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    What is a mun?

    Mun is short for “mundane.” In the context of text-based gaming and online roleplaying, it refers to the player or individual behind a character.

    The term “mun” contrasts the player in real life with the often fantastical or extraordinary characters they control. As the player, the mun is responsible for making decisions, guiding actions, and shaping the character’s story.

    Historically, the term “mun” has its roots in early online roleplaying communities, where players sought a way to differentiate between their real-life selves and their in-game personas.

    “Mun” became a common term in these circles, especially in forums, chat rooms, and multiplayer roleplaying games based in text. It is seen less often in massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), where terms like “avatar” and “player” are more common.

    Mun FAQs

    What responsibilities does a mun have?

    In a roleplaying game, the mun is responsible for controlling their character’s actions, making decisions that influence the game’s narrative, and interacting with other players’ characters. They must also adhere to the game’s rules and etiquette, maintain the separation between character and player, and contribute to a collaborative storytelling experience.

    How does a mun differ from their character?

    A mun and their character are distinct entities. The mun is the real-life individual playing the game, while the character is the fictional persona they control within the game’s setting. This separation allows players to explore different personalities, scenarios, and interactions from their everyday experiences.

    Can a mun control multiple characters?

    Yes, a mun can usually control multiple characters, often referred to as alternate characters (or “alts” for short). However, managing multiple characters requires the ability to keep their stories, personalities, and interactions distinct. This can be challenging but adds depth to the gaming experience.

    Playing more than one character at the same time is known as multiplaying. Multiplaying is less common, and typically more restricted, than simply having multiple characters.

    How do muns communicate with each other?

    Muns typically communicate with each other outside of their characters’ interactions. This can be through out-of-character (OOC) channels, private messages, or separate forums. These communications are essential for planning storylines, resolving conflicts, and discussing game-related matters.

    Why is it important to differentiate between a mun and their character?

    Differentiating between a mun and their character is crucial for maintaining healthy boundaries and a positive roleplaying environment. It helps prevent personal conflicts, ensures a clear distinction between in-game actions and real-life attitudes, and promotes respectful and cooperative storytelling.

    Myths about muns

    A common myth about muns is that their character’s behavior, morality, or decisions reflect the mun’s real-life personality. In reality, roleplaying allows individuals to explore diverse perspectives and scenarios, often far removed from their personal beliefs or attitudes. Therefore, it’s never safe to assume that a mun and their character share the same views.

    Another misconception is that a mun who controls powerful or influential characters is similarly powerful or privileged in real life. For example, players might assume that an exceptional character is played by a GM, moderator, or other person with privileged knowledge about the game. However, this is usually not the case.

    Mun examples

    • In a historical fantasy MUSH, Alex, the Mun, decides their character will embark on a quest to find a lost artifact, collaborating with other characters to progress the story.
    • Jamie, a Mun playing a forum RP game, creates detailed backstories for their two characters, ensuring they contribute meaningfully to the game’s narrative.
    • Sam, the Mun, uses a separate chat channel to discuss future plotlines with another player, planning how their characters will interact.
    • Casey, the Mun, navigates a challenging in-game conflict between their character and another, keeping the interaction respectful and story-driven.
    • Jordan, the Mun, takes a break from the game, ensuring their character’s temporary absence is explained within the story.

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    About the author

    Andruid is a writer, roleplayer, storyteller, and nerd who tries to live by Bill and Ted wisdom, i.e. "Be excellent to each other."