View Full Version : making play-by-forum more reliable.

Jolly Steve
2009-04-04, 09:23 AM
I've found games often end quickly because people drop out.

How could this be discouraged? Or how could people who are reliable be put in touch with each other? For example:

a site which charged a small monthly fee?

a site which had extra content that was only 'unlocked' once you showed you were reliable?

2009-04-04, 12:24 PM
Well, a monthly fee would probably discourage quitting, since something actually stands to be lost by dropping out. However, the amount of people who would be discouraged from joining in the first place by such a fee would be counterproductive.

I find that the best solution is to play with people you know relatively well (as well as you can over the internet, anyway.) Playing with strangers is conducive for quitting quickly, because there are no consequences. You'll never see the people again anyway, so what does it matter? If you play with people to talk to regularly, though, it's not so easy to just drop out.

2009-04-04, 01:14 PM
Play with people you know are reliable. Either because you know them fairly well, or because you know they have a reputation for being reliable.

Tempest Fennac
2009-04-04, 01:30 PM
I'm hosting a PBP game on another site. I started the game last December with 5 people. So far, 3 of the original players have dropped out by 4 more players have joined (my aim is to try to replace people who drop out).

Keld Denar
2009-04-04, 02:38 PM
One thing I've noticed, is that people tend to drop out when things become less frequent. If a game only updates every 3rd day, then players might only check in every 3rd day, which might slip into every 4th day or 5th day until they stop checking in and you've lost them. This can be combated by keeping things updated as much as possible, and by allowing proxies. A proxy is a designee denoted by a player (usually another player or the DM) who can take their character's actions in the event of an absense. This keeps things flowing for the rest of the group and keeps activity and interest up. I know I check PbP games that are more active more frequently than others that aren't.

Other than that, I think its against forum policies to keep a public blacklist or whitelist, but nothing stops you from keeping a personal one. Another possibility might be to require references. Either a link to a past game where the poster was active, or a PM from another player to vouch for the activity of the applicant could be used to prove active level. I think discrimination by post count is also verboten on this forum. Regardless, screening of posters might help. If you send PMs to an applicant and it takes them a week to respond, that might be a good indicator that the person isn't very active and could be detrimental to the longevity of the game.

When in doubt, give people the benefit of the doubt. Some people may have just joined the forums, or this could be their first PbP game or such. You never know unless you give em a chance.

2009-04-04, 08:35 PM
This is why a prefer chat room play by post. At least you know everyone's there, and, depending on their typing speed, things get updated pretty rapidly. One disadvantage is that it is doesn't work as well with large groups. Still I have had a lot of fun, and some of my favourite characters I have invented I made for chat play by post.
Just my 2 cp.

2009-04-04, 09:49 PM
Part of the nature of the beast and all. Internet games in general tend to fall apart.

2009-04-05, 05:43 AM
This is why a prefer chat room play by post. At least you know everyone's there, and, depending on their typing speed, things get updated pretty rapidly.

I agree. I've always liked this method of play. If you combine it with Ventrillo it is the next best thing to playing in person.

I have had players drop out from this sort of game, but it is usually clear when that happens. No waiting around for days to see if they post again.

Right now I'm involved in two campaigns, one done in person with me as the DM, and another done over OpenRPG using GITP as a sort of bulletin board to post news and warn people if you can't make it this week.

It works pretty well. I've been using this method to play for quite some time now, and even when players drop out they are usually easy to replace in between sessions, meaning that the loss of a participant does not throw a wrench into gameplay.

Renegade Paladin
2009-04-05, 09:29 AM
Player dropout happens in play-by-post anywhere, but on GitP I frankly think that the board getting shut down every few days doesn't help matters. There's nothing to be done about this (aside from hosting the game elsewhere), but there it is.

2009-04-05, 05:54 PM
Well, I prefer Yahoo Groups for play-by, with the d20 Dice Bag for rolling. That way everyone gets a daily digest and doesn't miss anything.

Now, GameFAQ's also had a great idea with their karma system, a reward for showing up and having one active post. Number of posts doesn't matter. Especially if you have levels for reaching a certain number of posts per day/ days posted.