Text Games: Worst Roleplay Ideas in MMORPGs

wicked jester

By Tony Celentano


As a text game enthusiast, I've been playing IRE text games games for nearly a decade now. I've seen a lot of fantastic role play and non-linear events that were fueled by the actions of the players. I've seen all sorts of wonderful character development from people who build a story for their character, and they make you feel like part of their story.


However, there's always those people that make you cringe and think, "Man, is that... is that really what you came up with? Is that really what you want your character to be known for?" Yes, you know what I'm talking about. You could probably think of a few examples off the top of your head. Well I've seen some pretty down right awful role play myself in all my years, and I'd like to present some of the things you just shouldn't role play in a text game.

1: Pregnancy. 
Look, I think it's fantastic that you and your text game spouse have tied the knot, and you want to share the joy with everyone. But when I see your character rubbing her text belly, squealing about baby showers and due dates, it makes us all vomit. Oh, and don't think it stops there. Have you ever seen someone deliver a baby in an online text game? I know, you worked really hard on those three paragraph-long emotes that meticulously detail every groan, grunt and wet splop. But when it's all said and done, you're going to come to a grim realization - they stopped letting people make customized baby-in-a-blanket items in like 2003.

2: Blind/Deaf/Crippled. 
Here's the thing about online text games - there are usually a wide variety of herbs and salves to cure almost any ailment you run across. This includes being blind, deaf, and even having no arms. So whenever you tell me that your character is blind, and I pass you the appropriate cure, and then you tell me that you are "PERMANENTLY blind", it makes me want to kill your character. Why? Because if I kill your character, you'll come back to life free of afflictions, and I won't have to deal with your inane claims anymore. It might seem like a fun role play device, but it's completely inconsistent with most text game worlds.

3: Atheism. 
This item didn't make the list because it bothers me, but rather because I'm a nice guy and I genuinely care for the safety of others. And questioning the existence of the Divine in Achaea and many other text games is not a safe bet for your character. I've seen people demanding proof of a higher existence; they claim that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Suddenly, a fireball hurtles across the skies and incinerates the poor fool to a crisp! The Divine in Achaea are very real, and very much a part of the epic mythos that text games have to offer... so look out for the bright green names on the WHO list!

4: Role playing a child character in a family of snuggly fur-kins. 
No. Stop right there. You were considering it too, weren't you? The idea sounded great in your head - having a daddy Rajamala, a mommy Rajamala and you'd be the cute furry bundle of joy that wears a diaper. Then you could stand around all day and snuggle and groom each other, and life would be sunshine and rainbows. Listen up, and listen good. I want you to know right now that you stepped out of the newbie tutorial at 18 years old like everyone else. You are not a 'child' by any means, and you make me want to plot ways to set you and your whole furry family on fire.

5: Doing rituals in Latin
I'm sorry, I know you're going to hate me for this. I know what I'm about to tell you is almost as crushing as when someone told you Snape killed Dumbledore the day the book came out. You see, my character knows a lot of languages. City languages, racial languages, languages from civilizations thought forgotten but suddenly rediscovered through recent events. Latin simply does not exist. So stop it. Next time I see you say something in Latin, I'm going to mock you for speaking gibberish and then I'm going to say, "Hey everyone, lets all make fun of the crazy guy speaking gibberish". And then everyone is going to mock you, and you're going to feel really bad about yourself. So just don't do it, okay?



As long as you don't plan on trying to role play any of the above, give some text-based role playing MUDs a try!

Tony Celentano is a text game enthusiast and currently plays games from http://www.IronRealms.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tony_Celentano


I enjoyed watching someone spend real world months developing the role play of discovering velcro, and three weeks of intense in game role play, to wind up having a Celani/Demi turn them down.  Velcro is simply not a part of IRE.

so very true

Someone on the Achaea forums actually just did something like this! I was actually remembering someone whom roleplayed that they were blind and I was an Ambassador aide at the time... or I was in some ministry, can't remember which. I took them to the journal to figure out how to apply for citizenship and explained to me that they couldn't read. I facepalmed in my mind and had someone else help them because I couldn't bring myself to not laugh at them for it. 


My least favorite RP is stuttering. Only one person has ever made me not cringe when I heard stutter, and that was Elowen. Mute is difficult too, not so much now since there's tablets you can write on and clear. 

Mute only works if you RP having vowed not to say anything for so and so long, I've seen some people do it and it worked pretty well, as long as they had letters to work around it.


After all, CT and HT and whatever are telepathic channels, so all you're really barred from are says, shouts, and yells.


Plus, one slipup and it's a credibility hit (unofficial one). Best to just make a temporary vow of silence.


I fondly remember someone who roleplayed being pregnant with twins, whilst suckling triplets and having two sets of quadruplets well out into their toddler years. Oh yes, one of those - and she was, no surprise, a furrikin (by way of Serenwilde in Lusternia).


I distinctly remember a Hartstone druid going stagform and using the GORE ability on her, then emoting about panicking and shrieking - in rather gruesome detail - over the fetus attached to his antler. Rather horrid, true, but still a particularly fond memory.


Of course, if you want a more contemporary example of 'roleplay don't', Midkemia is always happy to provide.






I mean... Ew!

Yeah, I know, people do it, no pun intended. But really? Curiosity killed the cat on this one. My buddy shows me a letter he found at Ashtan's gate, with a log of someones whole entire mudsex scene. Every emoted thrust, moan, gasp..yeah you get the picture. Not cool, this is a game. Go find some porn to masturbate with, not a text game.

Not to mention... the gods are watching! :P

God porn...

Is something very wrong with you, Tekkor.

You thought a pregnancy rp was bad? Think again. There was this bitty faeling and some other bigger race that married and they decided to rp being pregnant with a sort of gruesome detail about how the baby was way to big for her. I was annoyed by it but I didn't wanna say anything because they were my friends. 

One day I was just chilling out and then the husband suddenly sends me a million tells freaking out saying how his wife was crying because she saw him locked in the same room with another girl. I just told him to chill out and talk to her but then next thing I knew I was in the room with the wife and apparently she decided to rp giving herself an abortion because she was so mad. All in all the emotes were pretty gross and I kinda just sat there and stared at the computer because it was all so stupid. 

