Heroes of the Lance MudHelpRacesClassesAreasRulesClansPantheonHeroesJournalsRepositoryIdeasHOTL3 Home
 


Encyclopedia of MUDs: Dictionary
1993-1998 by Henry McDaniel

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Preface
This dictionary is intended for use by novice MUD players or as reference material for experienced users who would like to use a common terminology with the users of other MUDs. Provides information specific to MUDs: on the root of command actions common to many games, slang, and technical terms.

Abbreviations Used
Abrev. Abbreviation
Adj. Adjective
Adv. Adverb
Comp. Comparative or Compound or Composition
Ex. Example
Esp. Especially
Interj. Interjection
N. Noun
V. Verb

Note that commands in use on MUDs are often described as n. and v. while the definition only details the v. or noun usage; Giving definitions easily found in the common dictionary is beyond the scope of this work.

Format
Sections are divided by lines and large letters indicating the section.
Example:

Dictionary, n.
A body of language words, arranged alphabetically, with origin, usage, meaning, etc. defined.
Definition terms are to the left, while definitions are towards the right and justified. Pointers to other sections are highlighted or underlined.


A

ADDRESS, n.
A standard identification for an internet traffic destination. There are many forms of internet addresses. Examples: E-mail: joe@dev.nul, to send a letter or other package to a user named Joe. Internet Protocol (IP): 1.2.3.4 3000, to reach port 3000 on a machine numerically identified as 1.2.3.4. Worldwide Web (WWW): http://students.washington.edu/~haji/buffy/, to access a web site.
ADDY, n.
Slang for address. Most commonly refers to an internet address.
See: address for details.
ADMIN, n. [Comp. of administrator.]
See administrator.
ADMINISTRATOR, n.
One who directs, manages or maintains a game.
See also: god, wizard.
ALPHA, n.
Primary, first. Usually used to denote the first working version of a game or project.
AREA, n.
A distinct collection of rooms defined by a common recognizable theme. An area typically belongs to one or more wizards, contains objects and/or NPCs.
See also: room, NPC, wizard.
AARGH, interj.
Anguish. Showing disgust or surprise.


B

BAN, v.
To bar from entering. Most often used to describe the locking of a game from entry by users from a particular site.
 
BLIND, v., n, adj.
The state of being incapable of percieving normally visible descriptions.
See also: light.
BOT, n.
(1) A computer program which can direct a PC on some MUD without human intervention.
(2) Any NPC of above average intelligence, esp. those with descriptions similar to robots.
BB, adv., interj. [Comp. of be back.]
See you again.
BBL, adv., interj. [Comp. of be back later.]
See you again at a later time.
BK, adv., interj. [Comp. of back.]
I have returned.
BUFFER, n.
A queue where data is temporarily held. This can be either a disk file or a place in abstract memory.
BUG, n.
What programmers (and MUD builders) call an unwanted error. Any term used to describe real bugs or associated with real bugs may also be used to describe a bug of this type. Example: "We need some RAID!" -- Bug killer is needed to fix all the bugs I've found.
BUILDER, n.
On large MUDs, many people contribute to the virtual world. Such persons often have the title of "builder". Builders may or may not have the same power as a wizard.
See also: wizard.
BRB, adv., interj. [Comp. of be right back.]
See you again very soon.


C

CHARACTER, n.
An object which represents a lifeform within the game.
CAST, v.
To initiate a magical spell.
CHAT, v., n.
A style of communicating with other players that favours conversation in a human written language over symbolic or indirect methods.
CLAN, n.
Same as guild.
CLIENT, n.
(1) A program used to communicate to a game. Such clients are intended to make interfacing with the game more user friendly.
(2) Any program that is incomplete unless used in conjunction with a server (or central process.)
CON, n. [comp. of constitution]
See constitution.
CONSIDER, v.
To size up an opponent for combat. Often abrev. con.
CONSTITUTION, n.
A character statistic that often indicates a form of endurance.
CONNECT, v.
See logon.
 
