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VOLUME THREE, ISSUE FIFTEEN                                  November 12, 1996
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                        DEPARTMENTAL NEWS AND UPDATES
                                  Coding
                                 Building
                             Player Relations
                              Administration

                                ARTICLES
                           Legendmeet Update
                         Descriptions: A Primer
                       Practical Reincarnation 101
                         The LT Roving Reporter
      
                              SOCIAL EVENTS
                            Tiding and Tidbits
                              For the Bored
                            Love's Labour Lost
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Please send your responses to articles to the Legendary Times address
at lt@mud.aus.sig.net. Letters to the editor are welcomed. 
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                       DEPARTMENTAL NEWS AND UPDATES

                                  CODING
 
 - SKILLTREES UPDATE:
 
    Coding continues to be primarily concerned with getting skilltrees off the
    ground. The work is progressing well. They have just finished most of the
    currency revisions, which will allow different areas to have different
    kinds of money. The #LORE area file skill has been implemented, although
    the lore skill isn't yet. Rent will no longer be 1000/level, but will be
    expanded at lower levels, so in skilltrees code, you can no longer equip
    with that extra 1000 rent. Eloquence is now available to everyone, and
    some of the skill learning/decay rates have been adjusted.

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                                  BUILDING                      

- NEW AREA UPDATES:

    Leila's Traveling Carnival and Kheldar's Transylvania are currently in
    their final stages of testing and should make it into the mud in the near
    future. Work progresses on the Shadowlands, an area that promises to be a
    challenge to those bored level 50's. It is currently in its final testing
    stage.

- QUESTS:

    Building would like to encourage the reporting of missing hints for quests
    (see LT Vol 3, Issue 14). One of the primary concerns of players is that
    quests do not give enough clues and in attempting to address this concern,
    we are requesting player aid in finding missing clues. Please submit
    anything you notice to Rufus.

- HOMETOWNS:

    Work on updating the hometowns for the upcoming skill trees progresses
    regularly, integrating the code changes that are coming along.

    
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                              PLAYER RELATIONS           
   
- TRIVIA MARATHON!

    Friday, November 15, 9 pm til 12 am EST (possibly running later)
        -random categories with special question sets
        -first prize will be a color coupon
        -second prize will be a regular coupon
        -third prize will be a choice from: a special pet, designer rose, or a
         unique treat just for you!

- RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD TRIVIA!

    Sunday, November 17, 12 pm to 2 pm EST
        -categories will focus on the variety of religions found in the world
        -this will be a chance to learn, questions will be balanced so as not
        to focus on one specific religion, intolerance will not be tolerated ;)
        -first prize will be a regular coupon
        -second and third prize will be a religious icon of your choice/design
 
 - PLAYER QUESTION AND ANSWER:
 
    Spencer's question and answer sessions on Wednesdays, at 8:00 central, are
    running well. This is the place for you all to ask questions about what's
    going on, what kinds of changes we've been considering, etc.
 
 - LECTURE SERIES:
 
We've had some wonderful speakers, and there are still many good things
upcoming. Tuesday, November 12th, at 8:00 Central, Croaker will be
speaking in the OOC Auditorium.

    In real-life Croaker is played by Dr. Jon McCullers. Jon is a Pediatrician
    who is currently undergoing his fellowship training in Pediatric
    Infectious Diseases at the St. Jude Children Research Hospital in Memphis,
    Tennessee. He is pursuing research interests in gene vaccines and working
    with 1996 Nobel Prize winner Peter Doherty.

    Croaker will be speaking about Medicine in Ancient Times. His lecture will
    consist of three parts:
        1) Beliefs and attitudes in ancient man
        2) Methods and techniques used in ancient medicine 
        3) How history can be applied to the LegendMUD medical skill trees and
           Legend in general
                                    
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                               ADMINISTRATION
- REMINDER!