Best part is they decided do use the healing skill for Celestines to 'revive' the unborn baby. And then for the next 4 irl weeks they rp'd having twins follow them around everywhere via emotes and descripts. I died a little inside from this. It nearly ruined RP for me.

Alright, I don't care for the pregnancy RP, either (and I've seen some whoppers), but I can overlook it when it's just sort of grazed over: oh, the character's not hunting for these 9 days (9 IC months) because she's pregnant and she doesn't want to die and lose the kid.  I knew someone who did that, didn't bother to subject anyone to an RP birth, and sent the child off to "live with relatives" until it was 18.  Okay, this is fine.  I endorse this method of pregnancy RP, if you're going to do one.  Not my cup of tea, but not obnoxious, either.


However, I've seen the bad ones, too, and there was a character I remember... oh, three, four years ago (rl) now, who had a phenomenal number of pregnancies - but no children.  During the above rational, tolerable pregnancy example, had the character died, she would have miscarried.  This is a reasonable situation, and I can deal with it.  The character I'm thinking of, however, never died during her "pregnancies".  No; she miscarried, every time, for the most bizzare, ludicrous reasons.  I recall an instance where someone cut her leg.  That's right, her leg.  Somehow, this leg injury caused a miscarriage.  She spent the next three real-life WEEKS lamenting the loss of her "baby".

I don't think that things like this really should have a place in the games either.

Wow! That should had been painful. 

I've had the honor of being at a birthing event.  It was awkward.  Very awkward.  Especially because I pretty much stopped looking and looked at anything but that.

I cannot possibly express how much I abhor those who play characters who constantly talk in third person. Beyond being just annoying, this defect really does lower the level of respect your character will ever receive.


... especially when done in a city as snooty as Magnagora. And please god, don't whine at me about it! You chose to play a second rate citizen -_-

I so so so so so so agree. Good God I hate the 3rd person rp'ers. 

Yes, I agree about the third person talkers.  I've only ever met one player who did it well enough, and he managed to incorporate it incredibly well into his own roleplay and story line, so it worked.  Its the same as those that try to do troll-speak, and manage to make themselves look ignorant and unable to form coherent sentences.  Again, I've met only one player who could do this well, and he still maintained an element of intelligence in his speech. 

And yes, its the same character I mentioned above.

You guys should stay away from this character then! Although, Fay only speaks when it's needed. I also disagree with the "level of respect". I think Fay gets plenty of respect.


I agree with some of the points in this article, but the level of condescending attitude makes me "want to vomit". Okay, not really, but I really wish you'd actually describe how those things could be improved instead of just saying "don't do that!". Some things can be done very well, and even if you don't agree with the RP behind it, because to YOU it doesn't make sense, like an incurable affliction, all you're doing is making a claim that you understand everything about the world, when instead all you really understand is how the games mechanics work, which aren't the same things. I just hope you don't treat these players bad, because if you do, you're worse than what you're griping about.

Early on, I was so impressed with the depth of roleplay in Achaea that I naively thought roleplaying a pregnancy was a great idea. But, of course, I wanted the father to be around for the all-important delivery. Prolonging the pregnancy to a ridiculous length. Then there was the ritual I did while pregnant, which resulted in a demonic possession... yes, the same pregnancy, I did mention it was rather lengthy... and now a demonic possession to boot, exactly what kind of spawn was I going to release unto the world? About 50 years later (no lie) I gave up waiting for my husband to stay around longer than five minutes, and started explaining that my half-dragon/half-demon child was swiftly carried away by the High Priestess of Sin to be brought up in the Inferno, for the safety of all Achaeans. Maybe someday we'll see some bizarre hybrid rain hell upon the landscape, and I'll be able to feel some sense of maternal pride (or mortification), but I doubt it.

And so ends my first, and last, attempt at pregnancy roleplay. Don't get me started on all the deliveries and complicated births I've been asked to attend... I may have to rethink the title of Doctor I adopted all those years ago!

Seen number 4 before. Always kinda seemed like a bad idea to me...

This may be biased coming from a Dwarf... But if your going to play a dumb troll don't actually play dumb like you can't understand language. Certain tests are long enough for novice aides without having to repeat the questions I kid you not 12 times. When your going to RP something please be considerate of others time when you conceive it. Having a troll who cannot even understand Achaean which he's supposedly fluent in makes about as much sense as a Dwarf who stands taller than most buildings (another unfortunate incident I've had to deal with). In short when you start out start out normal like everyone else and if you decide that there are some things you want to add to your roleplay do so but always try and be considerate of others when you are RP'ing something especially when it's something the other players don't have a choice in doing.

I was loitering near the gates of my city, long ago, when a novice stumbled down the road crying out that they had been subjected to a demonic curse. They had a long list of arcane symptoms, and it was pretty obviously someone trying out the 'uncurable ailment RP' rather than someone who'd just picked up a regular affliction from somewhere. I decided to be nice, and play along. I used a basic healing ability on them, fully expecting them to bemoan that it hadn't worked, and prepared to then fob them off on someone with more patience then I.


Instead, they straightened up, nodded in thanks, and walked off as if nothing had happened. If you're going to go down one of these routes, at least stick to it!

I've played muds since they were stuck on LANs, before the greatness that is the WWW was in every home. I've seen all of these done, and probably more that I've thankfully forgotten. I've even had the misfortune of playing one where you could take disabilities for your character, and stuttering was one of them. I will say that the only disability rp I've seen that was actually done well wasn't on an IRE thank goodness, but the player did very well with it, even going so far as to request to touch a person's face so he could try to "picture" them. It was quite entertaining for such a short lived game. But the funniest IRE experience was in reference to number 3 when I was on Achaea. Someone shouted the Gods didn't exist, and he ended up zapped and killed by just about every diety in Achaea, who were all there getting ready to start a large and involved event. Death, rezzed, death, rezzed, rinse and repeat. And when it's all done, he shouts "Sorry, I see I was wrong about that."

