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Old 12-06-2012, 10:37 AM   #1
ericthered
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Default [OCC] Poll : What makes a good PbP game? (will be applied)

What makes a good Play by Post game?

this question has two purposes: the first is to allow GM's (such as myself) to guide PbP games in directions that are funnest for the players, and to avoid mistakes. The second is to allow the building of a one-shot adventure, assuming I like GMing with the parameters suggested (yes, I'm GMing two already. This would be a brief spurt during a period when I have a lot of time).

There are a set of questions I specifically want to know. Please mention specifically what gets you excited for a game, and what makes you think you don't want to play. Remember that this is NOT gaming in general, but merely when using Play by Post. Also tell me which of these is the most important.

Genre: Fantasy, DF, Science Fiction, Supers, Space Opera and others. Which make you say "I've got to play this", and which do you particularly avoid?

Activities Planned: Do you prefer solving puzzles? or is it combat that enthuses you? How important is character development? Is negotiation an enjoyable part of play?

Supplement materials: Which sets of rules make or break a PbP game for you? This includes Cinematic vs Realistic, G:Magic, Thuamology, Supers, Psionic Powers, DF, MH, MA, and so forth.

Plot: how important is the plot? do you avoid games without it, and only go for ideas that sound cool? do you prefer just wandering around letting characters make their own decisions? And is this question even an issue?

Power Level: Do you love working with mounds of points? is such a prospect dull to you? does it matter by genre? similarly, (but not the same) do you enjoy being world shakers, or do you want to deal with peers? or is this even an issue?

House Rules: Are they annoying or wonderful? If depends, what determines this? or are they just all par for the course?

Gaming Group: Different players and GMs cause games to behave differently. when using PbP on this forum, how important is who is already playing in the game, or GMing it?

Other issues: what other issues strongly effect how well a pbp game runs?

Thank you for your answers,

Eric the Red
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:34 AM   #2
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Default Re: [OCC] Poll : What makes a good PbP game? (will be applied)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Genre: Fantasy, DF, Science Fiction, Supers, Space Opera and others. Which make you say "I've got to play this", and which do you particularly avoid?
For me...Supers, Modern Day genres and Fantasy, in the order

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Activities Planned: Do you prefer solving puzzles? or is it combat that enthuses you? How important is character development? Is negotiation an enjoyable part of play?
I love puzzles and character development. What's the point of playing if there is no development? I'm lukewarm when it comes to combat and negotiation, but I'd rather do negotiation than combat.

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Supplement materials: Which sets of rules make or break a PbP game for you? This includes Cinematic vs Realistic, G:Magic, Thuamology, Supers, Psionic Powers, DF, MH, MA, and so forth.
This really makes no difference to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Plot: how important is the plot? do you avoid games without it, and only go for ideas that sound cool? do you prefer just wandering around letting characters make their own decisions? And is this question even an issue?
There should be a plot. What's the point in playing a game if there is no plot? Why work towards something if there is nothing to work for? Long term plots makes things really interesting and fun for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Power Level: Do you love working with mounds of points? is such a prospect dull to you? does it matter by genre? similarly, (but not the same) do you enjoy being world shakers, or do you want to deal with peers? or is this even an issue?
For me, this isn't really an issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
House Rules: Are they annoying or wonderful? If depends, what determines this? or are they just all par for the course?
For me, it's expected. Every GM has their way of doing things and house rules reflect that. It's not a big deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Gaming Group: Different players and GMs cause games to behave differently. when using PbP on this forum, how important is who is already playing in the game, or GMing it?
I have been in a few PbP games where I have not had good experiences. As such, if certain people are playing or running the game, I won't take part in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Other issues: what other issues strongly effect how well a pbp game runs?
For me? How everyone gets along, and if the GM will step in when needed.

I was in a game where my character was purposely ignored by everyone and the GM did nothing to remedy that. When I asked about it, he tells me that my character wasn't fitting well with the group. I had asked everyone if the character was okay and no one said there was a problem. If they had I would have changed the character. But more than that...the GM should have said something to me and I feel he should have made an effort to include me.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: [OCC] Poll : What makes a good PbP game? (will be applied)

