The RPG World of DuneMUSH



In the early 90s there was an on line role playing phenomenon which was DuneMUSH. Created on the PennMush base of code, it was a text role playing environment. Much of the basic setup was like the early text adventure game Colossal Caves / Adventure and Zork, you walked around in a text universe.

You would type in a command such as "north". You would then "move" to the next room in the north and the computer would describe it to you. You could interact with objects - "turn on lamp" or "pick up key". But the best part of DuneMUSH is that it wasn't just you wandering through this world that was based on Frank Herbert's series. It was an entire GROUP of people - up to 100 or more could be on line at any given point in time - all interacting, role playing, plotting, scheming.

Unlike modern MMORPGs where the aim is on gaining experience and slaying monsters, there was NO health or combat or experience points in DuneMUSH. The game was all about role playing. You took on a particular character. For example, I played a Bene Gesserit consort of the ruler of the House Ginaz. The House Ginaz was in charge of training swordsmen, which led to all sorts of great RP about sword duels and honor and loyalty. So I had loyalty to House Ginaz. I also had loyalty to the Bene Gesserit sisterhood. And other intrigues roiled as well.

I also played the Princess Wensicia Corrino, who became ruler of the House Corrino after Emperor Shaddam IV was killed by Alia. Princess Wensicia was always scheming to regain power for her family and to promote her child, Farad'n, to become the new ruler of the Empire.

One of the beautiful things about DuneMUSH was that every person playing was committed to the world and to role playing. There wasn't a lot of random chit chat about the weather or about 'real life' things. When you were in the game, you were in character, and you reacted to other characters and worked on plots in character. It could literally run 24 hours a day, as various characters came and went and wanted to discuss plans with you.

Another great aspect was that each person could 'add to' the world. As mistress of the House Ginaz, I could create new rooms in the house, decorate them, add code to hold banquets or parties or training lessons or even oversee duels. Each character could fully customize their appearance, could create gifts to give each other, could grow the universe, item by item. It had a life of its own.

Here are some rooms and objects that I coded during my years at DuneMUSH. I hope you enjoy seeing just a small taste of how rich this world could be!

Interactive Tea House Code from my Japanese Tea House
Interactive Corrino Laza Tiger Cubs Code

Room Descriptions from DuneMUSH
Information about the World of DuneMUSH

The World of Dune

My Gaming Site
My Personal Lisa Shea Site