Previous Issue Main Index Next Issue
............./      /            THE LEGENDARY TIMES
............/      /
.........../      /.....______.._____.....______.._____.......____
........../      /...../     /./     \.../     /./     \...../    \
........./      /...../  ___/./  ____/../  ___/./  __.  \.../  /\  \
......../      /...../  /_.../  /....../  /_.../  /..\   >./  /./  /
......./      /...../  __/../  /____../  __/../  /.../  /./  /./  /
....../      /_____/__/__../  \_\  /./  /__../  /.../  /./  /_/  /
...../                / /./       /./     /./  /.../  /./       /
..../                /_/..\______/./_____/./__/.../__/./_______/ MUD
.../________________/       running on 9999
VOLUME TWO, ISSUE TWENTY-EIGHT                             July 5, 1995


                       ...:/:[ CONTENTS ]:\:...

                            *CODE UPDATE*

                     -  New Moods System -


                     _  An Interview with Ptah -
                     -  A Slight Oversight -
                     -  MUD party pictures available -
                     -  Fund Raising Update -

                            *SOCIAL EVENTS*

                     -  A Knightly Wedding -
                     -  Clan Updates  -
                     -  The Perils of Levelling -
                     -  Kiera and the OTS Make Peace  -
                     -  Miscellaneous Bits  -

Please send your responses to articles to the Legendary Times address at
[email protected] Letters to the editor are welcomed :)

                         THE NEW MOODS SYSTEM

A new roleplaying addition has been added into the mud. It's 'moods' --
essentially an adverb system for modifying your says, whispers, and

- What does it do?

    Well, instead of the usual says that look like this:

    Slasher says, 'Kill! I wanna kill!'

    You might see any of the following:

    Slasher says, eyes gleaming wickedly, 'Kill! I wanna kill!'
    'Kill!' Slasher says, gibbering insanely. 'I wanna kill!'
    'Kill! I wanna kill!' Slasher says, redfaced with anger.

    The extra tags may or may not be there, but any of the different
    placements of the speech tags might be.

- How do I use it?

    In order to speak says as listed above, you must have the eloquence
    skill. Once you have this skill, your says will automatically have
    the movable tags shown above. So will your whispers and your talks.

    To add moods, you preface the regular say, talk, or whisper with
    a mood. For example:

    You type:
    They see:
        'I don't want to die,' Slasher whispers sadly to you.

    You type:
    They see:
        'You never like what I say,' you say, lower lip trembling. 'You
        hate me.'

    You type:
    They see:
        Galahad says to you, eyes averted, 'Can I be your hero?'

- That's a pain to type. Is there a shortcut?

    Sure. Every mood abbreviates just like all other mud commands. You can
    simply cut it as short as possible so that it does not conflict with
    other commands, and it will work. Note that all regular mud abbreviations
    and socials have priority, so typing LOV will get you the love social,
    not the LOVING mood. For that you need to type LOVI at the least.

    There's another shortcut, one which essentially adds over a hundred
    rather generic socials to the library.

    You type:
    They see:
        PicnicBasket looks distracted.
    Then you type:
    And they see:
        'Sorry, someone telling to me,' PicnicBasket says, mind clearly

    Using this method, the say will remember the last mood you entered.

    Note! Either way, saying, whispering or talking clears the mood, and
    you have to enter it again if you want to use the same mood several
    times in a row. Which looks bad anyway.

    If you use this two-part method, you can also do this:
        ANGRY ' HEY!
    And they will see:
        Huggermugger lookes annoyed.
        'Hey!' Huggermugger says angrily.

    The latest mood will supersede the old one.

- Cool! How many moods are there and how can I get a list?

    There are currently 140 different moods. What's more, each mood has
    between one and three different speech tags that can be attached. To
    get a complete list of the moods, type MOOD. The full list is a little
    longer than a screen, so we advise you set SCREENLEN to something
    less than 23 to see it without getting spammed.

