Text Games: An Imperian God's Tale V

rpg game Goddess

One of the biggest pulls for people to play one of the many Iron Realms online games is the opportunity for role play, not just with the players, but with the Divine. I am going to share some of the things that go into planning role playing game events in the text based RPG Imperian, and what I look out for when running one.


What makes a role play event?


 Let's start off with a definition; A role playing game event can be anything, really, that involves players interacting either with each other, with a Divine, or with a (or a group of) non-player characters. For brevities sake, we will just focus on role playing game events involving interactions between a player and one too many NPCs. Now this type of interaction can be broken down into an unplanned role play experience, which would be the random possession of a mobile in order to interact with someone briefly with little to no intention to revisit the interaction, or a planned experience.


 We have a type of worksheet that helps us to plan a role playing game event for you. It gives us a place to put ideas, keep track of names, and ideally plan what should happen when. I say ideally because we cannot predict everything that will happen, but we can put down some ideas for what we think might happen. Some of us use this format to help plan smaller text game events, and some of us do not. For the most part, everyone uses it for the larger scale events, especially when multiple people are involved, so there is a place for people to keep track of things.


How to plan for small events:


 Small text game events may not need a lot to keep track of them. They are usually ran by one or two people, use only a handful of mobiles, and last less than a few days (occasionally a week depending on the availability of all parties involved). Small role play events can be anything from helping a lost child find its way home, to defeating an oppressive bad guy from doing whatever it is oppressive bad guys do for that instance. Small text game events do not always need to be planned, and are sometimes spontaneous mini-role play events that just become so interesting we keep them going. Occasionally small role playing game events turn into big events, and then we need to sit down and write out a plan to help us keep track of things.


How to plan for big events:


 Big role playing game events generally require us to use the sheet to keep track of who is doing what, and when to implement certain changes. We can break a large scale event down into phases like Phase 1 - start dropping hints about what's going on. Phase 2 - earthquakes and other bad stuff happen here. Phase 3 - Release the kraken, etc. The phases can be anything from a general "this should begin happening here" to a more complex "Person A will now be able to find Object Z in Field 7 while wielding the sword of unnamable horror in his left hand, while Person B should be rallying players to help him stop Person A from succeeding." You get the idea, right? This helps us to make sure a role playing game event is running on schedule, for the most part. Large scale events can be very difficult to plan for, however, because you often times have to have a contingency plan in case what you were hoping would happen would. Otherwise you'll just be railroading the text game event, and unless you're a talented leader of the play, it can be fairly obvious to players that that is what is happening.


What to expect:


 First off, you cannot predict what a player will do. In the case of small role play events, that is usually fine. They are often times "winged," and reliant on a player's decision to setup for the next step. With larger events, though, the unpredictability of the players can sometimes throw a wrench in the plans we have. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. Your unpredictability and uniqueness is what makes running role playing game events exciting. If you reacted to every step exactly the way it would not be interesting to us to run the events.


 Second thing to remember is that nothing will ever go as planned. Either because of the unpredictability of players (see above), or just the general bad circumstance that leads to key rpg game players not being available when stages are supposed to progress. Either way, one of the biggest things to running a role playing game event is to be able to hold on to the seat of your pants and improvise. That's right, all the planning and detailed skills in the world cannot save you if you are unable to improvise, evolve and change your event to suit the available resources.


 The third major thing to watch out for when running a text game event is the dreaded railroading of an event. Railroading happens when players get off the main story line that an event is supposed to follow, and the person behind the role play tries to force them back on track. Tracks and railroads, get it? Anyways, railroading can ruin a text game event, or a players fun, if it is done in a forceful manner. The best way to get an event back on track is to use improvisation to gently coax players back to the closest possible solution, but sometimes, it becomes impossible. As such, the railroad is a major problem we have to watch out for running events.


 In the end, running text game events for the players is enjoyable to me and many other members of the Imperian Divine. We enjoy getting to interact with players and seeing them respond to the world around them. I hope this offered you a little bit of a glimpse behind the curtain of running a role playing event without spoiling the magic of it.


