This is not meant to be comprehensive by any means; I only intend to give a basic overview here. For more in-depth stuff, you can check out the help stuff in the MUX, catch a staff member (especially Bob, Darkhawk, Mike or Phoibos) in the MUX and ask them there, or post in the Chat Support folder of our message board.
One final very important note: When a command appears in an answer, it will be surrounded by brackets. (For example, [connect].) When entering these commands, type them without the brackets; the brackets are only there to set them apart from the other text in the answer and will cause the commands to not work if you enter them.
Q: What is a MUX, anyway?
A: It's a text-based virtual world in which you can create your own character and use it to socialize and/or interact with the environment of the virtual world. If you've ever played the old text-based games like Zork, you're already familiar with the basic "feel" of a MUX. The difference is that here, you aren't the only player, and you have a lot more control over yourself and your environment. (If you'd like a little more information, see "About CauldronMUX" in this handbook.)
Q: Why should I use the MUX instead of the Flash chat rooms?
A: Some of our members like using the MUX because it allows them to be more creative. They can create their own virtual houses, for instance, and have people over to visit. They can create fun items like the Tarot deck located in the Cauldron Lounge, which can be shuffled and read from. It's also great fun to explore the places and objects other people have created. Of course, this sort of environment isn't for everyone. The MUX isn't "better" than Flash chat; it's just a different way of interacting. Use whichever one you feel most comfortable with; chances are that people will be happy to join you for a chat in either place.
Q: How do I get a character set up?
A: There are a few basic requirements for having a character (aka user account) set up. You must have an account on the message board which is neither gagged nor banned, you must have posted at least five messages to the message board, and you must have your e-mail address (in My Controls) set to a valid address. (This is so that we can get your password to you.) If you meet all of those requirements and would like to have an account, go to this thread on our message board and e-mail the Mux Account Creator through its profile according to the instructions given in the first message of the thread.
Q: How do I access the MUX?
A: There are two parts to this: connecting and logging on.
Q: What are the rules?
A: You can find the Chat/MUX rules in this handbook. Please read them before using the MUX (or, for that matter, Flash chat).
Q: Where am I?
A: If this is your first time in the MUX, or if you are logged in on a guest account, you will find yourself in the Grey Mists. (The name is a reference to an in-joke from our Delphi days; feel free to ask one of the old-timers about it if you're up for a laugh!) This room really only exists to introduce people to the MUX; it has no special purpose other than that. If you see another person in the room, or an odd creature like a cat or a killer fluffbun, it's probably a staff member waiting to greet newcomers. (The creatures are generally puppets, which act as a person's eyes, ears, and voice, essentially allowing them to be two places at once.) The rest of the MUX waits right outside... The most common destination is probably the Cauldron Lounge, where most organized chats are held. You can reach it by entering the command [o] and then [cl].
Q: Where is everyone else?
A: You can use the command [+who] to see who is online and where they're at. This list will also show you some other information like how long people have been idle and who is staff.
Q: How do I move around?
A: At the bottom of every room description should be a list of exits. These exits are how you get to other rooms. You can use an exit by entering its name as a command. If an exit has an abbreviation after it, you can usually also use that abbreviation as a way of going through the exit. For instance, if an exit was listed as "Upstairs <U>", you could enter either [upstairs] or [u] to go upstairs. If you know a room's number, you can also just teleport straight to it by using the @tel command. For example, [@tel #23] takes you directly to the Cauldron Lounge without having to go through all the rooms in between you and it. You can teleport to the following rooms, as well as any rooms you personally own:
Wandering in the Grey Mists (#0)
Cauldron Lounge (#23)
Central Park (#137)
Elysian Fields Apartments (#53)
Phoibos' Patio (#80)
Novitiate's Nook (#212)
Novitiate's Kitchen (#217)
Q: How do I talk to people?
A: There are a few different ways.
Q: How do I perform actions?
A: Just start whatever you want to do with a colon. For example, if I typed [:runs around the room], everyone in the room would see, "Star runs around the room".
Q: How do I interact with objects?
A: That often depends on the object. A good place to start is the command [look] (or just [l] for short), which will give you a description of the object. You can also use this on just about anything in the MUX, whether it's object, person, exit, or other. If you want to see something in particular, put that item's name after the command (so [l tree] would look at the tree). If you just enter [look] or [l] without specifying anything, you will be given a description of the room you're in. Some other basic object commands are [get] and [drop], which do exactly what they sound like.
Q: What do I do now?
