The Farside Gazette Vol II, No. 8 June 10th 1995
(A Sunlight Through The Shadows Production)
The Farside Gazette is published twice a month by AsaMaro in
conjunction with (and full permission of) The Farside Staff
The Gazette is written in 100% pure ASCII to assure maximum
compatibility for all readers using whatever system they use
Subscribe by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org and including just one
word - Subscribe - in the body of your text
Telnet to Farside at: mud.atinc.com 3000
The Gazette Staff: AsaMaro, Marat, Marmot, Arundel and TMeat.
The entire contents are copyrighted (c) 1995, Joe DeRouen.
All rights reserved. Individual articles not written by
Joe DeRouen are also copyrighted (c) 1995 by the individual
in question. Any unauthorized reproduction (or changing of said
contents) of the Gazette without fully expressed written
permission will result in prosecution to the fullest extent
of the law.
Table of Contents
Page 1 Introduction
Page 1 Table of Contents
Page 2 AsaMaro's Editorial
Page 3 Back Issue Notice
Page 3 Player Bio: TMeat
Page 5 Player Bio: Flute
Page 5 Immortal Bio: Chops
Page 6 Immortal Bio: Mistyblue
Page 6 Mob Bio: Burning Fool
Page 7 A Short Walking Tour by Marat
Page 8 A Beastly Cover-Up by TMeat
Page 13 Haikus by Marmot
Page 13 A Watcher's Perspective by Aeron Anfa
Page 15 Interview with Crom by Arundel
Page 18 Welcome to the Machine by Arundel
Page 20 Tea Time by Kylara
Page 22 Top Ten List by Marmot
Page 22 The Rodent's Corner by Marmot
Page 23 Newbies Ask by Arundel
Page 25 My Dear Lord Elrond by Marik
Page 27 Farside Birthdays by Ambrosia
Page 27 Farside News
* The Farside Gazette *
You've probably noticed by now that this issue is nearly twice the size
of the last. In fact, your mailbox is more than likely cursing me as
you read this. Cranky mailboxes aside, this is definitely our best - as
well as biggest - issue yet.
I want to thank in particular Marmot, Arundel, Tmeat, Marat, Aeron Anfa,
Kylara, and Marik. All contributed excellent articles, without which
this issue of the Gazette would not have been possible. I'd also like
to thank Flute, Chops, Mistyblue, and (again) Tmeat for their timely
responses to my requests for bios. They all did a great job, and now
the citizens of Farside will know just a little more about them. Thanks
also go to Ambrosia for providing the birthday list for June.
Some submissions didn't make it into this issue; don't fret, faithful
correspondents. If it didn't make it into this issue - and it's good -
it'll probably make it into the next.
* * *
You'll probably notice a few changes to the masthead of the Gazette. It
now says a bunch of stuff about copyright laws. That's for my own
benefit. Basically, you can send the Gazette to a friend, post it to a
newsgroup, put it on a web page - whatever you want. As long as you
don't change anything and as long as I've given you (the general you)
permission. I give you permission. Please, spread it to the four
corners of the earth! All the copyright notice means is that if I
specifically ask you to not post it somewhere or not to put it on a
web page, then you have to erase it/not post it.
You'll also notice the words "A Sunlight Through The Shadows
Production". Sunlight Through The Shadows is an electronic magazine
published by myself and TMeat. If you have any questions about this,
email TMeat at email@example.com or myself as firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love
to hear from you!
Finally, The Farside Gazette now has a staff. The staff includes myself
(you already guessed that), Marat, Arundel, Marmot, and TMeat. The
first three people have contributed significantly to the Gazette and
this is my reward to them. This issue marks TMeat's first contribution
to the Gazette but I've worked with him for over a year on other
endeavors outside the MUD and he's been invaluable to the success of
said endeavors. Thus, these four receive the dubious honor of being
"Farside Gazette Staff Members."
Approximately 12.5% of each subscription fee will be split among the
four of them. (12.5% of nothing is still nothing, but that's beside the
point. <g> )
* * *
I'm still working on some guidelines for submissions to the Gazette.
I'll post on FS and in the next issue of the Gazette how to get the
document once I'm finished with it.
* * *
As some of you may know, I'm a professional writer in real life. I
write regular columns for the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas and Houston, Texas
editions of Computer Currents magazine. I also occasionally have my
work appear in the California, Illinois, Georgia, and New York editions
of Computer Currents as well.
A review of The Farside MUD will appear in the July issue of the
Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas Computer Currents, and possibly some of the
others as well. If any of you would like a copy, write me. I'll need a
dollar ($1.00) for postage and an address to send the magazine to. If
you're interested in having the issue, write me at email@example.com and
I'll send you my address. I'll also be publishing the review in the
Gazette next month if you can't spare the dollar or don't need/want the
Thanks to all of you for reading,
Back Issues of The Farside Gazette
Back issues of the Gazette are now available for FTP at atinc.com in
/pub/mud/gazette . While you're scuttling about the internet, check out
Farside's WWW page at http://tick.atinc.com/mud.html. Check out the
Farside Players' WWW page at http://www.crl.com/~lsaiken/far.html.
* Farside Player Bio *
Name: TMeat RL: L. Shawn Aiken Age: 52 (RL) 25
Race: Lizardman Class: Martial Artist Current Level: 23
Interests and Backgroud:
I was born in Houston, Texas, in the fading light of the tumultuous
1960's - to be spat out in the harsh disco lights of the 70's. As
people were hiding their wide lapels and disavowig any knowledge of
ABBA, I picked up Dungeons and Dragons, never to be the same again. The
80's was filled with primal teen angst, roleplaying games, computers,
and writing. The 90's have been pretty much the same, except the primal
teen angst. This has matured into primal adult angst.
I've written a science fiction novel (yet to be published) and work
together with AsaMaro in putting out a magazine called Sunlight Through
the Shadows (available at http://www.crl.com/~jderouen??????). I've also
started up a Farside Players' Page, available through the Farside Home
Page. If you have a home page, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll
Advice to Other Players:
1. Ask for help. All they can do is say no.
2. Group when you can.
3. When grouping, be polite. Always keep an eye on your group members hp
and mana. Take care of them when you can. Communication is essential.
