Role Playing Games: An Imperian God's Tale

text game eledhel

by Megan Elizabeth

I have played both offline and online role playing games for a very long time, and have been in charge of running quite a few as well. I have created villains and heroes, Deities and worlds. I have designed political structures and monetary systems. So creating and evolving a character in an online text-based role playing game was not anything new, and I became heavily involved with my text game characters first in Achaea and then in Imperian. I still remember that one of my earliest goals when I first started playing Achaea was that I wanted to ascend to Godhood. I even remember telling one of my guild mates in the Druids, “I’ll be a Goddess one day.”

It took a few years, but I did eventually get accepted as a text game Celani, not in Achaea, but in Imperian, the second Iron Realms game I stalked. For those of you who do not play Imperian, there is one big difference between the two when it comes to Divine; Imperian has a static Pantheon. No losing Gods, no adding Gods, you have to pick from an existing role, most of which have been around history wise long before mortals. I had spent years creating role playing game God concepts and ideas, thinking of how I would set up my Order, and I was accepted to an online role playing game where none of that mattered. It was an amazingly great opportunity for a few reasons.

 

No need to deal with creativity block.

Create a God? Sure, no problem, that is until you get down to the deadline. I had it in my head I could somehow convince Avasyu and Dranor to let me create my own role playing game God eventually, but while working on my Celani tasks I realize I had hit a total block when it came to creativity. I poured all my energy and thought process in trying to create “the best Celani made area ever!!” (I was a very enthusiastic Celani) that I would have never been able to come up with an original and fun idea for a new God even if I had tried. Sure, if I had to think of one I probably could have in the time it took me to go from Celani to Demi to full blown God, but I feel like my area ideas would have likely suffered, not to mention the little role playing game experiences that I was initiating around in the text game world.

 

Someone else’s character.

No matter how I look at it, I am playing someone else’s character. They took the time to think of the idea, set the role, and get the ball moving on the virtual-body that I now inhabit, and the mind that I must form myself to fit. Is this a bad thing? Not always. I know those of you who play Imperian are now thinking “Oh, you lucked out and got a ‘playable’ role,” but that might not be the case! A lot of the appeal behind being a God in an online role playing game is not for the role you get, but what you can do once you get here. I think the vast majority of my interactions have been through mobiles (text game NPCs), some of which have been dire opposites of my God-role. In the end, I chose a role that I felt was close to characters I had played previously and that I felt would be an easier transition to accommodate myself.

 

Already have followers... usually.

Having played Achaea, I cannot imagine how some Gods keep their spirits up when creating new Orders. I was in an order that no longer exists, which is the only reason I ever even considered leaving. Orders become such an integral piece of people’s role-play that once they make that decision, it becomes near impossible to leave without having your character go through a mid-life crisis of sorts. I wracked my brain trying to decide if it was truly a betrayal to join a new order if my previously worshiped text game God no longer existed. That said, I did not come into my role with many followers, and most of those were inactive, but they were there. But, they were there, and they helped me understand my role. I watched them, listened to them talk to other people about their Divine, and got a better feel about how my role may or may not have interacted with them in the past.

 

Finally, it is OK to change a little!

Here was the hardest decision have had to face so far: what parts of this role do I change, and what parts do I keep the same? It is a given that for the most part, my role and my purpose as a role playing game God in Imperian stays the same. However, I can tweak here and nudge there to refine or make vague certain things, which gives me a lot more freedom. I can change my shrines, rearrange my temple, switch up my order, there are many things I can do to give myself a little foothold in this role. A little bit of ground that lets me say, “This is my character, and I care about the decisions I make in this role playing game.”

 

In the end, we are all playing a role. You created yours, and I learned a part to play in order to attempt to make your experiences in Imperian better… at least that is my hope!

 

Megan Elizabeth plays a text game God on the best role playing games at Iron Realms!

Comments

When you talk about filling out 'someone else's character' it made me think of how Eventru from Lusternia often jokes about his transition from mortal to godhood: "If you had told me I'd spend my time playing a Celestian God I would have laughed you out of the room." For all accounts and purposes he fills the role well, though it wasn't like with you, he did get to mould his new God.

I do sort of wish you'd gone into more detail about the pros and cons of IRE Godhood. I imagine it's not the picnic most of us thing it is and all of you are set to working long hard hours to keep the game running. Rest assured, it doesn't go unnoticed (mostly)!

