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

ifMUD For Beginners: The Basics

Getting Onto the MUD

How do I visit?

The simplest way to visit the MUD at first is by using the java web client.

To just get an idea of what ifMUD is like, you can log in as the guest character. Guest characters are even more restricted in terms of what you can do on the MUD than a normal character, but they will help you get used to how to move around and talk on a MUD.

The character name you should use to log in as a guest character is 'guest' and the password is also 'guest'. Then press connect to enter the MUD, and you're in!

If the java client doesn't work for you, there's a less pretty web client you can use to access the MUD.

Here you should type connect guest guest (yes, type "guest" twice) at the prompt, and you'll be in!

If you want to spend much time on the MUD, you really need to get an account of your own. Not only will it let people recognise you, it'll give you access to a lot of conversations that the Guests can't see.

How do I get an account?

Registering an account is easy - go to the registration page, enter a name and an email address and your password will be emailed to you. No other information is required, and it's free.

At the java webclient screen, use your account name as the character name, and put in your password (if you're using the non-java webclient, type connect accountname password instead) and you'll be in.


The MUD isn't like the rest of the internet: we sometimes pretend to have dignity. A lot of people use their real names, or variants thereof: (DavidW, Jacqueline, Storme) or simple handles (maga, inky, zarf). Alternating caps (eXtReEm), numbers and punctuation instead of letters (@$5@$51N), any name followed by numbers (david750) and basically any lengthy name intended to show how awesome and/or hot you are, will just cause you effort later on when you change them out of embarrassment.

Once you have an account, you'll probably want to tailor it to yourself a little. This isn't necessary to enjoy the MUD, but it'll give everybody else a better idea of who you are. If it really seems too much hassle for you, go ahead and skip it until you get more used to the MUD.

First of all, you can set a gender. Most people like to know with whom they're communicating but, more importantly, many objects on the ifMUD respond with messages appropriate to your gender, assuming you've set it.

If you haven't set your gender, then the ifMUD will refer to you as 'it'. To set your gender, use the command @gender. It has a few uses...

@gender - On its own, @gender will show your current setting.

@gender list - This will list the available genders you can use.

@gender <name of gender> - This will set your gender.

If you look at the @gender list, you'll note that there is also a custom gender setting. If you choose the custom gender, you can customize the output by setting the fields cgender_name, cgender_s, cgender_p, cgender_o, cgender_a, and cgender_r on yourself (type 'help subs-list' for details on the usage of these substitutions - cgender_s defines the %s substitution, etc). Note that these fields are only used when your gender is set to custom.

The @gender command was added in 2016. Previously, gender was assigned as a flag of male or female (though both could be set at the same time). While the male and female flags are now deprecated, there are still a number of other flags which exist to define user preferences in ifMUD. You can see the list of flags available by typing:

help flags
You can set a flag by typing @set me = <name of flag>. To clear a flag that you've set, use a "!" in front of the flag name. E.g. @set me = !expert

Next, your appearance. By default, if people look at you on the MUD, they'll be told that they "see nothing special." You can change that with this command:

@describe me = You see a short, friendly-looking man in his mid-thirties. He's wearing blue jeans and a tattered grey sweatshirt.
It doesn't need to go into a lot of detail or even match all that closely what you look like in real life. However, a lot of people find that a quick blurb, perhaps two or three sentences long, helps them form a better mental image of whom they're talking to. (You can look at other people as you would in an IF game, by the command x foobar.)

Finally, you might want to tell us your real name, or at least the name you use elsewhere in the IF community or the internet in general. By default, your real name is set to the same as your login name. To change it, execute this command:

@field me=rname:your name
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.

A MUD client is a program for connecting you to MUDs. Getting one is not essential, but it will speed up your connection and do lots of other things to make your life easier. When you're sick of the webclient, go to this page for advice on finding and setting up a client.

Basic MUD Stuff

Yay! I've connected. What do I do now?

