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 ?

v
noun Abbreviation for the vampire, a nasty mobile from which it is advised you should steer well clear unless you are kitted out with the appropriate defences.
Valley
noun The rooms between the stone wall (to the west) and the fast-flowing river (to the east). Historically, these were once a small, independent database that could be reached by going east from the NRBL. In this incarnation, the Inn was a single room, there was nothing under it, and the Evil Wood was incomplete. When MUD2 went up, the attic of the Inn formed the first four rooms of the entire database. See The Land, section (1).
vamp
noun The 'vampire' mobile. If it weren't for the fact that vamp is a word with nice, decadent overtones, everyone would call it the v instead. vampy is another variant.
VAX
adjective Used in many phrases (eg. 'on the VAX', 'VAX MUD', 'VAX version') to describe the first public incarnation of MUD2 (as MUD version 4B). It actually ran on several BT-owned VAXen between 1985 and 1991, but there was a strong line of continuity between them and any changes were imperceptible to players not specifically looking for differences. On the VAX, MUD2 was crippled by other programs also running on the same machine, which meant it was incredibly slow at times. This wasn't helped by the fact that the BT people insisted it was programmed in VAX Pascal so they didn't have to buy a C compiler, and VAX Pascal is monstrously inefficient at certain tasks (eg. memory management). Of course, BT bought a C compiler for the VAX about 6 months after the programming of MUD2 was complete...
version
noun The means by which significantly different programmings of MUD are named. versions consist of a number followed by a letter: if the number changes, the system was completely rewritten; if the letter changes, major surgery was performed but the database from the previous version should be pretty well compatible. The full versionlist up to 4E is:
1A 1978 Original Macro-10 shared memory test.
2A 1978 Macro-10.
3A 1979 BCPL (Essex MUD, CompuNet MUD).
3B 1986 BCPL/Fortran 4 for CompuServe (BL).
3C 1987 Fortran for PR1MEs.
4A 1985 Apricot MS-DOS in Turbo-Pascal (development only).
4B 1986 VMS Pascal for VAXen.
4C 1988 Pascal under OS9 for the MUDbox (development only).
4D 1989 C for Archimedes (development only).
4E 1991 C for Unix SVR4 (and SCO SVR3.2.4).
Version 1A was called MUD, although the main comment in its code said "MUDD - MULTI-USER GAME OF ADVENTUROUS ENDEAVOUR". It was conceived and written by Roy Trubshaw, with helpful programming suggestions by Keith Rautenbach and others, and encouragement/praise from Nigel Roberts and Richard Bartle. Version 1A was not programmed as a playable game: it was a test to see whether the shared memory system Trubshaw envisaged would work (it did). The date on the earliest surviving listing is 1979, but actually it was first run in 1978. Version 2A was called MUD, but expanded the acronym into 'Multiple User Dungeon'; however, the more informal 'Multi-' was always used, and this became the standard in Version 3A.
Version 2A was coded entirely by Trubshaw, and its database was run-time programmable by privved players; Roberts and Bartle again chipped in with suggestions, and created rooms/objects in the system (the 'ox', still in the database today, got in that way). Programmability turned out to be something of a Bad Thing: it used too much memory/disc space, and people kept adding things which were not in character (5) with the rest of the game. The database-design module was therefore removed in later versions, and the task done separately.
The heart of version 3A was Trubshaw's, amounting to perhaps 25% of the code (the hardest 25%!); the rest was added incrementally by Bartle over the next 3 years. Brian Mallett and Ronan Flood each provided useful hacks to the low-level code. Although the program was begun in 1979, it wasn't in a playable state until 1980, and therefore this later date is more often quoted concerning the program's beginnings. The alterations to version 3A which made it 3B were Bartle's. 3C was a recoded 3A by Mike Arnautov for the PR1ME system at Glaxo.
Version 4A was Bartle's work, and the interpreter made it to 4B, with Trubshaw coding the FE and the inter-process communication. Bartle converted the lot for 4C, and Jon Thackray did the transliteration into C for 4D, working from 4A and 4B; Thackray's database compiler is still used, with minor additions by Bartle. Bartle did the transliteration to C for 4E from 4C, with help (ha!) from a program called 'ptc'.
