Text Games: How My Career Gave Me Character

text game corporate ladder

by Rachel C.

Inspiration can be found in the most mundane of places, even the place where we're called by our “government names”. If your roleplay experiences in other online text games has been lackluster, try these suggestions on for size.

Dress for Success

Whether you're in food service, customer service, or a text game ministry aide, what you wear says volumes. Case in point, a work friend of mine started out in the cubicle farm with the rest of us, and practically overnight he moved up the corporate ladder to the job of his dreams. His secret? He changed his clothes. One day he was rocking the thrifty geek style of second-hand sweatervests and Chuck Taylors, the next day he was decked in polished shoes and power ties. Granted, this guy also possessed the brains and ambition to propel him up the ladder of success, but the moment he started dressing like “the big dogs” he immediately found acceptance in their pack. This applies to online text games too, it's not unusual to see a novice requirement for attire befitting a member of your class. Lusternia takes this concept to whole new levels, where it's possible to earn more money while influencing for charity if you're dressed in tawdry rags compared to opulent garments. Then there's always the option of becoming a tailor, sewing your own garments, and setting the standard for fashion.

Finish projects ahead of schedule

Projects aren't assigned as busy work or a way to pass the time. If you're involved in a project, finishing your part in a timely manner is vital to the overall success of the team. Chances are there's someone else relying on your participation, and they can't move forward with their work until you complete yours. No one likes dead weight on their team, this is equally true in online text games. Just like your boss can see you doing a crossword puzzle while you're on the clock, your text game companions will be able to tell when you're not focused on deadlines. Demotions can, and do, happen in the virtual worlds of online text games, and while you may not lose any income over a loss of a title, you'll have your work cut out for you when it comes to polishing your reputation back to its original shine.

Remember the 7 Ps

This military adage has saved the hide of many an individual, provided the heeded the advice of the 7 P's: Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Would you give a presentation at work without first creating a slide show and practicing your speech a few times? Well, you could, but you'll likely suffer some consequences. This lesson applies to online text games in so many ways, from the novice about to be tested for advancement, the would-be combatant hitting the battlefield for the first time, even the high ritualist preparing for a sacred ceremony. The bottom line: practice, study, buy supplies, plan, and see character improve as a result.


The jury is still out on the true effectiveness of honey over vinegar for catching flies, but I think we can all agree that no one wants to hug a porcupine. Besides, a sour disposition just leads to angst, and in extreme cases, an early grave. If that's not strong enough evidence, think about the anti-aging effects of smiling, it's an instant facelift. Need more? Some people of influence in Lusternia possess such a charismatic smile they're able to shrug off afflictions.

Know when to quit

Sometimes it just doesn't work out, business needs change, along with personal needs, and that's okay. A career isn't a lifetime commitment, and neither is an online text game. If things aren't working out for you in your current City, House, Guild, Order, Commune, relationship, whatever, cut your losses and move on to another opportunity.


Give some of these tips a try to give your text game character a boost in their career!

Rachel C. is a successful text gamer who enjoys the best online MUDs at Iron Realms!


An interesting article.

I learned something new

Not a bad read

Hi faur!

I concur, this article reflects help both in-game and out.

I agree this was certainly an interesting article and well worth reading.



That's an awesome article. Thanks!

I agree, great read.

As a current Secretary within a guild, I find that I'm using some of these tips everyday! Thanks for the article!

As an order craftsman I always have order based attire, though being a low ranking thief in the thieves guild. I shouldn't really be wearing my black silks and adorned leather pants. Maybe I should get some new old threadz made.

Ahh, but who is gonna suspect you now

My character definitely follows my real life career. Makes the game a ton more fun.


I think the best part about roleplay would be able to be someone else. I couldn't see myself bein' a guy wieldin' a sword and crap, that's for sure.

Thanks for the advice... Maybe I should take one or two before I target the next career

Good article


me too

Seven P's... will need to remember that :D

That was my favorite part.

Lots of truth in this article. Serving in leadership positons within games (not just Lusternia) gave me preparation for doing it on the job IRL. And likewise, the expertise gained there I could in turn apply again within virtual environments. 

I'd tell you what I did for a living, but then I'd have to kill you!

Seriously though, my real life experience has enriched my character AND vice versa. I think Achaea has made me more creative and a better leader.

I find myself doing the things listed quite often.

Had a good giggle out of that!

The author gave some great tips. I've just started playing Lusternia a few weeks ago, so this will come in handy as I start to gain positions within my guild and commune.

I've thoroughly enjoyed what roles I've taken on, in any IRE game. I think what the article has missed/forgotten, however, is how grand and skillful a bullshitter you are directly corelates to your proficiency as a leader in an MMO ;)

...Interestingly enough, that applied pretty well in the employment world, too! Definitely should've had a place in the article. :D

A turkey was chatting with a bull.
"I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy."

"Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull. "They're packed with nutrients."

The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the first branch of the tree.

The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally, after a forenight, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. Soon he was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.

Management Lesson: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.

