Online Text Adventures: Five Things to Do Before Joining a Family

text game family

By Teresa Harlan

Typically, you create a character in a text adventure game with a general concept of who he or she is. While you certainly anticipate external forces from the interactive world you are throwing your character into to influence how he or she develops, the idea of placing your character rather permanently into the storyline of another's as his or her son or daughter and, consequently, having him or her placed permanently into your character's life so early in your character's experience, often seems like too big of a commitment to make too quickly.

So, how do you get the benefits of family roleplay in a text adventure game while mitigating the potential downfalls of agreeing to be the child of someone in a text adventure game that you will later regret associating your character with? While there is really no fool proof plan, but here are some suggestions that should be considered.

1. You are fully entitled to say 'no'.

Due to the nature of character creation in many text adventure games, the process of becoming a member of a family typically blurs the in character and out of character lines. Often, through some means of out of character inquiry, the player of an older character that has interest in bringing you into his or her family, will approach you. Many times that character has already helped your character out quite a bit, or a relationship has already been established between your character, and his or hers. Regardless, you are still entitled to politely deny the request for whatever reason you choose! Do not let someone else guilt you into it.

2. Do your research.

Even if you are inclined to believe that the text adventure character that has asked you to be his or her child would be a suitable parent for your character, do your homework. Anyone who is going to be a good person to roleplay with in a text adventure game, will be perfectly happy with you asking for time to mull the decision over. Check out his or her bloodline to see who your siblings would be. A red flag is a character who has a lot of kids with various other characters. Is there a pattern to the children they have bloodlined? Take the initiative to ask around a bit about the family in the text adventure game community. Are they known? What are they known for? A good deal of the time a couple will approach you. Observe their habits with each other and with their children.

3. If you have done your independent research and are still unsure, dig some more!

Ask the player about his or her family and try and gauge his or her vision of how your character would fit into it. If the player is serious about family roleplay, and not simply collecting children for his or her bloodline as some are, if you ask him or her about his or her family, they will have stories to tell. The way he or she talks about his or her text adventure game family should give you some perspective as to how the relationship between your character and his or hers will go. Further, ask him or her how he or she views the familial relationship developing between your character and his or hers.

4. If you decide to say yes, spend some time developing your character's childhood with your new parent(s)!

Family roleplay in a text adventure game can be incredibly rich, not only for the experiences that your character will have with his or her family in-game, but for the experiences you can imagine they had when your character was a child, before you started playing him or her. Consider what kind of child your character was before you started playing them in the text game, and talk it out with your new parents so they have some stories or a general idea of what their characters went through raising yours. For example, was your character a troublemaker? Make up a story with your new parents about a time when your character as a child gave them the run around. Does your character have any habits now that they would have had as a child? Let your new parents know about them!

5. Do not forget the siblings and extended family!

Finally, if your character gets bloodlined to a family that is well established, get to know the rest of the members as well! Siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are all different avenues for you to develop your character's background and future development. What overall traits do you find are common throughout your new text game family? Perhaps you can incorporate them into your character's persona. For example, is your family composed of several people from a certain Guild or House? Even if your character is not of the same organizations, your character could have an appreciation for the ideals and practices based on his or her family's affiliations with them.

Choosing a family in a text adventure game is a rather big commitment. Many players regret not considering the full extent and roleplay implications of that commitment as they progress. That being said, family roleplay can be one of the most fulfilling varieties of roleplay. Through family roleplay you can develop your character's past more fully, interact with characters you otherwise would not interact with, have a network of support behind your character, and develop conflicts and motivations for your character that add another level of complexity to him or her.

By Teresa Harlan

To find a text adventure game family of your very own, check out some top-notch text adventure games today!

Teresa Harlan is a text game enthusiast and currently plays games from Iron Realms

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Bloodline me sometime when you're in the realms. I know I don't have the largest family, but still...

I have to agree with what's written here, don't just willy-nilly rush into a family.

And it works both ways. Parents, try to be selective as to whom you do want to be your children. You have a golden option here that you wouldn't be able to access in real life, choosing your offspring like that! 

Back in my more active pursuit of creating a family (nation), I would actually interview (most) of my children to be, trying to figure out how well they would work out. I'd even have my children do the same for their children just to keep a healthy family line.

I feel bloodlines are going the way of guilds though, there are way too many of them.

I didn't really get to know my "mom" before I was adopted. She is a really nice woman, but she has her moments. I have more brothers and sisters than I can count, and I haven't met most of them. My mother is also quite opinionated and doesn't like it if you diagree with her. I don't agree with a lot of her practices and we butt heads quite often. I think if I could do it again, I would have gotten to know her better before being adopted. I might have still chosen her as my mother, but I would have known what I was getting in to.

Just looking at friends in game... several of them have HUGE families because they adopt at least once a game year... I'm more selective of my kids. Only one I should have said no to, but I'm still glad he's my kid. 

I was an impetuous, tempestuous and arrogant young cub in the Sentinels. I'd failed to enter the Druids Guild (when it was actually difficult to get into), been thrown out of the Sylvans for unfair and unreasonable out of character reasons when I was accepted by the late Covenant of the Sentinels into that Guild. I displayed the same feisty character within the Sentinels but for whatever reason Kyra Windsong, my in game mother, asked me to be her son.