See also SUD (1).
vial word
noun The magic word which can be caused to appear at the bottom of the piece of paper that starts off in one of MUD2's bottles; the uttering of this word enables the vials to become of very practical use, but also knocks a great chunk out of your stamina. Getting people to say the vial word without realising they're being had is therefore one of the finer art forms of MUD2. As the word used to appear at the bottom of the scroll (1), sometimes the form scroll word is observed in use by the more nostalgic players. See dream word.
the villa
noun The name by which most players refer to "Il Castellare". Ostensibly, this because the villa shorter, but it's more likely because they can't spell "Il Castellare" correctly nine times out of ten.
vis
adjective Synonym of 'visible'. The opposite of invis: you can still be vis even if you're in a dark room with no light source.
vocab
noun The usual contraction of vocabulary.
vocabulary
noun The set of words, abbreviations and synonyms which are known to a FE. commands consist of words in the vocabulary plus strings (1), ordered grammatically (the grammar is hard-wired into the parser). Nouns will reference classes or objects, modified by adjectives, superlatives, conjunctions, articles, and some prepositions. Verbs are modified by adverbs and other prepositions, and together with the nouns are arranged in a canonical command passed to the interpreter, which thereupon invokes the binder and executes the result. When the phrase is used as the vocabulary, it means all the words that anyone can use, eg. "Is 'bl' in the vocabulary?". When used with a possessive, it indicates a subset of the complete set, eg. "It's in the wiz vocabulary but it's not in yours".

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 ?

u
verb0 The abbreviation for the 'up' directional command; often capitalised. Although 'up' is short enough for 'u' to be assigned to for some other command, 'up' wins it by default as there are no other common commands that begin with the letter 'u'...
uh?
interjection A popular expression denoting perplexity. "Sorry, I don't understand". "Does not compute!". "I think I've missed something here." "Why are you asking me?!"
undercover
adjective Said of a wiz who is masquerading as a mortal with a view to gleaning information which couldn't be obtained by simple snooping. Usually, an undercover wiz will not mind if other wizzes know who they really are, but they will still probably refer to their persona as secret. A wiz acting undercover normally does so only temporarily, using a scratch persona they discard afterwards, but an extended period of playing undercover may be referred to theatrically as deep undercover. "The only way I'll find out what they actually think of my Elven Forest addition is if I go deep undercover". See masquerade, incognito, secret.
undersea city
noun A suggestion that the size of The Land should be increased by the addition of more rooms, commonly in the form of an undersea city or a castle in the air. This assumes that The Land would be better if it was larger, which of course is only valid if there are enough people playing at any one time to justify it - rarely the case, but that doesn't hold any water with someone who has sat up all night feverishly writing down their designs... Some such proposals for new areas are so breathtaking in scope that they can also be described as tidal. "And the king of the mermen has this trident that if you use it to get the pearl turns into a weapon only slightly better than the LS...". See size.
unfair
1. interjection Against the run of natural justice. P1: "So I stole your cape - that makes it mine now." P2: "Unfair!"
2. adjective Mistreated by the game. "You changed the way the LS worked and never told anybody! That's unfair!".
3. adjective Subject to (suspiciously) bad luck. "Every time the Z6 moves, I walk right into its room. That's unfair!".
4. adjective illegal, but performed by an individual who seriously outranks you. "Don't you think that FODding someone for having the same name as your cousin's dog is a little unfair?"
5. adjective Exceeding reasonable bounds of generosity or meanness from a position of power. "You can't give her back her T, that'd be unfair!".
6. adjective Contrary to what the speaker wants. Continued use of (1) to (5) will generally lead to them all being interpreted as (6). "I can't open the portcullis on my own. That's unfair!". Yeah, sure...
universal preposition
noun In most MUA input (1) sentences, prepositions are only present to separate the object (5) and the instrument; they don't have any other function apart from this syntactic one. Therefore, players always tend to use the same preposition whatever the circumstances - normally they choose the one that is easiest to type. This is known as the universal preposition. In MUD2, the parser does differentiate between prepositions, so eg. 'get sand with coracle' and 'get sand from coracle' are two different commands (2). There is also an 'excluding preposition' in MUD2, which indicates that the instrument is to be excluded from the set of objects (5) under consideration; this gives rise to the unwieldy term universal excluding preposition. See f, wi, x, b.
