On PBPs, a general discussion for all PBPers


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This thread is for all stuff pbp related:

Ruminations about the good and bad of pbp gaming. Such as what helps them live and why they die, what people like and don't like.

Advice and or questions about pbp.

Pbps people might like to see.

Applaud for great pbp DMs.

(All this and more without making it into a blacklist of players or DMs would be cool).

The Exchange

I nominate Kruelaid for the blacklist.


Hey, you... damned... DM!

I rarely ever even looked at the pbp until a month or two ago and I've only been in two, but the first is... well, was dead before it ever began due to DM parenthood and school.

Beeler's DS game is a riot even though there are 11 players with PCs who are all of questionable morals and always on the verge of killing on another. Still being naked and carrying a improvised club after a few good weeks of play is a nice turn after a lifetime of the usual magic sword-bag of holding crap.

So yes, it's really only been a few weeks that I've been playing, but engaging enough that I think I'd like more.

See, I have some motivation in seeing if anyone posts useful info on this thread because I am thinking (ok maybe a little more than that) of a one-shot that would have potential to continue, but I'm not saying anything yet.

The Exchange

I thinking I'm likely to drop out as a player from the ones I am playing in and starting up a new one as a DM, as I'm having a great time doing that on these boards (no insult to the DMs of the games I am in - I'm just finding the DM'ing experience great and don't want to overstretch as I do this mostly at work).

I've heard about the Dark Sun campaign though I haven't read it - it does sound a laugh. One of the key things with a PbP is pace and excitement, as there is no immediacy due to the protracted nature of the posting. But the main thing I find is dedication from the DM to see it through. Most games die because the DM doesn't post regularly or disappears entirely - PCs are much more replacable. But once you get a good group together, it's really rewarding as a DM, and I have been lucky in that regard in my two games.


My 2cp: All the PbPs I've started have died... some within minutes.

I like the more roleplaying-heavy environment of PbPs, but some people tend to get bored of them really quickly and just go 'dry' of flavour. Their posts turn from:

UrbanLabyrinth wrote:

Wultram sized up his opponent. Six-and-a-half feet, give or take an inch. Body mass around one-and-a-half his own. Below-average reflexes, compounded with a wrist that had been broken, then poorly set, if the way he'd drawn his sword was any indication. And overconfident.

The others could be ignored. Take down this oaf, and they won't want to get involved any more. No need to kill. Broken skin is the sign of a sloppy swordsman.
The Prince's Riposte? Too risky with a slippery floor and poor light.
The Scoundrel's Gambit? It might work, if this were to remain a one-on-one fight, but the chairs might mess up the necessary footwork.
Perhaps the Battle Leader's Charge. The first blow was the most important one. Yes, it'd have to be the Charge.
His opponent was still watching him. Still hesitating. Unprepared. Weak.
Stare him down. He'll blink soon enough. That's all the opening you need.
He blinked.
Now, the dance begins. He contracts, we expand. He expands, we contract. Duck. Parry. Make him think we want to drag this out. Make him think he's winning. Make him think I'm going to use the sword, instead of the fist. And then, the only blow that matters.
Wultram sheathed his sword, and turned to his employer.
"Your Father's instructions state we should leave now, Sir. This man's shoulder is dislocated, and the fall seems to have broken his nose. Nothing that can't be fixed by a half-competent surgeon, but he's no threat. Time to go."

To this:

UrbanLabyrinth wrote:
... [/crickets chirping]

within about a week, as soon as their 'focus session' ends and the combat dries up.

And this is my own brother I'm talking about! :D

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well as far as which ones are good, I'd have to say that reading Aubrey's Eberron campaign was what convinced me to start the Runelords campaign I'm running. I've tried not to read the other Runelords campaigns so I can't comment on which of those I like. I'm not even a particular fan of Eberron, but that thread is really well done. I asked my players to read through parts of it before-hand to get a feel for how I wanted the pace of our game to go.

So thanks Aubrey for being our test-case and inspiration. If you run something else that I haven't read already, I'd like to throw in as one of your players sometime.

Shadow Lodge

I too would express interest in such a game - having read some of Aubrey's game threads, I like the style. Plus, considering I'm back from an accident, I' all set for picking up on my playing again.

The Exchange

Blue_eyed_paladin wrote:
stuff

Thank you for the kind words. I try to make the action and setting vivid since it is a purely written medium, and I'm getting quite a kick out of writing the longer exposition and description bits (which helps). I'm much better at it in a PbP setting than I am in a face-to-face gaming session, which is partly why I'm getting a buzz out of DM'ing here.

