Clan Lord Fount of Abundant Questions

Version 3.2.1, modified 72 Winter 554 (21 July 2004)

Welcome to the Fount of Abundant Questions. v3.2.1: updated URLs v3.2: assorted updates, including new demo info
v3.1: assorted updates, URL changes, etc., including new /label info
v3.0: updated many sections; using v3.0 because v2.10 is ambiguous
v2.9.1: assorted updates
v2.9: added 1.3, 4.11; alphabetized glossary; many updates
v2.8: added 4.5; removed outdated 4.12 and 4.13; various updates
v2.7: added 1.2, 2.11
v2.6: added 4.4; removed outdated pushball section
v2.5: added 3.4

Client updates are available from the Delta Tao site.

Experienced players may wish to read this auxiliary information as well:

Compiled and edited by Pamela Greene. Send additions, corrections, and suggestions for this file to me in Puddleby, where the spammers don't go.

I play Healery, Soulguider of the Fellowship of the Red Quill, on Clan Lord. If you find the waters of this Fount refreshing, please feel free to find me there and let me know. I'm also glad to help newcomers to the isles, and to answer any questions that aren't addressed here.

Delta Tao knows I write this, and doesn't object, but this is not an official DT document. Opinions expressed in this FAQ are my own or those of other contributors, and do not represent official Delta Tao policy. No guarantees are made about the accuracy of this information; use it at your own risk. Portions of this FAQ were derived from the original Clan Lord FAQ from Delta Tao.

This document is copyright © 1999-2004 by Pamela L. Greene. It may be freely distributed by electronic, paper, or other means, provided that it is distributed in its entirety, including this notice, and that no fee is charged apart from the actual costs of distribution. It may not be used or included in any commercial or for-profit work without prior written permission. Delta Tao Software, Inc. owns everything associated with the Clan Lord universe, including the pictures, sounds, music, client, characters, and world data.


  1. About Clan Lord
  2. Game basics
  3. Using the client application
  4. Other frequently asked questions
  5. Glossary

1. *** About Clan Lord ***

(1.1) What is Clan Lord? What do I need to play it?

Clan Lord is a massively multi-player, high fantasy Internet role-playing game for the Macintosh, from Delta Tao Software <>. More than just a hack-and-slash game, it emphasizes cooperation, community, problem solving, exploration and contribution, in addition to the fun of whacking at monsters, developing your character's abilities and personality over time, and using various kinds of magic.

Clan Lord takes place in a town called Puddleby, in the Lok'Groton islands. The game, and the world in which it takes place, are constantly changing and growing (see 1.8).

Delta Tao's official Clan Lord website is at <>.

According to that site, the game requires "a 100 MHz or better PowerPC Macintosh, 32 MB of memory, a 28.8 kbps Internet connection, and a sense of adventure." It also takes about 45 MB of hard drive space.

Playing on a 68040 is a bit slow, but manageable. You can try playing on a 68030, but crowded areas will be very slow and some areas with lots of graphics won't be playable. You can also play on a PC or Unix machine using a Macintosh emulator (see 1.3).

(1.2) Can I play from behind a firewall?

You shouldn't need to do anything special to play from behind a regular, nonblocking router such as IPNetRouter, SurfDoubler, or a hardware router. If you have a LinkSys router and two or more people playing at the same time seem to be sharing some of the information they should be receiving, making one of them stop moving or see funny things onscreen, you may need to upgrade (or downgrade) your router's firmware. Version 1.39 is reported to be the most stable for Clan Lord. Visit <>.

For a blocking firewall, it needs to allow bidirectional mapping of both TCP and UDP packets to on port 5010. Once that's set up, go to Setup Proxy... in the client preferences and enter the address of your firewall.

(1.3) Can I play using a Mac emulator?

Yes, some people play using Basilisk II, an open-source 68k Mac emulator, available for Windows, AmigaOS, various flavors of Unix, and BeOS. Read more and download Basilisk from <> or <>. There's a FAQ for setting up Windows networking in Basilisk at <> and a short thread on the subject in the Winds of Dawn forum at <>.

Although Mac OS 8 is recommended, I'm told that OS 7.5.5 works fine with CL, and you can download it for free at Apple by downloading OS 7.5.3 (which doesn't work for Clan Lord) and the update to 7.5.5. You'll also have to find Macintosh ROM files, which any search page should be able to help track down.

Basilisk users report that a P3 500MHz is a little slow for Clan Lord, but a P3 666 is good enough. Windows 2000 is better than 98. NT may cause problems; that's not entirely clear. Running full-screen DirectX is better than using the Windows GDI. The Linux version of Basilisk is said to be noticeably slower than the Windows version, at least with an older copy of X installed. There's a version implementing JIT (just in time) that goes noticeably faster and may be worth a try; check the Basislisk home page to find it. JIT compiles the 68k code into i386 code as it executes it, much like what the 68k emulator does in a Power Mac.

(1.4) Where can I download a demo version?