So, some 6 and more real years after accepting this, I still keep in contact, in 'game' with Tow and Polgara. I have my own son, Wyd, who I have met in real life. I have a daughter-in-law whom I have not met in real life but hopefully one day I will meet. I seem to have lots of grandchildren and such by them (they've been, err, more prolific? than I have been).

In real life I come from a very broken family. If my 'in game' antics had happened in real life I'd probably be 'real life killed' (err player killed?) by now. Yet, although I've had my ups and downs and dummy spits, tantrums and my own points of view, the core of my family, the core group has always been there. And always given me the sense that no matter what I do that I'm still part of the family.

Today I have a family. My family is in Achaea. I mourn my mother Kyra's silence but I rejoice in my most cherished brother and sister, Tow and Polgara. I enjoy watching over the younger generations and occasionally appearing as an elder voice of the past but still in the present.

When I joined Achaea I wanted an escape from the harsh realities of the world. I never dreamed I'd meet people and characters who forged such bonds of love, knowledge and sharing as I have now. I never dreamed I'd mourn the absence of a person who would only appear to me by writing in text and slowly at that. I doubt that Lord Sarapis or Lord Tecton ever dreamed their world would help me understand the real world and give me the support to face its travails again and again.

My Achaean family is real to me, it is not just people playing a text game. They're people who mean so much to me, who I do love.

In a word they are family.



I remember my first time being invited to join a family. I was a newbie in Lusternia, playing an aquamancer in New Celest. I had never been invited to join a family in any other IRE game, and I was approached by a lady who was highly ranked and said that she had a "friend" who was looking for intelligent children.


Come to find out, the "friend" was actually her alt, who was married to my city's biggest, most raid-capable enemy. This not only made me a pariah to almost the entire city (including said enemy's mother, who was a demigoddess, leader of the Paladin's guild, and avatar of the city patron), but the city's patron Herself, a goddess named Terentia. This caused me no end of grief as I was constantly accused of being a spy, passed up for promotions in my guild, and scrutinised over every little thing. 


Gotta love it!

I very much agree. Chosing the wrong family can very much wreck somebody's experience if they're not careful. One shouldn't just leap at an offer just because an individual was a high ranking member of a city. Best to question other fellow citymates about a family that has made an offer.


winterlynn may never be bloodlined, she doesn't have much interest in it. She thinks of her House as a family instead. Someone I know was pressured into bloodlineing someone else and becoming their father, but their relationship really isn't the best. they don't see eye to eye and probably never will. it was a rushed choice and the father wont make the same mistake again.

If you look at my bloodline, you'll probably note that 'Beldaran' is a name that is EXTREMELY familiar. One word of advice: never examine her bloodline. You'll need to scroll through, literally, pages of children, grandchildren, great grandchildren. Suffice to say, my grandmother is quite a whore!

However, I've never let it bother me, even though it means that I'm related to every distant person in Achaea and their mothers. Because of the.. uh. Extremely prolific night life Beldaran has, I've also learnt to be extremely careful who I bloodline. When I do decide to bloodline, I prefer children who has some sense of intelligence, their own solid character and personality who will fit in well with my own roleplay.

Thus far, I'm glad to say that I made good choices!

I sometimes think to myself "Why did I get bloodlined by my "mother"? all this family!!" but then I think "I would never have gotten such an amazing dad if I hadn't, and then I wouldn't have had the relationship with Ruth that I have." So sometimes, good things do come from not putting a lot of thought into bloodlining. I adore dad, and I adore my adoptive mom. Even though my bloodlined mother and I don't talk at all anymore (partially because she's dormant, and partially because we had a bit of a falling out), I don't regret picking her at all, because she was completely willing to work my storyline into hers.

I've had it remarkably easy. My three "sons" were kind of thrown at me, and I kind of just said, "Let's go with it." Now, my two favorites are dormant, and I still goof off with the third. My "mother" was in the same Order as me, before she went dormant, and most of my extended family on her side's dormant. Anyone asking about my family will get a BS story, and I'm fine with that.

At first I wondered just what point there was to joining a family online. Before my main, I had a few characters and none of them got involved with families or orders, so I really did wonder what the point was. As I got adopted the level of which I felt connected to the game became quite intense, because of the idea that my character was actually connected to something more than a guild.  Even better, the family challenged me to develop being just how I was a player by forcing my character to do and be things I never saw myself capable of doing (Such as becoming a guildmaster or administrator, or even contributing to a guild at all!) No matter what, I would say that a family can enrich your experience and challenge you to be better, whether you are aimed at combat or world domination.

Alesud was my very first character in IRE and is still my main character today, several years later. However, I was young and naive when I first started playing. I treated Imperian very much as a social gathering place and was what many refer to as 'snuggly'. One of my guildmates and I became close and loved to pal around, so when we both needed a family, we wanted to be adopted together as brother and sister. I had two or three folks that were interested in adopting me (alone), and then he found somebody willing to adopt us both, and I went with that.

I ended up bloodlined into a family with an inactive father and a slew of idiots. I went on to be adopted by my mentor (who was married, and thus I took that name, though she's now divorced) and her wife, and I ultimately rewrote Alesud's history to explain how all that happened (as best as I could in 'logical' circumstances). I loved being a Kith'Vahni, but when the opportunity to create a new bloodline rolled around, I had to do it. While my bloodline is small, there's a rich backstory to it that I spent way too much time and effort to create, and it contributes much more to my understanding of my character.

Be careful about who you allow to adopt your character. On almost all of my alternate characters, I've had them create their own bloodlines (when possible) or be adopted by my friends' characters. That's a safe way to not end up unhappy with your decision.

