A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ?

1. verb0 The abbreviation for the 'south' directional command. Often capitalised.
2. prefix An abbreviation for 'super' placed in front of many commands to give them increased (usually more detailed) functionality. For example, 'si' is 'superinventory', and 'sf' is 'superflee'. See l (2), q, prefix (2).
safe forest
noun An area of forest on the surface which isn't part of a hostile environment. Most safe forests are either "dense forest" or "pine forest", but there are a few other one-off examples. safe forests are where mortals of hero/heroine level (1) and above appear when they leave the Tearoom, and where genies deposit relocated items. In a safe forest, wh spells will generally give an ambiguous answer, and you can therefore often sit around for a while before anyone or anything bothers you. However, bear in mind that safe forests are not absolutely safe, just comparatively safe with regard to other forests (eg. those on the Dragon Isle or in the Evil Wood).
safe room
noun A room which affords some protection from being summoned, WHed, forced, or otherwise assaulted. safe rooms are particularly important if they're large enough to sleep in. As with safe forests, they're not totally safe, they're merely safer than ordinary rooms. Compare protection.
noun The 'Inner sanctum' and 'Outer sanctum', a disconnected arealet wherein the icons are found (assuming no-one has been there before you). See iconner, med.
noun An attempt to hoodwink a player into believing something that isn't true. Scams are usually perpetrated by wizzes for fun. "I have this scam going that the basilisk can't see you if you leave it glasses of whiskey". Successful scams can grow into legends; they're like experimentally applied rumours. See cliffy, rumour, stitch up, fob, wind-up.
scoop up
1. verb1 To pick up things that are incidental to your main activity. "I scooped up a few goodies on my way to the dwarfs".
2. verb1 To seek out goodies which other people have left behind, either because of remoteness, limited value, or random positioning. "I'll scoop up some keys from the pine forest". "Scoop up some trinkets for me if you pass the Inn". Even when a reset feels played out, there's usually still lots of loose T that can be scooped up by non-lazy players. See tidy up (2), gloop, hoover.
1. noun Contraction of 'Scriptorium', a maze in Simon's rooms.
2. noun The instructions for an exceptionally long piece of programmed behaviour intended for execution by a comms package. "I have a script to do Il Castellare". Although it's possible that such a script could be bound to a single F-key, the greater likelihood is that it's disc-based and executed infrequently. See macro mode.
1. noun The 'scroll' object in MUD.
2. verb0 What your screen does when it's filled up and a new line is printed. It happens a lot in snoops...
verb1 When a new incarnation of a MUA is being set up, to ensure good game management it is wise to grant immediate wiz privs to a handful of dedicated players who have proven to be good wizzes on other incarnations. This is known as seeding the new incarnation.
adjective A persona is secret if the player is attempting to conceal that it is theirs. The player may or may not be a wiz, and a closed group of other people might be let in on the deception. See incognito, masquerade, undercover.
1. noun One of the three collections of areas that make up The Land. Historically, the MUD1 rooms comprised the first section, followed by Valley, followed by Simon's rooms. See these individually for more details.
2. noun A component of the text that makes up a database (particularly one written in MUDDL and its derivations) which groups together semantic items into a single syntactic form. Thus, for example, rooms are defined in one section, objects (3) in another, and actions in a third - and there were more besides! See travel table.
selective depth
noun Of a MUA, having depth in some parts but not in others (the implication being that selective depth is for show, but that the MUA in question is basically shallow). A MUA would exhibit selective depth if, for example, players could carry objects but mobiles couldn't, or objects could be given to players but not to mobiles. selective depth usually arises as a result of undergeneralisation in the design of a MUA, or if its database is written by several people. See depth, breadth, inconsistent (1), unrealistic.
noun A program which communicates with a client, for which the client has been written. This is a relative term: for MUD2, the interpreter is a server for the FE (which is its client), and the FE is a server for the player's comms program (which is its client). Often, the 'middle men' are cut out, with server used to refer to the interpreter, and client reserved for whatever acts as the player's pre-processor. Server is seen by many as a synonym for driver (2), which explains why the exact designation of the term isn't always clear.
noun A stint of playing MUD. Normally this will be one or more complete resets, but it may be just part of a reset eg. a session of hacking and slaying. A session which lasts a long, long time, in which much has been achieved, is normallay referred to as a marathon session. See also hack attack (2).
noun An increasingly popular way of referring to the time period between two reset events. "Next set, I'm going for the TS". Use of the term as a verb is less common at the moment, but it's probable that eventually set will become totally synonymous with reset instead of its present, limited congruence.
seventh tomb
noun A legend (3) in BL that there is a hidden, seventh tomb in the mausoleum. You need the icons to open it. See armour.
adjective Of a MUA, lacking depth.
shiny, pointy toys
noun The spare swords kept in the wiz storeroom. BL dialect.
