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.

Michael Coorlim

Michael Coorlim is a teller of strange stories for stranger people. He collects them, the oddballs. The mystics and fire-spinners, the sages and tricksters. He curates their tales, combines their elements and lets them rattle around inside his rock-tumbler skull until they gleam, then spills them loose onto the page for like-minded readers to enjoy.

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