If you are hurt - yell. No one want another group member to die.
4. When grouping, set up a code system. For example, nod when you see a
mob you want to kill. Have everyone else nod who wants to kill it. If
everyone nods, hack away. Oh, and never attack first if you are NOT the
5. Never be afraid to help or group with a much lower level character.
There will be many times when no one around your level is playing. You
can help them to get to a level where they can start helping YOU.
6. Never trust what anyone tells you, especially about equipment. They
change all the time and someone who doesn't use them anymore won't know
if they don't work the same. Check it out for yourself. Not just by
with 'identify'. Compare it to other equipment. Then wear it, 'score'
yourself, and compare that to what your score was before.
7. Hang out in donation and the shops and get as much stuff as you can
and compare it with other stuff. Learn everything you can about
equipment. And don't let a title trick you. Look at what it does, not
what it says.
8. When imms and heros give you equipment, they will almost always give
you some things that you can't use yet. Don't whine or complain. Thank
them, cram it in a bag, and wait to use it later. Whatever they gave
you, it is probably pretty good.
9. Keep your sense of humor. There are plenty or butt-heads and idiots
out there. Don't get mad and join their ranks by making other people
miserable. It's a game. Most problems with other people are based on
misunderstanding. Talk it out. If that still doesn't work, get an imm
to moderate the argument. Or go to the arena. Or just disconnect and
10. Be nice to the imms. They don't get paid for this. And don't whine
to them on open channels. If something can be written on email, do so.
They need all the help they can get.
11. If you see me, give me all of your equipment and money. That's the
most important advice I can give you. <grin>
12. Figure out what you class is best at doing and find a way to do it
even better. Never get the idea that some classes are better than
others. They aren't. It is what YOU do with the character that is
important. However, your own abilities might work better with one class,
13. Take the time to socialize. There are some great people on Farside
and there is no reson to deprive yourself of their company.
14. Don't get mad if someone doesn't answer you. Just say it again.
People connect to Farside on all sorts of different systems and sometimes
they are suffering under tremendous lag, or are trying to hide their
gammng activities from their bosses or compter teachers.
15. English is a second language to many Farsiders. Remeber that before
you start chiding them for spelling and grammar, or lack of knowlede of
tv shows and sports figures.
16. Take a grain of salt with any advice you are given. Figure out what
works for you. Codify your own rules for successful MUDing.
* Farside Player Bio *
Name: Flute RL: Heidi Kari Age:118 (RL)21
Race: Elf Class: Cleric Current level: (23)HERO
Interests and Background:
Heidi was born in Melbourne, Australia.. and has lived here for 21 years :)
When not mudding Heidi goes to Latrobe University, studying her final year
in Social science (majoring in socially).. or works part time as a
waitress.....Having really no idea what kind of
career she wants, Heidi wants to
work for 18 months then travel to Europe and America...then maybe come back
home and work out what she wants to do :pp.. She enjoys reading..(currently
reading The Death Gate Cycle.. ) and Swimming, and also going out and having
Advice to Other Players:
When you need it dont be afraid to ask for help.. I know I and many others
are willing to help should you have any trouble :)
Definately group with people... its a wonderful way of meeting people..
and some people may become long life friends.. :)
* Farside Player Bio *
Name: Chops RL: Scott May Age: -1905(RL)23
Race: Elf Class: Thief Current level: 56
Interests and Background:
Scott was born in Troy, Ohio. Currently working in Dayton, Ohio as a Civil
Engineer for a Consulting Engineering firm. When not working or mudding
(which seems to be all the time with work), he loves to read, listen to
music, rollerblade, hang with his college buds (which seems like i never
have time for anymore cause they live so far away). He also loves to try
anything new at least once. He also loves computers and anything to do with
them, electronics (especially stereo equipment), and learning new things.
He really enjoys hiking, bike riding, and just being outdoors.
Advice to Other Players:
Well one of the most important things to stress on here is to group
(but no since in beating a dead horse). So let's say that being
curteous and friendly is one of the best things to do. This includes
being on farside and in real life. One of the most important things to
remember is that this is just a game and don't get too wrapped up in it
and forget what the real world is. This place is meant to be fun not
something to take as real life :). Now back to the being friendly, if
you are friendly and don't harass anyone they would be more than glad
to help you with anything you need. I know i am always glad to help :).
* Farside Player Bio *
Name: Mistyblue RL: Tajuanda Wells Age: -3126 (RL) 23
Race: Human Class: Cleric Current level: God 56
Interests and Background:
Born and raised in New York, lived in Long Island almost all of my life.
Currently I go to school and work with a couple of Farsidians at Queens
College; Fuzzy, Ivanhoe, Theo, Grizz, Shroud, and a few others.
I'm in my senior year now and expect to graduate very soon very with a
Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. Most of my concentration
has been in Software Engineering though I do tackle with hardware.
I love swimming, tennis, hiking, camping, reading, writing, playing video
games and programming. But my all time favorite thing to do is taking walks
along side the beaches. Seems to very relaxing walking in the sand, letting
the water creep up to your feet then run away from you.
I enjoy going to the movies, and just having fun spending time with my
friends and my significant other when not mudding.
Advice to Other Players:
Group whenever possible. It gives people a chance to make friends, have
lots of laughs and get tons of xp. Right from the very beginning I
would group with Chops, Scatter, Grainger, Grback and right to when I heroed
with Fuzzy, Shelby, Sphynx, Evel, Marmot and many, many others. We had
tons of fun together.
Also, remember to group with people outside of your class. I remember a
time when I grouped together with another cleric. It was pitiful. She
and I both being clerics were used to healing other people and being lead to
the pray. When we tried together, we got no where. *giggle* Clerics
LOVE to summon things; so as you can imagine, we summoned whatever we
wanted to kill. *snicker*
There are 5 classes, get to know at least one person from every class.
You'll find it VERY helpful as you take your journey through this very
strange and sometimes misunderstood land.
