Distant Lands

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to Distant Lands

   So you wanna play DL, huh? You get your MUD client fired up, you get the address, you connect and you're good, right?


   Well, if you've played MUDs before, then you most likely know the basics, but what's this funny looking prompt that says "Login"? Well, Distant Lands uses a system where a player creates one account and all of their characters are linked to that account. Preferences you set are migrated from one character to the next (on your account) without having to reset them every time. Just type "new" at the prompt and follow the prompts.


   So you're ready to log in and play now, right? Not quite... you've just created an account, not a character yet. When you get to the main menu, enter "c" and follow the directions. The system will guide you through the character creation process. It's painless, I swear!


   After character creation, you will see that familiar main menu again. This type use "e" and then "1" to enter the game as your newly created character!


   If you need some guidance doing some of "the basics", feel free to browse below, and don't forget about our online help files (they are also available from within the game.)


How do I see my character's statistics?

   Once you're in the game, you can type attributes (or att for short) and pull up the table of your character's statistics. If you've never played DL, or most other MUDs, you probably don't know what most of that stuff means. Well, here's a very easy way to find out! Below is a representation of what you will see when you use the attributes command. Just click a link in the table below to view the associated help file in a new window.


(sorry for the table being so small... it's the only way to fit it in the window.)

| Name: Vulsin               Level: 506         Height: 5' 9"    Sex: Male    |
| Race: Rocksport Human      Class: Magic-User  Weight: 200  lbs Age: 18Y 10M |
| Attributes |  Armor Rating  |  Saving Throws  | Alignment:    Neutral       |
+------------:----------------:-----------------+ Practices:    0             |
|  Str.  18  | Head:  -100/0  | Paralyze:   -80 | Gold:         0             |
|  Int.  11  | Body:  -100/0  | Petrify:    -80 | Gold in bank: 0             |
|  Wis.  14  | Arms:  -100/0  | Breath:     -80 | Experience:   4294967295    |
|  Dex.  16  | Hands: -100/0  | Spells:     -80 | Next Level:   0             |
|  Con.  16  | Legs:  -100/0  | Wands:      -80 | Encumbrance:  2%            |
|  Cha.  15  | Feet:  -100/0  |                 | Hunger:       0%            |
|  Luck  13  |                |                 | Thirst:       0%            |
+------------+----------------+-----------------+ Full:         0%            |
|      Hit:    20/20        Power:   100/100    | Drunk:        0%            |
| Movement:   196/196        Mana:   100/100    | Favored Hand: Left Hand     |
|     MPPs:      0          Songs:     4/4      | You are standing.           |
| You are: Vulsin, that really weird guy                                      |
| You are currently not the follower of a god.                                |
You are away: Working on the new DL website, not in this window very often

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Okay, so how do I see what my character is carrying?


   To view what you have in your inventory, simply use the inventory command (you can use i for short.) A list of visible items that you are carrying will appear. Note that if an item is invisible - denoted by an (invisible) flag - you will need the detect invisibility spell cast on you to see it. The amount of things you are carrying affects your encumbrance. Your maximum encumbrance is mostly determined by the amount of strength and dexterity you have; the higher they are, the more you can carry at one time. Take note that the item's volume (space it occupies) is also factored in when determining how much you can carry. For example, if you're carrying a huge kayak in your hands, your encumbrance may only be 50%, but you may not be able to pick up any other items, nor will you be able to take any out of containers you may be carrying or wearing, such as a backpack or a bag of holding.


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Alright, cool, I see the stuff... now... how do I use it?


   Item manipulation is pretty much standard for most MUDs, and there's nothing different about it for Distant Lands. You can wear an item by simply using the wear command, and wield weapons by using the wield (you can use wi for short). Some items cannot be worn or wielded, but instead held. Use either the hold or grab commands to do it. Some items cannot be worn, wielded OR held at all. Some items can be worn in more than one spot, such as some bracelets. To wear it on a certain part of your body, just add the body part to the end of the command. For example:


> wear bracelet wrist

You wear a steel bracelet around your left wrist.


> wear ring left finger

You wear a sparkley bling-bling ring on your left ring finger.


   Some items can cast spells as well, such as wands and even some worn equipment such as rings, breastplates and even weapons. To make use of these, use the use command, like this:


> use wand self     (you can also use "me" as a keyword for using something on yourself)

You point a magic wand at yourself.

You begin to glow with a white light.


> use wand vulsin

You point a red wand at Vulsin.

You smile as Vulsin disintegrates before you.


   I should add that it is NOT a good idea to go pointing random wands at yourself or guzzling random potions, as they could have some VERY adverse effects (read: death.) It's best to ask someone what a particular potion, wand or item casts before using yourself as a guinea pig.


