Frequently Asked Questions

The following list are most of the frequently asked questions people new to Shadowgate have. Be sure you have read this whole thing and know that your question is unanswered before you go asking someone else. Everyone here is happy to help you, but you must understand that answering the same question over and over again when it is well documented is a bit annoying. That is why we have this faq document.

0. What is legal here?

The rules have recently been rewritten and are in <help rules> for your perusal and easy access. It is also important to read the file under <help roleplaying>. Reading and agreeing to the rules, and understanding the file on roleplaying is a condition of playing here.

1. What is the first thing I should do here as a newbie?

Type <help features>. Every command on Shadowgate should have a help file, but there are other help files as well. <help features> will list those other help file for you. Some of the most important topics will be touched upon here, but it is not possible to cover them all.

2a. Why do I not see any names on the <who> listing?

People on the who listing are currently unknown to you. You will first have to <recognize> them, before you will be able to call them by name. You can refer to them by race and a number. but you will also be included in this list as well, so be careful. Should you want to appear as something other than only your race (Which is highly suggested...) please check out the command <adjective> and the help that comes with it.

2b. What do the ** before and after a persons name on who list mean?

People who have the ** around their name means that their next command is being processed. In other words, they are either editing, posting on a bulletin board, or mailing (or something of that nature). It is considered polite not to bother someone who is in one of these situations, unless it is really important, or you KNOW they won't mind.

2c. What does the number (1m, 10s, 28m, etc) after some names on the "who" list mean?

Anyone with a number after their name is idle. The number represents how long they have been idle (m for minutes, s for seconds). Idle time is simply the amount of time since their last command was entered.

2d. What does [INACTIVE] after a player's name on who list mean?

This indicates a player has set themselves into an inactive mode, likely because they have left the keyboard for a long time.

2e. What does [INJAIL] after a player's name on who list mean?

This indicates that the player is currently serving out a sentence in a jail environment, likely because the player has either broken a law or was creating a problem and was placed in the jail mode until they could be dealt with. Communication is impossible with a player who is in jail.

3. Why can't I understand anything I say?

This would probably indicate that you are a non-human race, and are speaking a language other than the one that your parents raised you with. This makes it somewhat more challenging to play a non-human (common-speaking) race. <languages> will list the languages you do speak, and you can use the <speak> command to change your language to one that you know at 100%.

3b. Okay, but doesn't this limit my RP?

It is the opinion of the wizzes here on Shadowgate that everyone not knowing how to speak the same language at the outset causes more opportunities to RP rather than less. Perhaps you will meet someone not of your race who knows your language, or perhaps you may not bother, or be able to learn common for some reason. You can use the <teach> command to teach another player a language you know.

3d. How do I customize my says?

There is a command called <speech>, which you can use to change how your speech will look. Please note that the before the first space of your speech pattern, an 's' will be appended to that word, so that:

<speech says with a snarl>

...will result in it looking at others like: Relen sayss with a snarl
...which is probably not what you wanted.

Please also see the help files on <color>, <alias> and <nickname>, as the former will let you change colors for your speech, and the latter two will save you quite a bit of typing.

4. How do I send and read mail on Shadowgate?

To enter into the mail server system of Shadowgate, simply type: <mail>. To mail a letter, it is best to rather than type : <mail>, to instead type : <mail [name]>. Mail is considered an out-of-character tool, however

5. How many quests do I have to do?

Unlike many muds, within Shadowgate all quests are entirely optional. You do not have to do quests to advance in levels, with one major exception. There is a quest (Quest for the Swords) that is required to be completed by a level 19 player in order to advance to level 20. Other than that, quests will grant a reward of ability, xp, items, treasure, etc for being completed and generally are something worth solving if you can or so desire.

There are no quests that you need to join your class with the notable exception of cavaliers becoming paladins or antipaladins, although finding your class hall can be considered a quest and a right of passage, so asking other people where it is located, is a bit impolite, at least.

Guild halls, on the other hand, you will most likely be shown to, upon your initiation into the guild, and you should probably keep this information secret

5b. What is a class?

