Text RPGs: A Guide for Text-Based Rituals
By H. R. Johnston
This is your guide to a safe, fun, and interesting start to using rituals in a text game. Rituals can be anything you want. Players use rituals for enhancing role play in house/guild events, as a show of loyalty to a city or cause, or as a way to convey a sense of awe in the audience. Rituals can be player guided or divine guided. The next few tips will help you set a base to jump from in the world of text game ritualing (that totally is a word).
1) Role Play is a Must!
Why are you performing this ritual? Does your character feel the need to cover himself in tattoos and express his love to a god via skin art? Are there more sinister ideas behind your ritual? The ritual brings to life the monologue of a play. It is a powerful role playing device for expressing your character without blatantly saying," I love -insert thing-." It can also be a dramatic experience for other text game players. Maybe you can get that pretty evil girl to switch over to your side!
2) What is the Purpose?
You can't just slaughter five hundred pigs for the giggles. Well, you can, but what role play purpose does that serve in the text game? Sure bacon, but... never mind, back to my guide. The ritual should mean something to you and to your audience, and should enhance role play. Rituals are a perfect starting point for beginners who just enter into a text game environment. Many houses/guilds use them to introduce a new player into the world. Rituals convey meaning. Think about what you want your ritual to symbolize.
If you are performing for a house/guild/order/cause, then you need to use symbols and wording that those people will understand. No one likes to be preached to - this is one-sided role play. Rituals allow for crazy people to wield knives, speak in strange languages, and give people that creepy vibe (or whatever vibe you are aiming for). This is your ritual, so make it fun! Always keep in mind though, that your environment is role play based. That being said, the text game world is now your playground, and you can do amazing things. Make those things realistic things. Don't try to lift a city. You might throw out your back, and this can break people's immersion in the text game world.
4) Do Not Steal!
Be creative and imaginative. Do not go and "borrow" rituals from actual religious orders, cults, books, or movies. That is very poor role play, and a good way to lose a lot of credibility and maybe even your character. Most text games have rules against stealing material from OOC sources. Trust me. They will find out. It will not be pretty. If you have some awesome ideas and want to come up with role play behind what you are doing, when in doubt, ask a senior member of your community for some help.
Hope you find this helpful and happy ritualing!
If you would like to try your own hand at a text game ritual, these text based RPGs are a great place to get started!
H.R. Johnston is a text game enthusiast and currently plays games from http://www.IronRealms.com.