   Aside from pointing wands at yourself and wearing those swanky new shoes, you can also put and get items into and from containers. You do not have to do this one item at a time, or even just on the first item in your inventory listing. You can manipulate multiple items at the same time or any specific one you want. For example, if you have ten rings in your inventory and you wanted to put the fourth one in a bag, you would type:


> put 4.ring bag

You put a sparkley bling-bling ring in a velvet bag.


   And to manipulate multiple items (only of the same type) at the same time:


> put 7*ring bag    (note the asterisk * between the quantity and the item keyword)

(7*)You put a ring with a massive rock in a velvet bag.


> put all.ring bag   (note the dot between "all" and the item keyword)

(10*)You put a ring with a massive rock in a velvet bag.


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Okay, so now that I've put stuff on, how do I see my worn equipment list?


   That's easy! Just use the equipment (or eq for short) command to get a list of what you're wearing!


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But these shoes don't match my outfit! How do I take them off?!


   Removing unwanted or unneeded items is easy: just use the remove (rem for short) command! You can remove one item at a time, multiple items with the same keyword or you can strip down to your tighty-whities with one command!


> remove ring

You stop using a diamond ring.


> remove all

**This will remove EVERYTHING you are wearing!**


> remove all.leather

**This will remove ONLY the leather items you are wearing**


   Note that if an item is cursed, you won't be able to remove or drop it! You have to have someone cast remove curse on you.


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AAAAHH! Something got "crushed" in a fight! HELP!


   When you use the equipment command, you'll notice some items will have its condition listed next to it. Not all items have this, so you may have to find someone who's skilled in armory or weaponry to check an item's condition. Unless you know what both you and your opponent are wearing, it is virtually impossible to tell who's item was damaged. Be warned, that if someone (or something) attacks you with a fire, lightning, acid or disintegration spell, there is the chance that one of your items will be "burned by so-and-so's fire", "corroded by so-and-so's acid", "hit by so-and-so's ray of disintegration" or "electrified by so-and-so's lightning". All of these messages indicate the same thing as "so-and-so crushes a breastplate": an item was damaged in combat.


   While it is possible to repair MOST damaged items (it depends on the item's primary material, such as steel, cloth, ooze, organic matter, etc...), if you go too long without repairing a damaged item, it just might be destroyed next time it is hit. Be careful, and get to know where some of the blacksmiths are in the world, because if you can't fix something (or don't know someone who can), you'll need to drop some cash at their shop to get your stuff repaired.


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Eh... one of my items fell to the ground or got torched. Is it gone forever?


   Answer: Yes and no. Yes, because it is now irreparable, but no because you can replace it... even if it's a unique item. It may take a while to replace it, but it's just an item. It can be reacquired.


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Where can I get some really cool stuff?


   There are MANY places to get some really neat items. One of the best places to get stuff is at the different shops around the area, mostly in Turien, the city your character starts in. There are consignment shops around that sell nearly ANYTHING as well as regular shops that only sell particular kinds of items (such as weapons or potions). To interact with these shops, the basic commands are buy, sell, list, examine and value. If you want to know how much a shopkeeper will buy something for, use the "value" command and they will tell you. Just because they say they are willing to give you so much for an item doesn't necessarily mean they will buy it. They may not have the money or they may not want to stock that kind of item. If you want to see what something does BEFORE you buy it, just "examine" it.


   To see how consignment works, just click on the link right above to read the entire help file. It would do a better job of explaining it than I would, hehe.


   Alternately, you can get stuff in the traditional way of killing things for it. Make sure you're entering a fight you know you can win (even if it's not in one round of combat), otherwise you'll be pushin' daisies.


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Hey, why doesn't that item do for me what it does for that guy?!


   It's inevitable. You'll run into items that you won't be able to use, and it's gonna frustrate, confuse or disappoint you. It WILL happen. Here's why:


   Most items have restrictions on who can use them. Most often it's a level restriction, meaning you have to be a certain level to obtain the benefits of a certain item. Sometimes it's an alignment (no evil punks or goody two-shoes!), class (no clerics!), race (forget the elves!) or even gender restriction that will prevent you from wearing or benefiting from an item. If you're not sure why you're not getting the benefits from a certain item, ask someone and they may be able to provide you with the answer.


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OW! That item just zapped me! What the heck is going on?!


   Going back to the previous point of item restrictions, this is another example of what could happen if there are restrictions set in place for a particular item. Normally, for this reaction, it's an alignment or class restriction (such as a good aligned mage tried to wield the butter knife of evil). If it is any other kind of restriction preventing you from wearing it, you will get a message similar to "You have no idea how to wear that." or "It doesn't seem to fit you."


   Don't worry, you won't take any damage from being zapped by an item due to it having restrictions preventing you from wearing it. It's just a message that's basically the equivalent of someone yelling "DENIED!" into your face.