My family adventure started when my two best in-game friends got married in the game and everything was fine until one day, out of the blue they divorced and the wife left the house we were all in. Not one of them told me that any of this was going to happen, so while I was running around trying to figure out what happened so I could try to keep both friendships going she asked me to be her daughter. That was a pretty easy decision since I had been thinking about that anyway but didn't want to say anything after they got married because I didn't want any awkwardness in the friendships. Then I found out that before the marraige happened she was dropping hints that she wanted me to ask and I was totally oblivious to it!

Being bloodlined by her was the best decision i've made, the family is awesome, and always has something going on. My mother is now a Sentinel, I have one brother who isn't around much but always fun, and one brother who's always trying to take on beasts and creatures who are way tougher than he is and my grandfather has switched to the dark side and became an infernal. The family is mostly druids and sentinels although there is one bard and one knight in there too!

After winning I think it was 2nd place in one of the Iron lotteries, some newborn Xoran kid IMMEDIATELY started talking to me..saying that he noticed I was Xoran also (love them gems), and that he noticed that Loreen was Xoran too. And very quickly it got to "would you bloodline me? I think you could be my mother." I very nicely told him off, but had a strong suspicion that he was just trying to get his grubby claws on those 90 credits..or at least a part of them.

Sounds annoying. I always hear about those 'long lost family' coming out of the woods when a person wins the lottery.

I'm not much of a family guy to be honest ( in a game ) but when it comes down to that point, I'd rather have a parent that is active and does stuff with their son or daughter. That part would make me feel better. :)

Sometimes it isn't enough to say, "Hey, I got parents, nyah!" and think you could get away with it. Thing with family, is that there isn't enough loyalty involved. You get a Dad, next thing you know, you get backstabbed by that Dad, or robbed by your brother, or killed by your second cousin once removed.

So take your time. Find that one family that will take you under their wing, nuture and guide you!

My impression of families when I joined mine were the similarities to the Houses found in Dune.  But there were different motivations, mostly aligned with good or evil. 


Today's families are larger and there are many more of them.  I'm very impressed with the geneses of the Achaean families and how much import many players carry with their family ties.


The hardest aspect of this article to conform with is meeting your prospective parents.  I could generate a dozen ways and happenings of being my progenitor's offspring but without the rapport a real family member has, it's tough to weave that familial instinct into the roleplay.  I would guess the challenge multiplies hundredfold as a new player!


My textual grandmother was my rapport and mentor that brought me into the family.  A friend of mine helped me weave how our two lives intertwined in a plausible way and how our characters became what they are (contemporarily).  I have always appreciated that an experienced player took me in and helped me out within the game.

seriously? a dead cat, and i hit one of your relatives?

One of my favorite family stories happened when I was celebrating a friends engagement.  Her grandfather came to rob us.  Then the bride to be pointed out that she was his granddaughter and he kindly stopped trying to steal from us in that grove, during that party.  If only for his granddaughter.


Of course, families can end up causing a few interesting situations.  Like I'm currently engaged to Malec, while my Mom is engaged to Yerf.  Yerf is Malec's son.  While there is nothing exactly taboo about it, it has become a bit of a joke between my friends.

One of the problems i see with families is when they grow in number and begin splitting across the world. Eventually they lose any meaning (whats in a name?).


I enjoy the smaller families who strictly adhere to specific roleplay boundries, one of the classic examples of this is S'Sylistha family in Imperian, strictly Ssylsin with few members but know as one of the very best families (from both an IC and OOC viewpoint), while the like of the Kith'Vahni are mocked.

My first (and last) brush with the family system, a decade ago now, was in Achaea - of course this was circa 2002, so I'm dating myself a bit. My character had been seeing someone for a bit and, independently, met a very kind woman. Of course, so gentle and sweet was Chammilla, he happily obliged when she offered to adopt him!


Now, mind, I was young (but a teen!), and did not think much of it at the time, nor look deeply into it. Ahh, my, was it a shock to find out said relationship, at a later point, was with his newfound brother!


We went on of course, and life was fine. We fathered many, many spawnlings with our sister, Beldaran, and Achaea eventually saw the rise of the Mother of Mortals (and I don't mean Maya). Boy, being uncle/dad/grandpa/great uncle/and so forth to everyone is a rather age-inducing thought...

The sense of family for Mastema is somewhat odd, as he was adopted by a Vampire and forced to join the syssin. After gaining all his skills his "father" told him to become one of the undead and join his house. To some this might seem odd but in fact it works well as Mastema has gained a huge family who are all undead or Vampiric from which he is treated as a brother and mentor to those within the House. So I think the concept of "family" is not so heterogenoius.

My online text game family is awesome. My characters dad let my char help him run his shop for awhile, and I ended up in an OOC relationship with my IC grandmother.

Everything stated up here is the truth!!! I didn't realize bloodlineing myself into the family I am currently in would actually be a problem, but in the end it was the worst decision I made. I allowed outside influences to force me into IC Bloodlineing with a friend that I thought would be awesome to be her child. Lets say things happened OOC and now I've disowned my whole family IC Simply to make sure there isn't anymore Drama on the game than there already is. CHOOSE WISELY!!!! Otherwise it could be a BIG mistake.

