Sinister Guide

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This is a Work-in-Progress, so please feel free to clarify or correct me where I'm wrong.



This is Sinister Stairs's newbie guide, in the same tradition as the venerated Newbie Ramblings. This guide differs in that it's written for players who are already familiar with muds and their conventions, but are experiencing Lost Souls for the first time.

I have played literally hundreds of LPmuds and Dikus and administrated two (Hero & Hero II, Batmud); and Lost Souls has one of the steepest learning curves. This is the page I'd send friends from other muds, to give them the crash course in LS.


Some of Lost Souls's commands don't behave as you'd expect them to on other muds. The most significant are:

  • alias - Works as you'd expect, but the syntax is set alias <alias> to <commands>
  • brief - This isn't a toggle; instead, you need to specify brief or verbose
  • nickname - This isn't a substitution, but rather renames how you see things. Nicknames don't have to be unique (and, FYI, you can embed color codes into them).
  • depiction - LS is displayed in a Diku style by default; if you prefer the LP style, this is what you want to tweak.

Must Know

Commands or topics that you absolutely must know about Lost Souls:

  • info - Perhaps the most important command, this gives you OOC information on how to interact with trainers, item command words, etc.
  • lens - Clear lenses [of insight] are used to identify cultures, races, people, special items, etc. For example, if you see a "red-eyed shadow-creature" and identify it, you may then recognize it as "Sinister Stairs, neuter nyloc."
  • memorize - After you identify something, you'll want to memorize it so it saves. If you ever reach your memory limit, you can always forget unnecessary.
  • attack preference - Sets your attack priority (e.g. weapon very high, punch low) or disable attacks you don't want to use (e.g. kick)
  • defense preference - Sets your defenses (e.g. block with shield, not your hand)
  • keep and keep points - Crucial for saving your items. I need to add more info here.
  • affiliation types - Maps out what guilds/affiliations can join one another.
  • specialties - Determines your skill maximums.
  • brief combat - Personally I even find brief combat too verbose. I'll post my tt++ combat substitutions below.


Associations are the catch-all name for guilds and affiliations. You can only join one guild, but potentially numerous affiliations (based on their affiliation types).


Here's my thoughts on the guilds I've played:

  • Rangers - In my [limited] experience, this is best newbie guild to get started with. Choose a familiar that can tank for you, and you'll have a lot more room for mistakes. Plus: You'll be able to fight monsters far tougher than you should be able to handle. Minus: The ranger familiars take a cut of the xp.
  • Aisenshi - This is a straightforward combat guild. Plus: A superb protection aura with good access to quickness and combat meditation. Minus: Aisenshi (nee kensai) aren't true newbie-friendly because they have no specialty access to ownership.
  • Ringwielders - Minus: Pretty spec-heavy.
  • Nizari - Plus: Didn't play long enough to find them. Minus: No real plusses, traveling trainer that others kill a lot.



  • Warpstones
    • Unless you have chaos favour, warpstones are bad! Don't handle them for long, or you'll find yourself a "changed" person...
    • Should something like that happen to you (*cough*twice*cough*), a POEE can restore you but they need 5 warpstones to do the deed.
  • Brains: You can cut and eat vlekthid and gogtzul brains for more intelligence. The downsides are madnesses and memory loss -- some permanent.
  • Black skulls are valuable, but no one has been willing to explain why. :}
  • Melange can pop talents for you, but you can become addicted to it.


Here you can find my tintin++ mapfiles, combat substitutions, guild triggers, etc.

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