Category Archives: Role-Playing Games

Last Minute GMing: Running the Blank Page

In the prior two posts in this series we came up with a great idea for an RPG session and scrawled out some quick notes to flesh it out. Now our guests are here, the Mountain Dew is flowing, and the dice are rolling. How do we run our game?

The Fine Art of Improvisational GMing

The key to improv as a GM is to take notes as you go along. You’re going to be making up a lot on the fly, and keeping track of what you’ve told the players is necessary to maintain any kind of consistency. Nothing ruins “winging it” worse than contradicting yourself. Your players will notice.

Specifically, you’ll want to keep track of:

  • Names of people, places, and things
  • Dates when things happened or will happen
  • Distances to different places
  • Whatever traits you invent for the people they meet and the places they go

These notes don’t have to be extensive. Just a word or two scribbled on your page to jog your memory. Don’t be afraid to draw diagrams or maps to keep for reference as you go along.

Makin’ Stuff Up

So how do you make up stuff on the fly?

Keep it Simple

Don’t do extra work. For NPCs, assume that they’re entirely average in any way you don’t bother defining — 10s across the board, if that’s the scale of your system. Don’t bother fleshing out anything but the traits used in the way they’ll interact with your PCs. For canon fodder, work up combat stats. For people the PCs will interact with socially, figure out what their agenda is and what they’re willing to settle for.

Take notes.

Use Tools

It’s 2016 so chances are you’re playing in an area with wifi and have a tablet or smartphone. There are tons of resources for making up stuff on the fly. Use them extensively. Here are a few links to get you started:

  • Random dot org if you don’t feel like rolling or need a weird random number.
  • Behind the name Names sorted by cultural origin. I like to use Random dot Org to roll a d24, then roll a d(however many names there are) to get one.
  • Chris Pound’s Name Generators create new names by using a given language’s patterns. Useful for fantasy names that share a consistent sound.
  • Donjon Random Weather Generator let’s you decide with a click what the weather is going to be like today.

Other than that, just do your best to bounce off the ideas your players are giving you. Go with the flow, let them drive a bit. You know what your villain is going to be doing if the PCs don’t interfere, so just describe that to them from their perspectives.

Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.

Last Minute GMing: Filling the Blank Page

Continuing our discussion on last-minute prep from last week:

The simplest scenario structure is that an antagonist wants something, and is doing something to get it.

We need a bad guy.

Our antagonist is simply the person the PCs will be opposing in this story. He doesn’t have to be a “bad” guy. He can have the best of intentions. The problem is, he becomes a problem for the PCs in some way.

If we’re lucky, our random title has given us our antagonist.

In Ghostborn, we know who our antagonist is: Ghost Mom. We spend a little time fleshing her out, decide that she was super over-protective in life. Maybe she had an earlier kid that she mothered to death somehow.

However, other times our random idea seed doesn’t quite give us an idea of who our PCs might be opposing.

Sky Cave gave us imagery of a floating rock with a cave inside it. That might suggest some possible villains, but nothing explicitly.

We could extrapolate an antagonist from the idea – an airship pirate, dragons, a sentient mountain — but this process is holistic rather than procedural. We have two other elements to explore, and either of them might inform our choice of villain.

What motivates our villain?

Once we know who our baddie is, we can go back and figure out what it is they’re trying to accomplish. Often this gives us our hook as well — it’s something that puts them at cross purposes with our PCs directly.

Options Automatons Face provides a motivation: Automatons want more choices. Maybe they want equal rights, or simply more legal protections. Since our PCs are cops protecting the status quo, this puts them at loggerheads with the androids’ aims.

In Ghostborn our Ghost Mom wants to protect her boy. While it’s easy to think about all the ways that can go horrifically wrong, it doesn’t directly bring conflict with the PCs. Its manifestations might, which brings us to our third point.

What’s their evil plan?

The third thing we need to know is what the antagonist is doing to get from the way things are to the way he or she wants them to be. If the villain’s goal itself doesn’t put it at odds with the PCs, then the means it is going about getting it must, or we don’t have a plot.