unplayable
adjective the game is unplayable for you when circumstances mean you are constantly unable to issue commands that further your main goals. This might be for hardware reasons (slow comms, bad line-noise), general game-related reasons (too many players, slow response time) or reasons specific to you (killers attack you all the time, wizzes hassle you with questions). This normally warrants a moan to the powers that be.
unrealistic
adjective Not the way things work in the real world. "If I throw this mobile from the top of the cliff it should die, but it doesn't. That's unrealistic.". As most of the game is predicated on the assumption that magic works, and most of the real world is predicated on the assumption that it doesn't, one would expect that the term unrealistic could not be applied in such cases. This does not, however, deter people from doing so, eg. "The invis spell only works on players and mobiles, not objects: isn't that unrealistic?". In this case, unrealistic can be read as meaning "not how the real world would behave if it had been programmed properly". See depth, inconsistent (2).
unsuitable
adjective Said of a mortal player who would not make a good wiz. Usually, the individual concerned will be a plodder and easily dealt with, but sometimes they may have that spark yet be possessed of a ranklingly abrasive personality or thoroughly obnoxious manner. wizzes determine unsuitability by testing the mortal concerned, however even they will be unable to stop someone unsuitable from making wiz if they're a true addict. legally, anyway...
Naturally, this form af natural selection is not necessarily guaranteed to be for the good, and wizzes really ought to bear in mind the following extract from "The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction" (Clute & Nicholls, Orbit, 1993, page 275): "... one of the most annoying of SF cliches: the idea that selfish deviants might be harrassed as a kind of test to prove their suitability for recruitment into the social elite of a stable society.".
ur-wiz
noun A BL term to refer to people perceived to hold a rank higher than arch-wiz. The 'ur' prefix means 'original', and therefore an ur-wiz is an original wiz - one who existed at the time the very concept of wizdom arose. The term is not officially sanctioned, however: the two holders of this supposed rank, MUD's authors, appear as arch-wizzes in the game, and have never applied the ur-wiz description to themselves or anyone else. Needless to say, BL's folklore pays no heed to officialdom in any form... It is generally believed that the 'ur' prefix came to BL from other games on CompuServe, although no-one appears to know which, specifically, these are.

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 ?

T
noun treasure. Almost all players call it T, you rarely see 'treasure' except in conversations involving complete novices or people pretending to be complete novices. The word is always capitalised except when used in actual commands. See easy T, hard T, big T, loose T, non-T T.
tag team
verb1 The tactic of several players attacking a single persona (usually a highlife) repeatedly with throwaways, bringing on replacements instantly to replace those their victim kills. Their victim can't quit, because he or she can never kill everyone before replacements arrive, and is thus always in a fight. Second-guessing the names of incoming personae and disabling them before they arrive can work, but canny tag teamers use long, random letter sequences as names to make this a lot harder. Eventually, the highlife has either to flee or die. Tag team is generally preferred in the US: the UK also has swarm. See bundle.
take a fall
verb0 To die dead dead deliberately at the hands of another persona. There are two reasons why you might feel the urge to do this: to help a friend make wiz (in the hope of future reward - this is illegal); to give a non-understanding wiz the impression that you really do have the character (4) to make wiz yourself, so that maybe they won't give you so much hassle in future (but they always do). See also test.
task
noun One of the eight set exercises, seven of which a persona must perform in order to make wiz in MUD2. Tasks are a good way of ensuring that players have a broad knowledge of the game, and to wheedle out plodders, maniacal killers, and other people who would make unsuitable wizzes.
tax
See fee.
Tearoom
noun The 'Elizabethan Tearoom', a safe room where personae enter the game prior to stepping out into the maelstr”m that is sometimes The Land. The word is not always capitalised, but, unlike most room names, most often is. Many people find the Tearoom a good place to socialise, as every mortal passes through it so therefore buttonholing people is easy.
Tearoom lizard
noun Someone who hangs around in the Tearoom trying to be charming to personae of the opposite gender. A BL term deriving from 'lounge (room) lizard' - someone who plies lounge bars chatting up people for personal gain. Compare Tearoom sitter.
Tearoom potato
noun Someone who won't leave the Tearoom, usually because it's too dangerous but sometimes because they can't be bothered as there's no easy T left. A mainly BL term, deriving from 'couch potato' - someone who lies on the couch all day watching TV. Compare Tearoom sitter.