I was on one of my alts the other day, and on my House channel was a newbie(at least, I'm guessing he was a newbie newbie, as in, the character was, and the person was), and he got into a whole, almost angry debate with another member about how the Divine don't exist. Immediately, I check the WHO list to see if there were any Divine about. The only one I could see was Juliet (or maybe it was Romeo... I can't remember, but they were yellow, not green). Not saying They weren't around, just that I couldn't see Them.

Anywho, Newbie's getting almost belligerent about this, and finally, another member comes in and says, basically, 'Shut up and show some Respect.' The whole time, I was cringing, waiting for that coloured fire to show up, and my deathsight to go 'so-and-so was (insert random and creative death here) by (insert random Divine that may or may not have been there at the time)'.

The best pregnancy RP I ever saw, to thwart all the cuddly pregnancy RP, is someone tearing out the baby from the 'pregnant mother's abdomen'. Man, it was great.

I'd have to disagree slightly on four. I've seen some people pull of the "child" roleplay, and if done right, is actually quite adorable and convincing. There's one character on lusternia who's more or less mute who has a stuttering problem and generally writes when she wants to say on a slate. Generally she has a very endearing child-like innocence and RP's it very, very well. The thing about these games is that you can more or less RP age however you want. People live for centuries on these games, so there isn't much reason why 18-30 can't be treated as "a child" (plus, I think you can start at 16 in lusternia? Don't quote me on that, haven't made a new character in ages).


But generally, I think this is a very good list.


In my own experience, I've had people do things like say they had magical encounters with dragons when the first started their adventures, said they saw the spirit of a badger and got marked by it and all sorts of things. While I do encourage you to be as creative as you can with your character's backstory, be sure that the RP you're concocting is consistent with the existing lore. Sure you can get away with "mysteries" and "magic", but try not to be out of place with it either. It can be a little frustrating.

To be honest, I only realized several years after the fact how badly what I used to RP irritated the heck out of people. Y'see, it's not just Latin that irritates people, it's any language that they either don't understand, or find to be obnoxiously interfering.

Let me provide an example: I played a Blacktalon Druid a few years back on whom I decided to 'learn' Crowtongue/speech/whatever it is. Quite literally, I invented several hundred new words, grammatical rules and phrases. And used them. Repeatedly. While I murmured. Y'see, I was also a depressed guy who just talked to himself a lot, repeating random phrases in a language NOBODY BUT ME and, like, the BT GM understood, and I never failed to let anyone know this. Oh, and I was also an agent for Fain, got people kicked out of the Guild, sabotaged random people's relationships and during a particularly lucid moment took a knife and carved scars depicting crows into my skin. Yep. I'm cool like that. There's a subtle difference between having an awesome RP, and then being so overbearing and involving too many people that it becomes extremely irritating.

So for everyone who is thinking about all the horrible things they've done while RPing, think for a moment about some of your more egregious moments - because some of them might suddenly jump out as being a little bit... odd?

what would be your opinion if someone roleplayed a character that could only speak the languaged that is with the race they picked?


Shoot me for saying it - but I actually think its an interesting idea to only speak your racial language. Its not a made up language, and in Achaea, at least, you can learn racial languages.  

Yes, it will limit your interactions to people but you can role play finding an interpreter who speaks whatever racial language you speak.  Why not? Will it annoy people.  Sure.  Then again, its your RP and they can choose to not associate with you if that's the case.

Yet, to only speak one's racial language, one must be prepared (at least) to have a hard time with organizational affiliations any time you have to communicate beyond the organization's channel(s).  But, then again, if you're choosing a 'less-understood' path, we'll all assume you're prepared for the hurdles!

Some might make the case that 'we all speak common' or 'we all speak common for a reason.'  Nah.  Boring.  If it adds to your RP and you can pull it off convincingly, then why not?

I think that's the real exception to any part of this article. If you can pull it off convincingly, there's no good reason not to go for it.

Not everything people are going to want to roleplay is going to go over well with their peers. The rule of thumb I try to go by, is without scripting and planning every detail, talk to the others who would be involved about the general idea first. The atheism thing? I dunno. I think it is feasible to play a character who questions the divinity of the Gods. They obviously do exist. Theyre obviously more powerful than most in the world. That doesn't mean they are what they say, necessarily. The afflictions, well, it is not impossible for someone to have a variety of some ailment that is not affected by the usual cures. Don't get me wrong here, alot of people do try stupid ideas, and in ways that just don't work. And alot of people inconsiderately try to force others into their little RP situations that are either awkward, ill-planned, or otherwise nothing more than an annoyance to the rest of the players. I just don't think we should generalize too much. If people who are just starting off get shut-down and shunned for making attempts to roleplay something they feel would be enjoyable, how likely is it that they will ever get the hang of it? Sometimes instead of being a jerk about it, it's a good idea to approach them OOCly and explain a thing or two about why you wouldn't want to do this, or why it just doesn't work. You could even suggest a more desirable alternative. You don't have to, but what I have seen alot in the communities in MUDs, is a tendency to react to ill-conceived but genuine attempts at roleplay in ways that would just make anyone feel unwanted and discouraged. That can't be good. 


The problem I've found, and I know this because I'm not opposed to a little ooc chatting with people about things and I have asked some of these in the past, is that the good majority of these types of badly rp'ed characters are alts of those that have been around for quite a while. For people that have been in their realm for a long period of time, true newbies can be spotted rather easily in most cases. I love working with those types (so long as they aren't just bored kids that would be better off in Aardwolf) that truly want to create a good character and just aren't sure how to get started. Unfortunately these are few and far between.

While I won't dis a well-roleplayed affliction (Ashadra has a mute son that does very well with it), I remember one novice that drove me to almost telling her myself to just knock it off, that permanent blindness is -impossible- here and to find a new rp avenue. She had people lead her all over, whining about how could she possibly pass the walking test, and buying the necessary items since she couldn't see them.

