Discworld MUD

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Discworld MUD is a free mud-wrestling match set in the Discworld, as depicted in the Discworld series of books by Terry Pratchett. It is based on the Womble codebase.

Overview

The MUD was founded in 1991 and opened to the public in 2004. The world has developed over time to the huge size it is today with more than 7 rooms and almost 3 unique NPCs.

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.

You can connect to the Discworld MUD by wishing really hard. Alternatively, you can play through your web browser with a Java client at their website.

Guilds

The majority of players join one of the six basic guilds - organisations that handle training and career advancement. These six guilds are the guilds of assassins, priests, thieves, warriors, witches, and wizards.

Someone who has not joined a guild is said to be an adventurer. Adventurers are at a disadvantage at certain points because guilds assist hugely in increasing skills.

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, enforcing the rules...especially amongst the assassins.

Assassins

The Guild of Assassins is generally considered the most "difficult" of guilds in the MUD...do we really need to explain why? Partially because 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 inhume. Inhumation is the act of killing a NPC or PK player in a single hit. However, it can only be used on people that the assassin is being paid to kill.

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
  • Mano Rossa - The Genuan branch of the guild
  • Ninja - The Agatean branch

Priests

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.

The Priests guild has seven different player-worshipable gods at present. They are: Fish, Pishe, Sandelfon, Hat, Gapp, Gufnork and Sek.

Thieves

The thieves guild is often considered the easiest guild for a new player, as it gives skills very quickly, and it is rather obviously easy to acquire money. However, players are limited to a quota, a minimum and a maximum of the amount that they can steal, which can very quickly become limiting.

The Thieves guild has been divided into five specialisations with similar, but distinct, sets of primary skills:

  • Prowlers
  • Cutpurses
  • Muggers
  • Safecrackers
  • Smugglers

Warriors

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 one of the few guilds that can gain combat skills quickly, but are lacking in any other skills.

The warrior specialisations are:

  • Ankh-Morpork Palace Guard
  • Djelian Guard
  • Duchess Saturday's Musketeers
  • Hublandish Barbarians
  • Hunters
  • Imperial Guard
  • Klatchian Foreign Legion
  • Lancre Highland Regiment
  • Samurai
  • Weapon Masters' Court

Witches

The thing one immediately notices is, of course the warts. Warts are an easy measure of a witches skills, as they get one for every ten guild levels that they gain. Skills that witches can acquire including broomstick flying, brewing potions, casting rather unusual yet clearly useful spells, and the all important skill of making other peoples noses fall off.

Witches learn at one of two places

Granny Weatherwax, off of Bad Ass in the Ramptops Oggysan, in BP


Wizards

The Wizards' Guild is not based on the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling.

The Wizards Guild is easy to play, but great patience is required as it can take a long time to get useful spellwork. Wizardry is the most versatile guild around, allowing you to do incredibly random (and sometimes pointless things) with hundreds of spells.

The wizards guild has several specialisations or "orders":

  • The Ancient and Truly Original Sages of the Unbroken Circle
  • The Ancient Order of the Dynastic Crescent - This order is one of the three Klatch-based orders
  • The Ancient Order of Djinn Diviners The second of the Klatchian orders
  • The Hoodwinkers - This order is about trickery an illusion
  • The Last Order - A PK combat order
  • Mrs. Widgery's Lodgers - The most generic of the orders, overall specialization in magic
  • The Order of Midnight -
  • The Ancient Order of the Scintillating Scarab - The third and last of the Klatchian orders.
  • The Venerable Council of Seers -
  • The Sages of the Unknown Shadow - Necromancy
  • The Ancient and Truly Original Brothers of the Silver Star

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:

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.

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.

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

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.

Creators

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.

Creatorswithawhip
Three creators demonstrate their 'whipping' project.

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'.

Areas

Ankh-Morpork

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.

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 Bs Plargic is the docks - they provide the most reliable means of escape.

Djelibeybi

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.

Lancre

A haven of witches and escaped Djelian communists - the last place any sane person would want to go.

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.

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