    People who are leaving for a period of time need to contact an immortal in
    administration to get their characters archived. LegendMUD purges
    playerfiles on a monthly basis, and, as this system will be automated, we
    will no longer be able to save people we know, or give leniency in date
    stamps on playerfiles. Characters need to be logged in monthly to avoid
    the inactive purge.

- CODE OF CONDUCT

    The new player code of conduct has been installed in the help files and
    posted to the welcome boards. All new characters created will be seeing
    this information as well. These rules are subject to refinement so please
    read them in their entirety and read them often. See HELP RULES to begin.

- CHANNELS

    Public channels (Chat, Info, and Auction) are a privilege for the
    players. Offering quest solutions, mob or equipment stats, locations of
    skill teachers or spell words, or any other 'secret' in-game information
    (including the passwords and trans mobs of other clans) over public
    channels or by posting on public or clan boards is cheating. You may give
    out the stats of items on AUCTION if and only if YOU are offering that
    item for sale. We officially discourage the posting of such information on
    web pages or through clan mailing lists.
    
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                               LEGENDMEET UPDATE
                               
LegendMUD meet will be held in Austin, Texas this year. The date for the meet,
discussed last issue, will be March 21, 22, 23 of this coming year. Hotel and
such are yet to be chosen.
                                    Thank you,
                               Northstar and Ryssa

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                            DESCRIPTIONS: A PRIMER

You have just decided it's time for a new character on Legend. You come up
with a concept: a western gambler, Slippery Slim from San Francisco. Of
course, you can't start in San Francisco (yet), so you have to start in
London. You hit the menu, type in "slippery" checking to see if the name is
available. Oh good, nobody's using it! So you create the character, and now
need to give him some personality. One of the best ways to do this on Legend
is with descriptions.

There are three types of character descriptions. The first is an "extra"
description, or bio of sorts, that can be entered by the player from the main
menu of LegendMUD. What goes in this description is pretty much a matter of
choice; it can be purely descriptive or can add clues to your character that
would not normally be visible by simple examination. Some people choose to add
clothing to this description, while others prefer to use the items from the
mud that are appropriate, or use string coupons. Description shows you what
your current extra description is, the one people see when they look at you.
You can change this description yourself at any time by choosing the
DESCRIPTION option at the menu.

You decide to use the clothes available from San Francisco and string some
later, so you don't add clothes to your description. What do you know about
him? Well, you want him to have black hair, hmmm, greased-back, a handlebar
mustache... oh waxed too. He's young, handsome of course, with piercing blue
eyes. So you write: "A slick gambler with pomaded black hair and a waxed
mustache stares suspiciously through piercing blue eyes." Then you decide to
register a long and a short description as well.

The second and third types of character descriptions are the "long" and
"short" description which must be registered with the Administration
Immortals, and added by an Immortal in PR. Please mudmail description requests
to Chocorua or Sandra until a database system can be implemented for
autochecking.

The help file "Help Description" says:
    For a god to set a customized long and short desc on you, please have
    considered the following before you ask to be registered:
        - human descs only
        - if 'man' 'woman' etc is a keyword, you are likely to get mis-tells
        - the description should be descriptive, the exceptions to this rule
          are few
        - the long desc must be no more than one line long
        - the short desc should be manageably short (for speech, fights, etc)
        - do not deliberately mislead 
        - use the 'is standing here' aspect of the long desc creatively... you
          may be lounging instead of standing, or peering suspiciously, or
          posing, etc.

