Realms of Despair


Realms of Despair remains one of the most stable, well established, popular muds for the past few years.

It is the development grounds for the SMAUG code, runs on a dedicated PII server with 256 Megs of RAM on multiple high speed (T3+) redundant Internet connections. It has over 20,000 active player files, and regularily peaks at well over 500 players.

We are newbie-friendly and have gone to great lengths to create a great community for our wonderful players.

Our extremely dedicated team of coders, builders and administrators have kept this mud alive and well through thick and thin -- Why? For the players. We are extremely player dedicated.

We have clans, guilds, orders, councils, well over a hundred non-stock areas, and all the 'stock' areas have been revamped and enhanced. -- Beware! This game is very addictive!

Mud Theme: Mix of Medieval, mythology and some occult.

Realms of Despair Mud Reviews

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Review posted by Tharius
Posted on Thu Jul 11 14:01:01 2013 / 0 comments
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I was active on the Realms of Despair during the early 2000's for several years and have recently returned to the game.

One thing I can say about a game that's been running for 20 years is how stunningly dedicated some of the people involved with the Realms of Despair. Many of the higher level immortals have been involved with RoD for more than 10 years and are authoritative when it comes to SMUAG.

Leveling on RoD can be approached from a 'get 'er done' point of view but substantial effort has gone into creating level restricted areas so that the exploration and adventure can begin early on instead of at the end of leveling.

There are many avatar quests to pursue and room for many forms of players role players, player killers, questers, explorers ... in a game this large and mature there's always some nook or cranny that you probably have never seen.

Whether you're a Timmy (power player, big eq, big mobs), a Johnny (creative, stylish player) or a Spike (play to win with the latest and greatest builds) or maybe you fall somewhere else in the spectrum of gamers, the Realms of Despair has something to offer you.

(Read more about Timmy, Johnny and Spike at or take the Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology at

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Review posted by Jason
Posted on Fri Oct 8 20:45:26 2010 / 0 comments
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I've tried many muds and there isn't one like RoD. The large amount of peaceful players and the few hardcore deadly players make this one stand out above the rest. People are friendly here and are always willing to help, please come give it a try.

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Review posted by Hurley Reyes
Posted on Tue Apr 28 21:54:20 2009 / 0 comments
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The Realms of Despair is a large, active, and exciting MUD for people experienced with the format and those who are not.

With an informative pre-authorization area that explains the basic fundamentals of the game, a well-detailed body of helpfiles, and an experienced and friendly Newbie Council, it's hard to get lost in the trappings of what proves to be a very complex game.

The game is built of numerous communities and groups of players. Among these are the standard guild- and clan-type organizations, for peaceful (mob killing) and deadly (player killing) characters, respectively. There are also bands (For the recently introduced Barbarian class), orders (more restrictive groups with special requisites) and sects (for those who wish to strike out and form a group on their own, at their own expense).

Roleplaying is optional, and there are a number of very talented roleplayers on the MUD. Mobile killing (or 'running') tends to be exciting, especially with some of the more recently introduced runs which have more dynamic programs.

Area construction is variable, with some areas being incredibly well-written and literally loaded with intriguing quests, and others written to a poorer standard and/or featuring items which are virtually impossible to find without guidance.

The non-avatar (level 1-49) game has improved drastically in recent years, with the introduction of many new, low-level exclusive areas that feature a number of quests, mazes, and other aspects which will become familiar to the player in the post-leveling game.

The code is flexible, and changes with minor improvements on a regular basis, while major ones are introduced gradually. That said, the most recent update of the code has provided a number of intriguing new features, for builders and players alike.

All in all, a solid MUD for anybody, and easily one of the most addictive on the 'net.

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Review posted by Romani de Carpathia
Posted on Sun Aug 20 19:51:27 2006 / 0 comments
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The Realms of Despair is looking for citizens to inhabit the various cities, towns, burrows, mountains, deserts, plains, and forests of the world. The Realms of Despair is a world where there is much to offer from the peaceful players who seek to gain riches and battle against the evils or goods within the world and the player killers who hunt the others of their kind.