* Farside Mob Bio *
Name: Burning Fool RL: Mr. Burning Fool Age: Eternal (RL) Dead
Race: Damned Class: Mob Current level: 40 something
Interests and Background:
Born in Paris in 1132, I was abandoned by my parents and raised in the
protection of the Abbey of San Denis. Although I was a model and pious
monk, my true love was protection of the masses, so setting aside my
monastic vows, I entered the service of the king as a knight. I lived life
protecting the godly folk of the Holy Roman Empire from the barbarous
heathens. I died of old age in the presence of my loving family at the
tender age of 71. I was condemned to an eternity of suffering because
Strahd is mean.
I now suffer an eternity of pain and grief, as my flesh is continually
burnt by the tortuous flames of divine justice. Laughing demons and
sadistic devils torture me continuously with their barbed whips. My only
relief from this indescribable pain is the brief period of bliss between
when a player kills me and when I regenerate. My hobbies are screaming,
crying, burning, and chess.
Advice to Other Players:
Don't group. Fight me solo and naked. Give me all of your equipment and
ask an imm to force me to wear it. Summon me to the entrance to MUD School.
Cast faerie fire, blindness, weaken, curse, poison, web, and plague on
yourself before attempting to fight me. If you are a thief, backstab
yourself. Be sure to cast armor spells and particularly sanctuary on me
before you fight me. Break my bonds and set me free so I can wreak
vengeance upon the world for the pain that centuries of damnation has
A Short Walking Tour
Like most of the citizens of Farside, I felt I had waked to find the
world gone mad. Nothing was in the place I left it the hour or so before.
Not to worry, I assured myself. You have handled change before, you can
handle it again. This new Farside might even be considered improved.
Yet, how can I tell? Even an immortal must walk if she is to get to know
the lay of this land. So walk I did.
I started at Aelmon. No one is more familiar to me than that old healer.
I looked at his new surroundings. "Kind of less ostentatious than the
old place, eh Aelmon?" I nudged him as I asked.
He smiled wanly and said, "Well it isn't the grand nature of the place
before the Temples, but the bustle of this Midgaard Keep is pleasant. I
still get to stand next to a delightful source of water, I have fewer of
the young ones to deal with, though even the higher levels need my
nursing. And, there are absolutely no pigeons." Aelmon snorted with glee
over his humour.
I decided to stroll south from my old friend and see what new wonders
Crom had wrought. As I walked through the keep, then onto Thalos Street,
I turned to look north at the castle. It was a foggy evening so I only
got the barest hints of an outline. Large enough, anyway. I noted that a
Heroes' Circle was off the thoroughfare and vowed to further explore
that later. I could see the trees in the park and wanted to take a peek
The park was pretty much as I remembered it. Small, flapping sparrows
crowded next to the pond swimming with numerous ducks, some with cranky
dispositions. I nodded to a particularly large and cranky duck. He swam
over to me. "What are you looking at, half-elf?" The duck quacked at me
in a most pernicious manner. "Having a look around the new and improved
place," I replied most politely, considering his manner.
"New, schmoo," the duck whinily peeped. "This pond hasn't changed. Same
crowd of lame-brain sparrows and noisy ducklings. Same pond scum. And as
far as I can tell from my height, same view."
I looked at my feet, trying to think of a way to be diplomatic to a
duck. I smiled and said, "Well, I am finding it definitely changed. I
also find it is a pleasant change, if for no other reason than the
challenge of a new place." The duck harumphed in a quacky sort of way. I
felt I should add one more thought and head back the Thalos for more
touring. "Besides, this new keep really is nice. A little royalty will
do good things for this realm."
I beat a hasty retreat before the crotchety duck could say another word
and trotted out of the west entrance of the park. I walked south along
Thalos Street, passing the king along the way. He didn't stop to talk to
A Beastly Cover-Up
I was gulping down beer at the Grunting Boar Inn, just sitting back
and listening to the general murmuring, when I heard tell of a secret. It
was so awful, so hideously terrible, that I had to start researching it so I
could exploit the victims for profit, like any good reporter would do.
So I grabbed my fountain pen (recently taken from the still-warm
corpse of a construction foreman from New Thalos), and rushed outside.
There, at my feet, was just the bloke I was looking for.
Beastly Fido is here.
<202hp> 179m 280mv> look fido
Fido is a small dog that has a foul smell and pieces of rotted meat hanging
around his teeth.
The bestly Fido is in perfect health.
"Ha," I said to myself. "I'll fix that."
<202hp> 179m 280mv> kill fido
Your whip MUTILATES the beastly fido!
The beastly fido is DEAD!
You receive 0 experience points.
You hear the beastly fido's death cry.
You get a gold coin from corpse of the beastly fido.
I smiled, then frowned, realizing I just killed my informant. But
in a few seconds another fido arrived from the north.
The beastly fido savagely devoures corpse of beastly fido.
"Sick," I said.
"It's a living," beastly fido replied. "Gonna kill me?"
"Nope, I want to talk to you."
"Talk about ME being sick. You are a pervert."
"Ha ha," I thought about kicking him. "I want to ask you a few
"Oh is it my turn now?" he huffed. "I was waiting for this. Okay,
I sit around waiting to be killed all day. And I don't like it, but it's a
living. My turn ons are rotting flesh, and my turn offs are gits like you.
Now piss off."
"My, you are beastly," I thought about kicking him again. "I
don't want to interview you for the gazette. That's Marat's job. I'm
investigating a big story."
His eyes turned downcast. "Of course, I should have seen it. You
are just using me again and I'm not even gonna get any press." He sniffed.
"Okay, okay," I shrugged. "I'll include something about you in the
"Um," smoke poured from my ears. Beastly fido wasn't really that
interesting. But I finally thought of something I've been wanting to ask
most Farside animals a long time. "Where do you keep the gold?"
Beastly Fido rolled it's eyes. "Think about it, nimrod. I don't
got no hands or clothes. But I got the gold. Where do you think I keep
"In your mouth?"
"Wrong end, bonehead."
I thought about it for a moment, then realized what he was talking
about. "Ewww, sick."
"Gonna kill me, or can I go?"
"No, I need to ask you about something so awful, so hideously
terrible, that even drunken men won't talk about."
"Cruelty to beastly fidos," I whispered to him.
"Ha," he rolled his eyes. "My life IS cruelty. Would you like
idiots - low level idiots at that - killed you all day for fun? Not even
for experience point. Just for the sick thrill of it."