There are few things more frustrating than being eternally tied to the RP of people you can't stand so take a moment to be sure that not only LIKE (well enough anyway) the players of the characters you're dealing with, but also can be somewhat politically aligned with the actual character game-play.  Politics plays a large enough role that it can destroy the fabric of a bloodline if some of you support Mhaldor or Ashtan and the rest of you are in Shallam or Cyrene.  Sit back and imagine exactly what sort of storyline you imagine 20-IG-years later, 100 IG-years later, and consider what you REALLY want-- FIRST.  You'll be stuck with it once you AGREE.  :)

wouldn't trade my family for the world, when you meet the right family you'll know

It has been mentioned in the article and by those commenting - Do not rush into finding a family! You have all the time in the e-world to do that!

Remember that choosing a family is a permanent affair so don't simply pick the nearest person willing to bloodline you! It is worth waiting for a group of players you feel comfortable playing with and RPing with.

As for those players who bloodline novices willy-nilly: Please be more responsible with your bloodline urges! You are potentially ruining a great avenue of RP for a novice by inducting him/her into a family full of strangers who never interact with each other, simply because you want the biggest, most incest-filled family tree in IRE!

Though I have a bunch of old half siblings (most dormant), a crazy father and no mother, I love my family to bits. Since my older brother and sister are usually quite busy, I get to spend a lot of time with my dad, which is fun when I'm taking a break from hunting. I get to nag at him just so he can find my mother, but I don't think that's happening soon. And I'm okay with that.


My mistake was I didn't do a bunch of research on my current father or the family, but I don't regret becoming a part of it! Since he was asleep for many, many years, we joke around that I was made of 'pixie dust'. My only advice: Do your research!

Something that wasn't mentioned in the main article is the ability to begin your own family dynasty. All the established families had to start somewhere, afterall! All of those points apply, however, when starting a new family. Who would fit your rp best? Who would you like to rp with regularly? What will your family name be? What background to this is there? 

Sometimes, there doesn't even have to be a long, drawn out history. You can choose to start a new family, born out of whatever roleplay arc is appropriate for you. Political, personal, social, whatever.

My character has mostly been without a family since the beginning.  Now that he is so old, and family actually sounds like something fun, it is a lot harder to find one that he would fit into.  Can't be a son because he is far too old for most players in the game, bloodbonded once, but nothing ever came of the family, and really didn't enjoy it, and left.  I think the real way my character will have to find a family is to either marry into one, or start one with another character, because mainly of the social ties I do keep.  It is hard with IG families.

My family in Lusternia was very big when I joined, and almost all the family members were interesting. I really enjoyed the discussions on the family aether. Then I took a break from muds for about two years and when I returned there were very few family members active, and I didn't know anyone anymore. And Faymar's parents were divorced, remarried and divorced again.

I guess what I am trying to say is that nothing is permanent. Enjoy your character's family while it lasts.

While i have yet to join a Family in game they seem like an interesting side of the game and look forward to joining one some day.

I have thought about joining a family, but wasn't sure how to do so.  I think, however, that this article gives some much needed advice!



Famil RP is the best! Building families is a hard business. I started mine as a Founder in Lusternia a long time ago, I really don't remember when, and finding solid, proper children is hard work. I'm just trying to speak from the side of an elitisit family, you know <.< I've personally learned my lesson with a few children, who now no longer log in at all, so now I try to be very selective. Honestly, I think I would be happier with children who tried to approach me, rather than vice versa.


But getting back to my subject line, it truely is the best. Despite the bad name the y'Kaliath earned via Somaria, I had the best time being a member of that family and participating in the drama. Maybe I just like the soapesque nature of it, but it was just interesting, and despite the crazy wackjob she can be, Somaria definitely made my character who she is today!

A brooding, control-freak who goes from loving to disliking her children from one day to the next. Its all about the reputation and honour!

I've been in a few families throughout IRE, and I think one of the most important things to look at when joining a family is its size. A big, complex family may seem like the obvious choice at first, and there is a certain element of intrigue to learning that your worst enemy over in Eviltown is in fact your long-lost sister. But when every other oddball in the game is your uncle or your nephew, every griefer or creeper is your grandchild, the intrigue eventually fades to be replaced with numb, agitated exasperation.


Similarly, you hardly want to wake up one day to learn that your friendly old dad is leaving for the Georgeson family in Eviltown after fathering you into a tiny, obscure family only two weeks ago, leaving you the new head of a closely-knit group of people you don't really know.

A family can be a source of great joy, or tremendous heartache...very similar to real life. One of the few luxuries afforded to a player is the opportunity to select your family. So take your time, meet as many of the family members as you can. Make sure that you and the family are a good fit.

Family certainly adds a new amount of feeling to your precense. Through the interesting exploration of taking Montago as my father until the unfourtante loss of him from the realms I had never learned more in my experiences.

I cannot emphasize the 'do your research' part of this article any more. I've heard many horror stories of people being snagged up as soon as they begin the game, just to find out they've joined a horrible family that they can't get out of! Ask around a little bit, if anything, inquiring about the family to other people that aren't part of it could end up in potentially fun RP avenues for you to follow, -and- broaden the amount of people you have contact with.

It some ways this is so true. On my alt I joined a family thinking it would advance me quickly in the game. However this family turned out to be a bunch of guild hopping snuggle bunnies, and the moment people noticed I was a member of said family I got hunted none stop.


Take the advice of those before me and think first before you join a family.

