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Table of Contents

  1. What is a mud client?
  2. How do I connect to the Criterion mud?
  3. What are classes?
  4. What is experience?
  5. What is wimpy, and how can it save my life?
  6. How can I communicate with other players?
  7. Can I kill it?  The CONsider command.
  8. Is the newbie equipment good? What is it's stats?
  9. But what do those stats mean?
  10. What is AC and what are the ranges for it?
  11. Grouping, or how to play as a team.
  12. How can I read scrolls?
  13. Help! I'm lost!
  14. Is this item better than that one?  How can I identify items?
  15. I've run out of space in my inventory, now what?  Can I put items in bags?
  16. What are the various stats, and what do they impact?
  17. What is better, hitroll or damroll?
  18. What are those numbers at the bottom of my screen? (Prompt)
  19. What is THAC0?
  20. Moving around
  21. What am I wearing/wielding? (Equipment)
  22. What am I carrying? (Inventory)
  23. Containers
  24. Thirst
  25. Hunger
  26. Death
  27. Healing/Mana/Move Regen
  28. What the heck is this? (Identifying items)
  29. I am poisoned! What do I do?
  30. All About Renting

What is a mud client ?

A mud client is a program that allows you to connect to the mud.  It will allow you to repeat the last command you typed, and some clients will also allow you to hear sound the mud sends.  It also can do some things automatically for you when it sees a certain text.  If you connect to Criterion mud thru your browser, you do not need a mud client however - your browser acts as the mud client.

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How do I connect to the Criterion mud?

To connect to the Criterion world, you have basically three choices:  

  1. Connect using a telnet application.  This option is not recommended, as it will make it a lot harder for you to understand what is going on.  The advantage is you probably have it already loaded on your system.  To try it, click here.
  2. Connect using a mud client.  Most people choose this way, as it is the most compatible between mud's and allows you to do a lot of things automatically.  Some mud clients like Pueblo or Zmud will allow you log in automatically, or hear sounds.  Zmud even allows you to do automatic mapping.  There are more mud clients in the links section.
  3. Connect with your browser.  This option is unique to Criterion!  It allows you to see graphics, click on links to do actions, open windows to display maps or text.  You can now see the Grunting Boar Inn!  It's still under beta testing however; not everything works as it should.
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What are classes?

Criterion is a class based mud.  What skills you can learn, whether you can cast magic, some of your vital stats, are determined by what class you pick.  Certain classes can be combined with others, this is called multiclassing.  Multiclass characters usually take longer to level because they require more experience (each class must get its share of experience), however, you will have more skills available to you.  You can get more help about the individual classes.

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What is experience?

Experience (often called exp, or xp), is a representation of how experienced your character is.  To advance to the next level, you will need a certain amount of experience (type "score" to see it).  Killing stronger monsters will give you more experience than killing weaker ones, but if you pick a monster that is too strong for you, you may die, or if you have wimpy enabled, you may flee.  Dying will cost you a lot of experience, and fleeing will cost a little (it depends on the strength of the monster).  Before you try to kill a monster, you should try the con command also.  If you are trying to kill a tough monster, you may wish to set your wimpy.

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What is wimpy, and how can it save my life?

Wimpy is a feature that allows you to automatically flee from combat when you are below a certain amount of hit points.   This will often save your hide!  A setting below 20% is usually useless, and a setting above 40% is usually a bit annoying as you will often flee when you feel you are not really in danger.  The maximum setting is 50%.  Keep in mind that you do not always flee the first time you try to.

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How can I communicate with other players?

There are generally two ways of communicating, to everyone in the world, and to people in the room you are in.

To speak to the entire mud, type:

bulletgossip <message>

To speak directly to one person (does not have to be in the same room), type:

bullettell <name> <message>

To speak in just the room you are in, type:

bulletsay <message>

More detail

bulletRoom based communication:  To see who is in the room, type "look".  Note that some NPCs could be in the room.  To say hello to everyone in the room, type "say hello".  You can also use the ' for this. To whisper "hello" to Bob, use the command "whisper bob Hello".  Note other players in the room will know you whispered but not what.  You can also use the tell command to talk to someone specific (below).
bulletWorld based communication: To see who is on the mud at the time, type "who".  To say hello to everyone (who is listening to the gossip channel on the mud), type "gossip Hello everyone".  To say hello to Bob, regardless of where he is, type "tell Bob Hello".
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Can I kill this? The CONsider command.

You will encounter many monsters that are past your level, and therefore could kill you with a few hits.  To determine the strength of a monster, use "con monster".  Con returns three types of information.  For example, if you CON'ed Biff The Dragon Slayer:

You would be the victor after 2 rounds, and would be in very good shape.

The CON commands simulates a combat (just one!) and returns the result.  Since this is just one simulation, you will probably want to try it a few times to get a better idea of what your combat will be like.  This is especially true when you are a newbie, and miss your hits often.  Also note that the con command does not take into account any casting the NPC might do.

The difference of your level versus Biff the Dragon Slayer's makes you think...
Too easy to be believed.

This is the least accurate information.  The CON command compared your level to Biff's, and returned a piece of text describing the difference.  Unfortunately, levels aren't always set with respect to a monster's strength, so you should not rely on this description.  Finally, you may see:

Est Max hits are: Extremely inferior
Est. armor class is : About the same as yours
Est. # of attacks: A few
Est. damage of attacks is A decent amount of damage

The last paragraph you will not get until you have practiced lore at the Loremaster (ask people on mud for directions).  "Est" here stands for estimated.  The damage estimate is strictly based on the dice of the mobile is unreliable.

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Is the newbie equipment good? What is it's stats?

Some of it is actually quite good.  Before you get rid of it, you should check this table.  You may be replacing your newbie equipment with something crappy!  Most of the merchants in Midgaard do not sell anything valuable, as they have been killed far too often.  This may change in the future.

Name AC Stats
Leather chaps 3 None
Birthday candle None Light, +2 Hitroll & Damage
Lil' Orphan Annie's Decoder ring 1 +3 Hitpoints
Pooka shell necklace 3 -3 Armor
Batman's vest, complete with bat insignia 5 None
Ranger Rick's wide brimmed hat 3 +1 Strength
Chuck Taylor's high top tennis shoes 5 +15 Move
Fuzzy mittens 2 None
Bubble gum wrappers 5 None
A garbage can lid 5 None
Batman's cape 5 None
A sharp no. 2 pencil None Piercing weapon, Dice: 2D4, +1 Hitpoints, +2 Hitroll & Damage 
A Cap gun holster with belt 5 +1 Character height
A dime store bracelet 2 -3 Armor

A fully loaded newbie looks like:

[1] <used as light> A Birthday cake candle
[2] <worn on finger> Lil' Orphan Annie's Decoder ring
[3] <worn on finger> Lil' Orphan Annie's Decoder ring
[4] <worn around neck> Pooka shell necklace
[5] <worn around neck> Pooka shell necklace
[6] <worn on body> Batman's vest, complete with bat insignia
[7] <worn on head> Ranger Rick's wide brimmed hat
[8] <worn on legs> Leather chaps
[9] <worn on feet> A pair of Chuck Taylor's high top tennis shoes
[10] <worn on hands> Fuzzy mittens
[11] <worn on arms> Bubble gum wrappers
[12] <worn as shield> A garbage can lid
[13] <worn about body> Batman's cape
[14] <worn about waist> A Cap gun holster with belt
[15] <worn around wrist> A dime store bracelet
[16] <worn around wrist> A dime store bracelet
[17] <wielded> A sharp no. 2 pencil

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But what do those stats mean?

The birthday candle is a light.  This means if you hold it, the room will be brighter.  Useful for times when you're in the woods and it's night.  The pencil is a piercing weapon with an average damage of 7.  The other stats are explained below:

bulletHitroll:  Positive values for the hitroll helps you hit mobiles better.  Inversely, negative values make it harder to hit the mobile.  If the mobile has a high armor class (AC) you will need a high value of hitroll.
bulletDamage:  As you would expect, positive values make you do more damage.  Also called Damroll, and often combined with hitroll and called "HIT-N-DAM".
bulletHitpoints:  Positive values augment your hit points.  As you probably know, when your hit points go below -9, you are dead.  It is called "HIT" by the mud.
bulletCharacter Height: Positive values make you taller.  This is useful when you're trying to reach the back of a very tall mobile (see the backstab skill, if you're a thief).
bulletArmor:  Negative values make you more armored (see AC below).
bulletAC: Refers to the Armor Class (AC) change that the equipment will bring when you wear it.  Positive values will make you more armored and therefore harder to hit.  The mud calls this "AC-apply".  Also indicates the item's durability.  See the AC question below for more details. 
bulletMove: You have a certain amount of movement points which are used as you move.  They come back when you rest for a few minutes.  Positive numbers bring up the total amount of them you can have.
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What is AC and what are it's ranges?

AC (Armor Class) refers to how well protected you are from physical blows.  For example, a suit of armor will have a higher (better) armor class than a piece of clothing.  Your dexterity determines the base for this setting, and any further items you wear affect it also.  To find out your AC, type "attribute".  Here is the range of values:

bulletBarely armored (least armored - AC over 100)
bulletLightly armored
bulletMedium armored
bulletFairly well armored
bulletWell armored
bulletQuite well armored
bulletVery well armored
bulletExtremely well armored
bulletArmored like a tank (most armored - AC under -100)
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Grouping, or how to play as a team.

Suppose you want to kill monsters with someone else; I mean, two swords are better than one right?  You'll notice that experience will go to the last person to make the blow.  Unless, of course, you group, then the experience will be shared between players.  How do you do it?  First, you decide on who will lead.  Let's say it's Bob, and Mark and Paul are playing also.  Then everyone types:

follow Bob

Bob, on the other hand, must not be following anybody (he can type "follow Bob" if he is), and must group everyone, himself included with the following commands:

group Bob
group Mark
group Paul

Now, whenever anyone kills someone, everyone in the room and in the group will get a share of the experience.  And now whenever Bob moves, everyone in the group capable of moving will follow Bob.

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How can I read scrolls?

    If you are a magic user (Mage, Cleric, Druid, Elementalist), you can read scrolls simply by typing "recite scroll-name".  Note that not all scrolls are good, and you may wish to identify them before reciting them.  If you are not a magic user (warrior), you will first need to learn how to read magic, by visiting the Loremaster in Mordilina.  Magic users may also want to make the quest to learn some of the other things the loremaster teaches.  This quest should not be undertaken by players of levels less than 10, because getting lost could mean you run into dangerous creatures.  Never the less, you should not need to engage in combat.  You will, however, need a boat (the captain near the levee sells one).  The levee is 2 squares east (2e) and 1 square south from Common Square.   From the levee, the Loremaster is one south, go all the way west (the current may drag you west also), and then all the way south until you cannot go any further.  Then once west, and south until you find the Loremaster.   Once there, like always, type "practice" to get a list of the skills you can learn.  Type "practice read magic" until it says you are a master.

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Help! I'm lost!

    The easiest way to remedy this is to type "recall", which will bring you back to the Temple of Midgaard or the last place you rented.  Type "recall ?" to see where you've rented so far.  There are also maps of a few areas available.  Other players have made maps; contact them for errors or omissions in these maps.

Is this item better than that one?  How can I identify items?

    The best way to identify equipment is to buy a wand from Zifnab (2 west, 1 north of Market Square), hold the wand and type "use wand item".  The item should be in your inventory (not equipped).  Please note that the newbie equipment is already identified for you.  The pencil and the birthday candle are better than a lot of the equipment out there; this is done to help newbies get started.

I've run out of space in my inventory, now what?  Can I put items in bags?

    Yes!  You can out items into bags until the bag is full, or until you cannot carry any more items.  To put items in a bag, type "put item bag".  To view the contents in the bag, type "examine bag".  To get something from it, type "get item bag".  You can get bags from the grocer in Midgaard (1e, 1n from Market Square).  These bags are small however, the Gypsy Shopkeeper in the Gypsy camp sells bigger ones.

What are the various stats, and what do they impact?

There are 6 stats, and they have impact on various skills and spells (this list is NOT complete):

bulletNumber of items (weight) you can carry.
bulletYou damage and hit roll bonuses (if it's over 18).
bulletAugments the weight of the weapon you can wield.
bulletAugments the amount you learn per practice.
bulletAugments the amount of mana you get per level.
bulletImproves mana gain.
bulletImproves the amount of practices you get per level.
bulletMakes it easier to cast spells.
bulletImproves your natural armor class (AC).
bulletImproves your ability to hit in hand to hand combat (hit roll)
bulletMakes it easier to successfully sneak, hide, steal, pick locks, and disarm traps.
bulletImproves the amount of hit points you get every level.
bulletAugments the amount of followers you can have.
bulletLowers the price of weapons.

Which is better, hitroll or damage roll?

By Alex

The answer to this one changes depending on what you want to do.  If you want hit more often, get stuff that gives a higher hitroll.  (Great for players with multiple hits per round.) If you prefer to hit harder, get stuff with a higer damage roll.  This will add to the damage your weapon does when you do hit something (someone.)

It is possible to have both be very high numbers - in the 30's.  this is nice if you want to hit every time, and hit hard.  (That's the way you're supposed to hit, right?)

Okay, so what exactly does hitroll help with?

Hitroll is designed to help with something called a THAC-0 (To Hit Armor Class Zero.)

To hit a creature, when you type kill (thingy) - the game rolls a 20 sided "hit dice" and compares it to your THAC-0. - If the dice is higher than your THAC-0 , you hit the thingy you are trying to kill. Game does this every round until you flee, kill it, or get killed.

What does Damroll help with?

Damroll adds to the damage your weapon does.  To find out what damage your weapon does just get someone to show you how to identify your weapon.  Wands that do this are available from Zifnab.  For example - if you know your weapon (in this case, the Epee) does 12d1, you know that when you hit, the game rolls 12 one-sided dice and adds up the result... which in this case, is always 12.  You are wearing armor that gives you +6 to damage... so, just add the two numbers up!  12 + 6 = 18 hit points of damage you do to the other guy. ( Only if you manage to hit him!!)

What is THAC-0?

By Alex

To Hit Armor Class Zero (thac0) - every player has one.  This helps the game figure out how often you're going to hit someone in a battle.  The game rolls a 20 sided die each time you are going to hit someone.  For a character at level one, your Thac0 is high - you may have to roll over 16 (out of 20!) to hit whatever you're attacking.  Don't worry, THAC0 comes down as you gain experience and levels.  For high level characters, THAC0 may be as low as 2, or even 1 (out of 20) to hit.  This explains why a level one character has such a hard time killing a mouse, but a level 99 character can kill creatures of God-like difficulty with out breaking a sweat.  Oh... if the game rolls a 1 (out of 20) you will miss.  If the game rolls a 20 (out of 20) you will hit no matter what.  It's the game's way of letting the newbies kill the mouse.

Does the armor class of the creature I'm attacking affect MY Thac-0?

 Yes.   As the creature's armor class drops towards the max of -100, your Thac-0 goes up.  The max thac-0 you can have is 19. (out of 20)  This is where your hitroll bonus comes in. The hitroll bonus helps you hit creatures of really low armor class.  The reverse is also true.  A creature with low armor class (max of +100) is very easy to hit, and your Thac-0 needed to whack him is lower.

What are those numbers at the bottom of my screen?  

When you play, you will notice three sets of numbers at the bottom of your screen.  These numbers are your prompt (the default one, you can change it later if you like.)

H: <number> are your current hitpoints. Hit points are the measure of a character's current physical condition. You can lose hp during combat, and if you lose too much hp, your character will die.

M: <number> is your current mana. Mana is the measure of a character's magical capability. As you cast spells, you use up mana.  It is possible to use up your mana and not be able to cast a spell.

V: <number> are your current movement points. Movement points represent a character's stamina.  You slowly use up movement points during travel, and when you run low, your character becomes tired.

Hitpoints, mana, and movement points all regenerate over time. You can speed up this regeneration by sleeping or resting (a safe place is best, and a regen room like The Temple of Midgaard is even better).

Moving Around

Directions you may move in:
Type: e,n,s,w,u or d to move east, north, south, west, up or down
To see exits in the room you are in, type:


To open or unlock a door, type:

bulletopen <exit name> <direction>

To see the room description again, type:


Equipment (or what am I wearing/wielding)

To see what you are wearing, type: eq
To wear an item, type: wear <item name>
To wear everything you can, type: wear all
To remove something you are wearing or wielding, type: remove <item name>
To remove all you are wearing, type: remove all

What am I carrying? (Inventory)

To see what you are carrying, type: inv
You may only carry a limited amount of items, which is why players chose to carry containers (such as bags).
Containers expand the amount of items you can carry.


