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Old 02-25-2013, 02:41 AM   #1
dark acacia
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LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

I'm currently playing an RPI in a really good setting with a good administration who works hard to update and improve the game, but the actual role play is so darn stressful.

I want to try an RPI where there isn't so much stress in the role play; not so much need to act on eggshells around other PCs and especially imm-played NPCs to survive in the game.

These are the kind of things I'm looking for:
  • Open to newbies, especially with a playerbase that will happily include newbies. Just once I'd like to see an RPI where people see newbies as potential, desperately needed reinforcements and not baggage (not saying that all RPI games see newbies as baggage, though some definitely seem to).
  • Some kind of ongoing challenge, or series of ongoing challenges, to unify the PCs. I like the idea of a city thieves' guild offering their services to the king in a time of great danger to all people of the city so that knights and thieves end up working together (this doesn't have to be the game's actual situation, it's just an example).
  • Some sort of craft or profession system, especially if some PCs can provide services that others cannot.
  • Level-less system, though with mechanical character development. Preferably the type of development which doesn't turn people into gods of war just by sitting around yakking in a tavern all the time, but also doesn't make individual players untouchable and unbeatable by newer characters (newbies and veterans alike).
  • Limitations on OOC communication, preferably limited to local OOC says and forum posts at the most. OOC says would only be used in public places to give newbies help when something comes up ("use the BLAH command to do this thing"), or maybe to support private role play. Definitely not something for discussing Local Sports Team or Controversial Political Issue.
  • Challenging and credible events or problems for the PCs to overcome, but not so stressful that people are constantly at each others' throats, always on the verge of boiling over.
  • If immortals control NPCs who could kill PCs, I'd rather it be because the immortal is controlling the evil Lord of the Undead Armies and not the smart-mouthed untouchable autocrat of the heroes' city who baits PCs into giving him any excuse to execute or jail them.
  • If there's a rank system for PCs, it should preferably have a check system in place on their actual power over others. Perhaps the highest rank a PC could achieve is sergeant, reporting to an NPC lieutenant who is played by an imm who shows up once in a while. No autocratic, untouchable PCs for sure.
  • Fantasy setting is good. It doesn't have to be the Tolkien-style elves/dwarves/men fantasy, but it doesn't not have to be either. I like cyberpunk, but I've found that fantasy settings make it easier to have reasons for people to band together.
  • No three-pose rule. I want to speak my says now, not next week!
The game doesn't have to have all of these, but I would really like it to meet the criteria concerning stressful role play, OOC limitations, and openness to newbies.

Last edited by dark acacia : 02-25-2013 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:25 AM   #2
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

In your other post, you refer to 2 out of the 3 RPIs you've tried being turn-based, and you mention poses. I'm thinking maybe you're having trouble because you're calling them RPIs, and there aren't any RPIs that use those terms.

Turn-based RP is typically done on mushes and forum games, not on RPIs.
The term "pose" is used on MUSHes. RPIs use a more limited system of expression called emoting.

Perhaps if you mention the names of the games you've tried (it's allowed, honest), we will know the general style of RP game you're looking for and can steer you in the right direction.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:18 AM   #3
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

New Worlds and Threshold are pretty popular around here and both fit the bill as a roleplay-enforced but not technically RPI muds (or at least not "traditional" RPI styles). I group the two together because they're both very similar-styled LP muds and attract a lot of the same players. Popular theory is that the latter of the two was actually started by a former player of the preexisting one, though over time, they've diverged to both boast some unique features that draw people in for different reasons. I'd honestly tell a player considering either to try both and see which one gives them a warmer and fuzzier creation and newbie experience, and how they find the players and environment. There's no harm in playing multiple muds. I'm told some players play both. I play lots of different muds, myself.

Both games love and welcome newbies and have specific features to help out and integrate newbies. Because the games are more traditional muds where you grind for levels, money, and gear, rather than entirely pose-based RP environments, there's always an "ongoing challenge" as well as occasional events and special content. The "crafting" systems in each mud are fairly basic, but every character class offers things that no other can provide. They're both fairly traditional "fantasy" settings. And they both allow/encourage just speaking, emoting, and acting whenever you want instead of standing around waiting your turn to "post" a paragraph-long "pose." General etiquette and courtesy encourages not dominating the room and typing circles around people, and giving others a chance to respond and roleplay as well, but there aren't any hard and fast rules or conventions about turn taking or length of emotes, or style and amount of descriptiveness. As a result, however, if you're used to RPI games, you may be disappointed by the short and fast exchanges of fairly non-descriptive conversation, and people tending to favor mechanical advancement over sitting around building a scene with you. Roleplay is the side-game, not the main game, but the players all enjoy it and will make the time for it 95% of the time, and there are some features built in to encourage roleplaying. But if you're dead set on a more traditional RPI model, you'll be disappointed.

