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Library: Beginner's Handbook to BatMUD


Author: Finaldey
Date:Nov 2 1995

'Finaldey leaped forward and struck the duck with his lead staff. The duck
blew up in a messy cloud of blood showering assorted body parts on the elf's
slender body. Yuck!

The frog nearby was dealt easily with a few magic missiles and Finaldey was
clear to advance. He exited Digga's newbie area and said the magic word
"portal". Instantly, he found himself inside the church, standing near the

The young elf remembered this place well. It was the first thing he saw when
he first entered this world. Like a reflection from his own first time,
Finaldey saw an orc looking around in desperation and crying for help. "What's
wrong, my friend?" asked always so friendly Finaldey. "Help me! What is this
place and what am I doing here?!" said the orc, almost weeping. Finaldey
smiled and answered: "This is the world of BatMUD, little one. This is the
place where the dreams come nightmares, but only at first. Welcome to the text

The elf mage pulled out a parchment from inside his cape and handed it over to
the orc. "Take this and read it! It will help you to get started", he said and
walked out of the room.

The orc unfolded the parchment and begun reading:

                Beginner's Handbook to BatMUD


I started writing this handbook after I had played only for about 20 hours.
Some might think that I'm not the right person to advise other players, but I
think the case is just the opposite. Let me tell you why.

BatMUD was my first experience of MUDs, if we don't count dozens of articles
praising them. When I saw the starting screen for the first time, I thought:
"Hey! This doesn't look so bad. Menus and all!" As always, I was wrong. All of
a sudden, an awful lot of text started running on my terminal. After a minute
of confusion, the starting screen had filled from what I later learned to be
channel chats. Lucky me, I have a relatively good memory and I recalled seeing
3 - character creation.

The chats continued to roll on my screen as I struggled through the creation.
After a while I found myself standing in the church, near an altar. Several
other characters ran in to and out of the room. I read a few help pages and I
wasn't a bit wiser than before. That's when I thought: Why is this game so
complicated to get into? Why there isn't any kind of tutorial?   This text is
not the answer to all questions. Rather it is a tale of a newbie as green as a
raw banana. I know I'm still a newbie. I know I don't know half of the nice
features of BatMUD. I just hope this handbook would take away a little of the
desperation a new player has to face. I know it exists, and I still have it in
fresh memory. That's why I'm writing this. That's why. 

Descending from the tree

The first time you play BatMUD, you must create a character for yourself.
Right after you have gotten into the creation screen, type 'bat off;sales
off;chat off;newbie off'. This will shut down the channels that produce most
of the garbage that interferes with your character creation. You might also
want to type 'ignore 100' so that any messages of player deaths, shouts and
stuff like that wouldn't garble your screen.

Now, follow the on-screen instructions to create your character. When
creating, try to imagine what kind of a character you want to play. If you
want to play a solitary character, you shouldn't choose a weak, magical
character. (Because if you won't party, your mage won't survive, IMHO.) A good
fighter type (nomad giant/minotaur, for example) would be a nice choice for
the first character.

When you're done, you should be standing in the church. Remember to turn your
ignore off (ignore 0) and turn channels 'newbie' and 'alert' on if they
already aren't.

The parser

"This parser stinks!" was one of my comments when I first started playing
BatMUD. Alas, wrong again. Sure, it won't parse a sentence like 'take the
glowing globe from the bag, light it and place it on the table, then cast a
magic missile spell at the spider', but 'get globe from bag;light globe;drop
globe;cast magic missile at spider' will do the same.  

First, you must remember that the parser won't recognize articles (a, an, the)
so you must just leave them out. Second, no 'it', 'him', 'them' or similiar
words can be used. Third, if you make a mistake while typing, use only
backspace. Do not use the arrow keys! Very often in a crowded place your
typing gets messed up by the incoming text. Don't worry about that - all is
sent exactly as you type it, no matter what your screen would let you

Items and persons are separated by a comma (,). For example, 'get sword,bag,
ring'. Notice that there's no space between the comma and the words. If you
use a comma in your chats, no problem. The semicolon (;) is used to separate
several commands in one line. For example, get 'sword;wield sword;eq'.
Remember this when you chat (can't use ;-). The rest of the features you can
read about in the parser help.

Builtin commands and aliases

At this point you should type 'set builtin on'. This enables the builtin
commands. Some very frequently used commands like 'get all from corpse', 'look
at' and 'report' are included, as well as most of the party commands. They
speed the game up incredibly. 'Help builtin' provides you a list of the
builtin commands.

