The DISCWORLD MUD – A Review

Discworld.

A world created by British author Terry Pratchett which contain a variety of funny and interesting novels.

There is also a MUD based on the world created by good ol Sir Terry. The MUD is what we will be discussing today in my little review here.

As a note, a MUD is a text based online RPG, think the precursors to the modern MMO. Everything is written in text. Don’t be afraid, its like playing an interactive book at times. You use commands (look, kill “name”, north, ect) to perform actions.

I have been playing this single MUD off and on since 1998, back when I was in high school. I have tried numerous other MUDs, including some of the bigger ones like Aardwolf, Genesis, and the IRE Family of MUDs and no matter what, I always end up coming back to the Disc. Why you might ask?

Well for a variety of reasons. Lets break down what makes the Discworld MUD unique, and why I think anyone who is looking for something fun and different should give this world a try!

Unlimited Growth and Character Building:

The single biggest factor, for me, is their unique character growth and advancement system. This game has 6 guilds (Priests, Wizards, Witches, Thieves, Warriors, and Assassins). Those guilds are broken up into specializations which determine what your guild skills are, and possibly what abilities or rituals you have access to. For example, the Priest Guild has one set of skills (The Faith Tree) but each god gives its priests different rituals.

This game uses a skill system rather then class system for advancement. Skills are broken up into Trees (Fighting, Faith, Magic, Covert, Crafting, Adventuring, People) and further broken up into types. For example, if you wanted to get good at swinging a sword, you advance Fighting.Melee.Sword. You use Experience Points (XP) to advance in your guild, or to learn from other players.

You gain XP by doing pretty much everything, and XP is the currency you use to advance a skill. You get XP for fighting and killing NPCs, performing spells or commands (Such as stealing), and just being logged in. With money you can train those skills in your guild to their maximum, and if you have no cash or are trying to go beyond what your guild can teach you, you can teach yourself or learn from other players.

Your guild and speclization determines the skills you can advance to level 300. Here is an example of one of the Warrior Specializations, the Ankh-Morpork Palace Guard:

crafts.smithing.black.weapons
fighting.defence.blocking
fighting.defence.parrying
fighting.melee.flail
fighting.melee.heavy-sword
fighting.melee.mace
fighting.melee.sword
fighting.points
fighting.range.thrown
fighting.special.tactics
fighting.special.weapon
fighting.unarmed.striking
adventuring.evaluating.armour
adventuring.evaluating.weapons
crafts.medicine.firstaid

However, nothing stops a player from advancing non guild skills. Lets say that fighter there wants to be able to use Wizard Spells! Well, he just has to advance his Magic skills up. However, once his guild trains him as high as they can go (5 levels max for non wizards in Magic btw) he has to go and learn from other players, most likely a Wizard of some sort. I play a priest, and if I wanted to learn to steal I can simply by training my stealing skill higher. Basically, your guild has unique commands / spells / rituals for you, but you can diversify to your hearts content, and there is no max level to a skill. Your guild can teach you to 300, sure, but some of the long time players have skills up in the 800+ range.

Your skill level determines your bonus, and everything in this game works off these bonuses. Higher is always better. The sky is the limit with these skills!

A Huge Player Driven World:

The world is, no joke, massive. Tons of areas to explore, and find secrets, do Quests for XP and Cash, own property and run your own store or have a house, play board games, become a Player Killer and have PVP fights (and steal from each other and all that jazz), events that occur both guild specific (such as the House Games of the AM Assassins Guild or the Witch Trails) or general, such as a monthly sight seeing event in Ankh-Morpork.

All the guilds are Player Run as well, each branch having their own rules and codes of conduct. Cities frequently have player councils, deciding laws and even court cases and such.

There are even player run Newspapers you can read! Or write for (and get XP and Cash for that!) Nevermind the sheer size of the world. Here is one of the major cities in Thumbnail size

That city is surrounded by terrain by the way that you can wander. Also, this game is fairly populated, compared to many MUDs, with an average 70+ players on at most times of the day. The player base is mostly american and UK.