Great story, and a generally true moral.

you couldn't have said that better! That is totally true. And I'd like to think the whole "right attire" look is in par with the "Bullshitter" theme.

clothes don't work when they're hidden in dform.

I want to hug a porcupine!




These are some great tips, I didn't know adults have this much on their heads till I assumed various positions and responsibilities in Achaea. :o But I'm having fun and it's nice not being carded at bars for a change hehe. Also, is anybody else OCD about the order of clothes on your person?! I see boots appearing before pants on people and that kinda makes me cringe.

Blame it on the massive soul rips!



Agreed on all aspects of this article. Not much else I can add to this as far as comments go. Just need to get my shoulder better irl so I can gtfo of Wally World and get a real job, lol.

Quite interesting

Very interesting read. I learned a bit from it.

First time I've ever heard the 7 P's referenced outside of a working kitchen. I know it sure helps there!

That's a tall order for my character. He almost never smiles and still gets an outrageously inappropriate amount of hugs!

Lusterina's the only textI've played so far in which what you're wearing actually matters. Usually, having a hat or not doesn't matter too much to your character. Which reminds me, need to get my coat, hat and boots repaired, so I don't lose prestige...

I love that clothing in Lusternia helps ward off the effects of cold and heat. It's not a massive penalty for not bothering (moving a little more slowly) but togging up for a trip to the Icewynds makes me smile.

Too few people don't understand the concept between clothing and RP, I mean a thief wearing flashy clothing or a sneaky serpent wearing bright pink doesn't make sense. You have to actually imagine yourself and your character dressed in that clothing, and think whether it is appropriate.

I really do agree with this article.  It says many true things.

follow these rules

These rules have helped me many times

I only need one P.



I have the well-dressed part down as I love style however I don't want to feel like I'm constantly at my 9-5 while in Achaea..

When i remember. I love decking out in all matching clothes with a winter bluish theme to it.

might have to remember some of this for real life

Ha. Reading that takes me back to when I was getting my first job. During that time I was of course playing MUDs (at that period of time it was still Achaea) and I gained experience for school and work FROM Achaea, and I gained experience for achaea FROM school and work. Years have gone by and I've used all the knowledge from the people I shared my time with on Achaea. I still go to MUDs to compose myself and learn for meetings, job interviews or casual social situations. MUDs have become part of my lifestyle going through the stages of adulthood.I plan on keeping them part of my life in the years to come.

Insightful and well written.

hmm always heard the 7 P's a bit different. "prior proper planning prevents piss poor performance" and he was a Marine so I'll go with that

There is definitely a lot truth in this article. Especially in regards to personal appearance and attitude in the work force to show your supervisors your best. It's definitely something I've done over the years..although it's a bit more complicated now since I'm forced to wear a uniform each day I have my shift.


I can't tell you how many times I've tried to use my charismatic smile on Achaea to shrug off afflictions.


So far, it has not worked. One can be hopeful, however.

I'm gonna gowith No on the smiles. Smiles don't REALLY fit in Glomdoring. Not that we're emo (Fingerblade anyone) but it just.. Happy is not our thing.

Amazing how you can apply so many real-life principles to MUDs

This is certainly interesting, actually. Now that I put it into perspective, a lot of this applies to me without my noticing. Who would've thunk?

7Ps is a pretty usefull phrase...

Being prior Army I try to use this in my every day life but it had slipped my mind for mudding. As a new player to muds this article helps a lot!

In real life I am a forensic psychiatric nurse.... Should I go around locking people up for OOC madness?

Don't ever let yourself get overly burdened/stressed out by IC obligations. MUDs are designed to be enjoyed. You also should not take every task on yourself. If you are a city leader use the power of delegation!

I agree that in Lusternia what you wear really matters especially in RP. I do like how it is quite easy to design your own clothes if you really want to. It gives a pretty in-depth element that I haven't found anywhere else.

As for delegating, it really isn't easy getting a good group of people together. Usually you have only a few people pushing for any kind of change and everyone else just hanging about waiting for it to happen...


This was a pretty good article... It seems like common sense and yet so few people seem to do these things! Maybe some people will actually try a bit, once they've read this article? I think apathy and self-centeredness are roadblocks to personal and organizational success IC and OOC, and sadly they're both very prevalent in both worlds.

One thing the article is missing is tips on how to inspire (or otherwise get) others to help you when you're in a leadership position. I found it impossible to get people to cooperate or get off their duffs when I was a guild leader. But I did learn several things from the experience that I can apply to RL. 

I keep telling this to people I play MUDs with. If something isn't working out for them just leave, it's better than making the game not enjoyed. Get into jobs you like doing, I'm working towards becoming a religions spiritual head because I personally love writing sermons in big words :D

That you always need to remember that it's only a game! If someone gets to you if you are in a leadership position(or otherwise), make sure your position is secure, do your 'job', and ignore those who feel that conflict is needed every second of every day. I find it fun to imagine the other person as a (no offense to anyone) large, 'underwear only' sporting, nobody on the other end of any proverbial issue. Gives me a quick giggle, and I'm back into doing what I need to do.

