Text Games: The Squared Circle - RPGs versus Pro Wrestling
by Tony Celentano
When you think of role playing games, pro wrestling probably isn't the first thing to come to mind. We have to remember, however, that these athletes are portraying fantasy characters. Pro wrestling is essentially LARPing (Live Action Role Play), presented as 'real' for entertainment value. I haven't watched it recently, but as a child I was a big fan of pro wrestling. The flashy high-flying moves, the iconic larger-than-life roleplay characters - everything an adolescent male connects with!
The early days of wrestling gave us often exaggerated and outlandish character personalities that fans were able to get behind. Roleplay storylines back then were simple, it was Good Guy vs Villain. Iconic names like Hulk Hogan, the Ultimate Warrior and Roddy Piper were legends because they had a fascinating ability to convince the audience they were real, in every sense of the word. I think it was an Uncle who shattered the illusion for me one day, but I'd like to think I came away with a better understanding of the roleplay universe. I think a list is in order, so I present the 5 roleplay trends online text rpgs share with pro wrestling.
1: Make a Dramatic Entrance
One popular wrestler known as 'The Undertaker' had the habit of appearing out of thin air - or rather, the lights in the arena would cut out, and he'd be standing in the middle of the ring when they came back on. Combined with his "dead man walking" roleplay character, this had a chilling effect as his sudden appearance could only spell disaster for whoever was in the ring with him. IRE text games have many skills that let you make a dramatic entrance on your opponents. From dropping out of the sky screaming "DEATH FROM ABOVE!" to being carried to your targets location on a prismatic beam of light, online role playing games offer a multitude of ways to get the jump on your enemies.
2: Wear Facepaint
If you're looking to intimidate an opponent in your favourite text rpg game, consider picking up warpaint and applying it to your text game character's face. Some of the most memorable superstars roleplayed characters who wore fully painted faces. The pros of text game warpaint, however, is that it doesn't smudge off during a long, grueling arena spar, unlike the cosmetic stuff used by wrestlers.
3: Have a Cool Finisher
While you won't find a Stone Cold Stunner in IRE online roleplaying games, you will find a unique instakill for every class. And like the bodyslam that comes before the leg drop, you have multiple ways to prep your opponent for the final blow that seals the deal. Just like a well roleplayed wrestling match, text game combat can be an exciting back and forth battle. It's not uncommon for text game players to crowd around two high-profile online text game characters duelling it out, whilst cheering for their favourite!
4: Smack Talk Your Rivals
Some wrestlers were known for their gift of gab, the ability to threaten, ridicule and taunt their opponents in a way that the crowd responded to. The same rings true for text games, in that some characters are known for their ability to completely dress someone down in a public forum! If you have a text game rival, be sure to brush up on your trash talking skills, then call them out on the public boards. Many combat-oriented players enjoy trash talk if it's fun and mature, but avoid flying off the handle with rage if you're the sore loser type. Particularly hilarious tantrums might be logged for future 'lulz' and passed around.
5: Have a Ganksquad
When all else failed, the villain wrestlers had their very own ganksquad to beat down opponents in the middle of the ring. Children in the audience could only look on in tears as the good guy was outnumbered, and that pretty much describes your victims reaction as he watches his text game character be smacked around by multiple assailants. Of course, you'll want to watch his rebounding aura, or that steel chair - erm battleaxe, might swing back and hit you in the face instead!
Lace up your boots and tights and join the rumble in the best online text rpgs!
Tony Celentano is a text game enthusiast who enjoys playing games from Iron Realms.