I wouldn't do -too- much homework, beyond making sure that the family actually does roleplay, and that they're not into any of that weird inbreeding practices... other than that, I think it can be another broader dimension of gameplay to -not- expect what your family is going to throw at you. After all, one of the major things that sets a MUD apart from most standard graphical MMOs, is the ability for the IG world to change, quite possibly against one's will. Enjoying a good inter-family conflict can be just as fun to RP as any other conflict. Sibling rivalry, etc, etc. 


Also, having family ties in opposing factions can really help to put a personality behind those enemy lines, that can so easily turn into "those guys we gank over thar".

Definitely listen to the article and advice above and be cautious about joining a family.  In my experience, it is important to ensure that whatever family you do decide to join makes sense given your choice of organization.  While some enjoy have family all over the place, it has always seemed that the most successful and rewarding families are focused around particular organizations.

i'm a loner

Most of the above I definitely agree with. I have a rather large familiy myself, but I've also been active almost all of my 160-odd years. It's difficult to say, 'eh, I don't want anymore kids and never think about it again' when eventually some or many go dormant for various reasons. If you're around years and for long periods of time, you likely end up 'collecting' quite a few rugrats.

Do take your time choosing your children/parents. I always tell my potentials that I won't be offended if they say no, had someone else in mind, or just need more time to think about it (Being a House Leader tends to carry a bit of awe/fear to it so I don't want them to feel like something bad will happen if they say no, heh.). I also tend to look for the ones that show a lot of future promise and intelligence. The couple bad ones I blame on my ex since he tended to find the problem children (One he bloodlined and then, shortly thereafter before I got to even meet her, she went and chose another mother...can you say AWKWARD?).

One thing that has always bugged me are the problem children that seem completely innocent and then once they're in the family they cause as much havok as they can. I've watched divorces happen over their children's drama, people actually leaving the realms over things they've had done to them, etc. If you're going to join someone's family, don't be an asshat and roleplay the trouble-maker like that. It's not fun for anyone, and if it's fun for you, you need to get help and gtfo of the realms before someone gets even.

all is fair in love and RP. The troublemaker is a valid role to play, as long as they keep it within roleplaying parameters. The object in that case is to turn the troublemaker into the black sheep.

I did my research when I got several family offers through a forum thread specifically created to find a family. Some I had to decline, due to their expectations not matching mine (racechange) but one stood out to me.


Looking back upon it I find it a great choice. 

Not everyone is a fan of Kalas, due to a few members being generally disliked. But then again which large house does not have this? And which real life family of a certain size does not have a black sheep in it? For all the nice members in it I can tollerate that. 

When I joined my family, my mother and father made alot of time to get to know me and my personality. They where very open to adopting me, but wanted to ensure I felt comfterble with the thought of it. And I'm happy to say thats the smartest descision I've made and most fortunate to become an Ama'rua. Of course like most families I'm the odd ball in it, but no more worse off then others. It's rather large and diverce with personalities that do and well do not get along well. The possibilities with families are there, but do your homework folks. Make sure your comfterble with all the releative before joining, for after all these are the people that you cannot really escape.

I used to have a problem saying "no" to someone that wanted to bloodline me. After several characters, however, I recognize how necessary it is sometimes. You really do want to think about the decision because ultimately it affects your character in more ways than you'd realize. 


I would definitely encourage becoming a member of a family, though.

joining a family broadens your horizons for opportunity

I was unsure about doing this at first as a new player in the realms but I've found it to be quite helpful in networking with others and learning more about history. I was lucky to be invited into an established family with respected players instead of a newer one which worked to my advantage is a novice. Many of my family members are also part of the same house which makes for fun RP. I have yet to meet any relatives whose ideals conflict with my own but it would be interesting. I'm not really established enough to get into the conflict side of things yet and being part of my family hasn't brought along any drama.

I entirely dislike friggin families that whore children right out of the portal.

I agree. Seeing a bloodline containing five or ten 21 year old characters is annoying.

some of the more common families are so large that it's rather hard to marry someone not related to you in some way.

It's ultimately nice to belong to a family, once you've gotten a good grasp of the game. it adds more dynamic and more character to your, um, character, as it adds more building blocks to how you will eventually be known in Achaea. I've experienced nearly coming to blows with a family member I wasn't fully aware of yet when he (she?) bashed in the same room I was in, took the kill and the gold. Much was my amazement when I did honors and found out the player was in fact my nephew (niece?)!

Personally, being a Sar'vet is fun, as I have relatives from across all cities, cept Eleusis and Shallam. But knowing Uncle Vexlore, that's bound to change pretty soon!


***Note to nitpickers!***

The title is a joke.

Many times you need to truly look at the record of your prospective family and find random peoples opinions of it in many cases.


A "noble house" tends to have alot of agendas and plans behind them.  While some families are "combat houses" where most of the family is known for their skills in battle. Many families are a combination, and even some can be "cuddly families", yes I am lookin at you furrikin families.


They may seem nice, but make sure you arent stepping into a crap storm.

By the same token, sometimes a family has a reputation that's going to be tough to overcome. Be careful of that.


One of my early characters in Lusternia ran into someone he thought was wonderful, and quickly fell into her family. At first, I loved it! It was fun being related to someone important! But as time wore on, I started noticing the character was getting odd looks from other members of the org.


As it turned out, the family itself had a sour reputation for being less than trustworthy, one that haunted the character until I eventually lost interest in the character entirely.


So remember to look into both the positive and negative aspects of a family before you make a decision.