You can play a demo character for free. Demo (or "Agratis") characters can do nearly anything that a regular character can do, but they won't be saved when you log out. Download the latest client from <>. Pick Character Manager... from the File menu and click on the Demo button. Equip the club and bump into monsters to hit them.

To see some parts of the world that your demo character probably can't survive long enough to reach, take the tour in the west part of the fairgrounds. You can also use the same game client to watch some movies people have recorded during more interesting times. There are lots of archives of those, including the Puddleby Visionstone Repository and other player-maintained web sites (see 1.6). Screenshots are available on the main Clan Lord page (see 1.1) and at just about every CL web site, too.

(1.5) Where can I get a copy of this FAQ?

It's posted every other week to and available as a web page at <http://www.clanlord/com/faq/>. Several CL sites (see 1.6) will hopefully link to it as well.

It's posted to news.answers and comp.answers too, and available by FTP and WWW from the various news.answers archives, including

(1.6) What Web sites should I look at?

Clan Lord information is scattered pretty widely, since so many people have been playing it and adding their own contributions to the information available. Here are some of the more central sites:

(1.7) What other resources are there?

Clan Lord is discussed extensively in the Usenet newsgroup. Please mark your articles with "CL:" or "Clan Lord:" to help readers who either look for them specifically or filter them out.

Many Clan Lord-related mailing lists are hosted at Yahoo Groups. Search for Clan Lord at <>. Lists include Clan_Lord, ClanLordQuestTracker, Clan_Lord_Puddleby_Government, CLBard, CLosX, puddlebyharvest, clmonks, ghorakzo, PES_CL, and RQfriends, among others. For general news from Delta Tao, there's deltataonews.

(1.8) What kinds of changes are planned for CL's future?

Nobody knows for sure, but new areas, specializations, items, quests, trainers, and plots are all very likely. Delta Tao has plans for the world to develop and remain interesting for years.

Delta Tao has written, "The world has a past, present, and future that we've developed. Only the broadest of changes to the world will be felt by the casual players, but for those that wish to get more involved they'll have the opportunity to affect the story of the world as it unravels."

They've also written, "From time to time the world may change without warning, potentially affecting everything from the very lay of the lands to the pictures and statistics of individual characters." If something changes in a way you don't like, try to give it a week or two before making up your mind. Some things that are bad for individual characters turn out to be good for the game overall, once people have gotten used to them. If you still don't like something, send a constructive complaint to Joe (see 4.8). He won't necessarily agree, but he's said that suggestions are always welcome.

(1.9) What useful applications might I want to enhance Clan Lord?

These programs and others are available from the Dwarven Militia download page <>, as well as at the URLs listed.

Puddlewatch: <>. Tells you the Clan Lord time (see 4.6), date, tide level, and moon phase.

Scribia: <>. Open-source application to track your character's ranks, etc.

Stylus and Stylos: <> (Stylus, OS 9) or < Clan Lord Tune Helper: (see 4.12). Helps compose music in the ASCII text format CL instruments use. You'll also need Apple's QuickTime Music Instruments, available free from <>.

2. *** Game basics ***

(2.1) How do I create a character? What race should I be?

Buy the game. It comes with a serial number which you'll need to sign up at Delta Tao's CL site (see 1.5). Be sure to follow the rules for passwords given on that page. Then create a new character in the game's Character Manager. Choose your character name carefully, because it's permanent. You might want it to fit a background history you've created for your character, or you might just want to pick something historical, mythological, or completely made up. Don't pick anything obscene or offensive, don't use sTrANge coMbinAtIOns of letter cases, don't include numbers, and don't give yourself any titles such as Master, Mistress, Lord, Lady or Duke. Spaces, hyphens (-), and apostrophes (') are all fine in character names.

When you first come into the game, you'll be presented with a sequence of choices about your character, including sex, hair color, and skin tone. Two things you don't have to choose right away are race and profession, both of which are permanent once you've chosen. You might want to wander around a little before selecting a race, to find out a bit more about them than the NPCs in Town Hall can tell you. (You don't absolutely have to select a race at all, but if you decide to remain "concealed" you should come up with a good IC reason.) Here's a brief overview of the races' innate abilities, though enough training can overcome any initial problems:

Race       Health   Balance  Defense   Attack    Damage  Spirit
Dwarf      good     average  good      good      good    terrible
Halfling   average  poor     excellent terrible  poor    excellent
Human      average  average  average   average   average average
Ghorak Zo  vy good  poor     poor      excellent good    poor
People     terrible good     average   terrible  good    average
Sylvan     poor     good     average   average   poor    average
Thoom      vy good  average  poor      average   poor    excellent
Concealed  average  average  average   average   average average

Spirit is important mainly to healers and mystics.
All races initially heal others equally fast, except Ghorak Zo who heal a 
     fair bit slower.
All races initially recover health naturally at the same rate, except 
     Thooms who are about three times as fast. 
Some people have collected information about the different races on their own web pages: You can currently choose one of three professions: fighter, healer, or mystic. How you join a profession depends on what you want to be; ask people nicely and someone will help you. (But see 4.3 about mystics.) You'll pick up the rest of your skills and specializations as you go along.

