Land of Karchan

Yes, there are several. But as far as I know, this one is quite original, and ofcourse freely available.

Make up a name. Avoid using your real name or common names, real and mythical. You want not only to give character to your persona, but you also do not want everyone saying "Hey! Aren't you Bob from JustAnotherMUD"? I chose the name Descartes, because I was a philosophy major in college. In general, it is safe to assume any name consisting only of more than two characters and less than ten (a to z) is acceptable on any mud. Some muds allow really long names with spaces, apostrophes, hyphens, and other marks. Others are in between the extremes. Try the name you want. If the mud will not allow it, it will tell you, and it should tell you why.

After making up a name, you need to create a password. To create passwords, make up one different than the one you use to access computers. Although muds encrypt passwords for storage, nothing prevents an unscrupulous mud admin from intercepting that password and using it for unethical purposes. It is also recommended that you use a password with numbers and mixed upper and lower case letters in it.

After that one of two things will happen. Either you will be notified that you have answered a wrong password, meaning you have picked a name someone else is using, or it will ask you to create a character, with the appropriate characteristics (what race, haircolour, title, etc.) If the first thing happens, just try again with another name. If the second happens, you are in good shape.

Some muds require all their players to register before being allowed to play. Also, it may be the case that someone from the same place as you has been causing trouble, so the admins of the mud in question have decided to require only people from that site to register. If this is the case with the mud you wish to play, simply follow the instructions they give. In most cases they will give you an email address where you should send your registration.

This mud does not in question do this as yet.

This is where you get to see why there is so little in common among Muds from the player's point of view. Some Mud's will ask you a series of questions about who you are and what sort of character you would like. Others ask nothing more. Among the questions you might be asked are: what is your email address? what is your real name? what gender would you like to play? what race would you like to be? what class would you like to be? etc.

MUD Administrators have a legitimate need to know your email address. No one else does. If a mud requires you to give your email address it should either offer you the option of keeping it private, or it should automatically keep the email private. If they do not keep your email private and you desire privacy, do not play the mud. Do not complain, however, that they ask for it.

In some cases a email-address is not required to play the game. Then you may just fill out nothing at that appropriate spot. The mud will signify if a email-address is obligatory.

No. The game wants to know what gender you would like your character to be. This means you can play a character of the opposite gender, your own gender, or one of the alternate gender types which might be offered. The other side of the coin to this, however, is that you should never count on other people in real life being the gender of the character they play.

Many Muds, if not all, have a feature called character races. The term "race" in these instances is not the same as the term used in modern society. In fact, the term race would more correctly be referred to as species. In fantasy type Muds, you will often see a selection of "races" like human, orc, artrell, gnome, etc. When you are asked to choose a race, a list of possible races should be provided for you.

In general, a class is a grouping of players with common abilities. A guild as well can be said to have the same definition. Many muds, if they use either of these concepts at all, add some very individual nuances. To muds which do not have classes or guilds, the concepts are naturally irrelevant. Those which have one or the other are often using the terms in an interchangeable fashion. Finally, those muds which have both often define class in a more generic manner than guild. For example, on Nightmare, a class is like a profession and the guild like a particular job. You might have people in the fighter class who are in the templars guild, and others who are in the rangers guild. In short, the guild is a way of specializing your class abilities.

Other muds allow "multi-classing", which may mean joining multiple guilds, classes, or both. It is always best to check out the "help guild" and "help class" command on any given mud to see how it defines these terms.

There is no one answer to this question, as the answer will vary from mud to mud. No matter what, however, you should see if the mud has a "faq" command to get a listing of that mud's frequently asked questions. In addition, you should learn how to use the "help" command as well as find out about the rules governing that mud.

The following commands exist on virtually all Muds. [] around part of a command indicate that that part is optional. <> indicates that the text should not be taken literally. These commands naturally are not likely to be found on non-English muds.

* help [<topic>]
Gives you help. If you specify a topic, you get help on that topic. If you just type help, you will either get help on where to find other help, or you will be put into a help menu.

 * tell to <player> <message>
Sends the string <message> to the player whose name is <player> anywhere on the mud. Some Muds do not allow players to tell to one another as it is viewed unrealistic.

* say <message>
Sends <message> to everyone who is in the same mud room as you. This command is almost always aliased to "'", such that "'hi!" is the same thing as typing "say hi!".

* who
Gives you a list of everyone connected to that mud.

* look around
Gives you a description of the mud room in which you are in.

* look at <object>
Gives you a description of the object in question.