CORPSE, n.
The dead body of a character who has been killed. These will act as open containers for the possesions which the living character had.
CRASH, v., n.
An unscheduled cessation of all game operations. This condition usually deletes many current variables, meaning that the most recently performed activities will leave no trace following the reboot.
See: reboot.
CREATE, v.
To build something for the first time.
(1) Same as logon, only this is to create a new PC.
CREATOR, n.
One who is a builder of areas. Someone who has built parts of a game.
See also: wizard.


D

DAEMON, n.
A program dedicated to performing a particular service or function.
 
DB, n. [Comp. of database.]
A body of information.
(1) All of the information used to create or represent the objects presently in the active game universe.
(2) All files containing the working data needed to construct a game's areas, objects and PCs.
See also: playerfile.
DEVELOPMENT SITE, n.
A location where a MUD is being worked on prior to going public.
DESCRIPTION, n.
The information which defines an object's appearance from the perspective of a PC.
See also: long, short.
DEX, n. [comp. of dexterity]
DEXTERITY, n.
The measure of a character's agility.
See also: statistics.
DICE, n.
A random selector. Often numbers displayed in the form n,n2 refer to "dice" -- the random selection of a value in the range of n..n2.


E

ECHO, v., n.
(1) To send a literal message.
(2) To send a message to all users (without regard to rank) simultaneously.
 
EMOTE, v. [Comp. of emotion.]
To display emotion. When used as a command it causes user input to proceed the name of the actor. Example: "emote laughs." causes the MUD to show others "[your name] laughs."
EVIL, n.
A range of moral alignment that is at the other end of the spectrum from good.
See also good, constitution, neutral.
EXP, interj., n. [Comp. of experience point(s).]
A measure of one's skill. Most often directly related to one's level in a game.

F

FLAME, v., n.
(1) To deride another's opinion.
(2) To respond to another's opinion in an inflamitory fashion.
FLEE, v.
A command which causes the actor to stop fighting and exit the current room. Often this command is renamed "runaway."
FORCE, v.
An administrator's utility. The command causes whoever the user wishes to perform any specified actions (in most cases.) Example: "Dave forced you to smile." means that player Dave used the force command on you.
FREEZE, n., v.
(1) See hung.
(2) An administrator command which places the player in a state from which they cannot interact with the game.
FROZEN, n.
Same as hung.
See also freeze.
FTP, n., v. [Comp. of File Transfer Protocol.]
To exchange files. Compatible systems setup on most mainframes and personal computers.


G

GOD, n.
(1) Any immortal user. These are those whose characters cannot die.
(2) A user not limited in the manner that players are.
See also: admin, wizard.
GOOD, n.
A range of moral alignment that is at the other end of the spectrum from evil.
See also: evil, neutral, constitution.
GOTO, v. [Comp. of go to.]
Same as teleport, but only used by wizards or administrators.
See: teleport.
GROUP, n., v.
(1) To associate one's self with a other players for some purpose.
(2) A command to create a group consisting of a limited number of players. Such grouping allows for collective action directed by the group leader (who executes the command.) Withing the typical MUD environment, this will greatly simplify the logistics of moving players.
GUILD, n.
(1) A school where players may learn skills or share in a private social order for a price.
(2) A company or group of players whose members identify with some symbol or creed.
(3) An association or corporation. Such as an economic body or union of players organized for the express purpose of providing goods and services in return for monetary profit. These bodies should have corporate identites (tradenames and trademarks, slogans, gurantees, standards and the like.)


H

HANG, v.
See hung.
HIT POINT, n.
See hp.
HMM, interj., n. [Comp. of well or well in that case.]
To show one is reevaluating the situation at hand.
HOST, n.
The machine from which a game operates.
HP, n. [Comp. of hit point(s).]
A measure of how many more times an object may be struck by a force causing one damage point before hit points are less than or equal to 0. Usually when hit points fall below 1, death or destruction of the object will occur.
See also: tick.
HUNG, n.
A state of perpetual deadlock. A game is said to be hung when it does not respond to user input for unusually long periods of time. Esp. If the state persist until a crash.

I

IMPLEMENTOR, n.
The person who is most responsible for having started a game. Refers most often to one with the knowledge and ability to change the most basic elements of a game. But in any case it always describes whoever the first administrator of a game was.
 