Megan Elizabeth is a text game enthusiast who enjoys the best role playing games from Iron Realms!



These are always interesting.


Depends on the writer, IMHO





I, too, make a short comment for my daily credit.

Tactful, Araz. I think they might catch on to what you're doing. >.>


On a side note, I can relate to this from having hosted tabletop games before. It's a pain in the ass when you get a good storyline and then the players decide they wanna go elsewhere.

always fun to ride it

Yeah, but forced railroading is never fun for anyone. Better to throw out your painstakingly authored content to follow the stupid whims of your players, in my experience.

Just come up with an over elaborate twisted story arc for that small group of players that ends with them being eaten alive by a gopher! :3

Not much here to respond too...



this article. many of us players wish events would be written overnight without thinking about the people who have to stay up all night to do it


been trying to get some events going for a while in my house, turning out to be not so successful when people dont want to participate :(

Gotta be honest, I've always wondered how these things get planned. Its nice to see some insight on how event creation works behind the scenes, and to get a feel for how much work goes into it. Its something that we as players never really get a good feel for.

I agree. There is obviouslt a lot of work "behinf the scenes..."

most definitely!

I definitely agree. I always wanted to know what goes into making these events.

From sitting on this side of things it is hard to imagine how much work and time actually goes into these events.


I think that having Divine assistance in RP events is always fantastic. It usually goes pretty well, and you never know what can happen.

There seems to be 30-60 minute timeframe of actual interaction then the scripted scenario is played over and over, I think there should be more active interaction from highers. Rping  is great when there is drama, but not so great when there isnt anything to do...such as grinding. I would love to see a full blown world conspirecy of epic portions that would envolved factions against factions for reasons other than ...um hes a bad guy and your a good guy...Any-who, there is never enough quality rping.

railroading sounds like fun

I would imagine that although there are stressful times to keep people interested in the game, overall it would be a fun task running it.

I thing RP events are the single most important things about these games. The fact there is no RP is what turned me off of games like WoW and Runescape.


Agreed! I can just play progress quest and save money.

yea, it's what really sets IRE apart


I think the most fun events are those that are not necessarily driven, but ones that slowly lead up to a climax. The Kalsu language in Aetolia for example is, I believe, an excellent representation of this. It involved many many players getting interested in the idea of the Kalsu language and doing their best to decipher it. Many of us kept notes, studied the language, broke it down, etc. It was something interesting to keep us busy during those passive gaming hours, when nothing much was going on in the game, and I feel ultimately led to an over-all better RPG experience. It's not always about flash and bang, but the small things that make Aetolia a world that you can really immerse yourself in.

I really liked reading this

of course, issues begin to arise when there is a lack of serious roleplaying events in a world

I like the treasure hunt. It's probably not a "serious roleplaying event", but it's fine :)


Or everything is the same as the last one so no one bothers.

Of course, you can always write them yourself, and then get your Patron to approve them!

I do enjoy me some small winged events and rituals.

some of the ire games seem to have a lot more happen in them than others though.

The amount of activity varies over time, depending more on the playerbase than the set of Divine, though even one wonderfully active divine (and they deserve all the positive reinforcement we can give when they do crop up) can do amazing things to promote people actually... doing something.

i always seem to miss these "prepared" rp events

Help make one happen then, plan a story for an event and either try to set it in motion in game or email it to events@<gamenamehere>.com.

I read how the folks at Achaea stayed up for many nights to come up with the events involving the Vertani.. and then the first explorers who reached the area started killing them without much thought :( It takes a lot to design events and people should try to interact with the denizens and the environment before going ahead with their hack and slash routine darnit.

but they give xp!

a good response to that was the Achaea crew preparing Krenindala event with a 500+ army of aggressive denizens... A pain for adventurers that want to interact first, bash after

I've never been part of a major event, but I wonder how much programming goes behind them. It's one thing to improvise to keep a story on track, but is it possible that it results in some drastic unforeseen change that requires permanent changes? Like the destruction or bulding of a city, for example. I guess something like that would require lots of planning and less flexibility.

