1.0 Basic Commands and Setting up a Character
1.1 Some Terms and Abbreviations
Frequently used terms:
- The person reading this manual; the entity who types
things on behalf of a character.
- The virtual person or creature inhabiting the
MUCK, controlled by a player. Players have characters;
characters have players. The terms `player' and `character' are often
- A player-like object controlled by a character. A
`virtual character', as it were. A puppet can move and act independently
of the character; everything the puppet sees and hears is relayed to the
character and player.
- Same thing as a puppet.
- Robot (or `bot):
- An object programmed to act like a character, or
a character under the control of a program that causes her to perform
certain actions automatically. `Bots are sometimes called
AI's (from `artificial intelligence').
- A setting on an object that influences or restricts its
behavior. Flags are also called `bits'. Flags are discussed in
- Object Type:
- An object may be a
PLAYER is something that can be connected to via a name and
password, can own things, and can act independently. Because this object type
is called `player' rather than `character', many help documents (including
this manual) will often use this term, though what's meant is the character
object, not the living person who controls it. A
THING is a
mobile object that may be picked up, dropped, handed, and otherwise
ROOM is a place in the world of the
MUCK, though it need not be described as an interior room: rooms
can also be described to simulate an outdoor area, or described in an abstract
way so that moving through the room shows characters useful text (for example,
a tutorial on building might be set up as a series of rooms, with the
description of each room serving as a `page' in a maunal). An
EXIT is a link between two objects on the
Exits may be created such that they serve as virtual doors between rooms, or
they may serve as user-created commands. (
EXITs are also called
PROGRAM is a special instance of class
THING which contains the code of an executable program. The type
of an object is determined when it is created, and indicated by a flag. An
object with a
P flag is a
PLAYER; an object with an
R flag is a
ROOM; an object with an
flag is an
EXIT; an object with an
F flag is a
program. If an object has none of these flags, it is a
The collective term for all of these is is `object': players, rooms, etc. are
- Every object in the database has a unique identifying
number: its `database reference number', or `dbref' for short. (Many objects
may have the same name.) A dbref is usually preceeded by an # octothorpe,
- A program that replaces
Telnet as a
means to connect to the
MUCK server. Clients have numerous
special features specifically applicable to
M*'s, such as
automated logon, the capacity to switch between several worlds, hiliting
certain kinds of text, line-wrapping, separating text being typed from
text being displayed by the
MUCK, paging, and scrollback.
Different platforms require different clients. TinyFugue is a
UNIX client. MUDDweller is a widely used
Macintosh client. SimpleMU, Pueblo, Phoca,
and ZMud are common Windows clients. A single client can
connect to different servers... that is, you don't need a separate
Virtually all client programs are distributed as freeware or shareware,
and are widely available over the Internet (see Appendix A).
- The unit of currency on a
MUCK. Money is
usually a non-issue on
MUCKs, though some commands require
an expenditure of pennies. The administrators of a
set the name of the currency: it might be pennies, or it might be
pop-tarts, fleas, or lurid fantasies. You will often find money simply
by moving through the
MUCK, and will see a message such as
`You find a penny!' or `You find a reason for living!' Many
MUCKs also have banks or other places where you can get
- A period in which the server backs up the database to disk.
At scheduled intervals, the server automatically executes relatively brief
saves in which only those objects changed or created since the last save are
backed up (`delta saves'), as well as longer saves in which the entire database
is backed up ('full saves' or `database saves'). In addition to automated
saves, wizards may initiate a save via the
@dump command. ('Saves'
are also called `dumps'.) During a save, activity on the
frozen: commands you enter during a save will be queued and executed after the
save completes. On a very large
MUCK, a full save can take ten or
- (noun) A perceptible delay between the time you enter a
command and the time it is executed. Lag may be caused by an overloaded server
(too many people logged on or too many programs running), by an overly
large database (the database is larger than available RAM, necessitating
frequent swaps to disk), or by problems on the Internet. (verb) To
experience lag or a `locked-up' screen.
- (noun) Text scrolling by too fast to be read comfortably.
(verb) To act or use programs in such a way that those around you are
subjected to an excessive amount of frivolous or repetitive text.
- To be logged onto the
MUCK but not doing
- To say aloud something meant to be whispered. By extention,
to say aloud something meant to be paged, or to whisper or page to
the wrong person. Maving is a potential source of embarrassment or
awkwardness. The name derives from a character in the early days of
M*s who was chronically prone to this particular faux pas.
