MUSH Guide Part One
Welcome to the MUSH Survival Guide! This guide is tailored around Dream Chasers MUSH, but much of this advice can be applied for any MU* centered around roleplay, though many parts will be entirely subjective.
This guide also contains text and advice from many people, as this is something anyone can add advice or update. If you run across something that confused you that you wish to put in this guide to help others, or something you know more about and want to clarify, put it in here!
Here's the chapters so you can skip ahead as necessary:
Chapter 1: Into the Wilderness - How to connect and log on to Dream Chasers MUSH.
Chapter 2: Crowded Street Corner - Wherein basic mechanics of communication are described.
Chapter 3: You'll Never Be Alone No Matter Where You Go - How to be a good guest, what to expect for the application process, and how to construct a well-rounded character.
Chapter 4: Stage of Death - Statting your character and you, combat RP advice, and other goodies.
Chapter 5: Wings - Where we discuss the ins and outs of roleplay, obtaining roleplay, and the tricks behind scene-planning.
Chapter 1: Into the Wilderness
So, what IS a MUSH, exactly? Well, let's try to frame it in terms based on your potential prior experience with roleplaying games!
If you're used to roleplaying via forums/bulletin boards or chatrooms, think of MUSHes as a midpoint between the two. You're roleplaying in a series of chatrooms, themed after specific rooms that would, in character, exist in the room. These tend to be laid out in a manner that from a 'physically moving' perspective are fairly rational.
So instead of a list of 'tavern, town fountain, jail', for instance, you might have the Town Square room, which links to the Tavern room, which links to the Tavern(Rafters) area, as an example. This is not nearly as cumbersome as it appears, because you aren't often moving between rooms in the middle of a roleplay. Many times people will pick a room within the general area and just pretend it's whatever spot they want. It's mostly a way to keep scenes separate from each other in a cohesive, understandable way.
Poses aren't usually meant to be instantaneous. Multiple-person scenes can run between a small-sized paragraph to longer, depending on how inspired a player is, or the tone of the scene. One on one sessions can sometimes inspire longer poses, since there's more room for thought. Another thing that contributes to wait times between poses is that, sometimes, life happens! Finding yourself running behind due to chores, dealing with family/friends/roommates/etc is something everyone deals with, so it's pretty understandable if someone can't type a response in a quick time frame.
This format's actually very similar to roleplaying between you and a partner, only you can have many partners, have more than one person, or attend scenes between many people. However, unlike a blog format, you sometimes have to pick a time which schedules align, and if people need to go, the scene is often paused for another day when people can meet back up. Sometimes, people just end the scene ('ftb-fade to black'), or poses are continued over another medium.
Let's say you're used to MMOs such as World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, or Second Life. MUSHes are text-based MMOs at their core, and spring from a thing called a 'MUD'. Imagine if WoW/CoH was all text-based and you entered commands to fight instead of clicking on buttons, and everything was visually described instead of graphical. The different lies in how MUSHES, alongside other formats like MUXs and MUCKs, are more or less purely about roleplaying, and generally have minor or no character progression systems.
While Dream Chasers MUSH has systems for combat and dungeons, they're meant as fun, optional tools meant to aid roleplay, not take the place of it. The Gunslinger system decides who gets hit by a fireball, taking into account each person's strengths and weaknesses, how their persona effects them, and adding an element of randomness. It allows for strategy on some levels, but it also helps people on how to roleplay their character's reactions to combat situations.
If you're coming from Second Life, it's seriously just a text-based version of Second Life that's a little more specific.
To connect to Dream Chasers, you'll need a client. Clients are the car that delivers you to the house that is the mush (or any other flavor of MU*). A client can be a separate program, such as SimpleMU or Potato MU* Client, or through a webmud portal available from sites such as PHudBase or Cheese Software.
Programs must be downloaded and installed on your computer. Webmud portals can be used in a browser.
This is a popular client that's not complex and has many useful features, and many people use it and swear by it. Plus? It's free.
This is also a popular client, and it's probably one of the most regularly updated. Used to be a pay client, is completely free now, and has a variety of nifty features.
SimpleMU is one of the easiest to use but no longer provides tech support or registration.
This is a very simple client, and does not have a wide variety of features to it. If you're really seriously just looking to 'press button, receive MUSH', this is not a bad one to start.
Potato MU* Client is more complicated but has some nice features such as a dual window text input.
This is the one many Mac users swear by.
This is another one that's around, so give it a try?
Simple to use and fast MUD client. Runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. Give it a try to see what it can do.
Relatively simple client, comes with a binary so you don't have to compile it, all around good times. Has a variety of basic functions to make your life simpler and easier!
Also a very user-friendly client, if you have troubles with KMuddy.
A browser client for the web browser Chrome. Not sure how compatible it is, but someone who has Chrome may have luck with it.
So now what?
Now that you've chosen the client you want to use to connect, you're going to want to plug in Dream Chaser MUSH's address. Each client will want to do things differently, but generally, you need to plug in a website and a port, like so:
> New Connection
> Name: Dream Chaser MUSH
> Host: dreamchasers.space
> Port: 4767
Don't worry about password/name information just yet. You don't have a character yet, so leave these fields blank.
Alright, boot 'er up, by whatever means seem available. Ideally you have someone on hand to poke if things go wrong, but if all goes well, you should come across a /stylish/ ASCII logo, and a bunch of words about logging in!
Type 'connect guest guest' and go to Chapter 2.
- The heroic PMUSH player who started this list. Seriously, this wouldn't be there if it weren't for them.
- Caryatid@MSB for the updated list of clients.