In Ghostborn, Ghost Mom’s boy has been in a series of foster care situations. The rough situation combined with being constantly haunted hasn’t been good for his mental state, so he’s in trouble a lot. Ghost Mom has had enough, and is starting to use her ghostly powers to stop the people tormenting her boy… not just bullies, but social workers, foster parents, and anyone else that the troubled teen gets into conflict with. Maybe Ghost Mom starts out scaring people, but this escalates to serious accidents and even deaths.

Options Automatons Face has a spate of android-committed crimes as the machines try to get attention for their plight. It’s intended as protest, but the media plays it up into a crime wave or terrorism. The PC Cops might even sympathize with the androids, but pressure from city hall is heavy, and they have a job to do.

We don’t know who our antagonist is in Sky Cave or what they want, but we know it involves a floating cave. Why is this at odds with our PCs? In Heroic Fantasy tradition we don’t really need much more than “hey maybe there’s cool stuff in that dungeon,” but let’s be clever. Sky Cave is floating around over the kingdom disgorging flying monsters. It’s a mobile base from which they are raiding. This, incidentally, gives us our villain’s motivation: raiding the kingdom. Who is behind it? Well, someone who controls flying monsters and a giant flying monster is obviously a powerful demon lord of some kind. So now we have our three components.

Alright, we have our plot. To make it really useful, we need to break it down into a step-by-step list of what happens if the PCs do not intervene.

Putting it all together

This leaves us with a single-sheet length adventure scenario. We don’t have stats or anything and it might need some fleshing out, but we can do that in play. We’ll cover that in the third part of our series, where I cover how you actually use your one sheet adventure at the table.

Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.

Last Minute GMing: Vanquishing the Blank Page

Gaming is a fun hobby, but it’s just that, a hobby. Taking on the role of GM is a hefty responsibility, but real life should always take precedence, and sometimes our more important responsibilities — career, family, sleep — eat away at our game prep time until there’s nothing left, and we’re stuck on Friday night with five friends coming over and nothing planned.

One solution is to cancel the game. Do something else. Watch a movie. Go out and have a drink or three. Hang out, have a good time, and don’t let yourself be pressured into running a session you’re not prepared to. Unfortunately, if you frequently find time slipping away from yourself during the week, you may discover that you’re spending less and less time actually playing. When does a hobby become something you used to do?

The alternative is to adapt your play-style to the realities of your life. And to do that, you need to learn to run games with very little prep.

All you need is an idea

Okay, it isn’t all you need, but it’s a prerequisite for anything else. GM’s Block can strike at any time, but when you’re low on time and need to get started it can pop up in a very insistent form. Sometimes, what you need is a good core idea to shake your creativity free.

Where do you get your ideas?

Literally all over the place. Borrow them, steal them, dream them. Let your subconscious mind work on them while you’re doing other things. All true, but it doesn’t help much when you’re on the spot and have to come up with something RIGHT NOW.

In that case, allow me to humbly present to you a random title generator I wrote a while back. It was intended to be used to spark short stories, but it works just fine for RPG sessions.

Just click the button until you get a title that gives you that jolt of inspiration and go to town.

Example one:

I’m running a modern horror campaign, and I need an idea. I click and get the title Ghostborn. First thing that comes to mind is a troubled kid haunted by his mother, who died in childbirth, and has been “protecting” her son with various poltergeist effects.

Example two:

Heroic fantasy game, I get The Sky of Cave. I tweak it to the Sky Cave, and think about a mysterious floating mountain into which an airship might fly.

Example three:

Cyberpunk police procedural. We get the title Options Automatons Face. Something about self-aware robots trying to make hard choices.

Okay cool, now what?

Anyone can have an idea. They’re cheap. They’re common. They’re worthless. The true mark of creativity is turning those ideas into something useful. We don’t have a lot of time, so we’re going to be light on detail. In fact, our goal is to get an entire session’s notes down on a single sheet of paper.

We’ll cover that next week in Part 2.

 

Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.

Kitchen Sink Gaming: Gamer’s Paradise

Synopsis: High school students find themselves catapulted through dimensional barriers into a number of fantastic scenarios.

Setup

The PCs are members of a high-school’s gaming club. While gamer interests can be eclectic, they should be more or less normal with zero to minimal combat or survival skills. As always, be cautious about letting players play themselves.

