An Introduction to Mudding

"So yur lookin' for a bit o' fortune, eh?" The grizzled old dwarf looks over you like a rancher investing in a new horse, inspecting your features for any sign of weakness or defect. You feel a lump in your throat grow as he shakes his head slowly. "Thet's the trouble with you young'uns, always lookin' for thet kettle o' gold et th' bottom o' some ruin 'r other. I mean sure we c'n learn you fer swords an' counterin', but what's thet gonna save ya' when yur trapped behind some wizard's cage or a pack o' ghouls? Can't take up a nice trade like yur poppy and yur mama?"

We understand how most newcomers feel, having been at one time or another newcomers, or "newbies", ourselves. You get into the game, expecting maybe a few simple rules to follow, a few commands to know, a few obstacles to overcome, then come to find that the game is not nearly so simple as your friend or the advertisements led you to believe. You learn the basics of your race and profession, but quickly learn that knowing them and applying that knowledge are different things entirely, and that sometimes, no matter how much you know and how well you perform, you cannot overcome that one or several obstacles that slaps you down like an evil step-mother.

We are here to help.

Before entering Dawn of the Ages (DoA), you might take a few minutes to glance over the newbie helps we've written. We start off with some of the more basic questions below, like "What is a MUD?" and "How do I begin?", answering in some detail so you, the beginner, can learn what it's all about. Then we move on to more advanced topics, like "What happens when I die?", which we cover in separate documents like "The Adventurer's Guide to Ayreon", the same guide as found in the game itself, and the FAQ. If you think you are familiar enough with these discussions, you are then more than ready to jump into the world and begin play. The rest of this website offers details to the game you cannot get from these basic guides.

What is a MUD?

The word "MUD" is an acronym for for the words "Multi-User Dungeon" or "Multi-User Dimension". Multiple players from all over the world can meet in the environment created by the immortals/wizards of such a MUD. Mainly you are there to roleplay, depending on the theme and intentions of the mud. If you have ever played a pen-and-paper roleplay game like AD&D, Middle Earth, Shadowrun (to name just a few) you will know that it is not a graphical environment given but your -and the DM's- imagination that creates the vivid experience of an unknown world of magic and adventures. A MUD is quite similiar: Just what you see and hear is not told or painted but written in the descriptions of every place you enter.

Dawn of the Ages is one kind of MUD, a fantasy MUD, randomly placed on a planet much like our dear Mother Earth. The time could be compared with the medieval struggles of Europe, yet there are some differences in the whole scheme:

For example you have a wide array of multiple races, many of which are taken from the realms of Greek Myths, Irish Lore and so forth. The element of magic also plays a major part in the world of DoA, for what would a fantasy novel be without its alluring Gandalfs, Merlins or Raistlins? Some people use the mud as another means of communicating and meeting people in the web. The interesting setting and the roles of the characters surely do allow such interaction, but please keep in mind: DotA is a medieval fantasy world. Out-of-character conversation is possible in private or on the ooc-channel, but is regarded bad roleplay elsewhere.

How do I begin playing?

Dawn of the Ages, like most muds, start you off with characterization. If, however, you are asking how do you connect to DoA and begin playing, go to the connection page and read about the needed software and IP addresses. The next several paragraphs deal with character creation.

When you first login to DoA, you will be asked what name you want your character to be known as. Try to pick an original name - lame names, copies of well-known names from literature or simple cusswords will simply be deleted when caught. Consider well which name you choose, because it gives away a lot: a terrible warlord known as Joe will probably cause more laughter than chaos.

Then the game will ask you to choose a race. Take the race which you think will be of the longest interest to you. Fun is important as you try to play the wimpy lizardman Tzzar-Krax.

Next you will be offered an asset of professions. These include some skill-oriented fighter professions, like warrior, some spell-oriented professions, like mages, and so forth. Depending on your race you have a certain expmath. This expmath depicts the probability of meeting one of the race's folks. Thus the more common races have a lower expmath. After choosing a profession, this expmath is enhanced a second time, finally expressing the overall existance of such characters. The higher the expmath, the harder it is to advance to higher levels. We repeat here: The power of a person does NOT correspond with his experience factor.

