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..../                /_/..\______/./_____/./__/.../__/./_______/ MUD
.../________________/       running on         mud.aus.sig.net 9999
                                                 199.1.78.16   9999
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http://mud.aus.sig.net                        ftp://mud.aus.sig.net/pub
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VOLUME TWO, ISSUE THIRTY-NINE                         December 22, 1995
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   HAPPY HOLIDAYS! JUST YOU WAIT FOR THE FUN STUFF WE HAVE IN STORE!

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

                             MUD UPDATES
                          - New Web site! -
                          - Anonymous ftp - 

                              ARTICLES
         -           About the new skills system            -
         -                  Trivia Contest!                 -
         - Baca's Creative Roleplaying with the Create Mage -

                          FUND DRIVE UPDATE

                            SOCIAL EVENTS
                   -     Gen makes an offer!     -
                   -   Mitra and Gerry are wed   -
                   - A note from Mitra and Gerry -
                   -       Assassin rumors       -
                   -    1996 Legend Mud Meet     -
                   -     Holiday best wishes     -

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Please send your responses to articles to the Legendary Times address
at stevensj@ucsu.colorado.edu. Letters to the editor are welcomed. Note
that this particular issue of the LT was guest-edited by Ptah, so don't
blame poor Russie for the malfeasance and misuse of her office you see!
(or typos, she gave me the Hermetic Typing Virus for Christmas anyway.)
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                             NEW WEB SITE!

Legend's official website has moved from its old location. It is now on
the mud machine. The URL is:

                        http://mud.aus.sig.net

It has also had a bit of a revamping. You can now find specific articles
in the back issues archive of the Legendary Times by looking through the
new article index. Simply follow the link to the Legendary Times issues
on the main page. There are a few other updates scattered throughout the
site.

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                           LEGEND'S FTP SITE
                           
As a reminder, LegendMUD has an anonymous FTP site located on the mud site,
at mud.aus.sig.net. Available for download are recent issues of the Legendary
Times, plus transcripts of events such as the Halloween stories night.
This is also where people seeking to propose an area should go looking for
proposing.txt, the file that details the process of proposing an area.

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                      '.        ARTICLES!        .'
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                       THE NEW SKILLS SYSTEM: A FAQ

A lot of questions have arisen about the new skills and the skill wipe
that will be coming eventually. This little article is designed to answer
a few of those most basic questions.

WHAT DO "SKILL TREES" MEAN?

It's a way of arranging skills so that you have to learn one skill before
you can get another. An exaple of this in the mud right now is the bardic
skill set. You have to learn play before you can learn to entrance. Skill
trees simply put all skills into similar structures, so that you have to
learn basic abilities before you can learn advanced ones.

WHAT ABOUT SKILL USAGE?

The new skills will cease depending on level at all, and to an extent skills
will also depend less on stats. Instead, you will become better at skills by
using them. The ones you use more often, you will get better at, and the ones
you use once in a while, you will be worse at. This is what is referred to as
the skill usage system. You'll be able to get great at skills by using them
regularly.

WHY DO SKILLS GET WIPED THEN?

Because we are adding in new info into the playerfiles to track these new
elements. We need to add in space in the format to save usage levels and
levels known. We are not touching spells at all, but we ARE wiping chant.
Spells DO track levels known already, and wiping them would therefore harm
your characters a lot. Losing chant won't affect this though--you can just
relearn it and have all your mage powers back as they were.

Repeat: NO words and NO spells will be wiped, only skills.

WILL I GET MY PRACTICES BACK?

Yep! We will be giving you back a practice for every skill we wipe. So you
will be able to rush out and use the practices to re-establish your old
skills, or to try out the many new ones going in.

WHAT ABOUT THE LEVEL MY SKILLS ARE AT?

One common misconception on Legend is that skills are affected by level.
Except in the case of a few which use level to calculate damage, skills
here do NOT track how long you have known a skill. This is one of the things
that the new skills system will track.

In other words, when we wipe your skills, you aren't losing levels known,
because they were never there to begin with. But they WILL be there after
the wipe.

HOW ARE YOU SETTING LEVELS KNOWN ON THE NEW SKILLS?

Well, what we will do is have the code automatically check how many practices
you have coming to you from the reimbursal. And each time you learn a skill,
it will arrive at a level based on how many practices you have left. So as
you learn the new skills, you learn them in order, and the code will assume
you have 'gained a level' in between skills.

WHAT ABOUT GETTING MORE PRACTICES?

Sorry... the point of adding more skills is to create more choices and
give the mud more variety. If we gave everyone twice the number of pracs they
have now, neither of those goals would be accomplished.