- This is all ANNOYING. I hate it.

    No problem! If you find yourself disliking this, just type MOOD OFF
    and you just won't see it anymore. :) You'll get the exact same
    messages you used to. Having mood off will also prevent your messages
    from being autocaptitalized or punctuated for you.

    People just entering the game may need to type MOOD ON to activate
    seeing it.

- Help! Everything's getting split up into two sentences!

The punctuation marks that are read as ending sentences (? ! . and ...)
are not interpreted as such when enclosed in () or "", so those of you
who find stuff breaking in odd places may want to make use of the double

The interpreter will not split up stuff like ?!?!? or ??? but it may do it
to really odd combos like !...!, and there's not much that can be done about
it. :) Inventive typists can always find a way to defeat the system.

It DOES currently break, unfortunately, on Mr. and Mrs. and other abbreviations
with periods after them. I suggest leaving off the periods. :) Maybe someday
we can add a list to check for, but until we have the processor to ourselves
I don't want to add that many if checks. :P

The double Huh? messages that those without eloquence are reporting will be
gone soon.

So will the occasionally garbled messages that happen when there are many
people in a room and someone uses talk with a mood to a specific other
person (must be a given one in the order of who's in the room). In any case,
that'll be fixed soon too. :)

- Are there help files on this?

    HELP ELOQUENCE explains how to use the basics.
    HELP MOOD gives the syntax for the mood command.

- Why can't everyone use this?

    Because it's only for the eloquent, who have been waiting for some
    time for this skill to be useful.

- Hey! Why can I be 'coy' but not 'flirtatious'? Can you add 'flirtatious'?

    You can't be flirtatious because it's included in coy. There are a lot
    of adverbs you might want to use that are covered in others. We're not
    going to add 6 more synonyms for happy, when in practice the 4 or 5
    that are there already cover 15 different ways of saying it. If you
    find a CATEGORY of emotion that is skipped (like, in the first version,
    I forgot completely about the many ways of being scared), please let
    me know and I will see if it can be added eventually. But don't ask
    for something that has a close parallel already.

- Does this work with socials?

    No, but who knows, it might work with some of them someday. Don't hold
    your breath.

- Why didn't you fix hellebore, add more spells, add more skills, write
  another area, or whatever else, instead of wasting time on a cosmetic
  thing like this?

    Because this code wasn't for Legend but for a different project--I just
    happened to be able to port it. :) Count your blessings.



                        AN INTERVIEW WITH PTAH

Recently, Laura, a player on Legend, conducted a lengthy interview with
Ptah on a wide range of subjects. She used this interview as the basis
for an article on MUDs which she wrote for "her last undergrad class"
(she's planning to submit it to a magazine such as "Internet World."

Laura, who graduates with honors this summer, will be starting
an MA program in Art History with a fellowship in the fall. In addition to going
to school and raising a family, she has built and played on "Northern
Crossroads" (a Diku MUD), C'thulhu based MUD, and (briefly) our own Legend.

The LT is going to be featuring four separate excerpts of this
interview, arranged by subject: muds in general, interaction on
muds, the future of the internet, and building on the mud. The first two
excerpts follow.

                        ABOUT MUDS IN GENERAL:

Q: How does this mud differ from others, and how would you like it
to be different?

A: Muds till now have been primarily either games or social spaces. This
mud attempts to combine the three main aspects of mudding--a gaming
system, a system for social interaction, and a system for fantasy
roleplaying. It offers much more flexibility for social interaction than
your usual gaming mud--perhaps less than a social mud. It tries to strike
a balance, in other words. The historical theme we use also puts it
outside the realm of any of those types at times.

My goal for this place is to make it social, political, game, roleplaying,
educational, the works.  Perhaps I will incorporate the library function
into here too.

Q: True virtual reality - everything at once?

A: Sure why not?