Tis a Silly Game:

At the core though is the humor. I mean lets take a look at the gods the players can worship, as an example:

Pishe: Goddess of Slight Showers and Healing
Gapp: God of Fine Clothing and Fashion
Gufnork: God of Fluff and Fluffy Things
Sandelfon: God of Corridors
Fish: God of Fish
Hat: God of Unexpected Guests (and Parties!)
Sek: Seven Handed God of Destruction!

The player base tends to take a silly view of things as well. Assassins in AM tend to wear pink underwear, and other such nonsense. There are RPers (I am one) but mostly the world is about having a good time, eating lots of pie (them WIZARDS!) and just enjoying each others company.

Overall, the Disc has been around for over 20 years now, and its still going, still active, and still a ton of fun. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To play simply visit http://discworld.starturtle.net/lpc/ and click the Play Now link to open the Java client!

If you do decide to play don’t fear the game, there is an extensive tutorial town for you to wander in safely, as well as a NEWBIE channel to use. Also you can browse the official wiki (https://dwwiki.mooo.com/wiki/Main_Page) for more information, and once you join a guild the players of your guild will be happy to help you. Hope to see you in game. If you do join, I am called Vranick.

STARTING JANUARY 2017: THE GREAT DND VIDEO GAME RETROSPECTIVE PROJECT

I don’t know if you know this, but Dungeons & Dragons has been represented in video game form for a very very long time. Currently, there are roughly 67 Games (not including expansion to those games, or remakes) that involve the D&D license. I personally started gaming around 88-89, and once I got a PC I became absorbed by these games growing up. So I decided, because I am nothing if not both a Tabletop Gaming Nerd…and a Video Game nerd, to combine the two and play some of these games. Now, I am not going to try to play all 67 games.  Hell I am not even going to try to beat them! Given that I want to play each of the games in the list below for at least 8+ hours, live on stream, and then do a review/retrospective on the game at the beginning of the next month, I simply cannot beat each one. Most of these are 30+ hour affairs if not MORE, and I have already played almost all of them from when I was younger.

So here is the plan. Starting on January 1st, and coming out on the 1st of each month, I will be doing video review/retrospectives on the following games, in the order of release. I have compiled this list to show some of the more popular games, such as the Gold Box Games, the Infinity Engine Games, the Neverwinter Nights series, and a few other choice ones that I think deserve to be mentioned. This is by no means a comprehensive list. That would take me over 5 years to do if I tried that. As it is this is going to be taking a very long time, 27 months roughly, so over 2 years. I am willing, and at the moment, able to do such a thing. Thats the plan at least.

So here is the giant ass list, in order of appearance. Starting with Pool of Radiance’s review on January 1st, 2017. All will not be quiet on New Years Day.

Pool of Radiance (1988)
Curse of the Azure Bonds (1989)
Secret of the Silver Blades (1990)
Champions of Krynn (1990)
Eye of the Beholder (1990)
Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon (1991)
Pools of Darkness (1991)
Death Knights of Krynn (1991)
Gateway to the Savage Frontier (1991)
The Dark Queen of Krynn (1992)
Treasures of the Savage Frontier (1992)
Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor (1993)
Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures (1993)
Dark Sun: Shattered Lands (1993)
Dungeon Hack (1993)
Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager (1994)
Menzoberranzan (1994)
Baldur’s Gate + Tales of the Sword Coast (1998)
Planescape: Torment (1999)
Icewind Dale + Heart of Winter & Trials of the Luremaster (2000)
Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn + Throne of Bhall (2000)
Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance (2001)
Neverwinter Nights + Expansions (2002)
The Temple of Elemental Evil (2003)
Neverwinter Nights 2 + Expansions (2006)
Neverwinter (MMO) (2013)
Sword Coast Legends (2015)

Maid the RPG Actual Play – Presented without Comment

I really can’t explain what happened here.  I got roped into GMing a game of Maid, the RPG.  Its basically Anime the RPG…with cute maids.  It was silly, wacky, completely nuts, and people apparently loved it.  And yes, the title ACTUALLY means something in context.

Its SFW btw.  No weird sexual shit or anything either.  So thats a thing.