WHAT NEW SKILLS ARE PLANNED?

Oh, lots. We're doubling the number of skills in the game. Here's a list of
some of the cool ones we plan to add:

WOODSCRAFT - for camping, preparing travel rations, and better ability at
  carving meat
ENTICE - a skill of eloquence that lets you entice people out of a room
TAME ANIMAL - what it says!
JOUSTING - and with it, an overall better mounted combat system
CHOKE, FLIP, TRIP, PIN, WRESTLE - and others, a set of hand to hand combat
  skills
BOWYER - to give you the ability to make bows, and fletch your own arrows!
LOCATE OBJECT - a thiefly skill which gives you rumors of where items might
  be found
ENCHANT and INSCRIBE - for placing spells into wands and onto scrolls
... and many more. After the new skills are in, there will be around 150
different ones.

WHY DO THIS? WHAT PROBLEMS WILL IT SOLVE? WILL IT BE COOLER?

Well, it should help players make distinctive characters. It will solve some
of the problems that exist right now with everyone mastering all the trades, or
at the very least coasting on a single stat (such as dex *poke*). And yes, of
course it will be cooler, though there will be a period of readjustment as
everyone picks out their new skills and learns the system.

WILL PLAYERKILLING BE DISABLED? FOR HOW LONG?

Most likely, yes, it will be disabled for a period of time while everyone
gets used to the new system, to give everyone a chance to update all their
skills. We don't know how long this period will be yet.

HOW BUGGY WILL ALL THIS BE?

You can expect the basic mechanics of usage to be tested before they get put
into the mud, but also expect that details in the system will need tweaked.
For individual skills--you are the testers, basically, as with any new code.
:)

WHAT WILL SKILL TREES DO TO COMBAT BALANCE?

Dexterity will be reduced in power and the other stats will rise to become
more equivalent. Skill trees will fix some long-standing problems in combat
balance and make the fight system finally come into its own, permitting
three distinct styles of combat, each with their own advantages and
disadvantages. DON'T expect to be as good as you were before the skill trees
went in, because everyone will have to relearn combat to some extent.
After a period of readjustment, you should all be doing fine, but won't be
all tied to dexterity as you are now.

WHEN IS THIS HAPPENING?

Arkenstone is doing the current coding on the new skills that are needed
to implement the system fully. (The basic mechanics of the usage system have
been around for six months and have been in intermittent testing by the
immortals). Old skills also need revised in order to fit with the system
His current estimate (only because he had one of those coder epiphanies,
where the programmer goes, Hey! Wouldn't it make my life easier if...) is
now for sometime in February.

I'M NOT SURE ABOUT THIS.

Well, discussion of the topic is welcome, as always, on the Legend Discussion
List. Email lsh@iii.net to join the list, or select the option at the main
mud menu. This IS a major change to Legend's gameplay, and we would not
put it in without inviting all possible comment. We realize that there is
a lot of conjecture out there, but we do not want to give out a list of all
the new skills and their descriptions, the tree structures, and so on,
since this information changes on a weekly basis. 

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                   LEGEND HISTORY TRIVIA CONTEST!


On February 14th, 1996, the second anniversary of Legend's opening to the full
Internet will be marked with celebrations. As part of the special
commemorations, we'd like to celebrate the rich history that Legend has
acquired in even this short time. To this end we're organizing this special
trivia contest.

Below you will find 25 questions whose answers are buried in the mists of
Legend's past. Fortunately, the answers can also be found buried in the back
issues of the Legendary Times, the mud's official newsletter. Strung coupons
will be awarded to the players who manage to answer all 25 questions
correctly. There is a limit of one coupon per player!

There is also a secret treasure hunt. There is a Legend character who appears
three times in the trivia questions and answers. Somewhere in all the pages on
the LegendMUD web site is a page devoted to that character. Find the link to
that page, and buried somewhere in it will be a code word. You'll get an extra
coupon if you turn in the code word with the correct trivia answers.

Fine print: immortals and their mortal characters, and their families and all
employees of LegendMUD (*wink*) are disqualified from winning coupons, but are
welcome to try anyway. The winners will be announced at the Second Annual
Expies Awards in February 1996.