Just today I wrote a post on Usenet about the state of the art in muds
--about how there wasn't one.  The mudding community offers no real
self-evaluation, has no clear vision of its role within the Net.  There is
no standard set as to what is competent.  There are no critics.  I believe
that mud design is game design -- for which there is a well-established
tradition of criticism and it is also more -- world design and server
design -- for which no basis exists yet.  Muds cannot mature until the
people who work on them agree to reward the good themselves .  All the
effort to take muds seriously has sprung from outside the community.
Academics jumped on muds as a fascinating experiment -- but they approach
it as that, too distanced to try to develop them.  No sense of fun :)

Q: How does a MUD differ from, say, a Bulletin Board System (BBS)?

A: Most net functions are solitary.  The standard setters know this and
are working on interactivity--but the fact is that this sort of virtual
face-to-face communication is probably the most powerful attractor in the
Net.  Communication, be it by publication, by email or
face-to-virtual-face, is the true draw.  Information is only secondary. It
is the human contact that keeps the Net-addicted coming back.  BBSes offer
chat, and online services offer chat and forums and newsgroups.  Muds
cannot replace the multi-threaded hypertextual conversation that
listserves and newsgroups give, but they give instant reaction and

The role of muds can and should be educational, political, social
--everything in the virtual world that gatherings serve for in real

Q: Do you think that muds could turn into virtual libraries or
classrooms, then?

A: Can?  They have.  I'm working on a mud that is a virtual
library right now actually.  And several universities have used mud
interfaces for their campus tours or their libraries.

Q: Copyright is a big issue here?

A: Certainly. Who copyrights this interview?  You the author?
Does Donat, who just dropped a chat into the middle of it, have any say?

Is this public speech?  Is this publication? Can it be freely reproduced?
If I chatted out the source code to some Microsoft program, would it be
illegal?  If I chatted out the code to the PGP key, a common encryption
standard, and some of our players were in Australia, that WOULD be
illegal, according to the laws on the books.

Q: Is such a law enforceable?

A: Of course it is not enforceable.  That's the problem with Net
legislation.  Well, no more enforceable surely than someone slipping the
PGP code to Canada.

Q: So how do you think these issues should be handled?  Who would you say
owns the copyright on this conversation?.

A: I would tend to regard this as public conversation--muds as PLACES and
I would regard Usenet and listserves as publication and hence protected
speech.  This would be protected assembly.  Unfortunately, under current
law, none of them are either.  They are all simply telecommunication, on
par with a phone conversation or a fax, not only subpoenable, but also
unprotectable by most any constitutional right.

Q: So you regard MUDs as places of assembly.  As an implementer of one of
the most unique MUDs on the net, what purpose do you think they serve?

A: I don't think they serve a fraction of their purpose yet.  They may
never be fulfilled in text form--but the fact is, when we talk virtual
reality, we mean muds--full immersion ones, but muds nonetheless.

Q: Do you think we will eventually have a VR5-type environment, like the
TV show?'

A: Eventually, sure.  Ten years.

Q: That long?

A: Maybe less.

Let me clarify.  The ability to give us  fully rendered realistic
landscape we can move in and interact in in--full 3D virtual space--oh,
we could build it now.  The ability to have the DEGREE of interaction
represented in VR 5--the amount of expressions, of ranges, of contact, of
pain stimuli, all that stuff, that is a longer ways away.  Right now it
takes electrodes slapped all over one's face to get something as advanced
as Moxy on the Cartoon Network and that is really, cartoonish.  As
cartoonish, approximately, as the socials system used on muds.  VR5
implies the capability to 'emote' and it is gonna take a while to be able
to represent that. :)

Q: Do you think this mud will go commercial?

A: I think that this mud is of a caliber that could go commercial, yes.  I
do not think it will.  The mud right now is made up of frontiers people.
Commercial would imply taxes :).  It would imply laws.  And that means
that some of the frontier people would move on to a new frontier.  I like
them, and don't want to see them go.  Nor do I feel it is entirely fair to
confiscate their homesteading for a new city hall.