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Alright, now I want to see who else is here. How do I do that?


   Well, you just type who and view the list of anyone that's on that you can see. The only players you won't see on the list are those who are link-dead (their connection dropped but they did not log out) and staff members who have their invisibility set higher than your character's level. Other than that, if someone is connected to the game and logged in as a character, you will see them on the "who" list. The top bracket is for the "Mortals", or those who are below level 100. The next bracket below that is for "Avatars", who have are between levels 100 and 300. Each 25 levels an avatar gains, a new title is given to them. It goes as follows:


100-124 :: Hero / Heroine

125-149 :: Lesser Lord / Lesser Lordess

150-174 :: Lord / Lordess

175-199 :: Greater Lord / Greater Lordess

200-224 :: Lesser Avatar

225-249 :: Avatar

250-274 :: Greater Avatar

275-300 :: Demigod / Demigoddess


   Sorta the same applies for the staff, who are in the next bracket below the avatars and mortals. You can also view the list of avatars or staff by using the command avatars or staff.


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Why don't I see anyone's name?


   You don't know everyone's name in real life, so why should it be different on DL? If someone hasn't told you their name (via the greet command), you will only see a very short description of their most prominent physical characteristics. For example, if someone hasn't greeted you, if you look, you may see:


A dark-skinned male human is standing here.

A fiery-haired female human is levitating here.


   You can tell someone your name two different ways:

  1. You can tell your name to everyone in the room by typing greet room.

  2. You can tell only one person your name by typing greet joe or greet elf or greet fiery.

   After someone has greeted you, you will no longer see "A dark haired male human", but instead that character's name, for example, "Joe." If you wish to remember that person, just use the remember command. Type the command by itself to view a list of those you currently remember. Using the command with a name will add it to the list:


> remember joe

You think you will remember Joe for a long time to come.


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Um... what's all this green "gossip" and purple "Level!" stuff about?

   Channels. Distant Lands doesn't have very many channels, but each one serves a particular purpose.

  • Gossip is for global out-of-character communication. Talk about the weather, the big game, or whatever you want just as long as no game information is discussed on this channel.

  • Shout affects only a 15-room radius, but any information can be traded. DO NOT shout that you are looking to buy an item or want to sell one or something like that. We have consignment shops for that sorta thing.

  • Tells are directed to a single person that you can see. If someone sends you a tell, whether you can see them or not, you can use reply to send a tell back to them. If you are away, a message will be displayed to anyone sending you a tell during that time.

  • The Arena News and Arena Notices are all part of, you guessed it, the arena system! Messages over those channels are automated. News keeps you updated on who's killing who, and the notices let you know when an arena will be starting.

  • Level and gratz (congratulations) are used whenever someone either gains a level (and uses the "level" command to announce it) or when someone wins in an arena (where people "gratz" the winner).

  • Novice is a channel specially designed for new players who have questions about all things Distant Lands. Some more experienced players and staff are set as "helpers" so they can assist when someone uses the novice channel. Go ahead, we don't bite.

   All of the above channels can be turned on and off by using the toggle command.


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Alright, time to get down and dirty... but how do I know what I can learn?

   Ahh, the joys of practicing. To find out what you're able to learn at your current level, just use the practice (prac for short) command. If you want to learn what you can do for all levels (up to 99), use the spells, skills, or proficiencies (prof for short) commands to get a list.


   At the first two levels, practicing something doesn't cost any money, just practice sessions. From level 3 on, you have to pay to learn something new. Hey, teachers need their money, too!


   Also note that the guildmasters can only teach you so much; you have to practice the skill on your own to advance further. Just simply use what you practiced and you'll see a message display saying that you're getting better.... or sometimes worse.


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Okay, so I need levels and gold to advance. How do I get 'em?

   If there's anything common to nearly every MUD, it's that you need experience points and money. There are multiple ways to obtain both in Distant Lands. We'll cover experience points first.


   The first thing you think of when getting experience points (if you've played any roleplaying game, such as Final Fantasy or Dungeons and Dragons) is to kill stuff. Killing stuff is possibly the best way to get experience points, but it can also land you six feet under if you're not careful. When going into combat, always use the consider (con for short) command to see if your character thinks it could take whatever you want to go up against. Take special note that this is NOT to be used as your only gauge for deciding whether to take something on or not.


   Other ways of getting experience are a bit less deadly, and involve picking up new items, practicing a spell, skill or weapon (on your own, not at your guildmaster) or even just walking into a place you've never been before. There are also tasks that your character can do to gain experience points, gold or even stats (strength, constitution, hit points) or items.


   Obtaining gold is hardly any different than getting experience. The best way to get gold quickly is to find items on things you've killed and getting them to a shop that will either buy them or let you put them on consignment.


