Classes and Guilds


There is a distinct difference between Classes and Guilds in MUDs. Classes determine your player's vocation in the game. Guilds are mostly social groups made up of players from different classes, and usually have far less impact and influence on gameplay than one's choice of class.

The types of classes available to players will vary from MUD to MUD. It is always a good idea to read the help files and FAQs for all the classes the first time you log into a new MUD. As a guide, here are a few classes commonly found on most MUDs:

Fighters are basically your average grunts. They rely on their brute strength and their fighting skills to subdue monsters. A very basic class with its own special set of dexterity-based skills.
Paladins are usually a subset of fighters except that they have to maintain a good or saintly alignment.
Rogues and thieves have special stealth skills that enable them to hide in shadows, go invisible, attack others by surprise, pick locks and steal from the purses of NPCs or other players.
Mages are magic users and rely a lot on characteristics such as intelligence and wisdom to cast more powerful spells.
Clerics and healers have special healing skills that make them invaluable additions to any party of players.
Monks generally have to maintain a saintly alignment. In some MUDs, you can worship different Gods or Goddesses and sacrifice corpses of dead NPCs to them.

Depending on which class you join, you will develop a specific set of skills related to that particular class, for example, if you choose to be a cleric, you must practise your healing skills because your innate proficiency in that skill is what sets you apart from other players. Skills in different weapon types also depend heavily on your class, i.e rogues rely mostly on knives whereas monks are more inclined towards projectiles and blunts.

There are also different sets of spells for each class. There should not be a 'superior class' in a well-balanced MUD; each class has its own combination of strengths and weaknesses, and it is advisable to try out a few class types before settling on one. All you have to do is locate the class hall on the MUD and join. However, take note that once you have joined a class, you may not be able to switch classes using your same character. It is very common for people to play several different classes with many characters in a MUD, just to experience the game from different aspects.

Guilds are mostly social groups within a MUD. There are some MUDs where this may differ, and guilds may actually serve special economic functions. Some guilds may be wholly player-run and owned. These guilds are usually treated as competing businesses in the real world, and their success or failure will have significant repercussions on their members.
Guilds may also offer unique magical spells or abilities that are not generally available to other players. Belonging to a guild is not a must for any player, but for many, it enhances gameplay and opens fresh dimensions to the MUD. While guilds may not be for everyone, it is helpful if you want to interact with other players on a social basis.
Guilds are also generally player-run, so to join one, you may need to be 'voted' in by members of that guild. A guild leader is usually also elected by its members, and guild leader will be responsible for the policies and smooth running of the guild. Guilds often adopt popular themes and membership may or may not be restricted to certain groups of players i.e a witches or vampires guild could be female-only.

A good mix of classes and guilds allow for far greater diversity in the player population. A good MUD should have either a solid class or guild system built in place, or both. Having said this, bear in mind that many of the older, more basic MUDs (LPMud 2.4.5) may not have classes or guilds implemented at all in their game system.

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Copyright 1997 Artemis