Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some basic responses to questions about Avendar, connecting to the game, and getting started with your character. In many of the responses there are links to more detailed helpfiles on the topic. We hope you find the information you need; don't hesitate to ask other questions if you have them.
- What is Avendar?
- How does it compare to similar games?
- How much does it cost?
- Who made and operates the game?
- How can I join the staff?
B. Basic Gameplay
- How do I start playing?
- How do I create a character?
- How do I control my character
- How do I use my character's abilities?
- How does my character communicate?
- How does my character fight?
- What should my character do?
- What happens when my character dies?
- How do I win the game?
C. Advanced Gameplay
- My character keeps dying. What should I do?
- Other characters keep killing mine. What should I do?
- Where should my character go to get more experience?
- How many levels can my character reach?
- What does my character do after reaching the final level?
- How can my character enter a House?
- How can my character get a deity's sigil?
- What are account rewards and how can I get them?
D. Getting Answers to Other Questions
- In the game and on the website: do a helpfile search on a keyword.
- In the game: ask questions on the newbie channel by typing newbie <message>
- On the website: ask questions on the help forum
- Email the staff
- In the game: pray to the immortals (the last resort option)
1. What is Avendar?
Avendar is an online multiplayer game. In Avendar, players roleplay an adventurer in an epic fantasy world. Adventurers explore, do battle against creatures (and often each other), learn new abilities and gain new powers, solve quests, make alliances and enemies, and simply experience the fun of developing a role and having an epic adventure. If you are familiar with classic fantasy novels such as Lord of the Rings, or fantasy roleplaying games such as Dungeons and Dragons, you'll have a rough idea of what the gameplay is like.
Avendar is a text-based game. Unlike graphical games, players must read to understand what is happening to their character, and they type in commands to control their character and interact with the game environment and other players.
2. How does it compare to similar games?
Games like Avendar (there are many, though very few as long-lived or of such quality) are often called MUDs. Avendar was constructed using free and well-known (for MUDders, anyway!) MUD software called ROM 2.4, which in turn was derived from previous software (MERC and DIKU).
This DIKU./MERC/ROM family of MUD games tends to feature very Dungeons and Dragons-style play (sometimes called "hack-n-slash"... lots of monster killing involved!). They also tend to come with the same "stock" world regions, so playing one MUD can be quite similar if not identical to playing another. One of the main aims of Avendar was to make the playing experience unique by emphasizing roleplay. There are other families of MUDs that have a strong roleplay emphasis as well, but they tend to be less combat-oriented. So Avendar is a marriage of the roleplay and hack-n-slash genres.
The biggest and greatest feature of Avendar, however, is its originality. Every step you take in Avendar is through a fantasy world that exists nowhere else. Every creature, every person, every adventure, and every quest is distinct and unique to Avendar. And with nearly a decade of development and play, the world of Avendar has become very in-depth in terms of the mythos and culture, due both to the many years of development by worldbuilders as well as the countless feats of heroism or dastardly villany from the players who have lived out their stories and left their marks.
3. How much does it cost?
Nothing. Avendar is a nonprofit game and thus 100% free, with no hidden costs.
4. Who made and operates the game?
A large number of fantasy gaming enthusiasts have helped to create the game. It was originally started by a handful of players from other MUDs, but nearly all the staff involved in managing the game now had their start in Avendar as players. For a full credit list, see the credits page.
5. How can I join the staff?
If you have strong English language skills and a flair for creativity, or are a skilled software programmer, artist, or web designer, and you are willing to commit some significant portions of your free time, you may be able to join the Avendar staff and contribute to maintaining and developing the game. You'll first need to demonstrate a mastery of the game through play, and then contact the game staff to discuss what you might be able to contribute. See the becoming an immortal helpfile for more details.
B. Basic Gameplay
1. How do I start playing?
Too begin playing right away, you can play through your Internet browser with our FMUD client.