One of the most important things you can do when you create a character in the game is to think about who the character really is, in this fantasy world. Most of the people in Puddleby were exiled there because of real or imagined crimes against the mad Emperor Mobius, ruler of the Ascendancy back on the Western Continent. Others arrived accidentally, were born there, or might even have come voluntarily. Knowing a bit about how your character got to Puddleby and what sort of person he or she is will help a lot in your role-playing (see 2.2).

(2.2) What is role-playing? What's OOC? Where's the OOC area?

At heart, role-playing is speaking and acting as if you truly were the character you're playing in the game. Of course, the character doesn't think it's a game -- to him or her, it's life. You may be familiar with face-to-face role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, or online role-playing games called MUDs or MUCKs.

To ease into role-playing, pick one or two simple traits and act them out. Your character might be scrupulously honest, formal, shy, greedy, a practical joker, a punster, a gourmet chef... He might be deathly afraid of panthers, or feel a need to kill every rat he sees. Whatever personality you want to play, try to "tell" the people around you about it by how you behave, without having to say anything directly. Particularly good role-playing is sometimes rewarded with a small amount of extra experience (see 4.10).

"OOC" means "out of character". In the fantasy world, your character doesn't know anything about computers, or telephones, or movies, or slow Internet connections. Talking about things like that is OOC, and it may bother other people around you who are trying to stay IC ("in character"). People have come up with IC ways to refer to some OOC phenomena: lag becomes "fog" or "bad weather," needing to go away from the keyboard for a minute becomes "meditating," and so on.

Of course, you don't have to role-play all the time. You don't really have to role-play at all, if you don't want to, though you'll miss out on some of the fun. Either way, though, you should try to keep your OOC conversations private so you don't spoil other people's role-playing. Use the /whisper command to talk only to the people around you, or step aside to a less crowded spot. There's also a special OOC area called the fairgrounds, a little west of the center of town, where you can go for lengthy OOC conversations.

(2.3) What are the different ways I can communicate with people?

(2.4) Where can I go for help, within the game?

The /help command will give information on the various commands. "/help <command>" will give help for that command, and in many cases "/use ?" gets help for an item you're holding in your right hand, or "/useitem ?" for items equipped elsewhere. There's also a tutorial building in the OOC fairgrounds just west of the center of town, which gives all kinds of basic information about commands, training, combat, karma, and so on. It's a great first stop when you arrive in Puddleby.

There are almost always a bunch of people standing around the center of town, too, and if you're hurt you can usually find a healer there. If you're polite (see 2.12), chances are someone there will help answer your questions. But remember, part of the fun of Clan Lord is figuring out things for yourself. If someone gives you a hint instead of a straightforward answer to an in-game question, they're not being rude, they're just trying not to spoil things. Have patience and enjoy your own explorations, and chances are you'll figure out whatever it is you wanted to know.

(2.5) What are karma, sharing, and balance?

All these are explained in the tutorial hut in the OOC fairgrounds, and in more detail in Braveheart's Guide (see 1.5). Briefly, karma is a reflection of what people think of each other; you can give good karma to someone who helps you, or bad karma to someone who is rude or evil (see 2.12 and 2.13). Sharing or spirit linking is a way for characters to cooperate and share experience with others. Sharing with a healer makes it much easier and faster for the healer to heal you, and sharing with a mystic is rumored to have benefits for both of you. Balance is the middle bar on your screen, and describes how easily beasts hit you and how often you can swing at them.

(2.6) What happens when my character dies?

You can't permanently "die," except by choosing to have your character deleted from the database. When your health drops to zero, you "fall," and you can't move, fight, or use items. You can still speak and yell. If a healer comes along and heals you, nothing bad happens, except that you had to spend some time waiting. If you fall somewhere alone, you can yell to attract a passing healer's attention.

If nobody finds you soon, try "share toggling." Pick someone from the Players list who might be willing to help you. The best choices are people with blue stones next to their names (healers, because they can heal you) or people with white or yellow stones next to their names (Journeymen or Mystics, who can usually find you and direct a healer to you), but really most people will help if they can. Then type "/share <person's name>", wait a couple of seconds, "/unshare <person's name>", wait, and "/share <person's name>" again. This will signal to them that you are in trouble. If they aren't busy, this will usually get them looking for you right away. Sometimes folks are busy, so you may have to toggle more than one person. Be patient, and don't disconnect or go to sleep right away. It can take a healer several minutes to find you, and another few minutes to take care of any dangerous beasts or fetch more help if necessary.

If you give up on being rescued, maybe because you're off somewhere really remote or dangerous, you can also /depart. Departing carries a small experience penalty, so it takes a bit longer to reach your next training improvement afterward, but that's all. It doesn't remove any training you already have. When you /depart, your body is healed a little and you're sent to Purgatory, a vast, featureless plane outside the normal realm of existence. Start walking in any direction, and within a couple of minutes you should pop back to the central temple, or whichever altar you last touched.