Your long description should be indicative of what a person physically sees
when they first notice you. It should contain a primary noun (ie, you), this
could be anything from the simple "man," "woman," or "child," to something
much more creative. It should also contain at least one adjective modifying
the noun (ie, an old man). Most people do not have too much trouble with this
part. Creative use of "is standing here" is more difficult, partially because
this example is already in the passive voice. Passive voice reads slow and
wordy, and also tends to reduce the flavor of whatever verb is chosen to
describe posture, activity, etc. Instead of "is standing here" people often
choose (for example) "is peering suspiciously here," as that is the way the
example reads. A better choice would be "peers suspiciously around." Thus we
have "an old man peers suspiciously around." Use of the active voice will aid
in keeping the description under the one line limit and adds to the atmosphere
and feeling you want to create with your character. Active voice expresses an
action rather than a state of being (stands vs is standing, runs vs is running
etc.). Please don't use verbs that would limit your location, or be
inappropriate. Any use of adverbs to modify adjectives, that in turn modify
the primary noun, should be carefully considered so that the adverb actually
modifies the adjective and not the noun. For example, in "a shockingly
red-haired woman," "shockingly" describes the red-hair, and "red-haired"
describes the woman. The woman is not, in herself, shocking. Avoid misuse of
this, such as "a hatefully red-haired woman," when what you really mean is "a
hateful, red-haired woman" - two adjectives, not an adverb and an adjective
(notice the comma). Red-hair is normally not hateful :), although you could
choose "red-head" as your noun, and have "a hateful red-head" which is also
more creative than "woman".

After reading the help files and considering carefully, you decide that it
would be boring to use the same words from your earlier description. With the
help of a thesaurus, you decide on "canny operator" instead of "slick
gambler." Trying to be creative, and remain within the active voice, you come
up with "A canny operator dexterously shuffles his pasteboards" for the long.
Now for the short.

Short descriptions are somewhat easier. This is the "active" part of the
description and should be kept fairly short. The simplest form is the noun or
noun and adjective from the long description. However, this can be boring, so
you might wish to choose a synonym for the noun, or, if you wish to go farther
afield, you may choose a noun for your short description that has nothing to
do with your long description. They do not have to be related. Many players
use a more complete form of their name (first and last name, for example) for
their short description, or their profession. You need to consider that the
short description when be used whenever you are performing an action.

Again, you don't want to be tedious, so back to the thesaurus for Slippery.
You consider "speculator" but decide that is a different kind of a gamble, and
settle on "gamesman. "Sly" seems a little too evil for the character you
have in mind, yet "cunning" gives just the right feel, and so your short
becomes "a cunning gamesman." What's next? Oh yeah, keywords.

You should consider what your keywords will be when you submit your
description. Every adjective that modifies the noun used will be considered a
keyword. If you are "a hateful red-headed woman," for example, your keywords
would be "hateful," "red-headed," and "woman." Your name is always a keyword,
and you should have at least three other keywords from your description.
Oftentimes, you will get two keywords from the long, and one from the short,
when they are not the same. Please check spelling and grammar before you
submit your description. Be creative and have fun.

So it looks like Slippery's keywords are going to be "cunning," "gamesman,"
"canny," and "operator" and, of course, your name, "slippery." That seems to be
plenty, and managed not to use "man." As you used a thesaurus, you're pretty
sure everything is spelled right, and the grammar seems ok, so you send it off
to Sandra and wait to see what she has to say.
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              How to attack mobs that con as way too tough for thee, 
                             and get really thrashed.
                                       Or...
                         How to never reach level two
                                       Or...
                     Those mobs in HOL can't be that tough!!!
                                       Or...
                           Practical Reincarnation 101

                                  by Reginaldt

Unseelie sidhe? DT's? The Vampire? HOL? Paris Theater?? Too dangerous, you
say? Well, why shouldn't you learn all about these in the earlier levels, when
it doesn't matter as much as when you have 19 coupons,
next-to-impossible-to-get equipment, and 3000000000000000k in your possession?
just bank your start-up 500 coins, and use the weapon you are given for the
time being (or hide it) then start to explore with reckless abandon, learning
where the DT's are, locating the characters that kill you instantly, and
discovering the little quirks. It can't really hurt you too much at that
level, so go ahead!

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                           The LT Roving Reporter
                             by Leila, LT Staff

This week's Roving Reporter tackles the issue close to everyone's heart...
SkillTrees.

