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 ?

indefinite object A syntactic device used in commands where you want to affect only one of a set of objects rather than the whole lot actually available to you. 'K a r' means you want to kill one of the rats in your room, whereas 'k r' would set you to attacking them all simultaneously. See hang.
A. A. Milne
noun Halfway up the stairs in the Cottage can be heard a ghostly voice reciting to itself a poem by A. A. Milne. Roy Trubshaw put this in as a joke, remembering that Milne wrote a well-known children's poem called "Halfway up the stairs". However many BL players were unaware of this and sought out some deeper meaning, with their confusion compounded upon learning that the poem Milne wrote was actually called "Halfway down the stairs" (it's the second verse that starts "Halfway up the stairs"). Finding the source of the voice and trying to stop it is now a self-perpetuating legend (3).
noun Your personal MUD identification record. See account number.
account number
noun An identification number for your account. Like all identification numbers, it is several orders of magnitude larger than the number of things it identifies (in this case accounts). It consists of either nine digits, eg. 012345678, or of a letter followed by eight digits, eg. A12345678. It doesn't matter if you tell your account number to anyone, but under no circumstances reveal any password that goes with it! Understand? No circumstances! That means no circumstances!
verb1 The command which causes your persona to appear to perform some minor action, eg. 'act "adjusts his tie."'. Act doesn't actually make any change to the game, however, and is purely for the benefit of observers. It is abbreviated in actual usage to colon (':') or semi-colon (';') followed by an implied string. The command is 'pose' on some MUAs, 'emote' on others. It is subject to accidental abuse by baloonatics. See ROFL, LOFR.
noun The specification of how to interpret a command in MUDDL. MUDDL actions are the equivalent of MUDDL functions, save that all actions are directly usable by players whereas functions are executed indirectly through vocabulary ties. The only actions that can't be used directly are demon actions, which are meant to be time-delays but are often chained to the end of actions so a command can do more. MUDDL's action definitions are impressively hairy, consisting of a number of templates which commands are matched against in turn until one catches. The basic template format is:

<vb> <sp>? <obj> <ins> <fn> <par> <success> <fail> <global>? <demon>?

