The Neophyte Handbook

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  1. Type 'help starting out' and 'help rules' to get you on your way.
  2. Take a look at 'help set' and 'help show' for how to set and view your character's settings. 'score' shows a general character sheet.
  3. It is a good idea to 'wear all' armour and 'wield' weapons.
  4. Typing 'help' will give you a list of topics. When you have time, read the help file for each topic. This may be the single most important thing you do.
  5. Figure out and use 'set wimpy' and 'show vitals'.
  6. 'rest' to heal more quickly; getting drunk also helps.
  7. Use 'set elude mode on', and use 'trust' with it while grouping.
  8. Check out 'help set combat mode'.
  9. At first, 'get' and 'sell' everything you can; money helps. Avoid taking other players' items, though. See the 'Etiquette' section in this book. The 'get' command is very versatile; you may do such things as 'get all' or even 'get all from corpse'. Use these with caution, though, as some items may be harmful. In particular, avoid mysterious black rocks.
  10. Try 'search here' and 'search <item>'.
  11. The command 'determine location' tells you your coordinates on a map, if you have a compass or the like. Beware, until your 'orienteering' skill is higher, you will only get approximate results.
  12. People in Losthaven and some other towns can be asked for directions to interesting places in their towns. Try asking for directions to the shop, the church, the square, and so on.
  13. You get experience for exploring the world, so instead of fighting you can get started just by finding new places to explore.
  14. The Losthaven sewers are a good starting point; look for a manhole south of the Losthaven square.
  15. Visit the runtlings on the Shrieking Siren, a ship down at the Losthaven docks.
  16. Visit Spiderwood, directly northwest of Losthaven at -23, -23, 0. Avoid the giant spiders at first until you are tougher.
  17. Visit the land of Lem in Korindim at map coordinates 16, -29, 0.
  18. Visit the chaos imp city of Imptropolis at Ebiria coords 20, 28, 0.
  19. If you have full ANSI terminal support, learn how to use 'sbar' as a supplement or alternative to 'show vitals'.
  20. See 'help set alias' to learn about one of your most powerful tools. Also, check out on the web.
  21. Check the status of your hunger, thirst, and intoxication regularly with 'show hunger, thirst, intoxication'. If your vitals seem to be low or are dropping for an unknown reason, you probably need to eat or drink.
  22. You will automatically advance in level when you gain enough experience. 'show experience needed', or 'xp' (a quick alias for it), will show you how close you are to advancing.
  23. Many commands can be abbreviated. For example, 'examine' becomes 'exa' and 'look' becomes 'l'. See 'help abbrevs'.
  24. Each command may also be repeated up to nine times by putting the desired number before the command. I.e.: '5e' will make you go east five times.
  25. Use the commands 'info' and 'exa' on every object and creature you encounter.


First, read 'help combat' for an overview of the combat system. As the file mentions, it is impossible to prescribe any one perfect configuration for combat; experimentation and experience will soon help you select a style that suits you.

Hints for combat:

1. Go into a battle with full endurance when possible. Even small creatures will fight for their lives and can be surprisingly tough.

2. Using a shield for defense is often an excellent starting strategy, but you may want to experiment with using a two-handed weapon or wielding your current weapon two-handed (see 'help wield') as a more aggressive tactic.

3. Your wimpy setting ('help wimpy') will be fairly high to begin with; don't take it down too far. Anything less than 40 should be considered too low for a beginning player.

4. If things are going badly, flee. You may use the 'flee' command to pick an available direction at random, or choose an available exit and take it. Have your 'elude' on to help shake the monster if it chases you. If you are in the wilderness, just run as far and as fast as possible. Typing '9w<enter>' (or another direction) will usually do it. You will not lose experience points for fleeing, but your enemy will often get an extra round of attacks as you leave, and may try to chase you.

5. If you do not care to see descriptions of blows that do not cause wounds, type 'set filtering of insigcmb to on'. You will then see only hits that injure. See 'help set brief combat' for more information.

6. Combat is highly customizable. You may set your 'aim', 'strike location', and 'combat mode', as well as your desired 'effort', 'wimpy', and 'attack scatter' levels. See the 'help set aim', 'help set strike location', and so on for usage. There are benefits to applying different configurations to different situations. If you 'set aim to high' and/or 'strike head', for instance, you will be focusing your efforts on one vital area. If your skills are high enough, or the opponent's head is an easy target (hill giants, for instance), this can make an effective strategy for a quick victory.