- From Ishtar:
Well I think the best thing about the change is making the types of character
more balanced. For instance, making level gear redundant. I admit I use level
gear but I will still be glad when it's redundant. In RL skill acquisition is
exponential...so I hope it will be here too. I can see a few problems with
the changeover for old characters, especially mages. One problem I can see
with the gradual stats thing is everybody just asking for the stats on items
instead of trying them on, for example. Well I guess I might end up worse off
without the hps but any other dex fighter will be in the same boat so it evens
out. However, in the list of skills, I could only see one marked dex and con
and strength had several. Assuming that hps and mana depend on current con and
mind I think that's good because people can experiment to see what suits them
best. I hope the spatial combat won't be a problem for people with slow links
though, my hps already saved me several times from death, dying before I even
saw the fight.

- From Aragon:
First off, you won't be able to build a character like a machine anymore. All
con characters out there must get pretty steamed when they see someone with 40
con running round with  500 hp's. That's just silly. The skill trees will make
the mud much more balanced. As I see it, hardly anyone chooses to use strength
as their primary stat. Another thing is, they'll make things seem just a bit
more realistic with the learning of skills and their use. One low point to the
trees is for mages meditating and rooting: it will take forever to do since
the stats are increased gradually. That'll be at least 4 to 6 more ticks,
waiting for your stats to come back to normal. That's just a hassle.

- From Allegra:
It's a pity that everyone grumbles about it so much, when we don't really know
for sure what it's going to be like... I wish people'd quit bagging them and
wait and see what they're actually like when they do come in. Pkill is going
to be tough for a while while everyone gets used to it, but everyone's in the
same position. There is one thing I was nervous about... relearning skills as
a high level pkiller might be nerve wracking... I'm not sure how it works, but
you don't want to make mistakes. Hopefully, though (the trees) will add
something to roleplay, making people more specialized. I think of it as adding
extra depth to fighting... after all, there's not too much to mob killing at
the moment, is there?

- From Milhaus:
As for the skill trees -- I like the idea of layered skills like those for
doctors, mages, etc. Personally, I don't like the more subtle and detailed
fighting plans as I am not a good fighter and moving in and out with wary/agg
is about all that I can handle. That's what worries me the most. Also, I do
think the IMMs might give us more info about who can learn what and at what
level but that's about it so far.

- From Gollum:
I`ll be glad when the filter comes in! The only thing that worries me is that
I won't like Legend after the skill trees .. I can't imagine that happening,
but it's still a fear. Basically I welcome the skill-trees, the thought of
having a specialist in many fields and more possibilities for roleplay... I
always fancied myself as a chivalry Knight helping those in need... Oh, that's
me now :).

- From Panzer:
I like the general idea of skills trees, but hate a lot of the stuff coming
with it, like filtering our hp. A hp filter would be ooky. I like that there's
gonna be new hometowns though, the 5 we've got can be limiting. I've got an
idea: make a skill wipe, then a period of learning what's good bad etc, then
skill wipe again. That's why I'm going to make a whole lot of newbies a con
fighter, a dex fighter, a strength fighter, etc.

- From Gho:
As a con fighter I'm hanging out for the skilltrees. I've recently switched
from 100 con to 100 dex despite not having learned expert fencing, (I'm still
using a con weapon). Even this works better than relying on warcry and being
unable to flee. That's just my situation, my reason to want skilltrees done
yesterday. Another thing I'm looking forward to is hp's, mana, etc being based
on current stats. I haven't started a new character here for ages as I'm just
too fussy and couldn't possibly level without maximizing con and mind :) As
for the combat system, I just hope it's not messed with too much, I've been
playing other MUDs recently and they don't compare, for example the ability to
stun a 2nd mob or player for a tick is great and I'd hate to see it go. I
believe the damage cap's being lifted is good but also hope it doesn't make
fights end too quickly, (I doubt it'll make that much of a difference but I've
tried pkill on Dragon Swords and found 1-4 round fights are just pointless).

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        o O | Wonder what folks are   |
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                        TIDINGS AND TIDBITS
                        
Congratulations to Daniel and Shalleigh who were married in a private
ceremony, Saturday October 19th at 1 PM at the Altiplano in Nazca.