The muds are level-based, not level-less, and both have OOC channels (though with rules regulating use to some extent). They both do a fair job of not having heavy-handed administration controlling things, but there's always administrative oversight to keep ranked PCs in check.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:19 PM   #4
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

Some of your requirements look to actually be a bit contradictory. But Shadowgate may be a good fit for you. Its Roleplay Intensive.

1. Yes its extremely open to Newbies. Not only is there a large and fully developed newbie only area . But Newbies tend to find themselves as the rope in a tug of war as playres compete for their affections.

2. It does not have 'ongoing challenges' beyond exploration. Though there are usually world events that last for a few months but players tend to be more divided between factions (Mostly the temples) and your basic good vs evil. As well as lawful vs chaotic.

3. There is a craft system. Alchemy, scrolls, equipment and it has recently gained a great importance.

4. It is not level-less however it only has about thirty relevant levels and most people hit max despite the RP requirements and level caps in a few months of play. So they don't tend to be a huge deal. They mostly are there to represent initial training and retraining. Which you are expected to RP out.

5. There is a special Line for ooc but it can be turned off and most people do. Other then that ooc conversation is forbidden unless necessary.

6. Not sure what that means. Events are designed to facilitate character development more then anything.

7. They don't.

8. Its D&D Forgotten Realms.

9. There isn't.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:06 PM   #5
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
In your other post, you refer to 2 out of the 3 RPIs you've tried being turn-based, and you mention poses. I'm thinking maybe you're having trouble because you're calling them RPIs, and there aren't any RPIs that use those terms.

Turn-based RP is typically done on mushes and forum games, not on RPIs.
The term "pose" is used on MUSHes. RPIs use a more limited system of expression called emoting.
Maybe this could have been discussed in that thread?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
Perhaps if you mention the names of the games you've tried (it's allowed, honest), we will know the general style of RP game you're looking for and can steer you in the right direction.
There are quite a few different games I've played, but I usually don't publicly post names so as to not attract their attention. I'm after games where people don't [almost literally] go into conniptions because someone posed or said something out of turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowTroll
New Worlds and Threshold are pretty popular around here and both fit the bill as a roleplay-enforced but not technically RPI muds (or at least not "traditional" RPI styles). I group the two together because they're both very similar-styled LP muds and attract a lot of the same players. Popular theory is that the latter of the two was actually started by a former player of the preexisting one, though over time, they've diverged to both boast some unique features that draw people in for different reasons. I'd honestly tell a player considering either to try both and see which one gives them a warmer and fuzzier creation and newbie experience, and how they find the players and environment. There's no harm in playing multiple muds. I'm told some players play both. I play lots of different muds, myself.
I've tried both games already and posted about their problems here a while back.

I hated Threshold's food==health system and could never get the hang of it. Who imagines knights stopping mid-duel to bite into an apple anyway? I remember adding an extra dimension to role play by having my character question this and all I got were puzzled stares and later a stern talking-to about not taking guild advancement seriously. Also much of the "deep" religion role play involved bickering over who smashed what idol.

I remember so little of Ateraan, aside from picking corn as a slave (which was soooo slow because apparently players are people who will cheat if they can), and the slave owner's auto-bow emote trigger, and the newbie helper telling me that the slavery system was an unfixable monster. Also there was the chorus of nod emotes while some person was giving a long-winded speech on the occasion of being promoted in her guild.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verbannon
6. Not sure what that means. Events are designed to facilitate character development more then anything.
What I mean is that I don't want to have to role play with an NPC who is an autocrat in the heroes' kingdom, and the immortal playing as the NPC gives the NPC a smart mouth and insults the heroes repeatedly just so that one of them will say something back, giving the NPC an excuse to kill or imprison the hero. This happens a lot in the game I'm currently playing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verbannon
2. It does not have 'ongoing challenges' beyond exploration. Though there are usually world events that last for a few months but players tend to be more divided between factions (Mostly the temples) and your basic good vs evil. As well as lawful vs chaotic.
I mean ongoing challenges in the sense of frequent immortal-run events or long-lasting trouble. The game I'm currently playing has the last of civilization hiding inside of a magical shield while the rest of the world is ruled by undead. If you speak of exploration, you probably mean that there are static dungeons with mobs that have to be found, and people need to form parties with tanks, debuffers, and DPS.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:48 PM   #6
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