Somehow she managed to pass her Tier One and moved on to the Tier Two requirements (Sylvan House). Suddenly she needed someone to post her background for her cause she couldn't see to write there...for some stupid reason this was allowed. And of course she couldn't see to write in her journal, could someone do that for her too? Obviously with the way journals work, nobody could actually write in her journal for her, so she and another person rp'ed this little bit.

Needless to say she didn't pass this interview...she'd spent so much time 'perfecting' her ridiculous blind rp that she forgot to learn what it really means to be a forestal character, failing the priorities/morals part of the test. I believe she quit shortly thereafter rather than take her second attempt...and then the Merchants got stuck with her, lol.




Had I not been busy RPing a much more important character.. I might have continued to RP Skylah..   However thank you for your input, I'll make sure not to bother bringing her back.   By the way, she never failed. There was a massive earthquake in my city (you know, in real life) and my priorities changed, so I focused on one main character.   She also didnt whine except for twice, when she asked to take her test and no one responded for an RL week.  Maybe that should have been a hint, however Jain said that I was doing well and to keep it up, so I did!


Personally, I had alot of "You're doing great at RP! Keep it up!" tells, and other such compliments. Had I known someone was bothered with it, I'd have quit on the first day.


I actually remember this precisely the same way Skylah remembered this, down to the earthquake... I went nuts when I found out that she might have been hit by it, lol. Though, given that you were, at the time, writing that houses history, I can see why you would remember it this way. You never were much for people RPing anything other than 'mainstream'. Hell, I remember you threatening to enemy someone to Eleusis because they had a Mhaldorian accent, were sireni, and you had no clue who they were. "Mhaldorian accent! Reading our books, looking into our ways! ZOMG ENEMY!" was pretty much how that one went down... Believe it lost you a member of your house as well, who knew her well.

The way I see this - there are always people who will have non-mainstream RPs. If they do it alright, then for cripes sake, let 'em do it. As far as blind/deaf... There are blind/deaf/mute/crippled denizens. If it can be permanent for them, incurable by getting them to apply the salve, then why must the typical cure automagically cure someone who has had some curse laid upon them in their youth, or whatever backstory goes with that RP? If someone wants to roleplay pregnancy, I get that it may make you gag - but y'know what? I've had real-life mother-to-bes making me gag with their sappyness. I've also had some RP pregnant girls who were less than overbearing.

Point is, RP how you want, as long as you are prepared to deal with the consequences of your actions. If you've got a good backstory for whatever reason, run with it. Don't let the sourpuss sheepherders make you into a mainstream cookie-cutter-made adventurer.



When I played Lusternia, I ran into a couple of incidents of Infanticide, Incest, Rape, and Murder. Having been in a leadership position, I often had them dragged to my attention when there was a lot of he-said-she-said in attempts to get people thrown out of orgs. I laughed most of them off and remember bits and pieces of some here and there, like a baby getting thrown into the Eternal Flame of Gaudiguch, a baby cut in half with a rapier, or 'My baby came back to life! I had Vitae in my womb!' One particularly stood out, though, and I feel the need to share.

Once upon a time there was a family in Magnagora that believed themselves to be nobles, though they were not a family. They had class, poise, and thought they had respect beneath their belt. As well, they claimed to be in the upper echelons of roleplay until scandal struck!

The one that stands out most was a situation where a girl who was roleplaying being younger had sexual relations with her 'uncle' and became pregnant. The grandmother of this character turned around and had the uncle slice the girl open, rip the itty bitty forming baby out, and smear it on the wall in a horribly graphic, almost vomit-enducing manner.

The grandfather, all the while, is sitting there being a poor bystander in a 'wtf' manner, seeming like he wanted nothing to do with the situation but being forced into it anyway by the wicked grandmother.

Said incident ended up all over the forums, eyeballs were bleached, the incident was forgotten, and life went on.

Honestly, the reason I quit Lusternia was because Glomdoring celebrates every New Year by murdering an infant. Um... just no. The first time I saw it, my infant nephew had just been murdered for real so I might've found it slightly more traumatic than the normal person. The fact that nobody saw anything wrong with it or my suggestions of how to alter it were ignored bothered me even more. I really liked Lusternia up until that point and was ready to leave Achaea to go play there instead. I went back once and asked if Glomdoring still murdered infants at New Years. Half the people didn't know what I was talking about. One of the forest/city leaders said I had no clue what I was talking about. As soon as I saw the regularly scheduled infanticide, I was out of there and haven't been back since. To me, Divine-sanctioned baby murdering is far worse than player RP'ed scenarios of it.

I can't explain why, but this made me laugh really hard. I think it may have been the phrase 'regularly scheduled infanticide'. Good gods above, that is freaking amazing.


Glom does a fairly good job keeping it underwraps. My character came across a Glom for a tattoo and brought this baby-killing subject up briefly and the Glom girl paused and then said casually, "Well, it really doesn't happen as often as you'd think."

I've got to agree with the points you've made.


The permanent blindness one really irritates me but, I did find one person who roleplayed it well. This little newbie I came across had a good backstory for his condition and everything. Turns out his mother was cursed by a sorceress for overlooking her. The curse was that all her children would be as blind as she showed herself to be. Basically, the character was born without eyes. The backstory intrigued me enough to get creative and I started with the solution I use that normally kills blind rp. I inked him a mindseye tattoo. He played that it worked to a certain extent. Basically, he could find his way around but no color or details. So, I went a step further and "created" a runestone that enhanced the mindseye. From then on he wore a necklace with the runestone but his description always showed he had no eyes. He was a very interesting person. To add to my normal cures for that sort of things if the herbal and tattoo cure don't work and it's not done in an interesting way then I support the idea of killing them off since with a disability like that they aren't going to survive in ANY IRE world.

As for rituals I hate full gibberish/latin/other language rituals. I do not mind seeing a few words here and there since, that can actually add flavor to the scene.

I think a lot of don'ts stem from the fact that at the core they are an obvious cry for attention and include a lot of repetiton. 

