The Realms of Despair is the original SMAUG MUD and is FREE to play. There is an active roleplaying community in the Realms in the forms of the Nations and The Order of Sanctus Irae, an order dedicated towards roleplaying. Various RP sects can be found in other organizations in the Realms as well.
Players can choose from 13 classes to play from, inclusive of one deadly class, and 13 races. Character appearances are customizable on creation and there is a 24-line buffer to write your own extended description as well.
Armor, weapons, clothing and accessories can only customized with the use of glory. You can find more information about the accompanying link.
For more information, visit the Realms of Despair website
The Realms of Despair are also accessible with a MUD client or telnet at:realmsofdespair.com port:4000