It would also be wise to alias your favourite combat spells. Be assured that
if you know magic missile, you will type 'cast magic missile at...' a few
hundred times. Therefore aliasing 'magic missile' to 'mm', 'acid arrow' to
'aa' and so on will save your fingers and it even might save your butt if
speed is critical.

Some boring events like depositing your excess coins or moving to a well-known
location can also be command-aliased. More help available with the 'help
alias' and 'help command' commands.

Your skills and spells

You can type 'show skills' or 'show spells' to obtain information about your
character's know-how. Some very useful skills for a fighter are 'attack',
'dodge' and 'parry'. Spellcasters will do fine with just the 'cast generic'
skill and their spells. 'Consider' and 'skinning' are also handy. Check their
descriptions with the 'help skill xxxx' command. Descriptions of spells are
also available by 'help spell xxxx' commands. The skills that don't activate
automatically, are generally used by typing 'use xxxx'. Again, see the
descriptions for more info.

Killing your first monster

Digga's newbie area is a good and relatively safe place to start earning
experience. To reach it walk two times east from the church. Now you should be
standing between the church entrance and the adventurers' guild. This place is
usually very crowded and the screen fills up with text quickly. Don't stand
marveling at other characters' hitpoints/spellpoints, instead type 'portal'
and you should be teleported near the entrance to the newbie area.

Now, obtain your first equipment by typing 'newbiehelp'. Later, if you don't
receive equipment anymore but need a shovel, you can get one from the
dispenser machine here. Remember, though, that you can't use the portal after
you have reached level 16. Wear all your equipment and wield the weapon(s),
then walk west. Don't worry if you can't wield your weapon because you're too
small, you'll grow.

The newbie area is designed so that you can't get lost. If you feel you're
confused and don't know where you are just keep going eastwards until you get
back to the entrance.

Walk around the area until you find a frog, a duck or a bunny. Leave the ants
and deers alone for now. Type 'wimpy normal' so you won't die while fighting.
If you're a spellcaster, start combat by casting a magic missile or similiar
easy and low-cost attack spell at the enemy. If you are a fighter, just type
'kill xxxx' and the combat begins. Keep casting spells with the '!' command
until either you wimpy or run out of spell points. Flee manually if the latter
happens. The monsters here usually won't chase you, with the exception of

If you are out of spell points and can't fight effectively (no weapon, no
attack skill, etc.) you can't do much more that wait for your spell points to
regenerate. If you're low on hit points, you can just wait or return to the
city and get yourself healed (see below). Remember, that if you're standing
near a campfire, you heal faster. Also, if you have the skill 'camping' you
might use it to get healed a bit.

When you finally manage to kill the monster, type 'gac' to get all from the
corpse. If you're lucky, you'll find some food and money. Then skin the
corpse, eat it or just bury it (with the 'dig grave' command). Whatever you
do, _don't_ leave the corpse lying on the ground or it'll turn into undead.
Remember that even if you were able to deal with them, somebody else might
not. Check your experience with the 'exp' command and continue killing the
wimpy monsters until you have around 3k of experience.

Raising your level

Return to the city and go to the adventurers' guild. Go south to get to the
level advancement room. Inspect your stats with the 'score' command. At first,
you should concentrate on raising your intelligence, if you're a spellcaster.
If you're a fighter, raise strength, dexterity or constitution. When you have
decided which attribute to concentrate on, type 'advance <stat>' where <stat>
is the attribute you want to raise. Note that all your stats raise (usually),
but this one will boost more than it otherwise would. However, don't raise
your level yet! Read the next paragraph first.


Walk south from the level advancement room and you arrive in the levelquest
room. You have just passed the levelquest for level two. The objective is to
accomplish levelquests that are a higher level than you. You don't have to
mess with the levelquests if you don't want to, but especially at higher
levels (and even more so with superior-to-human characters) it will speed up
the advancement considerably. In this room you can also check the levelquests
available for you.

Now go back north and raise your level. You should be level two. Check the
changes in your spells and skills and type 'cost' to see how much experience
you need to get to level 3. You might also want to get and copy the list of
exp requirements. Type 'list' to see them.

Interesting places in the town

Type 'map' on the city streets and you will see a map of BatCity. If able, you
should print the map for a quick reference. If you're using a windows-based
connection (like me), you can also copy the map to notepad or similiar and
keep the window open at background.