Tearoom sitter
noun Someone who stays a long time in the Tearoom, for whatever reason. In BL this is usually frowned upon, but in other incarnations of MUD it carries no stigma unless it becomes a habit (although highlife Tearoom sitters will always be made fun of, no matter how good their excuse). Tearoom lizards and Tearoom potatoes are sub-types of Tearoom sitters, but the more general term is by far the most common of the three these days.
Tearoom warlock
noun Below 'warlock' level, people can use the 'superquit' command to flee from a fight and quit in a single action. This makes actually killing someone beneath warlock quite hard. From warlock up, the command is unavailable, and therefore there's a chance of being re-attacked in between fleeing and quitting. players who survive by SQing until they reach warlock sometimes find that they can milk their status more by sitting around in the Tearoom than by going out and risking being noviced... Sometimes abbreviated to TRW. See SQ.
test
1. verb1 When a player is on course for making wiz, existing wizzes often take it upon themselves to test the suitability of the player, to make sure that they will make a good wiz. This can take many forms, but it usually involves: a) minor hassles like rearranging the furniture or well-timed unsites, to rock the victim off auto-pilot and make them think; b) enforced quests to show they have a wide knowledge of the game; c) violent assault by suspiciously high-level personae they've never even seen before.
If a player with a mage has not lost a high-level persona at some previous stage, the wizzes will almost certainly wish to see that they can handle such a loss, and will therefore attempt to cause it (but if you're good enough, you can still survive - there's something wrong if you feel you need to take a fall). Most testing is genuinely to sound out how good a player is, and make life interesting. Some, however, is likely to be an excuse to cause a player pain and sorrow. testing by several wizzes in quick succession can seem a lot like hassle, but mortals shouldn't necessarily moan unless it happens all the time - it's probably just coincidence or as a result of their not playing frequently enough for the testing to be spread around. In a test, wizzes are looking for character (4), ability, resolve, but most importantly that spark. All mortals can expect at least one really over-the-top test where they are attacked unremittingly and for no good reason while being hassled unmercifully by wizzes; this is to show them how it feels, so they won't be so inclined to abuse their powers when they make wiz (except, of course, while themselves testing people...). Tests are not official, there are no passes/failures, and mortals may not even know they're being tested. Mild testing will begin at perhaps necro, with the heavy stuff reserved for 120K mages (which might be why so many of them seem to get stuck around that score for several weeks!). See tweak.
2. noun That which arises from testing. "Don't worry, it was just a test".
throne
noun In BL, many mortals have (independently or otherwise) come to believe that if you collect all the royal regalia (crown, sceptre, etc.) and sit on the throne, Strange Things will happen. People never seem to get all that's required, though - they always miss a gem or a ring or something... See legend (3).
throwaway
noun A persona which the owning player considers trivially dispensible, eg. a brand new novice (1).
T-hunter
noun Someone who spends all their time looking for and swamping T, to the exclusion of all else. This activity (which is not called 'T-hunting'!) is considered boring, and T-hunters are considered bores. Hence, the term is usually used pejoratively, eg. Q: "Why did Lucy swamp the foot?" A: "Oh ignore her, she's just a T-hunter". T-hunters are solely interested in the game, with players recognised only as tools to aid in the acquisition of points. They are also active, in that they want the game to do as they bid, rather than letting it get on with its own machinations. See T-hunting, T-seeker, explorer, killer, socialiser, HCDS.
T-hunting
present participle Said favourably of someone accumulating points for good purpose, eg. of a mage on a wiz run. "Sorry, I can't help, I'm T-hunting". The term is never used directly as a verb, 'to T-hunt'. Perversely, T-hunters don't practice T-hunting.
tidal
adjective A suggestion for an addition to The Land is tidal if it has such enormous implications that it would completely ruin any semblance of balance or coherence in what already exists. It comes from the common (at least once every 6 months) proposal that "We should have night and day! Then we can have tides! Then both islands at sea and the whole of the railway line can be flooded! And then <rant> <rant> <rant>". See dog suggestion, undersea city.
tidy up
1. verb1 To collect together goodies that are lying around and put them all neatly together - usually somewhere completely inaccessible like the swamp. This activity (known as tidying up the reset) used to be a fairly popular way to ruin the game for everyone else, but since the introduction of genies it has become much less effective. The term possibly derives from a corruption of tie up, but it sounds less mean. "Oh, don't worry about me, I'm just tidying up the reset". See hog.