I had it lucky. Right from the word go, I joined a family 'Windsongs' and met a huge amount of people that practically kept me in the game. I somewhat regret leaving the family as I 'grew' as a character, but a lot of the people I spent time with are now dormant.


Having a family as a newbie is definitely a good choice, just don't rush into it! A family may be the thing that keeps you in the game! :)


There's only been one bloodline in all the years I've been playing that I haven't regretted. You'd think I'd learn my lesson but it gets me every time... There should be a sister article about being a proper in-game parent.

I have to agree with much of what was written above, but I do like to add something of my own as well.

Personally, my family is of another city than myself. I joined them while we were allies, but relations have changed (as they always do), and now we're enemies. This can produce some rather interesting discussions!

to warn I ramble a lot but some people like that so here we go. I started out on Imperian, was quickly grabbed up by a family and in my early years it was nice to have people I could sorta ask and count on outside my mentor. Most familes are out there to help each other out. As time wore on my family sorta died off and everyone grew inactive or married out of the family. Now i'm head of the family and only one around from what I can tell, not that I mind to much but I do sorta miss the chatter on FT and the family clan.


When I started to play on Lus I avoided families, I was by that time a solid mudder and prefered the non family status as it opens up a bit of RP to play around with. Though In magnagora the familes most are houses, which leads to a intresting effect on size and maintaining membership, I was bugged a number of times to join various familes which I politle declined and they where nice about it, and I still speak with and work with em. Any normal person will not be to upset if you don't want to join their family.


Now I am pondering starting up a new family, writing up the roleplay and pondering if I really want to risk bring people into somthing like a family, I am both excited about seeing if I can rally enough people to become a nodiced name in Magnagora. I've played on Atolia and Achea and while the vampire blood lines are rather intresting and the roleplay neat, neither held my intrest long.


Some view familes as a kind of lobby group to have power in a orginzation. Some as a way to add more RP elements and a RP tool to have fun.Some use it as a reason to kill someone or harass. Some use it to gain help and it becomes a nice place for newbies to get a footing. Nothing is inharently good or bad about an family it is all how players use it.

Without families IRE games are much less engaging in my mind, at the start Caspien and Tilara (Or Tilana, it has been forever) on Aetolia made the game and Druids guild quite a bit more interesting. The O'Lyryus family was smaller, but it was fun and it felt an achievement being given a chance by semi-strangers who I looked up to. It may just be ego, but someone who care about your character in roleplay can count for a lot and the support they offer is invaluable.


I havent had any bad experiences with families over three games and hope Midkemia eventually gets a good system for it. Lusternia does families especially well and the emphasis could be increased on other games.

I myself went a very long time before establishing a family. Took me something like 250 IG years before I adopted my first child. And since it has been few and far between.

After playing Achaea for years and loling at half of the families for incest and other for having little to no reason that they are related I realize that bloodlining can go pretty crazy. I can't wait till MKO allows some type of adoption or bloodlining. I would like to see if it's possible to create a family line that will actually hold concepts of morality, culture, religion and ideals close; and for how long. It could be fun, and I'm guessing it wont work, but hey, it's worth the shot.

I've played Lusternia as per a friend's invite, and my family has thus been their characters since I was comfortable with them OOC. I wasn't paying attention to family RP then, as well. I've begun to see the dynamics of family RP as I get to interact with more and more people, and the interaction is fun most of times. Large families whose members intertwine from guild to guild, org to org and whatnot..sometimes it works and is quite fun to look at..sometimes it makes the whole family seem like a rambling structure with no direction or point. It's all about planning your family with more than thoughts of increasing it in number and keeping it all in check as it grows. I'd rather have a small family that's tightly knit and have fun with everyone than a big family where I don't even know half of the clan.

The L'Eternae family has had its ups and downs...mostly down though. In a way it's kind of cool being the only active person in Lusternia with that name, but it would be nice to grow it as well, I just don't have the patience or determination to try to grab up newbies, and it seems as though those newbies get inducted into established historical families fairly often, and those families frown upon marrying out.


/Forever alone.

I never really thought joining a family was a big deal until I actually joined one, and I wasn't really proud in the way I joined. It was really an impulse decision to be honest, and I definitely should have done some more research before just saying, "Ok!". I was lucky that I ended up with a decent, if somewhat inactive family. :(

My characters's family was very important to her development and to myself as a newbie. Like the article says, be careful who you join and make sure that they will have some time to spend with you. For Anarya, they helped both develop her character and helped me learn A LOT about the game.

Though I've played IRE games for a little over ten years, I never joined a family until I started Naralis in Lusternia. The reason why is because I never found a family I was interested in until I started talking with someone in Lusternia who eventually became my IC sister. Neither of us wanted IC parents or other siblings and now both of us went our separate ways. A word to those who want to start their own families... it isn't easy, especially if you're aiming for Great House status (or the Achaea/Imperian/Aetolia equivalent).

I have found family RP to be incredibly rich and rewarding, running the whole gamut from my character finding his parents and siblings, through the agony of his parents' divorce, to him finding his lovely text-daughter (and helping her "restore" her mothballed childhood room in his house by "remembering" what it looked like!)

His childhood has at times been a good way to put meat on the bones of the character, for example a fondness for all things Phaestian, a reason to learn to speak Xoran, and a vision in a ritual recalling the day he left home.

As is true of all RP, though, you only gets out what you puts into it. If you accept bloodlining requests casually without getting to know the person first, or play it for LOLs, your family RP will look tacked on at best and downright silly at worst.

