The Adventurer's Guide to Discworld MUD

Welcome to Pumpkin Town

A farmer says: I dragged you here to keep you safe, friend. Welcome to Pumpkin Town!

You regain consciousness.
Welcome indeed! Before May 1st 2008, new people joining the Discworld MUD were met with the Newbie area, which was a bit of a silent cavern, filled with interesting but rather static information. It was also possible that it didn't go quite far enough in preparing a new explorer for life on the Disc1.

However, no such criticisms can be made of Pumpkin Town. Information is provided in signs, automatic hints, and best of all, non-player characters (NPCs) with whom you can interact. So, you can just wander the town at a leisurely pace, enjoying the sights and trying out the dozens of things to do (all of which teach you useful things about the Discworld proper) - and really enjoy it at the same time. The old Newbie Area did feel a bit of a chore... personally, I just wanted to find the Womble's brooch and get out as fast as possible! But Pumpkin Town is a lot of fun in its own right.

So, where are we? What does it look like?

A swift glance around this cosy hut reveals a small cot and an open window, looking out over a welcoming village.  A very large and informative sign has been hung on the wall.
Type read sign to read it.
When you are done here (and have read the help file!), you can start the introduction by typing south.
There are two obvious exits: south and climb window.
Mmmm, reading the sign sounds like a good place to start. As it says above, the command to do this is read sign - although you can abbreviate this to simply r sign.
You read the large sign:

     _______________________________________________________________
   //                                                               \
   || Welcome to Discworld!  Everything must be quite confusing now, |
   || but fear not! Take a deep breath, and you'll be a native in no |
   || time.                                                          |
   ||                                                                |
   || You are starting your adventure in Pumpkin Town, the area set  |
   || aside from the real Discworld to allow new players to explore  |
   || and learn how the MUD works.                                   |
   ||                                                                |
   || To start, we have set out an introduction to teach you the     |
   || most important things you need to know about playing.  After   |
   || this, you will get to explore Pumpkin Town more, or go into    | 
   || the real game.                                                 |
   ||                                                                |
   || If you already know the basics, you can skip the introduction  |
   || by climbing the window; otherwise, even if you have played     |
   || other muds, read "help here" (type it without the quotes).     |
   || It will teach you the most important things about getting help.|
   \\_______________________________________________________________/

Excellent! You have the option of either spending some time in Pumpkin Town, or leaving for the Drum straight away!

Of course, sensible types will want to sample the considerable delights of Pumpkin Town before venturing forth to any place which may contain unsavoury persons bearing pointy, stabby objects.

However, there are always the impatient ones, and these may well include those who are experienced in the ways of the Disc and are merely passing through in the person of an alternative character (alt).

So, just for you, may I present:

A Handy Escape Route from Pumpkin Town

  1. climb window
  2. west
  3. choose [nation] [nationality]
  4. enter door
F R E E !

Right. Now that all the reckless fools have left us, let us move on2.

Score

Discworld MUD helpfile: http://discworld.atuin.net/lpc/playing/documentation.c?path=/helpdir/score

Such is the comprehensive nature of Pumpkin Town, that there is little more that anyone might need to know from a player webpage such as this. Therefore I intend only to point out the particular highlights and the one or two extra bits that I particularly found useful to know: and one of these is the score command.

The score command is probably the one which I (and, I'd imagine, most people) use most often. It details the most important and fundamental information about your character, and, with the use of a number of modifiers, it can specify many aspects of your character's achievements on the Disc.

To use it, simply type score:

You have 500 (500) hit points, 50 (50) guild points, 0 (666) quest points, 0 (695) achievement points and 50 (50) social points.
Your current experience is 91 and you are level 0 in the Adventurers' Guild; your overall rating is 0.
You have died 0 times and can die 7 times before you are completely dead.
Your wimpy is set to 20%.
You are unburdened (3%) and quite comfortable.
You are neutral, worshipping no god.
You are 58 seconds old and have logged in 1 time.

Score, line by line

  1. You have 500 (500) hit points, 50 (50) guild points, 0 (666) quest points, 0 (695) achievement points and 50 (50) social points.
    For each of these, the first number shows your current score, while the number in parentheses shows your maximum possible score. The first number can vary wildly (and in some cases, catastrophically) depending on what you're doing, while the parenthesised numbers represent a limit that may be increased in some way.

    Hit Points (HP): If both numbers are equal, you're in full health! If you experience a damaging event, your current score drops; if it hits zero (or below! This can happen...), you die! You can increase your Hit Point maximum score by increasing your skills in adventuring.health.

    So, what's adventuring.health and how can I increase it, you ask. Patience, eager one! We'll get on to that later. Just make this note for future reference:

    You can increase your Hit Points by increasing your skills in adventuring.health

    See also: http://discworld.atuin.net/lpc/playing/documentation.c?path=/concepts/hitpoints

    Guild Points (GP): There are some things you can just do while on the Disc, like moving around and talking to people... but there are many things which require a healthy supply of Guild Points.