Now that you are somewhat prepared, you may be wondering what sorts of creatures are in your league at the beginning levels. The sewers in Losthaven are a common place to start gaining battle experience, as are the streets of Stillwater, with its citizens and militia. You may find that the best place to start fighting, however, is in the wilderness. Try fighting giant rabbits, foxes, or owls, but avoid nastier-seeming creatures such as goblin raiders or hill giants. See the section on wilderness exploration in this book under 'Exploration' to learn how to quickly find foes in the wild.


Read the help files for 'tell', 'whisper', 'say', and 'shout'. These are commands for verbal communication. You can only speak in one language at a time (read 'help languages'), so consider this fact when you get no or little response from a target audience; they may not have understood you! Note that on many MUDs, the 'shout' command is seen by the whole MUD; this is *not* the case on Lost Souls, where 'shout' only goes to the area nearby.

There are ways to convey an idea without spoken language. Learn to use 'emote' to communicate through gestures and to add character to conversation. Use 'emotions' as shortcut emotes to perform common actions such as shaking hands ('handshake <player>'), or humorous OOC actions such as stretching a player's face into odd shapes ('stretch <player>'). Typing 'emotions' by itself will print a list of available emotion commands. They usually may also be done across distances by putting an 'r' before the emotion command (ie: 'rwave <player>' will wave to playername from afar). Be warned, however, that using emotes or emotions as a replacement for 'say' in order to circumvent language barriers is an illegal action. See the hints at the bottom of this section for more detail.

Channels are a useful way to communicate. When you first start out, you will be on the 'neophyte' and 'ooc' channels. See 'help channels'.

Hints on communication:

1. Learn to speak Anglic as soon as possible. It is the most common tongue spoken on the MUD. There are teachers in Stillwater and Losthaven to start you off.

2. Using emotes to get around language barriers becomes illegal if the emote contains ideas or actions that cannot be realistically 'seen.' A legal emote could be ':shakes his weapon and points at the orc, grinning.' An illegal emote could look like: ':hey Bannor, can you resurrect me?' Notice that the first example is a miming action, while the second is formulated as though the character wishes to 'say' the message.

3. Channels have no language restrictions and low or nonexistent SP costs. Consider using them as your first avenue to getting help. The neophyte channel exists primarily for this reason. To use it, type 'neophyte', followed by your request for help. Example: neophyte Hi guys! Do you think I would be able to kill a hill giant?


Everything you need to know is under 'help dying'.

Hints on dying:

1. As the file 'help dying' mentions, use your ghostly invulnerability to do some exploration!

2. You will normally be transported to a location where you can return to life when you die. The syntax for returning to life can vary, but 'pray for life', or praying to the deity that a place is dedicated to, is common. Some places can prevent your ghost being transported away from your body, though, in which case you will need to find your own way to a place to resurrect.

3. A very common effect of death is becoming very hungry and thirsty. This will deplete your hit points, making you very fragile! When this happens, you will need to find food and drink before engaging in serious combat again.


In order to keep the game fun, there are certain behavioral guidelines that should be adhered to whenever possible. No one can tell you to be a nice person or to help everyone who asks, but there are certain rules for conduct which most players agree upon. Here is a simple outline:

1. Respect other players' property. This means if they drop something in the room, you must ask before you take it, no matter how mundane the item. Thievery is not appreciated by anyone, and being caught consciously stealing an item may result in punitive measures. If there is a corpse present, this counts as an item, too. You should not manipulate the corpse in any way, including searching it for items, unless you have permission.

2. To supplement point 1, it is also frowned upon to fight another player's intended target. This means that if you are in a room with an NPC and a player, and the other player was there first, you should ask that player if he was planning to attack the creature. It is entirely possible that the other player is simply waiting to gain some hit points or endurance back before entering combat.

3. It is considered polite to bow or shake hands when greeting another player. To ignore another person's greeting is not criminal, and you cannot be punished for it, but you may be burning bridges by being unnecessarily rude.