Depending on the system you’re using, you may wish to offer the players a “Gamer” or “Genre Awareness” skill. This skill might give them (potentially erroneous) information about what their characters know about the game scenarios and settings they encounter. Let players roll against the skill to use game-related info they might know (but their characters might not) or to give them potentially misleading hints. (See Genre Awareness below)

Act I

In Act I, the players are drawn from their normal mundane lives into a world of danger and excitement.

The Hook

It’s a new school year, and the gamers have been granted a group charter with the school. They’ll be given a faculty adviser and a room to play in after classes, and all they have to do is clear out a storage room to meet in.

The Inciting Incident

While cleaning, one of the characters discovers an old D20 made out of soapstone. While picking it up or showing it to someone else it gets rolled, dropped, etc. The die bounces thunderously, time seems to slow down, and then everything goes black.

The die is a magical artifact, a relic created by the hopes, dreams, and imaginations of a group of gamers who used to play here a decade ago. Troubled kids with rough home lives, the gamers managed to escape the real world for an imaginary reality where they themselves became gods. The echoes of the games they played as part of this great ritual exist as pseudo-realities, worlds the current player find themselves drawn into.

Act II

The meat of the campaign takes the form of published role-playing scenarios that the players have found themselves drawn into. It isn’t as straightforward as that, but here’s the basic pattern.

The Arrival

The players find themselves in a new world, as different from the one they’ve just left as possible. They arrive with nothing but what they were wearing and carrying at the point of transfer. If players try to exploit this, figure out some fair weight or encumbrance limit. Want to play on hard mode? Every new world they show up naked.

Acclimatization

Typically the players will have a few months to prepare before finding the scenario’s adventure hook. Or rather, they have to survive and get by in a new world in which they have no resources, contacts, or footing. As the players accumulate actual survival skills, this will become easier, but for the most part this period will be spent learning about the world.

After they have gotten slightly settled, to the point of having basic needs covered, you can compress most of this into downtime. Keep track of how old the player are. Inform them when they age.

The Scenario

After a few months, when they have a good sense of the world they’re in, have them encounter the RPG scenario’s hooks. Let them go through the adventure as best they can… and to be honest, ordinary high-school kids won’t do so well in even first-level adventures, but some games are geared towards normal folks.

You have a few options for dealing with player losses:

  • Dead is dead. If they die, they’re out of the game. Make up a new character (see below).
  • Dead is gone. If they die, they’re out of the current scenario. They go to the safehouse. (see below).
  • Dues ex Machina. If the player is in serious danger, they jump to the safehouse, before anyone dies. (see below)

If the players ignore the plot hook, or if they abandon an adventure, they jump to the safehouse. If they win, let them enjoy their victory for a few days, but jumping to the safehouse is inevitable.

The Safehouse

Between adventures, the players find themselves in The Safehouse, a small and safe reality where they can rest and recuperate. It takes the form of a comfortable and quiet place that fulfills their basic needs… an island beachhouse, a furnished apartment in an empty city, a spaceship floating in the void. It has enough food and water for a few days of relaxation, and the magic d20, maybe a few entertainment options like boardgames or VHS tapes.

There’s nowhere else to go — the spaceship never reaches anywhere, swimming away from the island doesn’t find any other land, the windows and door of the apartment are painted on — and food will eventually run out. Eventually, they’ll have to roll the die or starve to death.

If you’re feeling creative, make the nature of the safehouse match the next scenario you have planned.

Another thing to decide: Are the players healed of injuries upon returning to the safehouse? If not, give them medical supplies too.

Player Death

If you’re planning on killing players off, then you should have some mechanic for bringing in new PCs. There are three basic options:

  1. The player “promotes” an NPC from the current scenario of around equivalent capabilities into a PC. He travels with the PCs when they jump next.
  2. The player creates a new PC appropriate to the next setting, and joins the PCs when they appear.
  3. The new PC is a human from earth, either a club member who didn’t appear right away or someone who found a die elsewhere. If the former, decide whether they’ve been trapped in some other world alone this whole time, or if they just “jumped” to the next world without experiencing the time they “missed.”

Act III

Eventually the PCs will start to put the pieces together and figure out what exactly is going on and how to get home. Seed act two with clues as to the nature of the gamer-gods behind all this. Maybe glimpses of gargantuan figures around a table, or see strange scenes from the broken lives that led them to create this reality.

Give them clues to follow up on, let them start seeing anachronistic “cracks” in the different scenarios.