When I was young the Lighthawk family was the big family in my Guild. All the cool people were Lighthawks so I did whatever I could to get into the Lighthawk family.  It was made up of combatants, harvesters, politicians, scholars, the works.  I got someone to bloodline me as my mother and never got a father to bloodline me.  Some two hundred years later I was distantly related to just about everyone and I hated everyone calling me great-great uncle Grandue so I tried to cut ties with the family, betrayed the city/house, and forged my own family named the Winterhawks. My wife was from the Winterhart family and I was from the Lighthawks.  I had an affinity for cold and tundra and so merging the two family names together to forge my own seemed to fit.


Since then it has been my wife, children, and a couple grandchildren. The good thing is that my children, because of the new name, don't really associate themselves with the more distant bloodline of the Lighthawks, and it is cool seeing people carrying a family name you created.

You really should do a lot of time doing your research. I got bloodlined almost fresh out of the Trial, and I have regretted it almost every day since. Not only did my in game mother disappear into dormancy rather quickly, but I lost the chance to be bloodlined by someone who because an amazing parent-like figure. I will almost never forgive myself for that, and I believe that I should have done more research.

RPing within the family context has been a joy for me as well. I've found myself feeling unreasonably (for a game!) proud of my siblings and half-siblings, and while my character's parents have long since gone dormant, I remain overjoyed when I see my grandmother and a particular sister logged in.


I’ve had the privilege and the pleasure to have roleplayed a
member of two influential families of Imperian, the Sunjackals and the Eliths.
Upon creating my character in Imperian, I was welcomed into Khandava by three
veteran players who showed me the ropes and helped me get my feet on the
ground. Most notably, Ysaviel, Brydian and Giselle stand out in my mind as
those characters that guided and nurtured my character and in so doing, made
the game more enjoyable. Their dogged persistence and patience with me has led
me to a close knit group of friends and many aspects of Imperian that I did not
know existed.

Once I was involved in Imperian through the politics of the
Sunjackal bloodline and my loyalty to Ysaviel, I became involved in the player
versus player aspect of Imperian. As usual, Brydian had to hold my hand and
explain how not to die for the better part of a month. As I grew to enjoy pvp
in Imperian, I noticed that my council of choice was lacking in numbers and
that in skirmishes, I would find myself quickly outnumbered. As I grew in
prominence in the game, I was offered to bloodbrother Keijima Elith and join
his magick crusaders in their quest to defend the arcane arts. Who wouldn’t
join such a cause? For the next year, the Elith bloodline and Skye Arivan
united the three powers  of the Magick
circle to form the Coalition of Magick and spearheaded their successful
military operations for the better part of fifty years.

The family aspect of Imperian has introduced me to many
players that I now consider my friends. My in game family has made it possible
for me to keep up my interest in the game, that many other online games lack,
and keep me involved in the game on every level that I enjoy. I highly urge any
new players to join a bloodline that interests them and get involved in their
politics, the conflict and their roleplay. You won’t regret it.

While it is important to do a bit of research on your family, try not let that kill the fun. If you enjoy interacting with the people who wish to bring you into their family and there are no immediate relations causing you problems, then that will likely be enough. Who cares if your dormant grandmother was a bit of a tart? Little imperfections like that often add to the dynamic of the RP and can be as enjoyable as the much less practical ideal that you originally envisioned.

I would have to echo the comments of others who don't really see as much value in bloodlines. In Achaea at least, it seems as if the vast majority of bloodlines are just completely out of control. When it gets to that stage, it quickly starts to become pointless, if you ask me. I will probably never join a family since my character's dead family members are written into his background, but I suppose I may start my own somewhere down the line.

I've made many a start at characters in Lusternia, but never could find a hook to really keep me playing. At least, not until my youngling was adopted into the Peulus family. Suddenly having fathers who were interested in me and my character really got me into the RP, and I finally settled into the game.


Then I took a break of about a year RT and eventually came back because I felt guilty about abandoning my "family". What a change on my return! Tomir's parents divorced, one hadn't been seen in years, and the other no longer a Peulus... but somehow I became an honorary Dawneye, and now have an overbearing aunt who constantly pesters me to get married. So, it's been quite an enjoyable experience, and is still one of the things that keeps me playing.

I can't say I've ever cared too much for family RP. Much of it tends to end up as unnecessary drama. But to each their own.

When I first started out, I was almost 'collected' by a family that seemed absolutely fantastic. Of course, that was the impression they wanted to give out.


I got lucky and was saved by someone amazing bloodlining me, and many people warning me about the family, but if I had read this first, I probably wouldn't have come so close to ruining my shot at family RP.

Foehn's experience with family has always been cautious and wary. I still remember when, long ago, I was approached with an offer to be adopted by a fairly influential couple who had already amassed a sizeable family. I never quite accepted, though I was willing to stay close and observe the mechanics of being 'part of the family' for some time. I can safely say that it never felt right. Calling someone "Mother" was ever an awkward thing, and while this was due in part to Foehn's already-existing background and character concept, a lot of it also had to do with the co-mingling of OOC personalities that I found myself swept into. Eventually, I subtly distanced myself from the family.

When Foehn took up the surname "Anemides" with his husband Kiril, I never dreamed of creating a large empire of gaybies bearing the name. I was right, and we were fine with that. We'd learned that Family was more than just bloodlines and shared titles, and we had discovered one that we could comfortably be a part of, together.

