Threshold (video game)

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Threshold RPG
Threshold RPG logo.png
ReleaseJune 17, 1996 (1996-06-17)
Genre(s)Fantasy RP MUD

Threshold is a roleplaying enforced MUD (text-based online role-playing game) that has been in operation since June 1996.[1] Its focus is on providing a place for roleplaying in addition to traditional MMO/MUD style gameplay. It has as many as 70-100 players online at any given time.[citation needed]

Owned and operated by Frogdice, Inc. in Lexington, Kentucky, Threshold was originally created by Michael A. "Aristotle" Hartman.


A screenshot of one of several login screens displayed by Threshold

Threshold is a text-based MUD[2] running on a custom server. The focus is heavily on role-playing, and the enforcement and stimulation of roleplaying motivate the bulk of its rules and cases of administrator intervention. It has a long-standing policy disallowing minors and one must be over 18 to play.[3]

The game itself may be accessed via a telnet client or a MUD client. The player goes through a brief character creation, and may then begin interacting with the game world.


Threshold is a fantasy based MUD set in a world with three main continents and a chain of islands. Religion based on a pantheon of Greek-like deities plays a dominant role in the story of the mud, with the ability for players to rise through the ranks of religious organizations to gain divine powers. The concepts of good and evil serve as a core driving force of the roleplay within the game.[4][dead link] Threshold provides a framework for a player-driven legal system where players can take the role of judges, lawyers, and the jury in order to prosecute players who are accused of breaking the law. There are fourteen guilds in Threshold which are equivalent to character classes in Dungeons & Dragons, one being a secret, unlisted guild. Players can diversify their characters further with skills acquired by joining a clan.

Business model[edit]

Since 1996, Threshold has always used some version of what is now known as the "free to play" business model. It started out with a donation system where players donated towards server upgrades and hosting costs.[citation needed] Then Threshold evolved to a registration system which encouraged players to spend at least $50 per year. In 2007, Threshold transitioned to a pay for perks system where players can purchase virtual items.[5]

Technical infrastructure[edit]

Threshold is written in LPC, running on the LDMud server with a highly customized mudlib based on TMI-2[citation needed].


In 2001, the game was mentioned by Computer Gaming World in an article about online games.[6]

Threshold was the primary MUD example quoted and discussed in Edge magazine's article, "Lost in Transition" which discussed the preservation of gaming history.[7]

For three consecutive years, Threshold was The MUD Journal's highest-rated role-playing game.[8] Computer Games Magazine listed it as a highlight of less popular MMOGs, describing it as being particularly focused on role-playing, and noting the distinct passion of its players.[2][dead link]

Richard Bartle described it as possessing an "individuality" lacking in other, contemporary graphical MMOGs, citing its in-game legal system as an example.[8]


  1. ^ "Journey Beyond the Threshold!". Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  2. ^ a b Todd, Brett. "The List - Some highlights from the roads less traveled in the MMOG scene". Computer Games Online (156). Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  3. ^ Hartman, Michael A. (1997-06-21). "Threshold Role Playing Game!". Retrieved 2009-01-11.
  4. ^ DJ Kyle. "Interview w/ an Online RPG Game Creator". NiceMinecraft.Net. Retrieved 2016-06-29.
  5. ^ "Threshold RPG is No Longer Pay-to-Play". 2007-05-20. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  6. ^ Baker, Tracy (2001-08-01). "Top 10 Free Online Games". Computer Gaming World: 11.
  7. ^ "Lost in Transition". Edge: 76–77. 2009-03-01.
  8. ^ a b Bartle, Richard (2009-01-05). "Threshold". Retrieved 2009-01-10.

External links[edit]