A: It's a good idea to go to the Learning Library the first time you visit the MUX. (From the Grey Mists, go [out] and then to [LL].) Enter the command [read placard], as suggested in the room's description, to get a short glossary of some MUX terms. You can also enter [learn] to start a tutorial about the MUX, or [commands] for some helpful commands, or [channels] to learn about the communication system of the MUX. The learn and commands tutorials will give you some more important "getting started" tips which will help you do things like set up a description of yourself to be displayed when people look at you.
Q: How do I get help?
A: There are several ways to get help. You can simply enter the command [help], which will give you a list of help topics and instructions on how to get information about them. (Also try [+help], which has some more topics.) If a staff member is logged on, you can ask them for help right there in the MUX. You can find out which staff members are on by entering the command [+staff]. (Not sure where they are? Check their offices behind the Ivory Tower. Some staff members have items in their offices which allow you to communicate with them without having to be in the room with them, or which will page them and let them know someone who needs to talk to them is in their office.) You can check out the Learning Library for some help on basic topics. Or you can post on The Cauldron's message board asking for help. If nothing else, you can even post a reply to this thread!
Making Yourself at Home
Q: Do I need to have a home in the MUX?
A: Housing is available if you want it, but certainly not required.
Q: How do I get a home?
A: First, you need to decide what area you want your virtual home to be located in. Currently, there are three areas open: Elysian Fields, the Ivory Tower, and Asgard Apartments for Wayward Heathens. If you would like a dwelling in Elysian Fields, contact Phoibos and ask him to set you up; if you would like to be in the Ivory Tower, you need to contact Koi; or if you prefer Asgard Apartments, contact Bob. Your house will begin as a single room connected to the area you chose, but you can easily expand it by creating additional rooms (see below). You will want to give your room a description at the very least. To set the description, type [@desc] followed by a space and the room's name, then your description, and press Enter. (For example, [@desc Upstairs=This is the upstairs of Star's house.])
Q: How do I create a room?
A: Creating a room and attaching it to your existing space is a multi-step process. Be warned--creating a room (or an exit, or an object) costs you MUX bucks. Since you start out with quite a bit and earn a little each day, though, you shouldn't have many problems doing whatever you want to with your space. If you run out, wait a few days and you will have enough to do some more work. One other restriction: You can only make new rooms connected to a room you own.
Make an exit from your space to the new room. This is a slightly complicated command, but easy enough to use once you understand it. It is made up of several parts: it begins with [@dig], which is then followed by the name of the new room and an equals sign, the names assigned to the exit (separated by semicolons), a comma, and the names of the exit from the other side. An example would be: [@dig Kitchen=Kitchen <K>;k;kitchen;n;north;n,South <S>;south;s] What the above command does is create a new room called "Kitchen" which can be reached from the room you're in by entering [kitchen], [k], [north], or [n], and which will display in the list of exits from the room you're in as "Kitchen <K>". If you were to go into the kitchen, you would see that the exit back to the room you started in was listed as "South <S>" and could be reached by entering [south] or [s].
Go into the new room and give it a description. To set the description, type [@desc] followed by a space and the room's name, then your description, and press Enter. (For example, [@desc Kitchen=This is the kitchen of Star's house.]) Rooms, by the way, don't need to be indoors. "Room" is simply the way to describe a location in the MUX. Your "room" could be a grove of trees, or a lake, if you wanted to. Use your imagination!
Open up other exits as needed. You can make your room connect to multiple rooms by using a command similar to the @dig command. This time, you will need to know the room number of the room you want to connect to. You can find this beside the room's name whenever you enter the room or view its description. (If you can't see the room number, you probably don't have permission to create an exit to that room.) Stand in the room you just created and type [@open] followed by the names of the exit the new room, then an equals sign, the number of the room you want to go to, a comma, and the names of the exit from the other side. So if I wanted to connect my kitchen to my backyard, and the backyard already existed as room #78, I would enter this command: [@open Backyard <B>;backyard;b=#78,Kitchen <K>;kitchen;k] That would create an exit listed as "Backyard <B>" in my kitchen's exit list, which I could use by entering [backyard] or [b]. The backyard would have an exit in its list called [Kitchen <K>]
Q: How do I make a room private?
A: Lock all of the exits leading to the room so that only you can use them. To lock an exit, you first need to go to the room it leaves from (not the room it's going to). Once you're there, type in the command [@lock] followed by the exit's name (the short version is fine) and [=me], and press Enter. For example, if I wanted to make it so that only I could use an exit called "Secret Passage" or "sp" for short that leads from my kitchen to my bedroom, I would stand in my kitchen and enter the command [@lock sp=me].