 

I remember hearing about a Celani Q&A and from what I can tell there is a -lot- of work whenever it comes to throughout the stages of reaching full- God or Godness.

 

As well as I'd definitely like to have seen a bit more on the pros and cons about Godhood. Good article though!

 

Call me weird, but I thought this article was... well I guess just not what I was expecting.  Disappointing

Its a interesting read but I do understand what that odd feeling of disappointment, perhaps this article needed to elaborate more into details to further the point?

Interesting article, especially the part about changing the gods behavior.

it must be really tough settling into the role of a God in a text game

I've never played Imperian or Achaea, but from what I can see in Lusternia, it doesn't really seem very likely to happen.

 

What I've noticed...over the years, is a pretty big deviation in deities from how their previous incarnations have functioned. I can think of a few humorous examples, but I will digress.

 

I imagine it's fairly difficult to roleplay someone else's character, some gods do it better than others. But, I know as a player I cringe at the thought of my divinity being 'replaced' by a new Celani. Since, there are about 5 RL years of active RP to catch up on...and I seriously doubt that someone can do that effectively.

I'm curious as to how the order members would react to the shift in personality in a God.  I mean, sometimes it's pretty obvious, but still.

 I really enjoyed reading this article, and I think your outlook on sort of "fitting yourself into someone elses' character." I see it now more as just a good challenge, and a way to hone creative juices. You don't always have to start from scratch!

I do enjoy them explaining how it is to start off with trying to jump into a pre-defined character. Most people try to shape or mold their own role play, but divine must obviously have restrictions, and it is good to hear about them.

I do enjoy them explaining how it is to start off with trying to jump into a pre-defined character. Most people try to shape or mold their own role play, but divine must obviously have restrictions, and it is good to hear about them.

Different people playing the same god must make that god change personalities from one era to the next. Sounds like Chritiantiy where their god started as ruthless and murderous but when Jesus comes along becomes merciful and loving. I think that games can explain Christianity better than how some Christians try to explain how Jesus, god, and the holy spirit are one entity. If they just told me that different god role players were playing the god, it actually might make sense to me.

I think you have made an interesting point here.

I'm liking the interviews with the gods/admins, keep them coming!

Yeah, I'm glad they're doing this sort of thing. Gods in particular I'd like to hear more from; some of them are pretty fantastic at what they do.

Agreed, it is good to see how the games work from the other end of the spectrum.

very nice read.

yes

yes!

Playing a charecter designed by someone else? Already developed over years by other people, with an established personality, tendancies, emotions, and even order structure? I can't confine myself like that. Not that I'm saying I wouldn't end up making my own god very similar, but just knowing (or even just thinking) that who I was and how I should act was determined by someone else would drive me crazy.

I've thought about Celaniship to begin with but not sure I have the drive to do it. Getting a inside look on what it entails is a good thing for myself.

a bit more detail would be great though.

Thanks for sharing about your life behind the looking glass! It must be hard to decide what you can share here and what you cant, I for one was hoping for more cool secrets and maybe a couple extra funny stories about how you zapped mortals for... being mortal! Nicely written, post more!

I like the fact that the IRE staff is taking time to share their Godly experiences with all of us. Thanks!

Yea

it makes it even more wonderful for us players

Its great to see them getting involved more so than just providing a game and raking in profits.

 

Always considered going for Celani, but I think I would miss my friends and enjoy being a part of the worlds that the now understandably hardworking Celani create. Again, always nice seeing a Gods perspective.

When you've devoted as much time to your character as to be considered for a Celani job, I would think it is very difficult to put down everything what you've become in-game.

Originally I wanted to become a Goddess one day, but it seems like too much hards work, and IK like my character.

Being a god must be a largely solitary experience :( Oh well, as long as you enjoy doing it! :D

I would love to become a celani, though because my playtime can become erratic due to work, I doubt that would ever happern.

these glimpses behind the scenes are very interesting.

Good article

:)

:)

"No losing Gods, no adding Gods, you have to pick from an existing role, most of which have been around history wise long before mortals."

This part actually prevents that part - "I was in an order that no longer exists, which is the only reason I ever even considered leaving" - from happening.

 

Why do you need a few thousand gods when 90% of them are inactive?  I think it's just better to fill up the positions instead of stuff the game with new ones.

Interesting article, I like getting a look behind the scenes. Love the blog posts done by the Divine on the Lusternia site for that same reason.

Is my like button?

