Beginners Guide

This guide will give a general idea if you are completely new to MUDs in general, not just DSL. It can be daunting! All that text! What should you do?! Well, your first step of course is to read this guide over. Once you are done you should have a much better idea of what to do.

First I'll go over the first stages of character generation, then explain the basics of what to do and stuff. DSL as a game allows for a great deal of depth and customization. Try not to be overwhelmed by the amount of choices, options, and decisions to be made.

Step One: What's a MUD?
Okay, going back to the very basics here. Essentially, a MUD(Multi User Dungeon) is an online text-based roleplaying game. You get stronger (higher level) by killing things just like in any other game, and interact with tons and tons of people. In reality DSL is a 'roleplaying hack and slash game' -- this means if you like roleplaying, you can do that, or if you just like player-killing and hack and slash stuff you can get by with just the bare minimum of roleplaying needed (but in my opinion it's a lot less fun to play it that way).

MUDs are also free to play, though in some (and in DSL) you can sometimes make donations to help with the hosting of the game.

Step Two: Okay, how do I play?
You log into a MUD with a special program called a telnet client. A telnet client (or just a client) is a program that you run on your computer to connect to the game, which is hosted and run remotely. You don't store anything on your computer except this client. There are LOTS of neat clients out there -- ZMUD is an especially popular one, though I use SimpleMU as it is better in general for roleplaying and I can keep it on my flash USB drive. I used WinTin for a long time too as it has very neat and easy-to-use triggers and stuff. I'll get into all of those later. Other good telnet software includes Mudlet (windows and Mac), tintin++ (Linux and Mac), and Cmud (Windows).

You can also go through the DSL website and use their flash plugin to play, but you would likely have options using a telnet client.

  • There is also a wiki for a very extensive DSL specific Mudlet script created by Jor'Mox at DSL PnP Wiki

Otherwise, you can just use telnet! Telnet comes on every Windows computer. Just go to start->run and type 'telnet'. Or click up at the address bar of your Internet Explorer (or Firefox or whatever you use!) and type: telnet:// This will connect to the game right away! Hurray!

Step Three: I logged in. Lots of text! What do I do?
It's not that difficult to figure out! First you'll see the Dark and Shattered Lands logo, then a dealie saying (Push Enter to Continue). Huh! Guess you should probably hit enter then.

Normally, you'd type 'P' to start playing with your own character, but since you don't have one yet, you get to make one. Woohoo! Type 'C' here (in the little box at the bottom of your client, once you get it working and connected to DSL).

When you hit C you will go into the start of Character Generation! One note: don't worry about 'messing up' your first character. Characters can come and go before you master the process and settle on your main alter-ego.

Step Four: The Basics.
You will need to choose the race of your character. Depending on what you want to do, or be, certain races are better than others. Many experienced players choose a race solely for RP reasons, some choose a race based on what makes the strongest combination for the class they want to play. Players have compiled a "boost/gimp list" to break down these mechanics (note: Scorn tweaks these behind the scenes all the time).

Step Five: What God and align should I pick?
Align and deity have a lot of effect when it comes to roleplaying, but not a great deal when it comes to actual game mechanics. People can only cast certain spells if you're of the same alignment (like bless and frenzy).

Just, uh, don't pick heretic. You won't be able to recall past level 5 and you get NO spells.

Step Six: A bit of flavor.
Once you choose your religion, It will go through a series of questions for you to answer, such as your character's name, physical stuff like hair and eyes, gender, and so on and so forth. All of this is pretty self-explanatory. Your character's Profession (Barmaid, professor, etc.) has no in-game effect, it's purely for flavor. All of these choices can be later changed or customized later via dstrings, which an immortal can set for you at the cost of one in-game blue diamond.

Step Seven: I'm done! Now I'm in this room with a rope..
This is the name-checking room. An immortal (game staff, there are lots) will eventually check you over and make sure your name is in-theme (no Supermans or Billy-Joes in a fantasy world, thank you!). To get an immortal's attention, just type "pull rope". After about a minute or two if you get no response, pull it again. If you get a big block of red text saying it was not approved, just type name <text>, such as name Allisara and pull the rope again. If they approve it, pull the rope again too! Yay!

Step Eight: Picking a Class
Your class is essentially your character's 'job'. It defines almost everything about him or her, such as your skills and attributes and how strong you are. From the central room you get popped to after the rope-room, you can type a direction to move there, such as "north" or "south" or "east" (or n s e to shorten them). Each room will let you type 'register' to become that class. Look around and check things out until you're comfortable moving around and figuring out some of the commands. At this point you still can't hear the rest of the game - you are permanently quiet until you've picked a class.

When you choose the class you want, you will be taken into another character generation series of questions. The first one will ask if you want random or pregenerated stats-- the random ones are almost always better, but will raise your XP per level by a bit. You can keep choosing N during the random stat check and look for better ones.

After that, you get to start choosing the skills you want to start out with. Skills are the different abilities and spells you are able to use when you are out in the game and leveling. First off, you will almost always want to type 'add <class> default', which adds a lot of useful skills for cheaper than picking them individually, such as 'add warrior default' or 'add mage default'.

Some of the most commonly-added skills at this point include Transportation and Protective, and you should almost -always- add the Dodge, Parry, and Shield Block skills - these will defend against physical attacks in combat, which is a huge boon.

When you are finished picking and choosing skills (type help <skill> for info on each one), type 'done' and it'll ask you to choose a primary weapon. I like polearms myself, as they tend to do a lot of damage early on, but anything will do.

But wait! What's a 'flaw' and a 'merit'?!

These are easy too. A Flaw is a potentially-crippling affect that your character has. This has the bonus of lowering the amount of XP you are per level, but many of the flaws are frankly terrible to have, such as nightmares which doesn't let you regen and 'insane' which makes you occasionally run around all over the place. Leveling is pretty easy so the XP isn't such a big deal. A Merit, on the other hand, is almost always taken by people, even those who aren't player-killers. The bit of added XP per level adding a merit gives is negligible once you get used to leveling.

But yeah! As your first character it's best not to take either of these right now, at least until you figure out what exactly they all do. Most of them are self-explanatory at least in a small way.

Then, you are in mudschool! Yay! Type 'help newbie' here -- and start reading over the help files. The help newbie file and its sub-help files will help a lot.

From here, you can check the Newbie Guide or the Roleplaying Guide.

Or, you can go back to the top.