Details and history

Introduction to the MUD

ShadowGate was started in the fall of 1994. It was originally conceived by two people who loved AD&D and wanted to replicate it in MUD form. We still hold the memories of Melnmarn and Aragorn dear. Their original vision of a self-contained world of interaction and role-playing is still the driving force behind the MUD today.

These great gods eventually left their newly created world. But they had had help. The God Thorn had come into being; he was the God of all things magic. The Deity Tristan came into being as the god of all things roguish. Pator was the deity of druids. GreyHawk a diety of areas.

Since that time there have been many immortals to come and go. There have been many additions to the world of ShadowGate. There have been wars between players, wars between immortals, wars between players and immortals (immortals won).

In the end, life continued. The adventurous adventured, the talkative talked. The weak feared and the fearful were weak. The world continued.

Game Features

No costs: ShadowGate has been and will always remain free to enjoy. Players and staff volunteer their time to bring this experience to you. The MUD operates under the understanding of the Dungeons and Dragons Open Gaming License, allowing use of Wizards’ DnD content in a non-profit setting.

A familiar world: The ShadowGate mythology and flavor closely resembles the Forgotten Realms, one of the most popular and familiar settings for the Dungeons & Dragons game. You can be assured that much of the “character” of the setting is retrained. However, the ShadowGate world has a completely original geography including our own settlements, dungeons, magical items, and characters. Additionally, the world is ever-growing and waiting for your unique contribution. The game has run under a modified second-edition series of mechanics since its creation in 1994. This has progressed more recently in 2009, to a hybrid between third and fourth edition mechanics, taking the preferred aspects of each. This transition is still taking place, meaning that some aspects of the game are yet to be converted.

Quests: Your character will have many different types of activities to participate in during their adventuring career. Many areas have preexisting quests coded into the game, some that even change every time you particpate in them. Automated hunting quests exist which allow you to seek out lost items or combat powerful shapeshifters. Immortals run their own plots and stories in real time, simulating a Dungeon Master for one or more players. Seasonal events and major, world changing events sometimes occur, inviting every player to participate at once.

Immersive role playing: Role playing is not optional nor limited to certain clans, guilds or flags. Every participant in ShadowGate is a roleplayer. We hope that you find the setting detailed enough to feel a part of a living world. You can expect to make long term friends and enemies. You have the capability to change the world’s history.

Responsive staff: In addition to providing you with entertainment, the staff recognizes the need to respond to your questions, concerns and complaints. The game is updated regularly, sometimes with sweeping changes. We appreciate your comments and will do our best to respond to them. Tools such as in-game mud-mail, avatarmail, and the web forum are good resources if you wish to get in contact with the staff, or to find out about, and participate in, discussions about game direction.

The Immortal Staff

Many staff offer their free time to keep the MUD running and upgrade it with new content, who are known generally as “immortals”. All were once players, and hold varied ranks according to their roles in the game. There are, broadly, three kinds of immortal on the mud: wizards, avatars and builders.

Wizards: Wizards, or wizzes, are the main coders of the mud. There are many ranks of wizard, ranging from MUD admin down to standard creators, and they can often be told apart from other immortals by the highlight-color in their speech or line text. They can be responsible for code of any level, ranging from simple areas and creatures through to deeper MUDlib changes. They are also able to take on the running of plots and game events if they choose, though this is more often left in the capable hands of avatars. LAW are a small, special group of wizards who deal with any misconduct or abuse of the game, both by players and other immortals.

Avatars: Avatars are the equivalent of tabletop DMs and GMs. Taking the names of various divinities from the Faerun setting, they are the immortals that keep the game dynamic and cause the grand events that people talk about for years after. These are the best immortals to speak to if you have a plot idea, or wish to discuss the direction of your character.

Builders: Builders are another type of coder. Unlike wizards, they have no involvement with players and do not move into the deeper mechanics of mud code. They are responsible for coding new areas and creatures for players to explore and challenge.

Contact Admin

If you have any questions that aren’t addressed on this site or wish to get in touch with the game admin, there are many ways to do so, both in and out of game:

Within the game itself, you may ask for an immortal over the lines or via the “thought” command. If one isn’t available at that moment, you may be better leaving an “avatarmail” (or “lawmail” for legal issues), or sending an in-game mail directly, if there is one or more specific immortals you are seeking.

Out of game:
You may write to, or use our discord or facebook to contact admins.