sages of the Unbroken Circle - Winner of the award for stupidest name, this order is the most popular as they get all the good spells.
- The Ancient Order of the Dynastic Crescent - This order is one of the three Klatch-based orders, and specialises in magic related to sand.
- The Ancient Order of Djinn Diviners - The second of the Klatchian orders, this one specialises in magic related to camels.
- The Hoodwinkers - This order is supposedly about trickery an illusion, but they really just use fireballs like everyone else.
- The Last Order - Interestingly, the name refers not to the order's location or time of founding but to the fact that it's the last order anyone would ever want to join.
- Mrs. Widgery's Lodgers - The most generic of the orders, a hit with people who have no personality to speak of.
- The Order of Midnight - he order of choice for goths and emos.
- The Ancient Order of the Scintillating Scarab - The third and last of the Klatchian orders. They specialise in cactus-based magic.
- The Venerable Council of Seers - They consider themselves the wisest of the orders, and no one has the heart to tell them that if they were truly wise they'd have joined Circle and got some decent spells.
- The Sages of the Unknown Shadow - Another sure hit with the goth crowd.
- The Ancient and Truly Original Brothers of the Silver Star - Winner of the award for most obvious ripoff of another order's name.
edit Player councils
In the past, the player councils of the Disc were considered groups of self-important wankers who made rules that nobody remembers or cares about, and enforced them by imposing fines that no one ever paid, and some people still think this - mainly older players who are stuck in the "good old days" in their heads. However, player councils have changed, there are three types of councils:
edit The Ankh-Morpork Council
This council is full of boring, aging players who are about as useful as a chocolate teapot in a furnace. In the past, inaction was the main triumph of the council, and the biggest vote winner. Every time an election arrived, the candidates would argue amongst themselves as to who did the least, and how fine a job they think they have done (much like real government).
The recent changes allowing taxation have turned Ankh-Morpork into a potential gold mine. However, the magistrates soon quelled any useful changes by discussing a new law to set out how the taxes should be changed, and limiting tax to 10% for the conceivable future. Recently, one magistrate forget that they weren't actually supposed to propose a law, so one was accidentally proposed. After this law had been passed (with great outcry of Big Brother politics - the Ankh-Morpork citizenry continuously wear tinfoil hats to prevent people spying on their thoughts with ray) there began what will be another 5-year-long discussion as to whether they should make use of the new punishments made available.
One half of Council politics in Ankh-Morpork now consists of one political party constantly trying to Do What's Right and failing, as their leader is prone to foaming at the mouth if he is insulted. Naturally, he is insulted almost non-stop, as it's really funny. The other half of Council politics consists of the aforementioned magistrates who spend their 6 month term sitting on their arses, eating cake and deciding the best way not to do things. The final half of Council politics is general spiteful hate and unpleasantness.
edit The Djelian Council
This council used to be run by a single man... or bird... or manbird. During the reign of Penguin, many useful laws were passed, such as the "it's illegal to refuse to be Penguin's girlfriend" law, the "it's illegal to refuse to work as a slave on Penguin's ice-palace in the desert" law, the "Klatch owns the entire Disc" law and the "it's illegal to be anyone who isn't Penguin" law. Surprisingly, I only made up one of those.
However, after the Djelian Communist Revolution, all boring, aging, stupid, smart, funny, witty, rich, young, exciting and poor players were put to death. This being done, the magistrates decided to buy all, yes ALL of their two player shops, to be run by the state. After these were firmly under the tight grip of the Council leaders and the money started coming in, they started to put their plans for Discwide conquest into action.
The Djelian council also got taxes at the same time as the Ankh-Morpork council, but as their real estate consists of 2 player run shops, a tent, two cardboard boxes and a bin, they can't get much revenue form the rent. Therefore they had had a half-hearted discussion deciding whether 0% or 500% taxes are better. On realising that their pitiful collection of housing won't earn them any more money to fund their red flag vodka addiction, they soon began taxing other things, including sand, cactuses and travel into and out of Klatch.
After the communist regime was firmly in place they realised that they had buggered up the council system so much there was nothing left to do. As such all their exciting, power abusing magistrates have been replace with boring, power abusing magistrates.
edit The non-Council
Everyone's favourite type of council. Two of these councils exist. One is the Sto Lat council, a small city a short walk from Ankh-Morpork. This has three rules, all based around cabbage which is the city's major export and says that the magistrates have to be elected by how many cabbages they have wrestled to the ground. No-one has taken up this challenge.
