Contents Basics Confusions Advanced Appendix A: Getting a ClientAppendix B: GlossaryAppendix C: Index

ifMUD For Beginners: More Advanced Stuff

This page is intended for people who've already read the Basics page, have got the hang of most of it, and want to expand their mudding skills a bit. It also helps if you've also read the Confusions page, to get you a bit firmer on your feet. Chances are you've already picked up a few of the tips here from other MUDders.

Are there any other methods of communication?


Sometimes you want to communicate privately with someone who's in another room. The whisper command won't work here: what you need is page. Page will work anywhere, so some MUDders use it instead of whispering if they're too lazy to check where someone is. The way this works is:

page maga = I want to buy you a large and expensive drink. What's your poison?
You can abbreviate 'page' to 'p'.


Sometimes (very rarely) you're in another room and want EVERYONE on the MUD to hear you. Holler should be used sparingly; if you really want to talk to everyone that badly, just go to the lounge.

@holler Ow, my throat hurts.

ifMUD has an internal mail system, known by its users as mudmail. This is handy for contacting someone who happens to not be online when you are looking for them, or for information that you'd like to be a little more permanent than your average mud conversation.

To mail someone, type "mail Player = Subject : Message". For instance:

mail Jota = Mudmail : I love the mail program you wrote!
would mean that Jota will receive a mail that looks like this:
#1 [MUDmail] From: Foobar Date: 31-Aug-02 15:35
Subject: Mudmail
I love the mail program you wrote!
To check your mail, just type mail. This will list the messages in your mailbox. To read a specific message, type mail <#>", where <#> is the number of the message, for example:
mail 2
would allow you to read the second mail in your mailbox. For more help on this topic, type 'help mail' on the mud.

Bulletin Boards

ifMUD has bulletin boards attached to the channels. Think of them as pinboards that people attach stuff to. There's a main one for the MUD in general, too. When you log into the mud, you will see messages like this:

There are 677 new messages on the main bulletin board.
In addition, when you first join a channel, you will see something like this after the list of people on the channel:
There are 58 new messages on #misc/politics/politics.
Now, in theory you could ask the mud to display all of those messages to you at once. In practise, this will be many many screenfuls of text, a lot of which will be wildly out of date. You can probably start by ignoring all those old messages for now, and to do that you would type:
bb clear *
This will mark all those messages on all boards you are currently on (including the general one) as read.

For future reference, to read all new bb posts per channel, you can use:

bb read #channelname = new
Or you can leave off the #channelname to read the messages on the main bb. Reading individual bb messages can be done by typing something like:
bb #channelname = 4
Or you can, as mentioned before, read all new messages at once with
bb *
For more information on bb messages, including how to post them and modify them and so on, type 'help bb' on the mud.

Who's Who

How do I find out who these people are?

The finger command will give you a bit of information about an individual. For example, type in:

finger Jota

and you'll see something like this as a result:

Login name: JotaIn real life: Admiral Jota
Location: Adventurer's LuteGender: Male
Member since: The Beginning
Currently logged in.Previous login: 11-Mar-06 23:00:38
Email address:
IF work: Nothing worth playing.
Plan: To think up a better plan.

Use the command help finger to find out how to set your own information.

How do I find out who else is on the ifMUD?

Type in 'who'. Here's a sample of the output:

 UserOnIdleRob: Rented Four Times
 Jacqueline04m3800m00I have some seriously bad pet karma.
 maga10m2301m52Some of the higher samesteads are *splitly*.
 katre01h0100m16Livin' la geeka loca.
 olethros05h5201m48Loose upper bound.
*Iain03d0206h38Tapping my feet to the skunka tanka beat
 Storme03d0600m08* All uses are scottish.
 Floyd06d1302h50waiting for someone to play with me
*Fink-Nottle 13d12 02h32 I didn't detain anyone, not even a bug
 Alex13d1420m28This Parrot Plays Games
 Jon16d0038m35idle idle idle
Uptime: 25d02; pollster: Matthew; Users online: 14
End of List.

The first column, User, lists the character names who are currently logged on. Those with asterisks by their names are currently "zoned" - type help zoned for more information on this.

The second column, On, shows how long each character has been logged on. For example, Jacqueline has been on for 4 minutes and 38 seconds, whereas Gunther has been on for 8 hours and 6 minutes, and Alex has been on for 13 days and 14 hours.

The third column, Idle, shows how long it has been since the player last entered a command. For example, Emily last did something 6 hours and 1 minute ago.

On the next-to-last line, you see the text 'Uptime'. This indicates how long it has been since the ifMUD was last restarted. In this case, it's been up for 25 days and 2 hours. Also listed is the person who wrote the current poll, and the number of users currently online.

So what's the last column of 'who' for, then? It doesn't make much sense.

The header of the last column is called the poll, and the entries beneath it are called doings. Every person on the MUD has their own doing, which is by default blank.

"Poll" is something of a misnomer. The original idea was that the poll would be a question, and everybody would put an answer to that question in their @doing. In practise, people tend to use both the poll and the @doing for silly phrases.

When the poll gets changed (which isn't very often) you'll see PollBoy hollering to tell everyone so. PollBoy isn't a real character on the mud, but a service that's provided so you can tell that someone has started a new poll.

To see what the new poll is, type in @poll to see the poll by itself, or who to see both the poll and the current @doings.