A class is considered your general way of life, akin to the modern expression of saying "I work in television". It does not specify exactly what it is I do, but it does suggest that I have certain talents I have gained through training and such which will last me throughout my life that may be manifest in many different manners. Similarly in the reality of Shadowgate, there are the following general classes of people:

[fighters, mages, clerics, thieves, rangers]
[cavaliers. paladins, antipaladins and bards]

If you are a multiclassed character, you are learning more than one trade at a time. This is slightly harder, but does have it's own benefits. You will need to often abide by the most restrictive of all of your classes when arm and armoring yourself. You may often find that, for mages, the armor allowed you by your other classes will interfere with your spellcasting abilities. Clerics will only be able to use blunt weapons to fight. Rogues will find their abilities impaired or impossible when wearing armor other than leather.

5c. What is a guild?

A guild on the other hand is a social institution. It's main function is to give an individual player character and individuality that is not common in LPMud games. There are no great powers gained by joining a guild, but they do help tie you in a way to other players in the game. Your choice of guild should thus reflect your game personality. The number of guilds is limited only by how many the immortals of Shadowgate have created.

5d. What are the different guilds on Shadowgate?

Type <help guilds> to get the most up to date guild information.

5e) How do I join a guild?

The method will vary from guild to guild. You should talk to a member of the guild you want to join to find out the process for that guild.Remember that each guild on Shadowgate is meant only for a certain resricted group of characters, so a guild good for one player is not necessarily good for another player.

6. Have you seen player X?

type <finger [name]> and you will get all of the information you need.

6b. How do I hide my IP information?

The command <where block> will accomplish this, but it will not prevent the admin from finding out where you are from.

7) Why can't I wield this weapon?

You can't just wield a weapon here on Shadowgate, you have to specify what limb you want to wield it in, as armours such as shields cannot be worn on the same limb as a wielded weapon. The correct syntax to wield a sword in your right hand thus would be:

< wield sword in right hand>

As of the printing of this faq, Shadowgate player races all are humanoids with right and left hands only, so you can only wield in either your right hand or left hand.

7b) But I type it correct and I still cannot wield this weapon!?!

First, certain classes cannot wield certain weapons. You may have a weapon that you are not allowed to wield due to your class. Mages will encounter this quite often. This applies to armour as well. Second, you may be trying to wield or wear something which is restricted to players of a higher level than your current level. For example, a level 1 player cannot wield a magical longsword +4. Third, you may be trying wield a weapon that is designed for specific NPCs or monsters to use only. Lastly, You may be trying to wield a weapon that could only be used by the player who *first* discovered it at it's proper location within the mud.

8. Is player killing allowed?

Yes. Players of level 5 or lower cannot participate in any player killing within Shadowgate. Furthermore they cannot steal from or be stolen from by other player characters. There is a seperate topic here under <help pkilling>

9. How do I know my stats?

The commands <score&rt; and <stats&rt; are available for your reference.

9b. What do the stats mean?

Stats are numerical representations of your basic physical make-up, which is is determined when you first create your character. These stats are used in different relevant aspects of your mud life.

Constitution determines how sturdy you are, which in basic terms, means it determines how healthy you are. A higher constitution will mean you gain extra hit points when you advance levels.

Intelligence determines your capacity for using magic, namely, how successful your spell casting will be. If you are not a spell caster then intelligence has less of a bearing on your mud life.

Dexterity factors into many different situations, among them are your resistence to being stolen from or backstabbed, your actual ability to do those to another, combat, and how well you can avoid being hit during combat. High dexterity provides an invisible bonus to your armour class (AC) rating.

Strength alone determines naturally how much you are able to carry. It also, if high enough, will provide you with a bonus "to hit" when in combat, and will cause you blows to deal extra damage on top of the regular amount you normally would do.

Wisdom determines your resistence to offensive magic. It is also adds to certain magical ability and spell casting. Clerics, paladins, antipaladins and druids all will find a high wisdom extremely helpful.

Charisma factors into your ability to get by normally aggressive monsters and in the buying and selling of goods. It also helps to define your character's looks and personality. The higher the charisma, the prettier and more charismatic your character should be.

You will find your experience on ShadowGate much better if you try to avoid dealing with the numbers and let the MUD handle most of these for you. This is not to say, however, that you will be able to get away with portraying yourself as a beauty queen with the sweetest personality with a Charisma score of 8.

9c. How do I raise my stats?

Stats are constants more or less. What you start with is what you will likely have, or very close to it throughout your mud life. The only way for stats to change is through the passage of time and aging.