The races of the land include human, dwarf, elf, halfling, pixie, half-troll, half-ogre, half-orcs, gith, sea-elf, drow, gnome, and the ever rare lizardmen. Each of these races has their own hometown and individual form of government. As it stands now the elves control a large portion of the world's rp, with almost twenty percent of the world's population. The heavier races are seeking to overturn the elven influence by creating massive armies while the smaller races vie for control as well, some through shadier means.

The Realms of Despair has eight different orders, ranging in types from running orders, magic users, evil, good, and to roleplay. There are four different deadly clans, which are in constant war with each other. Within the Realms there are twelve different classes available: mage, cleric, thief, warrior, vampire, druid, ranger, augurer, paladin, nephandi, fathomer, bladesinger (pk only), and barbarian.

In the northern plains of the land the Barbarians have taken control with their various bands warring against each other, a few lone outcasts from their bands have made it to the civilized world much to the dismay of their band and warlord.

With over a hundred and fifty areas to explore, quests run on almost a daily basis and an entire world as your playground the character you create will provide years of medieval fantasy enjoyment. We hope that you will give our world a try, many of our players have been here for more than five years, and others still for more than ten. While many try to duplicate the world where SMAUG was created, this is the original, and the evolution of the code-base that is forever changing based on our player input and ideas.

Come join our world, become part of our community, and perhaps we will see you at our next annual reunion.

Romani Nation's Advisor Deity of Sanctus Irae Visionary Consortium

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Review posted by Typh
Posted on Wed Aug 24 22:38:26 2005 / 0 comments
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I've played several muds, and so far this is probably one of the best out there. With a fairly large pbase and a dedicated immortal staff, they are always producing new areas/code to enhance the game to the next level. And with many large organizations and guilds, there's a spot for everyone to work towards.

With over 100 areas in the game, there is lots of time to explore and find new things, even spots that current established players haven't found. If you're looking for a change, and to a place that has lots of help from players and immortals alike, you should give Realms of Despair a chance.

Typh, Magus of the Swarm, Leader of the Order Baali.

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Review posted by Romani
Posted on Mon Feb 14 21:53:58 2005 / 0 comments
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Realms of Despair offers a wide variety of gaming experiences from running mobs to roleplay and pkill. While neither roleplay nor pkill are required, they have a home on RoD. As a staff member I enjoy participating in a variety of functions on the mud from building, assisting with quests, hosting private pkills, to officiating many of the games within the game that we have.

As a player, there is so much in the online world that many players have become close real-life friends through the years. There is a great sense of community within both the players and immortals that RoD quickly becomes an extended family.

Within the Realms of Despair, there are many organizations. Each organization offers different areas of specialization such as guilds, orders, nations, and clans. We also have an outstanding support Newbie Council to assist the player in learning the basics of online gaming. The guilds offer specialization in the many classes available on RoD, while most orders offer specialized techniques of massive elite mob runs.

The nations are the basis for the roleplay communities on RoD. With the recent rebuild of The City of Sanctus Irae, the Roleplay City on RoD, players are flocking to join this long-standing organization now transformed.

While there are hundreds of online games that would attempt to copy what the Realms of Despair has to offer, none measure up to the original Smaug developed by our outstanding team of coders. Nor do they measure up to the world within this world that spans the globe itself bringing people of all walks of life together in one place. Just be warned it is addicting, and to many, it is home.