1. noun The small area out to sea, comprising all of "H.M.S. Essex" plus the 'vicious rocks' room. Sometimes known as the galleon.
2. noun The enduring legend (3) which has arisen in all incarnations of MUD to the effect that "H.M.S. Essex" can somehow be refloated and used to move out to sea. In fact, this really /could/ be achieved with monumental effort (although, unfortunately, this effort would be required by the programmer rather than by the players).
noun A BLism for the 'toadstool' object.
1. noun A response from MUD to a ridiculous command which nonetheless somehow ought to do something. Examples: 'play poker' using the kind of poker meant for poking fires; 'put pin in effigy' using a rolling pin.
2. noun A response from MUD to a combination of normally disparate words which happen to make some kind of sense if used together. Example: 'fish finger'.
3. noun A response from MUD to a command which would require unreasonable depth or breadth to deal with or is downright impossible, eg. 'get air'. All these variations are related, but the first kind of silly is regarded as the most rewarding. Some real addict explorers spend the bulk of their playing time looking for sillies.
silly death
noun A death which didn't eradicate your persona, ie. dead rather than dead dead. Walking into the swamp with a lit brand is a silly death.
Simon's rooms
noun The rooms east of the fast-flowing river. The youngest section (1) of The Land, having been added to MUD2 some time after MUD1 and Valley were sewn together. They were designed primarily by the late Simon Dally in consultation with Richard Bartle, hence their collective name. "Il Castellare" and the Olives were written first (based on the Tuscan house of some friends of Dally's), followed by the Monastery and Scriptorium (inspired rather heavily by Eco's "The Name of the Rose"), with the Gardens completed last (Dally's own design, composed after research in a monumental tome on how classical landscape gardens were planned and executed). Reading the descriptions of the rooms in this order gives some idea of Dally's growing expertise at the task. Simon's rooms are characterised as being comparatively free of puzzles, SPARSE (2), and with most of the objects being easy T. The Keep is an exception, being a more recent addition by Bartle to Dally's creation. See The Land, section (1).
See syn (1).
noun The impression of the dimensions of the world modelled by a MUA, as perceived by the players. Normally, this correlates pretty well with the number of rooms it contains, although if large quantities of maze rooms and hard-to-get-to rooms exist then the MUA may well feel smaller than the raw data would suggest. Some MUAs work on a co-ordinate system, where a 100 by 100 grid can generate claims of "10,000 rooms!"; normally, these games allow personae to interact directly with one another across several (eg. 5) room boundaries, which makes them feel less vast. size (or, worse, number of rooms) is considered a Good Thing by people who know more about SUAs than MUAs: in MUAs, what's important is the players/size ratio, ie. how long you have to wander around before bumping into someone. It's no use having 5,000 rooms if there are only 4 players, as contact would be so infrequent that the MUA would feel empty. Likewise, 200 rooms and 20 players would certainly be cramped.
noun The common nickname for skeletons (rather difficult mobiles to kill on account of their regenerative abilities). See bonehead, bonebag, lazybones, y.
verb0 To issue (usually) one more directional command than intended. "Whoops, sorry about that, I skidded then got skelly trouble".
slack and hash
adjective Variant of slack and hay. Sometimes shortened to slack and #.
slack and hay
adjective Descriptive of a period of quiet activity where everyone is being friendly and helpful. The exact opposite of hack and slay (1). "We were doing a demo at the show, so it was all slack and hay". It's sometimes spelled slack and hey.
verb1 To take something which morally belongs to someone else. "I was so upset when I lost my mage that I logged off for half an hour and cried. When I got back, some <expletive> had snaffled the name!". See brands hatch.
verb0 To accumulate points in a manner that reduces your chance of being killed to a degree unacceptable to the other players. Quitting when anyone vaguely dangerous appears, grabbing a few pieces of easy T at the start of a reset then quitting, playing nocturnally - all these are example of sneaking. Being accused of sneaking your way to wiz (even when you're not!) is one of the gauntlets of abuse that mages must run on their way to the top. See <persona/level> watch.
