...Levittown to be exact, which is in the Philadelphia area.
I've been gaming since 6th grade in 1981, starting with Basic D&D. Currently, I am enticing my daughters into RPGs, doing my part to train the next generation. :D
One of the reasons I signed up at OP is because I am just about to start my first pbp game. I've followed several pbp games on different forums, and have an idea of how they play out. I was wondering if anyone here knows of any FAQs, How-Tos, etc., for starting and running a pbp for a first-timer. Also, is OP conducive to a pbp game? I know of one that is currently active. Are there any others that are either active or complete that I could read through as examples?
Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
Bensalem, which is just down Route 13 from you.
_I've been gaming since 6th grade in 1981, starting with Basic D&D. Currently, I am enticing my daughters into RPGs, doing my part to train the next generation. :D_
How old are they? Ours are 6 and 8, and we sometimes run something with them.
_One of the reasons I signed up at OP is because I am just about to start my first pbp game. I've followed several pbp games on different forums, and have an idea of how they play out. I was wondering if anyone here knows of any FAQs, How-Tos, etc., for starting and running a pbp for a first-timer._
I'm running some pbp on rpol.net. Here's my two cents.
1. This first bit might not be applicable to you, since you don't say whether your players are people already known to and/or are friends with you, or whether you hope to recruit people you don't know. If it's the latter, don't be surprised and don't take it personally if people disappear on you. You'll experience turnover -- some people will be initially enthusiastic, but then their interest will drift. Some people won't even bother telling you they won't be back; they'll just disappear and you (and other players) will wait for a long time for a post before you realize that person isn't coming back.
2. The group needs a mutually acceptable posting rate. Be realistic about how often you can post during the day or during the week, and make it clear to players. If for any reason the schedule changes -- family vacation, busy time at work, illness, whatever -- make sure to let them know about it if you can. Tell the players they have to do the same thing, so everyone knows not to wait for them while they are away. Ask them to be honest about how often they expect to be able to post. Think carefully about having players in the same group with wildly different posting rates -- those who post multiple times a day might not be a good match with players who can post only every couple of days. The high-frequency posters might get impatient; the low-frequency posters might not like being left behind.
3. Related to that, don't allow one or more players' delays in posting hold up progress. Be active and keep things moving. If you haven't posted because you're waiting for every PC to indicate what they're doing, say so -- that way the other players know why you haven't posted. But don't wait too long; don't hesitate to simply move the scene along.
4. Think very long and hard about how you are going to handle combat. Depending on the system you use, combat scenes can drag on endlessly. I run a "3.5 game on rpol.net":http://www.rpol.net/game.cgi?gi=39973&date=1308222612, and let me tell you, a standard combat encounter for a table-top group is not a good match for a pbp one. Something that can take an hour to play at the table can take weeks, if not months, to fully play out in a pbp. It becomes painful and boring very very quickly.
5. Related to the last point: If you are running a system that bases character advancement on XP based on combat, consider a scheme that will award XP on something else. In my 3.5 game on rpol.net, "people get XP":http://www.rpol.net/display.cgi?gi=39973&ti=6&date=1268598670 for posting at least 2x/week; for the GM's subjective sense of "good" roleplaying; for coming up with NPCs or locations or other game-world information or hooks; for creative solutions to problems; for responding to "Tell the GM" questions.
6. If using a system with a tight character-level advancement scheme, consider starting out at something other than 1st level. If advancement is slow, it gets dull to be a 1st level character for what may be forever.
_Also, is OP conducive to a pbp game?_
Yes. I know that some people with Ascendant memberships use their games Forums to run pbp. I myself use the Wiki to do something similar for my "table-top game ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/rubies -- the tabletop sessions are currently on hiatus, and the PCs have gone their separate ways. They have their own pbp individual storylines going on, however. (Although for various real-life time demands, most of those are on hiatus as well.) For a couple of them, I run those via email, and then periodically post the compiled scene into the Adventure Log. A couple of them are run on a Wiki page -- each PC has "their own Notes page":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/rubies/wikis/notes-in-progress , and I take turns posting to that page with the players. At the conclusion of a scene, the content of that page is posted to the Adventure Log, and we start all over.