Q: How do I create an object?
A: Simply type [@create] followed by a space and then what you want to name your object. (For example, [@create sword] would make a sword for you.) You can then set a description for it by typing [@desc] followed by the object's name, an equals sign, and what you want the description to be. (Example: [@desc sword=A shiny, sharp pointy thing.]) By default, you will be holding the object you created, so if you don't want to carry it around, enter "drop" followed by the object name ([drop sword]). As with rooms, creating an object costs MUX bucks.
Q: How do I make an object so that only I can use it?
A: Type the command [@lock] followed by the object's name and then [=me], and then press Enter. For example, [@lock sword=me] would prevent anyone else from picking up your sword.
Q: How do I undo a lock?
A: Simply type the command [@unlock] followed by the object or exit's name and press Enter. Example: [@unlock sp] and [@unlock sword], respectively, would undo the examples above.
Q: What is a puppet?
A: A puppet is an object in the MUX which acts as its owner's eyes, ears, and mouth. Essentially, it allows you to be in two places at once. (Many people choose to make their puppets creatures, such as cats or bunnies, but what form yours takes is up to you.) When someone enters the room your puppet is in, you will receive a message telling you that it sees someone entering the room. When someone speaks to it, you will receive a message telling you what they said. You can also control it, which means that you can have it respond to people for you, or run errands for you while you're chatting, or any number of things.
Q: How do I create a puppet?
A: First you need to create an object (see "Making Yourself at Home") named whatever you want your puppet to be named. Then enter the command [@set] followed by a space, the object's name, and [=puppet]. For example, if I had created an object called Cat that I wanted to make a puppet, the command would be [@set Cat=puppet]. If you see a message notifying you that your object has grown ears and can hear, you've succeeded!
Q: How do I make my puppet tell me what is going on in another room?
A: Simply send them to the room you want to monitor. The puppet will automatically pass everything on to you.
Q: How do I control my puppet?
A: Type the command [@force] followed by a space, the puppet's name, an equals sign, and the command you want the puppet to carry out, and then press Enter. For example, if I wanted Cat to say hello, I would enter the command [@force cat="Hello!] Important: If you are not in the same room as the puppet, you will need to use its item number instead of its name. You can find this by looking at the puppet when you are in the same room it is.
At the End of the Day
Q: How do I log off?
A: Simply enter the command [quit]. It's very important to do this before you close the client you're using to connect to the MUX. If you don't, you could wind up leaving your virtual character still sitting there, looking as though you're logged on, but unresponsive to anyone who tries to interact.
Q: How do I make myself go back to a particular room when I log off, so that I'll be there when I log on again?
A: The easiest way to do this is to go to the room you want to reappear in and enter the command [@link me=here]. This sets your "home" to the room you're in. Then enter the command [@adisconnect home]. This will take you home any time you disconnect.
Q: How do I make my puppet or my objects go back to a particular room when I log off?
A: This is an important step for any objects you intend to carry around the MUX; it's only polite to clean up after yourself, after all, and it makes things easier to find when you log back on later. The process is very similar to making yourself go home when you log off. Take the object you want to do this with to the room you want it to go back to. Then type [@link] followed by a space, the object's name, and [=here], and press Enter. (For example, [@link cat=here].) Finally, type [@adisconnect @force] followed by the object's number (which you can find out by looking at the object) and [=home]. (Continuing the example, if Cat were item #42, [@adisconnect @force #42=home].) Important: If you want both your items and yourself to go home when you disconnect, you will need to separate the commands with semicolons, like this: [@adisconnect home;@force #42=home]. You can add as many commands to that as you want, as long as there are semicolons between all of them.
Public Places in the MUX
Here are some of the public places in the MUX, and a short description of each one.
Wandering the Grey Mists
This is the very first place a guest or new person comes when he or she connects. Back when we were on Delphi Forums, an irate person calling herself Lady Kismea cursed us all to "wonder the grey mists", and it only seemed appropriate to incorporate that into our virtual environment! There isn't much to this room; it's more a greeting room than anything. Staff members will often leave puppets here when they're online so that they can welcome people to the MUX and offer assistance if it is needed. Staff puppets you may encounter include FluffBun (Heartshadow), Puppy (Phoibos), Kitten (Chabas), Starlight (Star), Happy Fun Ball (Koi), and Bob's puppet (Bob). There is only one exit -- to leave the Mists and go to Central Park, type [o]. You can teleport into the Grey Mists using #0.