verb1 A powerful spell which enables certain other personae (but mainly wizzes) to see exactly what you are doing, and at the same time as you yourself do. This can be unnerving, but it's very useful for wizzes since they can observe precisely what you're typing, and even give you hints like "use G instead of GET, you hapless oik!". Snoop means there is no guarantee of privacy in MUD (see also log (2)), but this makes for sound game management; it also keeps the news media from being quite so quick with their "on-line porn available to computer junkies" pieces. Someone who is snooping is a snooper; someone who is being snooped upon is a snoopee (nothing to do with the beagle). See good snoop, great snoop.
noun A player who gets most fun out of communicating with other players. Usually, socialisers are extrovert, although many dedicated snoopers are introvert socialisers. Socialisers would be quite happy in a normal chat program, but they prefer MUAs because the structured nature of such environments provides both a topic of conversation and the capacity to role-play. Incurable socialisers will often affect attention-seeking behaviour on the grounds that it is role-playing, although it may be little more than the consistent use of some cute verbal mannerism like thpeaking with a lithp, or the interlocution of grandiloquent divertissements of the vernacular. Most players like to socialise some of the time, but permanent socialisers can be a tiresome demand on your attention when you're out bashing dwarfs or whatever. It's no coincidence that many socialisers are referred to as blouses. Socialisers are more concerned with players than the game, and are passive in that they enjoy conversation with them rather than actively doing things to them. See explorer, killer, T-hunter, HCDS.
interjection Short for "that's OK". If someone has apologised for doing something that didn't really bother you, or thanks you for performing a small favour, you might respond s'ok. Usually it's all in lower case, and it's sometimes written without the apostrophe.
noun An invis persona. You may see the effects of what they do, but you don't know who they are by name. "Hey, Someone! Give me back that dagger!".
Someone Powerful
noun An invis wiz.
Someone Very Powerful
noun A very invis arch-wiz.
noun A synonym of depth.
noun Generic, gender-independent form of the 'sorcerer/sorceress' level.
that spark
noun What a player needs to make wiz. If you don't have that spark, you're unsuitable. Everyone thinks they have that spark, but not everyone actually does (it's still quite a high proportion, though, at least in MUD2). See unsuitable, plodder.
1. adjective Having too many rooms and too few players. See empty (1).
2. adjective Having too few goodies in an area, whether by design or because it's played out. See empty (2).
noun A Sinclair Spectrum home computer. Some sad individuals spend all their money playing MUD (or, more specifically, paying BT) and therefore can't afford to buy a proper computer. Speccy users are famed for never saying anything that's more than 40 characters (2) in length... See y.
1. noun A spectacular.
2. noun A speccy.
noun An event whereby all participating personae fight to the (dead dead) death, and the winner is showered with oodles of points. Uncommonly among MUDspeke terms, there is a definite way to pronounce spectacular - 'spec-TACK-er-ler'; indeed, it is sometimes written spectackerler. The origin of this is the Welsh accent of Phil Scott, the MUD1 internal who first suggested such an event.
noun A variant spelling of speckie (1). See y.
verb0 Abbreviation for 'superquit', the command which allows necros and below to execute an uninterruptable 'f, qq' string (3). Warlocks and above can't use it, which means they might be attacked several times in succession before finally getting away. Often written in upper case. See Tearoom warlock.
noun The abbreviation for the shortsword, a particularly effective weapon against dwarfs. It may be in either upper or lower case. See BS, LS.
noun The usual abbreviation for 'stamina'.
stacked with <something>
adjective Having stacks of <something>."He's stacked with wafers".
noun A binary unit of measurement of desirable things. For example, people claim to have either no T (meaning not much) or stacks of it (meaning lots). See stacked with <something>, no.
adjective A MUA is stale if nothing new happens, and everyone is in a rut. This can be caused by a lack of newbies, by a lack of incentive for newbies to continue playing, or by neglect by the game management. It usually isn't the game's fault directly, and it is a situation which is curable. In mild cases, a new DB or some well-placed advertisements will suffice to pep it up; in more severe ones, a purge of the wizzes or even a wipe of the persona file may be necessary.
noun A lazy alternative to typing 'stamina'. See sta for an even lazier one.
noun Those attributes of a persona (or sometimes mobile) that increase when going up a level, ie. strength, dexterity, stamina, maximum stamina. The term is short for 'statistics', but no-one ever uses the longer version. See superstatted.
