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DescriptionAmong the first (if not the first) MUDs (multi-user dungeons) offered for commercial play, Scepter of Goth offered up parser-based text adventuring for up to 16 players simultaneously per game instance, from its launch in 1983 until at least 20 years later, at one Texas-based installation. While particulars regarding the game world are somewhat thin on the ground so many years after the fact, the basics of the default fantasy scenario remain concrete: gameplay revolved around the medieval town of Boldhome (though a variant version patterned after the Dragonlance Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting was also available in some regions), containing such fixtures as Sharkey's shop, a newspaper stand, a combat arena and class-specific training areas.
The environs saw players of various stock fantasy character classes, solo and in teams, travelling and teleporting about the area, making use of magic items, engaging and slaying monsters -- and each other, with early PVP a hazard in some areas. Additionally, human-controlled Dunjon Masters would appear on demand (to, eg., fulfil >WISH spell effects invoked by high-level heroes or unexpectedly give voice to monster NPCs like a two-way security intercom), giving with their superuser powers the impression that the game could anticipate any player situation (rather than that a human gamemaster skilled at improvisation could deal with any of the game-limited situations players could come up with to throw at them.)
Players accessed the game by dialling in via modem from terminals at their home location, paying flat fees for play time; instances of the game setup were franchised to different locations, allowing potential players in different area codes to have access to the game without being burdened by additional long-distance call charges.
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Related Web Sites
- Scepter of Goth FAQ (Information about the game from one of its programmers.)