2. verb0 To scoop up any remaining loose T. Some people simply can't bear to think that the game might reset when there are still juicy treasures remaining unswamped...
3. verb1 As (1), but instead of simply spoiling play for everyone (eg. because you feel sore after losing your mage), the object is to lure people to somewhere you can jump them. For example, if lots of goodies are left on the ship, and the boats are all dumped in the Mine, sooner or later a greedy necro is going to enter the Mine looking for transport, whereupon three invis sword-wielding maniacs leap from the shadows and have necro nuggets for lunch. Be careful out there!
tie up
verb1 To make something pretty well unusable (except possibly for you) by controlling the preconditions on its use. For example, you might effectively tie up the Dwarf Realm by acquiring all the picks so that no-one else can easily get in it. You can even tie up a reset by having all the objects necessary to get the game's big T, with enough weapons and wafers so that no-one in their right mind will try to stop you. Sadly, the genies and the GFC have put paid to most ways of tying up things completely, but it's still possible to render whole areas totally inaccessible by obtaining appropriately crucial objects. See tidy up, hog.
timers
noun MUD2 on the VAX sometimes lost its external timing system, which meant nothing time-based advanced. Fights would pause, people would sleep indefinitely, and mobiles wouldn't move. This would lead to the cry, "the timers are stuck!". See hang, PC, demon.
tin
noun One of the non-puzzles in MUD is that somehow you can melt tin at the forge and make something. BL wizzes are happy to reinforce this view, and it has grown into a legend (3). Sometimes linked to the armour and B-29 legends.
T-less
adjective Having no treasure; can be said of anything, from a persona or mobile to an area or even the game. Sometimes unhyphenated, but the T will usually remain capitalised. "I can't offer you anything for the LS, I'm a bit T-less at the moment". "I wish the Monastery wasn't quite so T-less". See empty, played out.
toast
verb0 To be killed by the dragon's fiery breath. "I hear Fregie was toasted last night". Popular in BL; MUD2 players use either frazzle or fry.
tooled up
adjective To be kitted out in a manner conducive to fighting (usually other personae, but sometimes mobiles). It can be back-formed into a verb, to tool up. See bristling.
top heavy
adjective Having more highlife than lowlife. All MUAs rely on a steady stream of newbies to keep them going, in the same way that the housing market needs first-time buyers. If the supply dries up, the game becomes top heavy. This can lead to game management problems.
tour
1. noun A quick look around The Land, provided for a guest or newbie with the intent of hooking them on the game. Normally, tours are given by either a friendly wiz or automatically.
2. verb01 The 'tour' command which a guest can invoke to initiate a tour (1) of some area of The Land.
travel table
1. noun The table which defines directional links between rooms in MUD1.
2. noun The name for whatever data structure a MUA employs to define directional links between (normally) rooms.
tr
noun Abbreviation for 'trinket'. See trinket.
treasure
noun The class of objects which are worth points to you when dropped in the swamp. Some treasure may be valueless until something is done to it (eg. the groat), or may have some significant other purpose (see non-T T). Acquiring treasure and scoring for it is the main activity carried out by players, although some take it to extremes (see T-hunter). The term is almost always abbreviated to (capital letter) T.
trinket
1. noun A class of objects which are worthless to any but the lowest of lowlife. trinkets are scattered around in easy-to find places, particularly children's rooms in buildings. highlifes will not normally swamp trinkets because they lose points if they do so. There are generally plenty of trinkets lying around even quite late in a reset. See tr.
2. noun Any piece of treasure attractive only to lowlifes.
troll
noun A BL legend (3) concerns a troll which lives at the wabe. You can't get past unless you bring something for the pot of soup he carries. See stegosaurus.
