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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Do you read your GM's emails?

    As a GM, I used to send out emails to my players all the time, containing bits of background, clarifications on rules that had come up, suggestions for feats/spells/items, etc. I rarely ever got responses, and when I asked the players if they had read them at the next session, most of them hadn't, and those who had usually only skimmed them.

    This used to bother me a lot, but I eventually just accepted it as the way things are with my group. But now I'm playing in a game in addition to running one, and I never read the emails my GM sends out. Usually, I'll look at them, put them aside to read later, and then never get around to it. Then the session rolls around and I feel bad, and tell myself that I'll do better next time, and then I don't.

    I'm thinking that pull-based communication (that is, a source of information that you only look up when you want to, like a forum or a wiki) might be better than push-based communication (like email) for this purpose. I used to ask trivia questions about emails I sent out for bonus XP, but stopped doing it after nobody ever got them. Does anyone else have good methods for dealing with this?
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    We used to use a forum for our games, but switched to e-mails when forum activity started to dwindle.

    I always read the e-mails from the GM. All of us do (or seem to anyway). There are 9 players in the group, all of which have different jobs and schedules so e-mails help us coordinate game times, inform us of any ret-cons, or declare private background actions (the game we're playing now spans multiple generations, so characters sometimes have many years to perform an action)

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    This is a lot less disturbing than I assumed it would be when I first read the title
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    gbprime's Avatar

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    Our group has a yahoo forum. As DM, I post a lot of files there and send a few emails a week, but they hardly ever get read. If it weren't for the occasional "our kid is selling something for school" post, I'd swear it's a blog and not a forum.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    Yes. If I don't care enough to read the emails, I shouldn't be in the game. I don't commit all the emails to memory, but I at least scan them and read the bits that matter to me.

    Push notification works well for me though. If I can't read the email I leave it unread. Bold emails piss me off, so I get to it whenever I have a chance.

    As a GM, I don't trust my players to read. When I give out info sheets about the setting, I have to limit them to a page. Emails are limited to a paragraph. If I want things to get read I have to break them up. Sending a paragraph a day works much better than if I send a page all at once.

    For campaign setting sheets, even if the players only read one page I can push five pages of data at them if I split the information among the players. This technique really helps with knowledge checks. Players feel like they own certain pieces of lore about the world if they're exclusively in charge of disseminating it. As opposed to making a knowledge check and letting me speak through them.

    For added shenanigans, the info sheets distributed to players should contain contradictory information.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    I used to. But my DM's emails tend to be full of ALL CAPS and exclamation marks!!! They also tend to have a lot of hackneyed phrases, and promises that this will be the MOST DRAMATIC SESSION EVER!!! So one thing to think about: are your emails relevant to what's going on during the game, or are they basically just you drooling all over the screen?
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    Yes.

    But then, the kind of person who wouldn't read their GM's emails probably wouldn't read and respond to this post either. :)

    I wouldn't worry about it too much - players will read as much or as little as they want and there's not much point pushing them. I deal with it by the simple method of having my emails include treasure, XP, and other rewards. This leads to these sort of conversations:

    Player: "How much XP did we get last week?"
    Me: "It's in the email."
    Player: "Oh, uh, I didn't read that. Did I get enough to level up?"
    Me: "Look it up and find out."

    This worked for a few months until players started losing the emails and asking me to resend them. I dealt with this by posting the XP totals and other important long-term info on a campaign thread on a public forum and having the email contain a link to the thread. This worked much better, and it's now very rare for me to have to resend stuff.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    the DM is often more involved in the game than the players. correspondence depends mostly on the attitude of players towards the game and the type of content of communication. i'll explain with three examples:

    - first group i was a player at- brief emails by the DM, mostly about setting sessions, so we all responded. however, we also started a wiki for all manner of game related things. most of it was read by all (rules changes, short session summaries and the like) but two parts- the DM's descriptions of the world (FR), and a campaign log from my character's point of view, got read by the DM, myself and another players. two couldn't be bothered. my assumption was that the two just wanted a relaxed game, and didn't care for long stories.