By the way, I'm thinking of another Eberron campaign, though with a different focus to the other one, if there is interest. Meh, let's go for it - click the link and don't clog up this thread if you fancy it.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I'm playing an archivist in Logo's "Shadows over Sharn" horror campaign, the only PbP I've ever experienced. There are some aspects of PbP I'm learning:

Fights tend to be very free-form, more AD&D 2nd Edition than 3rd. (No tactical movement, no attacks of opportunity, etc.) Given the limitations of the medium (no maps, for example) I don't know how it could work otherwise. If I ever DM a PbP, I'll try to pre-schedule combats in real-time, so we could all post promptly during the fight.

DM fiat happens often, just to keep momentum.

Leveling looks to happen much, much faster than in a tabletop game. (Logos' campaign may be eccentric in this, or may not, but we've rose to 2nd level after a single fight. It looks like some of us may have begun the current game day at 2nd level and will end it at 4th, after maybe a dozen encounters.) The pace is so much slower than a tabletop game, it would otherwise take years to gain class levels.

If I ever run a PbP campaign, I'm going to want to get actual email addresses for the players. I'm finding that if someone drops out for a few days, the action can grind to a halt, and I'd want to have an alternate way to check on the player and see if anything's wrong.

Yesterday, I looked on the PbP messageboard, and I read through all the final posts in campaigns which haven't seen any action in months. It's interesting to see what kind of things derail / end a campaign.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I tend to be a map addict, so I've been providing maps via email to my players during combats. Once you've mastered the use of layers, making nice maps really isn't that bad given the pace these games typically move in. I'm certain the use of maps makes the combat somewhat frustrating for lurkers to read, but combat for my players has gone relatively smooth so far.

My players do tend to post out of initiative order alot and that can cause confusion sometimes. Busy schedules sometimes dictate that a post has to happen out of order, and sometimes the tactical situation has changed between when a player has posted and when their actual turn comes up. In those cases, I generally have stopped entirely to wait on the player to resolve things when they can.

The Exchange

As a technophobe I am useless with providing maps. However, I have developed a coordinate system to describe where stuff is on the battlegrid so the players can draw their own maps, which seems to work quite well. Some of the players have been kind enough to produce e-maps from those.

Posting out of turn is a hazard of the PbP game. It isn't normally a problem but can get confusing if a lot of players do it at the same time.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

I have been involved now with four PbP over the last couple of months and especially in the one I'm running, my experience is different than Mortika's. We're in our second day, game time and leveling is going exactly as it did when I played the RotRL at the table. In fact the experience in that game is very close to my table games albeit a little stretched out play-wise. We have been using grid maps with coordinates and that allows for tactical decisions. Meanwhile the nature of PbP means that the game is slightly more prose oriented.

I think a lot of the success of a PbP is going to depend on the dependability of the players and the DM. The Realms of Umbria game, my first PbP attempt, died before I made a single post because the DM folded. On the other extreme, in a week or so of posting Sean's Rise of the Rune Lord's game has been clipping along (though we haven't made it through a single lunch yet) because all the players post regularly.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Tragically, my PbPs all seem to be destined for player burn-out. My very first one, an all-evil Forgotten Realms game set in Calimport, was going strong for several months before the announcement about the magazines cancelling hit and sent several of the players running from the boards in anger.

My other games have all suffered from a slow atrophy of player interest and I've pretty much given up on trying to start anything new.

Aubrey's games really are fantastic, though. I'm especially having fun with the Eberron game because I don't often play melee fighters.


The game that I'm running and the game that I'm playing in (same one as Mortika, BTW) are very different. I am a stickler for rules, maps, and tactical movement (a hazard of playing DDM in NorCal, I suppose). Logos is not. Having different styles of play that fit what the DM/players are trying to accomplish is okay, though.

One nice thing about PbP from my perspective is that you have plenty of time to get the rules right instead of having to ad hoc something because you don't want to blow the RP momentum looking up a skill or feat. That is making me a better DM and player overall because I'm starting to learn some of the rules that I had never sat down and read through before.

Another nice thing is the role-playing. All of the players in both games I'm in seem to be involved and invested in their characters. I think the focus on writing and description gives people, especially those who are not great actors, the opportunity to develop a character more than they would at the table. Again, the fact that you don't always have to think on your feet helps here too.

A hazard is that dungeon crawls can be impossibly slow. To deal with this I'm greatly truncating all of the encounter areas in my RotRL campaign. Basically, if there is nothing essential to the plot in a given room, it is gone. And even the essential encounters will be abbreviated/combined to speed things up.