Eventually (or if your browser doesn't support Flash), you may want to download and use a "MUD client program". A MUD client is software (we use and recommended free versions), made for use with any TELNET-based MUD, which has special features (such as aliasing, triggering, highlighting, or even mapping). The PLAY page has a list of clients you can download. Once you install the client, you'll need to enter avendar.com as the MUD address, and 9999 as the port.
Kestrel has written a step-by-step guide for downloading, installing, and configuring a common MUD client.
2. How do I create a character?
Once you've done the above and connected to the game, you'll receive prompts to enter these things.
Name: Type an original name (a name that you invent, that seems suited for a fantasy setting). This can't be a real-world name or word.
Password: Type and verify your password. It must be at least five characters long.
Account: It's recommended that you have an account. If this is the first character you've made, your account will have the same name and password as the character. You can log on in the future using this information.
Race: Select one of the available races. You can type 'help <race>' (for example, help shuddeni) to learn more about each race, or view the race information on the website.
Sex: Choose the gender for your character.
Class: Select one of the available professions categories and specific classes. The class determines what abilities your character can learn throughout his or her lifetime. You can type 'help <class>' (for example, help swordmaster) to learn more about each class, or view the class information on the website.
Alignment: Choose a basic moral outlook for your character from the options available.
Ethos: Choose your character's tendency towards order and law or towards chaos from the options available.
Hometown: New players will be assigned Var Bandor as a hometown. Var Bandor is a fairly easy city to explore, has all the class guilds in or around it, and is in a central region of the world.
3. How do I control the character?
Looking: To control the character, it helps to start with information where your character is and what is around him or her. Type look to see your character's location, what exits are available, and what things are present. You can type look <name of thing> to look at something or someone in the room. You can also type look in <name of thing> to see inside sacks, chests, or other containers.
Moving: To move your character to another place, type the name or abbreviation of an available exit direction--north, south, east, west, up, or down. You can also just type the first letter of these directions.
Your Items: For information about what objects (such as armor or weapons) you are using, type equipment (or just 'eq', for short). To see what things your character is carrying but not actually wearing or holding, type inventory (or just 'inv').
Using Items: To use items, you need to get <thing> if it is in the room, or get <thing> <container> if it's in a container. You can drop <thing>, or choose to wear, wield, or hold it by typing wear <thing>
4. How do I use my character's abilities?
To use your abilities effectively, you need to train your attributes (strength, intelligence, etc) first and then practice the abilities. You start with a few training and practice sessions, and receive more as your character reaches higher levels. You can train and practice at the trainer who stands a few rooms to the north of the entryway to the School of Heroes, where your character begin the game. Your class also has guilds throughout Avendar, and you can train and practice with your guildmaster.
Practice: At the trainer or your guildmaster, type practice to see what abilities you can practice and how many practice sessions you have. To practice an abilitiy, type practice <ability>. If the ability has two words, enclose the words in single quotes (').
To see a full list of abilites your class may eventually aquire, you can type skills, spells (if a scholar, templar, or druid), songs (if a bard), or forms (if a swordmaster or certain templars). This information is also on the class webpages.
To actually use skills, type the name of the skill. Some skills are automatic used (such as weapon skills like sword, dagger, meditation, or fast healing) in a given situation. To use spells, type cast <spell name>. If the spell has more than one word, you can enclose the words in single quotes ('). To use swordmaster or templar forms, type assume <form name>. To use bard songs, type play <song name>.
5. How does my character communicate?
Say: If other characters are in your location, you can say <message> and they will hear it.
Tell & Who: To communicate with others not with you, you can use tell <character> <message>. To see a list of characters currently playing that you can contact via tell (and who are not invisible, hidden or camoflauged from your character), type who.
6. How does my character fight?
Combat is an important part of an adventurer's life in Avendar. Here are some essential commands for combat.
Consider: If you want to fight somone or something, you can type consider <thing> to see how your character's level compares to the target. Important:Many battles should be avoided until your character's level is sufficiently high.
