We’ve all done things we are horribly embarrassed of, lets face it. You live on this planet long enough you’re bound to have something in your past that, upon recollection, makes you cringe just a little. Sometimes we must silently bear these scars alone, but not I. For you see, my tragyic past is something of a shared experience. A group effort, if you will, forged through the ever cool and not lame bonds of online roleplay. More specifically chat room based, late 90s, AOL Roleplay. Ah the late-90s, Dragon Ball Z was the hottest anime on TV, Final Fantasy 7 and 8 were released, along with a re-release of Star Wars, and The first Matrix film. It was a time of great entertainment milestones, iconic moments in the world of gamer and geekdom, a glorious time for a socially maladjusted nerd like myself to fully engross himself into. What better place to do it than RP Chatrooms on a dial-up modem?
In AOL Roleplay the realm was named RhyDin or Rhy’din or just Rhydin. It was based on the rules of ‘uh…. what were the rules again?’ There was dice, but no one seemed to pay attention to it. There was no level-up system. No DM. No universally recognized rules or real ways of enforcing said rules. The RP community was so vast and there were so many variations on the rules that if you found two people following the same ones in an open chatroom it was the RL (Real Life for all you non-RP coolkids) equivalent of finding the Yeti riding the Lockness Monster like a jetski. There were however some universal rules that most everyone seemed to follow, and I wished they hadn’t, some of the more notable ones were:
- Every room has rafters for the Vampyres to lurk and hiss in, even if the room is called ‘OPEN GRASSY FIELD WITH NO RAFTERS.’ Also, even if they don’t mention it in their profile, in character, or at all, virtually everyone is at least 25% vampire.
- Every child character is a super-genius of some kind, and can speak ‘perfect’ English, do magyick, and in general outsmart you at every turn, even if the person who is RPing him/her can’t seem to spell properly or show any signs of said advanced intelligence.
- Every female character is a badass battle maiden who don’t need no man with massive heaving tits and a seemingly endless libido.
- Virtually everyone is a ‘dark’ and ‘wycked’ and will endlessly make reference to using a ::wicked grin:: or a ::sinister laugh:: repeatedly in conversation, even if you’re just asking for directions.
- Everyone either wears all black hooded outfits, billowing capes, or some sort of celestial battle armor forged by Jesus.
- The Medieval crowd will insist on speaking in ye olde English, even if their only understanding of said dialect is that you add random ‘y’s into words and ‘e’s at the end of others. If you speak to these people in any other way they will pretend you are speaking martian to them and yell at you in the dreaded out of character brackets in instant messages.
- Everyone has a tragyic past. No one has gone through life apparently without their whole village being murdered while they were out gathering berries or some shit. As if it’s an entire realm filled with JRPG protagonists. Almost every female character has been raped, sometimes repeatedly. Sometimes male characters too.
- No one has a normal name. You must have at least three names, all with special characters and accent marks. (¯`’·.¸.·::»¥« Trîllÿånå §ådærå-Ðrågðñ »¥«::·.¸.·´¯), is an actual example and not something I just made up. Seriously.
- Your Geocities, Angelfire, Homestead, etc. website is only allowed to use RED on BLACK colors, and everything must be bold text. NO EXCEPTIONS. Animated .gifs from Diablo 2 optional. ::wyckid grin::
- Never, under any circumstances, question how it’s possible to be 25% werewolf or 50% vampire and not just a werewolf or vampire unless you’re prepared to listen to long typo-ridden dissertation containing elements of all of the above rules.
Now while those rules, an insane and sadly accurate as they may be, do give at least some sort of fucked-up facsimile of order do not be fooled. As with anything involving life in Rhydin, it’s all optional! That’s right, because Rhydin is actually purely freeform roleplay. The problems inherent with such a system should be readily apparent to anyone with even a tiny iota of common sense. With other RP games, typically MUDs or things like say, DnD, you can keep everyone in line. This means that no matter how tragyk your past, or what percentage of vampire and sith lord you happen to be, you’re still going to be starting out as a level one thief, and if you fail your roll against a trap disarmament all the ::wycked grins:: and ::sinister laughs:: won’t save you from being smashed to paste by the DMs rolling boulders of death. Such pesky things like risk, power capping, and forcing the player to actually think are totally thrown out the window. That’s because the number one way to keep someone in an RPG in line is to force them into situations where failure is actually possible, and lets face it when you can just roleplay as Zeus’ vampire brother who uses two light sabers that shoot lightning bolts what situation could you possibly be thrown into that would possibly put you in any real danger?
