Virtual Pet Options in the Top MUDs
In Iron Realm's top MUDs, classes make use of the ability to summon loyal entities of different varieties--perhaps a falcon or a snake. These can be invaluable not only for combat, but also inspiration for roleplay. There are some who look down on 'Pet RP', which often just ends up being owner speaking through and to their animal. This can seem rather one-sided as it is essentially means that this person is just talking to himself! This does not have to be the extent of the interaction, however.
Many classes can and do make use of all kinds of mounts. Everything from stubborn mules to tigers, to wyverns and chimeras. With a few lessons the creatures one can vault upon and survey the realm from is an innumerable list. Some have exotic defining features, some can fly, and many will need to be fed. They can be named and attributed with a personality all their own. They become our stalwart partners through thick or thin, and sometimes their deficiencies can make them the laughing stock of our combat parties (the author will refrain from mentioning a certain Achaean roc here). For a few or many gold sovereigns we can enrich our experience a little further with one of these mounts.
Another cheaper option in many IRE games is the mini pet. Bought with a few thousand gold, these are the small animals like cats, dogs, lizards and birds. They tend to have a favourite food that will illicit a reaction unique to their type and some of them can even be trained. These start out at the ‘baby’ stage and grow over a period of years. Eventually, if they are not slaughtered by some foul evil-doer, they reach a ripe old age and die. The opportunities for roleplay are often small ones. Perhaps a scolding for allowing your text dog to relieve himself upon the House leader’s priceless carpet, or a laugh with a novice about naming your creature, or even a bonding between a few friends when beloved Odif dies and needs to be buried on his favourite island. While these interactions are on a very small scale, they can be recounted later, laughed at, or remembered fondly over a pint.
Lastly, for the heavy hitters and lucky folk, there are the PET pets, the ones that start at a small fortune and go up and up in price from there. These have a great many more possibilities than the mini pets or even the mounts. For a price, you can make them flying, sentient, mountable or even invincible. The sky and your imagination are the limits. They can react to others if you wish, speak, send tells, and even fight beside you. You can create something that fits your character, a creature that has meaning and a story to go with him. Since they can be made invincible, they need not die and, even if they do, they will return to you in time so that your investment is never lost. These creatures will be your companions through everything, whether you like it or not.
Pets and mounts are a small aside for most of us, but even small opportunities can define our characters, create possibilities and spark ideas for others. They are yet another aspect that can further enrich our text lives.
Author: Lianca of Achaea