I shook my head. "Such things are normal in Farside. I'm talking
about cruelty even by Farside standards."
"That DOES sound beastly," beastly fido said. "What is it?"
I drew closer to his filty ear. "Three-legged beastly fidos."
His eyes rolled. "What's so cruel about that?"
I jumped back and shook my fist at the sky. "By God, someone is
purposely creating tormented mutants from your gene pool! Don't you have
"Oh. Well, do you know where I can find one?"
"They are in the Mob Factory at the docks," he sighed, then cocked
an eye at me. "Oh, I see. I'm not interesting enough to talk to. You want
to go talk to my high-falutin' relatives down on the docks. I get it. You
are just some poncy lizardman who doesn't . . ."
I killed beastly fido and went on my way.
The docks were very foggy that evening. The shadows flickered about
in the pale moonlight. And that captain down at the end of the dock was
eyeing me with that kind of look that lets you know they want to see what
you look like in frilly underwear. So I quickly slipped into the warehouse.
I batted my way through the flopping body parts and made way into
factory's dank interior. What horrors awaited me?
A three-legged beastly fido is here, mutated and sickly.
Aha! There it was! The object of my quest! The victim to be
exploited as only journalistic integrity will allow!
<202hp> 179m 280mv> look fido
You see a mutant beastly fido, glaring at you with 5 eyes. You wonder if
this factory is inbreeding these animals . . . . .
The inbred beastly fido is in perfect health.
Odd. It is mutated, sickly, and in perfect health at the same time.
What sick mind had done this?
"What sick mind did this to you?" Just then I realized that it had
two mouths. Not only that, but it was talking.
"I know you are, but what am I?" said the left mouth.
"I know you are, but what am I?" said the right mouth.
"What am I?" I asked, perplexed.
"Excuse me," the right mouth said. "We are in the middle of a
"Yeah, piss off," the left mouth said. "Where was I?"
"I know you are but what am I?" the right mouth said.
"Oh yes. I know you are but what am I?" the left mouth said.
"I know you are, but what am I?" the right mouth said.
I tapped my foot. This poor victim was ticking me off worse that a
system wide crash that erases pfiles.
"Shut up! I want to know who did this dastardly thing to you?"
"I know you are, but what am I?" said the left mouth.
"I know you are, but what am I?" said the right mouth.
I began to fume. I was trying to help this poor, lost soul, but
apparently it was too absorbed in re-enacting a scene from a Pee-Wee Herman
movie. Maybe I would get more information out of it if it was dead. I
raised my whip and attempted to strike out.
A voice whispers to you "Thou shalt not attack pets!"
My shoulders slouched. Just great. I couldn't vent my anger out on
"Just a moment," I exclaimed. It was a pet. What sort of
sick mind would keep such a thing as a pet? I struck out into the factory
to find out.
A Mob Factory worker is here, collecting dropped body parts.
<202hp> 179m 280mv> look worker
If Floyd walks in, you can bet there'll be trouble. Guess she shouldn't
have worked the late shift.
She ignored me as I came in, fumbling with the body parts.
"I'd like to ask you a few questions," I told her.
The body parts fell from her arms and she began to fix her hair and
smooth out her wrinkled jumpsuit.
"Oh blimey, you want to interview me? Gosh, I never thought this
day would come. There are so many other far more interesting people in
Farside. I thought I'd be in here a thousand years before I got an
"Waitaminute, you don't understand . . ."
She whipped out some lipstick and began applying it. "Lemme see.
I work all day for nothing. Not even room and board. I just work work
work. Girls just want to have fun, you know. If my boss would ever let me
out of here, boy, I'd show em. You don't know what kind of body I've got
covered up in this jumpsuit. Hoo boy. 36-24-36. I'd drop 'em dead down
at Recall, I sure would. All the women would faint with envy."
"But you don't understand . . ."
"Playboy would link their website with Farside's in a second.
I'm the kind of woman that the term 'hubba hubba' was invented for. But
no, my boss just keeps me locked up in here. And you know the really
sick thing? Just look around. You see arms and legs and torsos and
heads. But will Floyd make the important bits? Noooo. All of the mobs
in here are like Ken dolls. Not anatomically correct. Floyd is
incredibly sexually repressed."
"Well, Farside is a family MUD." I jumped in.
"Ha!" she flung up her arms. "Twelve year old boys running around
in a virtual world murdering little girls playing jacks in the streets?
What kind of sicko family are you from?"
"Well," I sighed, "I'm a lizardman. After laying the eggs, our
mothers leave us to fend for ourselves. Then, when we do break out of the
shell, she comes back and tries to eat us."
"Poor baby," she patted me on the back. "Anyway, let's get back to
me. I was born a poor black child. Are you taking any of this down? I
don't see that pen moving."
"I'm not doing interviews."
"What?" she cocked her head.
"I don't do interviews. That's Marat's job. I'm an
investigative reporter. Like on 60 Minutes."
"They do interviews."
"Well, yeah, but I just investigate."
"So you don't ask anyone anything?"
"Well, I do, but not about themselves. I'm doing a report on the
mutated beastly fidos."
"But what about me!" she spread her arms wide. "I've got so much to
"Then tell me who created the mutated beastly fidos?"
"What? Them? Fix-it Floyd, my boss."
"Thanks," I said, then turned to leave.
"False deciever!" she screamed and threw an arm at me. I ducked and
After quite a search, I finally found Fix-it Floyd feasting on
food in the cafeteria. So this was him. The pinnacle of my search.
The dastardly villain who had done such evil to the poor mutated beastly
<White Aura> Fix-it Floyd is here, making plans for a bigger and better
I rubbed my eyes. Could it be? A white aura? My vision must have
gone all funny. I looked again.
<202hp> 179m 280mv> look floyd
You see Fix-it Floyd of the Mob Factory -- a sterling example of what comes
of dedicated Mudding! Rewarded for his many years of dedication as a
monster slayer, Floyd now creates the beasts for other adventurers to fight.
I siddled down next to him on the bench and nudged him. "Are you
Fix-it Floyd, the creator and owner of the mutated beastly fidos?"
"Yup," he nodded, dropping chili on his blueprints that were
scattered on the table.