MUCK's overall controller or
administrator, and the player object with dbref
#1. God has
access to a few commands unavailable to all other players, and may not
@forced. The term `God' is used less frequently on
MUCKs than on
MUDs. In fact,
leadership by a single wizard player is relatively rare. More often, a core
group of wizards share responsibility for administering the
with more than one having access to the God character's password.
- An administrator of the
MUCK, and a
player with the
W flag. Wizards have control over all
objects in the database, and may use restricted commands available only
to them. ('Wizard' is often shortened to `wiz'.)
- Realm Wizard or Realms Wizard:
- An administrator having extended
control of a certain area within a
MUCK. Realms wizards can
freely modify objects and players within their area, but cannot use wiz
commands. Use of the realms wizard system is somewhat uncommon.
- A non-wizard character. This term too is used less
MUCKs than on
MUDs. While wizards are technically players, people usually
refer simply to `wizzes' on the one hand and `players' on the other.
(Where the distinction is important, this manual will use the term
MUCK administrator, who may or may not
be a wizard, and may or may not have access to restricted commands. A
common staff position is `helpstaff': someone who agrees to help new
players and answer questions, but seldom has access to restricted
commands. Most wizards are staff, but occassionally a player will be
given a wizbit without staff responsibilities and privileges. In other
words, `staff' is an administrative rather than technical term.
- An online programming language with a
MPI is available to all
players. Because it is universally available,
a number of security features that restrict its power.
is covered in Section 3.
- An online programming language with a
MUF security is handled
through a system of privileges. In order to program in
one must have a `Mucker bit' (an
M flag). Mucker bits range
M1 (highly restricted) to
M3 (almost as
powerful as a
Wizard flag). On well established
MUCKS, only highly trusted players with demonstrated
programming skill are given
M3 bits. The power and
MUF is covered in Section 3.
- User-Created Command or User-Created Program:
- These terms are
not commonly used on
MUCKs, but are often used in this
manual, and so are mentioned here. Many of the commands people are
accustomed to using on
MUCKs are not part of the
MUCK server, but rather separate programs created by
players and wizards. Soft-coded commands, in other words. Some (such as
commands used on most
MUCKs ) are enhancements of server
commands. Others (such as
lookat) are basic utilities that do something the server
itself cannot. A large
MUCK will also have a great many
other user-created commands and programs: some invaluable, some highly
specialized, and some frivolous.
- This term too is used quite frequently in the manual. In
almost all cases, your permission to change an object is determined by
whether or not you control it. For mortals, control is essentially
synonymous with ownership: you control everything you own; you don't
control things you don't own, with one exception: anyone can control
an unlinked exit. Wizards and realms wizards have extended control:
Realms wizards control anything in their realm, including players;
wizards control everything.
Frequently used abbreviations:
- Virtual Reality. The
MUCK world or
worlds. Characters live there.
- Real Life. The world outside the
MUCK. Most players live there.
- A generic abbreviation
for all flavors of text-based, Internet-accessible, interactive
- In Character. Acting or speaking as your
character, rather than as you, the player.
- Out of Character. Acting or speaking as
you, the player, rather than the character. Medieval warriors arguing
about Mac vs. Windows are
OOC. In some situations, on some
OOC without signalling that you
are doing so (by putting something like
`notes OOC' before your poses and comments) is considered a
breach of etiquette.
- In My Humble (or Holy) Opinion, &
IMO, In My Opinion
- Laughs Out Loud
- Away From Keyboard
- Be Right Back
- Be Back Later
- TinySex. To make love or have sex on the
MUCK, via the gestures and comments of your character.
TS is both a verb and noun.
- TinyPlot. A role-played, jointly-authored,
predominantly improvised storyline acted out by a group of players.
TPs are usually consensual: players agree ahead of time to
participate in the
TP, though other players may be drawn
TP by the storyline's development. Usually players
will plan the main conflict, premise, or events ahead of time at
least provisionally and improvise their characters' individual
contributions and reactions. (The terms 'TinySex' and `TinyPlot' derive
from `TinyMUD', an early server from which
MUCK grew out
- Role Playing. Acting
IC in a
way that is consistent with either the overall theme of the
MUCK, a TinyPlot in which one is participating, or both.
MUCKs are predominantly places to
some are mostly places to socialize, where
MUCK itelf is not an abbreviation or acronym.
The names of other
M* servers are:
for Multi-User Dungeon or Multi-User Domain;
Multi-User Shared Hallucination;
MUCK is simply a name with a sound and
connotations rather like those of
MUSH. Purportedly, the name derives from the fact that
MUF gives players the ability to `muck around with' the