Remembering Rhy’Din, What is Rhydin?

Hello Draxisweb fans, this is my first installment of Remembering Rhydin. In this series of blogs I am going to be recounting times in the AOL RP realm known as Rhy’Din. Seeing as this is the first segment, let me start by letting you know what exactly Rhy’Din was and where this cultural phenomenon that touched the lives of thousands came from.

Back in about ‘93 of ‘94 my parents decided to hook us up to the World Wide Web and finally get internet. At the time not much was really known about the mysterious net except to say that you could send emails to everyone that could get to them within moments instead of the days that common mail (AKA Snail Mail) would take.  Back in the day, we didn’t get the internet from our phone companies but from ISP’s who had dial up numbers for their servers. The kids now a days will never know the frustration of busy signals while trying to sign on nor the wonderful screeching sounds we waited to hear when signing in. My parents were very nice to me and a few years before myh online foray, I started to play AD&D with my friends in middle school and then we gained a larger group of RP’ers during high school. When we first looked at ISP’s we went on prodigy first and I looked up Role Playing just to find a very very simplistic dungeon map game that made the Atari 2600 game Adventure look like Halo in comparison. I told them I didn’t like this so lets try some other server and we looked at AOL 3.0.

On my first day of looking through AOL I found a link that was specifically for TSR the company who at the time owned AD&D. Through this link I was introduced to the art of online freeform gaming in chat rooms, specifically a chat room called the Crossroads Tavern. I met many a great RP’er in that room and eventually being in that room and making a character profile instead of a profile for myself led me to even better RP Pastures namely the RWC Guild known as the Silent Legion of Death (SLoD). The RWC stood for Rhydin War Council and due to this it led me to find out as much as I could about Rhy’Din.

Many say that Rhy’Din was short for the Red Dragon Inn and while I never knew for sure it does seem like something that those of Rhydin would do. Acronyms were the way of the world back then and if you could instead of just speaking the letters most people tried to make them sound like actual names. So Red Dragon Inn shifts to RDI or Rhy’Din (RDInn). The RDI was another chat room like the Crossworlds  but this one was not associated with the TSR area but run by AOL Rangers. Many of the Rangers and RP’ers ended up making posting boards and coming up with a very organic story about the lands of Rhydin and the Space Station that orbited the planet that was known as the Stars End Bar and was the site for Sci-Fi RP’s. So lets delve a bit into the layout of the land.

Rhy’Din itself was a city though no one knows just how big the city was nor how many kingdoms were in said city. It seemed everyone had an Embassy for their kingdom in the city and they were all castles. Yet also in the city were the other chat rooms of the AOL Arts and Entertainment community. the RDI spread swiftly as Guilds and Forums started to spring up and AOL was allowing us to make our own chat rooms. While the RDI and Stars End were the only official Rhy’Din chat rooms the rooms of the All Creatures Tavern, Rhydin Hottubs, the Vampire Tavern, Rhydin Lesbian Inn and the Rhydin Beach were all rooms that seemed to somehow stay open 24/7 for many years.

Now if you look at a map of Rhy’Din (yes people drew maps for an ever shifting landscape Rhycitythat changed by the second and by the player) listed many of the places I just mentioned as well as places that became popular chat rooms like the Rhydin Graveyard, the Rhydin Docks and the Suicide Cliffs. Many for these rooms also had posting boards connected with them, so for instance if you went to the duel arena in Rhydin and had a Death Match with someone you could then post in the forums for the Rhydin Graveyard that you had killed such and such a character. Many a funeral was held in the chatroom and many a posts were made by myself to the graveyard forums as my character cut down his enemies.

What made these non RDI rooms so great was that the RP in these rooms was very fluid. Many Forums were created like the Rhydin War Council and the Association of Rhydin Guilds. These forums were rules for a ruleless society, and yet somehow it worked for us all. You see the world of AOL Chat RP was a world where you could be anyone or anything, but we saw people of like minds grouping together in guilds and invariably the guilds of the light would try to attack the guilds of the dark or the darkness would fight itself, but how could you do such a thing fairly when there were no real rules. Thats where the forums came in. The forums took these various guilds and told them if you join us you will have a way to battle, we will create rules so that random dice rolls by the AOL Chat online host can become a sparing/dueling system in some ways very similar to the old Tabletop RP’s we all know and love. We’ll make things turn based and let the dice decide.