Kill: If you've decided to attack someone or something, type kill <thing>.
Murder: If your character is higher than 10th level, you can battle against other characters if they are close enough to your character's level. On the who list, these characters are marked with a [PK]. To start combat against another player's character, type murder <name>.
7. What should my character do?
That's entirely up to you! We recommend that starting players do some exploring to become familiar with the world. Most of the time, though, players spend time doing a variety of things, such as advancing their character's level by gaining experience points through combat and quests, finding new and better equipment, and enjoying roleplaying interactions and battles with (and against!) other characters.
8. What happens when my character dies?
When your character's hitpoints (visible in the prompt, and representing your character's health) reach or fall below 0, your character dies. Your character becomes a ghost, and is transported to his or her hometown altar. A corpse and all equipment are left where the character died. You can return to the corpse to get your equipment or wait at the altar. After about 15 minutes, the corpse decays and any equipment in it returns to your altar.
Resurrect: At a temple healer, your ghost can type heal resurrect to resurrect.
9. How do I win the game?
There are no winners and losers. The game is always on-going, and the fun to be had lies in what your character does. You can make your own personal goals to achieve
C. Advanced Gameplay
1. My character keeps getting killed. What should I do?
Make sure to use the consider command before combat, and flee when your hitpoints are low. Sometimes the first attempt or two at fleeing doesn't work, so you need to keep trying. Also, you can make your character flee automatically by typing wimpy <number>. The character will flee when hitpoints are at or below the number given.
Train your constitution, which will increase your hitpoints.
2. Other characters keep killing mine. What should I do?
Sooner or later, your character will be attacked by other players. To help you survive such situations, you can make allies of other characters, go to the cities where the guards will assist you if you are attacked, and explore the world to find places you can escape to. You can find Racyc's detailed tips for surviving playerkilling on the help forum, as well as Ramc's tips for playerkilling.
3. Where should my character go to get more experience?
See the area list for recommened areas for your level. Some commonly-visited areas for low-level characters to gain experience are the Var Bandor docks, the chaja tunnels, and Jasa Lake.
Also, many quests for experience can be found throughout the land.
4. How many levels can I reach?
51. Characters who reach the 51st level are called "heroes".
5. What can my character do after becoming a hero?
Many players find most of the enjoyment of the game in developing their character's role. Deciding what your character is like and how the experiences your character has changes him or her, and "acting out" this role, can be a lot of fun.
There are also several very remote and dangerous areas that your character might attempt to explore, artifacts your character could quest after, and legendary creatures your character could attempt to conquer. In the course of your adventures you'll learn find out about these things.
6. How do I enter a House?
You should make sure that you are familiar with the principles of the House, and that your character is a good fit with those principles. Then you can write a note to the house to apply for admittance. You will be contacted eventually, and most Houses have some sort of interview your character will face to verify that you are familiar with the principles of the House and that your character is the appropriate sort of person to be in the House. This interview is often a test of roleplaying ability--if you are able to play your role well and handle your character skillfully, you are likely to do well in the interview.
7. How do I get a deity's sigil?
You can attempt to gain a deity's favor and receive a sigil, or special mark of the deity, on your character. To do this, you should be very familiar with the deity and be certain that your character embodies some of the attributes important to the deity. To get the deity's attention, you could sacrifice things to the deity, visit the deity's shrine, and pray to the deity.
As with Houses, you will probably need to demonstrate quality roleplaying ability in order to receive the deity's favor.
8. What are account rewards and how do I get them?
Account rewards are special features given to players who make a positive contribution to Avendar, mainly by roleplaying well. The special features are available when creating a new character, and include things such as being able to specify a surname, being able to play in "hardcore mode" (you gain experience points quicker, but can die only once), receiving a variety of special traits, being able to choose nonstandard races, or even starting the game with an "heirloom" object you design.
The longer you play and consistently contribute to the game with quality roleplay, the more account points you will be given, the more rewards you receive, and thus the more options you will have when creating your next character.