If and how they follow up on these breadcrumbs is up to the players. React to them. Let them get the attention of these gods by trying to “break” the scenarios, then let them plead their cases.

Subverting Genre Awareness

One important thing to capture the right feeling for this game is to make the game settings slightly different from what the players are expecting. Try and make them more “real” in ways that belie typical RPG tropes. Downplay any elements added by the designers for playability and try to envision what these worlds would be like if they were real.

For whatever value of real you’re interested in. Make adventuring unpleasant. Focus on the unpleasant details these games often skim over.

Or don’t. It’s your game.

Variations

I ain’t no nerd! The players are not themselves playing gamers. Instead they’re playing kids on detention forced to clean out the building over a weekend. The game otherwise continues as normal, but the characters won’t necessarily have the same level of genre awareness. They might be more capable, or at least, more trouble-prone.

We have to find the kids! The players are the parents of children who have gone missing, police officers or detectives investigating the disappearance, and school faculty showing them the room that went missing. This gives us a more capable group of characters, with a stronger goal than simply finding their way home again.

Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.

Kitchen Sink Gaming: Virtual Beta Testers

If you’re like me, you’ve accumulated a lot of spare gaming materials as you’ve gone along, orphans from systems you may never play again. Sometimes you get some use out of this stuff by adapting it to a new modern system, but a lot of it just sits around taking up space.

Virtual Beta Testers

Setup: The players are ordinary modern-day thirtysomethings who played tabletop rpgs together in high-school. They’ve grown up and gone their separate ways, with lives and families of their own.

Hook: The guy they used to game with back in the day, Benny, contacts them out of the blue. He works for a tech company designing VR hardware, and offers them the chance to beta-test the system, shipping them the gear and instructing them in its use.

Act I: Benny acts as GM, sending them scenarios and instructing them in the game’s use. Run the players through a variety of RPG scenarios, giving them virtual characters to play, but describe them as if they were interfacing with a virtual world. Use Act I to get the players used to the idea of the separation of player, in-game player, and in-game character.

Act II: The next phase of testing involves turning off the in-game character layer. The players play using their own natural abilities, whatever they are. Let them discover that playing this way is a way to learn actual adventurer skills… not magic or anything, but real combat, vehicular, etc.

Act III: Benny reveals that the “game” is actually an advanced military training simulator, and that he broke a lot of rules testing it with the PCs, but he was having a mental breakdown and missed his friends. Now the military/bad guys/corporation are after them for Knowing Too Much. Good thing they spent act II training!

The Mechanics: Make sure to make the VR technology “realistic.” The PCs aren’t “in the game”, but wearing a helmet and interacting with a virtual landscape. Describe video-game like HUDs. Keep track of time, and make sure that they remember they have real lives and obligations.

Option: The VR gear is just a dummy. The system works through nanomachines attached to the players’ neurons, overriding their sensory input when “played.” They’re running around with advanced tech in their heads… and what if they get hacked?

Next time we’ll examine a similar scenario, though one that’s a bit more fantasy than science fiction.

Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.

Kitchen Sink Gaming: Recycling Old Materials

Decades spent in any hobby will result in the accumulation of a lot of stuff. Modules, maps, campaign books, you name it. A gamer can accumulate great stores of materials for games they no longer play.

The most direct way to re-purpose gaming materials is to ignore the mechanics and adapt the setting and story material to a newer preferred system. This is pretty easy to do.

Adaptation of RPG Materials

Slightly more involved is adapting material from one genre to another. Set a dungeon crawl aboard a derelict spacecraft, or in a World War II bunker complex.

A third, and potentially more interesting use is to run a game that slips from reality to reality or world to world. These campaigns sometimes center in environments where multiple settings converge. They can include everything but the kitchen sink.

Ready-Made Kitchen Sink RPG Campaigns

There are a number of games out there already set up for this kind of thing.

  • Rifts is perhaps the quintessential kitchen-sink setting.
  • Torg is another system, though perhaps a bit older.
  • Feng Shui allows for the existence of as many alternate realities as you might need.
  • Jumpers directly shunts players from world to world.

