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

ifMUD for Beginners

version 1.21

What is ifMUD?

It's a gathering of Interactive Fiction writers and players. It's a friendly place for chatting about almost anything, although the topic of interactive fiction writing and playing does come up occasionally.

MUD stands for Multi User Dungeon. It's kind of like a chatroom with a lot of bells and whistles - the main one being that it imitates a physical environment, with rooms you can walk between, objects lying around the place and so on. It's superficially very similar to an IF game. Before graphical MMORPGs came along, MUDs - text-based environments descended from IF - were the primary place online to meet strangers and kill them for the experience points. Our MUD doesn't involve much in the way of battle, but there are still others that do.

Contents Summary

The absolute essentials - getting onto the MUD, registering an account, and the main methods of communication - are covered in The Basics. If you're completely new to ifMUD, this is where to start. We suggest that you read through it before logging on for the first time, and keep it on-hand to refer to when you log in.

To non-regulars, the various bells and whistles that the MUD has accumulated over the years can seem confusing. The Confusions page is intended to explain this sort of thing.

Once you're confident with the stuff outlined in Basics, you can pick up some of the more useful MUD commands by reading through the Advanced section. (You can of course read it before then, but we're trying to avoid information overload.)

The Clients guide gives advice on how to find and set up a MUD client - a program dedicated to connecting you to MUDs. While clients aren't essential, it's probably a good idea to get one (at some point) if you intend to visit ifMUD regularly.

The Glossary gives definitions of some phrases, words and acronyms commonly used by MUDders - some of them are unique to ifMUD, while others are generally used on the Internet.

Finally, the Index is what it says on the tin.

This FAQ assumes reasonable Internet literacy, and some former experience in playing interactive fiction. (That's why you're here, right?) If you've never played IF before it'll still probably get you MUDding, but some things may be rather more confusing. We recommend
A Beginner's Guide to Playing Interactive Fiction and / or A Beginner's Guide to Interactive Fiction to get you playing IF, and iFAQ and the IFwiki FAQ for general questions about IF.

When the MUD was founded, it was 1997. There were far fewer Internet users, and a far greater proportion of them were tech-savvy. This new FAQ was written when a newbie, SaraB, pointed out that the FAQ was fairly intimidating and confusing for some people, particularly those who weren't heavily code-minded. A couple of non-code-minded MUD regulars (Storme & maga) thought back to their horribly confusing newbie days, shuddered, and tried to do something about it in 2006. The most recent update was done by Jacqueline in 2016.

We don't aim to catalogue every useful command on the MUD - we certainly don't know them all - but the idea is to get you MUDding happily, so that you have a reason to pick up the extra-shiny stuff later.

We hope that it's succeeded in this. If you think it needs improvement (and want to suggest how) get in touch with Jacqueline. Preferably through mudmail. Jacqueline tends to login at least once a week. In a pinch there's also the channel #MUDhelp, or you can just inquire in the Lounge, which you can get to by logging in and then typing the command LOUNGE.

Full Contents


Basic Mud Stuff
How do I visit?
How do I get an account?
The webclient's very slow to show what I type and what other people are saying. Can I make it faster somehow? People keep talking about mud clients.
Yay! I've connected. What do I do now?
I want to explore a bit first.
Help! I'm lost!
How do I talk to people?
How do I say something to someone without everyone else seeing it?
Is there any way for me to 'pose' or indicate my actions?
There are a lot of people in the room, but nobody seems to be talking! What am I missing?
 Joining Channels
Talking on Channels
Which channels should I join?
 What if the conversation on a channel goes off-topic?
I have a specific reason for joining the MUD. How do I...
Well, I had a great time, but I have to leave now. How do I log off from ifMUD?


Who is this Alex person and why does he answer every question?
I'm in the Lounge. What are these sentences I keep seeing pop up for no apparent reason, like 'maga's s query: leave this place and shoot other hostile sentients (goal: adventure?).' or 'Storme is a bad cover version of love, and not the real thing.'?
What are these olounges people keep talking about?
I've just seen something like this:
 (from Storme) maga says, "I am such a girly-man!"
Who said that? How do I do things like that?
What is an @emit?
Well, I'm in the lounge and a whole bunch of channels, but there's still not much conversation. This place is totally dead.
It's April 1 and nothing makes any sense at all.
Do people ever talk in rooms other than the lounge?
Why bother having a MUD? Why not just a chat room?
Can I roleplay a character while I'm on the MUD?
Is there anything else I should know about ifMUD culture?
When am I no longer a newbie?
I asked for help on the MUD, and now five people are all telling me things I need to do at once and my head is going to explode.
What should I do if I forget my password?


Are there any other methods of communication?
 Bulletin Boards
Who's Who
 How do I find out who these people are?
 How do I find out who else is on the ifMUD?
 So what's the last column of 'who' for, then? It doesn't make much sense.
 How do I see who's on a particular channel?
 Anything else I should know about channels?
Dealing with Nuisances
 What does it mean to gag someone?
 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?
 I want to gag an entire channel.
And Finally
What else can I do on here? You still haven't told me how to...

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).