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Author Topic: Advice on a PbP game.  (Read 592 times)

Enkhidu

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Advice on a PbP game.
« on: March 07, 2006, 03:47:27 PM »
I'm starting a PbP game (on this site, no less) and wanted some advice on how best to keep action, for lack of a better word, moving.

Is it better to simply get out of the way and let the players play? Or do PbPs require more NPC style interaction? Is it better to set specific times to move the action along, or is flexibility better for the game long term?

What are your experiences?
 

Alpha Ralpha

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Advice on a PbP game.
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2006, 07:04:48 PM »
1. post regularly, as a GM who made this mistake learned ...
2. IMHO PbP games are better with less combat, posting combat turns is ssssslllloooooowwwwww. so emphasize NPC interaction and keep combat encounters relatively quick.
3. interest in a pbp will flag after the first few weeks so plan on something dramatic happening every couple of months to keep interest high.

hope this helps...
 

IronWolf

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Advice on a PbP game.
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2006, 08:44:06 PM »
Post often is good, even if the others haven't had a chance to post yet.  Keep things moving with your posts.  A PBeM I ran had a fair amount of combat.  Most of the time the players would post a few actions ahead, I also handled all the dice rolls.  This enabled me to move the combat forward even if a player was behind on posting.  Post vivid combat details, that way even if it is a little slow people get into the scene itself.
 

Dire Wolf

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Advice on a PbP game.
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2006, 11:56:58 PM »
I have played in and even took a turn running a very successfull PBP that has been going for over a year.  I would say that it is important for the GM to post as frequently as possible and try to keep the players involved by posting right to them.  Always try to have something for all of the players to do.

We have always had a planned session time once a week, that is non-mandatory, but all the players get online at the same time and we play for about 5 hours.  It usually goes very well and we get a lot done.

I would agree that character development and roleplaying works better than combat, and I would recommend doing all the dice rolls yourself.  

I hope some of what I said is useful... all just opinions.
 

cranberry

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Advice on a PbP game.
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2006, 03:17:14 PM »
Quote from: Dire Wolf
I have played in and even took a turn running a very successfull PBP that has been going for over a year.  I would say that it is important for the GM to post as frequently as possible and try to keep the players involved by posting right to them.  Always try to have something for all of the players to do.


I agree. I have only played in one PbP but I found that when the GM was posting a lot things ran smoothly, when the GM didn't have time to post it sputtered to a halt. People end up just waiting around to get some feedback before taking their next action and things just never happen.
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BillyBeanbag

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Advice on a PbP game.
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2006, 04:12:16 PM »
Hmm... sounds like the onus on a PBP is on the GM then. Interesting.

I don't really have a lot to add, I tried running one a while back, but I found I couldn't keep it moving.  I think what people are saying makes sense in my case though.
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Enkhidu

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Advice on a PbP game.
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2006, 11:24:27 AM »
Thanks for the feedback - I'll be keeping it in mind over the next few weeks.
 

Cyclotron

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Advice on a PbP game.
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2006, 01:59:04 PM »
Quote from: Enkhidu
What are your experiences?

I've been running and playing in PbP games for the last five years or so.

My experience boils down to this...

Typically, half the the PbP players who ever join your games will vanish without a trace before the end of the adventure.

Typically, half your adventures will be completely abandoned for they are completed.

Typically, a short adventure (like "The Burning Plague", for example) will take between six and twelve months to complete, depending on the posting frequency of you and your players.

I'd love to play in or run PbPs again, but I far to cynical about them anymore to seriously consider it.
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Nicephorus

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Advice on a PbP game.
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2006, 02:07:31 PM »
Quote from: Cyclotron
Typically, half the the PbP players who ever join your games will vanish without a trace before the end of the adventure.
 
Typically, half your adventures will be completely abandoned for they are completed.
 
Typically, a short adventure (like "The Burning Plague", for example) will take between six and twelve months to complete, depending on the posting frequency of you and your players.

Not to sound too negative but that matches my experience too.  For the first one, a quarter to a third will vanish some time between the initial thread on the game and the first week of play.
 
PBP attracts many former players who still like the idea of playing but who can't find the time or arrange their priorities to be in a tabletop game.  It turns out that many of these players don't have time to properly play in a pbp game either.
 
Both DM and players need to wrap their heads around the fact that it's a different beast that table top play.  Forget about levelling and long term character development - you'll be lucky to level once.  Worrying about tactical details for one battle can take a week to iron out.
 
I've come to think of them (and try to run them) as cooperative storytelling with mechanics in the background and the DM acting as leader to keep the story going and to keep grounded in setting reality.