<vb> is the verb, optionally followed by the name of a special function <sp> which is to be handled first when a template matches a command. Anything complex has to be coded as a <sp>, eg. '.get', '.drop', '.quit'. Following on is an object <obj> (or 'null' if the <vb> is intransitive) then another object <ins> (or 'null'). Next is a normal function <fn>, which does more simple things than <sp> and can be used to change the way objects look or appear. Such functions act either on <par> or on <obj> and/or <ins>; some <fn>s are doubled up for extra functionality, so whereas 'inc null' means 'increment the property of the <obj>', 'destroyinc second' means 'destroy the <obj> and increment the property of the <ins>'. <fn>s return either success or failure, and the text bearing the appropriate number is printed. If <global> is present, that text is sent to all players. If <demon> is present, that demon is invoked.
The above is just the standard model of an action - some templates have eg. null <obj> but named <ins>, or room names as <success>, or numeric parameters to <fn> as <success> and the real value of <success> in <fail>! Whether an object or class name is used is also meaningful in strange ways. The best way to figure out how to add a new command is to look up the MUDDL for something similar and use an adaptation of that. The binder is implemented as a part of the command lookup process, so there is flexibility in what can be bound to what, but the nature of the binding is restricted to certain stylised forms (objects that are here, objects that are carried, objects that are either; global searches for objects are handled in the code of the <sp>s). Some <fn>s can affect binding, and even determine the matching of templates against commands.
For comparison with MUDDLE, here are the relatively straightforward definitions of the actions that implement the 'fix brand in sundial' command:
fix torch time ifprop     sundial 0     386
fix torch time ifprop     null    0     387
fix torch time destroydec sundial 388   0
The first of these lines says that if the sundial is in state 0 (it starts in state 1, by the way) then print message 386 ("It's already got a brand in it, birdbrain."). The second line says that if the brand is in state 0 (its 'aflame' property), print message 387 ("You can't put a lit brand in there or you'll burn your hand!"). If the third line is reached, it means neither of the two previous lines applied, so the brand should immediately be destroyed, and the state of the sundial should be decremented (which will move it from 1 to 0, ie. the first line would catch it next time). Message 388 is then printed ("The brand fixes solidly into the sundial, in fact so solidly that you won't be able to take it out. It looks like the sundial will work now."), and the action is complete. Note that in MUDDL, 'fix' is a different command to 'drop', whereas MUDDLE has the oomph to combine them. See function.
1. adjective Of players: having a preference for making their own fun. T-hunters do not sit around waiting for points to fall into their lap, they go out and get them. Likewise, killers don't burdle around until they're attacked, they seek out victims themselves. There are some optimistic people who actively try to help other personae, giving them T and the like, but they tend to become disillusioned after a while because killers will rip them off and T-hunters will exploit them. See passive, HCDS.
2. adjective Regularly playing the game. Wizzes whose names appear on the wiz list but who haven't been seen for months are said to be no longer active (or, occasionally, inactive).
noun Someone who lives, eats, breathes and sleeps MUD. Not quite the MUD equivalent of a hacker, because although plodders can be addicts (see real addict) they certainly would not be classified as hackers. addicts constitute the core of the MUDding community. See also true addict.
American trap
noun A puzzle deliberately placed in the game which users of American English will be unable to solve. For example, in MUD1 a "voice speaking inside your head" would tell you "a prize will open the tomb". As the voice was inside your head, the spelling of 'prize' was arbitrary, and the solution was to 'prise tomb'. Americans tend to be ignorant of the word 'prise', preferring to use 'pry' instead. They were therefore unable to solve the puzzle.
noun The 'ancient chamber' room, where people med. See hallowed.
1. noun Short for arch-wiz.
2. noun The 'arch', a feature (1) in MUD. If you walk under it, Strange Things will occur.
noun A special wiz with power over the others. Sometimes spelled archwiz, or abbreviated to arch. Arch-wizzes rarely flex their muscles, and are only present because if there weren't any, they would be needed... It is impossible to work up an arch-wiz, since they are appointed directly by the game management (indeed, the game management generally consists of all of the arch-wizzes!). Arch-wizzes are, of course, wizzes, and therefore are normally included when the term wiz is used, except for when the context indicates otherwise. "All wizzes can FOD mortals, but only arch-wizzes can FOD wizzes, and wizzes can't FOD arch-wizzes". Sometimes, The arch-wizzes is used to mean all the holders of this rank: "You can try it, but the arch-wizzes will stomp on you". See ur-wiz.
noun A collection of rooms with a common theme, setting or puzzle element. Several areas make up a section (1). Commonly referred-to areas in The Land are: (for MUD1 rooms) the Cottage, the Pine Forest, South of the Road, North of the Road, the Mine, the Dwarf Realm, the Sea, the Ship, the Dragon Isle, Under the Yew Tree, Behind the PC, the Goblin Lair, the Foothills, the Graveyard, the Cave, the Swamp, the Isle of Woe; (for Valley) the Inn, the Evil Wood, the North Mountain, the Middle Mountain, the South Mountain, Under the Inn; (for Simon's rooms) the Olives, "Il Castellare", the Monastery, the Scriptorium, the (Formal) Gardens, the Keep. There are two small, disconnected areas: the Sancta and the GFC. NB: as they are proper nouns, throughout this dictionary the names of areas are systematically capitalised (as above); however, players don't follow this convention with quite the same rigour, if at all. Nevertheless, it does serve as a useful means to distinguish between areas and rooms in cases where the names clash, eg. for the swamp.
noun There is a legend (3) whereby if you collect enough (5?) red objects and take them to the seventh tomb (or the ballroom - it's never clear which) you can acquire the armour. Alternatively, it may be something to do with the forge... BL only (so actually it's armor).
adjective Of an interpreter, it means that commands are assumed to be executed simultaneously (although actually they are interleaved by the operating system under timesharing). The advantage of this is that commands which take a long time to process, eg. 'wh T', don't hold up the other players. The disadvantage is that the system of signals and waits necessary to protect critical zones of code add complexity baggage which makes the interpreter hard to program and robs the definition languageof much of its power. Compare synchronous.
adjective Of a game, having a good atmosphere.
noun The emotional impact of the game. MUAs which have atmosphere evoke powerful mental images among the players, which in turn lead them to behave in ways which support this vision. The more atmospheric a MUA is, the more the players will feel that they are 'in' it. Things which jar against the atmosphere will remind players that they are in a mere game, and spoil the illusion. See mystique, baloons, mystique-rending.
noun Playing on auto-pilot is what arises when a player becomes skilled enough to play the game without thinking, and actually does so. Such players' actions are routine and stereotyped as they trundle along scooping up T without really paying any attention to what they're doing. Similar to T-hunting but much less single-minded - in fact it's pretty well zero-minded. It's also dangerous, as people on auto-pilot don't tend to register much information about what else is going in, like what killers there are around or the fact they have no protection...