Gemstone III is an online MUD created and maintained by Simutronics Corporation.

GS3 is not an ADnD-style RPG, but implements a different system of skills, professions, spells, and combat. It is, in my opinion, the largest and most active mud with wonderful events and features like NPC invasions, a healer class, and the ability to create magical items.

GemStone III is Simutronics’ flagship product. It has been growing and evolving since its initial release as GemStone II back in 1987. If you’re thinking about playing GS3, consider your typical MUD. Now throw all those preconceptions out the window. The only thing GS3 really has in common with regular MUDs is the text-based interface.

GemStone III is set in a medieval-style world called Elanthia. Races typical of role playing games are included: elves, dwarves, halflings, and variations. There are eight professions (or classes) to choose from: warrior, rogue, empath, cleric, sorcerer, wizard, bard, and ranger.

The world of Elanthia is immense. Currently, there are several major cities you can stay in or travel to, as well as smaller towns that have only basic amenities. These include Wehnimer’s Landing, Icemule Trace, Solhaven, and Ta’Illistim (one of the Elven Houses). There are over 500 or so creatures available to combat in Elanthia. Magical spells are divided into spheres which limit who can learn what.

Of course, it’s all a lot more complicated than that, but you get the idea. The real draw to GS3 is the player community. There are usually at least 800 players, if not more than a thousand, playing the game at one time. Of course, the fact that it is the second longest running game of its kind (the first is some obscure Japanese title) gives it a large, well-rounded player base.

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