A R C H I P E L A G O  Beginner's Guide

Whether you are a new player of muds, or a mud veteran, this guide will help smoothen your entry into Archipelago. Please refer to the player's FAQ for more detailed information about the game. If you have any suggestions, or comments regarding this guide, please contact me.

[ Capital A ] fter you have choosen a character, and have perused the main menu, enter the game. You will find yourself miraculously floating high above in the clouds over the City of Lamman (hopefully in the future, you will be able to choose which city you want to start in). The first thing to do, beside seeing 'who' is logged on, is to check yourself. The commands 'score', and 'attribute' will accomplish this. You should also see what you are carrying by typing 'equipment' and 'inventory'. A brief glance at the 'help' screen might be useful.

When you are ready, and have read through the sign suspiciously floating there in the clouds, climb down the rope and enter the city. You will find yourself at the central fountain in the center of Market Square. Most players find the fountain a nice resting spot. It is a safe and peaceful area.

If you so desire, and if you haven't already -- it is recommended that you do -- give yourself a title. Use %n in the title to represent your name. Other %codes and %colour_codes can be found in the 'help title', and 'help ansi' files.

After reading through the room description at the fountain, you will find reference to a map. Look at the map, and at the legend. The city will be layed out in a realistic manner with various sectors dividing up the city. Armed with the map, you may you may want to venture off on your own to explore. Take care, and have fun exploring. Lamman is a relatively safe city, as long as you do not attack its citizens. In case you get lost, maps are located at a dozen places in the city, and are not hard to spot if you read through the room description.

[ fighters ] At this point in your young life, you are unskilled in the ways of the world, especially in combat and magic. You can learn some skills by hand, but that process is slow and laborious. You may want to opt for more formal training. Find out where the warrior's guild is located, at Ahab Row. Once there, and face-to-face with Fenric, type 'learn' to see what combat skills you can learn. Also type 'train' to see the weapons you can train in. 'Study' is reserved for magic spells.

Speaking of magic, you will note there is no central guild where magic is taugh. All mage guildmasters wander about in one city or another depending on the first few moments of game time when the mud is rebooted. There is however, a small coven dedicated to teaching the new magus the rudiments of magic. The coven is located north of the dingy small square in the west part of town, as indicated on the map. Once there, you can 'learn' skills, and 'study' spells. Concentrate on learning some "magic theory" first. Type 'help grimoire' to see what spells types and levels have spells available for study. This is provided so you won't waste precious practice sessions on possibly non-existant spells.

[ executioner ] Now armed with a bit of knowledge, you are fast on your way to becoming tough. Some of you may be thinking, what can I attack? Well, for the starting adventurer, its best to try the various bugs, and small animals wandering around Lamman. Use the 'consider' command to see if your opponent is a fair fight for you, or not. Also, set your wimps to afford yourself some measure of safety. Type 'wimp' followed by a small number based on your total hitpoints. When your actual health, in combat, dips below this threshold number, you automatically try to 'flee'. Do not attempt to fight anyone labeled "(citizen)". Doing so will cause them to call out for the city watch. Finally, before your first big fight, you might want to type 'display 5'. There are five pre-configured prompts available in addition to custom ones you can create with the aid of 'help prompt' and 'help ansi'.

[ coins ] If you enter and survive combat, and have unduely killed off your opponent, you may want to rifle through the corpse to see if anything of value is there. Type 'look in corpse', and 'take all corpse'. Usually, bugs and animals will not be wandering around carrying coins, but they might be carrying small bits of food.

Once you obtain some money, it would be a wise decision to deposit some into the bank. Money is weighty, and contributes to your encumbrance (see below). Also, Lamman is infested with pickpockets and thieves in many guises. They all would like a chance to dip into your coinpurse and possessions when you are not looking.

Your encumbrance is an indicator of your current burden, type 'attribute' to see the indicator. The more encumbered you are, the more movement points will be needed to accomplish even the simplest of tasks. It is always best to travel light, to eat when hungry, and to rest when tired. If you fall into negative movement, you are still allowed to move, but at cost to your health. Of course, when this happens, rest -- or sleep -- a while.

[ fish ] When you become hungry, eat the two meager loaves of bread given gratis to you as part of your starting kit. More can be purchased from the bakery. Of course, there is no need to subsist solely on bread and water. Food on Archipelago is diverse, and richly descriptive. Whether you desire a nicely roasted rack of lamb, crabapples, quince and cinnamon pie, or even some candied ginger, there probably is a place where it is sold, or can be obtained. Water can be gotten from most wells, rivers, lakes, and fountains.

A thrift shop exists in Lamman, the Disabled Military Veteran's Store. One can obtain used clothes, armour, and equipment there for free, or for a bargain. Other such shops are located in the other cities.

Sometimes you may not find anything suitable at the thrift, and want something better. You should then try all the armour, and weapon shops located in Lamman. Better equipment can sometimes be found there, but usually at a premium cost.

Occasionally, the equipment you find, or have on hand is damaged or ill-fitting. There are blacksmiths available to repair damaged weapons and armour. A tailor is also on hand to resize most clothes and armour. The repair, as well as fitting, of rings, and other specialty items require the services of artisans, most of whom are located far away from Lamman.

[ minstrel ] Now, a brief mention on communication. There are global channels, local channels, and private channels. Global channels, namely 'gossip' and 'auction', announce their message over the entire mud. Private channels such as 'tell', 'gsay', and 'gtell', confine themselves to you and those whom you wish to communicate with. Shout is considered a local channel, as it is confined to several rooms from the origin of the shout. The 'respond' command can respond to anyone who had sent you a tell. You can respond to invisible players, but you cannot directly send a tell to them.

In addition to the communication channels, there are pre-defined 'socials' available as well as 'emote'. Socials are predefined emotions that project into the room you are in. If you type laugh, the character laughs and the other people in the room will see you laugh. Emotes are customized socials that you can define on the spur. If you type, as an example, 'emote wanders lost in a daze.', people will see the above string but with the "emote" word replaced by your name. The shorthand command for emote is ':'. If you want to use possessives ('s) with emote, please type 'emote's' with no space between "emote" and the apostrophy "s".

If the person you want to communicate with is not logged in at that moment, you can use the mudmail system to send a note. At the post office, use the 'mail' command to send mail, and the 'receive' command to receive it. There are also bulletin boards available for use in reporting bugs, and for game comments and opinions. At a board, type 'look board' to see a list of messages you can 'read'.

When you have time, type 'commands' to see all the commands available to you in the game. Most commands will have help files associated with them. It is best to test out anything that might help you survive in the game.

[ rent ] Lastly, it is time to exit Archipelago. Find an inn, and 'rent'. Rent is charged by the innkeeper for his service of safeguarding your belongings while you sleep. You may query an 'offer' from the innkeeper to see how much rent will cost you for the day. Do not 'quit', or you will lose all of your equipment.

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© Copyright 1995-1996 by Robert K. Chin. All rights reserved.
Last revised December 15, 1996.