(2.7) Where can I disconnect safely?

Enter the library, on the northeast side of town square, and type "/sleep". You'll be disconnected immediately, and you'll stay safe and even earn a little experience from studying there. Once you emerge, that experience will be applied to your training slowly, giving you time to switch trainers if you want. (See 2.8.)

There are library-like areas for each of the professions in the training halls: a barracks for fighters, and so on. They work just like the regular one, and can help role-playing. There are also advanced libraries where you can pay a few coins a day and get additional experience, and a copper mine where you can earn money but get less experience.

If you disconnect anywhere else, your body will stick around "asleep" for about ten minutes before disappearing. If something attacks you in that ten-minute period, you'll be injured or fallen when you reconnect. You reconnect near where you disconnected, though sometimes you might be a short distance away on the same screen.

(2.8) How do I gain experience? How should I train? What level am I?

First speak with Master Bodrus, Mentus, or Spirtus in the central temple, or with one of the specialized trainers for your profession. Then go out and gain experience, mainly by killing beasts or by receiving shared experience from others. As you gain experience, you will improve at whatever the trainer you talked to teaches. If you want to switch what you're training in, go back to town and speak with another trainer. Ankrus in the main temple, and his colleagues in other places, will remind you which trainer you're working with and tell you how far along you are in reaching the next training goal.

Which places are safe for you to hunt as a newcomer to town depends on your race, but a safe place to start for any race is the "rat towers," towers near the gates that are infested with rats and other small rodents. If you can gather three or four new exiles, you can also head into the first sections of the myrm hive. In general, anywhere outside the town and farms is much more dangerous.

There are various opinions about exactly how it's best to train, but in truth the answer depends a lot on your own personal playing style. Go out in the world, adventure, take note of your limitations, and train to eliminate them some. If you have questions about specific trainers, try asking an experienced exile in your profession.

Clan Lord doesn't emphasize levels or titles, since your abilities depend not only on how much experience you've earned, but also on how you trained and on your own playing (fighting, healing, etc.) strategies.

There's no way to tell how much total experience you've gained, or exactly how much you've trained with one of the trainers, except by keeping track yourself (or using a log-parsing program such as Scribia [see 1.9]). However, the trainers say different things to you depending on how good you are at what they teach. The town employees will also start calling you Master or Mistress when you're advanced enough, and then Lord or Lady.

(2.9) How do I earn money?

Many beasts carry a valuable fur, mandibles, or a bounty; killing them earns you coins, if someone in your hunting party is skilled enough to recover the fur or mandibles well. Earnings are shared randomly with everyone in the party. Still, it's considered courteous for a fighter who can afford it to donate a few coins now and again to a healer or other non-fighter who helps him.

A bad way to get money is by begging. Someone who stands around town pestering everyone for money will not be appreciated.

(2.10) How can I buy something from someone else?

The seller selects the item in his inventory by clicking on it once, then offers it to you with the /sell command. You reply with the /buy command. You can also auction something in the auction hall, or raffle it off in the same building.

If someone can't /sell you something, you can't pick it up if they /drop it either. Don't be fooled by someone trying to scam you.

(2.11) How can I get something written in my /info?

A tattoo shop in town provides this service. Your tattoo can have at most 59 characters.

(2.12) What kinds of things are considered rude?

There are different kinds of "rudeness," which have different results. Talk to the "Dealing with annoying people" NPC in the fairgrounds for advice on what to do if someone is bothering you. For starters, control-shift-clicking once on someone's icon will "ignore" them, so you don't hear anything they say any more. Some additional information on DT's policies and practices can be found in their Web pages, and in <http://www.clanlord/com/faq/annoying.html>.

In general, people are pretty polite in Clan Lord. There's a lot of "Thank you" and "You're welcome," because teamwork is so important. Before you assume someone is being deliberately rude, give him the benefit of the doubt. It's possible that he's curt because he's not a native English speaker and doesn't know the language well enough to use the fancy, polite words -- or he might be role-playing somebody who doesn't speak the common tongue well. He might have run into your kudzu farm by accident, or interrupted your hunt because he was lagging and had no control over his actions. Try not to overreact to minor transgressions.

(2.13) Are there "evil" people in Clan Lord?

A few, yes. It's hard to play an evil character, since you can't kill another character without the player's permission and you can't steal things directly, but with a little creativity it can be done. For instance, you could play a healer who laughs about the foolish ways people die, or a fighter who likes to interfere with organized hunts. Evil characters should expect to get bad karma, the more the better.

Just remember that being creatively evil is not the same as being a pain in the neck. Yelling something over and over in the middle of town might be justified, if you can legitimately claim that your character has some strange disease that makes him do that, but most of the time it's just disruptive.