"I'm a reporter, and I'd like to know what possessed you to warp
the beastly fido into such a horrid thing as a mutated beastly fido."
"They are inbred. Can't you read?"
"But why would you inbreed them?"
"I just do. That's what I do. I make mobs."
"But why? Was it something from your childhood? You have a white
aura, but you have quite a twisted mind."
"Listen," he shoveled a hot dog in his mouth, "I didn't coose this
kind of life. I was a happy-go-lucky adventurer one day - then BANG - I'm
in this factory creating monsters."
"One of your workers says you're sexually repressed. Could that
have anything to do with it?"
"Listen, I'm just made this way. I have no choice."
I jumped up from the bench. "Don't give me that pshychobabble.
People are different from animals. They have free choice. They make
themselves what they are. They are responsible for their own actions."
"Listen, I'm just a mob. I do what they tell me."
"Who are THEY? What do THEY get out of it?"
"'They' are the gods. They do it because it's fun. And to provide
people with some enjoyment."
"So you are saying it's a conspiracy."
"I don't think you are listening to me," Floyd sighed. "It's just
"Aha. So these people that call themselves the 'gods' are on some
big ego trip and like to control people. Hitler and Stalin liked to
control people. Look what happened. Why not speak up and stop this
hideous cabal before it spreads?"
"You still don't get it. It's just a game. I don't matter. None
of us do. We are here for your enjoyment. Beat us, whip us, kill us,
that's what we are for."
"Aha!" I pointed a green, scaley finger at him. "You are a
sado-masichist! She was right! You are sexually repressed!"
Floyd gathered up his blueprints. "I don't want to talk to you
"Mr. Floyd!" I yelled to him as he was leaving. "I've got your
number! I'm going to expose you to the public!"
I went back home that night, back to the cave, and spread out my
notes. After reading them I knew I had quite a story. I wrote all that
night, and entitled it "A Sicko Pervert and His Dog Fetish."
Just as I finished it, my wife crawled in the cave and began eating
our children. I hugged her and went to bed.
Walking through Midgaard,
Deep wounds from battles healing,
Imms, please restore me.
Lo, the toils of life.
A hero always needed.
Enchant my weapon!!!
Group me and get me levels!!
This is what I hear.
Ciquala lies dead.
I killed her with her own sword.
Just 50 xp?
From The Outside Looking In: A Watcher's Perspective of Farside
By Aeron Anfa, level 6 mage (and formerly just Theo's home
companion and pc sharer)
Being the girlfriend of a guy who MUD's is a chancy thing:
either you whine and moan about how the MUDder doesn't pay
attention to you because they are online, busy `fighting' some
`statue' to get the `experience points' they need to `level', or
you sigh, pull up a chair, and watch the text fly by as things
happen in a storybook world called Farside.
Theo has been a dedicated MUDder ever since he first learned
about the whole genre about two and a half years ago. I was
always a sideline watcher, just trying to be a supporting
girlfriend. I cheered when his characters levelled, or booed when
they died or the MUD crashed and wiped out his equipment
(*shudder*). I understood the concept; it was like playing in a
Dungeons and Dragons game. (Yes, I am a gamer, and I think that's
what keeps me from killing Theo all the nights he stays up until
four am, playing on Farside. I understood the lure of the MUD.)
But for all that I wasn't about to actually play. For one
thing I didn't own a computer, much less a modem. He does. It
wasn't until we officially moved in together last September that
I gained everyday access to a pc, and had the time to really
watch him play on Farside.
Theo is naturally a gregarious person, and his easy going
ways had made him a popular immortal. He never seemed to lack for
something to do. I learned a lot of basics just watching him log
on, look around, and figure out what needed to be done, who
needed to be looked in on, and what had happened on Farside since
the last time he was on.
I was a silent onlooker when the brouhaha started with "that
other MUD". No, I won't mention people by name, or rehash old
news to Farsidians. Suffice it to say, during that whole period,
I was as sad and dismayed as many players.
I have been witness to the many MUD weddings Theo has
performed, in his guise as "Patron Deity of MUD Marriage". I
sometimes tried to coach him in the lines to type, to make sure
he at least got in some of the traditional stuff. It always
strikes me funny that a guy who doesn't want to be married
himself is the immortal who performs the MUD wedding ceremonies.
Through Theo, I came to know others who `reside' on Farside
as well. Mistyblue. Hotshot. Ambrosia. Melanie. Macaroni.
Reflection. Snikt. Balthazar. Greasyheart. DaWiz. Dizzy. RoX.
AsaMaro. Flute. Marat. I could go on. It was like watching a
whole other universe unfold before my eyes in text form each
night when I got home from work.
Finally, about four weeks ago, I gave up my sideline chair
and logged in myself. I had a character in mind when I did so,
and my game-name reflects it. Aeron came into Farside as a half-
elven mage, and boy did Theo groan when he heard that! "Mages are
tough to play," he argued. "Why didn't you choose a martial
artist (favoritism there I think, Theo was a martial artist), or
a warrior?" Well, I could give a million reasons why Aeron is a
mage, but mostly I say because I thought I could play a good
Well, from watching I had a little idea of what to do once I
had logged in and created a character. You guessed it, MUD
School! Aeron had to, like all other newbies, pass through
Farside's version of new character school.
I started typing commands, watching the keyboard instead of the
screen all the time. I am a fast reader, but the pace of
text scroll is sometimes too fast even for me, so I only look
when I need to, to affirm that I did something right, or wrong.
Theo egged me on, sending others to talk to me when I felt
helpless in the wake of defeats. After my first session on
Farside I was only 2nd level, and a bit discouraged. I had gotten
through MUD School, gotten my diploma, and was in the arena,
fighting snails, foxes and rabbits (poor bunnies! I killed them
most often, and I think they started to flee from me when they
saw me coming). The boars would run through me each time I tried
to fight them, and I would flee and lose experience points.
Downtrodden, I resumed watching for awhile.