Also, it helps if the players are relatively experienced and able to fill in the blanks. Since you can't all sit down for a big campaign planning session or bring newbies up to speed as you would at the table, the players need to be able to figure out their own characters, know what skill or check to roll, and so forth in order to keep things moving. Otherwise you have lots of:

DM: You are in a room.
Player: I search the room.
DM: Okay, what's your roll.
Player: What skill is that?
DM: Search.
Player: Oh, sorry. What's my modifer?

Which is fine at the table where it takes 20 seconds, but in PbP, this could take 2 days.

The Exchange

Indeed - I certainly roleplay much better in PbP than I do in real life (in which I am a monstrous power-gamer).


The responses to Aubrey's posting of a new game has me wondering - has anybody tried creating a freestyle, sort of living type PbP, where there are a lot of characters, but they all come in and out at various times? Or maybe an ongoing game where the PCs are all relatively short term on stage, with regular changes?

Although I've been on these boards for a good while, I only took up the PbPs awhile back. However, it does seem there is a relatively small group of regular players, and I thought it would be fun to try something like this, particularly in an urban setting.


Good advice accepted with deep gratitude, gentleman.

In the managing the game dept., Beeler uses one initiative roll for the whole party, and it's cast by the first guy to post after an encounter starts. We all post our moves out of order but he seems to sort things out, and I've been trying to put in a few IF/THENs into my combat posts so I more or less get to do what I want. Does everyone do this?

And Luke, I'm with you on the maps because (1) I love maps and (2) I am pretty fluent with adobe Illustrator and can crank out a battlemap in about ten to fifteen minutes.

Here's some pbp mappage.


Billzabub wrote:

The responses to Aubrey's posting of a new game has me wondering - has anybody tried creating a freestyle, sort of living type PbP, where there are a lot of characters, but they all come in and out at various times? Or maybe an ongoing game where the PCs are all relatively short term on stage, with regular changes?

Although I've been on these boards for a good while, I only took up the PbPs awhile back. However, it does seem there is a relatively small group of regular players, and I thought it would be fun to try something like this, particularly in an urban setting.

I HAVE thought about doing this with sets of "buddies" and a few threads. And I am also thinking of doing something with an urban core.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Kruelaid wrote:


In the managing the game dept., Beeler uses one initiative roll for the whole party, and it's cast by the first guy to post after an encounter starts. We all post our moves out of order but he seems to sort things out, and I've been trying to put in a few IF/THENs into my combat posts so I more or less get to do what I want. Does everyone do this?

We're on our third combat in my RotRL game and so far we've managed to stick with the proper initiative.

Shadow Lodge

One system for combat I've seen used (which worked quite well), was PM-ing your actions, along with your init roll to the DM, who then sorts it all into a nice, detailed combat paragraph, based on the initiative or the group.

It helps to emulate a little of the chaos of combat, and the fact that a round is only six seconds long - most people wouldn't have time to process the actions of a companion during combat - especially if they are getting attacked.


Wicht wrote:
Kruelaid wrote:


In the managing the game dept., Beeler uses one initiative roll for the whole party, and it's cast by the first guy to post after an encounter starts. We all post our moves out of order but he seems to sort things out, and I've been trying to put in a few IF/THENs into my combat posts so I more or less get to do what I want. Does everyone do this?
We're on our third combat in my RotRL game and so far we've managed to stick with the proper initiative.

Well, we do have 11 characters. And after three weeks we've managed three combats. It certainly has its merits for a large group. Of course we rarely respond to our companions during a round.


Kruelaid wrote:


In the managing the game dept., Beeler uses one initiative roll for the whole party, and it's cast by the first guy to post after an encounter starts. We all post our moves out of order but he seems to sort things out, and I've been trying to put in a few IF/THENs into my combat posts so I more or less get to do what I want. Does everyone do this?

I agree that a little IF/THEN goes along way and is very helpful for sorting things out. I am fairly generous as a DM and will, given what my players intend, optimize their movement and actions to a certain extent to maximize flanking potential, utilize charges, etc.

I think after the first couple of encounters they learned that the badguys are going to make smart moves against them, so they will have to respond in kind. By the end of the goblin raid, they were thinking ahead, teaming up, and whatnot. It really worked out nice and gave the final battle a good climax with the spellthief charging into a flank for a devastating sneak attack kill.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I’d like to nominate Aubrey in the best pbp DM category. With two strongly running pbp’s on the site (including the one with by far the highest post count), and aiming to start a third, obviously he’s more machine now than man. Aubers uses excellent description, interesting npcs and a very clear combat setup – and he runs a fun, fast paced, story driven game.