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Originally Posted by dark acacia View Post
I've tried both games already and posted about their problems here a while back.
Every game out there has its own physics and reality to an extent. If a giant rat is a credible threat to a newly trained swordsman, and eating a medium rare ribeye takes 2 seconds and heals injury, you have to roll with that reality a little bit, because fireballs getting thrown from fingertips also exist and there's not a lot of realism or science regarding how that happens, and dragons exist with no explanation how the restrictive ecosystem and evolution let that one slip past. People don't boycott muds because they entered an area, nearly got killed by 15 wolves, only came across 5 deer, and declared that they can't possibly play in such an unrealistic world where the ecosystem is so messed up yet new wolves keep getting spawned when the system repops the area. Just eat the meat and let that questionable game mechanic slide.

Little things aside, I've played a lot of characters in both of those muds, and lots of others, and across the board, in every single mud I've ever tried, my experience varied based on one key factor: who I ran into and whether they took the time to interact with me in a meaningful fashion. I've had the most fun playing the least special, most nondescript characters that I never intended to become anything special or play for very long because I got sucked into something, and I've made characters with huge plans I thought I would play for years and given up in a couple of days. When you played, you got shafted. Nobody took the time with you, and you didn't have fun. That probably happens a good 50-60 percent of the time, and it's tough to really get past a bad start.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:01 PM   #7
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

Quote:
What I mean is that I don't want to have to role play with an NPC who is an autocrat in the heroes' kingdom, and the immortal playing as the NPC gives the NPC a smart mouth and insults the heroes repeatedly just so that one of them will say something back, giving the NPC an excuse to kill or imprison the hero. This happens a lot in the game I'm currently playing.
No, that never happens.

Quote:
I mean ongoing challenges in the sense of frequent immortal-run events or long-lasting trouble. The game I'm currently playing has the last of civilization hiding inside of a magical shield while the rest of the world is ruled by undead. If you speak of exploration, you probably mean that there are static dungeons with mobs that have to be found, and people need to form parties with tanks, debuffers, and DPS.
Well that does happen on occasion, a major world threat to handle. Though not often.

Yes to the static dungeons, though not sure what a DPS is. Parties are rarely built with mechanics in mind. Other then making there is someone that can lockpick and has a high perception. Exploration sometimes is more fun in Shadowgate its twenty years old with multiple generations of develops come and gone. So many, many areas in the word have never actually been explored by anybody. Secret areas nobody knows of abound. And some areas even the Devs aren't sure how to get into.

Exploration though is mostly used as a way of having something to do with some other character so you can try to form a better bond with them. And if you are lucky an avatar will come around and start controlling the mobs and stuff around throwing you a random small plot as part of your exploration. So things are often not predictable.

I thought you wanted the challenges as a way of bonding with other players.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:47 PM   #8
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

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No, that never happens.



Well that does happen on occasion, a major world threat to handle. Though not often.

Yes to the static dungeons, though not sure what a DPS is. Parties are rarely built with mechanics in mind. Other then making there is someone that can lockpick and has a high perception. Exploration sometimes is more fun in Shadowgate its twenty years old with multiple generations of develops come and gone. So many, many areas in the word have never actually been explored by anybody. Secret areas nobody knows of abound. And some areas even the Devs aren't sure how to get into.

Exploration though is mostly used as a way of having something to do with some other character so you can try to form a better bond with them. And if you are lucky an avatar will come around and start controlling the mobs and stuff around throwing you a random small plot as part of your exploration. So things are often not predictable.