That’s because the biggest problem with freeform was that most people lack any form of originality whatsoever. Why be just a human, or hell even something basic like an elf or an orc when you could RP as Vampire Goku?
That’s right, it’s an entire realm populated by immortals, gods, superheros, any popular anime or video game character, vampires, werewolves, dragons, half-demons, half-angels, full demons, full angels, iconic fantasy characters, cyborgs, sith lords, jedis, robots, time wizards, Dr. Robotnik and all the ninja turtles. Sometimes some people would be all of those things at once, forming awesome character combinations I’ve actually seen, like the aforementioned Vampire Goku. Or my personal favorite, Darth Sephiroth-sama who used a 6 foot red light saber and was able to use the death star laser to attack people, which he called ‘dark flame of the medigo.’
As to what time period this all supposedly was taking place in? Who knows?! Who cares?! Was it the future ruled by robots and cyborgs with laser cannons and spaceships? Wase ite thee medievale paste fylled wythe tragyk vampyres? Was it modern times with tanks and machine guns? How about all of them at once?! Why the fuck not. You’d be strolling down the streets of Rhydin while a cop in an Apache attack helicopter was chasing down a demon king while no less than three huge titted battle maidens were being raped in a side alley by a 10-dicked dragon and Neo from the matrix battled no less than two Gokus in the sky destroying at least five city blocks per second. It was a magical chaos clusterfuck that truly had to be seen to be believed. Combine that with the chat system itself that was prone to lag, remember this was the time of dial up modems, people flat-out refusing to accept people they don’t like’s RP resulting in half the room having random people blocked, made from some very confusing conditions for trying to explain how your the way you ::appeared in a cloud of myst:: was totes awesome.
Not like I was any better, considering I was role playing as a time wizard half-demon immortal. Though, my real life friends who roleplayed were not much better. One of them was very obviously RPing as Deadpool. The other had what you could describe as ‘final boss syndrome’ and would only RP as emotionless super powerful beings. Everything from a sixteen foot tall titanium alloy golem or Zeriam, an immortal invulnerable alien from some fucking anime we watched. Needless to say, I was not exactly any better than some of these people in terms of back story. As a matter of fact, I rarely RPed without my buddies just because I found the whole thing tragically embarrassing and hopelessly pointless. A tragic ballad that didn’t just extend to the people playing, oh no, but the actual rooms themselves.
First thing you need to know about Rhydin is that this is realm devoid entirely of anything resembling residential housing. It’s either massive guildhalls surrounded in, I don’t know, a cloud of bats. Inns that no one uses for rooms, they just hang out in the rafters in the lobby and hit up the bar. Oh and the predictable taverns. That’s it. This is a place fueled by chaos and booze. Then there were out the outside rooms, there was of course a few of those, but my two personal favorites were rooms created to facilitate in common RP plot devices. As in the only perceived reason to go into these rooms was to inflict various tragedies upon your character to add even more angst to your gawthic half-demon vampyre. Those two rooms were Rhydin Rape Alley, and my personal favorite, Suicide Cliffs of Rhydin.
Lets make something clear here before I continue, rape is not something we at nonpersons endorse, alright? Don’t rape anyone after reading this article, k thx. Anyway, Rape Alley was kind of like accidentally stumbling upon a video of one of those Japanese sex game shows where the contestant is actually rubbing his mom’s ass from behind a curtain. In other words, horrifying and amusing all at once. You don’t want to stare, but you can’t look away. So, you waltz in and sit back, letting the perverse chat log scroll on by, wondering what kind of demented soul is typing these messages about his half-dragon demon lord with a 5 foot cock raping the half-blood wizard queen of Valhalla or whatever. No one is really getting raped, because you don’t go into a room like RAPE ALLEY unless you really are asking for it. The only thing that was getting raped was my sanity as I witnessed in that room Lovecraftian horrors that easily rival even the most hardcore of asian tentacle cartoons. Oh and this was also one of the more popular rooms for ‘erotic’ roleplay, and would constantly be at the top of the page in the chat menus.