But the lure of playing had grown too strong. Back on I
went, determined to make level three, to be able to `chat'. Theo
gave me some advice, sent me to get some equipment, and away I
Gaining level three made me very happy indeed. I couldn't
wait to be able to use spells, like a `real' mage, instead of
just typing "kill rabbit" at the prompt. True, I only got the
spell "chill touch" that first time in the practice room, but
there's time yet. D&D mages don't get great spells right away
So, now, at 6th level, I log on, read notes (to keep up with
Farside's current events), wake up, look around, and wander in
and out of Midgaard, fighting whatever crosses my path (and that
doesn't laugh at me when I `con' it!). Theo says I'm doing fine,
and he `smiles' at me and `hugs' me, and `tells' me to "keep at
You know something? I will. The watcher has become a player
The Map Maker
An interview with Crom
Farside is about to undergo radical changes. One day soon, we're
log on and find that all the directions we've memorized don't
will seem like another city, Mud School will be gone, and the Training
Village won't be outside the East Gate anymore. The man most
this is an Immortal you won't see very often if you type "who imm"...Crom is
almost never visible when he logs on. After a couple of weeks of email
bouncing back and forth, I sat down with this Imm clad in all sub-issue
to discuss who he was, why he liked his job on Farside, and what exactly was
going to happen.
Crom: So what do you want out of this interview?
Arundel: Let's start with you.
C: Umm...what about me? (grins)
A: How long have you been on Farside?
C: Ahhh...since last February. I started because a friend at school told me
about the internet. This is my first internet experience.
A: And how long have you been an Imm?
C: Uhm...lemme think...I immed around September...then went to hero over
Christmas and back to Imm in January. I was a hero for a while but I
really wanted to Imm. I really wanted to write areas.
A: What class are you?
C: Well...that changes. (looks sheepish) I started as a cleric, then went to
level 34, deleted my character and started over. I used Ironfist as my
name...did that for a summer as a warrior, my file got corrupted, changed
my name to Crom again, stayed a warrior, got corrupted again as level 47,
changed to cleric again, and finally got to hero. Then I got caught in a
"force all delete" and changed to warrior. Then Snikt made me a thief
A: Force all delete?!?
C: Yeah...that used to be possible. One day, someone got a password of
someone high up and forced all delete.
C: Happened like August 31 or something like that. I had been made an
Snikt that day, and RoX didn't believe me when I came back and said I was
level 54. (snickers softly) About 15 imms were on doing reimburses for
about 40 people. It was a mess.
A: (ruffles through his notes) Ok, taking a step back, you said you
Imm because you really wanted to write areas?
C: Yeah...at level 20 I decided I wanted to make areas.
A: What made you want to write areas?
C: Oh...I dunno...I tend to be imaginative if misguided. I had the Cimmeria
idea...what a mess. It was my first area, and too big for my own good.
Snikt was busy then, and I kept building it bigger and bigger before he
could stop me. It was very very very buggy, and it got even uglier. I
was given 100 vnums (the number which designates each room, object, and
mob in a MUD) and was told to use all of them, so I did.
A: Ok...let's go on to what you're doing now.
C: (grins) Fun stuff.
A: As an Imm, you are in charge of areas? is that right?
C: (nods) I guess so. Sorta happened. Maverick had to go away for a week
and I took his place handling areas. I didn't mind helping...Mav's
really busy with work. I'm only a student at college, so I can mess
around more. But it's complicated now.
A: Well, I saw a note a while back about the restructuring of Farside.
Areas are disappearing, right?
C: Heh...maybe. A lot of areas are made to connect to other
they are worthless. The theme is supposed to be medieval/fantasy, and a
lot of other areas don't fit that. Take Gangland, for example. That
was going to go, but Marat is going to redo it to fit the theme. House
of Cards is going to tumble. After all, it's based on playing cards.
Also, 40 rooms with no mobs or objects is sort of a waste of memory.
A: The note also mentioned remapping.
C: Yeah...well, I was bored, so I decided to take a stab at remapping
A: What are your goals in the remapping process?
C: Well, simplicity was my first idea. I wanted to decentralize Midgaard.
There are like eleven areas directly connected to it right now. Okay,
so I just decided "Hmm...how about a highway system?" And where to?
Cities. So I put Solace, Midgaard, Ofcol, Kerofk, Dwarven Kingdom, and
New Thalos on paper and played with lines. Basically, I drew a layout
for a road network and said "Hmm...we have a ton of water areas."
A: (nods and continues scribbling furiously)
C: So I expanded the ocean. Then I decided...well, most did by then...that
areas needed to be grouped by level, as well as by theme. So I thought
level 35 and up could be separate, in a violent wild land...heh. So it's
going well. The cities I have to hammer to fit the map, though.
A: In what ways?
C: New Thalos is now south of Midgaard with a pier out into the ocean.
Midgaard...we redid it. I can't find Ryu's Midgaard, so I had to do it
over. But that soon became crazy in itself. Some things just can't be
A: (raises an eyebrow) Such as?
C: Well, multiple floors are a pain.
A: Can you name a few of the changes in Midgaard?
C: Well...how does a complete layout sound?
C: All new rooms. Well...most of them are new. No Mayor...a king instead.
Only one temple.
A: A king?
C: Yeah, a silly one that just runs around babbling. The city is larger
than it is now but more organized with streets. There is also an outer
wall that can be walked on.
A: Not a grid...please...
C: Grid? (grins) No...Close, but no. We need four gates is the reason, one
for each direction. It will be more medieval in flavor, with some back
alleys and a keep in the center of the city, so it will be more
A: Three-storey keep?
C: Doh! Who told you?
A: Most keeps are three storeys...ANYONE knows that...heheh...
(pulls Crom's leg and gets away with it...)
C: Yah yah yah...well, I didn't know...I just didn't want to make it
any higher. Anyway, the guilds are in, and not just one room.
Umm...secrets are throughout the city.
A: Shops, a market?
C: Shops line streets, but no real market square. I left plenty of
additions, like houses or buildings. I put in bogus houses with cheesy
descriptions to use space.
A: Ok, let's go to outside Midgaard.
C: (smiles) Heh...okie.
A: Four gates, leading to four levels of difficulty?
A: (raises BOTH eyebrows)
C: Leading to Ofcol, New Thalos, Solace and the Great Wall.
A: Great Wall? as in China?
C: Sorta. It's to keep the level 35 and up areas out of 'civilized' lands.
