Online Text-Based RPGs: The Undercover Achaean Returns... to Achaea!
By Rio Rivera-Young
Greetings, Adventurers, young and old! The last installment of Undercover Achaean left me feeling as if I forgot something – as if there was some glaring facet of the magnificent Iron Realms text games which I’d left off of my checklist of secrets to uncover. After much introspection, I realized that this guide wouldn’t be complete unless I covered the text game where it all began! So this guide is for all the rest of you Iron Realm text game enthusiasts who might want to know a little about Achaea!
The tour starts you off, after a brief character creation involving the typical name and race selection, wandering a road north of a town called New Thera, in search of Yggdrasil, the World Tree. The text RPG starts you off with denizen interaction immediately, getting the player used to the say, follow, look, and other staple commands of text games. One thing that Achaea does extraordinarily well is taking care of those who are new to text games completely. While the options are there to speed up the tour so that advanced text game players can whiz through it at finger-breaking speeds, the ANSI hints, the repeated commands, and the manner in which information is given is sufficient to walk through any manner of newbie through this as painlessly as possible with an automated system -- Achaea’s tutorial holds the player’s hand significantly more than the any other tutorial for any other text game that I’ve seen.
The learning doesn’t stop once you exit the trial, either. If you enter a house, which is strongly encouraged by nearly every source that a new player has, you’re immediately given amazingly helpful help files sent to you that will begin your text game adventures in Achaea in an informative manner. It gives you the basis of where your character is, what their role is, and how to advance to come to enjoy the game as a while.
This brings up another point – while all of the Iron Realms text games are RP-encouraged, Achaea would be the one that has the most emphasis placed on maintaining a complete immersion for all players involved. One unique method they use to police this is the credibility system. The basic principle is that all characters should be accountable for their own roleplay, and that it should remain acceptable in terms of not referencing out-of-characters events in an in-character mode. Losing credibility causes experience to be harder to gain and easier to lose, and eventually (in states of extremely low credibility) players can lose methods of communication in an attempt to keep the text RPG enjoyable for others.
Conflict in Achaea is dynamic. Much as in the world of Midkemia, there isn’t an over-arching Good vs. Evil plotline, while the axes of good and evil are most definitely covered in the factions. There are six unique factions, each with their own goals and desires. The Evil city of Mhaldor seeks to oppress others and strengthen itself. The Chaotic bastion, Ashtan, seeks freedom to pursue one’s own destiny. The Good city of Shallam seeks to eradicate Chaos’ impure influence from the land, while combating the forces of Evil to save the innocent from damnation. Eleusis, the village in the trees, seeks to spread a love for Nature and to defend it from those who would do it harm. Hashan, a city that prides itself on acting in self-interest, lies neutral along with the neutral-good city of Cyrene, whose desire is merely to serve as a haven. Alliances can change, enemies become allies and vice versa as the world shifts, so as far as a conflict system goes, Achaea can boast an absolutely amazing system across the board.
So, if you want a place to be introduced to online roleplaying text adventures, or if you simply want a good, consistent roleplaying environment, come check out Achaea: Dreams of Divine Lands!
Want to experience for yourself where the Iron Realms legacy truly began? Try out the infamous text RPG today!
Rio Rivera-Young is a text game enthusiastic and - you'll never guess! - currently plays games from Iron Realms.