3. *** Using the client application ***

(3.1) Why are some names on colored backgrounds, or in boldface?

Make sure "Auto-Hide Names" is not checked in the Preferences, and then look at a character's name.

(3.2) How do I use a command on a person?

Any command can be abbreviated by the shortest portion that makes it unambiguous. You can use "/y" instead of "/yell", and "/whisper" can be abbreviated as "/whi" (to distinguish it from "/who"). Either / or \ works.

Commands like "\share" and "\thank" take the name of the person you want to use them on. Leave out any spaces and punctuation marks: to share with Example d'Exile, type "\share exampledexile". You can also use just the first few letters of the name, also without spaces or punctuation, as long as it's enough to distinguish the person you mean from anybody else shown on the player list. Or you can type the command portion, then option-click on the person's icon to insert their name. Finally, you can command-click on someone (or click on their name in your Players window) to select them, then choose the command you want from the menu. Be careful to remember whom you've selected, though, especially if you use the standard macros (see 3.7).

(3.3) How can I select or ignore someone, or mark them as a friend?

Different kinds of clicks on people's icons, or on their names in the Players window, do different things. There are also typed commands that work.

(3.4) How can I keep track of my friends?

The client offers several label colors (red, orange, green, blue, purple) to mark people as friends or sort them into different categories. To label someone a color, control-click on his picture or on his name in your Players window until the right color box shows up, or type "/label <name> <color name>". That puts a colored box around his name on screen, and changes the color of his name in the list. The speech and messages for people with any label look different from those for people with no labels; you can adjust that with Text Colors... in the Options menu.

Each of your characters has a separate list of labelled people, stored in a text file in the Friends folder. The file's name is the same as your character's name in the Character Manager. Each file contains one line per labelled person, with their full name, a tab, and the label color name. The words "blocked" or "ignored" can be used in place of a label name, in which case that person will be blocked or ignored (see 3.3). You can also have a global list of labelled people, used for all your characters; its filename is "*global*".

The label lists are read in once, when you connect, and written out when you disconnect. If you change someone's label status while playing, it won't be saved until you disconnect. Likewise, if you edit the text file by hand while playing, those changes will be overwritten by the client when you disconnect.

(3.5) How can I repeat something I typed before?

To repeat what you just did, simply hit return again. The last 15 things you typed (commands or speech) are also remembered. You can cycle back through them with command-uparrow and command-downarrow.

(3.6) How do I assign command keys to my inventory items?

Open your Inventory window and click once on the item you want to assign a key to, then type the number of the command key you want. (Only cmd-0 through cmd-9 work, not letters.) That's it. To remove an assigned hotkey, highlight the item and press the spacebar. Hotkey items are listed first in your Inventory window, sorted by number, then other items sorted alphabetically. The items you have equipped are underlined.

(3.7) How do I make a macro? Any suggestions?

A link to complete instructions for making macros, with several files of examples, is in the "Macro Instructions" file in the Macros folder. Each of your characters can have a separate macros file, stored in the Macros folder. The filename is the same as the character's name. You can also have a list of macros that all your characters share, stored in a file named "Default".

In addition to the official macro instructions, also see Nohn's macro links, Nohn's macro langauge reference, and the extensive, though unofficial, Clan Lord macro archive.

You can edit your macro files in any text editor. If the CL client application is running, choose Reload Macros from the Options menu to apply your changes.

Here are a few custom macros I've found handy:

f12	"/yell Help please!\r"

"thx"	"Thank you!\r"
"yw"	"You're welcome.\r"
"np"	"No problem.\r"
"rc"	"/action pauses to recover her spirit strength.\r"
":-)"	"/action smiles.\r"

Skirwan writes (and I agree):

There's a major difference between macroing and scripting. Macroing is a Good Thing -- it saves typing, and lets people participate in the world at a more reasonable speed than if they had to type out "/action waves." every time.

Scripting is a Bad Thing -- it separates the player from the character and the game, and almost invariably hurts the game environment in the process. People say again and again that social interaction is the heart and soul of CL's success -- and scripting totally disrupts this social interaction. I for one prefer real people to Turing tests. (Well, I guess it depends on the people...)

Algernon is a cute idea. Insultus is a funny gag, at least for the first minute or so. But when every character in the game smiles when you /share, dances when you /thank, frowns when you /curse, etc, etc, etc, what's the point of playing a game with other humans? At that point the game isn't CL anymore, it's somewhere between Diablo without the items and a programming contest.

4. *** Other frequently asked questions ***

(4.1) How do I get ___-colored clothing?

Plain tan shirts and pants/skirts are available in town for one coin each. Look around and you should find them. Some other colors are sold in more remote places, for more money. Custom colors can be made in the dye shop. If you see someone wearing a color you like, you can try complimenting them on it and asking politely how it can be found or made. Sometimes you'll get a hint, and occasionally someone will be nice and offer more assistance.