I joined a city that was supposedly stuck in time for 500 IG years!

I was around for the Dreikathis event in aetolia, Ended up a full city being destroyed

That sounds pretty dramatic! Although I'm unsure if it was a city that had real people as citizens, still. Imagine if Hashan was destroyed! /achaea

I have yet to see or be involved in a major event. I hope someone's cooking something up for aetolia. Rather than hunting events and PK events.. More like something new and shiny that everyone can be apart of instead of the few who have been playing 93q2403 years and are level 100+. :)

i miss them all



It would be nice if Achaea actually adopted some european event holders

Gods are cool

I agree

From my experiences with both MUDs and table-top RPGs, I am always impressed with how effortlessly even the best-intentioned players can chuck the largest of wrenches into a DM/GM/etc's planned plot lines.


You Immortals have the patience of Job, and I'm thrilled you enjoy it, because I don't think I'd last.


Playing god is no easy business!

Events always seem to be at specific times, i.e whenever I'm asleep.

I wish some small events could be organised at odd times as well, when I'm awake.  Or maybe some mob possessions. So I can RP too

Unfortunately, that is completely limited to when admins are awake, and even then, the big events will probably still be reserved for peak american times.

I've not seen one either, probably due to limited playtime and odd hours, but the event posts afterwards are interesting and appreciated.

Dang, I want more. I could keep reading.

Worlds need more events that have long term rammifications rather than small throw away ones, at least giving the players the illusion that they are helping to shape the world.


One day Iw ill be a divine, then achaea will fall. :\ at least thats how most people see it.

I always like reading articles like this!

Five whole articles.


Insight to how events are run.


Very much in the spirit of how the Dungeon Master set up events on the D&D board! Very nice.

... is exactly how I envision that 'worksheet' alongside the list of "and if the players decide to do *this*, as illogical as it is... because they never do seem to see the obvious, they really must just want to drive us insane... but, if they do *this*, this happens."


Just like a good DM is stuck with, particularly among the types of people I played D&D with over the years... because, let's face it... what DM *expects* the Sorcerer to use the Paladin as a battering ram, mid fight? Seriously?! (totally worked, too... though my favorite trick was cloudkill on an entire area, followed by the pally running mop up... because what's the point of a fair fight?) 

When I GM, I personally don't plan on the details. I just write out information on all parties and locations that'd be relevent to the scenario, and let things happen as they happen. That said, interesting article - it'd be cool to have more of these... or maybe there are, given the V in the title?

Interesting Read

Nice to read some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that gets RP events off the ground. Interesting stuff!

Interesting article, thanks.


Important thing to remember for roleplay events is that you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time. No matter how awesome an event is, someone's going to be unhappy for some reason or another. Best prepare for that.

nice article!

its nice to have a small look at how events are planned.

havent seen many good ones, honestly. Mostly just mass death for most people and a select few get to do stuff. 







Events really make a player's day. It does seem fun to organize them. More events please! (Even if they are just denizens talking with you and nothing else happens, that already is awesome).

I agree.

yay for moles.

Gosh I would LOVE to read that spreadsheet. Even just for past events.. would be interesting to see it from the other side.

I'm curious... Are there any events in which the admin pick a certain player to do -A- thing or they usually just determine a time and go with what is planned..?


Great read as always

For the inside peek at how events are planned and the considerations put into them. I hope this spawns lots of well formed ideas for events from players in all games.

get some of that planning, throw more into MKO :D

I've never really interacted with any gods directly but it has always been entertaining when they have talked through denizens.

I think that divine interventions should happen more often.

Dormant Gods are a minus to the game, overall speaking, raising issues as to choosing an Order.

Divinte interventions render the world alive and kicking, making players feel that there are higher stakes at bar.


especially when the divine seem to pop in and out of the game with enough regularity that orders often seem almost temporary

Great article

I love these articles


Digg keeps not giving me the credit for digging. Damn!