Navigating at the streets really isn't as hard as one would initially think.
Generally, there's only one 'room' of street between the crossings and when
you have memorized the street names, you should always have a clear view where
you are.

When you acquire money, it will usually be in form of scrappy coins (all below
gold). With the 'score' command you can see all the money you have in gold. It
also shows money in your bank account. Carrying all your money with you is not
really a problem, because BatMUD's coins are very small (one gram of gold
would barely fill a volume of 50 cubic millimeters), but if you are getting
nervous about thieves, or are carrying a really BIG bunch of coins, you should
find your way to the bank. There you can deposit all kinds of coins, althought
it's not worth it to deposit anything more valuable than gold, since you can
only withdraw gold from the bank. The correct form for depositing coins is
'deposit x <type> coins', where x is the amount of coins or 'all' and <type>
is the type of coins. For example 'deposit 100 tin coins' or 'deposit all
mowgles coins'.
Generally it is wise to deposit all coins that are valued below gold. Type
'help money' to get the exchange rates of coins. I find it very handy to have
a command alias for depositing coins.

The newbie warehouse (two north from the church entrance hall) is a heaven for
all newbies. The more experienced characters (past level 30) will donate
equipment there and the food basket might save the day for a starving newbie.
It's appropriate to 'bow damogran' when entering. 'List' and 'ask #' are the
commands for getting stuff in the warehouse. You can also give your excess
things to Damogran and put your excess food in the basket.

The street between the church and the adventurers' guild is usually very
crowded, as many players use this as a meeting place and moreso because it is
a place to get yourself healed, if you are polite.

At first, when you don't know any other players, you could 'report' there and
ask for healing. Most of the high-level characters here can also create food
if the basket at the warehouse is empty. Later, when you have higher level
friends, you could ask them to heal you. They like to help you, otherwise they
wouldn't be standing there.

In the city, there is also a few good places to go experience hunting. At the
central square, there's a clock you can enter. The monsters there are wimpy
(generally), but yield some treasure with minimum risk.

The alchemists' guild has a roof with a garden. There you encounter mouses,
worms and crows that are easy to kill.

One north and then west from the church entrance hall is a graveyard that
contains aggressive monsters. Agressive means that the monster will attack you
immediatly if you are in the same room with them. Don't worry though, the
monsters there are wimpy (some might cast nasty spells, though).

The sewers contain moderately easy monsters, at least if you're on levels 8+.
A word of warning: The sewers are quite a maze because one can't get out of
there the same way one entered (through the manhole). This place can be a
bitch! If you get lost, try to drop coins on your path (or cast floating
letters). Mapping does no good, since the maze keeps changind every now and

Sometimes the game upkeep (or a wizard on a bad mood) summons nasty monsters
into the city. These are usually tough enough to kill you with a few hits and
moreover, they are usually aggressive. When you start getting lots of death
messages (the killer boasts his victory) or get an alert on the channel, you
might suspect that there is a monster in town. Very often it is placed in some
important building, like the adventurers' guild or the bank. Keep clear and
wait for it to go away (or get killed, or the reboot).

Leaving the game

When getting tired or some other reason prevents you from playing further (the
reboot is quite a good reason), you can leave the game several ways. The
preferrable way is to go linkdead with the 'ld' command. It takes about 20
seconds and your equipment is preserved until next reboot. If you're sure that
you won't be playing again before next reboot, you should sell all your
equipment that is sellable.

Yes, what items are sellable? The answer is simple: All items that are not
marked. Marked can mean several things. Most frequently, it is a newbie item
given by gods. It also might be enchanted so that only one person can use it.
You might have gotten it from the newbie warehouse or you might have stolen it
from someone who got if from the NW. Also, some things are just junk and no
one will buy them.

Next time you start to play, your equipment is gone (if you are past reboot)
but all your money should be there. Your starting place depends on where you
have set it. Most characters start from the church until they set their
starting place to somewhere else.

But the best advice of them all...

This book cannot answer all the questions about BatMUD. The game is waaay too
big to be covered with a few pages of text. Fortunately, BatMUD is played by
hundreds and hundreds of friendly players who can and will help you. Just ask!
Being polite is the key, don't shout your questions around and remember to
thank the helper(s). That way, they will help you again.

If you have any questions about this book, about BatMUD or about anything you
think I might be able to answer to, don't hesitate to ask me in the game or
send E-mail to me. I'm usually playing at weekends (22.00-04.00) and I am
ready to party most of the time.

Finaldey Keeneye the Elf