I thought you wanted the challenges as a way of bonding with other players.
I tried out your MUD and liked it up until the point where I couldn't even look at help files because my character had passed out, just moments after character creation. I had to make another character and then use it to ask for an immortal to revive my character. The whole ordeal was so unusually bizarre for a MUD or MUSH that I'm taking a break from your game.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:54 PM   #9
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

Wow, thats actually kind of impressive.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:00 PM   #10
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

Are there any other suggestions? I'm about sick of Shadowgate and it's nothing like what I'm looking for. I want to do stuff with other people, not be left behind while they go off and fight monsters without me. The level disparity is a huge problem because it excludes newbies from parties once they get out from the newbie area, leaving newbies to be forced into endless mob farming to try and catch up.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:19 AM   #11
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

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Are there any other suggestions? I'm about sick of Shadowgate and it's nothing like what I'm looking for. I want to do stuff with other people, not be left behind while they go off and fight monsters without me. The level disparity is a huge problem because it excludes newbies from parties once they get out from the newbie area, leaving newbies to be forced into endless mob farming to try and catch up.
I think you might like Armageddon. I spent a little over a year on staff there. It's a very enjoyable game and fits most, if not all, of the requirements you posted looking for, though it moves more quickly than a MUSH, using the emote system, rather than a pose command.

I've tried many other RPI's and RP-enforced muds, but that one is the only one that has ever kept me hooked. It has made me laugh for joy and cry so hard I could not see the screen before. It is a wonderful place, if you're looking for deeply immersive roleplay in levelless game with a cap on PC ranks, an active staff, enforced RP, limited to the room OOC command, and so forth. It also has permadeath, though, so you will likely die fairly quickly if you leave the relative safety of a city without getting an idea what the world is about, but all in all, I believe it is a good fit to the desires you expressed having for a new mud.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:36 AM   #12
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

I second what Anaiah has said.

If you want a MUD that is RP at all times, then ARM is a good way to go. There are no levels, hardly any OOC unless someone is clearing up a typo or just giving a heads up for going afk. While skills can be a challenge, it is very rewarding, and no matter what people say about powergaming and such, they are still a fun part of the game to watch get higher and your character can then have a bigger impact on the world. Thats not to say you need high skills to make an impact. But it is a game after all, and I find that side to be fun as well as the RP.

IMO for a mud to be an RPI, it has to have general permadeath, unless by some divine means or powerful spell in a once off kinda way.

ARM is definately worth giving it a shot and reading the documentation, which will help you get through character generation. Best to start simple, and work up to something really special in your apps. Dont try to be a hero from the get go.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:50 PM   #13
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

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I think you might like Armageddon. I spent a little over a year on staff there. It's a very enjoyable game and fits most, if not all, of the requirements you posted looking for, though it moves more quickly than a MUSH, using the emote system, rather than a pose command.

I've tried many other RPI's and RP-enforced muds, but that one is the only one that has ever kept me hooked. It has made me laugh for joy and cry so hard I could not see the screen before. It is a wonderful place, if you're looking for deeply immersive roleplay in levelless game with a cap on PC ranks, an active staff, enforced RP, limited to the room OOC command, and so forth. It also has permadeath, though, so you will likely die fairly quickly if you leave the relative safety of a city without getting an idea what the world is about, but all in all, I believe it is a good fit to the desires you expressed having for a new mud.
How stressful is it? I realize that permadeath games have an inherent level of stress to begin with, but is it a hardcore game where people get along for the most part and the risk of death is primarily from monsters or events, or is it where people bicker amongst themselves and cause their own disputes and kill each other over them? In the game I was playing when I made this thread, the general attitude was "if you don't like another person's character, kill him."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilone
IMO for a mud to be an RPI, it has to have general permadeath, unless by some divine means or powerful spell in a once off kinda way.
You might want to weigh in on this discussion, then, as some people think RPI only applies to five specific games: http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/ta...lly-offer.html
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:22 PM   #14
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

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How stressful is it? I realize that permadeath games have an inherent level of stress to begin with, but is it a hardcore game where people get along for the most part and the risk of death is primarily from monsters or events, or is it where people bicker amongst themselves and cause their own disputes and kill each other over them? In the game I was playing when I made this thread, the general attitude was "if you don't like another person's character, kill him."
Neither. Armageddon's focus doesn't revolve around killing monsters or participating in events. Nor is it a game that revolves around bickering.