Now, with Kiril dormant for a century's worth of in-game time later, Foehn has moved on, and I've been startled to discover myself beginning a family with Daine, and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my (in-game) life. The children they've had could not make Foehn prouder, and the family he finds himself soon-to-be marrying into is possibly one of the most diverse and interesting groups of people one could ever meet.

In real life, you don't get to pick the family you're a part of. In-game, you have that chance, and you should never, never let it go to waste. I'm glad I waited as long as I did to start forming a family.

Don't be afraid to talk to the player of the character out-of-character, definitely, sometimes it can be awkward to fit every question into a roleplay setting unless you're doing an adoption! 

I would add another point to yours, in the case where a single parent approaches you. As IRE allows for a mother and father, ask them who the other parent might be if they have someone in mind, or what guidelines they have for who they do or don't want you to pick as the other.  Sometimes it's nice to have a foot in the camps of two separate families but it can make things complicated as well.

I think my character's mom is supposed to be a denizen or something. I am ok with this, although it's sad that I'll never get in-game roleplay that involves her short of admin intervention. Denizen parents have it rough yo D:

I'm very picky over who I invite to join my text family, (that being the Vaskals in Imperian) It isn't my own bloodline, and it isn't an established one like some of the enormous ones that we can see around. But, its mine, so I look after it!

That is a good way to look at it. If you aren't careful then it can eventually end up making things difficult for you.

Only one other character of mine had ever been in a family, and it was not a big deal at all. It was one of those side-families, that's just there and only has a few members. But Ryylaet was excited for his adoption. He worked alongside his mother on various projects, and got to know her well. They share many similar traits, and just overall mesh well. His father is very smart in all manner of things, and is fun to go off and do manly things with, like killing! I enjoy being around them, talking to them, and doing things with them, and it's just a great environment. Some might want families to be affiliated with strong people, or to have a pre-made history for them, but for me, my goal is just to find people that are fun and devoted to the pursuit of more fun.

Having no family and no bloodline is nice because it allows me a lot more versatility about how I can play my background without having to confirm with family about events I'd like to add to my character history, etc. On the other hand, it gets a little bit lonely and I feel like sometimes I really miss out on a big part of what can add another layer of fun for the game. I guess I'll just have to marry into a family, best of both worlds.

Seconded. A little mystery goes a long way.

Families are what make rping more fun, but try to go with a family that needs to grow! Don't want to get to the point where theres only a few families!


thanks for the info?

I tend to be pretty picky about family members. I would be so embarrassed to have a family member that disgraced the Starfall name. Not snobbish by any means but I look for people serious about the commune we live in, I don't want to adopt someone and then have them turn to our enemies the next day.

When I had my character on Achaea bloodlined I had a reason for the father (Vorondile) and it was good RP but I didn't realize I what I was doing in taking the name of Storm..... didn't realize he was taking the name of a family of incestful harlots! By the time I got serious about his RP I had to make drop his history and make a new last name.... too bad it doesn't hide the fact that people show up more than once on my bloodline.

Good advice, all. Bloodlines with 50+ siblings/kids make my eyes bleed.

Just a question to throw out there: how do you reconcile a 'family' that has no surname?

I screwed up and bloodlined the first person that asked.  Don't make that mistake!

To be honest, I wasn't initially very impressed with the family system that existed in Lusternia. Individual family histories were interesting and, I thought, well-written, but mechanically, there was a lot left to be desired. Until the recent changes! Now, wow -- families are so dynamic and interesting, I'd really feel as though I was missing out on a huge facet of Lusternia's gameplay if I wasn't involved in one. There's something for everyone in Culture, Blood, Letters and Honour types! I'd encourage everyone to shop around for a family that you'll enjoy contributing to, and thanks to the admin for the great additions!

I never joined a family and I am not planning to do so in the near future but nevertheless the tips given in this article will be useful the day I join a family. Thanks

Ive got three sons that dont have mothers. :/ I wish this article was here ten years ago.

The bad thing about families, and generally all text-relationships: someone inevitably goes dormant, and that someone is usually (but not always) someone central to the family.

Then you RP a disappearance and throw a party if they come back online.

I've, unfortunately, ended up around some really crazy people in any of the IRE's I've played. I was also guilty of just jumping into families. D:

unfamily all of my family.  It has always seemed kind of creepy acting like a mom/dad anyway.

I am not sure if I want parents. This influences my background and I have to work out if I include parents or not.

I've enjoyed a family in Achaea and I am frustrated by the lack in Midkemia, thus far...

if you join the Mockers, you automatically have a family. yay.

If you are really old. Now Achi kids are 375 years younger than him. Will need someone else play catch with Junior.

Definately something to consider carefully. It would have a drastic effect on your character.

Where was this article when I was picking my family?

So very glad that this article came up. I poked around quite a few families before I settled into one of my own. Sadly, I ended up being adopted by a family that quickly went dormant and left me to do mostly my own thing. Eventually, through some conflict witht he family, I simply cut myself off and bought into a family of my own. Due to people who have a tendency to come around once a year (If that!) I've had a lot of "children" go dormant too, but I'm glad to say that the longest break I've ever taken without loggin in at all was a month and a half, so my children always have someone to talk to when they come around again.

Now, if only we could write something for having someone join YOUR family!

lots of things to consider there if you want to suss it out right


Always good to not jump in willy nilly, but don't go to the extreme either. Kills the fun