   Of course you'll also need to know where to go and how to get there. Below are a couple of simple maps to help you get started. You can also type 'look maps' (without the single quotes) when at the fountain to get directions to various places around Turien, DL's main town.


A simple map of some of the locations of areas of Distant Lands.


And a simple map of Turien to help you get acquainted.


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So I this one thing used to give me good experience, but now it doesn't. Why?

   You will notice that the more often you kill something, the less experience you get from it. The reasoning (and cause) behind this is that you already know the best ways to fight it, so there is little to learn from the battle. Also, there is this thing called a kill list. If you use the command kills, you will see the last one hundred things you've killed (that are NOT players) and how many of them you have killed. It is possible to knock something off of the list, but you have to kill 100 different things to do that, which can be a tedious process. Once something is "off the list", you will get close to what you were getting for experience points when you first started killing the mob.


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Um... on my 'attributes' screen, my alignment is a funny color. What's that mean?

   If your alignment starts turning yellow, that means your alignment is starting to change. The biggest cause of alignment shifting is killing too many things of a single alignment. For example, if you are a good-aligned warrior, and you kill too many good-aligned things, your alignment will shift toward neutral. When your alignment turns red, then you really have to worry because if you use mana, your spells won't work, and any alignment-restricted gear may stop working. To get your alignment back to normal, you can either kill stuff of the opposite alignment or tithe to your deity.


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Why do some things have (citizen) next to them and some don't?

   Citizens of a particular town, village or whatever are always in cahoots with each other and can quickly become your worst pain. If you are caught attacking another citizen, and you flee or recall, that citizen, and others in the room will start spreading the word about you. Eventually, you may find yourself being summoned or teleported to and just plain attacked on sight by any citizen-flagged mob in the zone. Some of the worst places where this can happen are where there are TONS of small, insignificant citizen mobs. If you've ever wanted to see how fast gossip spreads, just watch those guys and then watch out next time you come to that area.


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Oh crap, I just died! What happens now?!

   Death is inevitable. You will die at some point. It is VERY important to know that after level 10, you run the risk of losing a point of constitution every time you die. If your constitution drops to zero, you're dead. Gone. Done. You will know if this happens if you are returned to the main menu when you die.


   Well, when death comes to you, your body just lies there all stiff like. All your stuff is still on the corpse, but if you die to a mob that is a scavenger, you might not find anything on your body when you're resurrected.


   Resurrection can be from a nice cleric or your deity. If your character does not follow a deity, be prepared to wait a looooooong time for a cleric to show up.


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So I want to start roleplaying in DL. How do I do that?


   To roleplay, you don't necessarily need to do anything. To reap the benefits of roleplaying, your character needs to be approved first. Don't worry, it's not as hard as you may think.


   To apply for roleplaying approval, you need two things: a description and a background for your character. Character descriptions should be purely physical (for example, no 'flowing in the wind' hair or 'scary looks make you quiver' stuff) and, well, descriptive. Your background should tell a short story of your character's history, general motives and quirks. Your background is only viewable to the staff and will help your roleplaying experience be more custom-tailored to your character. You should also follow your own background when roleplaying, and update your background as necessary (such as if an event drastically changes your character's overall motives, disposition or something like that.)


   To enter your background or description, use the commands of the same name when in the game. You will be put into an editor where you can enter whatever your heart desires, so long as it remains within the guidelines above. Be as original as you can, because let's face it, you can only have so many 'orphaned, bitter people who want to kill everything' before it gets a bit repetitive and overused.


   After you have entered your background and description, you can type 'rp request' (without the single quotes) to add your name to the list. A staff member will review your stuff, and when you're online will tell you if you're good to go and approve you, or will let you know if any adjustments should be made (99% of the time this applies to descriptions only.) If you don't get accepted on the first shot, the reviewing staff member will give suggestions on how to fix it and help you out as much as possible. We really encourage roleplaying and want everyone to take part in this wonderful activity!


   After you have been approved, you can type 'rp 30' to set your roleplaying timer to 30 minutes.


   Before doing any of that, please read the help file for roleplaying and/or Grel's Requiem for Roleplaying as they are invaluable sources of help and information. They will definitely help make your roleplaying experience as enjoyable as possible. If any of the above, please read the helpfile for roleplaying at least as it details the few rules we have regarding roleplaying activities.


   #1 rule when roleplaying is of course to have fun!


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So how do I log off without losing all of my stuff?

   If you use the quit command, you will lose all of your stuff. However, if you find an inn, and rent a room or retire at your character's house (or any house), you'll be fine. Renting a room costs 10 gold. Period. Retiring costs nothing. Ask around for some locations of innkeepers around DL. The one you'll probably become most familiar with is Krantz's inn, which is three rooms south of the Fountain of Turien (the central hub for most things in DL, also the room you will be transferred to when you use a recall scroll or spell.)


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