                       MUDS AND INTERACTION:

Q: How do you thinks muds effect people's perceptions of each other?

A: Trick question.

Q: Not intended as such...shall I rephrase?

A: No, because it gets at the heart of the issue.  People tend to think
that muds alter how people perceive one another. That gender and race and
handicaps cease to matter.  It is a noble vision, sure, one shared in
general by these frontier netters.  In truth, muds reveal the self in
rather disturbing ways.  We all construct 'faces' and masks to deal with
others.  Usually in interpersonal relationships, the masks can slip, they
evolve and react, and they have body language and cues.  On a mud, on the
net, whatever---they cannot.  And people see specifically this:  what you
choose to represent yourself as, and THAT is more revealing of your true
nature than gender, race, age, or anything else.

Does it affect people's perceptions of others?  Sure.  But a more valid
question is, how does it affect our perceptions of ourselves?  Take the
typical mud character.  95% of the women of muds are beautiful.  If not
beautiful, they are cute.  If not cute they are perky, or mysterious.
They are all attractive.  And what's more, the difference between the
females played by men and women is minimal.  It's mostly a matter of
experience.  The men who play women mostly have the experience in flirting
of a four-year-old.  They are too crude and too direct.

Interestingly, it doesn't take long to learn.  Now, consider the men.  They
are also all handsome or mysterious, or terribly scarred.  People talk a
lot about how on muds, gender relations are altered.  The sexual
interactions become more important.  There is more stereotyping.  The
blame usually falls on the men who pursue the female characters.  But the
fact is, I have rarely seen a mud player whose self-image was not sexually
attractive and, therefore, I have to wonder, who's doing the stereotyping,
and are the sexual interactions more important--or just more visible?  In
a sense, the characters we construct for ourselves on muds are ones that
permit us to live out what we would like to be or do.

Q: Do you think anonymity is affecting this?

A: Certainly. But I have to reiterate, it's not a matter of how we hide,
it's a matter of how we are revealing ourselves.  In face-to-face, you
present a front, but it is never perfect.  Who knows, it may come down to
pheromones and subliminal emotional messages.  The basic fact is,
face-to-face, you cannot truly end up with a recognizance of what this
person wants to be quite as clearly.

Q: Can you comment then, on what happens when these mud-friends meet Real

A: Sure.  I can comment from two angles actually.  People I knew in real
life BEFORE going on the mud have become much clearer to me now, enough so
that I can explain to others, who know them only on the mud, something of
their motivation and manner on the mud.  People I knew on the mud first
and met later, well, there the things you thought you knew sink into the
general, more complete impression of their character.   You see the things
that they purposely do not show.  You understand why they emphasize one
part of themselves more than anther part on the mud.  On muds you meet who
people want to be, even if only subconsciously; in Real Life, you meet who
they are and rarely get to know what they want to be.  And the complexity
of personalities means that there are many people a single individual can
want to be of course.

Q: Do you think there is a large difference in seeing people as an
Immortal and in player-to-player interactions?

A: Certainly. Because as an immortal I have to express a different
part of who I want to be :).  I have to be more serious, more
intellectual, more focused.  It means I read people very differently.
It means I read them the way I have just been telling you about.  When
I play a mortal, hell, I play it fair :).  I let my wish-fulfillment
meet their wish-fulfillment and skip the analysis.

Q: How about dealing with troublesome people problems - those who cheat
etc.  Can you comment on that aspect?

A: I treat it as a park and a system.  People who cheat are ripping up the
lawn, ruining the picnic tables.  So I first take them aside and ask them
to stop, then I kick 'em out.  I hate doing it though.


