I learned of the existence of MUDs as a result of frustration in trying to find a pencil-and-paper game that I could fit into my busy life. I was hoping to rediscover the joy of roleplaying from my youth, but as an adult the constrained time and location options involved in a face-to-face game proved overwhelmingly problematic. After a few long drives 80 miles for a great game in another state, a few afternoons dithered away at a local games shop hoping someone intelligent would show up, and a frustrated effort at trying to host a game myself for a few months, I half-hoped a MUD might sate my appetite for roleplay at whatever time of day and in whatever place I happened to have a few hours to dedicate to having fun.
Based on ratings in the MUD Connector, I tried several MUDs in genres of interest to me, albeit with little optimism. They lived down to my low expectations (far too little roleplay, far too much metagaming), until, when I was almost ready to give up, I happened upon Forgotten Kingdoms and gave it a try: not as a result of its (middling, at the time) ranking, but rather its strong and heartfelt reviews. I want to thank those reviewers, now, as well as join their ranks, because Forgotten Kingdoms has become a source of great joy in my life, even as I've had to reduce the time I can invest in it. A parent and professional now, I rarely have the blocks of time needed for a dedicated roleplay session, and remain connected to Forgotten Kingdoms primarily as a code detective, a member of the all- volunteer staff. On those precious occasions I can carve out an afternoon or night without interruption, though - this venue still delivers that roleplaying magic I so love and yearn for. The game is completely free, a gift of the passion and dedication of its head coder, with no advantage given to anyone as a result of anything, including monetary support, and fueled and kept alive by an incredible volunteer spirit borne of people who really love the game, and the lost art of roleplay. If you are a twink, bent on generating the strongest possible character and quickly mastering everything there is to master...this is not the place for you. If you enjoy reading and writing walk-throughs...you'll hate FK. But if you miss the excitement borne of a truly immersive atmosphere, surrounded by and interacting with fellow enthusiasts, and the tang of uncertainty and the risk of peril a PC experiences when truly exploring and interacting with the unknown...you have found a (new) home.
I can't tell you this is the best MUD there is out there. I've only played a small handful, and none save this one for more than a few days. But I can tell you that this one is amazing, and that if my story sounds anything like yours...you should try Forgotten Kingdoms before giving up!
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