                                 THE QUESTIONS

1. How do you emote a possessive?
2. Who first called the Dark Lord a guppy?
3. Whose was the first wedding on LegendMUD?
4. What was the first area to open?
5. What was the entrance bug?
6. Who was the patriarch of Clan Connaught?
7. Who killed him?
8. Who had a vision and became a nun?
9. What was Revenant's real name?
10. What was the topic of the first Lecture Series event?
11. Who coded the moon phases?
12. How much was the ransom paid to Kiera by the Order of the Scroll?
13. Why did Dusty kill Kiera?
14. Who ran the Legend Superbowl Playerkilling Tournament?
15. What was stolen from Rusalka when she was murdered?
16. How many pairs of twins have been born on Legend? Give names.
17. Which part of Moira's heart was clogged up?
18. Who took over Africa?
19. Which is better against cloth armor, a club or a sword?
20. What is the most disputed property in the mud?
21. How many Masters of the Order of the Scroll have there been?
22. How many immortals have installed an area and then resigned from the mud?
23. Dusty let him go, he spurned Silk, he married Birdy. But who accused
    Greyscot of infidelity with G?
24. Name any one of the characters of the player who has reached level 50 more
    times than anyone else.
25. The ex-immortal who runs the Legend Discussion List also started something
    for the Legendary Times. Who and what was it?

Mail your answers to ptah@mud.aus.sig.net. Best of luck!

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       **a public service announcement from Baca and clan SMILE**

              CREATIVE ROLE PLAYING WITH THE CREATE MAGE

I've noticed, lately, more and more people choosing the cause mage
route, perhaps because of the idea that cause mages are somehow better
in combat.  I tend to think even that idea is wrong, but I know that the
create mage provides almost limitless (and mostly unexploited) variation
for role play.  So here, in the interest of create mages (a class near
and dear to my heart) and in role play not grounded in pkill (a cause
near and dear to my heart) is an overview of some create mage spells and
ways to use them to confuse the world.

Summoning spells (golems, fire, air, and water elemental, and
homunculi):
        Summoned creatures follow your orders, which means you can order
them to chat/info/auction.  Create a couple and have them get in a chat
fight over whether you ought to be addressed as "God-Emperor" or
"Supreme Overlord."  Having them auction for you items you win in combat
or make might be more likely to win a sale than otherwise: Golem's
"Turds are Us," or Salamander's "Orbs for Rent and Sale."

Create items spells (orbs, shields, armor of light, vile green goo,
create food-water-fire water, and instant death): 
        Everyone wants an orb.  Every low level would love to have a
shield or armor.  People will beg for instant death vials.  But don't
make currency your trade (after all, gold is easy to get).  Set up a
barter system: for newbies, a rabbit filet for an orb.  For oldbies
(oldbies?), require a mini-quest in exchange for i.d. vials--say, one of
every (non-decaying) item required for all the trans quests.  Buy a
bunch of waterskins, fill them with fire water, and leave them laying
around.

Flight:
        Everyone knows flight makes you fly.  Flight will also make mobs
fly, mobs that would not otherwise be able to cross water.  Ride an
elephant into the ocean and leave it there.  Get all the dogs in Klein
to follow you and leave them in Sherwood with an illusion sign that
reads "You're attacked by a pack of wild dogs."  Do the same with all
the horses in a period, and leave an illusion that reads "Stampede!"

Scatter:
        Scatter (if you can survive, flee, or calm the then hostile mob)
is a good way of moving mobs that won't follow you or can't be ridden.
People get used to finding the Banker in the Bank and the Armorer in the
Arms Shop . . . maybe they'd like to change venues . . . .

Create walls (fog, fire, stone):
        Yah, pkillers use these to trap their enemies.  Bleah.  A proper
arrangement can also be used to lead your true love right to you, to
create mazes in otherwise straightforward areas, and to drive mobs where
you want them. [Editor's note: the immorts of Legend WILL dispel walls
found that block inns, as they unreasonably restrict newbies from access
to getting in and out of the game. Be considerate to other players when
you use your magical powers.]

Dream Sending:
        If you've never sent one of these, or had one sent to you,
you're missing out on a lot of fun.  Ever try to tell to someone who's
sleeping?  Here's a way around it.  Better yet, set yourself up as a
matchmaker: know someone who's trying to woo his or her true love?--send
their image in a dream . . . .  

Create Illusion:
        The old standby.  Anything you can think of, you can make.
Think the vampire oughta be in the inn, but don't wanna drag him out?
Illusions.  Wanna provoke strangers with billboards?  Illusions.  Wanna
frustrate everyone in the game?--leave an illusion of Charon's Oar in a
public place and see how many people try to pick it up.

These are just some general uses--inserted into a broader role-play
strategy, they provide real range that the mere stabbing in and out of
daggers does not.

**ObPlug: If you like these ideas, maybe you wanna come talk to clan
SMILE.
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                       FUND DRIVE UPDATE 

Many thanks to the players who have already made a sizable dent in our
"debt"!!! We're currently at $225 to keep paying off the net connection fees.

