Home » HELP »

Newbie School

Information to help you get started.

This file contains the same information as the Newbie School within the game.  Since players cannot re-enter the Newbie School once they have passed 14th level, feel free to review the information here if you need a refresher.


Welcome to CthulhuMUD!

Here at CthulhuMUD, we do our best to provide our players with a fun, interesting, and engaging gaming experience set in the worlds of the Cthulhu Mythos first created by writer H.P. Lovecraft.  It is a setting of horror and mystery, mixed with some fantasy and science fiction.  Don't worry, you don't have to be an expert on the Mythos to have fun here.  In fact, many of our players were first introduced to the Mythos by playing this MUD.  We truly hope that you will enjoy your time here allow yourself to become immersed in this world of fiction.

This area is the MUD School.  It is designed to provide introductory information and guidance to those who have never played a game like this before, as well as certain information that is specific to CthulhuMUD to those who are gaming veterans.  The Newbie School is completely optional, and you can skip through any information that you're already familiar with.

The first thing on the agenda is movement.  After all, a game isn't much fun if your character just stands in the same room all the time.  (Especially since we don't have a TV here, and there are no pizza delivery restaurants in this place.)  Moving from room to room is accomplished by simply typing in either the direction you want to go, or the corresponding abbreviation.  There is no need to include a command such as go, walk, or run.  All you need in the direction itself.  So, to go north, type NORTH or N.

The available directions of movement correspond to the eight standard compass directions, which are north, east, south, west, northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest.  These can all be abbreviated as shorter commands such as N, E, SE, NW, etc.  In addition, you can also move up, down, in, and out.  Also, you may occasionally need to use the ENTER command to get into places like shops, cars, homes, etc.


Whether you're new to MUDs in general, or just to our particular style of insanity and chaos here at CthulhuMUD, you're probably going to need some kind of help at some point.  While we, the Immortals, truly enjoy watching the pathetic and desperate attempts of mortals to survive in a cruel, unforgiving world, the Newbie Protection Act of 1924 requires us to provide the players with a slight chance of survival.  (Our appeal is still pending, so read this information while you can.)

There are actually several different ways to get some help.  First, and most
obviously, type HELP.  This will give you a list of 10 basic steps to get you started, as well as their related commands.

Secondly, to see a list of available help topics, type HLIST.  To read a specific topic, type HELP <topic>.  If the MUD tells you that more helps have been found, type HELP MORE to read the additional helps.

Next, use the FAQ command.  To view a specific entry, type FAQ <number>.

Finally, there is a large database of information available here at the Official CthulhuMUD Website.  There are a variety of helps, maps, and listings here that can answer many of your questions, so we strongly recommend that you peruse the site if you're going to spend some time around the game.  Trust us, the more you know about the specifics of the game (skills, spells, professions, commands, etc.) the easier and less-frustrating the game will be.


As a text-based game, the ability to communicate with other players is particularly crucial in CthulhuMUD, and there are several different methods to do this.  You can have private conversations or public conversations, some communications channels depend on your level, others on your clan.  For a basic overview of using the different methods, see HELP CHANNELS.  This will give you a quick rundown of the options.

The three most common forms of communication that you will use as a newbie are SAY, GOSSIP, and TELL.  The first two use the same syntax, which is to type the command followed by the text of what you want to say.  For example, SAY Hi, how are you doing? will result in your character saying 'Hi, how are you doing?'.  If you SAY something, it will be heard by everybody in the same room as you.  If you use GOSSIP, your words are heard by everybody in the game.  GOSSIP is the primary channel for Out Of Character chat and communication in the game.  SAY is considered to be an In Character form of communication.

TELL is a private way to communicate with another player.  TELL <player> <text> will send your message to only the specified player.

CthulhuMUD also has a set of bulletin boards, which allow players to leave messages for each other.  This is also the primary method by which the Immortals make announcements, so it's a good idea to stay current on the notes that are posted.  See HELP BOARD for more detailed information.