Now let me just point out there now a days I am sure there are a ton of people that will say “well I have never heard of these things!”. In many ways the people of Rhydin were a clique that if you weren’t in it you just didn’t know about it unless you were invited in. At the same time the invites sent out allowed us to have Dozens of War Councils such as the RWC, LoRDS, AoRG, CoR, WoR, tWoR, UGC, UAG and tons and tons more. Now take into consideration that each of these groups had dozens of guilds most of which did not interacts with guilds and people outside of their own forum unless there were in a generic Rhydin chat room. Many of these guilds had 40+ people (unless you were the OCS which had around a thousand at any given time most likely) and to tell the truth while some of these guild rosters overlapped we still saw hundreds upon hundreds of people playing this freeform game. The very nature of this beast created a very organic way of telling a story. You literally had thousands of writers weaving together a coherent if twisted story.

Sometimes the twists were what made the story interesting. For example, I was asked to play a character named Storm Torin..he was described to me as being Drow but having a very noble soul very samurai like but at the same time he was a master assassin. OK I worked with that and we saw his mother tell him to do things he just couldn’t live with. Most Drow would be stuck at this point; however, in the lands of Rhy’Din, Storm was able to defy his mother, started his own family/house and no one batted an eye – not even the other Drow. If you thought that odd though lets throw in the fact that my half dragon character was trained by a Jedi Knight. Yes that really did happen and that’s what was so cool about the times I RPed in is that anything could and did happen. I think many people forget this because I have helped a lot of “Old School” RP’ers try to restart the forums and the one thing I complain to them about the most is they keep trying to fit people into an established Story Line..they try to mold these rules for fighting around a Story Line and limit character races or classes or abilities and that just wasn’t what Rhy’Din was about.

Rhydin was a place where a Vampire could have a child.

Rhydin was a place where you could see Dragons and Jedi fighting back to back as comrades.

Rhydin was a place where anything could and did happen.

Rhydin was awesome and in many ways Rhydin is now dead. People still play in the AOL rooms but now you can sit there for 10 hours and only have 2 people come into the room and only one fo the say something. Back in the day the rooms had limits of 32 people and you were lucky if you could get into some rooms in 10 minutes or less due to them being so crowded!

So many people have fond memories of Rhydin and that’s why I am making a Memories of Rhydin section on my blogs, I am going to regale you with tales of old. I will tell tales of the dragons, wamphri, borg and jedi and yet they will all be part of the same tale. While the days of AOL RP have now gone mostly to those looking for an excuses to Cyber* I will tell you of the days that Rhydin was at war, the days when fighters were the order of the day not lovers. I will tell stories of heartbreak and love, loss and gains. I will hopefully help others remember what it was like to be a part of something so grand and awesome.

If anyone reading this was a member of our RP community and doesn’t know about the facebook group Rhydin Remembered I advise you to go and find it. You may just find some old friends or even enemies there, who knows, but I can assure you you will find a lot of grand memories!

 

(*Cyber is short for cybersex)

 

Photos Courtesy of:

Rhy’Din map: duelingzone.com

23 thoughts on “Remembering Rhy’Din, What is Rhydin?

  1. I remember this game! What a throw back for me. OF course, I am old enough to remember the screeching sounds and all of that as well. Those were the days!

  2. Aha! I can remember the dial-up connection at my grand parent’s home. But I never used it. I am not into such games but after reading your article, I’m thinking to play such games. Which game you suggest for first timer?

    1. Honestly I’m not sure for this. Rhy’Din is still around on AOL in the Arts and Entertainment chat rooms but the last time I was there people were using the RP more for Cybersex than actual Story Line based RP like we had back in the day. The rooms are no longer filled to bursting like they were and I honestly am not sure where else to play. I am working however to get a small roe playing message board forum based RP together and if you would be interested in that we will be announcing it for the full public probably towards the end of october one I am up and around a bit more after my surgery.

  3. Ah, the beauty of living in a country that was behind in technology in comparison to Western Europe and the US. I too had the “delightful chance” to experience the horrors of dial-up, the annoying feeling when it just wouldn’t connect and the shock written on my mother’s face when the phone bill came. Yikes! Back then it took about 30 minutes to load and listen to a song. I was ecstatic the first day we finally managed to hook up to proper internet.

    1. LOL yeah I remember when Napster first ws popular and I would take like an hour or two to download a song. We ended up getting a second phone line in our house for the computer because otherwise when a call came in it would disconnect us from AOL and then it took a good 20 to 30 minutes to get back on because the lines were always full. I do so envy the younger generation that doesn’t have to deal with real phone modems anymore, they will never know the joy of the modem screech as you finally sign onto your service or how annoying a busy tone truly is.

      1. I remember the waiting time, it was pure torture. The whole dialing up sign taunting me from the screen as it failed to connect again and again was horrible. What was more infuriating was that we were in a neighborhood where fast internet was launched after other parts of the city and my school mates had it and they would brag about not having to use dialup anymore. It grated on my nerves so bad. When I tell kids nowadays about having to wait up to 45 minutes to download a song, they look at me as if I have gone mad.

