Adventure RPGs: The Quest for Power
By Ben Gorlick & Christina Roper
History that dates back to the times of the Rosetta Stone contains a constant ebb and flow of powerful leaders. The number 1 television series from HBO, “Game of Thrones”, paints a portrait of the interplay and exchange of power that takes place in the blink of an eye in the world as we know it. Text-based rpg games have a very similar interplay, with players competing for political control over a city, putting their faith and devotion to the test to become the leader of a Religious Order, hunters trying to reach the top of their experience rankings, and warriors competing to become the deadliest and most fearsome of foes. Now, how does one shoot meteorically to the top of the charts, and carve out their niche in a world where so many want to be on top? Regardless of personal ambitions, the quest for power exists in text-based roleplay gaming much as it does in our world. However, getting to the top of the ladder is no easy task. It takes having an attitude aimed at being successful by out-thinking your competition, taking actions based on goals, and staying focused.
One of the beauties of IRE text-based roleplay games that I have found is that in order to reach the top in one area, many times I have to sacrifice other ambitions in the process. To reach the top spot in experience, I have to hunt long hours away from most people, keeping to myself. I have sat on a city’s council and I spent a lot of my time dealing with issues of city and state. My experience left me with a better understanding of what it meant to have power and how to carve out my niche based on my personal interests. I have laid out some of the ways a person can determine their niche in text-based games:
- Influence and control of the public (people) through mass-communication and political roles.
- Create the ability to influence great events in the world, by jurisdiction and control over large amounts of people. For example, this can be done by working to become an Orderhead of a religion.
- Maintain the ability to affect the lives of many through a moral example. This could be a Priest of the Light, fighting the Knights of Evil, or vice versa. As long as you take a side, and focus on developing it then you’re good.
Emerging into Iron Realms games, I find myself meeting requirements for a Guild (now known as Houses in Achaea), working to get acknowledged by my text game city mates and learning a vast array of skills to better myself as a combatant and survive the world and its citizens. Around me, I see cities with leaders, Gods with followers and sects, and arenas to display my skill. My ambitions have grown like wildfire. Fast-forward a few real life years and I have now reached the top spot in experience, won numerous combat tournaments, sat on the council of a city for several in game years and dabbled in several religious orders.
To carve your niche and obtain power, the quest is a lifelong journey. To be at the top of your text game you must have the right attitude. How and what you think about affects the outcome in everything you do. It is not “what you do” that is important, but “how you do what you do” that makes the difference. Also, stay focused and persistent and decide honestly with yourself if the end justifies the means; the actions you take will require sacrifices. Next, be creative and never stop learning from the world around you, others, and from yourself. Do something new and different every day. Learn to communicate clearly, effectively and with the openness to improve yourself. The most successful people listen to the feedback of others and the criticisms and adjust. Always develop your character by testing your resolve against the systems that be and the players that be. Don’t let challenges that might strengthen you go without an answer. Be bold and let yourself fail, if failing means that you will become stronger. Lastly, always have a backup plan. Good strategies don’t always unfold as we want them to. Have a backup plan, and when the first one fails, execute the second one. You will carve out your niche this way and the world will remember your name.
Ben Gorlick & Christina Roper are online RPG enthusiasts who play text games at Iron Realms!