If you type SCORE, you will see your character's score sheet.  It has all kinds of useful information about your character.  The first column lists your character's attributes, which are Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, Luck, and Charisma.  For more detailed information about each one, type HELP ATTRIBUTE.  Your attributes were randomly rolled during your character's creation, with bonuses and penalties applied to certain attributes based on your chosen race.  (The MUD is coded to prevent any new character from having high scores in all attributes, so if you're thinking about deleting and re-creating to try to get perfect stats, it won't work.)  HITR and DAMR (HELP HITR) are the bonuses you currently have your hit roll and damage roll in combat.  FAME (HELP FAME) is your current amount of Fame Points.

On to next column.  LEVEL displays both your current level and your current effective level.  RACE and SEX are obvious, as is AGE.  (Remember, you CAN die of old age in this game!)  NXT LVL shows you how close you are to your next level.  The next entry displays how much local currency you have.  This entry will change depending on your exact location, but it will not affect the amount of money you actually have.  WEIGHT shows how much weight you're currently carrying, and how much total weight you're capable of carrying.  WIMPY will be discussed later.

In the last column, you'll find your character's Hit Points, Mana Points, Movement Points, Practices, and TrainsSANITY measures your mental grip on reality, and the lower it is, the crazier you are.  The other listings are not commonly used by newbies.

Below the columns, you'll see a variety of information including your profession(s), your date of birth, your cult, your armor class, your alignment, and various health updates.


Your attributes form the foundation of your character's abilities, but they work together with your skills to determine how well you perform various actions.  Skills can be acquired through a variety of ways.  You can acquire them through a profession, learn them from a teacher, debate them with a mob, and they can even be acquired from an object (though this method is relatively uncommon).  Not all skills are available through all methods.  Your skills and attributes can both be improved, and the methods for doing so are discussed later in the School.  For general information regarding various aspects of skills, type HELP SKILLS.

Type SKILLS ALL to see a list of the skills you currently have, as well as your rating in each skill.  Naturally, the higher the skill, the better you are at it.  There are two methods of obtaining additional information.  Typing HELP <skill> will provide you with general information about a skill if you are uncertain about it.  More specific information is available through the RESEARCH command.  Typing RESEARCH <skill> will give you the skills' difficulty, prerequisites, any learning condition, and connections to professions, spells, and other skills.  Quick tip!  If the name of the skill you're researching has more than one word, you must enclose it in single quotes.  For example, RESEARCH 'HAND TO HAND'.


Ahhhh, magic.  People just love to cast spells.  Here at CthulhuMUD, we offer a wide variety of spells for many different purposes, and many newbies are eager to jump right in and start flinging spells left and right.  The purpose of this information is to offer a quick word of clarification regarding magic.

Spells and skills are closely interconnected in CthulhuMUD.  Spells are based on skills, and you must first learn the skill before you can attempt to cast the spell.  In some cases, learning a single skill will give you access to several different (but related) spells.  Of course, to cast any magic at all, you will first have to learn the Spell Casting skill.  When attempting to cast a spell, there are numerous factors that will determine your success, including (but not limited to) your rating in the Spell Casting skill, your rating in the skill of the spell your trying to cast, your current state of health, and environmental factors of your current location.  As you can see, it's not easy to simply jump in and start throwing magic around.  Like any other skill, the ability to successfully cast spells must be developed and improved over time.

Due to the fact that many magical skills share the same name as the spells they're connected to, there is a separate command to provide information about spells, namely the SPELL command.  (We tried to make it easy to remember.)  Typing SPELL <spell name> will provide you with all the information you need about the various spells that are available.  Quick tip!  Unlike the RESEARCH command, you do not need to put single quotes around a spell with more than one word in its name.


Professions are handled a little differently on CthulhuMUD than they are on most MUDs.  Players have the option to change their professions as they proceed through the game, and the majority of players will change their profession several times as they play.  We realize that people often change their minds as they go along, so we give you the option to change your character accordingly.  There are very few limitations on changing professions, so you can explore almost all the available options without having to start over from scratch.

First, let's take a look at what professions are available.  Type PROF LIST to see a complete list.  The professions in green are available to you right now, while those in brown are not yet available because you do not meet the conditions.  For more specific information about a particular profession, type PROF LIST <profession>.  For example, PROF LIST MEDIC.

