Role Playing Games: Choosing an Iron Realms Game
Iron Realms has, to date, five games eligible for play, and another in the making. Although each of these addicting games have a fantasy theme to them, there are some significant differences between the games that may affect your rpg play style completely. Having been someone who has a permanent character on each game, save one, I have had a lot of time to think about good advice for anyone who is interested in trying out a new Iron Realms text game.
Know the "theme."
Each of the games tends to have at least one major "theme" behind it. For instance, Imperian is the battle between the forces of magick, anti-magick and demonic, whereas Achaea seems to go the route of the more traditional good versus evil. Learning the theme, or the ultimate idea behind an online game will help with transitioning to a new game, as well as help in character building. If you go into a game where the debate of good vs. evil is unrelated raving about how you are evil incarnate, you'll probably get some weird looks from any organization you attempt to go to. The "themes" behind each rpg game also have a huge affect on organizations, how players act, and my next point, the history behind the games themselves.
Get to know the history.
Each of the Iron Realms games has a rich history that has had an effect on how the current world works. From the creation of the Gods to the creation of the mortal races, how a City was founded or how certain powers came to be, there are many different things that player's can use to help them build a background. Not only can it help you develop a background for your character, but it might be able to help you narrow down your choices on what Organizations you want to be involved in, which leads me to my next point of advice.
Learn about the organizations.
Cities, Guilds (or Houses), Councils, Orders, Families, Clans... there are a lot of rpg organizations out there! Look on the website of the text game of your choice and see what sorts of information can be found. Start with Cities or Councils, depending on your game, and see what they have to offer, this will help you narrow down your search. From there, see what Guilds or Houses they support, and what Classes (or Professions) each of those allow. Once you have an idea of what you want to work towards, you can look into learning more or start setting up your character. Choosing a City/Council first in some rpg games can help narrow down most of your choices for all other organizations. For instance, if you decide you want to belong to the city of Stavenn in Imperian, that limits your choices of Guilds down to about five, your choice of Divine also to five, and there is a good chance you will or will not be able to belong to certain Clans, Families, etc.
Learn about the players.
This one is a little tricky. The best way to go about learning about the other players is to just jump into the rpg game and see how they react to each other. An example of this would be that Aetolia is the only IRE game that I do not have a permanent character on. So, at the request of a friend, I rolled one up and checked the rpg game out, wanting to get to know the play-style typical to most players before I decided if I wanted to actually stick around. I was amazed at the detail that goes into the emotes and the role play some people participate in! It is impressive, but wasn't what I was looking for at 2 A.M. on a weeknight, so I lurked, learned and came back to build a character to keep later.
Another way to possibly go about learning about the players behind the game would be to check the rpg game's forums. Do this with caution, and take everything you read with a grain of salt! Often times players go to forums because it gives them an avenue to express when they are frustrated, so it can appear that the role playing game, or the players, aren't worth getting into. There can be good things on the forums, however. If you're interested in role play, see if there is a section for that you can look through to see other people's experiences. Likewise with combat and general information. These are just two ideas that can help you get to know the players and their play-style in the role playing game you're interested in trying.
These are probably not the only things that you can do to start to ease the transition into a new online text based rpg. What other advice can you give to players who want to attempt the migration from one Iron Realms game to another?
Megan Elizabeth is a text game enthusiast who enjoys the best rpg games from Iron Realms!