Romani de Carpathia

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Review posted by Sianne
Posted on Sun May 16 21:38:51 2004 / 0 comments
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Realms can be at first a terrifying experience, especially since the sheer mass of players can be a bit overwhelming. But luckily there are lots of friendly faces to come and help you out, when you ask (and ask politely, ;) )

A recent addition to the game is a class called Fathomers. I've yet to see them on any other mud, but the theme behind is that of a swashbuckling pirate. While there is still tweaking going on with the class, it is excellent for peaceful playerkilling (I know, that sounds like a contradiction in terms, but when you make avatar, you can challenge other avatars to fight to the death in the arena!). I've also personally been able to take hits from very large mobs with my fathomer with relative ease. It is a relatively new class, thus not completely perfected, and not yet widely used for running large mobs. But, I have found it has many of the same skills as a thief, and a few other spells that are good (laesa tronada is a spell that prev2ents your opponent from drinking healing potions!).

Anyway, I wanted to share this review of a brand new class at Realms of Despair. They really have different and new things coming out all the time. Definitely worth a try!

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Review posted by Anonymous
Posted on Wed Aug 20 13:30:47 2003 / 0 comments
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After taking a break of over a year I decided to relog on Realms of Despair and I found the entire world totally changed, the 'shattering' had happened and the mud I once knew pretty much every corner of was totally changed. My old characters still existed thanks to a friend who had taken care of them, but I decided I would make a new character and would leave my old ones alone for the moment so I could get a view of how the game changed starting by the character creation. The new pre-auth area is a log bigger than the old one but gives the possibility to skip the entire learning process for more experienced players, I decided to go through it and found it extremely well done also if a bit overloaded with information it gives you all the necessary knowledge you need to start out. After I had my name accepted I found myself at the new academy and received tells, including a tell from a bot that offered leveling spells so I went to see that bot and got my lowbie spelled up and then went back to the academy where the new 'Tsythia' blessed me with the blessing of thoric wich added to the spell ups I already had from the bot and basically I had my level 2 thief with all important stats maxed out even if I wasnt wearing any eq yet.

There are several bots around that provide you _all_ kind of spells you could wish and links to homepages with directions, leveling tips, deity information etc. etc. etc.

When I compare this to when I started playing this game it is much much easier for new players to start on this mud than it has ever been before, a lot of people are whining but imo they don't really know what they're talking about, plus the new exp system now grants a character w/o alts logged bonus experience which means that the experience player's only advantage over the newbie is knowledge about the game and nothing else and even if the areas I used to level at were changed drastically for the most part with help of these sites I managed to av another character in a very short time.

Also the new deity system didn't represent a problem thanks to these sites. I can understand some of the players that lived the entire shattering were a little overwhelmed by all these changes but for someone like me that had quit the mud due to the lack of new challenges after having pretty much done everything you could do I enjoyed these changes and saw a new reason to start mudding once again to discover the now huge and elaborated world out there with all the new puzzles and challenges.

Now the point had arrived were I logged my old characters again and my old organization became my family once again like I had never left and the spirit I encountered was the same as mine. There's a lot of great stuff out there to discover, let's get out there and find out what no one else has yet. The changes I had found to the classes of my various characters were great and I have yet to find one which I don't like and they all make sense from my point of view.

In my eyes the 'shattering' only brought good to this fantastic mud and gave people the chance to seek out new equipment instead of trying to get one of these expensive eq pieces that they can't run for and that take a lot of time to gather the resources for for buying one. New equipment, as long as it is still rare, always has been traded for a lot more than it's proper value before everybody knew how to get it.

In conclusion to the new people I can only say, try this mud out, I have been enjoying it for years and now I do once again to the older, frustrated people I can only say to get their minds working and their characters out of their recall spots and discover the new things out there, if you're smart enough you still have the chances of making nice profits, if you are not then stop complaining and live your life in resignation but stop writing pointless complaints about a mud that has evolved in the right direction.

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Realms of Despair Stats
Raw Data Average Data
# Days Listed7973
Last Connection StatusConnected
# Days With Status1316
Total Telnet Attempts10670.134
Total Website Attempts26450.332
Telnet Attempts This Month2327.484
Website Attempts This Month38412.387