I myself are interested in games of cthuluesqe horror and survival. Maybe in some more light scoobiesque mysteries solving or detective games also. It doesn't matter much if its PBP or some other game.
As for point range - I would like something that is not too massive as the creation of characters would take too long, also previously mentioned genres support more "normal" levels. Id say from 0 to 500 :D, from shocked couchpotatoes trying to survive monsters on a field trip gone awry to preppy teenage vampire hunters with moderate superpowers :P.
For consideration of PBP games. I myself like rolling but on these sorts of games it would be probably good to keep it down a bit as it might ease and speed up posting. Adventures and trials that can be solved non-linearily and doesn't always require participations by all players would be suggested - also because of the form of the play. I do love combats but they would be one of the more demanding things in PBP - probably a good idea to set up some time limit (like say day ort two) after which playres turn will be done by a predetermined action (like wait or allout defence).
Somekind of investigation etc. plots might lend themselves better to PBP - let say if someone says how they are going to go do some liobrary search and someone else how they are questioning people on the town, then later their posting times can float a bit relative to eachoter. Not so well with a combat sequence.
So I'd guess these kind of actions might suit better a pbp game - invention and gadgeteering, magic and mundane research, preparing elaborate rituals etc., managing and administrating your store/corporation/intergalactic empire.
So it might be good to look playstyles and genres that suit these kind of actions.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: [OCC] Poll : What makes a good PbP game? (will be applied)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Genre: Fantasy, DF, Science Fiction, Supers, Space Opera and others. Which make you say "I've got to play this", and which do you particularly avoid?
I like all kinds of games. But not all kinds of games work well in PbP. I've never seen a science fiction game work out. There's too much stuff going on, and most of the technology ends up seeming arbitrary. Those kinds of games require a lot more work up-front by the GM. It needs to be crystal clear exactly what technology exists in the world.

My preference for PbP is low-magic, low-power fantasy, since that seems to suit the medium best. Everyone can come in with the same understanding of what the world is going to look like and what kinds of characters are appropriate, which is most of the battle with a PbP game. If the players' expectations and characters don't match up to the game, then it's not going to work.

Quote:
Activities Planned: Do you prefer solving puzzles? or is it combat that enthuses you? How important is character development? Is negotiation an enjoyable part of play?
It doesn't matter, as long as it's clear before the game starts, so everyone comes in with the same expectations.

Quote:
Supplement materials: Which sets of rules make or break a PbP game for you? This includes Cinematic vs Realistic, G:Magic, Thuamology, Supers, Psionic Powers, DF, MH, MA, and so forth.
Lower power is better. Complicated actions take much longer to resolve in PbP. The spells in Magic can bring a game to a halt, especially since there are often so many options available. It's the same in supers games.

I like psionics and divine powers. Those allow for flexible abilities without being overly complex.

Quote:
Plot: how important is the plot? do you avoid games without it, and only go for ideas that sound cool? do you prefer just wandering around letting characters make their own decisions? And is this question even an issue?
I like to have a strong plot. It gives the game cohesion. If there's no cohesion, you can spend months lost in posts where nothing happens.

Quote:
Power Level: Do you love working with mounds of points? is such a prospect dull to you? does it matter by genre? similarly, (but not the same) do you enjoy being world shakers, or do you want to deal with peers? or is this even an issue?
Higher point totals cause problems in PbP.

Quote:
House Rules: Are they annoying or wonderful? If depends, what determines this? or are they just all par for the course?
Doesn't matter, as long as they're not surprises in the middle of play.

Quote:
Gaming Group: Different players and GMs cause games to behave differently. when using PbP on this forum, how important is who is already playing in the game, or GMing it?
It's incredibly important. People with different posting rates will have different amounts of influence on the game. Someone who can post two or three times a day is going to affect the game much more than someone who only posts twice as week when they can catch up.

Quote:
Other issues: what other issues strongly effect how well a pbp game runs?
The two biggest factors as everyone being on the same page to start with, and people consistently being able to post. If someone doesn't understand what the game will be going in, then they'll lose interest when the game isn't what they expected. And then the game comes to a crawl as they stop posting.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: [OCC] Poll : What makes a good PbP game? (will be applied)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
What makes a good Play by Post game?

this question has two purposes: the first is to allow GM's (such as myself) to guide PbP games in directions that are funnest for the players, and to avoid mistakes. The second is to allow the building of a one-shot adventure, assuming I like GMing with the parameters suggested (yes, I'm GMing two already. This would be a brief spurt during a period when I have a lot of time).

There are a set of questions I specifically want to know. Please mention specifically what gets you excited for a game, and what makes you think you don't want to play. Remember that this is NOT gaming in general, but merely when using Play by Post. Also tell me which of these is the most important.