                            \|/ \|/ \|/

Kindred has recently left the Clan Iscariot. Some sort of internal
conflict within the clan caused her to doubt its ultimate aims. The
impetuous young girl who previously could be seen "studying the ways of
the Prophets" may now be discovered "deeply involved in her thoughts."

                            \|/ \|/ \|/

In gratitude for deliverance and resurrection through miracles wrought, I
hereby pay homage to Rusalka, Sabella and Sandra.  I dedicate my unworthy
self to your service.
    - In humility and faith, Buttercup Bright

                            \|/ \|/ \|/

Rumors of a new clan, Clan Lazy, led by the Imp of Laziness, Point, and
his High Priest, Ulric have reached our ears. It seems they seek to sit
around the Stag, drink beer, and do nothing involved effort. There has
been some comment from dissenters who are convinced that the best beer to
be found is that in the Jolly Beggar.

                            \|/ \|/ \|/

We mourn the death of YueFei, the Ancient Chinese General and head of the
Dragon Tribe. Yuefei was killed by QuinKui, having him hung in the garden.
Yuefei is permanently dead.

                            \|/ \|/ \|/

Another recent tragedy involved our friend Dekker. Before he moved across
the veil, Dekker said his goodbyes to: 
    Point, Aermid, Shalindra, Agrippa, Irony, Sharpe, Howard, Eretz,
    Desperado, Somar, Valis, Bombtrack, Donelan, and the entire immort staff
    for being so cool.
    
We are sorry to see him go. 
But, on the bright side, the following was recently overheard:
    [Info]: Somar sings the praises of Dekker's newbie gear!
so, welcome home Dekker!
                            \|/ \|/ \|/
FOR THE BORED:
Ptah recently suggested several activities to entertain players on Legend. He
noted that some of these things might be occurring right now:
    - someone has become an heir to a fortune and someone is plotting to
      murder them
    - the mysterious curse of the golden scarab. Who is cursed? You?
    - a bardic competition in the Orkneys

The Legendary Times will happily print other ideas for keeping the perpetually
jaded entertained. Send them on in! The best idea that is actually played out
on the mud will be rewarded. Send us a report as well :).

                            \|/ \|/ \|/

                         LOVE'S LABOUR LOST
                         
Recently overheard by our little bluebird correspondent:
                         
[Info] DeNiro: party in the agrabah inn... DeNiro and Typhoid are engaged!!!
[Info] DeNiro: All are welcome to the party at the agrabah inn
[Info] Tiberius: ain't no party in here
[Info] DeNiro: we will make our entrance in time
[Info] Tiberius: yeah, there's still no one in here but me
[Chat] Typhoid: i want to divorce
[Chat] DeNiro: he he
[Chat] Tnasloc: why you just see the fan and realize how pyscho he is or can
be?
[Info] DeNiro: and Typhoid have separated!
[Info] Rummy: doh
[Chat] DeNiro: is not happy at all, he died for that young women
[Chat] DeNiro: is heart broken!
[Chat] Dominic: perhaps that's your problem..you used the plural form of the
word..:)
[Chat] Tiberius: so, this means no party, right?
[Chat] Sky: who'd ya die for Deniro?
[Chat] DeNiro: hmm.....
[Chat] DeNiro: no one!!!!
[Chat] DeNiro: *cry*
[Chat] DeNiro: afraid so... how about a seperation party?
[Chat] Tiberius: dying for women?  I think I see the flaw in your technique.
[Chat] Higinio: Most women prefer their men live
[Chat] DeNiro: hmm... maybe but she was very wonderful
[Chat] Tiberius: let's get back to this party thing...
[Chat] DeNiro: anyone have the skill for lost loves?
[Info] Tiberius: Toga! Toga! Toga!


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Legendary Times is published by the gods of LegendMUD. Please send all
replies/additions to to our address at lt@mud.aus.sig.net for inclusion in the
next edition. We, however, reserve the right to moderate this discussion, and
may object to some submissions.
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