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Play-by-Post GMing: How different is it from "normal" GMing?

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  • #31
    Re: Play-by-Post GMing: How different is it from "normal" GMing?

    I can't speak much as a GM, but from a player perspective I find one important thing is momentum.

    It can be very easy in a PBP game for nothing to happen for days at a time, especially during combat.
    Sometimes it can be a good idea, in combat at least, to put a limit on how long you're willing to wait for a player to respond. A day or two is reasonable, and generally most people disappear during the weekends so it's nice to just consider that as a bit of a lost time, but that way you can keep the game moving.

    I've seen a few games where combat starts and two weeks later we're three players into the first round of combat. That's not optimal. Especally if combat is going to last a few rounds.

    The other thing is during RP. I would have to ask the other GMs here, but I would say if the game seems to be spinning it's wheels, or things are beginning to slow down it might be time to push the story forward.
    When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.

    Again, it's really dependent on the players, if they're having fun rattling things back and forth that's great. But if they've bogged down in planning mode and nothing is going anywhere, or they're lost for what to do, it might be time to give things a little push.
    It can be hard to keep track of what's going on in a game where updates come every couple of weeks, especially if not much is happening during those weeks.

    I think I've miscommunicated the crap out of that.

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    • #32
      Re: Play-by-Post GMing: How different is it from "normal" GMing?

      Originally posted by kirinke View Post
      Why not try a couple of one shots, with a few players to get your feet wet? Nothing big, just practice.
      That's what I'm thinking of. I'm not going to try and jump into the deep end by planning an epic.

      Originally posted by Arkrite View Post
      I can't speak much as a GM, but from a player perspective I find one important thing is momentum.

      It can be very easy in a PBP game for nothing to happen for days at a time, especially during combat.
      Sometimes it can be a good idea, in combat at least, to put a limit on how long you're willing to wait for a player to respond. A day or two is reasonable, and generally most people disappear during the weekends so it's nice to just consider that as a bit of a lost time, but that way you can keep the game moving.

      I've seen a few games where combat starts and two weeks later we're three players into the first round of combat. That's not optimal. Especally if combat is going to last a few rounds.

      The other thing is during RP. I would have to ask the other GMs here, but I would say if the game seems to be spinning it's wheels, or things are beginning to slow down it might be time to push the story forward.
      When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.

      Again, it's really dependent on the players, if they're having fun rattling things back and forth that's great. But if they've bogged down in planning mode and nothing is going anywhere, or they're lost for what to do, it might be time to give things a little push.
      It can be hard to keep track of what's going on in a game where updates come every couple of weeks, especially if not much is happening during those weeks.

      I think I've miscommunicated the crap out of that.
      No miscommunication here.

      You do highlight my biggest worry, though. I tend towards action heavy thinking when writing adventures, and I'm concerned that it'll kill the game before it really gets started.
      SuperFerret's Shoebox of Solitude - My RollCall thread
      Savage City: Welcome to the Jungle - My Custom M&M Setting

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      • #33
        Re: Play-by-Post GMing: How different is it from "normal" GMing?

        Originally posted by Arkrite View Post
        When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.
        This is superheros: It should be an alien, with a rocket launcher, coming through the wall.

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        • #34
          Re: Play-by-Post GMing: How different is it from "normal" GMing?

          Originally posted by SilvercatMoonpaw View Post
          This is superheros: It should be an alien, with a rocket launcher, coming through the wall.
          True, but the concepts of "man", "door", and "gun" are very flexible in the context of comic books. The rocket launcher alien Kool-Aid Man is just one of many variations.
          SuperFerret's Shoebox of Solitude - My RollCall thread
          Savage City: Welcome to the Jungle - My Custom M&M Setting

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          • #35
            Re: Play-by-Post GMing: How different is it from "normal" GMing?

            I’m really interested to try my hand at GM-ing also. Kinda scared though, I’m one of those ‘wanna-get-everything-right’ people. I know I’ll stumble on a couple of things, I won’t get discouraged, promise
            Lots of good advice in this thread; I’ve stolen a lot of it to make this list. Is it ok? Did I miss anything?