It stretches north and south to the ocean and up to Kerofk. It's sorta
A: How are you going to group the areas by level? in what directions?
C: Well, Mud School is history. I made a new place for newbies to start.
I think I made a better one...but I'm biased. It's called the Meadow, and
Daycare, the Training Village, and the mob factory are off of it.
Recall will be set there, too, and donation. However, you won't want
to recall there unless you're a newbie, so you'll use your recall set
A: Ok...the Meadows will be recall, with a sort of Mud School...
C: And close to Solace.
A: Solace will be the nearest city?
C: Yeah, because it is far west, away from the Great Wall and danger.
It has some sort of sense to it...we'll be grouping areas, too.
Underground, air, ocean...etc.
A: So as you move farther east it gets more dangerous?
C: Pretty much. There will be exceptions, though. Like lamias in Old
A: Moving from East to West, what will the order of the cities be?
C: It isn't linear, first of all. From Solace, north is the Dwarven
East is Midgaard. From Midgaard, north is Ofcol and south is New
Thalos. From Ofcol, west is the Dwarven Kingdom...along a mountain
range. And from Kerofk to New Thalos runs a long wall that can be
walked on. A road runs east from Midgaard to the only gate in the
wall. It will be level 35 and up areas past the gate. Areas and
small side trails will be made to go off all
these main roads, but I wanted a highway to divide the land nicely. The
ocean is the only other way to the violent stuff.
A: Now, here's a worry...are we going to be presented maps, or will maps be
made cheaper, or will we be on our own to figure this all out?
C: Well, the main highways will be easily marked. Some are obviously named,
like the Dwarven Trade Route. There will also be occasional signposts.
I didn't put very many unless the road name didn't give it away. As for
maps, we'll redo them to be sold at Midgaard.
A: When do you estimate that all this will be implemented?
C: Hopefully two weeks, maybe three. Soon, though.
A: I assume we'll be given fair warning?
C: (snickers) You don't like surprises?
A: (sighs) What would you like to say in closing?
C: I would like people to explore more. If we map it right, they will have
areas their level in the immediate area...Basically, I'd like to see
people wandering around through area to area. It would be tons of fun,
in my opinion, instead of going to one area and killing the same mob 50
times. I was planning on having five areas per level to go to. It's
getting complicated as road and area connections get larger. But we'll
have to wait and see.
WELCOME TO THE MACHINE
Snikt talks about our new home.
Back when I interviewed Snikt for the last Gazette, he mentioned that a
Sparc20 workstation, and T1 access, would be a lot better for Farside.
However, he didn't let me print that...he said he didn't think he was
allowed to leak information on what the admin wanted or was hoping for.
Soon after we moved over to ifu.net, I caught up with him in the wee
hours of the morning to ask a few questions about our new home. I found
him grumbling something under his breath about Kilrathi.
Arundel: So, you finally got a Sparc20, with T1.
Snikt: I didn't "get" it...We are ON it, though. If we GOT it...heh.
A: That's what I meant...
S: (nods) Yes...in that context, sure.
A: I was under the impression that RoX was the SysAdmin over at atinc.com.
S: He is...but I'm not sure if that is for public release, though.
A: Ummm...you let that out in your last interview.
A: So whose arm did he twist to get us over here?
S: Mine. Well...actually not. He took us down.
A: (raises eyebrows)
S: I figured it would be a good time to see if *I* could do a port. He and
Ironhand always get to...(smiles) So I toddled the code over to this
location and started hammering away. Many hours of work later, I called
RoX...he came over, tweaked three things, and voila!
A: So this is your site?
S: Not mine personally, no. (smiles)
A: How are you associated with this site?
S: I know the owner.
A: You've worked here?
S: Sorta. (grins evilly) Our staff has remotely aided the owners of this
site with their setup, and I personally have done network work for one
of the owners. (smiles)
A: How much space does Farside take up?
S: Not much. Under 100MB.
A: (gasps...100MB seems big to him...)
S: I would say offhand that the exe is 1, and pfiles are tons...maybe 20-40.
Areas are...umm...20 to 40?
S: Running under 3MB, maybe 2.8 mem, I think.
S: And under 100MB on hard drive.
A: Do you think we will be at this site for long?
S: We might. I hope so. Only because it's so damn fast...although getting
the mud back onto atinc where we have su (note: superuser) commands would
also be nice.
A: This machine is a lot faster. How much faster, technically?
A: Is that your answer?
S: Well, it's a Sparc20, which blows the Pentium away, I think. I
think. For that stat you would actually be better off asking Maverick.
He works for Sun.
(Note: When I asked Mav, he said "Umm, it's really hard to express.")
A: Would you mind explaining for the technologically inept what exactly
T1 access is?
S: 1.544MB data channel, DSU/CSU on either side, routed (say Cisco) into
A: (looks at Snikt blankly) So it's a lot better...heh...
S: Basically, from atinc to jvncnet is 56,000 bytes/sec...from me to
panix it's 24,000...and from the currnet mud.atinc.com to it's hub (DC)
it's 1,544,000 bytes/sec.
S: About 1/10 of Ethernet speed...and the Hubs usually talk to each
other at 45MB or higher speeds Anyway, we are talking across a MUCH
MUCH MUCH faster data channel. But don't forget, hops make a difference
also. *I*'m just SEVEN hops from here. I cross DC and I'm in. To
atinc, it ranges for me from 12-19, depending on whether we cross MCINet.
A: Ok, umm...like I said before, this isn't my specialty, so what else
should I ask about?
S: Hrm...not sure how much RAM, so it's moot...Basically, we've got
three things going for us, a) data channel speed (T1) b) location (hops)
and c) machine CPU (Sparc20, very highend). Atinc was 'difficult' for
me to get to, too, and having this OS makes certain utilities easier
to use on the coding side.
A: Anything else?
S: Oh...tell them to ALWAYS use mud.atinc.com 3000 where/when possible
since RoX always 'aliases' it to whatever numerical IP we will use. The
IP address could change, is the problem. Of course, we will always try
to notify in advance.
A: Like last time. (grins sarcastically)
S: But you can see why we like the commonality of the FQDN.