I'm very glad that my character doesn't follow my real-life career.

I feel the same way

Dys would probably be Hallifaxan if she had my job.

No I agree with you totaly, I'm not one to run around with vines wrapped around me slashing people with them to keel them for gold. Just not me.... or is it.

An added benefit in Lusternia is that you can now kick ass wearing a specially tailored suit or a ball gown.

This can be applied to real life, as well as IG.

Lol'd at the 7 P's. Good article though.

The 7 P's mad me laugh. Nice article.

Nice. I may have to implement the 7 P's into my RP as HoN.

"Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance". Tis pretty much true! Luck favors the prepared. Also something that a lot of leaders experience is the 'careers don't have to be a life-time commitment'. A lot of them get burnt out that way.

I don't bother with dressing for success, clothes decay too fast and I don't login very often. Perhaps that's why I'm still a bare recruit.

Great concept =D

I do like the 'dress for success', particularly given the brilliant crafting system that MKO is using.

Pretty interesting article. I've notcied lots of employers looking for characteristics listed in the article.

Luckily I've had stylish women provide me with sweet threads ;)

Wow good read and, I guess I'll be chagning the way I dress haha

Same here!!

Speaking as someone who is far too addicted to busywork, my advice is to find a balance. If you spend so much effort and energy in the game, it can burn you out, especially if the people above you aren't overly appreciative. That isn't to say, don't do work, but make sure you're having fun with it!


Jobs suck enough, these games should at least be enjoyable.

An interesting read. Seems like the crossover between real life and the internet really doesn't have a lot of bounds lol.


It does!

I am an actor. I have gone to school for acting and I currently have an Agent that is constantly getting me auditions. Taking what I have learned from Acting when it comes to coming up with given circumstances, choices, and character development, I have been able to better hone my skills as an Actor by playing IRE games. I have been able to work on my characters development and to figure out why my characters do what they do by having my IRE characters make the kind of decisions.

I very much enjoyed this article because it shows just how much of yourself and your own life you can put into this fantasy world.

Trust me, when you have a project, SOMEONE ends up getting things done. The best thing you can do is be that person asap. I've found it very true in every roleplay based game I've ever played. This is one of the key ways that these games emulate real life: there're real people behind the expectations on your character to fulfill what they say they will, or should, do.

I'm a professional novice, really good at graduating and getting into some sort of position!


A very interesting read.

Agreed, very interesting

Decent read indeed.



I loved this and I'm so happy that I read it. 

+ to the 7 Ps.


Now all I have to do is apply it.

Very very interesting. I try not to bring my occupation into my gaming. I like to keep what I do private. But I can't help but bring some of it in and I think it helps with the role playing. 

neat article

I don't feel like there's a lot of carryover between MUDding and careers, though. Unless you happen to do a lot of scripting at your job.

Though I'm glad Achaea isn't like my job either :p

I think it's quite an decent job compared to many others.

this is all probably true for just about everything

Love the XKCD link tucked in there!




A very good and relevant article to both IC and OOC aspects of business management. I like!

7 p really means that?

It ought to, I guess.

Kinda fun to read

Neat article.

Interesting article.

-SMILE- >.>


Good article. Though I think it's possible - at least in-game - to be perhaps a little less optimistic or happy-go-lucky, "smiley" as some adventures play themselves up to be and gain some sort of standing in society. For instance, a character who may be sort of off-putting, stoic or silent but genuinely hard-working and easy enough to get along with could prove themselves to be just as effective. In a role-playing game, I think people are willing to accept not everyone is cuddly and as long as they're not an outright buttwipe then it's okay.

I find these make the better characters, than those who are always nice and pleasant because else players may dislike their character and thus obviously them as well. That said, players who dislike other players because of the character they play are just missing out :<

yep I totally agree with this and I am also a little guilty of it myself. It is hard to RP anything but happy as I am afraid I may lose friends.

Interesting article.

Haha. If this were reversed, my irl would be horrible. All the advice fits well nuff, and hey there's nothing like pricking people repeatedly wherever 'dstab' pricks them while weaving about in a bustle. Dress for success!

I hate when people say, 'this game has it, so this other game can't.' Influence, pose/pmote. Well, thats my thought on the first point in this article, even though its not the point of the article. MUDs have done it all before IRE, even though IRE does it better. Don't be stingy.

cool advice for government lackeys.

lackey. now that's a word i haven't heard in quite a while.

You are now charged to use it somewhere. Adopt the dying words and keep them alive!

I need to apply that theory to myself. In most ways I do but not all.


To quote another old saying,"Anything worth doing is worth doing well."

As usual, some pretty good advice. I'm looking at taking on a position or two in my Commune and Guild, and I know that applying most of these suggestions will really help with that. From past experience with being in charge of things both in life and in games or roleplay, I find that a lot of what is suggested here does work. It pays to get things done early, rather than waiting till the last minute. And it also pays to be personable and presentable, first impressions -are- important, though they can be overcome.

i never understood the significance of the photo...