Playing a Divine can be easy or hard depending on your natural inclinations. Some people are really good at building from the ground up. Personally, I prefer to work and refine soemthing that is already there. Regardless, being a Divine isn't easy and takes quite a bit of dedication from all the articles and posts I read. Much props to you all that keep with it.

The real challenge would be to get a premade character randomly. There are some character types I would absolutely hate playing and some that I would like playing more than making one my own. In fact, if the character is sufficiently interesting and 'my type', I would much rather get a premade one.

Only problem with this - as some people have mentioned - is the deviation in the character and stance of the God. In some circumstances the new player has very little knowledge about the background or in-depth history of the Orders and the God's interaction with it and other 'mortals'. Probably they should be made to choose a God which they are very familiar with, so as to avoid issues.

On the other hand, it seems likely that the Gods one would be most drawn to to play would be the ones you know the most about, so maybe that would mitigate the problem somewhat. I don't think I've seen any Gods in transition in my time, though, so I don't how big a problem it actually is to begin with.

Great article

Always interesting to hear about life as a God-player. Thanks for the insight! 

There are a few Gods I would like to here similar stories to from Lusternia.  Keep this stuff coming.  It's nice to see things from the perspective of other players, God or not.  Though, Gods seem to be more interesting.

I would agree with a few statements above, this was a great article but could have maybe used more details.  perhaps because of the nature of your duties you are not at liberty to discuss much further detail though.

Either way, good read!

Good article. Its always nice to have a glimpse of the world from the Divine's point of view

Good Article. Keep em coming.

Change is good if done right.

It's really interesting, again, to hear from a divine's point of view. Playing gods seem a rather unfamiliar task for people like me, a relative newbie especially because of my frequent absence, and this article was a good chance to see what it was like.

It must be really challenging to have to assume a pre-existing identity

Interesting read, I suppose. Although, I only play Lusternia, so its slightly different. I just like the fact that the gods are playable characters that really and truly interact with us. Not some preset actions like we get from NPCs.

T

Thanks for the article. I'm sure I'll have to deal with orders and such someday in the future.

indeed, thanks

A static pantheon sounds kind of dull. Though it makes things easier, such as histories that don't need to be retconned or new areas with peoples that don't worship some invented deity, the concept of religion never changing seems very bland. Which, I suppose, describes Imperian altogether.

Always interesting to hear someone's tale

thanks for taking the time to write this post. Im enjoying hearing stories from different divinities, its interesting to hear how everything works from a gods perspective as opposed to a players.

Its always nice to gain even just a tiny peek of what playing a divine involves. I doubt i'd be able to handle it! I'd most likely end up burning out.

God

Yeah....this is why I never want to be a celani or a God.  Just, not something I want to do.

Can one become a celani with limeted time online, say only a few hours per week or is someone needed who can perform the role a few hours per night?

Depends on a few things. But really it just comes down to productivity. The producer on the game, how many hours you are talking about, etc. Some of my best gods only spent a few hours a week, but they got projects done (RP, building, whatever). And there have been many gods that spend hours and hours online, but do not really do anything.

What about dealing with people who don't like the changes made to the god, and do these changes occur often, even on the same "incarnation" of the god? That's something I'd like to know more about.

Otherwise, good article. 

What I think is awesome is IRE offers the flexibility of you being immortal in one realm, and mortal in the other.  I imagine this is a great way to let off some steam when one role, or the other, becomes too confining.   

Article.

 

I enjoyed this article, I appreciate the time that went into it as well as what was said about being a God and what that is like. I think as a player we think oh the Gods, they just get to be around all the time and get all this praise and glory. 

 

It's good to know that it is not always the case and that there is a lot going on behind the scenes.

Definitely a perspective that I think the general populace of IRE players take for granted. I know that I've been all FANGIRL over Achaean Gods in the past, and it's important to remember that they are people, too. I think in some ways that a static pantheon might be a better way of doing things instead of the constant waning and waxing of Gods in Achaea. I have never played Imperian, so I couldn't say! 

 

It sounds like Megan strives to provide entertainment and value to her order and the people within it. Maybe, she'll write some more articles and give us the juicy details that we all wonder about! 

This was a fairly good article, but it seemed a little short and could have used more detail.

Good read, thanks. The whole celani program is something I'm still interested in to this day and I would have applied during the last round of applications for Achaea, but there were things holding me back. Hopefully during the next round I'll be ready to apply. Thank you for sharing. :)

I respect everyone give up mortal life

I love this series and plan to read the entire thing.