There are npcs that people can kill (or that can kill them, if you prefer) but it isn't common for anyone to just go out and kill stuff, for no particular IC reason. There's no levelling up, no exp points. Skills increase through a combination of time, failure, and a random number generator. So, going out and mindlessly fighting a mob for 3 hours isn't going to be any more useful than spending a couple of hours working on developing your character through interaction with the world and other characters, and maybe other skills, and then spending a third hour hunting prey, killing it, skinning it, maybe making a few arrows when you run low, cooking the meat and enjoying it for your supper, and other things that you might imagine people actually doing in a world of believable interactive fiction.

There are also events, but most of them are created, driven, and implemented by players, through the organic outcomes of their roleplay.

Bickering occurs between characters, because not everyone is going to agree about the best way of doing this, that, or the other thing. And there is an in-game social heirarchy, and roleplaying your character to intentionally go against that heirarchy is likely to be met with conflict. That would be the whole point of intentionally going against the heirarchy. Such as - half-elves are considered low-life abomination breeds. If your human character openly loves on a half-elf, then your human character should -expect- other characters to give your character crap about it. It isn't their players, giving you crap.

Some elf claiming he's king of the city, should -expect- the local constabulary to either order everyone to snicker at him and make fun of him until he tucks tail and leaves, OR to see to it that he is no longer capable of pestering anyone else again. That's because there already IS a king of the city, and the entire city population is either a) afraid of the king or b) in awe of the king (depending on which city).

It's a lot more in depth than that, this is just a very basic summary of the most "on the surface" vantage point of Armageddon. To understand more, it's best to just go to their website and forums and read for yourself, or try and play it.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:36 PM   #15
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

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Neither. Armageddon's focus doesn't revolve around killing monsters or participating in events. Nor is it a game that revolves around bickering.

There are npcs that people can kill (or that can kill them, if you prefer) but it isn't common for anyone to just go out and kill stuff, for no particular IC reason. There's no levelling up, no exp points. Skills increase through a combination of time, failure, and a random number generator. So, going out and mindlessly fighting a mob for 3 hours isn't going to be any more useful than spending a couple of hours working on developing your character through interaction with the world and other characters, and maybe other skills, and then spending a third hour hunting prey, killing it, skinning it, maybe making a few arrows when you run low, cooking the meat and enjoying it for your supper, and other things that you might imagine people actually doing in a world of believable interactive fiction.

There are also events, but most of them are created, driven, and implemented by players, through the organic outcomes of their roleplay.

Bickering occurs between characters, because not everyone is going to agree about the best way of doing this, that, or the other thing. And there is an in-game social heirarchy, and roleplaying your character to intentionally go against that heirarchy is likely to be met with conflict. That would be the whole point of intentionally going against the heirarchy. Such as - half-elves are considered low-life abomination breeds. If your human character openly loves on a half-elf, then your human character should -expect- other characters to give your character crap about it. It isn't their players, giving you crap.

Some elf claiming he's king of the city, should -expect- the local constabulary to either order everyone to snicker at him and make fun of him until he tucks tail and leaves, OR to see to it that he is no longer capable of pestering anyone else again. That's because there already IS a king of the city, and the entire city population is either a) afraid of the king or b) in awe of the king (depending on which city).

It's a lot more in depth than that, this is just a very basic summary of the most "on the surface" vantage point of Armageddon. To understand more, it's best to just go to their website and forums and read for yourself, or try and play it.
Jaz's assessment is fairly right on, other than the speculation on the skills. Suffice it to say if you fail at something once or twice in an in-game day's time (90 minutes), you likely improved the skill marginally. The exact time can be shorter or longer, depending on your character's intelligence, but that's about the jist there. There's no need for grinding, though, so people don't often do it, if they understand how the skill advancement actually works.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:15 PM   #16
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

It sounds so far like it is a stressful game.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:13 PM   #17
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

Arm is breathing its last breath. I recommend trying Atonement.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:55 PM   #18
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

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Arm is breathing its last breath. I recommend trying Atonement.
Atonement shut down last August. Armageddon is still alive and well.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:33 PM   #19
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

I would say give The Eternal City a try.

Its a MUD set in Roman times that is currently Skotos.net's most popular game--and free to play.

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Old 03-22-2013, 12:27 AM   #20
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Re: LFM: not-so-stressful RPI

The Eternal City is free to play for one month only. Which is usually how long I end up staying in a game anyway...
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