S: Fully Qualified Domain Name. You know, RoX wasn't even gonna bring
it back up, but I'm totally addicted.
A: Thank God for your addiction.
S: (hugs Arundel) And since it didn't hurt, we gave here a try. Good
practice for me, too, I've learned a lot from this move. All set then?
A: All set. Thanks for your time. (bows deeply)
S: (bows deeply)
Slowly opening the door to the 36th Chamber, I peeked inside. I was
greeted immediatley by the Buddha; he grinned at me and motioned me to sit,
set a ceramic pot filled with tea and 2 cups on a table. All my warrior
instincts told me to be cautious, but I took a seat anyway (farthest from
him of course).
"Take your cloak off, get comfortable," he chuckled.
Hoping he didn't sense my uneasiness I replied "No thanks...I have a bit
of a chill!" and I pulled my dark cloak closed. Again he chuckled, and
poured us both some tea. "Do you do this often, Buddha?" I asked.
"What is 'this'?" he asked calmly.
"Have tea with a Hero...I mean..." my words trailed off.
"You mean because I have fought so many Heroes in the past?" I nodded and
he began to Laugh out loud--the sound echoed through me like thunder and
his enourmous belly shook. "No, you are the first...Hero that is."
"You have had tea with others?" I became puzzled. "If not a Hero then
who?" I could hardly imagine who would actually want to sit with Buddha and
have tea, but then again I was doing that very thing at the moment.
He didnt answer me at first he just picked his tea cup up and took a slow
sip of its contents. I thought to myself how amusing this sight was; a 500
pound man, almost a towering 7 feet, drinking tea--I felt a certain
serenity watching him. Then he broke the silence and blurted a name out
rather sharply. "Dizzy," was all he said.
"Dizzy? The Immortal? I know Dizzy," I responded, surprised."
"Yes, he comes here often and has tea with me--aren't you going to have a
drink of your tea?" He began to eye me suspiciously. His posture changed
and he became stiff and ridged. "That is why you came isn't it?"
"Oh yes, I am sorry. I was just curious." At this point I was hoping he
would relax again. He made me nervous and I knew he could sense this, so i
picked up the cup and started to drink. I took a few small sips, trying to
hide my expression, which may have shown how awful the tea tasted to
me...rather like dirty sock water.
"Curious about what?" he mumbled between sips of what he considered to be
"Just curious as to how you became friends with Dizzy." His expression
drew sinister and he began to cackle. I quickly finished my tea and set the
cup down on the small table. My eyes widened and I could feel panic
stirring within me, as he continued that roaring laughter for what seemed
like an hour.
Suddenly, he stopped and leaned foward, "Well you see it was Dizzy who
approached me. Dizzy told me there was a band of Heroes preparing to come
to slay me for my precious belonging's. He told me he wanted to watch the
battle. Watch!?" Buddha's voice became loud, "If he hadn't been an Immortal
I would have brought him his own destruction!!" Then Buddha smirked at me,
for a moment he seemed to ponder the thought of slaying Dizzy. I tried to
speak, but Buddha interupted me. "Let me finish!!" he bellowed, so I just
nodded. "Dizzy told me I was mistaken. You see, he wanted to watch the
Heroes fall one by one to my enormous strength, as they made their feeble
attempt to destroy me. Dizzy laughed mercilessy, insanely; he and I seemed
to be soul mates...brothers of evil if you will. So I joined him in his
moment of insanity, laughing at the madness that seemed to overcome us
My expression may have been of shock; complete astonishment because
Buddha started laughing at me. "Why do you look so supprised?" I didn't say
anything, I was recalling how helpful Dizzy had been to us when we tried to
fight our way to Buddha--how he brought us to Buddha's Chamber while he was
away, and left us there to fight this massive incarnation of evil...but was
Dizzy really gone? Now I was wondering if Dizzy had been sitting there all
along, in Buddha's Chamber, invisible...watching us die slowly while our
equipment shattered from Buddha's breath spells. I could almost hear the
insane laughter of Dizzy just as Buddha had described.
Buddha must have been talking because he slammed his fist down onto the
table and shouted "Are you listing to me??" I nodded, lying. "No you were
not!!" Buddha shouted again and jumped up knocking over the small table,
the tea pot and cups shattering on the cold stone floor. Realizing this
little joke of a tea party was becoming dangerous, I also jumped up,
quickly drew my sword, and stepped back.
"I didn't come here to fight you Buddha!!" I shouted back to him and
began casting as many armor spells as time allowed.
"You have offended me!" He was becoming frenzied, "You will die and be
yet anouther trophy...a reminder to the other Heroes that I cannot be
beaten!" Thinking as quickly as I could, I swung my sword at his legs
causing him to fall. I did this many times while i struggled with him, my
sword piercing his flesh and my spells slowly taking their effect on him.
He could not seem to cast his spells. I knew if he could it would be over,
placing my life at his mercy. But no...I was winning. It was a long battle;
I was seriously hurt, but with one final blow i raised my sword and plunged
it deep into his body. I twisted it into his wound as I watched him drop to
the ground, dead. I had won!
I knew this was no time to gloat, as I was bleeding heavily. I gathered
up his so precious rings and sword, and left as quick as possible. When I
was again in the safety of town, I went to an Inn to rest and heal. I
proudly slipped Buddha's ring on my finger. "This shall be my trophy,
Buddha!" I shouted at the top of my lungs. "And all Heroes will know that
you are not Invincible!" Content in my victory and basking in glory, I lay
down to dream again of how The Great Buddha had fallen to my sword.
Top Ten List
Top Ten Ways to Die as a Farside Mortal
10. Tickle Ciquala's undead pet dragon.
9. Die of plague because no Heroes will help you.
8. Catch plague in recall and die because no Heroes will help you.
7. Flee into the room with Snikt's statue.
6. Cast prayer and end up in the 36th Chamber of Buddha.
5. Buy a wand from the Wizard, brandish it before you leave his shop.
4. Chat that Snikt is not as mean as he says.
3. Cast area spells at random in Midgaard: "The executioner fades into
2. Forget to ungroup a charmie before ordering it to attack Debbie.
1. Lose your corpse, allow Snikt to transfer you to the Alien Queen 20