Be aware, though, that some clothes are special. Light denim blue was given to those who participated in the Ripture War that marked the end of the testing period. White and turquoise shirts and pants, and the colors they become when dyed, can only be worn by qualified healers, with a few rare exceptions for items dyed before the current clothing system came around. Yellow belts are only given to bards, and advanced fighters also have special-colored belts. Other special accessories can't be bought anywhere, but must be bestowed, perhaps as a reward for some service to the community or upon the completion of a special quest.

(4.2) Where are all the secret places?

Hopefully nobody will tell you. Much of the fun of the game is solving puzzles and uncovering the secrets for yourself. There are places that some secrets are revealed, and some exiles will give you hints if you ask the right way, but mostly you should go out and explore and see what you can find.

Anything that has to be discovered is in some sense a secret. Of course, some things are harder to discover than others, and "more secret." Where to buy tan clothing is a pretty easy secret, and a lot of people will gladly take a new exile there. Grey clothing is a lot harder to find and harder to reach, and a bigger secret. It would be poor form to ask someone to take you there until you've been around a while.

If someone asks you about something secret, try to give a hint without giving away too much. For instance, you might tell someone who wants to become a healer that all the objects he needs can be found within the Puddleby town walls. That reduces his search considerably, without telling him any exact locations or spoiling the challenge for him.

Definitely don't broadcast any secret information to people who might not want to hear it. Before you give away a secret, make sure the person you're telling really wants to know it, and that nobody else will accidentally hear you. Private rooms are good places to talk about secrets. Don't do it in town square, over the sunstones, or on Hotline or Usenet.

(4.3) How do I become a mystic?

Think carefully before you decide to be one. These aren't the flashy, fireball-casting mages you may be familiar with from other fantasy games and books. If you've never played Clan Lord before, we strongly recommend against starting as a mystic. Instead, learn about the world as a healer or fighter, then start a mystic character.

Being a mystic requires scholarship, self-control, dedication, and lots of patience. Mystics are intended to be much less common than other professions. The process of becoming one is not easy or straightforward, and as a mystic you may feel underappreciated and have difficulty earning experience. However, for those with the right personality for the job, it can be very rewarding and can offer the chance to contribute significantly to the community.

Mystics are required to be very secretive about their profession. Nobody will tell you exactly how to become one -- or at least, they shouldn't. In fact, some mystics consider discussing their profession at all cause for giving bad karma (see 2.5). Wander, gain experience, learn the world, and most likely you'll figure it out. Listening closely to the peasants in town might be especially helpful.

(4.4) Is training ever harmful?

Not usually. Some very advanced trainers might train one thing extra well at the expense of something else, but they'll give a strong hint about what they're going to do. None of the basic trainers do that, even if it looks like they do. For instance, the better you are at attacking, the more balance each swing takes, so as you train in attack, you'll get fewer swings for the same amount of balance. Your balance didn't go down, it's just that each swing is using up more of it. This is a simple example; some other kinds of training interact in more subtle ways.

Similarly, the more spirit you have, the longer it will take to recover it all. Training to improve your spirit strength doesn't make your spirit recovery slower, on a points-per-second scale, but it does mean it'll take longer for you to go from empty to full.

Clan Lord is always changing. Sometimes those changes affect what your training does, usually when there was a bug the game designers had to fix. If something seems too good to be true, don't get too attached to it.

An "untrainer" does exist, to let you convert trained experience back into experience that you can reapply to whatever other skills you want. It takes away from all your current skills equally. The conversion isn't perfect, though: you don't get back all the experience you untrain. Most people think the untrainer is a terrible deal, and would never use it.

(4.5) Do beasts in the circle tests vary?

No, there is no variation in the beasts' combat stats from one test to the next. Of course, the randomness inherent in combat is still there, so you might get hit more or less often, harder or less hard, just by chance.

(4.6) What is Puddleby time and how is it related to real time?

Time in Puddleby doesn't move at the same rate as time in the real world. It goes a little more than four times as fast: one Puddleby hour takes just under 15 minutes of real time. The graphics are darker during Puddleby night, and the background sounds change in some places. (You can adjust what level of "night" darkness you see in your Preferences.) Also, some events happen at particular Puddleby times, and some areas might be more dangerous at night.

The days of the week in the Clan Lord world are Soldi, Lundi, Gradi, Terrdi, Merdi, Fordi, and Sombdi. The year begins on the 1st day of Winter and has four seasons, each with 90 days.

You can estimate the time by looking at your shadow or using the /sky command. Crius, the town crier, yells the time each hour in town center, and an announcement is made to everyone in the lands at midnight, sunrise, and sunset. A pair of NPCs in the fairgrounds help with conversions between real time and Puddleby time, or you can run Puddlewatch (see 1.8).

(4.7) Is the coliseum open?

It's open on Sombdi nights from 7 pm to midnight, Puddleby time (see 4.6). Fights continue into the wee hours of the morning, but you can't get in or schedule a bout after midnight.

(4.8) Who is Joe? Who are the Ancients? What is a GM?