Genre: Fantasy, DF, Science Fiction, Supers, Space Opera and others. Which make you say "I've got to play this", and which do you particularly avoid?
I would like to see more morally slighted games. Where we are not always the good guys. I would like to see more High or Low fantasy games, IE more structered games where people do not have the freedom to make what they want. I have seen some whacky munchcined crap on here.

Activities Planned: Do you prefer solving puzzles? or is it combat that enthuses you? How important is character development? Is negotiation an enjoyable part of play?
All the above.

Supplement materials: Which sets of rules make or break a PbP game for you? This includes Cinematic vs Realistic, G:Magic, Thuamology, Supers, Psionic Powers, DF, MH, MA, and so forth.
I tend to enjoy more cinematic. I am also seeing with my failing games that being mroe a rules nazi is tending to be bad.

Plot: how important is the plot? do you avoid games without it, and only go for ideas that sound cool? do you prefer just wandering around letting characters make their own decisions? And is this question even an issue?
Plot is important to me.

Power Level: Do you love working with mounds of points? is such a prospect dull to you? does it matter by genre? similarly, (but not the same) do you enjoy being world shakers, or do you want to deal with peers? or is this even an issue?
I tend to like more points to work with.

House Rules: Are they annoying or wonderful? If depends, what determines this? or are they just all par for the course?
I am starting to find out that not everyone follows the rules or cares about them so if there are house rules, they should be stated.

Gaming Group: Different players and GMs cause games to behave differently. when using PbP on this forum, how important is who is already playing in the game, or GMing it?
Not very much to me. If the game is good I will stick with it. However I abour god-modding and Meta gaming, and these stupid If, then posts.

Other issues: what other issues strongly effect how well a pbp game runs?
I think players who argue and fight with the GM tend to ruin a game. I know that players are smart and know what they are doing, but when they argue with the gm is ruins it. The gm is the final say, what he says goes no matter what the rules say. I see a lot of people on here who do not respect the GM.

Thank you for your answers,

Eric the Red
Answered In bold in each section.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:34 PM   #6
ericthered
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Default Re: [OCC] Poll : What makes a good PbP game? (will be applied)

To answer my own questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post

Genre: Fantasy, DF, Science Fiction, Supers, Space Opera and others. Which make you say "I've got to play this", and which do you particularly avoid?
I've had enough dungeon fantasy, and probably won't be playing with any of that, and I'm not interested in horror. Science Fiction is my current love, and a low diversity travel campaign is a delight.

Quote:
Activities Planned: Do you prefer solving puzzles? or is it combat that enthuses you? How important is character development? Is negotiation an enjoyable part of play?
I enjoy manipulating the world, so mostly social interaction, though I am also found of big battles sprinkled in there. (Battles, not fights: I like to feel like I changed something).

Quote:
Supplement materials: Which sets of rules make or break a PbP game for you? This includes Cinematic vs Realistic, G:Magic, Thuamology, Supers, Psionic Powers, DF, MH, MA, and so forth.
I don't own either DF or MH, so RPM usually means I can't play. I'm not too found of those genres anyway though. I love Thaumology, and prefer realism.

Quote:
Plot: how important is the plot? do you avoid games without it, and only go for ideas that sound cool? do you prefer just wandering around letting characters make their own decisions? And is this question even an issue?
I can make a plot, just as long as the GM lets me do something other than what's on the rails. Its not a huge issue, but I like to try weird solutions to things.

Quote:
Power Level: Do you love working with mounds of points? is such a prospect dull to you? does it matter by genre? similarly, (but not the same) do you enjoy being world shakers, or do you want to deal with peers? or is this even an issue?
I don't really mind point values too much, though limits on what kind of characters can be created are a good idea. I hate feeling like I have to get into a munchkinry contest.

Quote:
House Rules: Are they annoying or wonderful? If depends, what determines this? or are they just all par for the course?
never been on the player's end. I tend to institute them a lot in my games, though, which is why I'm asking about them now.

Quote:
Gaming Group: Different players and GMs cause games to behave differently. when using PbP on this forum, how important is who is already playing in the game, or GMing it?
So far it hasn't been important.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: [OCC] Poll : What makes a good PbP game? (will be applied)

Genre: I don't exactly have a preference for genre, but prefer the more fantastic elements.

Activities: Combat in PbP needs swift resolution. Puzzles and character development are easier to do, but just as satisfying.

Supplements: I don't have DF or MH (I think), but I look to see if there are supplements appropriate for the genre, and might suggest additional ones for consideration if I think they were overlooked

Plot: A game needs both plot and an interesting idea.

Power level: Depends on genre, but more points than the players know what to do with is probably a bad idea. Shorter character sheets are better.

House Rules: Be upfront about both the rules system, optional rules, and house rules.

Group: I haven't played much on the forums, so I feel like I can't answer this well.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: [OCC] Poll : What makes a good PbP game? (will be applied)

Quote:
Genre: Fantasy, DF, Science Fiction, Supers, Space Opera and others. Which make you say "I've got to play this", and which do you particularly avoid?
I enjoy science fiction, DF, and especially psuedohistorical settings. I tend to avoid high fantasy/modern games.
Quote:
Activities Planned: Do you prefer solving puzzles? or is it combat that enthuses you? How important is character development? Is negotiation an enjoyable part of play?
My favorite aspect is generally the pre-action planning and positioning. I like to take a support role, finding clever tricks to stack the deck in the party's favor.
Quote:
Supplement materials: Which sets of rules make or break a PbP game for you? This includes Cinematic vs Realistic, G:Magic, Thuamology, Supers, Psionic Powers, DF, MH, MA, and so forth.
I enjoy the whole spectrum from cinematic to realistic. I'm not a fan of the complexities of the extra power systems aside from the elements of the core Magic rules necessary for DF. I like some of the techniques and extra options from Martial Arts on a case-by-case basis depending on the game.

Quote:
Plot: how important is the plot? do you avoid games without it, and only go for ideas that sound cool? do you prefer just wandering around letting characters make their own decisions? And is this question even an issue?
I prefer open-ended games, where the PC's make the plot through their interactions with the world. If there is going to be a more structured plot, it's important for GM and Players to have a mutual understanding of this to avoid building characters that don't fit in well. Also, see Gaming Group below.

Quote:
Power Level: Do you love working with mounds of points? is such a prospect dull to you? does it matter by genre? similarly, (but not the same) do you enjoy being world shakers, or do you want to deal with peers? or is this even an issue?
I think 150-250 points is the ideal power level: strong enough to be very competent, but weak enough to be interesting.

Quote:
House Rules: Are they annoying or wonderful? If depends, what determines this? or are they just all par for the course?
See Gaming Group below.

Quote:
Gaming Group: Different players and GMs cause games to behave differently. when using PbP on this forum, how important is who is already playing in the game, or GMing it?
Who is involved is mainly important to me in determining how much effort I will put into a game. If I have the free time, I'll join any simple one-shot that strikes my fancy, but if a game involves complex backstory/plot and/or lots of house rules/setting info to absorb, then I'm not likely to invest the effort required if I don't know the people involved well enough to be confident it won't fizzle.

Quote:
Other issues: what other issues strongly effect how well a pbp game runs?
In the pbp format it's especially important that the GM keeps the players moving towards clear goals. When goals are vague, deciding what to do takes far too long, and that leads to games petering out. To that end, it's important that the party either has a GM-controlled force pushing them around (see for instance Totem's Worlds of Fire game), or has PC's in clear leadership roles (see for instance your Strange Neighbors game, or if you feel like an archive trawl the Keeping in the Black game (OOC/IC) from a while back).
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: [OCC] Poll : What makes a good PbP game? (will be applied)

Quote:
Genre: Fantasy, DF, Science Fiction, Supers, Space Opera and others. Which make you say "I've got to play this", and which do you particularly avoid?
The genre doesn't exactly determine this for me; it's more a case of other stuff (below). I do prefer games where I can get a handle on the backstory fairly easily though.

Quote:
Activities Planned: Do you prefer solving puzzles? or is it combat that enthuses you? How important is character development? Is negotiation an enjoyable part of play?
Puzzles are good, provided that everyone is equipped to assist with them. Combat in PbP tends to alternate between very fast or dead-slow-and-stop depending on how often the players post, so as a general rule I'd try to avoid it for the sake of pace. Character development is good, and I like the idea of a world to explore; I tend to world-build a bit myself, and it's nice to explore sometimes. Certainly any GM should be ready for players asking questions about how things work when dealing with the world that they have created.

Quote:
Supplement materials: Which sets of rules make or break a PbP game for you? This includes Cinematic vs Realistic, G:Magic, Thuamology, Supers, Psionic Powers, DF, MH, MA, and so forth.
The trick here is making sure that everyone has the resources. Also, ensuring that everyone is working together from the off (see my thoughts right at the end on this).

Quote:
Plot: how important is the plot? do you avoid games without it, and only go for ideas that sound cool? do you prefer just wandering around letting characters make their own decisions? And is this question even an issue?
Plot is important for keeping things happen, but if the players want to role play a bit then they should definitely be allowed to do it. The role playing can mess up a plot a bit sometimes, when someone does something unexpected, but there needs to be at least a minimal plot for the GM to fall back on rather than simply resorting to "a man with a gun walks into the room" whenever things start to lag.

Personally, I perfer a plot to work with, provided that it is well explained; some long-term games can take a long time to read through and some kind of centralised plot notes section can be very handy (on which note I could do with assembling one of those myself).

Quote:
Power Level: Do you love working with mounds of points? is such a prospect dull to you? does it matter by genre? similarly, (but not the same) do you enjoy being world shakers, or do you want to deal with peers? or is this even an issue?
This is an interesting one. If the situation warrents it then huge amounts of points can be very good, but you need to define where those points will go; normally things like that go into Powers games or the like, where having everyone being able to pick whatever powers they want can seriously mess things up if they put in plot-busting abilities.

On the other hand low point games can be good; having to be careful about the way points are spent can be a lot more interesting than pondering how that final hundred points will be assigned. And it's possible to come up with some very interesting powers for less than 100 points. It's very much a genre thing though, as well as being a style one.

The style in this case refers to things like how long-term the GM allows actions and consequences to be. I have been planning a story (which I keep thinking about turning into a GURPS campaign) where the main character was deliberately a 1000+ points psi compared to everyone else being 100-200 point normal Humans. There was a heavy element of "people with powers don't think like normal people" in the story, which could be interesting to carry over to an RPG. Games where players can do whatever they want and no one will ever question it ("no one" includes civilians, governments, deities of various levels, and non-sentient things like the Force) don't appeal to me.

Quote:
House Rules: Are they annoying or wonderful? If depends, what determines this? or are they just all par for the course?
As long as they are stated in advance, or proper allowance is made for people changing their actions when they run into unstated rules and can't do what they thought they should, I think house rules are fine. You do need that though, because otherwise it can start to look like the GM blatantly fiddling things.

Quote:
Gaming Group: Different players and GMs cause games to behave differently. when using PbP on this forum, how important is who is already playing in the game, or GMing it?
Not hugely important in terms of players. In terms of characters it can make a difference, because of different character styles (see below), but not much in terms of the players themselves. The GM... If I had run into the GM as a player or GM before and knew that I didn't get on with their style of play then it might make a difference. But not hugely otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorin Thorha View Post
To that end, it's important that the party either has a GM-controlled force pushing them around (see for instance Totem's Worlds of Fire game), or has PC's in clear leadership roles (see for instance your Strange Neighbors game
This does help a lot to sort this sort of thing in advance. The thought referenced for my game comes in two forms: the GM controlled Western Harbour who are employing the players and pushing them to solve problems, and (currently) Harry Sheridan who has been assigned as a team leader for the purposes of giving me an in-game means of keeping things moving and providing a legitimate way of giving the players information (he has a couple of skills which mean that he can answer questions that the players might ask when they can't get back in touch with base). Having a character around to ensure that player characters are up to date on events and so forth, and can be nudged to keep moving, is very important sometimes, particularly when players are all waiting for someone else to have an idea, or are assuming that the GM will default them to a Do Nothing action.

PCs in leadership roles need to be clearly stated in advance, and the other players need to be aware of and accept this (even if their characters have some trouble with it, within the limits of keeping things moving). The player taking the leadership role needs to be one who can commit to (in-so-far-as anyone with a Real Life can) regularly posting and actually handling the role, both as a PC and as a player; having a PC who can talk anyone into anything doesn't exactly mean you have a player who is willing to push that hard as well.

Quote:
Other issues: what other issues strongly effect how well a pbp game runs?
The major problem I have with PbP games isn't the rules/ guidelines that are laid out at the start, it's the things the GM doesn't set at the start. I've seen a couple of games where, when asked, the GM said "I'll work out the style when I see the character sheets," effectively saying that they don't know whether it'll be a serious game or not until the character sheets turn up. One of the first games I was involved in was a "supers" game; the GM NPCs that turned up were fairly obviously four-colour origins (spandex and so forth), while player characters ranged from knockabout comedy (I think it was Curious/6 that did it) through to dark and gritty because there was nothing initially to say what sub-genre we should aim for.

The same applies to in-game tech, the world in general... As an e.g. (I state in advance that I really liked this game and was disappointed when it shut down) one game that I was part of was set on a starship. Everyone took on a role as part of the crew, but because things weren't stated in advance I bounced through a key member of landing teams (there weren't going to be enough planetfalls to make that worthwhile) to being in charge of the computer systems. Because nothing seemed to have been prestated (that I could find) I was also working on the assumption of regular crew accessing the controls manually, where we actually ended up with a pilot with a Matrix style neural port to access the flight control systems. Such things need to be made clear in advance.

So... Basically my main issue with PbP is the need for a pre-stated world and game style. The Star Wars RPG rules illustrated this quite well with an example involving naming conventions:
Quote:
Related to how serious or humorous the game is, hero names should be fairly uniform in style throughout the group. Although any character name is fine, a group with heroes named Bob the Soldier, Prince Mellia Frantizes of Alderaan, and Shorty the Ewok Scout lacks the consistency to be credible.
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Last edited by Totem; 12-08-2012 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: [OCC] Poll : What makes a good PbP game? (will be applied)

Genre: Fantasy, DF, Science Fiction, Supers, Space Opera and others. Which make you say "I've got to play this", and which do you particularly avoid?

I prefer supers in the 20th or 21st centuries.


Activities Planned: Do you prefer solving puzzles? or is it combat that enthuses you? How important is character development? Is negotiation an enjoyable part of play?

I like playing in-character... character development is very important to me. Although I like facing puzzles or combat or negotiation, my enjoyment comes from getting to do so in-character. Story arcs are also important as they show continuity of a character and how the larger picture is shaping the character. For me failure is as important as success... there needs to be a balance of the two, obviously with success eventually winning out...


Supplement materials: Which sets of rules make or break a PbP game for you? This includes Cinematic vs Realistic, G:Magic, Thuamology, Supers, Psionic Powers, DF, MH, MA, and so forth.

As a player, I feel the gamemaster should do what he/she can to make the rules completely invisible to me. I don't care what rules are used as long as I don't have to read them and the gamemaster allows me to play my character.

Pacing is EXTREMELY important to me... so I'd like the gamemaster and players to favor a "roll and keep moving" over making sure the rules get followed.


Plot: how important is the plot? do you avoid games without it, and only go for ideas that sound cool? do you prefer just wandering around letting characters make their own decisions? And is this question even an issue?

I like a game to be driven by all the main characters, including PCs and major (or at least thematically important) NPCs... I like the idea of the gamemaster and players working together to figure out what kind of plot they'd like to play in the game.. "I'd like my boring kid character to find the adventure he's been craving and somehow get off the boring backwater planet he's from and fight the evil empire you were talking about... and I don't mind if they have to kill off his old friends and family to do it!!!"


Power Level: Do you love working with mounds of points? is such a prospect dull to you? does it matter by genre? similarly, (but not the same) do you enjoy being world shakers, or do you want to deal with peers? or is this even an issue?

I hate bean counting. I'd honestly rather the gamemaster suggested what kind of game he wanted to run, I told him/her what kind of character I'd like to play, and the gamemaster take care of game statistics. I want to build my character not as a finite list of what makes the character but as a writer might make notes for a character that is going to be played by an actor in a movie or television series.

Since I am in love with character development, I like power levels changing over time.. but not necessarily making characters MORE powerful.. my character (and everyone elses!) should be important to the storyline regardless of his/her power level.. but obviously in an epic storyline you are going to see weaker folks trained up to become the big bad guy ending heroes....while their mentors are likely to have been killed by the bad guy sometime earlier in the story...


House Rules: Are they annoying or wonderful? If depends, what determines this? or are they just all par for the course?

As a gamemaster I love house rules. Just like any rules, if the house rule interferes with the pacing of a game or keeping the story going or results in any uninteresting departure from the expected genre convention I'm going to want a gamemaster who can listen to my concerns and allow retconning.

Make whatever rules decisions that need to be made behind the GM screen and make things happen.


Gaming Group: Different players and GMs cause games to behave differently. when using PbP on this forum, how important is who is already playing in the game, or GMing it?

It is nice to have players who post with consistency... and play their character consistently... When a new player is introduced, whether in PbP or elsewhere, you are taking a risk that this player will slow things down by posting less frequently or playing their character in a way that derails what may already be an enjoyable character driven storyline.


Other issues: what other issues strongly effect how well a pbp game runs?

The number of players can have a larger effect on PbP games than in other games. There should probably be a convention determined for how fast players and gamemasters are going to post and how to move the game along when a player doesn't post for a few days....
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