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Video Game / Discworld MUD

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Yep, your character reads the game options inside the Discworld itself.
Discworld MUD is a free-to-play Multi-User Dungeon launched in the early 1990’s, based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. It's possible to meet many characters and travel to the areas seen in the books. So far, the MUD seems to take place during the events of Night Watch or The Truth, but it’s hard to tell. New features are constantly added to the game.

The player starts as an Adventurer and can choose to join one of six player-runnote  guilds: Assassins, Priests, Thieves, Warriors, Witches, and Wizards. Each guild has a number of specialisations and different primaries. Or the player can stay an adventurer. And there’s much more to that.

This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: There’s an achievement for reaching guild level 800. Only one player has surpassed guild level 700, and guild levels of 1000 or more are theoretically possible.
  • Already Done for You: Quest-related NPCs and items usually take half an hour to reset, so sometimes it’s already “done”.
  • A Homeowner Is You: A limited number of player housing are available through rental auctions. These can be completely renovated and furnished to the owner's tastes.
  • An Adventurer Is You: Once you choose a guild, you are more or less locked into a certain playstyle. Anyone can advance skills in every skill tree, but many important commands and abilities are guild exclusive. For example, a non-magic user can still spend experience learning magic skills, but they will have to rely on spell scrolls because they won't be able to remember spells, nor will they be able to see enchantment levels on equipment.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: A few quests reward you with clothes and accessories.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: Player-run shops, a completely optional part of the game. There, players can buy goods from each other, and owners can run them without being present.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: You can decorate the interior of a building that belongs to you, and the game will give a text description of the items in the room.
  • Back Stab: Thieves and assassins get this as a command. Everyone can learn the similar Ambush command.
  • Beef Gate: Almost all NPCs can be killed, though, if the player is a high enough level. The rare few who can't be killed are generally harmless newbie helpers or annoying joke characters. (And even many helper/annoyance NPCs are very killable.)
  • BFS: Heavy swords belong in an entirely separate class of weapons from normal swords, requiring a different skill to use. The heaviest sword is 9 feet long and weighs 12 7/9 pounds.
  • Bottomless Bladder: Players don't have to deal with bodily functions, but bathing is the easiest way to get rid of fleas.
  • Can-Crushing Cranium: The player can do this to Roo Beer cans. After downing the beer, they can grit their teeth and crush the can against their head.
  • Capture the Flag: A popular game, where non-playerkillers can be playerkillers with no repercussions. There are tournaments between and within guilds sometimes.
  • Cast from Hit Points: There’s a spell that requires the caster to cut his/her hand, and the blood turns into mist that deals damage to the target.
  • Character Level: The way to level up is by spending experience points on the primary skills of their guild.
  • Church Militant: Many priests decide to put experience points into combat skills and skills that call their chosen deity to attack their enemy.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: The NPC Sokkard. He travels around uttering gibberish and occasionally takes over one of the players' communication channels to tell a story about a cornflake.
  • Color-Coded Characters: It’s possible to color otherwise gray text to make things recognizable (group members, for instance).
  • Cooldown: The “berserk” command for warriors has a cooldown period before it can be used again.
  • Continuing is Painful: You get 7 lives (any more you have to buy, with the price for the first rather high and growing quickly), you lose all the unused exp, and your stats get big penalties (for weaker characters, this might mean that you're not strong enough to get everything from your corpse). This has spawned one of the most useful player organizations, the Rescue Recovery Unit (RRU), who upon death, can be called to retrieve your corpse, resurrect you with a specialized priest spell (get some of that unused experience back) and some are powerful enough to retrieve you from even a dangerous zone.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted. The more injured you are, the more difficult it is to fight.
  • Dangerously Close Shave: There is an NPC in Ohulan-Cutash who is a Shout-Out to Sweeney Todd who even warns you beforehand that he'll slit your throat when you get a shave from him. But hey, dying this way gets you an achievement and a percentage of another achievement and creates pies that taste like you.
  • Dartboard of Hate: Whenever players start a new game of darts, the dartboard has a random creator's face on it. The nose is the bullseye.
  • Death from Above: Some wizard spells. There are also a few ways to die this way when not in combat. Such as pulling the black lever in Pumpkin Town, even though a sign tells you not to.
  • Defend Command: Tanks can choose to either parry attacks or act as meat shields for more fragile allies.