    - another game, same group, only this time i DM, different setting (Eberoon) the former DM as a player. again we set up a site, this time more tothepoint and detailed. the former DM tries to do a session log like i did, but people lose interest fast. the site is mostly used for the house rules. however, i ask people morethings over emails, and have back and forth correspondence with individual players about their characters. 1 player however only partially responds to group emails not concerning setting a session. one of the two who couldn't be bothered. but the other one was involved and active, he just didn't like the looooong session logs of the previous campaign

    i started a DM's log of the campaign here (see link if interested), but few people read it- it's wordy and long, my style, which often scares discourages people.

    - lastly, i started playing Shadowrun with a new group. the GM (the more involved player of the two in the last campaign) mainly communicates through emails, and a "house rules file" he updates from time to time, and a "campaign log" he does so as well, which we can read on our free time. his style is different- very short and to the point. i often read these before i go to meeting only, as this game is a "relax and kick off" experience for me, less involved than the previous two groups.

    to sum up: so it's a matter of the player's attitude to the game, and the content. in this day and age of short attention span, people often skip long reads (as some might have skipped this post). i do think that Wikis are the way to go ( PBworks and obsidian portal are quite good and free) but either just make it to the point and useful (a message board page with new announcements is encouraged) or add a few more "flavorful" features, but know that in most cases, only few players will read them.

    keep emails about immediate game matters, or one Requiring participation. (a vote about a matter, needing input about something and so on).

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    Quote Originally Posted by valadil View Post
    Yes. If I don't care enough to read the emails, I shouldn't be in the game. I don't commit all the emails to memory, but I at least scan them and read the bits that matter to me.

    Push notification works well for me though. If I can't read the email I leave it unread. Bold emails piss me off, so I get to it whenever I have a chance.

    As a GM, I don't trust my players to read. When I give out info sheets about the setting, I have to limit them to a page. Emails are limited to a paragraph. If I want things to get read I have to break them up. Sending a paragraph a day works much better than if I send a page all at once.

    For campaign setting sheets, even if the players only read one page I can push five pages of data at them if I split the information among the players. This technique really helps with knowledge checks. Players feel like they own certain pieces of lore about the world if they're exclusively in charge of disseminating it. As opposed to making a knowledge check and letting me speak through them.

    For added shenanigans, the info sheets distributed to players should contain contradictory information.
    Lol I'm the same way I can't stand Bold emails in my inbox

    As a DM right now the only emails I have read are from my Assistant DM, and thats because he goes to school in another state, and I'm constantly checking my email to see if he responded.

    As for my player's I'm just a bit annoyed right now because half the time they don't respond to my texts I send them asking them what they want out of the next session and campaign. Which makes it just a bit frustrating to design the next week's group of encounters when your player's won't give any feedback.

    I'd love to steal your Idea Valadil, somehow I like the idea of giving out conflicting information and see how my group will argue over relevant things instead of which sketch the Monty Python quote is from.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tyndmyr's Avatar

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    My main group is unusual in that it has no set GM, and just about everyone has DMed at some point...there's no specific person in charge, but we all chat over email, and this frequently includes info such as xp, session recaps for those who couldn't attend, etc. Everyone seems to read most of the stuff at least, and most players are pretty chatty about replying to everyone, so it seems to work out fine.

    In my secondary game, it's a very large game(4 DMs, something like 30 players)...so there's a forum and occasional emails. I read absolutely everything, though not everyone does so. I'd estimate that the majority of folks participate online, though.

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    It's just disrespectful to the GM if you ignore his emails. And if you don't respect the people in your group, then what the snot are you doing in it?

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    This is a lot less disturbing than I assumed it would be when I first read the title
    Ditto.