INV, v., n. [Comp. of inventory.]
See inventory.
INVENTORY, v., n.
Displays a list of items in a character's possession or within a location.


J

JUNK, v., n.
A command on many games which causes a specified object to be removed from the active game DB. It is useful for players to help keep a game clean of garbage.
See sacrifice.


K

KEYWORD, n.
What MUD builders call any identifier used to label information related to an object. Example: The keywords by which a player may pick up a sword might be: "sword," "a sword" and "the sword".
KILL, v.
To remove the life from. Unlike in real life, death on most MUDs is only a short interruption of normal activities. Combat MUDs usually bestow a penalty (such as loss of levels or money) upon those that die.
See also: linkdead, pk.


L

LAG, n. [v. lagged]
A state of slowed activity. LAG is most often measured by how long it takes a MUD to respond to commands issued by a user. There are several causes of lag, including: Net lag, host lag, and game lag. Net lag occurs when the network lines conducting communication between the user and game are too saturated. It can be detected by measuring the difference in speed between users calling from the machine which the game operates on vs. users calling from remote sites. Host lag is when the machine which the game operates from is under powered (trying to do too many things at once.) Finally Game lag originates from the MUD itself. This can be caused by many internal things.
LEVEL, n., interj.
(1) (n.) A rank. Levels ideally are proportional to one's experience with playing a game and are unique to the character one plays.
(2) (interj.) The achivement of a higher level.
 
LIGHT, n.
MUD builders often use the term to refer to the visible state of a room or object.
LINK, n.
The connection between a user and a game. Example: "Dave has lost his link." -- The player/user Dave's connection to the game has been interrupted.
See also linkdead.
LINKDEAD, n.
The state in which PCs are said to be after all communication between the PC user and the game is blocked. This condition is 'linkless'.
See also: link, quit.
LOG, n., v.
To record activity. Most games keep log files on certain game activities. This varies widely from one MUD to the next. In general automatic logs are kept about when and who may have broken the highest rules of the game.
LOGON/LOGIN, n., v.
To enter a game. Those events unique to the act of entering the game. Example: Entering your player name and password.
LONG, n.
What MUD builders call the body of descriptive text concerning an object. This is what a player sees below the title of a room or when looking at an object.
See also: short.


M

MANA, n.
Of Melanesian/Polynesian origin, related to the Hawaiian/Maori word. The power of the elemental forces. It is a measure of spell-casting power.
 
MELTDOWN, n., adj.
The gradual deterioration in MUD functions, culminating in a crashed or hung state.
See also: crash, hung.
MOB, n.
(1) A monster object; an NPC, usually aggressive. n.
(2) A mobile NPC.
MOBILE, n.
(1) An NPC or PC, usually refers to an NPC. n.
(2) Any moving object.
MONSTER, n.
Same as NPC.
MOTD, n. [Comp. of message of the day.]
A file containing recent news.
MUD, n. [Comp. of multiple user domain or multiple user dungeon.]
A text oriented (universe) of imaginary objects intended for numerous users to play as adventures actors within. The term MUD applies to many games, including mostly non-combat MUDs which prefer to be called by their label name (Example: MUSH, MOO) or MU*s, a term used to de-emphasize the presumption that the "D" in MUD always signifies "dungeon."
MUDDING, v.
To play a MUD or MUDs. Same spelling in all tenses.
MUDDER, n. [Comp. of MUD player.]
One who plays MUDs. It is used to refer to any mud user, regardless of rank.
MULTIPLAYER, n.
A person controlling more than one player character (PC) simultaneously. This is illegal on many games.
MULTI-USER, n.
An environment (such as a computer operating system or MUD) which supports more than one simultaneous user.


N

NEUTRAL, n.
A moral alignment of zero. This is neither good or evil.
See also: evil, good, constitution.
NEWBIE, n.
(1) One who is a novice to playing MUDs.
(2) One who is a novice in a particular experience. Example: newbie coder (new to programming.) Or newbie (new to MUD playing.)
NPC, n. [Comp. of non-player character.]
All of the data and characteristics of any object used by a game to represent an actor which is meant to operate without much human intervention.