Admins in particular are prone to a mud disease called "idling". This means that the lights are on, but nobody is home. An idle person is simply someone logged in to the game, but who is perhaps not actually at their computer terminal. That person is thus not really ignoring your question, since the person is never actually seeing it.

If the admin is not idling, chances are that person is being overwhelmed with questions or is actually coding online. Many LPMuds will tell you that the person to whom you are talking is "idle" or "editing". If you get that response to a tell, do not expect an answer back right away. In addition, if it says the admin is editing (or anyone else for that matter), then it is generally considered rude to continue telling to that person as it makes it difficult for the person to edit.

Many people these days have the ability to be on several muds at the same time. It is therefore entirely possible that the person to whom you are trying to talk is in fact looking at another window. To get that person's attention, it may be ok to "beep" them (by sending a control-G in a say or tell). Some people do not like others to do this to them, however, so be careful about doing it too much.

The short answer is yes, you have the right not to play the game. The long answer is much more complex. First off, any reasonable set of admins who wish to create a game which people will enjoy will enumerate the sorts of behaviour you can expect from them. In other words, admins on fun muds will state the rules of the game ahead of time and will not deviate from those rules. That way you know what to expect. In addition, if you do not like the rules, you don't get involved with playing the game.

What prevents an admin from breaking their own rules? Absolutely nothing. In one sense, a mud is like someone else's swimming pool. You have absolutely no right to swim there, and they have the right to throw you out just because you talk funny or say things they don't like. Fortunately, there are plenty of muds out there with civil administrations to make this nothing more than a passing nuisance.

A common misconception is that mud admins administrate muds for power, and that arbitrary behaviour is a way of exercising that power. Though there may be a few misguided individuals out there who do in fact administrate muds for the sake of power, the fact is that no mud administrator has any power over you. Remember, the worst thing any admin can do to you is make you go play somewhere else.

A final thing to remember is that muds evolve and rules evolve with the mud. Just because rules change does not mean the admins are being arbitrary. Arbitrariness is reflected in sometimes applying rules and sometimes ignoring them, not in creating new rules to fit unforseen situations.

No, not even freedom of speech. Again, reasonable admins will clarify in publically available rules what sort of speech (hate speech, offensive language, or whatever) is not acceptable on that mud. You may or may not agree with those rules or the political beliefs those rules represent, but at least you do know where you stand on the mud. It is thus up to you to decide if you can play under those rules or not. In the event you encounter an unreasonable mud, there is nothing much you can do but decide to leave. If it is a commercial mud, however, deciding to leave can be some sort of leverage.

A common source of friction between players and admins is where players decide to criticize admins. Most often, the players are not really trying to criticize the admins so much as inspire positive changes to make a game they love even better. In those cases, it is always good to remember that the admin is a real human who is closely involved with what the mud is. If you keep that in mind, you can often help bring positive changes to the mud you play without unintentionally striking a hidden chord in a sensitive admin.

Explore the mud! Most gaming muds have places called "newbie" areas which are simplistic places for people new to the game to go and get the hang of things. When you first log in to a new mud, you should ask the others where the newbie area is. Also, read the login screen and news which scrolls across your screen at login time, as they contain important information about characteristics unique to the mud you are playing.

Ask people questions. Just make sure you have read the help files first, or you will be sure to annoy someone. In addition, try not to choose a single person for your queries. Constantly being asked questions by the same person can often annoy people as easily as stupid questions.

LOK means Land of Karchan. Next!

I have heard the term just once as I have never heard it before. GHEP/WIC appears to be an acronym for Grand High Exalted Pubah/Who's In Charge.

MIF means Magicians of the Inner Flame.

Well, I first became a member of InternetUsersAssociation Interlink in March 1994. I made my first HomePage approx. a month later. Somewhere in the beginning of June 1994 I created the mud and made it available for play to the Internet. (See for more information another question)

First you have to register.

In order to register, proceed to the following page: The LogonScreen

Type in your (new, imaginary, fantasy) name (and make it a little original) and a (imaginary) password and press Submit.

Please remember your name and password correctly, as each time you want to start playing you need to provide these at the exact same page as above.

There are a few possibilities, once you have entered a name and password:

1. The game will tell you that either your name or your password is invalid. There are rules for entering a name and password, all of which will be displayed along with the error message.
2. The game will tell you that the password is wrong. This means this name is already occupied by another player. Please press the Back button and fill out a different name.
3. The game proclaims you as being banned from the game. This means that someone in your domain has done some evil things and your domain is banned. Please send me an email and I will exclude you from the ban.
4. Everything's cool, no error message, and you receive a big page called "The room of Lost Souls" (see further)

In this room you are free to add details to the character you are about to create. It is not necessary to provide all the details.