Custom Kitchen RPG Cabinets

More ambitiously, you can come up with some kind of narrative framework that involves the spread of setting and situation encompassing the breadth of your collection. Some ideas:

  • Players are gamers playing in an elaborate high-tech gaming park. (Like in Niven and Barnes’s Dream Park)
  • Players are gamers playing in some form of virtual reality. Maybe there’s a system’s error, or maybe they are playing competitively.
  • Players are normal folk spinning helplessly from reality to reality (Like in the TV show Sliders)
  • Players have some kind of conveyance allowing them to travel between realities intentionally. These realities might be other dimensions, or other planets. (As in Doctor Who)

We’ll develop some of these frameworks in the next few posts.

Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.

Setting Up a Play by Post Game

We’ve talked about some of the challenges in running a play-by-post roleplaying game. This week we’re going to talk about how you can make things easier for yourself when you plan and set one up.

  • Plan it out ahead of time. Seriously. Just because you have more time to decide what happens next, doesn’t make improvisation any easier. In fact, I’ve found that there’s more of a tendency to procrastinate because the immediate pressure is less. But if you don’t have an idea for what you’re going to do or where it’s going to go, having to decide mid-game doesn’t get much easier.
  • Set player expectations. This is related to the above. Let the players know what they’re in for before they submit characters. Let them know what they’re going to be doing, how often you expect them to post, what your policies are for absenteeism, etc.
  • Don’t hinge the plot on any one player because that player will be the one to drop the game first. Trust me.
  • Plan for players to drop out because it’s going to happen and there’s nothing you can do about it. Work in players leaving/more players replacing them into the game’s premise.
  • Prepare solid notes for potential players if you have multiple threads available, make use of them. Otherwise make sure your OP contains the info the players need to know. What the setting is like, what kind of characters you’re looking for, any house-rules in effect, what sources they can draw from, etc.
  • Start with a bang get players in the mood by starting with action. This doesn’t have to mean a fight, but it’s a great way to build in player investment.
  • Be picky when choosing your players if you don’t know them. Make sure they’re on the same page as far as tone goes. Make sure that they can write, at least well enough that your eyes aren’t going to try and escape their sockets. PbP is a textual medium, so you’re going to be forced to read a lot of posts.
Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.

Running a Play by Post Game

We’ve talked in the past about which systems work well in a play-by-post game, and how to play in a meaningful and cooperative manner.

Today we’re going to discuss tips for actually running your own play-by-post games.

  • Play in a few games first. Seriously. I have seen a lot of GMs assume they can jump to a new format without ever having experienced it.
  • You have time. The PCs can’t really surprise you, because you have hours or days to respond to them. Make use of this advantage.
  • Easy on the tactical combat. Remember how I was just talking about time? Yeah, this is the flip-side. A single combat can take days. And if you’re going to draw up a new map every turn to show people their positioning, that’s a lot of effort for very little reward.
  • Players also have a lot of time, even if things are happening split-second in game, to carefully consider their next actions. Accept this.
  • But players will also forget things. Five minutes passed for the characters, five weeks for the players. Don’t expect them to remember, or to take good notes.
  • You will lose people. They will drift away, stop posting, wander off, get bored. Real life emergencies crop up. Have a plan to deal with this.
  • On the same token, be picky about who you let into your game. More on this in the future when we talk about setting up a play-by-post game.
Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.

Playing in a Play by Post Game

The general rule in play-by-post is the same as it is in face to face realtime gaming: add to everyone’s fun, don’t subtract from it.

That said, there are a few guidelines that apply to play-by-post gaming that you can abide by to maximize everyone’s fun.

Rule 0: Lurk First

Every site’s culture and expectations are a little different. Spend some time reading threads and getting to know how a place “feels” before jumping in head first. Read their rules, browse a few threads. Immerse yourself.

Rule 1: Write Right

Not everyone you play with is going to stick with correct grammar and spelling, but pbp is a textual medium. Write to the best of your ability. It’ll make your posts easier to read, and encourage people to interact with you.

Rule 2: Post

Nothing kills a game faster than inactivity. Different games post at different rates, but try to find out what the accepted minimum is, and stick to it. Consistently. If you’re going to be gone, make all good-faith efforts to let the GM know, so nobody is stuck waiting on you forever.

Rule 3: Stop posting so much

At the same time, slower posters can find a flood of new posts intimidating, and if it happens a lot, will discourage them from keeping up with the game. It’s all too easy to get carried away with other fast posters. Try not to post so often that you leave people behind.

