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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> General Forum --> Gaming surveys --> PbP Pondering
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CyrDraconis
Occasional Visitor
Karma: 8/1
32 Posts


PbP Pondering

Sort of delurking after a long hiatus, and reading a couple recent blog entries got me thinking.

I've never had much luck with play-by-post games, mostly through timing and issues of my own, and so many of the games on the site are so well-established by now that it's hard to glean useful information from them.

Kinda just throwing a couple-three questions out to see what sticks:
- Timing. What's considered a fast or slow game? A post a day? Every couple days? Once a week is slow, to be certain. And related, time differential; I know it hinges on post frequency, but when something that takes five minutes to play out face to face on the table takes a week to resolve online...I don't know. Chat games are less prone to this.

- Length. This is where I boggle, sometimes, and not limited to this site. If I try to write up long blocks of prose - more than a couple paragraphs - I start to feel like I'm chewing on a thesaurus just to fill space even if I'm laying a scene out as GM; compare that to (by random example) a fullpage-description of someone just walking into a room. Any suggestions for getting past the stumbling block here?

- Freeform vice system. I'm not even sure if that's the right way to look at it - the last time I -frequented- the form, the freeform boards were full of multi-continuity pubcrawling shindigs; now it's all basically 'not a published system' games. Neither is a bad thing, mind, and I don't mean to imply such - just that the last time I posted a mingling pubcrawl kinda thread, it petered out after just a few posts. Take that with a grain of salt however, because that was literally years ago.

Maybe chat-based games would be more my speed in general, it's something I'll have to look into.

I suppose I can boil this lot down into one thing:
*How can I be a better PbP player and GM?*


Posted on 2011-12-21 at 05:18:13.

Tiamat5774
5 Headed Dracohydra
Karma: 80/23
1117 Posts


hey welcome back

Timing - The GM usually governs the speed, but for the games I've played in and run the general posting rule is, "One post a week minimum. If you wish to post more than once feel free to do so". To me, that translates out to most of the PBP games being an average speed of slow.
It's an unfortunate fact that a GM stands to deal with dropped characters and have their games fizzle if said GM enforces a faster pace.

Post Length - For both the GM and the players, post length should be what is needed. If a full page is needed, a paragraph, or even a couple of sentences, that's what should make up one's post. No one should ever feel the need to pull a novella out of their butt every post. That being said one's post should include all information necessary to prevent confusion for the GM and players.
When someone forces themselves to put out a massive post, it translates to the product and the reader, in that, the reader will feel forced to read the whole thing in fear of missing some pertinent information.

Free Form games - In my opinion, free form games are just that, free form. I've seen very few that follow any given set of rules. Free form is supposed to be collaborative story telling, but even then there must be limits. You can't have a mage in a free form game with a spell called "Nuke-em-all" and hog all the fun in taking out enemies. I do agree with you on this, however, that the Free form game forum has become a catch all for systems either not popular or not published. If you wish for more information on free form games, you might want to have a discussion with EOL who is running a relatively successful free form called "Smuggler's Moon", a pirate centered adventure.


I have learned all too well the advantages and disadvantages of running both PBP games and chat room games. I prefer the table top feel of the chat room games myself. I run a game almost every Tuesday evening. Feel free to join in the fun or lurk and observe the process.
(There will not be a game on the 12-27-11, but will resume playing on 1-3-12.)


Posted on 2011-12-21 at 17:55:08.
Edited on 2011-12-21 at 22:35:37 by Tiamat5774

CyrDraconis
Occasional Visitor
Karma: 8/1
32 Posts


.

Thanks, Tiamat - belated it may be. I think it may just be that I'm so out of practice that I can't yet wrap my head around it again.

Will sit and cogitate.


Posted on 2011-12-26 at 22:46:07.

Darren
RDI Fixture
Karma: 36/8
869 Posts


Defining

I quite like looking at the idea of "Freeform" as rules-light as opposed to ruleless and rule-heavy.

To use an example here at the Inn, the Bleeding Lute is almost ruleless, the only limits being realism and common sense.

In contrast, compare with Trilogy War, which is based quite clearly on DnD 2e rules. (if I'm not mistaken).

I, as a GM, tend (now) to stick to systems involving very little number-crunching, if any, yet I nonetheless regulate what can and cannot happen. I suppose that "rules-light" is the term.

---

As for post length, I'd have to agree with Tiamat - as with any written fiction, it all depends on what the situation requires. An opening scene requires all the descriptive details that can be thrown at it, whereas a tavern conversation tends to be as simple as single sentences thrown at each other.


Posted on 2012-09-01 at 22:07:07.
Edited on 2012-09-01 at 22:08:28 by Darren

   
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