    On topic: No DM has ever sent me an email. I've been IM'd and PM'd by a couple, though, so I guess that's a yes. And hypothetically, I would. Of course I would. It's a matter of respect. If you bothered to send me an email, it's only polite I bother to respond.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    Always.

    Because there's the chance (however slight!) that they are doing what I did, sending important personalized information in what appears to be a generic blanket e-mail.

    I was running a Cyberpunk 2020 game, and e-mailed everyone the "mission statement" for the big game. I e-mailed the message myself and BCC'd the players, so that no one could see who got what message. Most players assumed that everyone got the same e-mail, when in fact everyone got a different one.

    Along with the primary objective, I also listed a secondary objective, which differed by each player's class, and a tertiary objective, which was unique to each player. Of the six players, only two read their e-mail (thankfully, one of them was the group leader). When the other one realized the group leader was briefing the team on a different secondary objective from what he had read, he gave me this look... and I just smiled back.

    It's fun to mess with your players sometimes. Even when most of them don't realize you're doing it...

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    I, like the other gents up there, hate having unread emails, so that is a VERY good way to get me to read things over, email me them and I will be compelled to read them.

    And I definitely Agree with Blue Paladin, start sending stuff that is important, but not vital, to the story and see how many people read it and get where the story is going. No info that will give away the ending, but just nice little tidbit that might have them a lot of time, agony, and heals to get what they need. Or like he said, give them all different information and see what becomes of that. It is very fun to mess with your players. In fact, as a DM, you have a right, nay, a duty to mess with your players' heads and make them look at you, or write to you in form of PbP, with very confused looks and tones.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    We use a Facebook group and that works wonderfully. However, it took a long time to force the whole party to register on Facebook. There's always someone who doesn't want to do that.

    Emails are ignored much more often. I'm using them in another game I DM in and people just keep ignoring them. Even if they say when we are going to play again.

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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    I started a facebook group because my only other method is text, and it's hard to text a world history in 160 characters.

    One player reads it regularly, so I threw in a situation in the game where knowing about the world totally altered the situation. The party almost started a war, and now I've got two more gamers checking it on rare occasion. After that I started giving XP awards for people who post that they read the XP reward post before the next game, I got two posts, the challenge was for three, so I gave everyone a hard time, but they don't want free XP.

    So nobody knows anything about the world, but the game goes on. Bah.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    I generally have at least one player at any given time who does not read anything I send, or at best gives it a cursory glance and forgets about it. Most of the rest of my players are pretty good about reading and responding.

    I'll send an email out saying "I'm looking to run a one-shot on such-and-such a date, if you can make it please let me know and have a 5th level character ready by such-and-such date, please limit to Pathfinder Core Rules and Advance Players Guide, as those are the books I own."

    Four out of five players with respond in the affirmative and let me know what they're planning to play in advance.

    The fifth will text me an hour before we're scheduled to start to ask "Hey, what level did you want our characters to be? And it's cool if I play this class out of Ultimate Combat, right?"

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    I use a forum rather then emails.

    Some of my players check it hourly, some once every other day and some once between sessions if i am lucky.

    Personally i read all stuff DM's send me when i am playing because i have spent so much time on the other side of the screen. I know they put time and effort into writing it and if i want to play in their game the least i can do is read it.
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    We used to use forums, and it worked pretty well save for a few people. It was like pulling teeth to get those guys to get on there. Since we started a facebook group, it works way easier. Everyone was already on anyway, it was easier for them to check there.

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    Depends on how good their password is.


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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Yes.

    But then, the kind of person who wouldn't read their GM's emails probably wouldn't read and respond to this post either. :)

    I wouldn't worry about it too much - players will read as much or as little as they want and there's not much point pushing them. I deal with it by the simple method of having my emails include treasure, XP, and other rewards.
    This is basically how I've done it several times. I've also included some bits of information on the region the PCs are in, leading to only the ones who read the emails knowing that and those tend to be the ones using that info for mischief against the others. All playful OOC of course.