                          AN OVERSIGHT

As many attentive readers (and IMMs) pointed out, in the last issue, I
forgot to mention the change in the "Legendary Times" editorship. As of the
last issue, I took over the editorship of "The Legendary Times" from Ptah,
the founding editor (however, Ptah is still very much active in writing
articles and giving me pointers :). I'd like to take this opportunity to
thank Ptah for the classy job he did in setting up LT's format and
producing the first year or so of the LT and MANY issues. I am
only now just starting to realize how much work he put into it. I urge you
all to thank him as well :)




Pictures from the Texas MUD party are available for anonymous ftp at: (type "ftp")
   login: anonymous
   cd pub/usr/robingar

Solo is the dog there, but the others are the people :0

These files are in .pcx format, PC Paintbrush. There are various converter
programs for other formats available as shareware. For Macs, Ptah suggests
GraficConverter :)


                            FUND DRIVE UPDATE

It's getting close now! We only need $400 more to acquire the new system
(Sadist has generously advanced this amount, but we do owe him the $400).
The IMM's are currently in the process of arranging for the new site and
system :)

As we’ve mentioned before,  an anonymous player has pledged to match ANY
donations made by players (non IMMs) up to the sum of $200. Thus, your
donation will essentially be DOUBLED. If you can send a dollar, it will
count as $2! If you can only send $25, it'll count as $50! Please make
this generous person's gift worthwhile by doubling our efforts to get a
new site for LegendMUD.

Current status:
TOTAL CASH IN HAND:    $1130                    up by $20
TOTAL DONORS:           19                      up by one
ROUGH TOTAL PLEDGED:   $1130                    unchanged
TOTAL PLEDGES:          21                      unchanged

Items donated: a 200mb hard drive
               a monitor
               a keyboard

We suggest that those who have the money burning a hole in their pocket
go ahead and send the checks directly to the following address and we
will get the letters out to them as soon as we can, perhaps even crossing in
the mail. This is the address to send donations to:

           (make checks payable to Raphael and Kristen Koster)

                     Raph and Kristen Koster
                     University Station
                     PO Box 1114

If you are an overseas donor who cannot write a check in US Dollars,
please email us at [email protected]

            /                         \
        o O | Wonder what folks are    |
  `\|||/    | doing over at LegendMud? |
   (o o)     \________________________/

                        A KNIGHTLY WEDDING

The long awaited wedding of Dominic, the Knightly Guildmaster and Lirra,
the Lady Knight took place about a week ago. It was held in a small,
intimate clearing in Sherwood, with several guests in attendance. Ptah
conducted the ceremony, with Chrysostom serving as best man and Rusalka
serving as a a very late maid of honor. A small woodwinds quartet
provided music for the festivities.

The bride was resplendent in a flowing white lace wedding gown, a white
lace veil, a white garter with a blue ribbon, white lace gloves, and a
pair of white dress slippers. She held a pocket handkerchief to catch her
tears of joy :)

Dominic and Lirra wrote their own vows to celebrate their marriage. First
came Dominic's; facing Lirra and holding her hands he told her:

'Out of the depths of time,
 And across the distances.
 From the strength of arms,
 and the weakness of humility.
 In the depths of homage,
 and the ravages of war.
 Across the barriers,
 whatever their form,
 I pledge to thee my love,
 my honor, and the strength of mine arms.
 to protect and cherish thee,
 across the reaches of eternity.'

After accepting Dominic's vow, Lirra made her own:

'It's hard to put what i feel into words.
 We have known each other for a long time.
 Through that time, together, we have experienced many things.
 The most cherished is our love for each other.
 My love for you runs very deeply.
 More than words can describe.
 In more ways than one you have been there when I have needed you the most.
 Standing by my side and protecting me from life's cruel hand.
 Today i come here and plegde my unending love to you
 and to let others know of my love for you.
 I will cherish each moment we have together till the end of time.
 I also pledge to be there when for you when I am most needed,
 as you have done for me for so many times past.
 There is so much more i can say....
 but words cannot describe how I truly feel about you.'