To see contents, type: look in <container name> or examine <container name>
To put an item into a container, type: put <item name> <container name>
To put everything in your inventory, type: put all <container name>
To put only breads in a container, type: put all.bread <container name>
To remove something from a container, type: get <item name> <container name>
To get everything from a container, type: get all <container name>
To get only breads from a container, type: get all.bread <container name>


I’m thirsty. What do I do?
There are a few solutions, depending on what you have.
  1. If you have a water container, like a cup, type: drink <container name>
  2. You can go back to the fountain in Midgaard.  Type: recall then drink fountain
To fill a container with water, type: fill <container name> fountain


I’m hungry, and out of food. What do I do?

Type: recall
If you have not rented yet, type: s, s, w, n
If you have rented in Midgaard, type: d, w, s, w, n
Type: buy bread
Type: eat bread 


I died. What do I do?
Type: rest (you are still low on health points)
Try to find your corpse. One item and gold will
remain with it. If you don’t know where it is,
ask for help. (Type: gossip Could someone please
help me find my corpse?’ )
When you find your corpse:
Type: get all corpse
Type: sac corpse
You only lose a little experience points with a death, don’t be discouraged! It happens to the best of us.

Healing /Mana/Move regeneration

I heal slowly.  How can I speed this up?
I get my mana back so slowly. How can I speed this up?
I get my movement points back so slowly.  How can I speed this up?

Make sure you are not hungry or thirsty.  Type: score
If you hungry or thirsty, there will be a line saying so, if there is no line mentionning that then you aren't.

To get a room that speeds up regeneration, type: recall
If you have rented in Midgaard, type: recall, go d, w, n
Type: rest or, even faster, type: sleep

The Temple of Midgaard (room with the fountain) is a regeneration room.  Resting or sleeping there will speed up healing/mana regeneration/move regeneration. Potions that heal/restore mana/restore movement points are sold at various shops, but are expensive. Some monsters also have potions. Never quaff a potion without first identifying it. Some potions are harmful.

Identifying Items (or What the heck is this thing?)

To find out what an item is, what it does, and how it will affect you if used:
You will need to identify it with a special item. Items that identify are identify wands,
white gloves, and scrolls of identify.
Identify wands are sold at the Magic Shop in Midgaard. (Type: recall, then go 2s, 2w, n
If you have rented in Midgaard: d,w,s 2w,n)
To use an identify wand:
Use the eq command to see if you are holding anything. If there is any item listed as “held”,
type: remove <item>
Type: hold wand
Type: use wand <item name>
To use a white glove:
Use the eq command to see if you are holding anything. If there is any item listed as “held”,
type: remove <item name>
Type: hold glove
Type: use glove <item name>
To use a scroll of identify:
Type: recite scroll <item name>

I am poisoned! What do I do?

White potions cure poison:
They are sold at the Magic shop in Midgaard.
Type: recall, then type s, s, w, w, n.
If you have rented in Midgaard: Type: d, w, s, w, w, n
Type: buy white
Type: quaff white
In an emergency, a cleric can also cure you.  Be careful about asking for help too often or people will get annoyed.
Type: recall
Type: gossip ‘I am poisoned, can anyone cure me please?’
This cannot be ignored, poison will result in the death of your character.
It is not difficult to avoid being poisoned, just avoid attacking anything that may be poisonous, such as snakes, spiders, etc.

All about renting

Where does one rent?
Players may rent at any inn that has a receptionist. To find the inn in Midgaard:
Type: recall, go s, e, u.
There are inns in other towns also.
Why should I rent?
Renting assures you that your items will be saved. Renting also dictates where you enter the game and recall to. Renting is a handy way to travel around. If you rent in Midgaard, then type: recall ? <with the question mark, you will see the Grunting Boar
with a 1 beside it. This means that from now on, when you type recall 1, you will land at the Grunting Boar, rather than at the fountain. If you later rent at another location, you will be able to return there by typing recall 2.
What does renting change for me?
You won’t recall to the Temple of Midgaard anymore.
You will be able to recall to different locations rather than just one.
How do I get back to the fountain from the Grunting Boar in Midgaard?
Type: d, w, n

Copyright © 2000  [Stéphane Boisjoli]. All rights reserved.
Revised: March 02, 2005 .