As your fame improves and the skills of your character rise there will be another option available in the game which will render another factor into the calculation as well as the curriculum vitae of your creation: a career. This would be any kind of job for a fighter, the religion for clerical chars and the realm of magic for the spellcasters.

Now all you will have to do to complete the creation process is the declaration of the person's alignment, as far as that is possible, and some choices about your appearance. At last, the characters statistics will be rolled. These vary between 25% and 100%. Overall, you will ALWAYS gain an average of 75%, not counting the appearance of the character which really has no great effect in the game-mechanics at all. Different professions require different abilities: A warrior might not need high intelligence and wisdom scores, much unlike a wizard or cleric. However, all STATS are important. As you advance to higher levels, they will rise. Just make sure that the STATS you roll suit the class you intend to play.

Post Character-Creation

Before you go on adventures you have to equip your character. This means: You need water, food and weaponry to survive the ongoing struggles. In order to do this you should visit and complete the Newbie Towers in Midgaard or Belarion and take any of the equipment you find on the way. Near the point of recall, you will find a fountain and the bakery, it it is also helpful to find a trader who sells containers to store and lighten the burden of needed potions and spare equipment. Then it is inevitable that you switch into your role. The play begins and you will explore the world. One of many helpful rules includes the fact that you should ONLY explore areas of your own or a lower level. On your ventures you will encounter other players who will either oppose or help you on your path. To strengthen against the dangers luring in the shaded, dark regions of the three continents, you will have to group up with other adventurers. A troop of up to three characters gains a slight bonus on the gained experience, but you can go and dare your fate alone just as well, and also a group of four or five does not receive too great a malus on general experience.

Continuing Your Role

Sooner or later you will learn about other facts and interesting parts of the world. The clans which are patronized by some gods and fight one another. Or, once you have reached the highest level, being a well-known and respected member of one of the clans, you may be able to perform the ritual that will reincarnate you as a member of the elevated races, whose powers and knowledge are beyond measure. Try to solve challenging quests, collect riches, gain knowledge, try to advance in the ranks of your clan - the possibilities are without limit.

You will buy houses, explore areas, find UNIQUE items, wrestle opponents and hopefully MAKE YOURSELF A NAME, perhaps even become immortal...

How Do I Create a Successful Character?

Choose a race which seems fit for your favorite profession. A good combination is worth a second swordarm ;). For example, a minotaur would not qualify for a mageclass similiar as tenebrians or gnomes will have a worse standing as warriors on the battlefield. You can try to play these races, but it requires experience and long practice.

On rolling statistics there is really only one important rule: Give your char what he needs most! A strong warrior might be better for a career as barbarian, as an intelligent warrior might qualify for a noble's life. Your stats will NEVER be maxxed (maximized), but magic and magical equipment are common tools often used to gain power. All stats are variable, this means: A stat goes down, loss occurs, a stat goes up and you will gain what you lost or were held from. Practice sessions should suffice to practice MOST of your skills, so consider well before you convert practice sessions into a loved train (raising a stat).

Once you start playing, bring up your fighting skills first and as mage, learn ONE fighting spell quick and concentrate on it. It helps more to be GOOD in one thing, than BAD in many. Each race has certain resistances against special forms of attacks and likewise vulnerabilities against others. Drawbacks and addups equal out, giving the player a slight plus. Think of the role of the character: A paladin in a dark city might be a challenge, but it is VERY hard to survive less play with great success. And: The race and the stats give a certain bonus. This bonus is added on certain skills. For example a DEAL DAMAGE Skill could rely twice on strength, once on dexterity and once on constitution. The statboni are added up and divided through their number: (2xStr+Dex+Con)/4 Certain races have certain other abilities: Dwarves have infravision, drow see in the dark, skaven have a poisonous bite and humans are VERY quick at learning.

The Adventuer's Guide to Ayreon

Now that you have plodded through the more basic questions concerning the MUD, you should be ready for the next guide, "The Adventuer's Guide to Ayreon". In it you will find details regarding professions, religions, alignments, quests, basic and advanced commands, and more. While the guide does answer a great many questions, however, only time, patience and experience will fill you in on all the details regarding Dawn of the Ages.

We hope you enjoy your stay!

The IMPs