  • Destroyable Items: Most items have a condition, ranging from "excellent" to "a complete wreck". After enough damage to an item, it'll break and disappear permanently, but there are ways to fix it up. Also, eggs.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: The higher your skill in something, the more experience points it takes to level up in that skill.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: An inversion:
    Constable Flint says: You, Tabs, are hereby sentenced to 3 hours and 20 minutes of maximum security arrest for the murder of a city guard, obstructing an officer of the Watch in the execution of his or her duty by fighting in public, the murder of a watchman, one hundred and seventy-one instances of assaulting an officer of the Watch and disturbing him or her in the execution of his or her duty, six instances of malicious vandalism of a valuable public service, two instances of manipulating property of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch with the intent of breaking convicted criminals out of jail, thirteen instances of killing an officer of the Watch and resisting arrest.
  • Dual Wielding: You have two hands. Each can hold a weapon, if the weapon is light enough. Those willing to use Awesome, but Impractical magic can gain an extra arm and triple wield.
  • Early Game Hell: It's difficult starting out for most any player, but once you have some decent skills under your belt the XP starts flowing much more easily.
  • Easing into the Adventure: Pumpkin Town, where all new players begin. It's impossible to die there.
  • Easy Exp: Some achievements and quests are pretty low-effort.
  • Everything Fades: Perishable items (food and corpses, for example) eventually decay into dust.
  • Experience Points: The game uses an experience points system, which players spend on skill levels.
  • Fan Verse: Discworld MUD is unofficial and has taken some liberties with the source material to flesh out the world.
  • Fanon: invoked The deviations serve to enhance the game. Moon dragons, for instance, wouldn't be as appealing if they were true to the moon dragons of Discworld canon.
  • Feghoot: Sokkard tells "Barry the Cornflake", a very long story about cereal. The other reason why this story exists is there's an achievement for killing Sokkard while he's telling it.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Warrior, wizard, thief.
  • Footnote Fever: Often seen, especially in the creator blogs and on boards. These are Discworld fans, after all.
  • Guide Dang It!: Good thing there are many player sites and older players to help.
  • Hit Points: These determine your health. The lower it is, the harder it is to fight (an aversion of Critical Existence Failure), and health regenerates over time.
  • HP to One: Getting heavied in Ankh-Morpork leaves the thief hanging on the Brass Bridge, items confiscated, with a single hit point.
  • Hub City: Ankh-Morpork, where most newbies start out.
  • I'm a Humanitarian/The Secret of Long Pork Pies: See Dangerously Close Shave. After the player character dies, the body becomes meat pie material, and those pies can be purchased from the shop downstairs. There's an achievement for tasting enough delicious players.
  • Improbable Weapon: Umbrellas, crayons, quills… there’s even a skill for handling misc weapons.
  • Level Grinding: The MUD has a complex skill system involving hundreds of skills divided into eight skill trees - fighting, covert, magic, faith, crafts, people, adventuring, and languages. Most actions are checked against one or more skills from the appropriate trees. There's also a task master system that occasionally rewards players with a free level in a skill being checked against. However, these are fairly rare occurrences and for actions with multiple skill checks you can't choose which skill gets increased, so the best way to advance a skill is to throw millions and millions of experience points at it.

    Languages are an even harder grind; after initial lessons from NPC teachers, they can only be raised a level at a time through the task master system. This generally involves spending months constantly reading and lounging around NPCs that speak the language you're trying to learn.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Making a Warrior is a good way to get right into the hurly-burly of fighting, as it's easier for them to raise their combat skills. However, while they have a harder start of things (or at least a harder time early on getting XP from killing things), Priests, Wizards and Witches have lots of utility that Warriors have to go well out of their way to get later on.
  • Mama Bear: Petting or hugging a bear cub will make its mother appear and attack you.
  • One-Hit Polykill: A certain wizard spell, although it’s dangerous because if it backfires, it’ll hit the caster and is usually lethal.
  • One Size Fits All: All clothes fit everybody. The game doesn't distinguish sizes.
  • Mana Meter: Guild points serve as the "meter" for special actions.
  • New World Tease: Areas are marked on the map by an asterisk and text, but several are inaccessible until the creators implement the area.
  • Odd Job Gods: Gufnork, the god of fluff; Sandelfon, god of corridors; Hat, vulture-headed god of unexpected guests.
  • Organ Drops:
    • Well, they have to be cut out, but there are many available body parts that every corpse offers.