Like an IF game, the MUD is organised into rooms. Most people on ifMUD hang out in one room, the Adventurer's Lounge (the exact name of the room may change, but it's always in the same place). If you just want to go straight there, typing in the command:

will take you directly to the Adventurer's Lounge from any location on the MUD.

However, there's plenty of other rooms on the MUD if you want to have a look around. There are even a few quests here and there.

How do I talk to people?

To talk, type say before your statement:

say Hello everyone.

However, almost everyone will abbreviate 'say' to a double-quote:

"Hello everyone.

This will be seen by everyone in the same room as you. (Remember that you don't need to add a second double-quote at the end.)

You can also direct speech to people, by typing two periods followed by a name:
..inky Hello, inky.
Everybody in the same room will see this message, and that it's directed to inky.

The MUD generally frowns on l33tspeak, text-message abbreviations, and smileys. 'LOL', 'u' for 'you', and anime smileys are particularly loathed. People are quite laissez-faire about capitalisation, and often drop periods, but otherwise good spelling and punctuation are expected.

The MUD has its own set of idioms, mostly composed of acronyms: you'll mostly pick them up as you go along, but see the glossary if you're confused.

How do I say something to someone without everyone else seeing it?

If you want to talk to one person without everyone in the room seeing, you can use a command known as 'whisper'. You can whisper to someone using the following command:
w maga = What did you mean by that?
maga will see:
Guest1 whispers, "What did you mean by that?"
Everyone else will see nothing at all.

There is an alternate version of this command:

.maga What did you mean by that?
which does the same thing. The only catch is that it's easy to accidentally type two periods/full-stops and end up saying something out loud.

Some of the ifMUD regulars are well-known figures in the IF community. You may be excited to see them hanging out in the lounge, and that's fine. Still, try not to sound like a complete fangirl - people come here to hang out, not sign autographs. A little praise won't hurt too much, but declarations of everlasting love will scare the regulars.

Is there any way for me to 'pose' or indicate my actions?

This is done using the emote command. For example:

emote hits himself on the head.
will display, for everyone in the room:
foobar hits himself on the head.
Since this is a very common thing to do, there is also an abbreviation for it, using the colon (:) character. E.g.
:looks around the room in shock.
will display:

foobar looks around the room in shock.


Emotes are wonderful things, but you really can have too much of a good thing. That's not to say that you shouldn't use emotes, but we don't need to know your every facial expression and gesture as you chat to us.


There are a lot of people in the room, but nobody seems to be talking! What am I missing?

Most of the conversation on the MUD takes place on channels. Channels let people who are interested in a particular subject talk about it without disrupting other conversations. Often several different conversations will be taking place at the same time on channels.

Joining a channel doesn't leave any other channels: you'll see everything that's said on every channel you're a member of, as well as conversation in the room.

Joining Channels

Before you can use a channel, you need to join it. You'll need a registered account to do this; Guest accounts can't use channels. Here's the command:

@joinchannel #newbie
which you can abbreviate to @joinc #newbie.

Talking on Channels

If you are on a channel, you will see all conversation on that channel, no matter which room you are in. (You can be on many channels at once.) Each on-channel statement will be prefixed with the channel's name in square brackets, like so:

[newbie] maga says, "so this is the channel for newbies"
[newbie] maga says, "it is not entirely clear what I am doing here"
[newbie] Storme says, "seeking the gift of eternal youth?"
To talk on a channel, you type #channelname in front of what you want to say:
#newbie so this channel is for newbies
Typing out the name of the channel gets old fast, so you can just use a semicolon to talk on the last channel you used:
; it is not entirely clear what I am doing here
You can also type an abbreviation of the channel name, such as #newb, but be careful - if you abbreviate too much you might get the wrong channel. Typing #new might make you talk on the #news channel, if you were on it.

Here's an example of conversation across multiple channels; maga's commands are in bold, and conversation on channels has been coloured to make them easier to distinguish. (A good client will let you do this in normal conversation).