4. Common sense: if you have a disagreement with a player, try to be calm and understand their point of view, rather than getting defensive and adversarial. Most disagreements are due to simple mis-communication.

5. There are right and wrong ways to ask for help. Use common sense and don't ask in a way you would not like to be asked yourself. See 'Communication' and 'Still need help?' in this book for more information.


The first place you should explore is the city you start off in. If you have chosen Sanctuary as your homeland, you have your work cut out for you. Learn where the shops, healers, trainers, and taverns are.

Hints on city exploration:

1. If you try to manually map the city, keep in mind that it will not usually line up on graph paper perfectly. A 'chart' method is more appropriate. Chart-style maps are available for purchase at the map shop in Losthaven.

2. Beware of what you try to kill. First of all, the creature may be more dangerous than you can handle at a low level. Secondly, the creature's fellow citizens will likely aid him.

3. Keep notes of interesting and unusual things you see. Their significance may become apparent at a later time.

4. To start, your Detailed Rooms depiction mode will be on so that you will see the full description of each room as you move; 'switch depiction detailed rooms' turns this off. ('help switch depiction' for more.)

5. If you are ever unsure of the name of the area you are in, try typing 'creator area'. See 'help creator' for more info. Also, if you own a compass, try using it; it will either give you a pair of coordinates, or inform you that you are not on the main map. This is useful if you are somehow randomly sent to an area you are unsure of.

6. If you see a loop of cloth on the ground, look inside it before taking it. Chances are very good that it is a portable hole and there will be someone inside; if you pick it up, you may have an angry player on your hands. If a portable hole is empty, and no one seems to be looking for one, claim it as your own -- congratulations, you have found a very useful item.

Once you tire of the city, or are eager to discover new and interesting areas, get yourself a compass! Compasses are invaluable to all but the most experienced veteran. Most characters will have started with one in their inventory. If you do not have one, make sure you find one before leaving the city. It will make exploration easier and more rewarding. Once you have a compass, leave the city and go out into the wilderness (also called the 'main map'). Type 'determine location' and record the coordinates of the city you have just left. The first number reflects your east/west orientation, and the second shows your north/south position. Pick a direction or follow a road; head out into the unknown!

Hints on wilderness exploration:

1. Switch off your Detailed Rooms depiction. (See 'help switch depiction'.) You will not be able to see every landmark this way, but it does facilitate quick and easy exploration. Keep in mind that only with the Detailed Rooms depiction on will you see the full detail and imaginative richness of the MUD.

2. Travel in leaps and bounds. You can go up to 9 rooms in any direction at once by typing the desired number before the direction (i.e.: '5e' will send you five squares east). If you see the room's short description change, backtrack and take a look, and if the room seems noteworthy, 'determine location' and record your findings. Also, traveling in this manner, you are likely to find discarded equipment which you can take and either use or sell.

3. As you are exploring, take time to gain a bit of battle experience with the many smaller creatures you will encounter.

4. As with exploring areas, be sure to double-check before picking up a loop of cloth or portable hole.

5. If you visit the Northlands, past the great mountain range to the north, you will notice that it has its own set of compass coordinates.

6. The northern mountain range provides a number of useful landmarks; learn to find your way to other locations from those landmarks, for you will not always have a compass to rely upon.

Guilds and Associations

Most role-playing games and muds offer the player a choice of character classes, or professions. The most common classes are: mage, fighter, cleric, and thief. Lostsouls operates with a similar principle, but the character's class is determined by what guild (s)he joins. Type 'help guilds' to get an overview of guilds present on Lostsouls.

Unlike most other muds, which force you to pick a class right at the beginning of the game, Lostsouls has the player start as a generic adventurer. From there, the player must first find a guildhall then meet the guild's membership requirements in order to join. Some guilds will allow the character to leave them eventually, while others insist on membership for life. Until you find another guild to join, you may 'advance' and perform other guild functions from any Adventurer's Guild hall.

There should be no rush to join a guild; the more you explore and learn, the more educated your choice of guild will be. That said, joining a guild allows the character to access a whole new range of powers, most of which can only help the player (though there are sometimes sacrifices to be made).

Associations are smaller organizations you can join. They offer only small powers or benefits, but are often quite useful groups to join. See 'help associations' for a brief overview. While you may belong to only one guild at a time, you may sometimes join multiple associations.