But lets talk about my favorite room of all time, Rhydin Suicide Cliffs. Your saiyan anthro moonsire of the darknyss vamprie clan leave you? Did you just get raped by a half-dragon dickmonster from the 6th dimension? Did your parents die in a tragic buggy accident? Well fear not! Now you can simply cry for attention in the most contrived way possible, attempted suicide! It was actually surprising that most people legitimately did kill their characters off here, mostly because no one in Rhydin actually dies unless they do it themselves. That’s right, immortals who can fight god in a boxing match and probably win somehow can be killed by jumping off a cliff. Lasers, holy water, machine guns, death stars, fireballs, deadly traps, the moon hitting you, being frozen in place, having limbs cut off, all mere trifles! Gravity, gravity was the one true weakness of all AOL RP characters.
Speaking of being immune to most any damage, the actual RP ‘battles’ if you could call them that were beyond ridiculous. Things like location, relative strength, even dice rolls didn’t matter in the slightest. No one ever was harmed by your attacks, assuming you could even agree on what dice rolls constitutes a hit, since no one had any stats whatsoever, and since there was no way to track them, it was actually impossible to lose a fight or even get hurt. Most people wouldn’t even bother with things like rules, you’d have people type, no joke, something like ::KILLS U:: followed by a dice roll. If it hits they’d just yell YOU’RE DEAD over and over and block you. In the rare occasion you could actually get someone to take any form of combat seriously they’d almost always have godlike powers or describe your actions for you. ::THE DEMON GIRL GRINS WYKEDLY AND GRABS YOU BY YOUR SOUL AND YOU SCREAM AND ARE TOTES SCARED, YOU SHIT YOURSELF AND BEG FOR FORGIVNESS, GIVE HER ALL YOUR MONEY AND AGREE TO BECOME HER SEX SLAVE:: Insert Dice roll here. Where are you fighting? Inside a bar? Okay cool, lemme just swing my 20 foot sword called justice around a room filled with other people, support pillars, furniture, low ceilings, etc, that’s cool right? Oh also I’m a vampire so my sword is red and shoots energy bats.
Then there were the worst of the worst, the guild leaders. AOL allowed for message boards so you could make up a guild and give yourself a message board for your members to hang out and RP with each other in private free from pesky people like Darth Neo or whatever. Sounds great right? Wrong. Since most guilds were populated by the same unoriginal idiots you’d see in the chat rooms you’d have the, ahem, pleasure of reading a ten paragraph description of everyone’s tragic past or long rambling speeches about their greatness. If you dare reply to anything with anything other that complete agreement or awe the guild leader and all their flunkies would descend upon you like a pack of wolves. Sometimes guilds would be in alliances, or in other words, yet another group of idiots with yet another group of rules no one would follow. Making an already confusing environment all the most chaotic.
WARNING! THE FOLLOWING REAL AOL RP PROFILE CONTAINS EXTREME AMOUNTS OF STUPID, PROCEED WITH CAUTION!
Note: I have added .gifs of fire and Diablo 2 to enhance the effect. You’re welcome.
|Evil at its finest… ::Feral grin::
Don’t be afraid…come on in…::Grins wickedly with a wink::
Don’t be afraid…I don’t bite::Smirks:: Much…
KAKOS: Kakos is a name that suits me all to well as it was my maiden name. The name also represents the family in which I came from. The word kakos means, in its simplest form, destructive evil. Through my families destructive nature I am left, to my knowledge, the last of my family. I do not fear death. Especially now.::flashes her wicked grin:: I live up to my name. So do stear clear of my path. Unless, of course, you are a friend…::grins and winks::
The biggest issue is that everyone wanted to stand out the most, and as a result no one stood out. In a realm where everyone is a special little snowflake with a dark past, wyked grin, and untapped ultra-powerful powers, no one is special. In order to be unique you’d have to be common, play as a normal human with no real powers to speak of, and lets face it, with the ever looming threat of Lord Sephiroth Vader-Sama’s Death Star, you wouldn’t last very long. Don’t worry though, Vampire Goku will be sure to sire you just before he flies up into space to do epic battle with Darth Sephiroth and stop his nefarious plans once and for all. Fight on Vampire Goku… for justice.
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