    Type gp and you get this interesting piece of information:

    gp
    You have 50 (50) guild points.
    * All of your guild points can be used for covert commands.
    * All of your guild points can be used for crafts commands.
    * All of your guild points can be used for faith commands.
    * All of your guild points can be used for fighting commands.
    * All of your guild points can be used for magic commands.
    * All of your guild points can be used for other commands.
    
    The last time I wrote about GP, I was under the impression that Guild Points were exclusively generated by increasing the skills favoured by your Guild. But, I pondered... Adventurers do not have a Guild - the "Guild of Adventurers" is just a default state of being from which one is intended to launch into a "proper" Guild. How, then, shall we the unGuilded to discover how to advance our Guild Points?

    After some investigation and the helpful advice of Minimal the Iron Fisted Adventurer (he who eschews, not only Guilds, but any form of weaponry more advanced than his mighty fists. Fool.), it transpired that an Adventurer needed to advance other.points in order to acquire Guild Points. These days, it's the slightly more obvious adventuring.points.

    And so it is. But then, as I progressed in my travels and studies, I discovered that typing gp was now giving me this:

    gp
    You have 173 (173) guild points.
    * You can use 158 (158) for covert commands.
    * You can use 112 (112) for crafts commands.
    * You can use 143 (143) for faith commands.
    * All of your guild points can be used for fighting commands.
    * You can use 65 (65) for magic commands.
    * All of your guild points can be used for other commands.
    
    Yes indeed: suddenly it appears I can only use a percentage of my total GP for various activities.

    This explained why, despite having loads of GP, I'd try Repairing something and discover I was "too weary" to do so; or I'd try praying to Gapp and find I was "too tired to pray right now".

    Solution? Increase the number of points in the required skill to increase the percentage GP you can use for the relevant commands.

    I think your total number of GP does creep up slightly as well, but I'm not sure. But the percentage of points you can use on different commands does increase, and the bigger the percentage, the more times you can use a command before getting "tired".

    See also: http://discworld.atuin.net/lpc/playing/documentation.c?path=/concepts/guildpoints

    Quest Points: Quests are small puzzles within the game, and the Quest Point total indicates how many there are and how many of them you've completed.

    Quests are discussed in slightly more depth further on in this section of the site - with instructions on how to get into the quest page on the Discworld MUD secure server (although the server will prompt you for your character name and password if you're not already logged in when you navigate to the page). There is also a chance to do a quest in Pumpkin Town itself!

    See also: http://discworld.atuin.net/lpc/playing/documentation.c?path=/concepts/quests

    Achievement Points: Achievements are similar to Quests, except they tend to be earned for simply playing the game.

    Achievements are discussed in much more depth elsewhere in this site. In the meantime, have a look at the helpfile below.

    There is also a secure page, similar to the Quests one, which is also well worth a look. As with Quests, the website will prompt you for your character name and password if you're not already logged in when you try to load the page.

    See also: http://discworld.atuin.net/lpc/playing/documentation.c?path=/concepts/achievement_points
    And: http://discworld.atuin.net/lpc/secure/achievements.c

    Social Points: Not much I can add to the tidy little helpfile referenced below, except: your social points increase with the use of the Soul commands. More detail on those in a later chapter, but you can have a look at the range in here: http://discworld.atuin.net/lpc/playing/soul.c.

    See also: http://discworld.atuin.net/lpc/playing/documentation.c?path=/concepts/socialpoints


  2. Your current experience is 91 and you are level 0 in the Adventurers' Guild; your overall rating is 0.
    Your current experience is measured in points, of which, in this example, I only have ninety-one. Experience Points (XP) are of great importance if you want to be good at anything which requires skill, and you can earn it in at least four ways:
    1. Heartbeat XP
    2. Fight XP
    3. Quest XP
    4. Achievement XP
    Much more detail on XP in the later chapter, Gaining XP.

    Technically, there is no such thing as the Adventurers' Guild - it's merely the starting place of every new character.

    However, we who bravely elect to remain Guildless can advance our "Guild Level" - by advancing our fighting skills, in any subset of the Fighting skill tree.

    I'm currently level 21 - Westley, Adventurer par excellence, was at level 163 the last time I saw him!

    The noteworthy thing about this, is that Guild level and Guild Points aren't connected for an Adventurer: advancing the former requires you to work on your fighting skills, advancing the latter means raising your adventuring.points. The "proper" Guilds have a set of primary skills, and advancing those raises Guild level and Guild Points simultaneously.

    Or so my research has led me to believe so far. Grateful thanks to Labrat for elucidating this most curious distinction between Guild Points and Guild Levels, which appears to be exclusive to Adventurers.

    More on advancing and learning skills in other sections of this site. And I'd recommend not getting bogged down too much in that until it becomes relevant, because it's all rather involved. Unless you want to, of course!

    And finally: ratings! Again, not much I can add to the helpfile, except to mention that once your rating clears 10,000, you will be eligible to rent a room in the Apex Club! Lovely.

    See also: http://discworld.atuin.net/lpc/playing/documentation.c?path=/concepts/rating


  3. You have died 0 times and can die 7 times before you are completely dead.
    Yes indeed, you can die seven times before your character finally snuffs it! How great is that?