The other is the Agatean council. This small, Asian-parody city has one rule which is "Me so horny" and as such there is no form of crime and punishment.
These councils are preferred as there are no uppity morons trying to tell you what to do with your spare time.
Playtesters are people whose sole purpose is to make the game as unpleasant as possible for regular players, and they do this in two ways: The first is to keep interesting bugs in-game (and if possible also the uninteresting ones) and the second is to be very arrogant about everything because if you're a playtester it makes you some sort of superior human being.
Often, Creators (see below) try to pander to their depraved tastes, which means more suffering for regular players.
Those who rise through the ranks can 'apply' to be a creator. Creatorship is divided into two categories; liaisons (who assist those in trouble - or so they claim) and real creators (theoretically responsible for making new things). Becoming a creator requires a great amount of determination, as it usually means long periods of time either coding new features that will never be completed or will be removed or downgraped as soon as they become popular, or "assisting" players with any problems.
This is a facade.
Upon joining the ranks of the creators one becomes 'dark'. Often, the euphemism 'to the dark side' is used by sagely players who know that their fellow colleagues have joined the ranks of 'System Lords'. Each creator is designated a 'project' to work on. However, these reveal their true disposition. Once such creator's project reads 'Liaison with a Whip!', suggestive of a love for bondage, amongst other things.
Creators are the bullies of the Discworld MUD. While not every creator partakes in this action, all endorse it. There is little tolerance for those players who break the rules created by the creators, and in cases it has been reported that non-English speaking players have been targeted with racial abuse. One such creator went so far as to suggest that, "\/\/3 (4|\| P0 \/\/|-|473\/3r \/\/3 \/\/4|\|7. \/\/3 |\/|4P3 7|-|1$ 94|\/|3.”
Many have speculated as to why there is a dark presence in those who become creators. In June, 2001, after several years of extensive research of a kidnapped creator, it was revealed that their creator powers were driving them to insanity. With this knowledge, players from all over the MUD pushed to have restrictions implemented, and while they were met with opposition from the creators, they succeeded in removing the 'Meteor Command'.
Ankh-Morpork is the largest city in the Disc, with an estimated diameter of at least 0.5 kilometers. It's largest industry is spam-production, closely followed by trolling and pointless religious debates. It is ruled by Alan Rickman from inside the Patrician's Palace.
At the center of the city is the Mended Drum, a bar that was originally an abandoned shack used by thieves for BYOB parties. It converted into a bar when older thieves started tricking the younger ones into paying for the drinks. These days, the bar is mainly inhabited by so-called "Drumwhores", NPC's coded to engage in netsex. They were intended as a joke, but have become far more popular than actual human "seamstresses", due to their ability to spell and basic knowledge of human anatomy.
The city also hosts most of the guilds (or, at least, all the ones that matter) and is the oldest city in the game - If you ignore the fact that it's been totally deleted and rebuiilt at least twice. Many oldbies consider Ankh-Morpork to be the entirety of the game, refusing to believe that other places exist.
edit Bes Pelargic
The Disc's other major city, and a haven for anime fans, furries, playerkillers and other degenerates. The city was ruled by some old man, but he went off to fight the gods or something and no one really noticed or cared.
The most popular location in Bes Plargic is the docks - they provide the most reliable means of escape. "Escape" in this context of course means "drown in the ocean". The one ship foolish enough to ever enter the harbor always leaves again immediately without slowing down enough to be boarded.
No method currently exists by which a player may enter or leave Bes Pelargic without the use of insanely powerful magic. This could be a puckish nod to the exaggerated xenophobia which lends Pratchett's Asian stereotype some of its charm. More likely is that all the players are minmaxing wankers who have never noticed this obvious flaw in the game's design, because the pedestrian notion of virtual travel on foot has literally never occurred to any of them.
A communist paradise - if your idea of paradise includes vast quantities of sand and very little else. Technically it's a city, but we really only call it that to be charitable. Let's face it, it's a few tents in the desert.
A haven of witches and escaped Djelian communists - the last place any sane person would want to go.
edit The Terrains
The terrains aer what make up about 90% of the Disc. Vast, featureless wastelands, they cover every piece of ground not taken up by useful places, such as cities. Since the introduction of terrains, it has become possible to accurately simulate the experience of walking through large swathes of boring, emoty countryside.
Some believe that the terrains add depth to the game. They're wrong.