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
                     12603 Rhea Ct. 
                     Austin, TX 78727

If you are an overseas donor who cannot write a check in US Dollars,
please email them at koster@eden.com. 
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        o O | Wonder what folks are   |
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Not too much brewing in the Legend cauldron these days... looks like the
immortals are trying hard to get the players excited about the new skills
system that is promised for sometime before the mud's birthday in February...
What with the Expies coming up (have you thought about your nominees yet?)
and the ongoing trivia contest, a lot of OLD social columns are sure to come
back to haunt us...! So without further ado, here's what's happening TODAY...

Got a letter in from a person whose odd appearance has attracted a lot of
attention...

                                 \|/ \|/ \|/

Hiya, Gen here,

Seeing as how Arkenstone has offered to put photographs of players on his web
page, i thought i'd go it one better and offer to do drawings of characters for
the page. Anyone interested should email me at:  aaron_blake@washcoll.edu
The email should include a full description of your character, including any
special/particular equipment you'd like the drawing to show.  I'll work as fast
as i can, but finals are coming up, so i can't guarantee any overnight
successes =).  Thanks all, and i'm looking forward to drawing up some
characters real soon!

                                 \|/ \|/ \|/

Mitra Ajami and Gerry Cowan celebrated their wedding (or "joining 
ceremony," as Mitra insisted on calling it) a few weeks ago on a high 
mountaintop in India. The ceremony was led by Petal, the High Priestess 
of Daisy. Several characters were in attendance including Nocturne, 
Terror, Gail, Kadiya, Terror, Nhoj, Aragorn, Lynche, Morphine, Deanna, 
Arturos, Particleman, Piper, Eric, Cora, Blah, Sabella, Teal, Sandra, 
Ecstacy, Khai, MacPhisto, and CLeo (whew!).

The ceremony began with Petal's injunction to pray: 'I ask you to bow 
your heads in prayer.

Several members of the congregation complied, but Teal, looking disappointed,
told Mitra, 'I expected better of you.'

Ignoring Teal's comment, the High-Priestess Petal continued:

'Oh mighty Daisy!' 
'Who lives in the eternal garden,' the High-Priestess Petal says.
'Please look favourably upon this congregation.'
'Protect us from lag and permadeath,' the High-Priestess Petal says.
'Now and forever, amen.'
'Amen'

As Petal prayed, Teal gritted her teeth and fumed with rage while Cora 
announced the details of a conversation that she had had with a 
mysterious "Steve." Several shushed them, and then ended up shushing each 
other. Teal then stared at Mitra with rage while Cora gave Gerry a long 
and passionate kiss, which flustered Gerry and shocked Blah and Mitra.
Mitra glares icily at Cora.

Despite the various disruptions, Petal continued onward.

'Would Mitra and Gerry please kneel before me and the spirit of Daisy,' 
she requested. Carefully bending down, she rubbed her finger in the dirt 
at her feet. Nodding solemnly, she marked first Mitra's forehead, then 
Gerry's with a spot of dirt. 

'You are now purified by the earth in Daisy's presence,' the High-Priestess
Petal explained.

Teal continued to stare at Mitra, fuming with rage, whereupon Lynche 
whapped her (Teal, not Mitra!). 

The High-Priestess Petal then gave Gerry an Ornate mother of pearl box
inscribed with a 'G.' She then gave one inscribed with an "M" to Mitra.

'Please open the sacred box,' the High-Priestess Petal asked both of them.
They did so and took out a daisy from each box and held them. The daisies 
glowed with a pure, true light.

As they did so, Teal angrily said 'STOP!'
Several in the group stared at her in surprise and indignition.

'The daisy symbolises all that is good and pure in the world,' the
High-Priestess Petal intoned, ignoring yet another disruption, 'It reflects 
the goodness and purity of this union.'

Blind to the reactions of the congregation, Teal sputtered 'This is an 
outrage to the goddess!'and was promptly recalled from the room by CLeo. 

Meanwhile, the ceremony continued. Petal requested that Gerry and Mitra 
remove the brussel sprouts from the box and hold them. Ere things could 
contiue, however, Teal arrived in a puff of smoke. Glaring at Mitra, she 
grimly expressed her displeasure: 'After all She has done for you, you 
turn your back and marry this, this...male!' With a hurt look she 
wistfully continued 'And I who loved you from afar...' Teal then 
publicly cursed the couple on the chat channel.

'Hold the brussel sprout to your lips and drink from it,' Petal told 
Gerry and Mitra, 'The brussel sprout is a symbol of all that is evil 
and bad. However, one must have tasted evil before one can know how to 
fight it.' Mitra couldn't help wondering if having Teal disrupt her 
ceremony also signified a "taste of evil."

