Play-by-post format and instructions

3 posts / 0 new
Last post
Owen and I have been playing in another online game for almost a year now and it's being run by a skilled DM called Crazy Monkey. To run my own game I will largely be using the same system as he does. He wrote a great introduction to the "Play-by-Post" format which I am copying and pasting wholesale below:

------------------------------------------------

Playing Roleplaying Games on a forum like this one is called play-by-post or PbP.  Play-by-Post works a bit differently than face-to-face tabletop gaming in a number of ways.

1. Play-by-Post could be considered collaborative storytelling in a way.  The DM and each player write out player character and NPC actions and speech as you would see them in a novel.  For example...

Player 1: Darius approaches the Orc Chieftain cautiously, hands outstretched in a show of peace.  Speaking in the orcish tongue, he says, "Oh Great One, we humbly request safe passage through your territory."

Player 2: Meanwhile, Caius sneaks around the outskirts of the throne room until he has a clear shot at the Orc Chieftain.

DM: OOC - Alright, Darius, make a Charisma check to distract the Orc Chieftain.  Caius, make a Dexterity check to avoid being seen by the Chieftain's bodyguards.  

2. As you may note in the example above, the dialogue is highlighted in a different text color to separate it out from description and other text.  You can also do this with Out of Character (OOC) text, or put OOC text in what's called a sblock (frame the OOC text with 
Show
OOC text goes in a block like this
  in order to separate it from the In Character (IC) portion of your post).

3. An online dice roller, like Invisible Castle, is usually used to roll dice and determine random outcomes. 

4. For me personally, I prefer to rely on description and narration for combat rather than a map or grid.  We will likely use grids at some point, especially with later editions, but, for now, don't worry about them.

5. Play-by-Post operates at a slower pace than regular tabletop gaming.  I will be making "DM" posts twice a week, usually on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  If you haven't posted in the game thread in that time, I'll try to PM you a reminder.  

6. Out of Character chatter should happen in the discussion thread, not the game thread.

7. As with anywhere else in the forums, always be aware of the Code of Conduct when posting.  It still applies, even to in-game posts.

------------------------------------------------------------- 
A couple of quick comments on the ideas listed above:

1. Regular DM posts will occur on Saturday night and Wednesday night. Sometimes I might jump in early to make a necessary roll or quick comment so that others may more easily take their turn, but for the most part I will stick to the Saturday/Wednesday schedule.

2. Unless there's going to be a lot of dialogue back and forth between characters, please limit yourself to a single IC game thread post per session (ie - Saturday to Wednesday). This makes it a lot easier for everyone to figure out exactly what your character is doing. If your IC dialogue is casual banter it can be done in the IC-Campfire Chat thread.

3. Please follow the instructions about using colors to indicate how you are using your text. Dialogue should be changed to a specific color (ex. Zillago says: "Brace yourself gentlemen, this is going to hurt!" then turns and runs away.) The color you choose is up to you, but should not be red. Red text is always use to color code OOC messages.

4. Combat might require that the DM post more often than usual, but you will never be expected to post more than once per session (Saturday to Wednesday, Wednesday to Saturday). During combat sessions, you might want to log on a little more frequently to stay on top of the action.

5.  If you are not sure about rules, please ask in the OOC chat and I can fill you in on what's required. It's better to ask first than try to retcon after. Retcons are very difficult in P-B-P so unless it's critical to the survival of your character we will simply move on rather than retcon.

6. Please keep the profanity and obscenity to a minimum. While this is a private group (only members can read it), the WotC moderators do poke around every now and then. Rather than describe in gory detail all of your drug fuelled violent sexcapades, say it in a way that keeps the mods off our backs. 

******  Please be respectful of other players. Do not tell them how to play their character. Never impose actions or dialogue on another player. When you post, please only describe what your own character is doing and let the other players speak for themselves.

If you have any questions about any of this, please post or email me and I'll be happy to explain. You can always phone me as well, I'll send out an email with my phone number in it.
 
For an example on how the Play-by-post system works, please check out this example.

Note that 5th edition combat will require more rapid fire posts from the DM (mostly to handle initiative and combat results) but in general we will be using the same basic style of play.

I'll be moving the action along at a faster pace by taking advantage of the DM's role as storyteller to fill in the gaps when nothing really critical is happening. This will make more sense as things progress.