Central Park is the main hub from which most of the major areas of the MUX are accessible. It's pretty much what it sounds like--a well-maintained park, complete with picnic areas and playground equipment. From here, you can go to any of the three living areas, visit one of Cauldron MUX's two fine drinking establishments (including the Cauldron Lounge, where chats are often held), or visit the Ampitheater or Learning Library. You can teleport to Central Park using #137.
The Duck Pond is a place for Cauldron MUX residents to relax. There are ducks here to be fed and picnic tables for those who want to eat beside the pond's calm waters. From here you can wander over to sit by the Fountain, explore the Forest, view the Statuary, step into the Walled Courtyard of Darkhawk's Egyptian temple, or return to Central Park.
The Cauldron Lounge is a room where Cauldron MUX residents often gather to chat. It looks sort of like a sports bar, but with different sports than you would normally find in such a place. You will find several private tables here, where you can sit with friends and talk amongst yourselves while also participating in the general conversation of the room. There are also several fun items to play with. Take for example the Moon Machine, which will tell you the current phase of the moon if you enter the command [+moon]. Or the Tarot Deck, which you can shuffle and use for readings. Or the Endless Ice Cream, which not only dishes up any flavor you can imagine, but also entices the other occupants of the room to try some themselves. If you need help using any of the items, just [look] at them, or ask the other people in the room. The only exit from the Lounge is [out], back to Central Park, and you can teleport to the Lounge using #23.
The Wunder-Bar is Cauldron MUX's second social establishment. The theme here tends more toward the Norse, as might be guessed from its name. Although there aren't as many "toys" here as there are in the Lounge, there are still some interesting things to interact with. There is a jukebox and a chessboard here, and you will also find Molly the Wandering Wench. Molly will happily serve you food or drink, or sell you various items from her cart. You should [look] at her for further instructions. The only exit from the Bar is [out], back to Central Park, and you can teleport to the Bar using #129.
The Ampitheater was designed for performances, speeches, lectures, and other such events. Unlike most real-life amphitheaters, its seating is quite comfortable. You can [look program] to see if any upcoming events are scheduled to be held here. The only exit is back to Central Park.
The virtual home of The Cauldron would certainly not be complete without a library! This one's function within the MUX is to provide newcomers to the MUX with valuable information about using the system. This should be your first stop if you aren't familiar with how the MUX works. Enter [learn] to get started on a tutorial. If you want to get straight to the commands, enter [command]. Or if you want to learn about the comm system, enter [channels]. The only exit from the Library is [out], back to Central Park.
Elysian Fields was the first residential area to be built, and thus far remains the most popular. Scattered around the Fields, you can currently find the residences of Seichi, Bella, Samantha, Stuck, Hellfury, Mariora, Ocelot, Tara, Wyvernfriend, Novitiate, Mellee, Heartshadow, Star, and Phoibos. (You can also go back to Central Park from here.) If you would like your own home in the Fields, contact Phoibos and ask him to set you up. You can teleport to the Fields using #53.
Asgard Apartments for Wayward Heathens
Asgard Apartments was the second residential area built in Cauldron MUX. It is designed to appeal to the Norse-inclined among Cauldronites, featuring a Thor's Hammer motif on the walls. Asgard Apartments also has many lovely amenities such as a pool, a garden, a fitness center and a clubhouse. At the moment, you can find the homes of CrystalWindDream, Ann, Bob, and Asahel (sometimes known as Mike) here, or of course you can return to Central Park. If you would like your own apartment in this complex, contact Bob.
The Ivory Tower is the most recent place in which Cauldron MUXers may set up residence, and is popular with the academically snobby among Cauldronites. It is not, however, solely a residential area. In the lobby you will find some interesting objects such as a random-insult-generating Shakespeare. Going up the Spiral Staircase will lead you to the dwellings of Teej, Enye, Chabas, Desree, and (continuing all the way to the top) Koi. If you go out back to the Arcade, you will find staff offices for Koi, Shadow, and Bob, as well as a gazebo for holding debates in. You can also visit the Mental Health Clinic to tell Eliza how you feel or use the mental floss to get a particularly disturbing image out of your head! Finally, you can return to Central Park. If you would like a condo on the second floor of the Tower, or an office in the Arcade, contact Koi.
Written by Star with occasional minor updates by Randall.
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