Once you press the Submit button on the bottom of this page, your character will be created and be put in "The Cave". This is the room in which all newbies start. See for more information in playing the game the "help"command which you can type into the entry field.

Do not forget to press Quit once you are done, otherwise your character will remain active and your game will not be saved.

MUD Means Multi-User Dungeon, despite what anyone says.

No, you don't have to pay anything and you can play whenever you like. However, if you decide to send me money I won't stop you. *grin*

No, just a WWW-Browser (a good one) like Mozilla will do.

Possible, due to really bad connection or my computer is down again as usual.

Hmmm, this depends on the Preferences of your browser. It means the browser uses the page in the cache of the computer, instead of sending the information off. Try to find some switch to turn the Verification every time on or something like that. If you are using Lynx as browser, then in stead of pressing Enter when you have selected the Submit button, press 'x'. In case this all doesn't work, try something really dirty, like putting the Cache space of the Browser to 0.

I am trying to get some story into the game and this is one of my imperfect attempts.

A husky is someone who has killed or deactivated his browser without typing the command Quit first. He stays active and gets killed automatically by the server in something like 1 or 2 hours. Please do not do this! It pollutes the game. You can identify huskies by the fact that they do not answer you, and if you look at them you will see that they have been inactive from something like, 45 minutes or so.

BRB stands for Be Right Back.

The game is to find a magic book called Kyragem. If you find this you will be able to become an operator of the game with unlimited powers. Unfortunately, due to my lagging behind in my programming it is not possible to reach this yet.

The server accepting connections is written in Java, the client is basically an apache daemon with php support that you connect to using your browser.

The old version was written in Ansi C, with the use of a library from Thomas Boutell for the CGI-Interface, but as time progressed this was more and more a hassle to maintain.

And before that it was programmed in Perl.

This used to be Europe, The Netherlands, Eindhoven, Eindhoven Institute of Technology when I was still studying there.

After I graduated, there was the problem of what to do with my server. I hired a server together with one of my friends in the US at one time (this was the first time that www.karchan.org became registered) but it was too expensive. After a year I switched to WideXS, an ISP in Hoofddorp (near Amsterdam) in the Netherlands. Right now this little server is in a 19" rack with a lot of other servers, in a server room in Hoofddorp, quietly chugging away at your websiterequests.

No, it was my personal project and I am still wondering why everyone keeps asking me this. Possibly because the entire project started in college, where bandwith was cheap.

Lag just means that you are having very long response times, which means that your connection with the game-server and the Internet in general isn't one of the quickest.

Somebody who can change his (or her) sex.

Sometimes the game does that if you are inactive too long, if you have been kicked out by an operator for behaving badly, or because the mud has found an error. You should be able to log back on.

It is sometimes possible that you weren't able to type quit due to circumstances beyond your control. In that case, when you log back on, the server will notice that you are already playing. In that case you can choose (with the checkboxed) wether you want to continue where you left off, or don't want to play the game.

I get these questions in my mail in a regular and frequent way. I usually point them on their way. For myself, I used Java for the server and HTML/Javascript/PHP for the client connections. And a database called MySQL and some other even less known stuff. The old way was in Ansi C, but that has gone the way of the dodo. There's a description below.

I build the entire thing from scratch, without looking at source code from other muds. Perhaps you outta check that out, though. I find I'm doing a lot of things that people already have implemented somewhere else.

