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Avangrod
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re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

I tried MUDs back in the day but never heard of MUSH


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re: re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

I remember MU*, not because I was around then to game, but because I'm interested in the history of gaming. More generally, MUDs were and are actually still around and quite popular, as people can now play them on their phones.

When I was at college, I actually tried out this one

http://mume.org/

with one of my friends who was a real Tolkien fan. I remember trying one of the options for a race, there was a Half-Elf option as well. I wanted to try out Hobbit but I must have pressed the wrong key (both starting from H I guess), so I ended up with a half-elf and I was annoyed and said out loud "I'm a hobbit, not a half-elf'.

At that moment I sensed someone behind us, and turned back and noticed my supervisor standing behind us; he'd come to bring me some research notes.

Needless to say that for the next week or so, I was known as 'the hobbit' haha.


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Kiralynn
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re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

For those unfamiliar with MU* gaming, this goes back to 1990.

People used to dial up (or in rare cases the internet) to connect to a server running a game. The first game of this type was called a MUD, multi-user dungeon. Later, there were other, slightly more advanced varieties, such as MUSHes (multi-user shared hallucinations).

You used Telnet or some primitive client software that connected through Telnet for you.

The games were entirely text-based. In fact, it was years before the text had any color or formatting. Think of a MU* as an upgraded dial-up BBS or a game of Zork.

Zork is really the closest example. The game came with several pre-built commands that you could type, such as "look" and "inv" for inventory. You "moved around" by typing the name of an exit.

Basically, you'd get a screen that said something like:


Code: Select all
WELCOME CENTER

You are standing in a large, square room.  It is well appointed with luxury Medieval furnishings, including hardwood furniture, rich tapestries, and a massive stone hearth.  There is a keg of ale sitting beside a dozen pewter tankards on a side table.  Arched windows provide a view of beautiful, rolling hills.

Two ornate wood doors lead out of the room.  A door to the north leads out of the cottage.  A door to the south leads to the library, where you can find more information about this realm.

Exits:  North (N), South (S)


The power of the MU* came from the fact it could be reprogrammed from within the game. You could create new rooms, change descriptions, add new commands, and even create triggered events. For example, you could set the room description to change based on the time of day, provide an option to "drink ale", or even create an NPC that players could interact with. The programming syntax was simple but powerful.

Administrators often created scripts to help people who couldn't write their own code. For example, you could speak to a doorman at the apartment complex, ask for a new apartment, and have one created for you from scripts. You could then learn some basic commands to customize your apartment, set locks on the doors, and so forth.

Later, room descriptions sometimes contained a URL with a link to art or music related to the location you were in.

The first MUD was basically a giant game of Assassin. Everyone ran around fighting little computer-generated mobs, gaining gear and levels, so that they could fight other players. Very quickly, it turned into an environment for roleplay. PernMUSH was the biggest game that took place in the world of Pern. There were also high population games set in the World of Darkness, Marvel Superheroes, Star Trek, Star Wars, and other popular RP genres. On a good day, hundreds of people would be logged in at once, with half a dozen Narrators (story admins) on duty.

For tech geeks, it all ran on UNIX servers and didn't make the jump to Windows for a decade. This entire thing was coded in C and used a delimited flat file as the database. Years later, there was one version that could use an Access DB. Backups were essential and corruption was a monthly event. For the coders out there, yes, someone could bring down the server by writing bad code and having it executed on the fly. Fortunately, the Administrators could limit who had basic or full code writing abilities.

There are actually still some MU* out there. The technology doesn't seem to have improved much, but the players are dedicated and the roleplay is good. Hopefully, someday there will be an MMO that lets players contribute content (not just music), without being as complicated as that Everquest sandbox.


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re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

Avangrod wrote:
Hmm actually just finished a book and looking for a new one to read maybe it will be Pern


Hahah 'a' book ;)

http://pern.srellim.org/readorder.htm

This is the publication order. Some people prefer chronological but for a first go-through I kind of agree with this list. Second read through in time order is fun too!


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Avangrod
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re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

Hmm actually just finished a book and looking for a new one to read maybe it will be Pern


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re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

Love the Pern books, have read many of them, even had my book club read the first one (they liked it too). But have never played or knew about any games.... then again this is the only video game I play, sooo…. (not even sure what the words PernMUSH or SoCon mean)
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re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

Loeci wrote:
I love the Pern books too! Also have read some of her others as well. I really liked the Powers trilogy especially. I need to see about finding some of the ones I've missed, like the Ship books.


You can sometimes find the Ship books at used book stores, or through Thriftbooks.com (oh so many many books there) or they're even all in ebook format now so maybe a library service like Hoopla would have :) Or amazon. Or somewhere :)


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Loeci
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re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

I love the Pern books too! Also have read some of her others as well. I really liked the Powers trilogy especially. I need to see about finding some of the ones I've missed, like the Ship books.


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Kiralynn
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re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

Oh yes, those were wonderful books, too! Now I'm feeling the urge to read them again.

I never saw an official Pern RPG, but I did GM a homebrew at several conventions in California, back in the 80's. The games always filled up quickly. I loved the sort of people that Pern games attracted. Much like the classic Star Trek and LotR fans, they were always good-hearted folk.


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re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

Avangrod wrote:
I've read 6 or 7 pern books great stuff!!! Also read a couple Acorna the Unicorn girl books hehehe... and no that doesn't make me a bronie!!! Maybe a little more floofy though 8P


Look up The Rowan. It's the first of the Tower and the Hive series and it's amazing, in my opinion :)

Also, I forgot to mention The Ship Who Sang and the other ones in that series (some of which were collaborated on with other authors), they are also great!
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re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

By the way I must have played around 40ish tabletop rpgs in my day, and I do remember hearing about Pern one(s?)( could have been some homebrew thing not sure) but never got the chance to play them myself. Hope you have a fantastic campaign!!!


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re: re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

Avangrod wrote:
I've read 6 or 7 pern books great stuff!!! Also read a couple Acorna the Unicorn girl books hehehe... and no that doesn't make me a bronie!!! Maybe a little more floofy though 8P


Hahaha you got it straight out of my mouth twisted

(It's alright, Nibun has been seen wandering around in a pink shirt, who am I to judge tongue out )


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Avangrod
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re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

I've read 6 or 7 pern books great stuff!!! Also read a couple Acorna the Unicorn girl books hehehe... and no that doesn't make me a bronie!!! Maybe a little more floofy though 8P


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Hannariel
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re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

Oh, yes the Crystal Singer!


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re: Fans of Dragonriders of Pern

Pern is wonderful! I have all the books, except not all the Todd ones - his writing style was so different I couldn't get into his solo ones sad I also loved the Tower and the Hive series, and Crystal Singer series. She wrote so many good things!
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