<something> trouble
noun To be having <something> trouble means that <something> is temporarily delaying you. "I'll be with you soon, got a bit of z trouble". "Sorry for not replying, I had a spot of keyboard trouble." See lazybones, zombied.
true addict
noun The MUD equivalent of what mainstream computer people would call a "wizard", except that in MUD this term is already taken (and is gender-specific, to boot!). Many players claim to be - indeed actually are - addicts, but they don't have the kind of deep knowledge of the game that true addicts possess. Being a true addict is something you have to work at, although not all true addicts bother to make wiz since some consider that the life of pampered luxury which such individuals enjoy will prove corrupting in the long term. It is always understood, however, that a non-wiz true addict could make wiz at any time he or she desired. true addicts can quickly determine other true addicts from addicts, by means known only to them... true addicts are never ever plodders - the two terms are mutually exclusive. See real addict.
TRW
noun Abbreviation for Tearoom warlock.
TS
noun Abbreviation for the touchstone; it may be in either upper or lower case. To become a muser, a figher must touch the TS and survive; the higher their level, the better their chance that this will occur. At lower levels, they're more likely to be killed dead dead by it. Common wisdom determines that the best time to go for the TS is when you reach champ.
T-scaling
noun Virtually all treasure has a minimum value and a maximum value. The current value of such treasure is determined applying a multiplier which is based on the number of players (the more the better) and the amount of treasure already swamped (the more the better). This multiplier is applied to the minimum value to obtain the current value; it (the multiplier) is referred to as T-scaling. For example, lumps of bronze have a minimum value of 50 points, and with T-scaling at 110% would therefore be worth 55 points. Because of the way T-scaling used to be announced, it is normally expressed as a multiplier on minimum value rather than on maximum, although a maximum-oriented figure is also supplied by the 'value' command. It is almost always couched as a percentage. Q: "What was T-scaling when you did the icons?" A: "Around 150 I think".
T-seeker
noun Synonym of T-hunter.
T-seeking
present participle Synonym of T-hunting. T-seekers don't do t-seeking.
tweak
verb1 A wiz term meaning to hassle a mortal. Mild tweaking is the most common, and involves leg- pulling scams and rumour-mongering. Heavy tweaking can mean very irritating hassles like teleporting the mortal to dangerous rooms or secretly removing key objects from where the mortal expects them to be (eg. in their bag!); this kind of tweaking is normally only done as part of an explicit test. BL wizzes use the term more often than wizzes in other incarnations of MUD.

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 ?

s
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.
Sancta
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.
scam
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.
script
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.
scroll
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...
seed
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.
secret
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.
section
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.
server
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.
session
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).
set
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.
shallow
adjective Of a MUA, lacking depth.
shiny, pointy toys
noun The spare swords kept in the wiz storeroom. BL dialect.
ship
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).
shroom
noun A BLism for the 'toadstool' object.
silly
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).
sinned
See syn (1).
size
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.
skelly
noun The common nickname for skeletons (rather difficult mobiles to kill on account of their regenerative abilities). See bonehead, bonebag, lazybones, y.
skid
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.
snaffle
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.
sneak
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.
snoop
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.
socialiser
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.
s'ok
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.
Someone
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.
sophistication
noun A synonym of depth.
sorc
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.
sparse
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).
speccy
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.
speckie
1. noun A spectacular.
2. noun A speccy.
spectacular
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.
spekky
noun A variant spelling of speckie (1). See y.
sq
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.
SS
noun The abbreviation for the shortsword, a particularly effective weapon against dwarfs. It may be in either upper or lower case. See BS, LS.
sta
noun The usual abbreviation for 'stamina'.
stacked with <something>
adjective Having stacks of <something>."He's stacked with wafers".
stacks
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.
stale
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.
stam
noun A lazy alternative to typing 'stamina'. See sta for an even lazier one.
stats
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.
stealer
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.
steaming
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.
stegosaurus
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.
stoking
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.
stoneface
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".
str
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).
stream
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.
string
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...........".
stuff
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.
stumpy
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.
style
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"...
SUA
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.
SUD
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.
SUG
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...
suitable
adjective A mortal player who will make a good wiz. See unsuitable.
super
noun Generic, gender-independent form of the 'superhero/superheroine' level. See PBS.
supermobile
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.
superstatted
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.
swamp
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.
swarm
verb1 The same as tag team, although uncommon in the USA. personae who are gathering to swarm someone are said to be swarming.
SWC
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.
swordy
noun Generic, gender-independent form of the 'swordsman/swordswoman' level. See y.
syn
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?"
SXMUD
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).
synchronous
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.