View Full Version : PbP games

2013-06-03, 03:09 PM
I just started recruiting for a new PbP campaign on these forums, and I have some questions for the playground. For context, I've never finished a PbP due to attrition.

Have you ever finished a PbP?
How was it different than the ones you didn't finish?
What did the DM do that made you stick with it?
If you've finished more than one, what was the best/different between them?

I'm very attached to the campaign idea, and I'd love to finish it out with the players I start with. The link to the recruitment thread is in my sig, for anyone that wants to give advice on the specifics of the game.

2013-06-03, 03:25 PM
1. yes, quite a few (some were very long)- but on other forums
2. well, most of the time wasn't because of the game. the players and the dm meant much more- good dm made a 'meh' game to a great one, and so did the players (i could give some good examples, but not in english:smallfrown:).
3. well thought game. also, posting on regular basis is important, because i hate to wait for the dm without a reason
4. the diffrence was the players. good dm let the game survive, good players make every part of the game to great. i cant put my finger on what it was, but the other players played smart and did awesome stuff. and because of that i tried too. not very helpfull, i know, but good games failed and 'meh' games rised because of that.

2013-06-03, 11:40 PM
The way to make PbP game work is play with people you know well and often interact outside of the pbp. Just like real life game, really.

I'm not saying that playing pbp with random people won't work, sometimes it works well, but if you want bigger chance of it working, that's the way.

Baron Of Hell
2013-06-06, 01:02 AM
I haven't finished any games. I have attempted 18 games now though. 16 failed because the DM vanished. 1 game is currently running ok but slow. 1 game I am DMing which is going fast for a pbp game but slow for my tastes. I had to slow it down on request. My players seem to like a slower pace or I guess a fast to them pace.

I think the game lives and dies with the DM. Problem players can be replaced. Boring plots can be fixed by the DM. Players getting stuck can be fixed by the DM.

2013-06-06, 02:05 AM
I'ved played a lot of PbP games and most didn't 'finish'. One of the main problems is making sure people don't drop off.

I've DM'ed a lot of games on forums and one of the key things to remember is that everything slows down incredibly in a play by post game. One 'session' of game time in real life, could take weeks (or even months) when played out in a play by post game. This can't be good for keeping people interested. That's why I always try to do the following things:

1. Make homebrew rule changes to speed things up. One of the things that slows combat down in play by post games, is initiative. People are just waiting for their turn to post. That's why I always use 'group initiative', which means a combat round can be done in a day, instead of a week.
2. I always try to shorten regular adventures, skip over the 'non-interesting' stuff and start 'in media res'. Example: When playing D&D in real life, you can start slow, with the players just bumping into town meeting each other in a tavern and being invited to the King's castle where they will be introduced to their quest and important background NPCs. This is interesting, but it becomes a whole different thing in a play by post game, where instead of taking 20 minutes, you spend 1.5-2 weeks playing without any action. Instead, I start the adventure when the players encounter their first obstacle and have already received their quest.
3. Make scenes short but intense. A short violent overly dramatical combat encounter lasting only 2-3 rounds, is much better than 5-6 combat rounds.

You might compare playing D&D in real life to watching a movie, and playing D&D through play by post by watching a web episode of maybe 4 minutes of a series a time. Not saying it can't be equally fun or exciting, but the web series needs to be far more 'thrill packed' than the movie, since people are less likely to walk out of a movie theater, than just not tune in to watch the next update. You can't just cut the regular movie in small pieces and expect it too work equally well.