You'll notice that each profession includes a list of skills, each with a number next to it.  That number indicates the profession level at which you can practice that skill.  For example, a 5th level Medic can practice the Theology skill simply by reaching that level within the profession.  It's important to remember that being a Medic for 5 levels gives you the ABILITY to learn the skill, but you don't automatically learn it.  You will still have to practice Theology to get a point in it.  If you do not practice the skills your profession provides, and then change to a different profession, you will lose the ability to practice those skills.  As long as you have at least 1 point in the skill, you will keep it when you change professions.  There are many high-level skills that can only be obtained by staying in a particular profession for a certain number of levels.

Many professions also have certain conditions that must be met before a player can switch into that profession.  Some conditions are based on race, level, skills, deeds, etc.  The conditions that you meet are in green, those that you don't are in brown.  As you proceed, you will find that there are very few professions that are not open to most players eventually.  However, switching professions costs three practices, so be certain that you really want to change before you actually do it.  To switch professions in the
future, type PROF CHANGE <profession>.


Are you disappointed by some of your stats?  Wishing that some of your attributes were better?  Just like real life, isn't it?  Have no fear, because here at CthulhuMUD, you can improve yourself without spending hours in the gym, weeks in the library, or going to a plastic surgeon.  You can improve your attributes by training them.  (Your current number of trains is listed on your score sheet, remember?)  Type TRAIN to see what options are available to you, then type TRAIN <attribute> to improve it.  You have a limited number of trains to spend, so think carefully on how you want to spend them.  You will acquire more trains as you progress through the game, so improving your stats is an ongoing process.

You'll notice that there are other options besides training your attributes, but we recommend spending your trains on your attributes through your early levels.  However, how you spend them is up to you.  It can take quite a bit of time and patience to improve your stats, depending on how low they are and how high you want to raise them, but it can be done.

Remember, nobody starts the game with perfect stats.  There's not a single player in this game that didn't start off with at least a few low stats.  High-level characters with amazing attributes got their stats through hard work and dedication, so learn from their example.


Practicing is one of the primary methods of improving your skills, along with learning and debating.  Both practicing and learning cost one practice per session, while debating costs nothing.  However, debating itself is a separate skill that must be learned first.  See HELP DEBATING for more information, but remember that debating is not an option for most newbies until they learn the skill.

Some NPCs can teach you skills, while you will only be able to practice with others.  Similarly, some skills can only be practiced, others can only be learned, and still others fall into either category.  This is where the RESEARCH command comes in handy.  To see a list of skills that a teacher can teach you, type LEARN <teacher name>.  To learn a certain skill on the list, add the name of the skill to the command with LEARN <teacher name> <skill name>.  Remember, if the skill name has more than one word in it, use the single quotes.

To see a list of the skills you can currently practice, type PRACTICE.  In order to improve a skill, you must be standing in the room with a qualified NPC.  Type PRACTICE <skill name> to improve the skill.  As mentioned above, both PRACTICE and LEARN will cost you one practice per session, but you will get additional practices as you proceed through the game.

The exact amount of improvement in the given skill depends on several factors, including, but not limited to, your current rating in the skill, the teacher's current rating, and difficulty of the particular skill.  Some skills are just harder to learn than others.  As your rating improves, it will become increasingly difficult to get better and better in a skill.  This is normal, so don't be surprised when it happens.

As you proceed through the game, you will have the ability to spend your practices on a wide variety of skills, which will allow you to customize your character's strengths and interests.  The NPC in the Newbie School will only allow you to practice your combat skills, if you should choose do so.  If you'd prefer to use your practices on other skills, feel free to continue through the School.


As you explore the game, you'll find a lot of objects, some of which will just be lying around on the ground.  (Our efforts to prosecute the players for littering have been unsuccessful thus far.)  Some of the items are good, some are bad, and, quite honestly, some are just plain weird.  Really.  We have no idea where they came from.  And we'll testify to that in court.

Anyway.  When you want to take an object, use the TAKE or GET command.  They're essentially the same, so it doesn't really matter which one you prefer to use.  GET <item> will pick up the item and put it in your inventory.  As a shortcut, GET ALL will pick up everything in the room that you can.