Development Process

* September 1994 - became a student at the Fontys Institute of Technology Eindhoven (which, back then, was called Eindhoven Polytechnic)
* February 1995 - became a member of the InternetUsersAssociation Interlink (Interlink at http://www.il.fontys.nl) at my school. This, basically, is the turning point in my carreer. (!)
* created my own Little HomePage (Maarten's HomePage, at http://www.il.fontys.nl/~maartenl) (using JOE (Joe's Own Editor) to edit the HTML files, and FreeBSD I used as the Operating System)
* played lots of Telnet Muds
* Created my First Guestbook in Perl for on my HomePage (swiped it from the Internet and adapted it to my own needs)
* first implementation of mud (version 0), picked up the idea of creating a mud with WWW, my first implementation was a "mud" created only using lots and lots of HTML pages all Linked together (based on CyberMUD, http://www.mit.edu:8001/afs/athena.mit.edu/user/r/e/rei/WWW/GAME/intro.html)
* second implementation of mud (version 1), written a bunch of Perl-programs as CGIs which processed information sent to them by Forms in WWW Browser. (used lib. Perl Routines to Manipulate CGI input, http://www.seas.upenn.edu/~mengwong/forms/)
* third implementation of mud (version 2), rewrote the entire thing in common C, due to performance and memory reasons (used c-library found at Thomas Boutell at http://www.boutell.com)
* had to move mud to a friend's server, because the program was becoming too much of a burden on the original server (where some 200 people has their homepages and guestbooks) The friend's server was running Linux instead of FreeBSD. (Linux at www.linux.org)
* decided to buy my own server, and installed Slackware Linux on it, and ran my mud there.
* decided to upgrade to RedHat Linux for ease of use reasons (their package manager was way ahead of Slackware) (RedHat Linux, at www.redhat.com)
* fourth implementation of mud (version 3), the entire thing stayed in C, however I decided to upgrade the mud into making use of a Database. Different databases were available to Linux. I choose MySQL (MySQL, at www.mysql.com) for speed. Had to adapt entire C code into working with SQL statements (SQL=Standard Query Language) MySQL came along with C-libraries I could use in my program to access the database properly.
* Had finished with school for about a year, was working, and had to relocate my mud to a commercial server and requested an appropriate domain name called http://www.karchan.org.
* fifth implementation of mud (version 4), the entire thing was rewritten from C into Java, because of the expertise I had gotten in java and ease of use.

And that's the current situation for now.

Status of the Current Situation:
I've got my own little server connected to the Internet. It's running Linux, with Apache as WWW Daemon. The client side of the mud is basic HTML and PHP with a little Java Script for some extra functionality. The server side is Java, along with the MySQL Database.

A friendly word of warning, though it's a challenge to start with, and it's exciting to do, it will either consume a large amount of your (spare) time or won't become full-grown. It took me approx. 3 years to come where I am now. (But then again, I had to study and stuff, too)

I've recently started research into porting the game over to java because of its portability, ease of use, plethora of documentation, and the fact that it not suffers from memory leaks (due to bad programming on my part, I must confess) like C does.

The powers that be on this mud are a bunch of people who are reliable MOST of the time. Best bet is to try and reach one of the deputies during their online time.

Yeah, well, Netscape or some other Browser do that sometimes, don't they.

Join the club.

You can reconnect to the mud simply by logging in again. You get an "Already Active" page and a question if you want to continue where you left off. Just say yes, you should get your last page back.

Then you can type/press "Quit" like you should.

LL means Long Live. It's most commonly used as LL Karchan (Long Live Karchan). *Grin*

There are a number of requirements that need to be fulfilled even before you become a deputy. The exact requirements can be obtained by mailing deputy@karchan.org.

Know however, that, among these requirements there is money involved! Yes, you have to pay money to be a deputy. It is not only a means for me to keep the server alive, but also some form of compensation of having to administrate these special users. (And yes, they do require lots of maintenance, especially if they do something wrong in the database!) The money is as follows:

1. 10$ administration fees
2. 20$ per month membership fee
3. Right now, the only thing that I accept is PayPal. Compared to conventional banking PayPal has much cheaper rates.

Well, some other requirements are, since people keep asking:

* experience (been a player for at least a year)
* acceptance by other deps
* user-friendly
* doesn't get annoyed by bad-mouthed, nasty, rotten, irresponsible, illiterate or insulting users
* knowledge of Linux, Databases, SQL, HTML, Javascript, C, programming in general is a plus. Although, I must admit, that the new administration facilities I have setup will allow you to get by without knowing all this stuff.
* a firm grasp of English
* teamplayer
* strong sense of responsibility
* patience

That is correct. The Game now has a Land of Karchan - Main Soundtrack. The full mp3 version is available here, but a small wav version of the first thirty seconds is available here. Ofcourse, the mp3 has much better quality.

Where did I get this? At my place of work I know a person who calls himself Redheat, who makes Synthesizer music. He was kind enough to license two of his tracks to me for free distribution on my karchan.org website. You can find his website at http://www.red-heat.com. He has more scrumptious music to be downloaded there.

Bear in mind that I have licensed his music so I am allowed to distribute these two tracks through my website. If you wish to use these sound tracks as well, you will have to contact him yourself.

I hope you all like the music.

Muuhahahahaaa!!! Sorry, had to laugh. Yep, it is one of the problems with that bridge. It's a 'toll' bridge, but most newbies don't read the sign. You need a silver coin to leave. If you do not have a silver coin, you can check who is online ('who') and 'tell' them if they have a silver coin and if you could borrow it, because you are stuck on the bridge.

Fun, isn't it? But don't worry, you were not the first and you certainly will not be the last to fall for this one. And yes, it's unfair and no, I am not removing the bridge.