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Old 12-09-2012, 01:36 PM   #12
momothefiddler's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Default Re: [OCC] Poll : What makes a good PbP game? (will be applied)

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 tend to prefer Fantasy or Science Fiction (fantasy with bolts on), but I'm not against other genres. As a sidenote, post-apocalyptic is more a setting than a genre but it makes some otherwise mediocre genres appeal to me.
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 make me happy. Combat can be great, especially if it serves some purpose in the narrative. Character development is vital. Social interactions are the hardest part. In an RPG, the player's ability to throw a knife has no bearing on the character's ability to do so, good or bad, but because conversations get played out, a lot of social stuff depends on the player's stats instead of the character's. I've had some bad experiences here and thus tend to shy away from heavily-social games (especially political machination games) but I'm aware it can be done well.
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.
For the most part, the rules used don't affect my enjoyment of a game (the rule system does, but that's why I'm on this forum). In a game with magic, however, it's important to me that there be some coherent rules. I love Thaumatology (the book, the GURPS skill, and the concept) and I want magic to be something that can be understood, even if my character will never completely do so. Using only the basic magic system, for instance, there is no way to discover or invent magic without Wild Talent. New spell development, without an extremely lenient reading of equipment modifiers, requires enchanted tools. This is still possible (the first tools/spells were granted by the gods or whatever) but I prefer my character be able to figure these things out from first principles and even if that's not possible I want that origin information to exist. Basically: I treat magic as a science because it follows specific rules. I'm willing to accept that those rules are not the rules of normal physics, but I demand that, whatever they are, they be internally consistent.
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'm happy without a plot as long as things still happen - a pathless but reactive world is fine, a simple backdrop is not. I'm happy with a plot, too, if I'm allowed to do things the GM hasn't considered. I can't stand being told I can't do something because the GM's not sure how to handle it or because it doesn't fit the story, because if I wanted that I'd just play a computer game. When there is a plot, I understand the need for occasional metagaming to keep characters in it, but a character should be able to quit or leave unless there's some in-game reason not to. Of course, once they leave the story they become part of the background and the player needs to make a new character or has effectively dropped out.
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 want to be able to affect something sometimes. I have no interest in playing a game where I'm caught up in some giant mechanism and the most I can do is feebly try to be happy surviving - I have enough of that in the real world. Beyond that, I like many different things. I like having enough points to play an actual character, though - in a low-point game I can't spend points on skills that the character should have but that won't be useful without spending the rest of the game feeling underpowered and ineffective. If there are a lot of points, some ruling on how to spend them is reasonable.
House Rules: Are they annoying or wonderful? If depends, what determines this? or are they just all par for the course?
In general I don't think they're necessary, but as long as they come with some explanation and they don't break things, I have no problem accepting them. (Note that I'm not talking about choices on optional rules. I'm fine with those in general.)
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?
If I've had bad past experiences with someone, I'm less likely to join a game they're in and much less likely to join a game they're running. If I've had good experiences with someone, I'm more likely to join a game they're running (I'll probably consider any game Totem runs, even if I wouldn't generally enjoy the genre, for instance). Otherwise it's not a huge deal. I have no problem playing with strangers.
Other issues: what other issues strongly effect how well a pbp game runs?
Clarity. All the players (and the GM) need to know what the genre is. If there are house rules, they need to be stated completely and precisely. If there's not going to be a plot, players need to know to take initiative rather than waiting for the GM. If anyone's going to be upset about the post rate being too slow or too fast, there needs to be some specified ruling and resolution.

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