 #newbie (man, it's too early in the morning to fabricate interesting multi-channel conversations)
[newbie] maga says, "(man, it's too early in the morning to fabricate interesting multi-channel conversations)"
[tests] Storme says, "why yes, maga, let's chat across channels"
 #tests what a sterling idea Storme
[tests] maga says, "what a sterling idea Storme"
 "the lounge is also fun to talk in!
You exclaim, "the lounge is also fun to talk in!"
Storme says, "yes you are correct it is"
[newbie] Storme says, "I do not know if it is more fun or less fun than channels"
[newbie] Storme says, "the mud is such a whirlwind of gaiety today!"
 ; it is certainly a great way to annoy everyone
[tests] maga says, "it is certainly a great way to annoy everyone"
[tests] Storme says, "it is making an interestingly stripy pattern in my channel colouring"
[tests] Jon says, "I do enjoy annoying everyone."
(Normally, of course, you'd only switch across channels for separate conversations.)

Which channels should I join?

The ifMUD has thousands of channels; however, most of them never get used. Don't feel you have to join every channel you might possibly be interested in at once. Here's a few guides to joining channels:

Finally, just a bit further down the page, we've listed some common reasons why people join the MUD, and some advice on which channels would be appropriate.

What if the conversation on a channel goes off-topic?

If nobody objects, keep on going. If somebody says something like this, either in the lounge or a channel:

[newbie] Gunther says, "take it to #tads"
it's a suggestion for a channel that would be more appropriate. Take it. Soon enough you'll get a feel for the sorts of topics people would prefer to see on channels; #politics and #religion are the most obvious.

Are there any taboo subjects that you should avoid talking about entirely?
Well, not really - but for some things it'd really be a good idea to find the right channel. In particular, game spoilers should be confined to #spoilers or (better still) the game's channel; stuff that might gross people out should be kept on #TMI (too much information) or #WTMI (way too much information).

Swearing is quite acceptable anywhere (there are several channels dedicated to nothing else). Insults are not.


I want to explore a bit first. How do I do that?

First of all, we can't stress this enough: this is not the core of what the MUD's about. The MUD is really about channels and conversations, not rooms, and exploring the map is totally optional. When you enter a room (or log on), you will see (as in the picture above) the room's description, followed by a list of objects in the room, which is followed by "Visible Exits". Exits from rooms typically take the form of "east, north, west", and so on. You can just type the direction's name ("east", for example) to go in that direction. Most of the time, the creator of that exit has also made an abbreviation possible ("e" for "east", for example).

If you're going to spend a lot of time exploring on the MUD, you should be warned that an awful lot of innocent-looking exits (particularly ones inside people's homes) will drop you into the lounge. To get back to where you were, you'll most likely have to hike back the long way.

While you're exploring, you'll probably have more fun if you use the examine command, shortened to x. Much like in an IF game, pretty much everything on the MUD has a description. Most are just for flavour, but some of them may be useful.

Just to make your life a little easier, DavidW has created some very useful maps of the MUD, starting here.


The ifMUD looks a bit like an IF game. Lots of connected rooms to explore, lots of objects scattered about... and in an IF game, you're meant to grab everything that isn't nailed down, in case it turns out to be useful later, right? Not on the MUD. Objects have owners, and are usually there for a purpose; picking them up and running away with them will really annoy people. Type 'help @create' to see how you can make your own objects, instead.

Help! I'm Lost!

There's a special command:

which will teleport you to the Long Hall no matter where you are on the ifMUD. This will help you get your bearings.

In addition, whether you've created a home for yourself or you're just living in the Dorm like most folks, you can use the

command to zip right back to your home. And as already mentioned, to get to the Adventurer's Lounge, there's the

I'm Only Here For...

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?

Although we'd really rather you stayed, type in:

And you're gone. See you next time!

There's a lot more you can do with channels, and many more ways to improve your mudding experience, but this should cover the important stuff for now. First, you should get used to applying the stuff on this page. In doing so you're likely to encounter things which don't seem to make sense; to clear up some of the more common ones, you should move on to the Confusions page.

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).