Joe is Joe Williams, president of Delta Tao Software. His email address is <>. He has said that he's always glad to get ideas and suggestions by email, but don't be surprised if you get no answer, or a very short one -- probably just "Thanks!". He gets a lot of email, and doesn't have time to reply to it all, even the ideas he really likes.

In the game, Joe's public character is a halfling healer with pink hair. Visit him in jail; he gets lonely.

The Ancients

The Ancients are a completely IC concept, part of the history of the Clan Lord world. For the best idea of what one is, read the theology of the world in the CL manual (see 1.5). In brief, when the Sun, Moon, and Earth agreed they needed to destroy their Second Children to make way for the Third Children, the jealous Moon kept twelve of hers back. These twelve Ancients had achieved power which rivaled that of their parents, and most had jealousy to match that of the Moon. The Sun and Earth went on to create the Third Children, including Humans, Thoom, the People, and the other races we know, without the Moon. Whatever happened to the Ancients is still a mystery. There are some hints that Gaia may be an Ancient, the only one seen in our world, but even that is not absolutely certain.

Much of the confusion about what an Ancient is stems from the fact that there was once a clan called "The Ancients" (note the upper-case "T"). Members of this clan weren't themselves Ancients, but rather sought to regain the knowledge and power lost after their disappearance. Membership in The Ancients was more or less limited to the characters of GMs.


GMs, or Game Masters, are players with special powers who help to develop the world and who sometimes run characters who participate in role-playing plots.

Note that although Ancient is an IC concept, GM isn't. Characters run by GMs are not GMs, they're just Thooms or unicorns or glowing bits of ether or whatever, and as a character in the game you should interact with them accordingly. When GMs wish their characters to be recognized as somebody special, they will often wear special-colored clothing (see 4.1). But even then, the character isn't a GM, because IC there are no GMs!

The only GM-run characters who will handle OOC problems are explicitly OOC and usually have "GM" in their names. Otherwise, when you're interacting with a character you think is played by a GM, don't use that as an excuse to go OOC. The whole point to the GM being there is to role-play and perhaps advance a plot, and having people make OOC comments or ask for OOC favors ruins that for everyone. Besides, it won't work.

Delta Tao has said several times that their goal is to make the game run itself with as little GM intervention as possible. Nevertheless, rightly or not (usually not), GMs are often the ones blamed when something weird happens, or when twenty mean beasts suddenly appear and everyone dies. Remember, though, that GM is not an IC idea. If you need to blame someone, pick something IC: the gods, or Fate, or Emperor Mobius's evil Mystics, for example.

Sometimes people try to impersonate GMs. If you're not sure about someone in the game who's claiming to be a GM, ask them to prove it by sparkling or becoming an NPC. It's harder to know for sure on a web bulletin board or newsgroup, so be careful about believing what you read. No GM, or anyone at Delta Tao, will ever ask you for your password.

The public GMs include
Ann GM
Eldon GM
Helpful GM
Helpful Human
Jafo GM
Joe GM
Michel GM
Tinker GM
Watson GM

Joe and the GMs also have other, anonymous characters in addition to their public personae.

(4.9) What is vanquishing? What is dispatching? What is slaughtering?

If your message window says you "vanquished" a beast instead of killing it, you got more experience than for most kills. If it says you "dispatched" the beast, you got only a tiny amount of experience for the kill, and if you "slaughtered" it, you got no experience at all. Those won't happen until you're pretty advanced. The idea is to encourage veterans to hunt the more difficult beasts and leave the rats for the newcomers.

(4.10) Why did I just gain experience? What are spirit pulses?

If you see "Your bravery and compassion have been rewarded" or "You gain experience" in your message window (maybe with an asterisk or a dot in front), you've been rewarded with a little experience. Sometimes this is for good role-playing, sometimes for a heroic rescue, sometimes for other things. The reward can be delayed by quite a bit at times, and might also come more than once. Remember that saying, "Hey! I just got experience!" is OOC. Try something like, "Wow, I learned more than usual from that battle."

Spirit pulses also mean you have been rewarded with experience, usually for good role-playing. Generally one person gets a spirit pulse from an undisclosed source, and automatically sends it along to each person they're sharing with.

(4.11) Why do I "sense little mental connection" to someone?

If you /thinkto Example Exile while he's asleep (the usual way to say that he's away from the keyboard), you'll see, "You concentrate on Example Exile but sense little mental connection to him."

(4.12) How can I become a Bard?

Barding (this means composing and playing music, in CL) is a skill, not a profession. It is open to members of any profession or none. For information, talk to Pattysmae in the Bard's Guild field. More details and the special CL music composition tool can be found at <>.

(4.13) What is Dun'ilsar?

It's a High Sylvan term meaning "the mountain forest," and it describes a series of competitions of various sorts among participating Clans. See E'las Loth'mon Ferindril (ELF)'s Dun'ilsar page at <>.