Important: It is considered illegal to share information about guilds and associations. You may not discuss powers, hall locations, alignment restrictions, or any other such information about guilds and associations, as you may find yourself facing punitive measures. If you are unsure if information you wish to share is 'sensitive', you would probably be wiser to remain silent. See 'help rules'.


Questing is a pleasure for some and a source of rewards for others. You are not required to complete quests, but it can be helpful in many ways to do so.

To start a quest, 'show quests', then 'show quest <name>'. Pick one that looks interesting and suits your level, and then do it. For instance, were there a quest called "Kill Bill The Town Fool" with the requirement matching the name, simply kill Bill and the quest points will automatically be added to you. You need not wait to be assigned a quest.

Type 'help quest points' to see a chart of qp requirements, or 'qp' to see your current requirement for your next level. See 'help quests' for more detailed information.

Important: It is illegal to share any information that may help you or another player solve a quest. See 'help rules'.

Quitting from the game

You may quit the game from anywhere on the mud by typing 'quit'. When you do so, any items you haven't kept with the 'keep' command will be dropped in the room you are in. Since the amount you can 'keep' will be limited, it is a good idea to visit a shop to sell any excess items before quitting. Find a shop, 'remove all', 'unwield' any weapons, and 'sell all'. Your gold will remain through logins without needing to be kept.


As you adventure and explore, you will find opportunities to learn new skills from various teachers. Some of these skills may only be improved by taking lessons from npc's. Others will improve gradually through practice, such as your skill with any given weapon; each combat will provide a hands-on lesson and make you into a better fighter. A decent level of literacy and a fluent knowledge of Anglic will serve you well.

Type 'show skills' to get a list of your current skills and your proficiency level in each, including language skills. See 'help show skills' for more.

Vital Signs and Character Information

There are many specialized commands that will give you information on your character, generally found as part of the 'show' command. See 'help show' for more information. It is also helpful to learn each command listed in 'help'. The most common are 'info', 'score', and 'limbs'; learn to use them. If you have full ANSI compatibility, use one of the pre-made 'sbar' settings, or customize one of your own. If you cannot use sbar, type 'hp on' so that you can keep track of your hit points during combat.

Still Need Help?

There are going to be many things you will learn that this book could not hope to teach you. Your best resource for additional help will be the other players of the game. Sometimes a player will notice that you are new and offer to help of his or her own accord. Other times you will have no other choice but to ask for help. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Use your channels first. As mentioned in the 'Communication' chapter of this book, they have no language barriers.

2. Ask people who happen to be in the same room as you. There are many, many different types of people; some will help you readily, while others will ignore you. Accept that people are people, and you should be able to find help sooner or later.

3. Try sending a 'tell' if you become desperate for help. As with point #2, you will be ignored sometimes, but will find allies other times. If you pay attention to the people on the MUD for even a short period of time, you will learn who the helpful people are.

4. Players cannot offer certain kinds of help. For instance, it is generally forbidden to share quest information. See 'help rules' for clarification. If you are caught actively seeking quest information, you may be punished.

There will be certain things players will not be able to help you with. When you have a technical problem, such as a bug, you will need to contact a developer. Here is a suggested way to proceed with your request:

1. Follow similar rules as asking players for help, except that you should start with tells or the 'devhelp' channel.

2. When asking for help, be sure to be specific in your request. You will receive quicker responses and more efficient aid this way. Your request may be as simple as: 'Hi Bricriu, my heart seems to have stopped. Would you mind resetting it?' or as complicated as a bug you may have encountered. With the usual sort of bug, you will simply receive a message telling you that a bug has occurred, and generally the correct thing to do is report it using 'sysreport bug'. You may also encounter bugs that are not so simple, such as unreasonable behavior from the game, in which case it may be appropriate to contact a developer directly.

3. Developers will rarely offer help with the playing of the game itself, including recommendations of monsters to kill or areas to visit. If you have such questions, ask a player, as developers are generally not allowed to help you with these concerns.

4. When a developer makes a decision, it is an informed one. Trust their judgment and believe what they tell you. Their decisions are final.

5. Only when all other avenues of help fail, use the 'emergency' channel. See 'help emergency' for usage. Remember to phrase your request as per point #2.

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