    • An aversion: Heartless lawyers.
  • Pacifist Run "Idlechasing, the art of getting as much experience as possible by using commands, usually without going on a killing rampage or moving much"
  • Player Versus Player: Players can choose to apply to be playerkillers. Assassins, after passing their specialisation-relevant test, automatically become PKs. One of the Wizard orders is likewise restricted to playerkillers.
  • Plunder: Killing anything grants you access to whatever it had, so clothes and accessories on a human character, for example. Even if the target was an entity that carries nothing, you can take its body parts.
  • Point Build System: Players are allowed the command "rearrange" to… well, rearrange stats, but can only do it once. There’s a way fix them after, but it’s slow, costly, and painful.
  • Super Swimming Skills: Unless you’re too heavy and sink — otherwise, you can swim and stay afloat forever. Assuming you know your directions, you can swim across an ocean.
  • Point of No Return: There’s no going back to the newbie area once you’re out.
    • But the old newbie area is hidden in the actual MUD, somewhere...
  • Pun: NPC Sokkard tells a story about a corn flake:
    Sokkard wisps: But once again, Barry the incredibly clever little cornflake works his way all the way to the top of the spoon without anyone noticing!
    Sokkard wisps: The student opens wide...
    Sokkard wisps: He lifts the spoon, and puts it in his mouth...
    Sokkard wisps: He closes his mouth around the spoon...
    Sokkard wisps: Barry is in the mouth...
    (Two) Sokkard wisps: And I'll tell you the rest next time BECAUSE IT'S a CEREAL.
  • Punny Name: Several NPCs (and players, too). There's a category in the Osrics for best name, where the top names are mostly puns.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: The only major thing affected by gender is whether a player can join the witches’ guild (can’t be male).
  • Rage Quit: Probably the reason why corpses of newbies with their stuff are found, but the player isn’t online.
  • Regenerating Health: Usually 3-4 HP per “heartbeat”. Bandages, healing roses, and healing tea speed it up.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • There are signs that warn players not to do certain things, and the game teaches you early on that it’s a good idea to heed them. Some players don’t.
    • There are also some tough NPCs that have short descriptions that resemble weaker NPCs. "Look"ing at them or "consider"ing them usually gives the player clues that they shouldn't be trifled with.
  • Scratch Damage: Averted. Once the player is a high enough level (something like that), weaker opponents have a hard time landing a hit. If they manage to, the player’s “skin absorbs all of the blow”.
  • Shiny Sense: Lights, like yellow stone rings.
  • Shoplift and Die: There are certain areas where it’s a very bad idea to shoplift. For non-thieves or thieves without a license, shoplifting in Ankh-Morpork gets you heavied (money and items confiscated) and left hanging on Brass Bridge with one hit point.
  • Shout-Out: Many, most noticeably in the achievements and jukebox and pre-reboot songs.
  • Stance System: You can choose (in combat options) whether to fight offensively or remain on the defensive.
  • Status Buff: Berserking gives the warrior an attack and defense buff at the cost of a cooldown period after it wears off.
  • Status Effects: Fear, poison, paralysis, blindness, and rarely, turned into a frog.
  • Status Line: Can by seen by typing “score brief”, or with a client that has that option.
  • The Trope Formerly Known as X: A quest in Genua involves a parody of this, where the player sleeps and dreams of a prince that turns into a frog after he's kissed.
  • Video Game Stealing: The command "filch" allows thieves to steal clothing off another character, even hidden/unseen objects like underwear.
  • Wallet of Holding: Dangerous to have, though; there are a few ways to lose your money, and having a lot of coins weigh you down.
  • Warp Whistle: Twisting a blue crystal ring teleports the player to a random area.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Although NPCs can react differently to certain sayings, most likely “help”, to start a quest.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Averted. Your character never gets hungry or thirsty, unlike other MUDs.
  • You Can't Get Ye Flask
    put coin in machine
    Cannot find “coin”, no match.
    put coin into machine
    Cannot find “coin”, no match.
    place coin in machine
    Try something else.
    leave coin in machine
    stick a goddamn coin into the slot of the machine
    Try something else.
    • The 'syntax' command is very helpful in figuring out how to get the flask.
  • You Get Knocked Down, You Get Back Up Again: Averted. There's a "trip" and "shove" command that, if successful, forces the enemy to crash onto the ground, where they can't attack until they get up, while the one standing can.