I have seen one character pregnancy done really well, and that was because it followed a realistic timeframe and development. Most of it was actually gradual changes to the person's description. She would also chronicle a little about it on an in character blog, and very rarely you'd see anything in public beyond the obvious like other players wishing her well, or her holding her tummy for a moment to feel a kick. This would be odd in Lusternia though. If we take a pregnancy of 9 months, you'd have 9 real life hours to act it out and that's it. 


Latin / other languages annoys me so, because it breaks immersion (there is no Latin in Lusternia!), not to mention if you do not know the language you can't even understand it. And there is a language system too. If it is some famous quote used as a motto, that's a bit of an edge case, but whole rituals? That gets filed under attention-seeking once again.


I can deal with the furry races stuff, as long as it is not a blatant cover for mudsex. Which sadly it often is. Actually, extend that to any RP which is an obvious mudsex coverup. There are worlds designed specifically for that. Please go to them. 


Atheism and curable afflications just made me facepalm. IRE / Lusternia is not the game world to do that in, obviously. 


As a personal gripe, I'd add using any RP plot as a way to get things done IC that have obvious OOC motivations. Like "my character has anger issues" to vent OOC anger into the game or creating an alt with a specific story based on OOC information with the sole purpose of griefing someone else. It's very difficult to regulate meta-gaming but sometimes I wish it were possible.

I tend to agree with the original list, while disagreeing with the basic premise of the article, and very much agree with Calixa's point about attention seekers.


The list seems a reasonable one for all the solid reasons others have noted far better than I could. At the same time, I take a bit of issue with it, because partly the POINT of playing a MUD is to be able to explore and experiment with role-playing. A list that out the gate makes some parts of life off limits seems unnecessarily off-putting. I'd receive the article a whole lot better if it acknowledged that some RP-ing can be irritating to others and then issue an invitation for people irritated by other's RP-ing to simply find ways to say as much. Open communication, while often difficult, is always preferable to a list of rules...


That said, one rule I could easily get behind -- to echo what I think Calixa is on about -- would be "Don't role play anything if the main point is to exclusively feed your own need to be the center of attention." Even a well-done RP-er who always has to be the center of everything can be just as irksome as a poorly played pregnancy, just like a person in the outside world gets irksome if they have to be the center of all. Good role-playing, like good living, should offer a nice balance where everyone involved gains from the experience.


Thanks for the good topic and all the thought-provoking responses.

While I can understand the benefit (race-specific for some races) of being able to switch gender, man.. There's nothing more unsettling than knowing someone as a dude for the longest time, then coming back and finding out they're a female and married to another dude IC.


It always makes me wonder - "Did that guy know you were a dude before he 'married' you?"

I agree with every point you made even if the reasons vary.  Try to be creative, be unique!  Lusternia has a Janitor, he has RP'ed it so well he has an artifact named for him, its a broom!


Whether you believe you are just a bundle of fluff or that the gods are full of it, you are bound to end up on peoples bad side or just out and out dead (like being a pile of ash).  I do not know about Achaea really, but the same things go for Lusternia.


Also, for the love of Nil, please stop making forestals who LITERALY snuggle trees (or worse).

Posted on this topic recently in the Achaean forums. Frankly, I know that this kind of thing is out there and there's nothing we can really do to prevent it. So instead of forbidding anyone, I'm of the opinion that you should do it if you want to, just leave me out of it unless I choose to be a part of it. Think of others when you roleplay something like this.

The above story about the character with permanent blindness who found ways around it and continued on with life? That's cool. Running up in a public meeting place and going "OMGIMBLINDYOUHAVETOHELPME" is just going to piss players off.


Ehh, Im not sure I agree with the idea of singling these things out.  You're going after the sympthoms and not the cause.  What the real problem with a lot of RP is involves the quality.  I've seen every single one done well - yes including the latin rituals - and every single one done very, very poorly.  These roleplays however have become a crutch to some people.


Everyone has the right to roleplay what they want, as long as they don't force it on others, or at the very least don't force certain things on others, but really, if you want to roleplay something - anything - controversial, you should keep it to the group of people you know would accept it, and expect to get derision from others when they inevitably post the log somewheres.


It's all good and well to say that we should be a beautiful unique snowflake, but its difficult if not impossible to find something truly different that isn't ahberrent or grotesque in some way.  I think the important thing is when you're roleplaying a character, it should come across as that character, and it should be consistent.

I agree entirely.

I wholeheartedly agree too!

I'm not sure if this article went far enough. I don't think that someone pretending to be blind is as bad as someone pretending that they don't know how to read.  I don't think I really need to say more about this. 

I do hate it when someone goes into something that takes you right out of the game. OOC clans and expected OOC chatter doesn't bother me. When you mention in the game's public that you "say" or write about something that's happening IRL, well it's just silly.

I think most of all I hate when a character says they are an "old soul". I understand that things happen and you can loose a character or have your character be rendered unplayable. Reincarnation means something totally different in Iron Realm Games, and is non-exsistent in many others. What's so wrong with playing a new character? Often people are doing a disservice to themselves and others when they try to be their old character. It's really fun to be a new person and see how far you can go with a different personality. 

This made me laugh, because it's just so true! Some people can be really stupid :P

The one that gets me the most though is the pregnancy thing, I really dun get it - especially people who have kids in their descriptions! Erm, what?! 'and has a child on each hip, with one following behind.' So, do they die with you? Ridiculoussss xD


And the blind and deaf thing is kinda silly, but eh, I can cope with that rp more than some others lol.


Though I gotta say, I've never heard of anyone wanting 'proof' of the Divine IG haha! I mean, really? Are you serious? Hahahah.


But yeah, good article and thanks for making me laugh thinking of people's silliness!

I recall a certain male character who would RP sitting on the side of the highway and defecating in front of all those in the room. He defended his RP as being realistic, despite his abnormally frequent bowl movements. 

This is one case where realism in RP =/= good!

I knew someone who RP'ed being mute, and the only talking they would do was on CT/GT etc. and through Tells, since those were all psychic speaking in Lusternia.  It actually worked out wonderfully in this case, and when you were near them in person, they would just emote everything, and then say it over GT.  Seeing as mute isn't an aflliction in Lusternia, it really didn't have a cure, and I saw nothing wrong with it honestly.  If people want to roleplay crazy things, let them, that is how I see it at least.