To see a complete list of the items you're currently lugging around with you, type INVENTORY (or INV for short).  If you're carrying an item that can be worn (such as armor or clothing), type WEAR <item>.  For weapons, use WIELD <item>.  To see a list of the items you're currently wearing, simply type EQUIPMENT (or EQ for short).  If you want to take something off, type in REMOVE <item>, while DROP <item> will take an object out of your inventory and leave it on the ground.


Now that you've been doing such a good job of reading the room descriptions, here is an example of why you should continue to do so.  There's a chest in this room.  Seriously.  We know, it doesn't show up when you look around, but it's there.  Trust us.  Go ahead, try looking at the chest by typing LOOK CHEST.

Ah-ha!  See?  It really is there.  And that's the point.  Just because something doesn't show up as a separate object doesn't mean it's not really there.  It's important to read the room descriptions thoroughly, because some objects that are mentioned in the room description may not show up as separate items when you look around the room.  Many times, simply looking at such objects may reveal clues or hints about a quest.

Since this is a container, it can be opened by typing OPEN CHEST.  To see what's inside, type LOOK IN CHEST.  (It is crucial to include IN when using this command.  Simply typing LOOK CHEST will only show the exterior of the chest, not what is inside it.)  If there is something inside a container object, you take it out by typing GET <item> <container>.  Conversely, you can place items into a container by using PUT <item> <container>.


The room is a plain stone chamber lit by a sparkling crystal chandelier that hangs from the center of the ceiling.  The room is meticulously clean, with no dust or dirt in the corners, and a wide red rug covers most of the floor.  A wide set of double doors stands in the northern wall, and a thick set of plush red curtains hangs on the western wall.

The OPEN command not only works on objects, it works on doors as well (assuming the door isn't locked).  To open a door, type OPEN <direction>.  In this room, there is a door to the north, so type OPEN NORTH, then proceed in that direction.


Many of the doors in CthulhuMUD are clearly visible, but there are also hidden doors that are harder to find.  Go back to the south and take a look at those curtains on the western wall.  They may be more than just a decoration.


Ah, they're such pretty red curtains.  But what are they doing here in an empty room?  And can it truly be considered an "empty" room if there are some curtains here?  And why is the Immortal who built this newbie school rambling on about some stupid curtains in a potentially-empty room?  Well, they must be there for a reason.  Perhaps there's something behind them!  You should try to pull the curtains to the side.  Yeah, that's a good idea.  Try that.


This is another reason why it's handy to read the room descriptions carefully and look at things.  Obviously, not every single thing that is mentioned in a room description will be important, but it's important to remember that there may be more to a room than what you see at first glance.  Many quests utilize hidden doors and exits, so this is something you will undoubtedly encounter during your time here.

The door to this room was revealed by moving the curtains aside.  In addition to the PULL command, certain other objects may be manipulated in different ways, including PUSH, MOVE, TWIST, TURN, TURNBACK, LIFT, PRESS, and DIG.  Sometimes, the most important thing about finding a secret door is knowing how to manipulate the trigger.

Some doors are simply hidden.  No trigger, no secret switch, they're simply hidden.  To find these doors, use the SEARCH command.  Your chances of success will improve as your Search skill and your Detection skill increase.  SEARCH will not only check for hidden doors, but also hidden objects and NPCs.  For more information, see HELP SEARCH.

Normally, finding a hidden door will lead you to the next step of a quest, which usually earns you a reward at its end.  So, there's a little reward in this room, too.  Check out the vase before you leave.


Combat is an integral part of life on CthulhuMUD.  While we offer numerous quests and other ways of obtaining experience, the truth is that you're probably going to spend a lot of time killing monsters.  Slaying monsters earns you experience points, which increase your level, which gives you more practices and trains, which allows to you improve your stats and your skills, which allows you to kill bigger monsters, which gives you more experience, etc.  It's a bloody, vicious cycle of violence, and we love every minute of it.

Before heading into combat, it's always a good idea to make sure you're ready for battle.  Check your INVENTORY and your EQUIPMENT lists to make sure that you're wearing as much armor as possible and that you're wielding your weapon(s).  It can be pretty embarrassing to attack the Ungodly Forces of Chaos buck naked and holding nothing more than a toothpick.  Being laughed at by the Ungodly Forces of Chaos is rather humiliating, especially since they'll tell everyone else and it's next to impossible to live down that reputation once you've got it.