    Currently am a player rather than DM and I do read the DM's emails, mostly also do to sending him quite a few.
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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    Quote Originally Posted by valadil View Post
    For campaign setting sheets, even if the players only read one page I can push five pages of data at them if I split the information among the players. This technique really helps with knowledge checks. Players feel like they own certain pieces of lore about the world if they're exclusively in charge of disseminating it. As opposed to making a knowledge check and letting me speak through them.

    For added shenanigans, the info sheets distributed to players should contain contradictory information.
    I like the idea of giving players their own bits of lore. It seems a great way to add immersion to a game---at least for those players who read the e-mails.

    I read my GM's emails. Our group uses e-mail to hash out rules questions or clarify some bit of info about the campaign. One of the players will usually send out a summary of events if someone misses a session. However, the use of email is purely supplemental. If a player doesn't read it, he's not missing anything special unless he and the DM were corresponding about a particular topic.
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    In the group I am in, we used to arrange everything by phone, usually the DM did this. But now we have a facebook group and it is way easier and less expensive, in there we post our character´s history and stuff. Also when 3, 4 or 5 are connected we chat about the game, plans and stuff.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    I would read them if they sent them. I wouldn't even bother sending emails to my players because none of them would even bother reading them.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    In defense of your players. Some people (guilty as charged) very very rarely check e-mail. I check e-mail about once a week, and sometimes once every two weeks. Although if you had established before that'd you'd be e-mailing them then that could be pretty rude (depending on if you waited for a few weeks/sessions before starting to do this). You should discuss this with your players though as they are likely to have better insight, or at least become aware of the fact that their non-reading of your e-mails is bothering you.
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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    Always.

    As a player I always keep up to date on the campaign via emails/forum posts etc and look for things to confirm/develop on in between sessions.

    As a GM I make sure there is a email/forum-post for each session that's both informative and (hopefully) entertaining. I'd like to go further an set up a proper Wiki etc, but I understand that not everyone would be interested in that.

    (on that note, I need to start the RP-post for my campaign, as the party is resting an a Myconid cavern with four ex-slaves in tow)
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    always read em.. for either game (shadowrun or dnd) these are a good way to get that "extra" gaming in during the week..

    for shadowrun, we cover the more mundane stuff that would waste table time, Player X spends 3 days hacking the system, or we go to the contacts to get Y info, etc..

    for Dnd we use the emails for crafting and shopping, etc.. so we're already prepared when we sit down to start adventuring ..

    gets alot of questions out of the way too, can I buy X here, or is this feat allowed, etc..

    for both games (either when I'm dm'in, or playing) those emails sometime also contain roleplaying xp, or bonuses depending on how we did things. Alot of times the Dm goes back over the RP'ing and/or the events themselves and awards extra xp (sometimes not much mind you) but it's a nice little bump to let us know that we did something extra right, or happened to handle something extra creatively in that session. That kind of thing allows the dm to think it through, go over thier notes and process everything without having to make a snap decision and then have something go wrong because of it. (we all generally make out better on that too, when they've had time to think about the whole campaign)

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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    the closest I've ever gotten to an email from a GM that they intiated is a few PMs on these forums asking me to post in a pbp

    which I greatly appreciated, as I hadn't been getting updates, and assumed I didn't need to post yet.


    however......

    I've DM'd every week for the past 6 months, every week, I send out several emails, facebook messages, and mass texts.

    wanna take a wild guess on how many replies I typically get?

    typically I'll count myself lucky if I get 2 people to reply.


    I even put out free XP bribes to get people more involved.

    nothing.



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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Do you read your GM's emails?

    As a DM, I instead made a website for our group and maintain it. I realize, however, that for some of my players, Internet access is restricted. I therefore set aside about 30 minutes to an hour before the game to go over rules, what is happening on the website, check character sheets, chat, etc. This has the added bonus of getting all of the OOC chatter out before the game starts.
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