I've been playing IRE for long time. Different games over the years, different characters and names. I can honestly say, I've seen just about everything. Even been apart of most of them either directly or in the viewing aspect.

Pregnancy. I can no longer count on my fingers or toes how many times I've seen this. It's a natural part of life, even part of a relationship if you want to get into that. It just isn't necessary to go RP it. And if you do, it just seems like something you should do in private with as few people as possible. But people take it way too far. Even sending out invitations to the birth. There are just some things that you cannot burn out of your mind after you witness them. Even if it is text.

Imaginary children. You know who you are people. There is a family system in all the games for a reason. I don't want to hear about the three little toddler kiddos you stupidly added onto the end of your description. "A small child skips merrily in circles around her, begging for cookies." That isn't cool with me. Things like this lower the RP bar so badly that the rest of us have to deal with the fallback.

Sure, I will admit that there are some people who can pull all these things off. But the vast majority of people do not have the imagination to do so. Everyone has drawn the large yellow RP line in the sand for you. So please, read this article and don't trip over it.

I hate listen to someone preach for an hour on something that'll never help you. Especially when they're are just respitting text from an in game book. 


I am totally with you on these. The preggers one really bothers me, I suppose it is the fact that by the time you know you're going to bloodline someone they are already atleast 18 (16, for Lust.) and the timeline just wouldn't work out to roleplay that you are with child. Unless you are looking to roleplay it before even considering looking for a child to bloodline and then that has its own issues.


I really hate anytime we also see people using Real World languages for anything within character. It is silly to make your titles: Irish or Gaelic just because you are a forest-dweller. English is the only viable real world language I would ever consider using as it is the same as "Common" tongue in most IRE games. Though it gets a bit tricky because Aetolia uses "American" English, and I know Achaea uses "Proper" English. So you have to learn to adapt a little to be an effective role player.

90% of the languages used in Achaea are derivative (or outright plaigirative) of existing languages. There are actual places within the game openly using Latin- both in their descriptions and elsewhere. Divine order titles contain them. Some temples even contain random room emotes that openly display 'whispers' containing latin words. Various people have issued themselves asking about the existence of the language in the game and been answered, repeatingly, with 'so long as you don't CALL it latin'.


Sounds to me like you should take issue with the game there, and not the people roleplaying it- the language clearly DOES exist, or else there are people (who aren't players) you should be mocking for their gibberish.


To each their own opinion and what they enjoy, of course, but I felt that little bit of fact needed to be pointed out. Thank you for sharing your time!

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Exactly I've seen Latin in game it isn't OOC. Also unless you know what abnormal blindness is, you can't say what would cure it. Maybe it is not an affliction, but a birth defect.

Snuggle bunnies giving birth just plain rubs me the wrong way. I have this urge to unphase and dstab x20 and garrotelock them with the umbilical cord. Then eat the child!!

I haven't seen a lot of comments on this one.


Unfortunately, the Gods are extremely present in most IRE worlds.  Given those circumstances, it is much more difficult to roleplay an atheist.


That being said, I have been places where the Gods and subsequently their influence was not nearly as present.  In those circumstances, roleplaying an atheist could be extremely rewarding and entertaining.


On a somewhat related note, I have also been places where there were competing pantheons of Gods.  Obviously, a world where you have competing pantheons requires that much of the history and lore not nearly be as flush out, but it was definitely interesting.

This was both hilarious and shaming. I think I just had a 'DOH!' moment. Erm... wait I've never done any of those things. >.>

So... I'm going to say there is an exception to some of that. I was once involved in some very extensive RP with a large group of people and RPing children and the having of children and the caring for of children was pretty essential to the story line. But... for people who just want to stand around Centre Crossing showing off their imaginary babies, sure I get that.

Some Divines such as Lord Aeon provide little or no evidence of there existance.


I think this struck me as funny because of all the times in-game I hear, 'Lord Aeon has bestowed His truefavour on me' as code for 'I'm really laggy right now.'


I'd suppose that was more a disfavour.

This article really isn't as informative as it could be. It picks a few specific RP concepts and bashes them with what basically amounts to whining without even touching the real problem aspects.

You hit the nail on the head...



While I agree with the points made in the article, I will say that most of them apply to those who are seeking attention.

As it has been stated, there are many who maintain whatever type of roleplay (pregnancy, children, handicaps) with a close group of trusted friends and family. This, in my opinion, is there choice and all those involved have made their choice knowingly. Sometimes, this roleplay is even well thought out, maintained, and executed beautifully.

Those who enforce their particular brand of roleplay on others are very distinctly doing it for the attention, rather than some grand roleplay goal. You make a sound of disgust or tell them in character "you are an idiot", they are getting attention, thus they continue the roleplay just so others will pay attention to them and they can later spout moral highground from their soap box that they were made into a martyr for the elitist crowd.

Should we ignore their idiocy? Not in the least, they should be told that their roleplay is inappropriate for where they are, and many who they are involving within their roleplay do not wish to be involved. After that, they should be ignored. Their emotes, says, vague writings and otherwise will go away if ignored. If they do not get the attention they seek, they will cease the actions they think will get them attention. It is the same principle behind the 'cam whores' of facebook or the trolls on the various forums.

So, my thought? In private, with people you trust and know, roleplay anything from giving birth to five mutated children to doing various things with not-so-finely crafted objects and various orifices. Keep it private, and enjoy yourself. Just do not think that -everyone- else wishes to participate or know the details of your private enjoyments.

It was about time someone say that. Pregnancy in a MUD... come on, it's disgusting and annoying. People have more things to do other than read those ridiculous baby emotes. About being deaf, blind or crippled, it's also silly. If you were really blind, you couldn't read or fight in the game. If you were deaf you would have to ignore all says unless you get some lip reading skill. Needless to say about people without an arm or a leg getting it broken... what?! I thought you did not have this but it's able to break... FAKE.