noun A member of the class of mobiles which steal objects from you without good cause. Stealers are considered irritating. The thief, hunchy, magpie and fox are stealers.
present participle Said of someone who is rushing around unstoppably according to a preset plan which results in their accumulating many points. A mage who gets a fresh reset all to themself is likely to start steaming their way through it. Compare stoking.
noun There is a BL legend (3) that a stegosaurus is asleep in its lair beneath the wabe. If it wakes up - watch out! Of course, you have to get past the troll to reach it. The first deliberate legend introduced into BL, courtesy of Simon Dally using an (at the time, only) arch-wiz command. BL players often spell this stegasaurus (sigh). See troll.
stick man/woman
noun Someone who stands at a location adjacent to the swamp (normally the rapids) with a lit brand, repeatedly typing 'dr brand f player'. The idea is that when anyone passes through on auto-pilot, they will be given the brand and blow themself up. The stick man or woman can then pick up the brands hatch and swamp it personally, although normally the sheer delight of causing someone to cop their clogs is sufficient reward. If a suspected stick man or woman is in the game, the correct course of action is to carry the maximum number of objects you can hold (so you can't be given anything else) and upon encountering the little rascal you push them zw. This way, they blow themselves up, to much merriment all round.
stitch up
verb1 To attempt to make a player do something stupid under the false impression that Strange Things may happen as a result. If several people are being made to fall for the same line, it's a scam. stitching up is usually undertaken for devilry rather than for educational or vengeful purposes; you do it because the victims are so dim-witted they deserve it to happen to them. See also cliffy, rumour, fob, wind-up.
present participle Said of someone piling up the points at an impressive rate, really on top of things, with fingers in many pies at once. "What a reset! You were really stoking!". It probably used to be 'smoking', but in today's health-conscious times... Compare steaming.
verb0 To refer to a player in the real world by the name of his or her main persona, usually because you don't know their real-world name. This is almost always preceded by a ghastly sinking feeling as you realise you'll have to do it. "Then the secretary asked me who I wanted to see, and I just had to stoneface".
noun The usual abbreviation for 'strength'.
Strange Things
1. noun The possibly unpredictable behaviour of doing something which MUD is not explicitly programmed to handle, eg. Q: "What will happen if I give the disc to the vampire?" A: "Strange Things". The person using the phrase in this example has no idea what /will/ happen, but thinks it should be interesting.
2. noun Something (usually entertaining or useful) which the person using the phrase knows will happen when you perform a certain action, but which he or she is not prepared to tell you outright as that would spoil your fun. See arch (2).
1. noun One of the numerous small, water-class features found in The Land.
2. noun One of the two muser and fighter divisions into which levels fall. See class (2), berserker, TS.
1. noun Text enclosed in quotes, either single (') or double ("). The string may or may not be terminated by a matching quote; if not, the end-of-line is taken to mean end-of-string.
2. noun Text which the verb of a command implies is quoted. "No need for the quotes, just give his name and follow it with a string". A specialised form of (1).
3. noun A series of commands, usually short, strung together using full stops, commas etc.. "Just enter a string of ZWs to get to the swamp, like this: zw...........".
noun Another word for kit, but with the implication that it includes equipment you've accumulated over time by serendipity ("Hmm, I may need a key, I'll have that!") or for solving a puzzle later ("better take that keg with me"), rather than anything you've deliberately sought out for some immediate gain such as protection.
noun A dwarf. The term has almost fallen out of use except among a few old-timers, probably because it might offend players who are of diminutive stature in real life. See PORG, y.
noun The part of a player that is subconsciously manifested in all their personae. Style includes things like preferred abbreviations, favourite activities, spelling/punctuation/grammar, macro mode behaviour, typing speed, patterns of speech - in fact anything that one player does differently to other players. Some heavy snoopers claim they can employ these tell-tale signs in the manner of a fingerprint or signature, to identify a player uniquely even though they may be masquerading as someone/thing else; cunning masqueraders vehemently disagree, pointing out that they keep detailed notes on what their personae are supposed to know, and use different F-key settings and so on in order to be consistent. Since people have made wiz while masquerading as someone else, the weight of evidence would seem to be on their side, although snoopers would almost certainly claim that they "knew really"...
noun Acronym for 'Single-User Adventure', as distinct from MUA. Adventure games as sold in shops are (at the moment) all effectively SUAs. See SUD, SUG.
suck pondwater
verb0 To drink at the spring.