  4. What a fantastic post! I used to spend so much time playing this game. I’m trying to remember the various guilds that were in the RWC… Legion of Light, Knights of Coriander(sp), DarkShadow Guard… there have to be others. Can anyone remember? I remember one character named Lord Grimm who was very active and had multiple guilds. Wasn’t there also a Circle Alliance of mostly dark guilds – if you attacked one, they responded like NATO? I’m struggling to remember all the details, it’s been so long ago. I really enjoyed your post because it did a great job of describing what it was like to play this game in a time when the internet was in its infancy.

    1. I actually was in one of those dark guilds you speak of. I started in the RWC in the Silent Legion of Death which was the training group for Darkness of Death. In another post I plan on talking about a huge war in the RWC that saw the House Everhate and House Blood leaving the RWC and that war was caused in some ways by me but it saw a huge split in the dark guilds as half of them came to my aid and the other half went to HEH and HB’s side…this war actually went and spanned both the RWC and the AoRG forums. We also had Harbingers of Silent Death that I helped some others from the DoD start in the RWC.

  5. I cannot speak much to this. I am one of those guys mentioned in the article as leaning out of a window and shouting into the night, “I never heard of it!”

    My experiences with chat-based roleplaying were never satisfying. I tried it a few times, usually in the chat room build into the Palladium Games websites. Typically, it would take us an hour to get together a group of players for a pick up game. Then the gamer who volunteered to serve as gamemaster would spend another hour or two getting ready. I am still unclear on what all of that prep time was spent actually doing. By the time the game started, either I or the other players had usually wandered away. the one time that we managed to get into an actual story, it broke down due to a rules dispute, the GM missed my posts in a separate chat in which I tried to iron things out and get us back on track, and I was labeled as the “that guy” who ruined the game.

    Not long after giving up on chat-based roleplaying, I instead got involved in play-by-post gaming. To this day, I continue to game by that method. Play-by-post is fading as a hobby also. Of the three websites I currently use, two are almost dead with hardly any players left, and the third was almost entirely taken over by cybersex games. The most active of the three websites actually recommends advertising games on pbem.com (play by e-mail), a site which itself has been off the web for probably five years.

    1. That was one of the great things about Rhydin is that int he old days there were always a good 20-30 rooms open for Rhydinian RP’ing and it was always going 24/7. Also it was freeform so there didn’t need to be a game master to run things.

  6. OMG….what a throwback! I even wrote, back in the day, a small story about my character! Lol. Wow. I’m floored that Rhy’Din is even remembered! So cool though. Thanks for the memories. I even found the story…that is still online…oh good lord.

  7. Wow total memories. I remember my main back then, Vincent Senex Dark(V)oon Gavigan lmao. Those are serious times, back when the only thing holding us back was our imagination. In fact There is still and old DM log I fought that is still on angelfire to this day. The site doesn’t work anymore but the log is still there. It’s crazy to think that after all these years there are still people who think about the great times we had back then.

      1. A pleasure to have you on my site….I think I may have played with you a few times. My two most infamous chars were Talon Drachenstalker and Storm Thalra

        1. I think I remember you. I played some pretty hokey characters, like Lady Avalon and Lady xsania trevaine…boy that was a long time ago. I remember it fondly, and with some embarrassment. I was young. I would like to think I’ve grown, and that I would have some well written characters if I could do it again. Blast from the past!

          1. Avalon was always one of y favs of Talons wives. He always missed her. I always loved playing their son Deciedon also and have been making a version of her and Dec in my books so that while I don’t have Rhydin in them I will have many familiar names as easter eggs for those that knew and played with me. Hope you’re doing well and feel free to drop me a line anytime you want at Draxisweb@gmail.com

  8. I wondered if anyone else remembered Rhy’Din existed. My primary character was Eeriabella. I half wish I could see some of the old transcripts, but I am happy to not have the memory tarnished!

    1. There is a forum on Facebook all about Rhydin for the old players to get together and just BS about the old days and such.

  9. uuuuuggggggg my heart is racing seeing posts as recent as December 2017!!!!! I have had a tremendous bout of nostalgia for AOL gaming and it seems to have disappeared. I am trying to, in my 30s, find it again to inspire me to write!!! If ANYONE is interested in picking up some gaming here and there…PLEASE LET ME KNOW!! I am about to join that forum.

  10. I was in AoRG from 96-99. Started out in Stormrunners of Talernon. I left there after a while and joined a different guild (whose name I can’t remember) run by a character called “Soliel.”
    After that, I partnered with another character (who was my OOC best friend before we discovered RPing) and we built our own guild called “Dreadspire.” While I was SiC of Dreadspire, I formed my own guild called “Exodus III.” THE GC of Dreadspire was my SiC, as well.

    It was good times. I handed my guild over to him when I went to the police academy, and he scuttled it! Lolz.

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