The @doing command will change your response. For example:
@doing Nothing right now.
will generate a response indicating that your @doing message has been changed. The response is random, and generally silly. To see that your @doing entry has taken effect, type in 'who' and look for your username.
(Your @doing message must be less than 53 characters, otherwise it gets truncated.)

If you like, you can change the poll. The @poll command was created so that anyone can start a poll. For example:

@poll Newbie plays with @poll command, film at eleven.
The result will be that PollBoy will holler, "foobar has changed the poll!", and everyone will type in '@poll' to see what you wrote. (Don't do this too often, or people will get annoyed.)

Like @doing, @polls must be less than 53 characters or get truncated.

How do I see who's on a particular channel?

Again, you need to use the 'who' command, followed by the channel name:

who #newbie
This will give you the 'who' list, but only for people on that channel. If you don't care how long people have been logged in, you can use the 'names' command:
names #newbie
which will give you a more compact version.

If you want to see everybody on a channel, whether they're logged in or not, you need to use the @statc command:

@statc #newbie

If you type @statc on its own, you'll get the list of every channel you're on. Over time this can get quite big, so watch out!

Anything else I should know about channels?

Plenty. But we don't want to drown you with information. Once you've got the hang of the stuff explained here, use the help channels command. This will explain how to (among other things) make your own channels, get channel recap, and make channel aliases.

Dealing with Nuisances

What does it mean to gag someone?

The Internet is filled with comment spaces, most of them only barely regulated. But that is not enough. One must have the right to talk however one wants, here, specifically.

I think what we have here is a working definition of an asshole — a person who demands that all social interaction happen on their terms. Assholes fill our various worlds. But the banhammer only works in one of them.

— Ta-Nehisi Coates
Gagging someone prevents that person's statements and actions from appearing on your screen. The name of the command may be a bit misleading, since gagging someone has no effect on that person's ability to speak or act; think of a gag as more like wearing a pair of selective earplugs.

Gagging someone is accomplished thusly:
@gag LoudBoy

You can remove someone from your gag list just as easily:
@ungag LoudBoy

And typing @gag by itself will display your gag list so you can see who's on it.

There are a couple of disadvantages to using @gag. One is that it can make conversations less intelligible, since you're not hearing the whole story:
foo says, "I really enjoyed A Mind Forever Voyaging."
LoudBoy exclaims, "SHUT UP!!! YOU SUK!!"
bar says, "Oh, THAT was enlightening."

would, to someone who has @gagged LoudBoy, appear as:
foo says, "I really enjoyed A Mind Forever Voyaging."
bar says, "Oh, THAT was enlightening."

The other drawback to using @gag is that it can lead to hurt feelings on the part of the people you've @gagged. If you're having trouble with someone, perhaps the two of you could talk it over first? That said, it is, in the end, your choice: they have the right to speak, and you have the right not to listen.

There is also a temporary gag, called @ignore, which lasts until you next leave the MUD.

Finally, if someone is harassing you or otherwise going beyond irritating and into creepy, page a wizard; we do not put up with that kind of crap. @users wizards will tell you who can help.


Just because people can @gag annoying users doesn't mean that people can get away with obnoxious behaviour. Wizards can boot users who persistently make nuisances of themselves, and as a last resort can toad them, deleting their account. This doesn't happen often; the wizards are reluctant to toad people unless they're obviously trying to make trouble.

Oh crap, I think I made a horrible breach of etiquette and now I've offended everyone. Can I ever show my face on the MUD again?

If you're asking this question, you're probably okay. The people who become persona non grata are either so monumentally clueless that they never imagine that they might be annoying people, or are trolls and actively trying to piss people off.

Many of the regulars on the MUD remember a time when they were an annoying n00b. It's expected that you'll take a while to settle in, and mildly irritating a couple of people along the way is part of that process. As long as you're willing to learn, you should be fine.

I want to gag an entire channel.

If you'd rather not hear the conversation on a channel, there are several things you can do. Firstly, you can just leave the channel:

@leavec #politics
This will take you off the channel, and send a message on that channel indicating that you've left.

But it's possible that you might want to come back to that channel later; you just don't want to hear what's being talked about now. For this, we have the @mutechannel or @mute command. This will prevent you from seeing any conversation on this channel until you log out, or until the channel has been silent for a while. Unlike @leavec, nobody gets informed if you mute a channel.

And Finally

What else can I do on here? You still haven't told me how to...

There's an awful lot we haven't covered in this FAQ. If you want to learn even more about commands and channels, there's an extensive help system you can access from within the MUD by typing help at any time. (The information in help is also compiled in a webpage, here.) If you can't find what you're looking for there, try the #mudhelp channel.

If you're confused about specific terminology used on the MUD, we've provided a glossary to hopefully explain a few of the more common acronyms and phrases in use. And should you need to search through this FAQ to find something we have covered, there's an index to speed things along for you. Happy MUDding!

Contents Basics Confusions Advanced Appendix A: Getting a ClientAppendix B: GlossaryAppendix C: Index

This FAQ was assembled by Storme Winfield (Storme) and Sam Kabo Ashwell (maga), with help from Jacqueline Lott (Jacqueline), with useful suggestions from various MUDders, notably Peter Berman (mcp). Based in part upon ifMUD Frequently Asked Questions 2.1.3, by Mark J. Musante (markm), with additions by Adam Cadre (Adam) and Admiral Jota (Jota).