Having been recalled yet again, that teal continued her rants on the 
public channel: 'You can recall my body, but cannot stop me! Mitra, the 
Goddess condemns you!

'Savour the taste of evil and remember the feeling of good,' the 
High-Priestess Petal continued, 'May the Daisy light your way.'

The High-Priestess paused, and collected her thoughts. 'We are gathered 
here today to join Mitra and Gerry in holy matrimony,' she told the 
congregation.

'Before I pronounce you husband and wife,' she asked the couple, 'Would 
you like to exchange your rings?" They nodded and brought out their rings 
to exchange. The High priestess mumbled a prayer over them.

Turning to Mitra, Gerry spoke first:

'I met you a long time ago in London..'
'I didn't know then that we were destined to be together.'

Mitra scuffled her feet around in the dirt.

'I give you this ring as a symbol of my love,' he told her, and gently 
slipped an elegantly-cut amethyst ring from Gerry onto her finger. 

Smiling at him, Mitra then spoke her words:

'This ring is symbol of the bond we share.'
'Friend, lover, mate.'

As Gerry stared dreamily at her, Mitra carefully placed a ring of bonding 
on his finger.

The couple then returned their gaze to the High Priestess Petal.

'With the giving of the rings, you have pledged your eternal love,' the 
High-Priestess Petal intoned, 'I now call on the goddess Daisy to bless 
this marriage.'

The High-Priestess Petal looks to the sky.

'I now pronounce you husband and wife,' the High-Priestess Petal announced.

The congregation cheered happily, and Petal beamed with delight.

The Goddess' spirit even made a cameo to bless the marriage, and it took 
a few moments for Her purple haze to dissipate into the winds.

The couple shared a long, passionate, yet tender kiss before exchanging 
their tokens of love and devotion.

The only thing that really disturbed they joy was a disemobodied voice 
which announced 'I curse you both!' However, that voice was scarcely 
audible over Lynche's "Mavel Tov's."

A star shot across the night sky, illuminating the mountain peak.

'The great goddess Daisy has approved the union of Gerry and Mitra,' 
Petal announced on chat, whereupon the congregation departed for the 
reception in Arabia, which was generously hosted by the Sultan. There, 
gifts were exchanged, dances were danced, and Mitra and Nocturne 
discussed theology. Just as things were going quite splendidly, thw wine 
pouring like rain, one might say, the guests discovered that the couple 
had snuck off on them, destined for their honeymoon (or "vacation," if 
you arn't Norse) in parts which are still unknown....

In retrospect, it should be noted that Mitra and Teal later exchanged 
more angry words concerning Mitra's marriage, as well as the right to 
wear "the Sacred Silly Purple Sash," sacred to the Goddess (presumably, 
this occured after Mitra had returned to "parts known"). The words 
quickly turned into words, and Mitra ultimately slew Teal, having stunned 
her with her theological arguments (or perhaps it was that lilac scented 
air-freshner....). Teal, however, vowed to be back, although she did 
decide that maybe the Goddess favored Mitra after all..... 

                                 \|/ \|/ \|/
                                 
Another note that arrived was directly related to all these events... it
came on lilac-scented paper, too. :)                                 

Mitra and Gerry thank all those who came and shared their joy at their 
ceremony of joining. They also thank all those who sent their well 
wishes. But most especially, they thank the High-Priestess Petal for her 
beautiful ceremony. They will forever be in her debt.

                                 \|/ \|/ \|/

Rumor has it that the Assassins clan is rebuilding. After Kiera's death,
it seemed to have fallen into quiescence, but lately Teal has been quite
vocal about the availability for hire of assassins. One assumes this means
more than one--could it be they will once again be a force on Legend? One
notices that Silk has been seen again...

                                 \|/ \|/ \|/

A trivia hint, just for you... don't forget Byron!

                                 \|/ \|/ \|/

Some of you may not know about the Legend Meet '96 that is planned for
the Wasington DC/Virginia/Maryland area. Currentt plans have it scheduled
sometime in April. Contact Paulmac@mindport.net for details--a substantial
amount of Legendmudders plan to be there!

                                 \|/ \|/ \|/

Also take with you on this Holiday Season the best wishes from all of us
who work here at LegendMUD. Don't die, don't hit any deathtraps, don't
win at 21 with any criminals, and don't be overrent when you lose link--
good advice on the mud too. :) Happy Holidays!

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 Legendary Times is put out by the gods of LegendMUD. Please send all
 replies/additions to to our address at stevensj@ucsu.colorado.edu 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 she did indeed receive it in the first place.
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