The Adventurer's Guide to Discworld MUD

How To Control Your Talker

The Talker. Invaluable aid to communication, or hideous, spammy insanity squawkbox? You decide!

Discworld MUD help file: http://discworld.atuin.net/lpc/playing/documentation.c?path=/helpdir/talker

We've previously discussed the basics of using talkers in the Communication section under Absolute Beginners, and the helpfile above is very comprehensive and straightforward.

However, the business of controlling the thing is rather fiddly, and the helpfile rather long and indepth... so here's a thumbnail guide to Talkers.

Acquiring a Talker

On your arival on the Discworld from Pumpkin Town, you may notice that a voucher has appeared in your inventory1. This voucher entitles you to a nice free talker, which you may obtain from a number of places. Consult the above helpfile for a list (near the top, very little scrolling required), and check either Boot's or Kefka's maps for directions.

On the other hand, if you've got a spare dollar and some item to which you're particularly attached, you could always visit Jorodin in Short Street and convert it into a stylish and personal talker all of your own.

west
You open the west door.
This is a small and rather friendly-looking shop.  The walls are covered with a brightly glowing wallpaper that lights up the entire room with a slightly magical glow.  The shop has no stock visible, but a large couch provides a place for customers to sit.
There is one obvious exit: east.
Jorodin is standing here.
A sign is nailed to the wall.
You close the east door.
r sign
You read the sign:
 -----------------------------------------------
 \                                             /
  \           Jorodin's Magnificent           /
   \             Communicators               /
    \      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~      /
     )                                     (
    /     Convert an item into a talker!    \ 
   /             Only one dollar!            \ 
  /                                           \ 
 /                                             \ 
 -----------------------------------------------

Making sure you are not wearing the item you wish to have converted, simply enter the command: convert [item].

Wait patiently for Jorodin to work his magic (and it can take several minutes), and there you have it. (In my case, a rather tasteful silver ring.)

For more information, just type help here while you're in Jorodin's shop.

Basic Talker Commands

All new talkers are switched on by default, so one can partake of the wit and wisdom of channel One from the very first moment ownership. Isn't one lucky!

Until recently, my favourite command was talker off. And then I discovered how to add and deleted various channels according to taste (and sanity levels).

It therefore gives me great pleasure to vouchsafe to you the wonderful gift of this information.

CommandResultExample
talker on Switches the talker on, ready for chat.
The eyes open and light up eagerly, then dim to a dull glow.
talker off Switches if off again. Ah, bliss!
The eyes slowly lose their glow as they close.
talker channels See a list of available channels
You may use the following channels.  Channels you are currently listening to are marked with a *.
*one		two		Adventurers
talker [channel name] Start using a new channel from the list.
talker adventurers
You whisper to the silver ring and the eyes add channel "Adventurers" to the list.
talker history [channel name] Find out what people were saying on a particular channel.
talker history adventurers
You whisper to the silver ring, asking for the last few chats on channel Adventurers.
The eyes mutter about your bad memory.
talker delete [channel name] from talker Get rid of an unwanted channel.
talker delete one from talker
The eyes sigh with relief as they can now ignore what happens on channel "one".
And so did I.
As you can see, all talker commands are prefixed by the word "talker". Except for, perhaps, the most crucial command of all: the one which allows you to contribute to the spamfest - sorry, conversation - on your chosen channel.

And this is achieved by simply typing: [channel name] [whatever you wish to say].

For example:

adventurers Hello Disc!
You whisper into the silver ring.
(Adventurers) Sothis's wispy voice comes from the silver ring, saying: Hello Disc!
MUSHclient presents the name of the channel as a clickable link, so you can just click on it and then type in what you want to say.

This can be very handy if you've been listening in for a while and want to throw in an idle comment - just click the name of the channel, add your words of wisdom, and away you go.

All Talker Commands

The command syntax talker provides a handy reference list of commands for the talker, of which the above is just a selection.
syntax talker
Forms of syntax available for the command 'talker':
talker alias list 
talker delete [channel] from [talker] 
talker colour 
talker colour list 
talker colour [channel] [colour] 
talker {on|off} 
talker echo {on|off} 
talker history [channel] 
talker alias add [channel] [as] [name] 
talker alias delete [name] 
talker history 
talker {brief|verbose} 
talker list [channel] 
talker one prompt {on|off} 
talker channels 
talker [new channel] 
talker colour {on|off|reset} 
talker help 
talker list brief [channel] 
talker all {on|off} 
talker list 
talker delete [channel]
Of particular interest to the Adventurer in a hurry, however, are talker aliases.

Talker Aliases

Unlike normal aliases - but rather more in line with the dictionary definition of the word alias - talker aliases simply allow you to give a channel a new name.

For those of us somewhat challenged in the typing department, this is truly a gift.

talker alias add adventurers as ad
Aliased Adventurers as ad.
> 
ad test
You whisper into the silver ring.
(Adventurers) Sothis's wispy voice comes from the silver ring, saying: test
One possible drawback is that, also unlike normal aliases, you can't alternate between your talker alias and the normal name for the channel you've aliased.

This means that if talker channels come up as clickable links in your client, you can no longer simply click on a channel name to contribute, if you've given it an alias:

adventurers test
Try something else.
> 
Personally, being able to type "ad" instead of "adventurers" every time I want to address my compatriots is well worth the sacrifice of clickable talker links2.

However, since first writing this chapter, the excellent Garrion of Pishe has generously passed on the following, much more flexible, alternative alias syntax:

alias ad adventurers $*$
As you can see, this is a normal alias, not a specific talker one. Which, apart from anything else, ably demonstrates how powerful the alias system can be for those who truly understand it.

So, have a rummage through the talker commands, play around and see what you like. You can always un-alias a talker channel if you so wish - and with Garrion's superb advice you may well want to - so don't worry about making a choice you can't undo.

talker alias delete ad
Remove the alias ad for Adventurers.

The End

And thus concludes our tour of handy useful stuff for adventuring around the Disc. Do let me know if there's anything you think I've missed, any tips you'd like to pass on to the Multiverse, or just just random gossip, by clicking the Contact Me link and filling in the handy useful form.

And so, at last, we reach The End.

Or is it... The Beginning?

  1. Unless you spent so much time wandering around Pumpkin Town that the game decided you were too old to be a new player. In which case, you may have found yourself standing on the shimmering platform high above the Disc... and when you arrived, no voucher. Unlucky!
  2. If only I'd discovered talker aliases when I was a member of the Assassins Guild! Sadly, I did not have MUSHclient with its clickable links... and "ConlegiumSicariorum" was just too much to type, even for the valuable information that might have made me a success.