More ideas on what is welcomed roleplay would serve better than continually bashing bad roleplay. Not everyone realises cliches, new players especially do not realise what has been done to death. Try to steer people in a more constructive direction if you see potential and if all else fails, ignoring them tends to work remarkably well.

I agree with almost all of those. I think Atheism would be a good RP. A person who IS himself, and doesn't believe, no matter how often he sees. Just my opinion.

The only one of these that I don't agree with is the pregnancy one.
If you want to be preggers and RP that stuff out? Go for it, but when
f'd up people like me do f'd up things to your babies?


Yeah. You had it coming.

Aww. <3

Lusternia has a race called the Viscanti that developed into what they are today because of generations of incestuous affairs. It can be fun roleplaying their adversaries. I just wanted to point that out!

Besides that, when it comes to roleplaying no-nos, I'd just like to say that drama is not good roleplay.

At least it's not good roleplay a majority of the time. Sometimes it can be done well because it can serve the purpose of evolving a character or creating a player-driven event, but most of the time it's just annoying and you only look like you're seeking attention.

I suppose the moral of the story is, if you're doing something because you just want the attention, and you need to fish for compliments somewhere because your self-esteem is that low, you should probably re-think it. If you're bored and want to involve your friends - or enemies! - in an interesting player-driven event then, wow, yeah, please, that will be fun! But please don't come crying to the city hub about how you're ugly/fat/can't get a fiance/can't advance in your guild, because I can say with certainty that most people are going to tell you whining never gets you anywhere!

In addition to that, don't go asking people for help/advice and shoot down every idea they have. For example, say you're having trouble getting the attention of your god, and you go to your family to help. They say "Well you need to be exceptional and..." and you're already off about how awesome you are before they've even finished the sentence! So you think they can't help you and you go to a friend, who suggests you really make an effort to hunt and offer lots of essence, but all you have to say is that you suck at hunting and can't get anywhere and that's not helpful at all! I can understand that people might want to roleplay this sort of attitude but I can't say it will get you very well liked.

So while you shouldn't have to roleplay being nice/friendly/awesome, just remember that before you decide to roleplay the obnoxious role, people might not appreciate it. We are all human and it's just a part of human nature to not be in a constant state of annoyance.

I saw a couple RPing a pregnancy before I went dormant, and it was the most uncomfortable thing ever. 

I didn't want to be a part of it, but I was forced to recognize and respect them RPing it, despite the problems with it, as Achaea doesn't really serve that kind of RP. Since you know, everyone starts out at age 18, and you can't have babies? 

I just think that if you want to RP it privately in a relationship, go for it, if both parties are comfortable, but don't make others have to be involved if they don't want to. It's awkward

One of my characters was with a chick that wanted to do that, I said it was retarded and that Achaea has adoption/bloodline/history/backgrounds for a reason.

If people RP things that I don't agree with, I tend to fake-afk..

Ok, I am going to be one of those rare people who defend some of this. In Aetolia, there are a few really good RPers who can do pregnancy this successfully--one of them likes to shove his monster baby in a wine cabinet and leave him there until his wife rescues it.

I personally play a permanently blind character. It was a shtick when I made him in 2006, but I find it a nice challenge to try and get through the game with it. Mindseye in particular was interesting to come up with an acceptable explaination. Sue me, it's fun.

On the other hand, there are a ton more examples of What Not To Do. Atheism is up there on the list of things that can't be done. The rest is amendable. You don't HAVE to stay in the same room with them.

In my opinion, there are a lot of things considered taboo in IRE games that are absolutely absurd. If infanticide or the like offends you, don't join an "evil" city. I mean, honestly, summoning up demons from the abyss is ok but murder of the young isn't?


If you aren't cool with roleplaying the grotesque and morally repugnant, you would do well to not join an Evil organization. And further, I would appreciate it if people would understand that those that play Evil characters will probably do things that make you go, "Oh my god, why the hell would you do that?" Note that by this I don't mean forming roving ganksquads, but rather to roleplay out terrible things that would make Charlie Manson blush.

Our job in the game is to make you hate what we do. Respect us? Sure, but you should hate our actions. It should be shocking and terrible. Cypra's incredible orphan torture log is one example of this. Your reaction should be, "That's so terrible, how can anyone do this to a child?" But instead of using it in some IC manner to wax philosophic about the horrors of Evil, it was taken down at the behest of a few in Achaean community - the same people that could have used it as a golden roleplay opportunity.

One of my favorite examples of what I'd call Mhaldorian Evil is a scene from the movie Enemy at the Gates. The German sniper had found little Sasha, who was participating in a spying mission. The sniper put his arm around the little boy and led him, sobbing, to a light post, patting him as he spoke about taking responsibility. Shortly after, the Russian sniper found the boy's body dangling from the post, having been hanged by his rival... and all you wanted was for the Russian sniper to take this evil son of a bitch out.

That is an Evil character's charge in life. Brooding, brutal, cold, and calculating. If you can't stomach their actions, it's because you're not supposed to. :)

is pretty annoying too. It can be done tastefully but..eh. Same goes with trollspeak too.

I really enjoyed reading this. I haven't come across most of the things mentioned, only heard of them. I started my char off shy, as it is my first, and as she progressed and become more social and interactive with the people she was around, she opened up more and more. At first she was almost mute, but she would only speak when spoken to, directly. Now she talks all the time it seems.

With the whole 'new player' thing, I can really the tell the difference and I really do prefer helping a new person rather than someone who has played before. It's a lot more exciting to watch them find their way....

I just started a furrikin bard on Lusty. I picked the race for the eq bonus, the fairly high CHA, and because it didn't have an equivalent analogue in Achaea (Grook/Mugwump, Rajamala/Aslari, etc). That was pretty much the extent of my thought process.


Have I picked one of the "assume the worst" races?

Furrikin can be badly played, but they are by no means the worst offenders. My person 'worst RP what are you thinking' peevees are people who play tae'dae or taurians as thought they are as dumb as a bag of bricks, and incapable of using words properly. I'm fine with whatever accents people might want to give a try, but the whole "I'm too dumb for first person pronouns" shtick has got to stop.