    Or at least, it sounds great until you discover how extremely easy it is to die. Most of the really exciting things to do (e.g. exploring Uberwald, visiting the Grflxes in their caves, getting lost in the Shades) involve a large element of Death. So it's very easy to burn through your meagre supply of lives.

    Death is a comprehensive subject of its (or should that be "his"?) own - but you'll be pleased to know that Pumpkin Town provides an excellent introduction. And don't worry - it isn't actually possible to die in Pumpkin Town itself.

    There is also a Discworld MUD helpfile available here: http://discworld.atuin.net/lpc/playing/documentation.c?path=/concepts/death

    ... but frankly, the Pumpkin Town version is far better.


  4. Your wimpy is set to 20%.
    Discworld MUD helpfile: http://discworld.atuin.net/lpc/playing/documentation.c?path=/helpdir/wimpy

    Your wimpy setting is the point at which you wimp out of a fight - that is, run away before your opponent can kill you. The game automatically sets your wimpy to 20% when you first login. Which means that when your hit points drop to 20% of your total, this happens:

    Your feet run away with you!
    
    Handy, eh?

    The idea is that if you get into trouble in a fight, you have a better chance of surviving. This was very useful in the early days of the Discworld MUD, apparently, when people generally connected via dial-up and bandwidth was more of an issue - because if you were in the middle of a fight and your connection hit a lag3, you could end up dead.

    Getting lagged to death is considerably less of a risk these days - but for any newbie in a fight, wimpy can be a life saver.

    There are drawbacks, however. You have no control (and frequently no idea which way you've gone) when your feet take decisive action on your behalf - so you could end up inadvertently running into greater danger, or wandering back into it by mistake.

    And, recent research by the AM Daily4 has shown that you earn more XP in fights when you set your wimpy to 0% ("brave mode"). This is a big consideration for an Adventurer.

    So, give the issue of wimpy some careful thought. My advice would be to leave the wimpy setting as it is until you've advanced your health and fighting skills to a decent level - for example, until you're stronger than NPC thieves and you've got your fighting.special.weapon skill to level 155. Then consider going to Brave Mode.


  5. You are unburdened (3%) and quite comfortable.
    As suggested by the term, how unburdened you are depends on how much stuff you're carrying about. All your clothes, weapons and equipment count towards your burden, no matter how light or flimsy: in this example, Athelain had just arrived in Pumpkin Town, and was carrying very little and wearing even less.

    According to Jeanie on the Bonus Computer site, it is possible to be more than 100% burdened and still moving around. But this is a highly undesirable state of affairs. Peaceful traveller though you may be, how on Disc will you be able to run away when pursued by brigands if you're 100% burdened?

    So, the more unburdened you are, the better. Personally, I try to keep my state of "unburdened-ness" to around 20% or less.

    NB: A burden of 50% and over starts to slow you down.


  6. You are neutral, worshipping no god.
    Discworld MUD helpfile: http://discworld.atuin.net/lpc/playing/documentation.c?path=/concepts/alignment

    What sort of person you are morally is indicated by your alignment. Everyone starts off neutral, but by various acts you can become some shade of either good or evil. It's an approximate scale which looks like this:

    • As good as you can get
    • Extremely good
    • Very good
    • Quite good
    • Good
    • Barely good
    • Neutral
    • Barely evil
    • Evil
    • Quite evil
    • Very evil
    • Extremely evil
    • As evil as you can get
    You can alter your alignment in the Temple in the Guilds Grove by either rescuing beetles to become good, or drowning them to become evil.

    It's entirely up to you whether you do this or not - but think carefully before passing up the opportunity, because it's a lot easier to alter your alignment in the Pumpkin Town temple than it is out in the Disc itself.


  7. You are 58 seconds old and have logged in 1 time.
    Well, you don't really need me to tell you what this means, do you?

    Not sure if this has any useful function to players - but it's quite nice information to have. There are various minor aspects to the game which are mediated by your character's age and number of logins, but nothing which is likely to impinge on game play. At least... none that I know of yet.


So that's the incredibly useful score command, in its unvarnished state. Definitely check out the helpfile sometime when you have a few moments to do nothing else but surf the web; and we'll look at a few of the modifiers as they become relevant to Adventurers elsewhere on this site.

OK, I know you're raring to go, and as previously mentioned, there's little anyone can add to the scope of Pumpkin Town. But let us first have a quick look at the issue of Communication before we get down to the serious business of touring Pumpkin Town.

  1. As the sheer size and scope and utter incompleteness of my previous Beginners' Guide may have indicated.
  2. For some reason, every time I think of "Pumpkin Town", Lipps Inc.'s annoying little ditty "Funky Town" starts playing in my head. Click here to have a listen and share my pain.
  3. That is, until you acquire enough levels of fighting.special.weapon to learn some special fighting commands, giving you much better odds in a fight. See the next section for more details.
  4. Unslidge (RT 2006) Fact or Fiction: Wimpy Drains Your XP. Ankh-Morpork Daily, Edition 75: Poetry in Motion. (Conclusion: it does!!!)