5. *** Glossary ***

Below are some terms and abbreviations used commonly in Puddleby and in this FAQ. For abbreviations common to Usenet in general, see <>.

afk - away from the keyboard. It's nicer to express this IC ("meditating," for instance).
AM - Apprentice Mystic
bad weather - lag (slow or choppy network or server response)
backpack - to heal someone while they're actively fighting, or the healer doing so
bb - bloodblade
bbl - be back later
BK - bad karma (see also GK)
brb - be right back
brick - to "hold" a beast that is unable to hit you, allowing others to kill it; or to trap a beast behind a fallen body
bro - "big red orga" (Orga Fury, Frenzy, Wrath, or Hatred)
BW - Black Widow
C&S - the glacier (formerly called "a cold and snowy place")
cad - caduceus, a tool used to heal someone from a distance
chaos storm - server update/reset, usually resulting in changes to the world
CL - Clan Lord
CW - Coin Whore, someone hunting to earn coins quickly, usually in an area below their level (see also RW)
cya - see ya' (see you later)
DC - Dark Chamber, Deadly Crawler
DI - Devil's Island
DN - Dal'Noth
DP - Dread Passage
DS - Detached Spirit
DT - Dark Temple; in an OOC context, Delta Tao Software
DV - Death Vermine
fog - lag (slow or choppy network or server response)
FG - Frost Giant
FI - Fire Island, another name for Devil's Island
FMOCR - Full Moon Orga Camp Raid, a quest open every IC full moon
GCP - Giant Carnivorous Plankton
GD - Greater Death
GI - Gungla Island
GK - good karma (see also BK)
GM - Game Master (see 4.8), or the character Gold Moon
GMV - Greymyr Village
goss - gossamer
GS - great sword
GV - Giant Vermine
GW - Greater Wraith
HC - Hooded Corpse
HGM - Helpful GM
HH - Hatred('s) Hollow
HWC - he-who-clicks (refers to a character's player) (see also PWC, SWC)
IC - in-character (see also OOC)
IP - Island Panther
J'man, Jman - Journeyman Mystic
JM - Journeyman Mystic
KI - Kizmia's Island
LDV - Large Death Vermine
'lock - Orga Warlock (or Hemlock, Dreadlock, etc.)
LSW - Large Sand Wurm
LV - Large Vermine
MI - Melabrion's Island
mp - my pleasure
NBC - New bear caves
'noid - Arachnoid
np - no problem
NPC - non-player character, like the "robots" who greet you when you first arrive. NPCs have light blue behind their names. Some people call GM-run characters NPCs too.
NWF - Northwest Forest
OC - Orga Camp
OE - Orga Eye
OG - Oak Giant
omw - on my way
OOB - Orga Outback
OOC - out-of-character (see also IC)
OV - Orga Village
pf - Pathfinder, pathfinding
PMF - Pogue Mahone (a clan) and Friends
PWC - person-who-clicks (refers to a character's player) (see also HWC, SWC)
QC - Queen's Chamber, in the myrm hive
QR - Queen Room (Queen's Chamber), in the myrm hive
rank - one unit of training
rc - recharge (when a healer or mystic pauses to recover spirit). Many people use an \action instead, to make this seem more natural.
RC - Rocky Cavern
rod - to occupy a beast that can hit you by healing or being healed faster than it can do damage to you; or, a group of healers healing each other to accomplish that
RP - role-playing
RW - Rank Whore, a usually derogatory term for someone who plays to get the most ranks possible, the fastest possible; as a verb, hunting to maximize experience gained in a given time (see also CW)
SACWAG - "Start a company, write a game." This is Helpful GM's occasional response to suggestions he doesn't think fit well into Clan Lord, whether they're good by themselves or not. The rest of it goes, "If it's as good as Clan Lord, I'll buy a copy. Maybe two."
share toggle - to /unshare and /share with someone to send them an implicit message (usually, "I've fallen, please try to find and rescue me")
SF - South Forest
sn'ell - a unit of distance corresponding to however far you can go without having to cross a "screen" boundary, or a unit of area referring to one screen. Not all sn'ells are the same size.
snert - originally "snot-nosed, eros-ridden teenager," now more generally someone of any age who delights in being immature and causing disruption solo - to kill a beast by oneself and gain all the experience
"soon" - Helpful GM's way of saying that something's being worked on and will be done eventually. Probably.
ss - sunstone (a magical item that allows communication over long distances), or short sword
SWC - she-who-clicks (refers to a character's player) (see also HWC, PWC)
tag - to get a single, minor hit on a beast and thus gain some of the experience
TG - Tree Giant
TGBG - tree giant breeding grounds
thx - Thank you
TI - Tenebrion's Island
TK - Tenebrion's Keep
toggle - see "share toggle"
TW - tanglewood
tx - Thank you
UI - Umbrion's Island, another name for Kizmia's Island
wendy - Wendecka
WG - Willow Giant, Wisher's Gate
whiff - to swing at something and miss
wiff - see "whiff"
yw - You're welcome
'zerk - Orga Berserk

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