O

OBJECT, n.
(1) Any data structure used to represent a basic element of the game.
(2) An object which PCs can handle using commands such as "get" and "drop." Note: Although rooms and PCs are objects they are usually not called such.
See also: room, pc.


P

PASSWORD, n.
The secret key sequence normally needed to connect to a MUD and PC.
PC, n. [Comp. of player character.]
(1) All of the data and characteristics of an object which a game uses to represent an actor whose actions and description are most often under the control of a human user.
(2) Any actor within a game, human controlled or automatic.
(3) A Personal Computer. Example: An IBM clone.
PK, n., adj., v. [Comp of player killer.]
A PC (player) who has killed a fellow player. A PK can never be an NPC but only a character under the control of a real person. The term is usually used to describe habitual killers.
PLAYER, n.
An actor (character) controlled by a particular human.
PLAYERFILE, PFILE, n.
(Singular) A single file in which all of the important data concerning users of the game is stored.
(Plural) The body of files on which all of the important data concerning users of a game are stored.
PLAYER KILLER, n.
See: PK.
POINTER, n.
A reference to something real.
PROMPT, n.
A symbol or line of text which indicates that the MUD is ready to accept input (commands). Prompts may also contain other information, such as player statistics.
See also: stats.
PRISON, n.
A location isolated from others, within which players may be held. Such places can be used by game administrators to punish bad behaviour.


Q

QUIT, v.
A command which causes a PC to leave the game. On many MUDs this simply means that the game disconnects from the user (like linkdeath.) On other games it means the PC will be removed from the active DB and their data stored to disk for restoration at their next logon.
See also: linkdead, save.


R

RACE, n.
In MUDs the term nearly always refers to the species a player's character belongs to. Example: His race is human.
See also: sex.
 
REBOOT, v., n.
The events which cause a game to start performing its normal operating jobs. This can only occur after a game is down (off.) Note: Some games can reboot without disconnecting users.
RESET, v.
(1) The act of changing a game area or areas from the present state to a previous state.
(2) Same as reboot.
RESTORE, v.
To revert to a previous condition. In particular MUDs often have a command by this name to return the PC to a safe status should their data be corrupted or somehow in an undesirable state. In some MUD implementations anyone may use the command at anytime. Others are more restrictive. And all will generally leave some data un-restored (the age of the character, or information about what IP address they connected to the game from.)
See also: save.
RL, n. [Comp. of real life.]
Reality. The day to day world. Outside of the game.
ROLL, v., n. [Comp. of dice roll.]
The act of randomly picking something.
See also: dice.
ROOM, n.
A location to which players may move (mostly.) It generally consist of a title and description (a short and a long.) A common error of newbie players is to visualize rooms as cells of equal size. Infact the only assumptions one should make about a room are those facts described in its description.
ROOM MAKER, n.
An object (program) which allows wizards to simplify the process of creating a room.
RPG, n. [Comp. of role playing game.]
A game in which players cooperate to enhance the game theme (or story,) which is typically different from the day to day world.


