View Full Version : Advice on Play by post

2012-08-06, 11:18 AM
I'm planing on running a massive play by post game. I tried to find information on google about rules and stuff and I found some. But I would like to hear more ideas.

Thanks :D

2012-08-06, 11:51 AM
If you don't want a comlicated system for battles, like the ones in every PnP game system, may the God have mercy upon your soul, if you don't forbid killing characters of other people, because back in the days of me playing forum games, it happened all the time.
Actually, the most awesome post I remember was like "Sarah summoned two fiery dragons, that tore her enemy apart, killing him immediately". The victim actually died, by the way.

2012-08-06, 12:40 PM
My advice is try not to make them massive... oh, never mind.

Enforce a post requirement. If there's a battle update and someone doesn't post in 24 hours, you post for them. That tends to speed things up when a single person would otherwise slow down a game.

2012-08-06, 01:46 PM
Thanks for the ideas. I'm planing to use pathfinder as base.

I'll forbid pvp.

Any more Ideas? XD

2012-08-07, 06:59 PM
Exploration really takes awhile, because its a lot of "I go down the hallway" "you see a door" "I open the door" "its locked" "I pick the lock [roll]" "you fail"
Skip or minimize this if possible. Its boring.

Since there is no table chatter, sometimes a person in the background can have nothing to do for awhile. Try to either keep everyone doing something, or limit solo time, or do solo time via PM or another thread while you move stuff along for everyone else too. This way people won't check in for a week, find out their character still has nothing to do, lose interest and wander off.

Clear options of what to do are important. Even more so than in tabletop games, when the party is in a 'what do we do now' mindset, the game can lose all momentum. Sometimes, a bit of railroading is necessary in these situations.

TL DR the biggest thing I've found to be successful in games I've played is to not wait around for days for the PCs to do something. If there is any kind of stall, just move things along -- even if just a bit. A tiny bit of railroading is vastly superior to a dead game. You can always go back and retcon if "oh I totally was going to say x instead."

Dr Bwaa
2012-08-08, 09:13 AM
The more agency and independence your players have, the better. As others have mentioned, it's all about not letting the game stall. Impress on your players that they should feel free to move the game forward in ways that are normally left to the GM (within reason), such as describing townsfolk they meet or sights they encounter and results of simple actions (anything they can take 10 on, they should, and should generally not have to wait for the GM to adjudicate this stuff). Essentially, take your system and pretend it is as rules-light as you can. This not only makes your job easier as the GM, but also can speed the game up significantly (importantly, make sure your players understand that the flow is very different than the same game would be over-the-table). It's everyone's job to keep things moving along smoothly and quickly.

2012-08-08, 11:58 PM
Skip initiative entirely. Or rather, have the players post what they want to do when they have time, out of initiative order if need be, and then have the DM compile the entire sequence of events into one post, NPC actions and all. Focus on RP, it is far easier to do in a PbP than combat or puzzles. Make all possible "branch" rolls in one post; if you roll an attack, roll for damage, crit confirmation, and crit damage in the same post, and cross out the crit confirmation and crit damage if you don't crit. If you are trying to hide in a corner and pick a lock, roll lock picking and any stealth rolls. Finally, have the players only post "active" stuff. So perception rolls are the GM's area.

The Dark Fiddler
2012-08-09, 09:31 AM
Exploration really takes awhile, because its a lot of "I go down the hallway" "you see a door" "I open the door" "its locked" "I pick the lock [roll]" "you fail"
Skip or minimize this if possible. Its boring.

Somewhat related to this, don't be afraid to compress things that would normally happen like this in a live game. Instead of this, make it more like:
"You see a hallway; at the end of the hallway is a door. If you try to open the door, you find that it's locked." This saves time that would otherwise be spent waiting on the back-and-forth. In fact, that trick is fairly handy for saving time. "If you x, then y" lets your players know what would happen if they tried something that they were likely going to do, saving at least one post about trying that whatever (in this case, opening the locked door).

Also, sometimes in PbP games, because of their very nature, you're going to have people post things after, say, you posted a long explanation of what an NPC is doing or saying. In their post, they're going to refer to specific parts of the action ("When he mentions the baron, I say" or "When he falls to the floor, I blah blah"). Because they can't just interrupt, you're going to have to learn to roll with this.

2012-08-09, 10:38 AM
I'm in a really good PbP right now, and here's some things that the DM and players do.

Roleplay, roleplay, roleplay.
The DM rolls initative for everyone and gives us the AC of each enemy beforehand so we know right away whether or not we hit.
We tell him if we're on vacation and cede control of our characters to him, with a list of instructions on what we want our characters to do. Each of our characters are different enough that he can have them react appropriately to the situation. He only posts just enough to keep the game going.
Have the DM do actions for you if you're holding up the combat.

2012-08-10, 11:32 AM
This seems relevant (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181299)

And my post in particular (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10161017&postcount=32), where I try to go a bit more in-depth on the reasons why pbp die, and how to avoid it.

Also, pretty much what Coffee said. Almost all the successful games I'm in are high RP game...and some of them have been going on for more than one year!

EDIT: finding the right mix of players and GM is also pretty important,too. :smallsmile: