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RPG Game Format . . . PBeM or PBP?

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  • RPG Game Format . . . PBeM or PBP?

    So I have started 2 PBP forum games here and neither went very far. Mostly due to me not being able to progress the stories past a certain point which is ironic, because when I Table Top RPG, I never have this problem.

    Over the last few days I have been reading some "How To's" on running these type games and have come to the conclusion the way the PBP games progress, in succeeding posts, makes it very hard to keep the flow of the story going (for GM, players and lurkers) and also keep things moving along. This is because players post as they can, with some posting a lot more and often than others which can drown out the less active players and get their input buried in a mass of postings in just a few days. It also limits the ability to add in any FoW since everyone sees every post, although PM's are also an option.

    Reading what I have I am thinking that the PBeM style is more suited to this type of game where the GM mass mails the players with the situation and the players email the GM back with their intended actions, copying each other but only IF they are in the immediate vicinity of each other. It also allows players to share information without everyone else seeing the conversations (of course PM's share the same function BUT forums frequently have a limit on the 3 of PM's a person can have before they need to start deleting some whereas email does not have this limitation). The GM takes those emails puts together the situation results stopping where needed and inserting the actions/results of each player from their actions and then mass mailing the results back to all of the players. The best communication rate seems to be 1-2 emails per player to GM each week. This keeps things rolling but allows the GM to better "pace" and control the game progress.

    Has anyone participated in either of these 2 style games which actually went on for a fair amount of time AND were worth the time you, as a player put into it/them?
    [Official Game Thread] "To the Berezina River" Napoleonic Game

  • #2
    Oh, and I forgot to add, a PBeM game allows allows easier sharing of files, such as images, characters sheets and other such things.
    [Official Game Thread] "To the Berezina River" Napoleonic Game

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    • #3
      OK, although no one has posted I see the thread has at least been looked at a fairly good number of times.

      After reading up on some things, I have decided to go with a small PBeM RPG game test run. If there is enough interest I will develop the scenario further and go from there.

      Basically this will be Low-Fantasy based game using the HarnMaster 3 system and HarnWorld setting (HarnWorld is culturally based on 12th century England with a very, very small touch of Fantasy/Magic thrown in). The game will focus more on role-playing and NOT hack and slash although those opportunities will certainly present themselves. Combat is deadly and there are no magic potions to repeatedly fall back on to save your character.

      All communications will be email based. I "may" eventually have a website set up that will be used for storing background information, etc for players (and visitors) to refer too. I am also planning to have a custom domain name and ALL players will have access to a dedicated email address (based on that domain name) for the game with easy access through a web based email client. Player participation would be about 1-2 emails per week.

      Any interest please post here or send me a PM and we'll go from there.
      [Official Game Thread] "To the Berezina River" Napoleonic Game

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      • #4
        Sure

        I'll give it a shot mike, let me know when it gets started bud.

        Cheers, once again "into the breach" with Harn!! LOL

        Tom

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        • #5
          Just to add some more. HarnMaster does not really use the typical Fantasy RPG classes of Fighter, Cleric, Thief, etc. Character "classes" are not used, instead you have professions similar to what you would find people doing in a typical medieval society. This way you are not restricted to skills or allowed weapon use based on character class.
          [Official Game Thread] "To the Berezina River" Napoleonic Game

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          • #6
            I would be willing to give it a go. Let me just see if I got this. We the players email you our actions and then you compile them and post basically the story of whats going on?

            Thanks for looking!!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TRDG View Post
              I'll give it a shot mike, let me know when it gets started bud.

              Cheers, once again "into the breach" with Harn!! LOL
              I'm looking at using Pre-Gen characters since HarnMaster is pretty detailed as far as character creation. I will probably give some general guidance for character creation to each player, allowing them to choose a good chunk of information and then I will finalize the character based on that feedback.
              [Official Game Thread] "To the Berezina River" Napoleonic Game

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SoccerDJ View Post
                I would be willing to give it a go. Let me just see if I got this. We the players email you our actions and then you compile them and post basically the story of whats going on?
                Yes. I'm thinking using an email format would be much easier to manage and follow for players and GM alike. Using a forum and Play by Post seems to end up with you having to read back and forth through each post trying to follow along with what is going on. At least this way, the GM can review each player's actions, process that information and then provide everyone a large email/post with the outcome. I can also then take that outcome and convert the "results" to a single forum post in storylike format that players and lurkers can read and follow without all the non-essential information clogging the thread up.

