Category Archives: Role-Playing Games

Introduction to Play by Post Gaming

It’s tough being a grown-up. You have to have a job, you have to pay bills, your body is falling apart, and sometimes you have a kid or three to take care of. All of these obligations can make any leisure-time scarce, and trying to plan regular activities with other adults with their own responsibilities can be difficult.

That’s just life, but it makes being a player of tabletop roleplaying games hard.

Remote Play

One option is to play remotely, over skype, or google hangouts, IRC, or some other internet means. While you can play with friends all over the world, this still requires everyone to be able to set aside the same time on a regular basis. In many cases, that’s exactly the obstacle preventing people from getting together in the first place. In other cases, not everyone is comfortable with playing via real time typing, or has a sound set-up good enough to play remotely.

It’s a solution, but it may not be the best solution.

Play By Post

Another solution, the one that works for me, is play-by-post. This takes place by email (play by email or PBeM) or on a forum or some social media app, but there’s no real-time pressure. Players can post as they are able, whenever they have the time to compose and send a post.

Some Play By Post games are free-form, others use specific game systems. Some post daily, others weekly, others less regularly. How exactly they work is up to the group involved.

I’ll be revisiting this topic in the future with guidelines and advice where it comes to playing, running, and setting up a Play By Post game, but for now my advice is to go and check one out, watch the players, see how everyone interacts.

Other posts in this series:

Where you can find Play by Post games:

  • RolePlay Online – a site architecture specifically designed for playing PBP games. Well moderated, with many tools to make playing easier and more efficient.
  • RPGNet’s Play by Post Forum – They also have a PbP Meta-forum for games to isolate their non-play chatter.
  • SJGames’ forums PbP Forum – GURPS specific but contains some of the most knowledgeable players
  • PBEM2 – Site where you can announce recruitment for email-based games, or join games in progress.
  • OngoingWorlds – A site with a blog-like architecture dedicated to collaborative storytelling.
  • You can find a lot more over on this TVTropes Page. I don’t have experience with them, of course.

If you want to promote or point readers to any other PbP game portals, you can do so in the comments section. Let us know!

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