Rule 4: Length DOES matter

This can, again, vary from game to game, but find out what length post the GM prefers and stick to it. Some GMs don’t want any one-line posts. Others hate big walls of text. 1-3 paragraphs is a good middle-ground, but if in doubt: Ask.

Rule 5: Add to the game

Your posts should provide characterization, entertain, or advance the plot. Preferably all three. Don’t post just for the sake of posting. Even when keeping to the game’s minimum schedule, your posts should serve some purpose.

Of course, you can only do so much. You can only react to what you’re given. That leads us to rule 6.

Rule 6: Find the right group

As you play on any given site, you’ll find players that mesh well with your own style, and those that don’t. Many of these sites have hundreds or even thousands of users, so there’s really no need to play with people you can’t stand.

Rule 7: If you must bail, bail with style

If a group doesn’t suit you or if you just don’t have the time to play, don’t just vanish. Do the others a solid and let them know you’ve got to withdraw. It’s only polite.

Rule 8: Be cool

Even if you hate each others’ characters in-character, be polite and considerate out-of-character. Don’t take in-character conflict personally. Remember, there are real people on the other side of your internet connection, with real feelings.

There you have it. Simple rules that, if followed, enhance everyone’s enjoyment.

Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.

What Systems Work Well With Play-By-Post?

Now, let me preface this with the notion that any system can work with any game. As long as it is possible to adjudicate and answer “what happens next” a system is viable.

However, not all systems suit all games equally. A good GM will use the system that best suits the game he’s interested in running, and that means one he doesn’t need to struggle against to get it to work with what he has planned.

That includes format, and that’s what we’ll be evaluating today.

What factors do we need to keep in mind for play-by-post gaming?

Textual Medium

PBP is written prose, not spoken. Instead of Bob simply saying, “I attack the guy,” or “I shoot him with my blaster” he’ll write out a paragraph of something like

Unfortunately play-by-post games move slowwwwly. It depends on the players, but some will only manage a single post per day, or only a few per week. This can make fast-paced combat unbearably slow, particularly in games requiring a lot of back-and-forth between players and GM.

Bob recoils from the stormtrooper in revulsion, hand going to the blaster holstered at his hip. “Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams!” he shouted, drawing and firing in one smooth motion, trying to plug the Imperial Dog between the eyes.

So, ideally, a system that rewards descriptive posting can take advantage of the format. Feng Shui, for example, gives mechanical bonuses for entertaining and descriptive combat turns, and something like that can really work well in Play-By-Post.

Pacing

“I attack the guard. (rolls dice.) Hit.”

“Okay, the guard is going to try and parry… failed. Go ahead and roll for damage.”

“4 before armor.”

“Okay, it’s a solid hit. The guard grunts and swears, but doesn’t quite stagger. He strikes back with his own blade… (roll) …hit. Roll your defense.”

“Failed.”

“He hits you in the arm. 6 cutting after armor. Is that crippling? Roll for crippling.”

“Yeah, crap. (roll) Made it!”

“Okay, it hurts, yeah, but you still have the arm. Round 2.”

A one-on-one combat round like the above will take a minute or so face to face, but in a play-by-post game it could take days. You can mitigate this by having players combine tactical information in a single post – “tell me your attack roll, damage, and defensive plan in each post” but this lacks the immediacy such combat systems benefit from.

Instead, think about focusing on games whose combat isn’t quite so moment-to-moment. Not so tactical.

Speaking of Tactics

A lot of games (and a lot of gamers) use miniatures in combat to track positioning and allow for “crunchier” combat. In play by post, unless you’re running an app allowing for real-time positioning (which requires everyone to play at the same time), you can’t exactly use the same set of minis.

As a compromise, the GM can provide drawn diagrams or maps… but these can take a lot of time to prepare. And while you do have a lot of time when turns come so slowly, it’s still a lot of work for busy (or lazy) GMs.

So, again, we see that systems with lighter or more abstract combat systems are better for play-by-post.

Prognosis:

In my experience, the following systems are particularly suited to play-by-post gaming:

And the following systems, while not impossible, are somewhat hampered

Again, there are always workarounds, but those are predicated on play-style rather than inherent conditions of the game itself. We’ll talk about some of these techniques when we discuss running the Play by Post game.

Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.