1. noun Acronym for 'Single-User Dungeon'; a (hypothetical) single-player conversion of MUD (1). There really was such a game once, written and sold in about 1987 by Paul McCraken and others under licence from MUSE. However, it wasn't called SUD officially because in theory it could take a second player by a direct connection through a serial port, so it was therefore not actually 'single-user'. This version (of MUD1) laboured under the name 'MicroMUD'.
2. noun A single-player version of a MUD (6), ie. a SUA.
noun Acronym for 'Single-User Game'. When obliged to use this term as the single-user equivalent of MUG, even hardened computer magazine reporters may feel a little uneasy. There are lots and lots of single-user games around, and it is patently clear that by no means all of them are adventure games. What these newshounds need is a more specific term to denote single-user adventures, ie. SUAs, but that would imply an unreasonable degree of forethought on their part beforehand when they referred to MUAs as MUGs...
adjective A mortal player who will make a good wiz. See unsuitable.
noun Generic, gender-independent form of the 'superhero/superheroine' level. See PBS.
noun A mobile created by a wiz which has unreasonably large stats. Supermobiles invariably occur for one of the following reasons: the wiz did it by accident; the wiz was experimenting and the supermobile escaped; the wiz wanted to test (ha!) a specific mortal; the wiz "thought it would be fun"; the wiz thought it would be a legitimate way to kill a tiresome mortal or two; the wiz is a complete incompetent. See reaper.
adjective Primarily a BL term to mean that the persona or mobile concerned has higher strength, dexterity, stamina etc. than you would normally expect. This is usually achieved by exploiting a BUGLET, or by a wiz intending to test a mortal. See stats, reaper, supermobile.
the surface
noun The name given to a collection of not-very-dangerous rooms which are typically above ground and on the mainland. Although the surface isn't a hard-and-fast concept, most of the rooms in the following areas would be considered as such by highlifes: the Cottage, the Pine Forest, North/South of the Road, the Foothills, the Graveyard, the Cave, the Inn, the North/Middle/South Mountains, the Olives, "Il Castellare", the Monastery, the Formal Gardens. More debatable areas are: the Sea, the Dragon Isle, the swamp, the Isle of Woe, the Evil Wood, the Scriptorium. See surface T.
surface T
noun Treasure that starts off in easy-to-get-to, unguarded locations, most of which are on the surface of The Land. Fairly close in meaning to loose T, but not very difficult to get hold of (especially early in a reset). highlifes who only go for surface T are subject to scorn and ridicule.
1. noun The 'swamp' rooms, where you drop your treasure to score points. Sometimes, just the first two rooms (those you get to doing swamp (2)); sometimes, just the western of these two rooms. See zw (2).
2. verb0 The 'swamp' directional command which moves you one room in the general direction of the 'swamp' rooms. This works from most places. The swamp direction was added some time after the swamp (1), to make finding it easier for lowlifes. See zw (1).
3. verb1 To drop an object in the swamp. Q: "What should I do with this vase?" A: "Go swamp to the swamp and swamp it".
4. verb0 The condition of having snooped output displayed on your screen so quickly that useful information from other sources rapidly scrolls off before you can read it.
5. noun The area consisting of the rooms described as being in the swamp. A maze.
verb1 The same as tag team, although uncommon in the USA. personae who are gathering to swarm someone are said to be swarming.
noun Abbreviation for 'Sexy Witches Club'. A jokey, amorphous BL group of wizzes who satisfy the following constraints: a) they are real females; b) they are outrageous flirts; c) if you ask them if they're in the SWC, they will reply affirmatively. Members decide who will be Bimbo of the Year.
noun Generic, gender-independent form of the 'swordsman/swordswoman' level. See y.
1. verb2 Short form of the 'synonymise' command, which adds to the vocabulary a new word to refer to an existing object. The past participle is often given as sinned. See line-noise name.
2. noun A synonym which has been set by the 'syn' command. "Do you have a syn for him or should I add one myself?"
noun A contraction of Essex MUD. It may have been influenced by the contemporary network address of Essex University, uk.ac.sx, as it is often seen in lower case. It has nothing to do with 80?86SX chips. See MUD1 (2).
adjective Of an interpreter, it means that commands are executed one at a time rather than in parallel. The advantage of this is that the system is easier to program, and individual commands use less CPU than in an equivalent asynchronous approach. The disadvantage is that commands which entail a lot of processing delay other, simpler commands. MUD2 is synchronous, MUD1 asynchronous.