            - Please post again within 60 hours of your last post.
            - Try to really write a bit for your IC posts. During battle, that doesn’t always work, but still, try to keep it more than just one line stating actions. Spoken text for your hero should be in color. Everyone picks their own color.
            - Keep OOC text in the OOC thread as much as possible, preferably all of it. Create a link to the OOC comment at the bottom of your IC post. Besides that, I’d like the IC posts to contain only description and dialogue.
            - During combat, each of my OOC posts will feature an initiative count so we can all keep track of who's up for a move.
            - Start every OOC post with this format:

            Captain Heroman
            Condition: 2 Bruises; Dazed - One/two words description
            HP: 3


            - Use Coyote Code as a dice roller. Link the results in your OOC post.
            - If you or I feel the game is being disrupted, we should handle it via PM, not in the threads.
            - I may, on occasion, make some of the more standard check rolls (like Perception) for you. I you feel it will speed up play to make some rolls in advance, just make them; they can always be disregarded if we don’t need ‘em.
            - Please excuse any and all inexperience on my part. I might ask for help.

            I’m especially worried about keeping track of initiative count, should I be?
            Last edited by TheGreat058; 08-04-2016, 06:19 AM. Reason: Put in the initiative thing
            [b][size=3][url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/4415-jacklang-Heroes-amp-Villains]My builds[/url][/b][/size]

            -----

            [i][b]Tom Joad:[/b] Well, maybe it's like Casy says. A fellow ain't got a soul of his own, just little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody, then ... I'll be all around in the dark - I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look - wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad.

            - 'The Grapes of Wrath', John Steinbeck[/i]

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            • #36
              Re: Play-by-Post GMing: How different is it from "normal" GMing?

              In PbP, I keep the initiative count and order at the bottom of all my gm posts in combat. This way every player knows who is up plus who coming up.
              [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/46-mrdents-menagerie-of-characters]My characters past and present[/url]

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              • #37
                Re: Play-by-Post GMing: How different is it from "normal" GMing?

                Originally posted by mrdent12 View Post
                In PbP, I keep the initiative count and order at the bottom of all my gm posts in combat. This way every player knows who is up plus who coming up.
                Ah, good one, thanks
                [b][size=3][url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/4415-jacklang-Heroes-amp-Villains]My builds[/url][/b][/size]

                -----

                [i][b]Tom Joad:[/b] Well, maybe it's like Casy says. A fellow ain't got a soul of his own, just little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody, then ... I'll be all around in the dark - I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look - wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad.

                - 'The Grapes of Wrath', John Steinbeck[/i]

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: Play-by-Post GMing: How different is it from "normal" GMing?

                  Also, in your GM posts. if you split the party, summarize who is in which group each post you make. It can be a page or two for some players and since its all one thread it gets complicated quickly.
                  [QUOTE=Enigmatic One;178799][FONT=Verdana]Note to self, get Bruce and his Bat-force to take this one.[/FONT][/QUOTE]

                  [URL="https://www.dropbox.com/s/0m9d5ob31w5pfjw/Earth%20218.pdf?dl=0"]Earth 218 - JLA Academy Setting[/URL]
                  [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/28-Blade-s-Third-Edition-Builds?p=109&viewfull=1#post109"]Blade's Builds[/URL]

                  [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1554-The-Merge-3E-(OOC)?p=124944#post124944"]The Merge Character Sheet Lists[/URL]
                  [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/4284-The-Merge-Cosmic-Quandaries-3e-Interest-check?p=167246&viewfull=1#post167246"]The Cosmic Merge Character Sheet List[/URL]

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                  • #39
                    Re: Play-by-Post GMing: How different is it from "normal" GMing?

                    I don't know if this has been covered, but if it is your first time at a Play by post, keep the PL down to around PL 8 and set some firm ground rules. That helps.

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                    • #40
                      Re: Play-by-Post GMing: How different is it from "normal" GMing?

                      Due to various reasons, most of my gaming takes place over play-by-post. The most important bit of advice I could offer is: don't restrict your players to the initiative order for posting, rather let everyone post for the round in any order, then adjudicate their actions based on initiative order. Any oddities or edge cases simply deal with.

                      The reason being is that every interaction between the GM and players can add hours to days to the game. What takes a simple nod from the GM in face-to-face can take several days in pbp. Collapse as much as you can. Give all the relevant info up front. Be as open and sharing as possible. Post stats and DCs for villains (or their entire sheet) so the players can just go ahead and take care of everything at once rather than making one roll, waiting a day or more for you to respond with a simple "roll your damage save" and the like. Make assumptions and make a lot of extra rolls just in case. Cutting down on the handling time of a game is the first priority to make pbp games run smoothly.

                      I've seen combat rounds that should have taken 10 minutes face-to-face drag out to over a week in pbp simply because of strict initiative order and handling time.
                      Yes, superheroes should be played like paladins in capes.

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