About the Game
Song of Avaria is a text-based roleplaying game that is entirely focused on playing out stories with other characters within the setting of an immersive world, which means that you are required to stay in character and engaged while playing.
Being a story-focused game, Song of Avaria may differ from other roleplaying games in that game mechanics are intended solely to facilitate roleplay and storytelling, not to be a goal in and of themselves. Because of this, players may find that elements typically 'gamified' in other places have been designed to function in a very different way in Avaria. The goal is the story; the destination is the journey itself. There is also quite a lot of reading and writing involved!
If you are wanting to play a mechanical game, then it's likely that Song of Avaria is not designed with you as the target audience. If you're seeking robust PvP, you'll want to check out other games. If you're looking to spend your gameplay in a more typical simulation-style MUD, resource-gathering, mob-grinding, and mass-crafting, look elsewhere. If you want to pursue strictly socialite RP, plot out all twists and turns of your character's story in advance, and always have ultimate agency over everything that happens to them, then Song of Avaria will disappoint. If instead you're seeking a gritty grimdark world, where humor is absent and violence and permadeath are the unavoidable norm, that's not what you'll find here either.
If you want to write and act through the story of a character, treasuring the low tragedies as well as the high triumphs (and occasional tragicomic farces) of that character's personal saga, with the organic input of a dynamic world full of unpredictable characters, and the mechanical support that allows you to take the story into your own hands without the presence of an overseeing DM -- if you want to immerse yourself in that story while simultaneously valuing the sensibilities of other players, who desire a similarly uncharted roleplaying experience -- then Song of Avaria is for you.
While Song of Avaria is a persistent world, and we strive to maintain its coherence as a living, breathing environment, your character doesn't vanish when you quit. Although your avatar may technically disappear from the area, your character is still considered to be in the background of the world, doing all the things that normal virtual non-player-characters do: conducting their business, eating, sleeping, going about daily chores, and so on. One of our guiding design principles is that a player's real life takes priority over the imaginary life of their character, and that the time you spend in Avaria should be creative and rewarding, not tedious and punishing.
- an original but historically-flavored fantasy world with expansive lore that has been in development since 2016
- a web-based character application allowing in-depth character customization
- character progression where the experience is earned through roleplay and storytelling, not combat or repetitive tasks
- a narrative system that allows players to record and track their story arcs while gaining experience for plot development
- the meter of Presence, which rewards players for engagement with the game world
- an expansive class-free skills system that allows the creation of unique characters with highly personalized skill sets
- extensive, customizable crafting of many types, allowing characters to build structures as well as forge weapons, assemble armors, cook food, and more
- automatic logging of all in-character activity, with features for organizing logs and attaching them to plotlines
- the DungeonMaker, allowing players to build complex, multi-layered areas with NPCs, for the advancement of personal stories
- an interconnected forum that automatically rewards the writing of in-character fiction and letters
- the web-based play-by-post Cutscene system that allows players to roleplay out scenes even when they can't all be in-game together
- a 1:1 time ratio between real world time and game time, removing typical scheduling confusions and allowing for deep and extensive stories
- a highly flexible roleplay-based combat system that integrates environmental strategy, character abilities, and a dash of chance
- numerous outdoor survival activities such as foraging, fishing, tracking, game hunting, and building fires and shelters
- a richly detailed environment that rewards interaction and exploration and changes through time and character stories
- and last and most important of all, of course -- weather for all places and seasons!
We've played many games over the years, and here are some of our design influences.
By far the greatest influence of any game on our design is the currently-decommissioned game Unwritten Legends, which was in turn originally influenced by Gemstone and the Simutronics style of MUDs. The immersive atmosphere of the world of Thrael, its intricately detailed environment, and the friendly, roleplay-focused community made it a uniquely memorable game and as close to perfect as possible in our book. In many ways, we strive to emulate that type of environment. Our focus on realistic weather, dynamic room echoes, and small-scale interactions with a world that feels real and alive -- the general look and feel of Song of Avaria -- all that and more can be attributed to Unwritten Legends.
Another influence has been Arx - After the Reckoning which gave us ideas about how to design a game that would reward roleplay rather than mechanical grinding. The Inquisition: Legacy was also an inspiration in this regard. Both games taught us about things that we wanted to do, things we didn't want to do, and things we wanted to elaborate upon, such as impressions and relationships between characters, consent regarding character death, and so on.
Diku-derived games such as Atonement and Parallel RPI, Shadows of Isildur, Harshlands, and Armageddon were a strong influence upon many of Song of Avaria's general mechanics involving combat, encumbrance, the execution of abilities, roleplay-writing conventions such as parentheses and poses and different styles of emotes, damage on objects, wounds on people, the emphasis on thoughts and feelings and memories in roleplay, and so on. Particularly, the idea of "writing breaks" in combat can be attributed to the staffmember Uriel at Shadows of Isildur, who utilized them to great effect during boss fights in roleplay events. The upcoming FutureMUD system, inheriting the legacy of this style of game, was a great inspiration in terms of varied complications and effects surrounding character health.
Aetolia and other games from Iron Realms Entertainment were a lesser but nevertheless present influence on Song of Avaria that manifests primarily in the crafting system. Haven's extensive "habits" feature provided us a little direction in terms of developing character lifestyle settings. And lastly, DragonRealms directly influenced some smaller mechanics such as our default demeanor feature, which defines a character's general degree of reserve or openness towards others from various organizations or heritages.
Finally, we would like to credit many players and game developers whose wisdom we have consulted and been inspired by over the years, including Mysterin (Mystavaria), LadyBugQA (QA), Hadoryu (Aetolia), Mooncat (Aetolia), Wendy (Machine Garden), Caracal (Rings of Avalon), Wilde (ParallelRPI), Uriel (Shadows of Isildur), Kankfly (Armageddon), Delirium & Ender (Armageddon), Jaunt (Atonement), Owllex (Secrets of Aelandris), Natalie (Vexia Online), and He Who Cannot Be Named (somewhere in the black depths of your worst nightmare), among others.
Meet the Staff
- Description: Pilgrim is a strangely argumentative person who dreams of making people into hats and gets into fights about porridge with the Evennia People. Having learned Python in 2020 with the singular goal of developing Avaria as a MUD with Mistsparrow, Pilgrim's coding style can be summed up as obsessive, overcomplicated, and haphazard.
- Primary Jurisdiction: Coding
- Staff Avatar: a shadowy vagrant
- Description: Mistsparrow is a deeply weird and pathologically secretive hermit with egomanic-despotic tendencies who cringes from all contact with humankind. Having been developing the world of Avaria since 2016, Mistsparrow is a voracious reader of nonfiction whose worldbuilding style can be summed up as reading stuff and thinking about stuff.
- Primary Jurisdiction: Worldbuilding
- Staff Avatar: the Mistsparrow
- Description: Toolbox Face is a kindly toolbox who is afflicted with perpetual bemused concern over the pathologies of his game partners, and enjoys making nut cake. Having manifested as Avaria's mascot in 2021, Toolbox Face's dungeon master style can be summed up as the wholesome glue of magical imagination that holds everything together.
- Primary Jurisdiction: Honorary Storyteller
- Staff Avatar: a kindly, person-sized toolbox