After Dominic accepted Lirra's vow, rings were exchanged, after which
everyone cheered and congratulated the new couple. As befitted Dominic's
status as one of the leading cookie collectors on Legend, cookies were
served to all the guests (along with wedding cake :). Even more
fittingly, Lirra presented her new husband with A Crystallized Cookie
on a thong.

The editor notes that this was the most spam-free Legend wedding that
she has yet attended, and hopes that this trend will continue :)


The Knights have announced that while Dominic is off-Legend (he will be
having RL site trouble for the next week), Crowe will be the acting
GuildMaster and Lirra will be the acting Deputy Guild Master.


The Hermetics have gained a new member, Eseau Isaac, who will serve as their
second Shield Maiden. Guildmaster Zandy notes that, considering who the
Hermetics' first Shield Maiden was (Sylia), she has "large shoes to fill."


No got in trouble with the Dark Lord for accidentally levelling and
sporting the title "No more pkill, pkill s***s." The Dark Lord apparently
prefers that Its minions get permission before acting so hasty a fashion.
After materializing in the form a large,  catfish over No's stricken
head, It explained that It had never intended No to be a pkiller in the
first place, but instead intended that he remain a thief. It also
informed No that No's level had dashed hundreds of years of diabolical
plotting. Finally, it assigned the following punishment to No -- not only
must he continue levelling till 50 (since he had already botched
everything by levelling once), but he had to aid OTS members as well.
Although No sighed heavily over his grevious fate, his fiance and fellow
anti-Paladin was heard to assert she thought he "got off pretty easy."


The OTS-Kiera war finally came to a climax. Apparently Kiera got tired of
the way that things were dragging out and announced the following on CHAT:
"Well, all, pass this word onto the bards, excuse me, OTS folks : From
now forward, I will be doing the following:  a) selling items from OTS
corpses  b) attacking OTS when link dead, and c) permakilling anyone OTS
I can."

The very next day (or two), she carried out her word after attacking
Zorn. Not only did she kill him twice or so, but she attempted to sell off
his gear as well (no one would buy, though). Things got even crazier when
No, due to his before-mentioned punishment from the Dark Lord, ended up
placing Zorn under his protection despite his long standing friendship
with Kiera. However, calm was restored when the OTS members, under Greyscot's
leadership and with help from various non-members, agreed to pay up the
reported three million in gold which Kiera demanded. Thus, it looks like the
longest running war we've yet seen on Legend may have finally drawn to an
end, providing that OTS members are able to get the money to her. At any rate,
last seen, Kiera had the following title : "Kiera is celebrating the end
of a silly war (drunken aura).


Ptah announces that Mania has come back! She is abroad in Germany at the
moment, but will return to the mud as a player in August. For those who
weren't here when she was last around (well over a year ago!) Mania is
the original builder of Germany--though we bet she'll have trouble
recognizing it now!


Breton will be off-line for the summer as he is travelling and working
in Scotland. He'll be back in September to regale us with tales of the
highlands, no doubt :)


Errata : In the last issue of the LT, I announced that Llew had performed
the wedding ceremony of Lark and Kendrick. Actually, it was performed by
Parrilyn :)

 Legendary Times is put out by the gods of LegendMUD. Please send all
 replies/additions to Please send items and your responses to articles
and to our address at [email protected] for inclusion in the
next edition. We, however, reserve the right to moderate this discussion,
and may object to some submissions. If you feel we have wrongly omitted
 one of your messages, please talk to Rusalka online or through EMail
 and see if I did indeed receive it in the first place.
 The LegendMUD anonymous ftp site has all back issues of the Legendary
 Times available for anonymous ftp. Its address is given in the banner
  at the top of this message. Once connected, cd pub/users/legend/lt,
  and you will find directories containing volumes one and two, broken
 in sets of ten issues. The anonymous ftp site also houses other files
      that may be of interest to you. Visit our Web page too!
Previous Issue Main Index Next Issue