There are some items when used or worn that may provide a temporary increase in a stat. However, this bonus will vanish when the item is removed, lost, wears out, etc. However, the stat raises will not be put on your stats sheet, and you will have to discover these bonuses through the course of your play.

9d. How do I reroll my stats?

You don't. If you have made your character and find your stats to be less than sufficent, your only recourse is to suicide the character and start over.

10. What's AC? Why does it matter?

Armour class or AC for short, is your armour defense rating. The better your AC rating, the harder you are to be hit. There is also no way for you to know your armor class, and this is quite intentional.

11. What is alignment?

Alignment is the basic attitude of your character towards morality and laws. To find out more about a specific alignment, type : help <alignment name>. The characters alignment will often be useful in determining how you will roleplay your character.

12. How do I learn more about this mud?

The first people you should talk to are other newbies. They are most familiar with many of the questions you might have. You can do this by using the newbie line. To use the newbie line type <newbie message>. Do not ask the immortals questions about how to do things unless you have exhausted all other resources. If you plan to ask an immortal something, then check to make sure they are not in an editor at the time. Immortals can answer technical questions, but generally are not allowed to provide game information such as how to solve a quest.

13. What is legal here?

The rules have recently been rewritten and are in <help rules> for your perusal and easy access. It is also important to read the file under <help roleplaying> Reading and aggreeing to the rules, and understanding the file on roleplaying is a condition of playing here. (And yes, this is so important, we have put it in twice.)

14. I have an idea for something new here, who do I tell?

Talk to an immortal. If it is a simple idea for an area, use the <idea> command. For general mud ideas, use the <mudidea> command.

14b. Huh? An overseer rank? Well what are the immortal ranks here then?

The ranking of the immortals from highest authority to lowest are as


1) God
2) Arch
3) Elder


Senior Coders:

4) Overseer
5) Developer


Junior Coders:

6) Creator
7) Apprentice



8) Avatar

14c. I just heard a 'Someone' say something on the newbie line! Who was that?

It was an immortal who was invisible. They are the only ones that show up on lines as 'Someone'.

15. What does 'afk' mean?

A list of abbreviations:

PK - Player killer
HM - High mortal
wiz - A term often used to refer to immortals
afk - 'away from keyboard'
brb - 'be right back'
brt - 'be right there'
OOC - Out of character.
- Lines are considered OOC. Line usage is covered in <help line use>.
IC - In character.
- Knowledge your character knows. You may know who Vecna is from reading the latest book about him, but your character does not. For our views on books, please read <help rules>. but it would be best to leave them elsewhere.
OOG - Out of game.
- Stuff that is best left outside of ShadowGate. Please do try. This includes a real life friend, real life girlfriends, bosses, the bully from your 12th grade class who picked on you.
IG - In Game.
- The gameworld of ShadowGate, with all the dieties, and diverse personalities that we have come up with.

16. How do I see in colour?

Since not all terminals are capable of seeing in colour, Shadowgate has new players setup to be in black and white. But if you have a colour terminal supporting ansi escape codes (like a vt100 emulation), then you will want to experience Shadowgate in colour. Type : <help ansi> for more about this.

17. How do I know what commands exist?

Type <help commands>.

18. What are hp?

Hp refers to health points. Basically, if your health points go below zero you die. If you die you will lose some experience points, so dying will set you back a bit.

18b. How do I know my current hps?

Type <score> or <hp>. There is also a way to set your prompt to show your hp after each command you enter, as well as other useful information, like your current language and your condition.

18c. Wait? Condition? What's that?

Basically this is reflecting, the more you run around and the more you fight, the faster you get tired and worn out. You do get a boost to your condition when you enter combat, but you will loose your second wind shortly after you leave.

18d. Well ok but now I went and attacked a farmer and have only 3 hp left from my max of 24. What can I do to solve this health problem?

First, you can type : heal <your name> and try to use a natural ability that all players have to heal a few of you lost hps back. You can do this as much as you like but it takes time, so is a slower method. Second, many of the major cities in Shadowgate have healers who, for a fee in gold, will provide healing services and sell healing devices. Third, certain players due to their class, will have healing spells or abilities.


Lastly, some items that you may find within the Shadowgate world have the ability to heal. The most common would be healing potions that most healers will sell, for varying prices.

