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
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.
||Comparative or Compound or Composition
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.
Sections are divided by lines and large letters indicating the section.
Definition terms are to the left, while definitions are towards the
right and justified. Pointers to other sections are highlighted or
- Dictionary, n.
- A body of language words, arranged alphabetically, with origin, usage, meaning,
- ADDRESS, n.
- A standard identification for an internet traffic destination. There are many forms
of internet addresses. Examples: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, to send a letter or other
package to a user named Joe. Internet Protocol (IP): 22.214.171.124 3000, to reach port
3000 on a machine numerically identified as 126.96.36.199. 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- See also: wizard.
- 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
- 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.
- ECHO, v., n.
- (1) To send a literal message.
- (2) To send a message to all users (without regard to rank)
- 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
- See also good, constitution,
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- GUILD, n.
- (1) A school where players may learn skills or share in a private social order for
- (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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- (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.
- 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.
- OBJECT, n.
- (1) Any data structure used to represent a basic element of
- (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.
- PASSWORD, n.
- The secret key sequence normally needed to connect to a MUD
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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,
- (2) Any variable which the server can display to users within
the game (the more exotic ones being reserved for administrators.) Ex. stats: short,
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
Answers to questions from first-timers
Unwritten rules of the game
An insight into the Singapore lingo
Back to MUD