If I ever disappear and you need to get hold of me, the following player knows me IRL:GM RePete
The primary goal of games like these are to have fun. Just remember that sometimes a fun thing for you isn't fun for someone else and vice-versa. So if someone isn't playing the way you like, just think that maybe they are playing the way they like and move on. This community is great because we have a huge variety of people and play styles meshing together to create a story.
I come from a strict rules as written background, which is sometimes hard for me to let go. While my goal is to stay consistent when GM'ing, I also want to keep gameplay smooth and enjoyable. Simply put, that is something I'm working on as I continue to attempt to improve my style.
Weekends & Holidays are unlikely to see much posting from me and usually most of you. I may sneak a post in or I may not post until the next available work morning. I do expect 3-4 posts per week from you all. But if we get more, we move quicker, simple as that. Please don't stress over the content too much, sometimes a couple lines of what you are doing and a few words spoken are worth a ton to keep the group moving along.
Mechanical Stuff (aka how I handle certain things)
1. Secret Rolls and Spoilers
I am currently testing out having zero spoilered or secret rolls in my games. The nature of PbP is different from F2F. It is literally impossible to prevent a player from looking at a spoilered section when doing PbP. Thus, I simply have to trust a player won't use OOC knowledge in IC actions regardless of how the information is presented. Therefore, since I trust my players to do that already, I see zero reason to add a bunch of extra steps and time to a game that is already slowed down significantly by playing by post.
If you prefer your secret rolls to be out of sight, you are welcome to just provide your modifier when attempting a secret check and I will throw it behind a spoiler and give you the results on my next post.
2. Botting & Decisions
In combat botting it is pretty simple, no post in 24 hours during the week and I will move things along with a reasonable bot action or delay (allowing the option to act twice later). I am not going to play your character for you though, so any extended absence with no notification you will be put into delay.
Out of combat is slightly more lax. If the group is handling skill challenges, then I may throw out bot rolls to keep things moving quickly or progress the narrative. However, I do my best to avoid risking your PC on dangerous skill checks so I'll hold off as long as possible for any of those.
If you give warning about missing time and if you have sufficient botting instructions on your profile, I have no issue with regular botting.
Group decisions in PbP can be difficult as each player may not check the game that often. Thus, I'll use a loose rule of 2 for most decisions. That means, if two players wish to pursue an option and no one objects (within 5-10 hours) then that course of action will be pursued. If someone objects, then I'll wait for 3 votes and go with whatever decision wins.
3. Roll Play vs. Roleplay
I do give bonuses for excellent role-playing when the mechanics allow. For example, you want to avoid a combat by using a social skill and you make an excellent post including RP, you will likely gain a bonus on that check. Plus, I will not penalize poor role-play, so at least give it a try!
Furthermore, please try to remember that many of the skills that are usable untrained can be aided. If your group is just barely short I may 'nudge' you all to at least attempt an aid.
For Percentile rolls, I manage it like the following example.
Johny Flambe has normal vision. There isn't much light in the room so he has a 20% miss chance on his ranged touch fire attack. Johnny rolls 1d100 and anything between 1-20 is a miss. The enemy then casts vanish and Johny has a 50% miss chance, he rolls 1d100 and anything between 1-50 is a miss.
I will roll an Initiative block at the start of combat. I assume pets act on owner's count, if you built your Companion and PC to act on separate Initiatives then let me know so I can adjust. Most enemies will be rolled individually, but in situations with stacks of enemies I will group them up to speed things along. Please feel free to post your actions whenever you are tagged with the Bold highlight.
For speed of play, I will hedge initiative order around for the benefit of the players. Essentially, I don't want players to worry about readied actions or delays or losing a big bonus just because they already posted. For example, if another PC throws out another Buff or Debuff in the same block of activity, I'll get it applied if you haven't already. (This may be subject to change, but so far no issues.)
6. Group Perceptions
This is your character so other than initiative I'm not going to be doing rolls for you (the exception being during botting). However, I tend to assume 'take 10' for Perception is done unless a specific roll or alternate action is taken. I'll check those results against certain hazards or hidden enemies before moving the group along.
When I roll for boons (like during a special event), I will always place the PC's in alphabetical order by character names that were used in the rolled initiative blocks. I will place myself in the grouping as "GM TOP" if GM's are allowed to roll for the same boons.