19. Ummm...a lot of the stuff I have been picking up is junk. Should I just leave this stuff on the ground?

No! It creates lag having useless items laying about. You should get removed from the game environment as soon as possible if it is `junk'. Either take the stuff you do not want to local stores and sell it as money is important and your character likely needs it, or type: <offer [item]>, and this will remove the item, as well as it may heal you a slight bit for each item you offer.

There is also the command <offerall> which will get rid of whatever is laying about on the ground. Please note that this is an OOC command to help clean up the mud and prevent more frequent reboots. There are rules about this command, and you should read that in <help rules>.

19b. What about reboots? What do I need to do when one is happening?

Logging out at the 2 minute warning is expected of all characters who are in a position to log out. This means people who are not in combat and not in an area of risk of logging into combat. If you do not follow the large yellow warning you risk potential punishment and/or loss of equipment through the MUD failing to reboot. Equipment lost in this way will NOT be returned.

20. Ok I know the game terms and I got a good idea on what is going on but Shadowgate seems really big and I am confused as to where to start adventuring, where to get equip, where not to go etc.

Ok. Yes it is a big place, and yes high up players generally don't want to take you by the hand and lead you around. But asking them simple questions about things often will result in answers. But if you are a die hard soloist, it is suggested you make a map or obtain a map of the city of Shadow which you start in and explore what it has to offer. Primarily, you want to locate the gates leading out of the city, the shops and institutions of use and the general layout of the roads. You might want to pick up a weapon or some armour in the stores and perhaps a torch or lantern in case it gets dark while you are exploring. Keep in mind that it is a city in every sense and you are still a stranger to it, so entering areas that are guarded or operated by the militia of Shadow city could lead to a quick death.

If you are a drow or half-drow, Shadow may not be the best place for you to stay in, as it is a shadow primarily made up of humans, elves, and half-elves. But then again, you read <help drow> or <help half-drow> and knew it was going to be a challenge, right?

21. Alright, I know Shadow city well and have the multi-coloured map of it that I spent hours drawing hanging in a lovely frame on my wall. But there does not seem to be that much to explore is an adventuring, monster killing sense within Shadow city, where is a good place for a newbie to start adventuring and exploring?

Well. It is suggested you head west from Shadow city. Much of the lands located past the west gates of Shadow are for newbies and low mid level players. Also, out the east gates of Shadow is a vast desert full of rats and snakes and critters for young players to kill, but be very careful not to get lost in the desert(it is *very* big). And there is also some stuff up the past the North gates which is also good for players level 3 and up to explore. Basically, the high up level areas are located far away from Shadow and take a lot of wandering to get too them. And yes, mapping is important.

There is a map on the Main Adventurer's Hall floor that you may want to take a look at

22. Woo woo! I found some monsters and crushed a few skulls! Now though my experience needed to advance in the <score> command list is in the negatives?!? Am I bugged or do I have to do something to advance in levels?

No your not bugged. Yes you must do something to advance. You go to any guild hall, class guild hall, room with a posting board present, the forkroad of shadow, any city center and type : advance. If you have gained the proper experience required and you have enough gold to pay for the cost of training your character on you, you will then receive your advancement of level.

For those of you who are multiclassed, you can also <advance class> to advance one of your classes without using the <pose> command to change which class you are acting as.

23. Okay why does it say I'm hitting myself with this new weapon I've found?

Simply put, you aren't proficient enough with that weapon, and that lack of skill makes it dangerous to yourself to use. If you go to a trainer he will train you in use of that weapon. To find out more about proficiences please type <help profs> and <help proficiencies>. To figure out what skill a weapon will require when you are holding it in your hands, please read the help on the <skillneeded> command. If you are a single class fighter, you may also want to read the file under <help specialization>.

24. I just got something that said "Error! Contact a WIZ?" How do I do that?

First thing is you probably should try the command again. If this works then then it was probably a one-time error. Should you be trapped in a room with no exits, we suggest the command <fixmore> to try to fix the room, however, there are some areas that there will be no exits apparent, but the room still will not be broken. If the error continues, then you may need to seek higher assistance and aid.

25. I've heard of someone being called a High Mortal? What's that?

A High Mortal is someone who has achieved a level of fame beyond ordinary mortals and is either well known for his or her deeds throughout the land, or has his or her name spoken in hushed tones, hopefully not to garner too much attention. It is a level of status and it may be granted by any immortal who feels you meet the requirements. The requirements and benefits are listed under <help highmortal>.