My daughters are 11, 9 and 3; I'm planning an adventure for the two older girls and a friend's 5-year-old son. My friend happens to be on OP and is one of the players in my pbp. I've done some free-form "stories" with the oldest, where I tell her what's happening, and she decides what she'll do at the decision points. She loves it and has been begging me to get back to the story lately. So, I figured it may be time to get her and my middle daughter acquainted with pen-and-paper RPGs. I mentioned it to my friend, donniesam, and he said his son is eager to play as well. Now the only impediment is our mutual free time - but isn't it always? :D
Thank you both for welcoming me. bevinflannery, it's funny how often I meet people online who are local to me. That is the case for another of my players.
Speaking of which, I already mentioned that one of them is a good friend. The other two I know through Twitter, and have interacted enough with them to be confident that their interest won't fade. I didn't mention it, but every one of us is new to pbp, so we'll be stumbling around and learning this new medium together. We are or will be discussing the particulars like posting rate, dice rolls, delays, combat, etc. via e-mail. I am really eager to prepare for the game and start it ASAP, and I believe the players are as well. Generally speaking, I'm pretty loose with XP at the tabletop games, and I see no reason to change with the pbp.
I'm seriously considering an Ascendant membership for the forum capabilities, as well as to support OP. One of the things I need to investigate is a mapping program; I've never used a computer for that, ever. Actually, I've never used anything but pen or pencil and paper for my games up until now. Despite my profession being in IT, I'm quite the Luddite when it comes to gaming tools. That obviously must change now, by necessity.
Again, thank you for your welcoming me here, and for your tips about pbps. I know I have a lot of work to do, but I'm eager to learn and know that I'll do it along the way. Also, I learn from my mistakes, so I must be a genius. :D
Here's a partial list of pbp and on-line games associated with OP.
I personally run an AD&D 2nd edition PbP game that's been going for over a year.
bevinflannery's comments are spot-on. I just booted 4/8 players for getting too busy to post often enough. 3 of them are close friends, but hey, if they want to play then they need to post!
Combat definitely needs to be handled differently. I have the players declare actions and contingent actions. For example, a fighter will declare, I attack the biggest enemy, when I defeat him, I move on to the next biggest enemy. If anybody starts casting spells, I go after them instead. Magic users require more complicated instructions given the wide variety of spell effects. I also definitely award a lot of non-combat xp. I haven't tallied it, but I'd venture 70-80% of xp is non-combat related. Finally, I don't use tactical maps. I think they interfere with rapid combat resolution. People start fussing over where the trees are.
Here's an example of a pretty complex combat sequence handled in PbP.
P.S. If you're a 2nd ed. fan, I have a few spots in my campaign that have just opened up.
Patience is definitely needed here, both from you and your players, but if everyone understands that, it can be a rewarding experience for all, I think.
Welcome to the Portal and the forums, and keep us up to date on your progress, and don't hesitate to ask for advice/help on things. We're a pretty friendly group around here.
Looks like people have already answered your questions so I will just add welcome to the forums!
"I met a traveller from an antique land....."
CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.
Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign
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As far as the pbp goes, I plan to discuss with the players any rules/protocols/whatever regarding posting frequency, corrections/clarifications, contingencies, etc.. It seems that the pace of pbp (which can be glacial, I understand) lends itself to catching problems before they spiral out of control, as well as more colorful rpg interaction, scene depiction, etc.. I'm looking forward to getting started.
kenurion, thank you for the links to the list of pbps, including your own. Unless you object, I plan to share them with my players.
Again, thanks to all.
Just trying to help out.
"Star Trek Late Night":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/star-trek-late-night
I have family in Lehighton and friends near Valley Forge - SE PA is my home away from home.
Mike aka Black Vulmea
"_Le Ballet de l'Acier_":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/le-ballet-de-l-acier - swashbuckling adventure in the age of the Three Musketeers and Captain Alatriste