MUDs, especially Diku based MUDs, centered advancement around killing things. Quests, such as they existed, were there to get you some nifty piece of gear, not to give you experience.
So to get up in levels, you would form a small group and grind mobs, killing them over and over and over. As time went along, groups would discover where the best return for their time was and camp there, killing the same mob in a continuous circuit.
In TorilMUD, one of those spots was a pirate ship called the Spirit Raven. It sails back and forth between the pirate outpost of Havenport and a spot just outside of Waterdeep, and is a key way to get those last 10 levels. If you find a group there, you hold onto it because the experience is good, and you kill Captain Miplit, the first officer, the Zhentarim Knight, the Chultean slaver, and a small host of other experience dispensing punching bags.
You could spend hours on the pirate ship doing nothing but killing the same mobs over and over again.
In such situations, friendships were formed and expanded. This was in the days before voice was common and when connections were almost exclusively dial-up, so conversation was all typed.
Sometimes the long hours together led to much silliness in chat. On at least one night it lead to a series of very bad limericks on my part, a few of which I saved for no good reason. (Something harder to do in voice chat… probably with good reason.)
They started off about the occupants of the Spirit Raven.
There once was a slaver from Chult
Who sat on a big catapult
He grabbed a loose rope
And soon the big dope
Regretted that which he’d pult!
There once was a Waterdeep Cap’n
To whom bad things did hap’n
Despite his high rank
He was sent down the plank
His pants all brown from crap’n.
Then they degraded to jibes at my group mates.
There once was a bard named Meclin
Who could not abide audience hecklin’
For the rest of the week
He would be mellow and meek
And unable to sustain an erection
The Priestess of Selune danced a jig
Released from the pirate ship’s brig
But she stopped short in shock
When she looked at Vahok
And the shape of his curious rig
Then, finally, the slumped down to the lowest common denominator, jokes about Pril’s mom, relayed over the guild chat channel.
There once was a poor vicious reaver
Who sat up on deck in a fever
He shook his poor head
And remembered with dread
The grim sight of Pril’s Mom’s beaver
Pril was a paladin in our guild who somehow managed to become the butt of such jokes.
Not exactly Raph Koster Sunday verse I will admit, but what can you expect from a poetic format whose most well known example starts off, “There once was a man from Nantucket?”
I even summed up my efforts.
There once was a druid named Zouve
Who refused all entreaties to move
He’d idle up late
In Baldur’s Gate
Writing limericks of which few did approve
Some things just seem funnier when it is late and your grinding mobs over and over again.