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The Play by Post Forum

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Drohem:
Play-by-post gaming is a tricky beast and can be extremely frustrating at times, both as a player and GM.  However, if all the elements come together, then it can be very satisfying.  

You have come into it with the right mind set- the majority of the games you join will fail for some reason or another.  Once you wrap your mind around that concept, then you'll be able to play using this medium.  

Welcome to the site! :)

Bedrockbrendan:
Thinking of starting a Play by Post stuff at some point but never participated in one before. Some of the posts here clarify a bit of the set up for me. It sounds like everyone agrees on the frequency of posts. What about the length of each GM post? How much information is the GM expected to give, how much player actions is he supposed to assume, before handing it off to the players? Also, how are rolls generally handled (does the GM make the rolls or is it an honor system)?

Benoist:
It sounds like everyone agrees on the frequency of posts.

Usually that's how that goes, yes : the GM points out what would be usual or proper, everyone agrees on it, and then that's how it goes, with the GM managing with that time frame to let all the players answer to the events of the game. The usual expected posting frequency is about one per day, but it's usually slower. Which makes me think : whatever frequency you and your players agree on, you should expect it to go slower in reality, simply because the frequency is only as strong as the weakest link, in part, and because real life takes precedence (it should), every time.

What about the length of each GM post?

Really depends on your GMing and prose styles, but I'd say that generally, you need to describe as much as you would out loud at the game table before letting the players place one. It's more important here because they can't interrupt you on the spot. So you need to be mindful of that fact, and manage your posts to let the players intervene when you think their choices or role playing makes a difference.

I will usually write a few paragraphs or lines of dialog before letting the players react. You should check out the current Ptolus threads, like Davin's introduction thread, for instance, to see how that goes.

How much information is the GM expected to give, how much player actions is he supposed to assume, before handing it off to the players?

You should be very careful to let the players be themselves and make their own choices which impact the way the game unfolds, here (see above). If you skip over too much, players will feel frustrated because they wanted to react to this or that but you fast-forwarded them in time in the same post. If you do it too much, they'll get frustrated because they'll feel like the game's stalling. It's a question of finding a sweet spot where everyone feels like they have a meaningful input on the way the game unfolds, and stuff keeps happening nonetheless.

Also, how are rolls generally handled (does the GM make the rolls or is it an honor system)?

I have a few ways of handling it : one is the dice roller (like Invisible Castle), second is to just let players and myself make their dice rolls themselves physically and trust them to not cheat giving the results (obviously not something you want to do with everyone, especially if players don't know each other, because perceptions matter more than actual cheating in this, here), and finally me GM making the rolls physically for everyone.

I usually roll as GM with what the players think is best. In the Ptolus game, this means we use invisible castle. In my World of Darkness game, that means I make all the rolls myself.

Bedrockbrendan:

--- Quote from: Benoist;486567 ---It sounds like everyone agrees on the frequency of posts.

Usually that's how that goes, yes : the GM points out what would be usual or proper, everyone agrees on it, and then that's how it goes, with the GM managing with that time frame to let all the players answer to the events of the game. The usual expected posting frequency is about one per day, but it's usually slower. Which makes me think : whatever frequency you and your players agree on, you should expect it to go slower in reality, simply because the frequency is only as strong as the weakest link, in part, and because real life takes precedence (it should), every time.

What about the length of each GM post?

Really depends on your GMing and prose styles, but I'd say that generally, you need to describe as much as you would out loud at the game table before letting the players place one. It's more important here because they can't interrupt you on the spot. So you need to be mindful of that fact, and manage your posts to let the players intervene when you think their choices or role playing makes a difference.

I will usually write a few paragraphs or lines of dialog before letting the players react. You should check out the current Ptolus threads, like Davin's introduction thread, for instance, to see how that goes.

How much information is the GM expected to give, how much player actions is he supposed to assume, before handing it off to the players?

You should be very careful to let the players be themselves and make their own choices which impact the way the game unfolds, here (see above). If you skip over too much, players will feel frustrated because they wanted to react to this or that but you fast-forwarded them in time in the same post. If you do it too much, they'll get frustrated because they'll feel like the game's stalling. It's a question of finding a sweet spot where everyone feels like they have a meaningful input on the way the game unfolds, and stuff keeps happening nonetheless.

Also, how are rolls generally handled (does the GM make the rolls or is it an honor system)?

I have a few ways of handling it : one is the dice roller (like Invisible Castle), second is to just let players and myself make their dice rolls themselves physically and trust them to not cheat giving the results (obviously not something you want to do with everyone, especially if players don't know each other, because perceptions matter more than actual cheating in this, here), and finally me GM making the rolls physically for everyone.

I usually roll as GM with what the players think is best. In the Ptolus game, this means we use invisible castle. In my World of Darkness game, that means I make all the rolls myself.
--- End quote ---


Thanks Benoist. One last question, any advice about dialogue. I like to run RP heavy games and I can see that being tricky to achieve in a play-by-post scenario. Anything you've noticed about this doing your play-by posts?

Benoist:
I guess it's a matter of thinking about actual conversations and characterization, for me. Some NPCs will go straight to the point, others will wander and remain unclear whatever it is they are trying to say, and all shades in between. If that helps, try to think about when people draw breath when they pause : that's when people can react, ask questions, share their own opinions and so on. You get a feel of what's too much or not enough real fast I think. And also ? God dammit man, make your NPCs react to stuff. Describe smiles and smirks and sighs and looks and gestures and laughter. Much is conveyed in a conversation by other cues than just the verbal content of the message itself. That's how NPCs end up feeling like people, you know I'm sure.

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