                For a more detailed overview, we would be basically following the guidelines posted here as far as how the game is played;

                Play by E-Mail Guidelines

                Example One
                Example Two
                [Official Game Thread] "To the Berezina River" Napoleonic Game

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Double Deuce View Post
                  Yes. I'm thinking using an email format would be much easier to manage and follow for players and GM alike. Using a forum and Play by Post seems to end up with you having to read back and forth through each post trying to follow along with what is going on. At least this way, the GM can review each player's actions, process that information and then provide everyone a large email/post with the outcome. I can also then take that outcome and convert the "results" to a single forum post in storylike format that players and lurkers can read and follow without all the non-essential information clogging the thread up.

                  For a more detailed overview, we would be basically following the guidelines posted here as far as how the game is played;

                  Play by E-Mail Guidelines

                  Example One
                  Example Two

                  I like the concept in the guidelines and examples. It seems that it will be fun to develop a character and do more in character writing then asking OOC questions. While I fear I am not very skilled in creative writing this will certainly help develop that skill.

                  Thanks for looking!!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SoccerDJ View Post
                    While I fear I am not very skilled in creative writing this will certainly help develop that skill.
                    Well, that won't be the focus of course. No grammar or language evaluations here. It'll be more a matter of just getting your actions transmitted so I can compare everyone's notes then "play out" the parts of the scenes that are covered.

                    Once advantage to this format I think is that players can go into different areas, rooms, parts of town without it bogging the entire game down. With a Play by Post game the thread would get all messed up trying to sort through who is where and seeing what and with a Virtual Table Top game some would be sitting around waiting while I ran through a single character's side adventure. This way I can process each player's specific side adventure AND still keep the total story under control.
                    [Official Game Thread] "To the Berezina River" Napoleonic Game

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Double Deuce View Post
                      Well, that won't be the focus of course. No grammar or language evaluations here. It'll be more a matter of just getting your actions transmitted so I can compare everyone's notes then "play out" the parts of the scenes that are covered.

                      Once advantage to this format I think is that players can go into different areas, rooms, parts of town without it bogging the entire game down. With a Play by Post game the thread would get all messed up trying to sort through who is where and seeing what and with a Virtual Table Top game some would be sitting around waiting while I ran through a single character's side adventure. This way I can process each player's specific side adventure AND still keep the total story under control.
                      Sounds good to me. I hope we can get some players who will really immerse themselves in their characters. If there is anything I can help with let me know and I would be glad to see what I can do.

                      Thanks for looking!!

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                      • #12
                        I have extensive D&D knowledge and background, but have never played Harn. Is there any burden of rulebooks or is it GM/Player interaction that drives it? I'd like to play, you may just have to give me some pointers on what you want first.
                        "Look, a golden winged ship is passing my way"
                        And I really didn't have to stop...I just kept on going.

                        "Castles Made Of Sand"-Jimi Hendrix from Axis:Bold As Love 1967

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                        • #13
                          A succesful Play by Post format.

                          Look down the Bottom, these guys have Two entire subforums dedicated to one huge Role Playing world!
                          Task Force Regenbogen- Support and Paras

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MetalDog View Post
                            I have extensive D&D knowledge and background, but have never played Harn. Is there any burden of rulebooks or is it GM/Player interaction that drives it? I'd like to play, you may just have to give me some pointers on what you want first.
                            Mostly GM/Player interaction no need for any rulebooks or other products. Harn does have an extensive Player Guide which I have so I will try to out together a condensed document (probably word converted to pdf) to pass along to the players. Most of it is background information but there are a few charts that might be helpful. That's actually one of the reasons I was leaning toward PBeM rather than PbP as its easier to distribute images and information as attachments rather than players having to scroll through who knows how many threads to find stuff.
                            [Official Game Thread] "To the Berezina River" Napoleonic Game

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                            • #15
                              real-time is still the best, if possible.
                              "We have no white flag."

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