Now would probably a good time to inform you about the WIMPY command.  This command allows you to set a threshold of minimum Hit Points for your character.  When your Hit Points drop below that amount during combat, your character will automatically attempt to flee the room to survive.  Remember, however, that fleeing is not always possible.  In addition, your WIMPY settings won't help you if your character is hit with an extremely large amount of damage in one blow.  Still, it can be an effective way to keep your character alive in during combat.  To set your WIMPY threshold, type WIMPY <number>.  You can also set a specific direction in which to flee by adding that direction to the end of the command.  For more information, see HELP WIMPY and HELP FLEE.


There are a vast number of skills, spells, and commands related to combat in its various forms, including many different ways to increase your offensive and defensive capabilities, different ways to attack your opponent, different types of damage you can inflict, etc.  For now, we'll just stick to the basics.

It's always good to make use of the CONSIDER command.  This will provide you with a very basic analysis of your capabilities in comparison to those of your opponents.  It is not very specific, and it is not always completely accurate, but that's intentional.  We want to preserve a certain element of surprise and uncertainty.  It's merely designed to give you a rough idea of your chances.  To use this command, type CONSIDER <character>.  In this case, you would use CONSIDER WORM.  (You may shorten it to just CON if you wish.)  You can also turn on the AUTOCON option to automatically CONSIDER every character you see.

Notice that the worm did not attack you when you entered the room.  It is, after all, just a worm, and they are not really known for being vicious, blood-thirsty creatures.  However, there are plenty of critters around these parts that are aggressive, and they will attack you on sight.  Keep that in mind.

Ready?  To teach this worm a lesson, simply type KILL WORM.  Good luck.


You're going to die.

Accept it and expect it.  Death is an everyday occurrence around here, and you're going to experience your fair share of it.  Trust us.  You will die.  Just come to terms with that fact right now.

The positive side of death is that we do not treat it as a horrifying event that is a severe setback to a player.  Most players bounce back from dying within five minutes, if not less.  As a newbie, you'll find that you usually respawn in a location that is close to your corpse.  Go find your corpse, get your stuff off it, and keep going.  As you proceed through the levels, death becomes a little more dangerous.  You will lose some experience when you die.  Your corpse may remain where you were killed.  You may not be able to get to it before it decays, and as a result, you may lose all your equipment.  It happens.  If death was totally painless, it wouldn't provide much of a risk, would it?  Our system of death recovery is actually much more lenient than many MUDs.  If you lose your equipment, go buy more.  You don't lose any money from dying.

Just remember that death is not the end of the game.  In most cases, it's merely a temporary setback.  After all, it's just death.


Here are a few general tips to help you out during your early levels here at CthulhuMUD.

--- Keep a supply of extra food and water with you.  There are many places that do not have these items readily available, so it's always good to carry your own with you in case you need it.

--- Get a locker.  Lockers are available in many different places, and getting a key to a locker is usually not very expensive.  Store as much as you can during your early levels until you get a better idea of what's useful and what's not.  It's always good to keep a spare set of equipment in your locker in case your current set is destroyed or lost.

--- Start a bank account.  Most of the major cities have banks, and accounts earn a little interest each month.  Money can be crucial at the lower levels, so try to save as much as you can in case you need to buy a new set of equipment.

--- Learn the game.  Read as many of the help files as you can stand to read, and study the information on the website.  You might be surprised at what you find.  There are a vast number of skills, spells, and commands.  The sooner you know about them, the sooner you can use them.

--- Stay positive.  There are going to be days when all you do is die, you've lost a few levels, and your equipment is about to fall apart.  It happens.  That's what makes the game challenging.  Just remember that there are very few limitations to the development of your character.  With hard work and determination, you can do almost anything around here.


So, maybe you're thinking, "Oh, no!  My Strength stat is low!  I'll never be a powerful warrior!"  Or, "Alas!  My Intelligence is poor!  I'll never learn spell casting!  Woe is me!"  Or, "Wait!  I wanted a different profession!"

