View Full Version : HELP How do I get my players to PLAY?

2009-11-23, 04:37 AM
I've been trying to get a pbp game started for 2 weeks. Due to a lack of places to game, my group has cut down our sessions to once every other week for each of our two games meaning one session a week down from 2 sessions a week. Since we still have all the players, I suggested we move some of our gaming online, that way we don't need a place to play and we can game out our leisure throughout the week.

I requested each player e-mail me their character in any format they choose, then post in the "Character intro" thread so we could begin. After just shy of 2 weeks, I have 2 character sheets (it's the first time playing d20 for one player so I made her character for her) and one post.

Do you think they're just not interested in playing?

TL;DR: Suggestions on getting my players off their asses and gaming.

2009-11-23, 04:49 AM
I'm having a very similar problem. I actually managed to get my game rolling, but due to school and such, I had to take a break from dm posting for about a week. Since then, no one else has posted. Its been a month now, and still nothing.

Gaming just seems to be forgotten when online for some reason.

2009-11-23, 05:33 AM
You could try OpenRPG (http://www.rpgobjects.com/index.php?c=orpg). It's probably the best middle-ground between tabletop and play by post I've seen so far. :smallsmile:

2009-11-23, 05:38 AM
PbP is slower regarding gaming activity (especially combat), but people forget your group much faster. You fall out of the list of unread threads much more easily and people even forget all the context over a week of inactivity.

A few days of inactivity will often cost you a player or 2, sometimes all the group. It helps when you know the people you're playing with - for example from previous online groups.

Even when you announce your absence it is not clear that all players will return to you and your group once you are back.

2009-11-23, 06:02 AM
I don't think it's a problem with the media, at least not for the reasons listed. I'll take a look @ OpenRPG, but I feel them having to install and configure something is going to require more teeth pulling than getting the to post, but then again, who knows?

The boards I'm using to host my game are in the link in my sig. It's extremely small, and our RP board doesn't have a page 2 yet.

Absences have not been an issue, or not on my end at least. I told them last Friday that I wanted to start playing by last Tuesday. I did chat at length with both of the people who's characters I have. The one who has not posted yet has a good back story, she just has not posted yet and I don't understand why.

EDIT: I appreciate all of your input.

2009-11-23, 06:10 AM
I can only speak for my own experiences, but I think a contributing factor is the diluted experience a PbP game invariably becomes. It's kind of like having a simple beer before bed each night compared to going out once a week with all your friends.

Also compare to online comics. Many people who read online comics, myself included, find the archive binge to be the most enjoyable part. Some people even save up a month of updates to read at once, just to get some volume.

I think OpenRPG is a preferrable way to play RPGs over the Internet, because it enforces actual sessions, which help to concentrate the gaming experience.

2009-11-23, 10:00 AM
PbP and tabletop are two different beasts. Your players my not be the type of people to take interest in playing on a forum, especially one that's always active.

If you really can't meet in person, I think you should still play on a schedule. Something like Maptool or OpenRPG would probably work better too.

2009-11-23, 10:09 AM
Also compare playing styles. Most PbP games will more a lot more IC than table games. It can be daunting for players not used to this to start a PbP.

Honestly, I wouldn't try to "get them off their arse", instead I would talk to them. If they don't think this newfangled PbP thingie can work, make different arrangements.

2009-11-23, 10:12 AM
I think the concept of using pbp to fill the gaps between live sessions is a great one; I hope you can get it to work.

2009-11-23, 10:54 AM
Do you think they're just not interested in playing?That's quite possible. Personally, I'm not interested in doing pen and paper gaming online.

2009-11-23, 11:30 AM
I think the concept of using pbp to fill the gaps between live sessions is a great one; I hope you can get it to work.

I've tried it...it's challenging. I wont say impossible, but it tends to end up being RP via pbp and combat in person, which leads to rather odd, repetive cycles of each. Sure, it's possible to break that up, but pbp combat is slow.

2009-11-23, 11:53 AM
I'd say that if you want to really get things rolling with an online game, the first thing you have to do is set a deadline. People will procrastinate if they have no reason not to (and sometimes even if they do have a reason not to). If you're going to play on Friday, tell everyone that they have to get something posted by Wednesday night or they're written out of the game that Friday. If there isn't some sort of deadline (and penalty for missing said deadline) some people will just put it off forever. I know this because I am one of those people. :smallredface:

You should, of course, be a little flexible... but don't TELL them you're going to be flexible. :)

If you're pretty good friends with the group, set a start time and call them up if they don't get online within a few minutes of that start time. Just prompt them and/or remind them that they're supposed to be doing something.

2009-11-23, 12:56 PM
We once had a forum with my tabletop group where players discussed the game until the next session came along. It shortened the time in between and it gave them a way of asking questions and coordinating efforts so when we played again they all knew where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do.

All the houserules were written down there and characters were stored online.