I think it's just acting up.


Events are awesome. Looking forward to more of them! Thanks for the glimpse at the process.

We need them. We get big events every now and then (especially when a God comes back from dormancy/a new God is born), but we used to have a lot of interaction with the Divine, back in the "good old days". Not sure if it's just that there aren't as many divine these days or they're too busy working on the big stuff to bother doing smaller things.


I miss the small interactions that might only involve a handful of people and never even make it to the events board. They just don't seem to happen as often.

We always want more events. If you Gods think you've given us enough events for a while... think again. After all, running stuff for us is the most important thing in your life, right?

Seriously, though, I've barely seen any small events in MKO, and I've been around for more than a year. Unless you include the temporary possession of an NPC for a bit of a chat.

I've sent several IG messages to the head of the Docent, and received no response. It's a little disheartening when you want to organise an RP thing for your guild (and even do the planning for it) and receiving no response.

This is all good advice! :D

I've never really been an active participant in one, but I've been around when they've happened, and I must say, I think they enrich the game so much. It really makes it feel like a living world. A while back Lusternia had its 'broken sky' event, and I was there for it and the two days afterwards that it wasn't safe to be on Prime because of the black lightning and hail indoors. As miserable as that made things to play, I was captivated, and I'm eagerly looking forward to the next part of the Ice Devil saga. Smaller events I've had less exposure to, which makes me sad. Well, there's still time.

"Sorry, the link is not recognized by Digg. Please try again later."

Great article, by the way


That sounded like a great event. Too bad I missed it.

i've never yet joined one of these


From the few 'events' my character in Achaea has been witness to, I notice there is a big divide between people who get involved and people who observe. Props to the people who engage in player-run roleplay events. Standing around while somebody performs a ritual is kind of lame but letting your character have some personality and engage in the event going on around them is where it's at.

I've only played a little imperian just to check it out, but these articles are making me think of giving it another try.


Sadly, I've missed most of the awesome events, like the Kerrithrim and the dreikathi war in Aetolia.

Thanks for writing this article.

Running events in any game takes a lot of prep work and planning on the game masters part and can be quite consuming. On an older MUD I used to be involved in they had some quests for special races such as dragon, vampire, werewolf, etc, which would take several weeks of running those quests with the players.  They were quite interesting and I'm sure those who were behind the scenes stayed up many a nights during the planning stages of those events.


Most of the really large events happen at times for the vast majority of people which is irritating but you can see why.

I just recently started to get involved with orders and the divine and I have to admit it adds a whole new aspect to the game. Adds more chances to RP and depth to your character.

Really interesting to see this kind of stuff, and knowing their perspective! 

I agree, great read. In my opinion, the Gods of Achaea and the rest of the folks in the Garden do a great job behind the scenes, be it in big events or smaller ones. They add so much to the atmosphere of the game. I can't imagine the work that goes into it, but it is sooo appreciated. 

Really interesting to see this kind of stuff, and knowing their perspective! 

I've read nearly all event news and the summaries are well written and nice to read.

I like these events because they have less railroading than their graphical counterparts


Loved this artical.  great insite.

Very interesting

Neat read.

the gods deserve more respect, i think all of them do a fantastic job

Can be a terribly difficult thing to plan, sometimes. You get all sorts of responses, from the overly-enthusiastic who just want to see if there's something in it for them, those who live and die by the outcome of the RP in question, and those times when there seems to be everyone complaining about not getting enough RP but meanwhile still can't be assed to get up and do anything withteh RP provided for them (I suspect that's usually because they don't "approve" of that specific RP, or they wanted something specific and no one's handing it to them. That, or they simply like to complain about whatever catches their attention.) But for those folks working through Divine, through NPC's, or even just preparing events for the players, Kudos on all the planning, time and effort investment, and dealing with the overall level of bitchiness from us players. We don't deserve all that you do, but you do it anyways.


I should try Imperian :)

Love the tips. I should try Imperian to!