I also universally hate faeling bards. because no one ever picks them for RP, just for the MASSIVE charisma they can get. So they tend to do things that irritate me, like think they're the same size as a six foot tall trill, instead of a third that size

Oh, excuse me, my dear. I play a faeling bard as I am sure you are aware. She is two feet and constantly scooting between people's legs. It is fun to watch people's reactions to Shandra. Since I picked the race for RP purposes and not the charisma.

I agree with this article, for the most part.

Yup good one!

Playing a mixed race character. 

Like a Rajorkval?

INteresting read

Actually there is someone with a mute character but gives an interesting RP

I like him.

Last time I checKed, there were plenty latin words on Achaea, so...

Last time I checKed, there were plenty latin words on Achaea, so...

It doesn't have to be presented as Latin, just cool sounding words that you can hide meaning in.

While all of the offenses listed usually inspire much eye rolling on my end of the screen I do have to agree with the people above who said "you can always leave". For the most part you can ignore them or leave the area where the RP you don't care for is taking place.

This article required imagination.

I don't know. Just because a fireball comes down and kills someone doesn't mean the Divine exists. It could be just as natural an event as lightning bolts coming down and killing someone. Doesn't mean Zeus was up there throwing them. And with all this magic, illusion, and witchcraft going on, voice throwing from the skies can also be conjured up. What is it that you can prove the Divine does that other Adventurerers cannot imitate or perhaps conceivably imitate. I'm speaking as my character of course, not from myself personally. Because irl I have different beliefs than those stated here.

I've been in fifteen out of eighteen of the great wars! Scars? I don't have scars because of a secret herbal mixture that gets rid of scars and makes me incredibly beautiful. Also I'm a part time scholar and feed all the orphans in the city with the sales from my new best selling biography.


Pregnant, furry underaged sex.

If people enjoy rolwplaying such things let them, but personally i do think some of this roleplay should be done behind closed doors.

An 'article' to lambast people for participating in the roleplay that they choose to, in a game that many of them have paid real-world money into? And you actually expect it to attract new players?


Come on. This is elitist and snobbish at best, and downright mean at worst. So what if you don't like the furrikin family with eighty kids. Don't call them out on it in public, just... don't... roleplay with them? Problem solved.


Who gives a damn if the roleplay is trite, or contrived, or any of those things you seem to use to uphold your lofty condescencion if the people doing it ARE HAVING A BLOODY GOOD TIME?


Another waste of space 'article' I wasted my time on for a free credit, but this one gets to insult people for how they choose to spend their time. I feel like a whore, taking a shower now, IRE, thanks for the credit.

you know, roleplay standards are probably a good thing in general. THere is a ton of shit that could happen that mostly does not

Yes lets all roleplay only how you want.

Do whatever you want, but don't drag me into it.  That's the key thing.  I've had people to try to guilt me into attending births before.  My response was to just phase and chat via message with people until it was over.

Not everyone wants to watch the text afterbirth come out.

the thing that normally gets me about backstories is that everyone always wants to be special. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and on some levels it makes sense, but it has always seemed to me that there should be, on average, a whole lot more characters that just gres up somewhere and decided to do something with their lives.


Also, I feel that atheism could be done well if you denied gods devitity without denying their existance. It will still get you killed, but makes more sense


Also, pretending that you're the Messiah is a bad idea.

Accents and attention seekers are my biggest annoyances. Most games have a SET ACCENT, use it.

Some of these just crack me up.. :D

Haven't heard of the pregnancy one.  Pretty funny until I start to think what it would look like. Then I'm grossed out.. :D

I've never been exposed to any of those. I did however meet someone a few rl years back who insisted he was placed into existence to cure women of their virginity. 

Credit comment.

Latin doesn't exist, but apparently Japanese did at one point. >_>

But  I've seen someone roleplay some of those thing and it ended up actually quite nicely. I've watched people roleplay pregnancy from an angle not so... retarded. A woman makes a quiet announcement to the father and a few close friends, then doesn't bother really mentioning it again. Eventually, the child is born, there's a few moments where the child visits the mother and otherwise stays with friends or family or what have you, and eventually the child gets to "Choose" whether they're going to "come into the world's conflict" or take off and live as a hermit somewhere. I mean, denizens gotta come from somewhere, right? I've seen people roleplay magickal blindness due to backlashing rituals, that allowed them to be healed as time went by. I figure that's not so bad, as long as they're not adamant about keeping the ailment against all logical RP progression. And I've watched plenty of folk come up with various ways of introducing not-quite-world-based languages for the same. Hell, a lot of the apparent laguages used by folks like the Limorasi and such are just a whole bunch of syllables stuck together, so if you can get away with it, why not sneak a latin word in there somewhere? Five paragraphs of platin, agreed, irritating. Two or three words? Perhaps a key sentence? Enh, get over it.


While I agree that yes, if you have no idea what you're doing, sometimes these ideas tend to be crap, if you're any good at what you do, you'll have a good, imaginative reason for doing it. If you can do it properly, then there might be hope for you and it yet.

quite a few different ones

thanks for warning us.

Try doing rituals in some Achean ancient language

seriously the worst one... by far

a pink-colored horkval.


I feel like this article, and a lot of the comments, are very 'joy-kill-y' - even though they contain some truth. I think Calixia's earlier post, which I accidentally didn't reply to with this one, has the right of it - the problem is that most of these things are obvious cries for attention, and that's just freaking obnoxious. What happens when the community collectively decide 'X thing is always bad RP,' though, is that people just get cruel and pedantic whenever someone tries their hand at it, even if they do it well/discreetly.


In additon to that, I just want to say that I can see muteness being RP'd as being psychological in nature, like a stutter - that's a RL thing, you know. That would make it distinct from the aff, which can obviously be easily cured.

So much, this. Words cannot express the enjoyment I gained by reading this article.


I'll accept most kinds of RP... as long as they are well done. Overdramatizing is an instant "Okay, see ya later", as is anything that shows a lack of research on how to properly implement it into the environment.

Nice article, btw

This just made my day. So many valid points. 

Very valid points. I completely agree.