S

SACRIFICE, v.
To destroy an object by offering it to a god in return for a reward.
Often abbrev. sac
See also: god.
SAVE, v.
To store the important data associated with something to disk (where it may be recovered in case of trouble.) Most often refers to the "save" command which forces the game to save a player's data to disk. This data is used to re-create the player whenever they logon (or when they use "restore" on some games.)
See also: quit, restore.
SAY, v.
This command is also (") or (') on many MUDs. It allows the actor to send public messages in the local room. Example: "say hello!" would let any player in the same room as yourself see: "[your name] says, hello!"
See also: tell, chat.
SCRATCH MUD, n.
A MUD that was written without using existing MUD server or driver code for its foundation. The term is derived from the expression, "cooking from scratch."
SERVER, n.
The actual game program(s) which maintains the rules by which all objects within a MUD must interact. This is term is most often applied to games which get most of their instructions on how to operate from code compiled on the HOST.
SEX, n.
The gender status of a character. Typical examples: female, male, neutral.
See also: race.
SHORT, n.
This is what MUD builders call the short summary description of an object. Example: "a sword."
See also: long, keyword.
SHOUT, v.
A command of this name exist in most MUDs. It allows the actor to broadcast a public message to most of the players presently in the game. Its usage is almost always denied to new players.
See also: tell.
SHUTDOWN, v., n. [Comp. of shut down.]
To turn off. To close. The act or event of turning a MUD off. When this happens play is no longer possible. A shutdown may be caused by the machine which the game operates on (when it shuts down.) or more likely by the administrators of the game or automated manager for that purpose. Shut downs are performed regularly on many games to reduce the lag caused by an accumulation of 'lost' objects and fragmented memory. It often occurs (aswell as crashes) on games in the earliest stages of development.
SNAIL MAIL, n., adj. (or adj.+n.)
(1) Any physical mail delivered via courier. The speed of delivery will be slower, that is at a snail's pace, compared to electronic mail.
(2) Physical mail delivered by government postal service.
SPAM, v.
The act of disrupting normal communication, usually through repetitive means. Example: Someone making your CRT display hundreds of "SPAM!" messages in a few seconds. Example: Someone harassing you on a MUD by telling you the same senseless message over and over again.
SPELL, v., n.
The ability to use magic.
See also cast (1).
STAT, v., n.
(1) Any single one of a PC's stats.
(2) An administrator command used to review an object's stats.
See also: stats.
STATISTICS, n.
See stats. It is the more commonly used word.
STATS, n.
(1) The main variables used to determine how a PC reacts to stimuli. Ex. stats: DEX, CON, MANA, and HP.
(2) Any variable which the server can display to users within the game (the more exotic ones being reserved for administrators.) Ex. stats: short, long, keywords.


T

TELEPORT, v.
(1) A command, always available, by which authorized persons may travel to other locations without using conventional exits.
(2) A spell or method, only available under special circumstances, used to move the caster or other target to other locations without using conventional exits.
TELL, v.
A command for communicating messages to a specific user. Beware: On some games what you tell others with the "tell" command can always be seen by others in the same room.
See also: shout.
TELNET, n., v.
A means of establishing and maintaining a connection to a game.
See also: client.
THEME, n.
The underlying subject of a game or area.
TICK, adv.
A period of time. Usually refers to how often a game will update/reset objects. On DIKU MUDs a PC may not be affected by the condition of their stats until the next tick occurs. On a DIKU game 1 tick most often lies somewhere between 40 and 90 seconds. Tick may refer to the time interval used in performing many different jobs (such as updating zones or moving NPCs about.)


U

UNIVERSE, n.
All objects found within a game DB. are within the universe of that game.
UNIVERSE RULES, n.
Usually refers to the internal logic that governs the interaction of all objects within a particular MUD.
UPTIME, n.
A command that reports the most recent amount of time the game has been operating continuously.


V

VANILLA, n.
(1) Original, virgin, untouched.
(2) A version of something which is so close to the original as to be considered unaltered.
VERB, n.
A command word that can be used by players.
VIRTUAL, n.
Everything within a MUD may exist within a virtual reality. This reality is defined by the universe rules. Most often the term is used to describe methods of representing objects within a game in a way not dependent on the most commonly used rules of the game.


W

WIZARD, n.
One who has greater responsibility and more powerful powers then the common player. A wizard may build areas and create new objects for players to interact with. The definition of who is a wizard varies widely from game to game.
See also: builder, admin, god
WIZLIST, n., v.
A list of all active and empowered wizards.
WIZLOCK, n., v.
The act or condition of a game being closed to entry by all users save those defined as wizards.
WORLD, n.
(1) The universe.
(2) One or more adjacent and distinct areas classified by description and or means of entry as a unique realm consisting of areas.
See also: areas, universe


X

Nothing


Y

Nothing


Z

Nothing



MUDding FAQs
Answers to questions from first-timers

Muddiquette
Unwritten rules of the game

Singlish Glossary
An insight into the Singapore lingo

Back to MUD


<Mud> <Help> <Races> <Classes> <Areas> <Rules> <Clans> <Pantheon> <Heroes> <Journals> <Repository> <Ideas> <Home>