Okay, calm down.  Look, there is virtually no problem that you'll encounter that you can't overcome yourself.  We know, that sounds cheesy and sappy, but it's true.  Attributes can be improved, remember?  You can change professions at almost any time.  Nearly every single skill can be acquired by every single player, and the same is true for spells.  It just takes some time and effort.  If you think your character has a flaw, then do something to fix it.  CthulhuMUD provides you with the ability to personalize, develop, and improve your character, so make the most of it!

One of the most common questions we get from newbies is, "Am I doing this right?"  The honest answer is that there is no "right" or "wrong" way to develop your character.  Do you prefer swords, maces, or guns?  Do you want to learn Greek or Japanese?  Do you want to be good or evil?  It's up to you.  It doesn't really matter which weapon you prefer, as long as you're good at whichever one you're carrying.  There is no set timeframe for learning magic and spells, although you will undoubtedly reach a point where you will find it very difficult to continue without it.  So what if someone learns spells before you do?  The truth of the matter is that most newbies are so bad at casting spells that they probably can't cast the few spells they know most of the time.

The game is not coded or designed to accommodate a specific path of development.  Choose your own path.  Most decisions will result in some positives and some negatives, which are usually balanced relatively fairly.  Don't worry about doing things the "wrong" way.  As long you're obeying the rules and having fun, then it's the "right" way.


You've reached the end of the MUD School!

That wasn't so bad, now was it?  Remember, the topics discussed in the School are just the very basics of playing this game.  They should be enough to get you started, but it will be up to you to develop your character through your own actions and choices.  If you get stuck, don't forget the various methods of assistance that are available to you (HELP, FAQ, the website).  Feel free to ask questions.  Don't be afraid to explore.  Most importantly, have fun!  It's a game!  Enjoy it!

There is a plaque on the wall that lists the rules of CthulhuMUD.  You cannot return to game until you read the plaque.  We expect all players to be aware of the rules and to follow them at all times.  Anyone who breaks the rules is subject to whatever punishment we, the Immortals, deem appropriate, including deletion and/or banishment from the game.  (Please don't make us go through the effort of doing this to you.  Just play by the rules and make it easier on everyone.)

Good luck, mortal!


Player killing is allowed.  Type HELP PKILL for details.  Do not kill without good reason, and never EVER attack a newbie.

Foul and/or abusive language is not permitted in any shape or form on the public communication channels.  You can say what you want to the person standing in front of you, but keep it clean on the public channels.  This rule applies to Immortals, too.  What constitutes foul language?  Whatever we say is foul, end of story.  As a general guideline, if it's something that a school teacher would punish you for saying in her classroom, then it's probably something that we won't approve of either.  We are very strict in enforcing this rule, so don't push us.

Harassment of another player will not be tolerated.  This includes sexual, racial, and religious harassment, as well as any other form of harassment that may occur.  Play nice or we'll bust you.

Multiple characters are permitted on a limited basis.  You may try out other races and professions if you wish, but YOU MAY ONLY HAVE ONE CHARACTER ABOVE 15TH LEVEL.  When you decide which character you want to keep, delete the rest.  If we catch you with more than 1 character above 15th level, we'll delete ALL your characters.  Also, SHARING EQUIPMENT AND/OR MONEY BETWEEN YOUR CHARACTERS IS NOT PERMITTED.  Don't drop your 10th-level sword, then create a new character to go fetch the sword.  This is not allowed, and it really ticks us off when we see it.

No stealing someone else's kills.  Do not attack a monster that someone else is fighting unless they specifically ask for your help.  This is extremely rude and we will not permit it.  Go kill your own critters, ya lazy bum.

Cheating is not permitted in any way, shape, or form.  This includes accepting favors from Immortals and exploiting bugs.  If you find a bug in the code, you must report it immediately.  If we catch you using a coding mistake to your own advantage, our response will be very harsh.  See HELP BUG for more information.

No botting.  Do not set a series of triggers and responses that manipulate your character without your presence at the computer.  This is not only a really lame thing to do, but it usually ends up hurting your character in the long run.

If you have any questions regarding the Rules, ask an Immortal for clarification.  You can see this list at any time by typing RULES.