I’ll give honourable mentions to;
Arctaris, who comes up with some very interesting scenarios, and has the longest running pbp currently active on the site;

Dragonmann, who engineered one of the most interesting and cool opening scenes of a game I have played in, and is a true master of making players say “oh no…”;

Beeler, who adroitly and nobly picked up the reins of a game that was floundering after the original DM went AWOL. Said game has since become one of the higher post count games on the site, and contains more twists and turns and general weirdness than is probably healthy – but is very cool non-the-less. I don’t have the privilege of playing in Beeler’s Dark Sun game, but man, that one looks like a riot.


Mothman wrote:


I’ll give honourable mentions to;
Arctaris, who comes up with some very interesting scenarios, and has the longest running pbp currently active on the site;

Funny you should mention Arctaris, because I had the chance to join one of his games but never even realized he listed me as a player.

I casually mentioned an interest in pbp about 6 months back and then he started a thread for a game; but back then I was unaware of the fun to be had and rarely looked in on the connection and discussion threads. I totally missed my ticket into his game (I think it died).

So Arctaris, if you look in on this thread, sorry dude--I never saw that you listed me until a few days ago when I was checking pbp threads for ideas. Half a year late.


Mothman wrote:


I’ll give honourable mentions to;
Arctaris, who comes up with some very interesting scenarios, and has the longest running pbp currently active on the site;

Funny you should mention Arctaris, because I had the chance to join one of his games but never even realized he listed me as a player.

I casually mentioned an interest in pbp about 6 months back while I was still figuring out Paizo's boards--and then he started a thread for a game with me listed. But back then I was unaware of the fun to be had and rarely looked in on the connection and discussion threads. I totally missed my ticket into his game (I think it died).

So Arctaris, if you look in on this thread, sorry dude--I never saw that you listed me until a few days ago when I was checking pbp threads for ideas. Half a year late.

Mothman wrote:
I’d like to nominate Aubrey in the best pbp DM category.

I've been reading his threads and I'd love to play in one of his games but alas: high demand, limited supply. He seems to have a few core players who are in on his new game, so we'll just have to watch from a distance.

Mothman wrote:


Beeler, who adroitly and nobly picked up the reins of a game that was floundering after the original DM went AWOL. Said game has since become one of the higher post count games on the site, and contains more twists and turns and general weirdness than is probably healthy – but is very cool non-the-less. I don’t have the privilege of playing in Beeler’s Dark Sun game, but man, that one looks like a riot.

The grotty corners of Beeler's mind are not for the squeamish... and there are some rather bizarre individuals playing.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It sounds clichéd, but I think the ingredients for a successful pbp game are a good partnership between the players and the DM – and dedication to the game on both sides.

The DM has to be committed to the game, able to post regularly and often (ideally more often than the players do). He or she should be clear and detailed in descriptions and rulings. It’s probably a good idea for the DM to have access to all the rules that players are using for their characters, and should limit the number of players to a number he or she is comfortable with.
But dedication by the DM is probably one of the big keys – it appears to me that a number of games have died because the DM loses interest, or appears to lose interest, or just goes missing.

On the part of the players, they should do their best to stick to whatever posting schedule is agreed to when the game begins (and I think it is important that at least a rough idea of posting schedule is nominated up front), and keep the lines of communication open should there be any major disruptions to that schedule.
Players should be as clear and descriptive as possible in their character’s actions, and including “if/then” type contingencies can keep the game moving at a faster pace.
Player dedication is probably almost as important to the longevity of the game as DM dedication – whilst players may be easier to replace than the DM, this can be quite disruptive to the game, and if most of the players start losing interest it is likely that the DM will sooner or later as well.

I’m unsure yet of how big a factor the number of players is in a pbp game. My initial assumption was that a smaller group would make for a more successful – and faster paced game, but I’m not so sure about that now – Aubrey’s Runelords game and Beeler’s Dark Sun have 8 and I think 12 players respectively, and both of those seem successful and relatively fast paced (as much as the medium allows). Those games with four or five players seem more likely to suffer if and when there are player drop-outs or irregular posters.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As for what sort of games I'd like to see, I'm looking forward to James Keegan's and Primemover's Planescape games. I'd be interested to see someone doing an old school style Ravenloft game.

Dark Archive

Mothman wrote:
I'd be interested to see someone doing an old school style Ravenloft game.

Me too. I miss the Kargatane.


I want to play a PBPS and want to know the ground rules, character design etc...However my concern is the time factor..should all persons be on same time zone say Mondays at 6:00 PM eastern time US, or does it go like this DM Doe: "Roll to Hit the goblin"...Then you have to wait 4 days for Drizzts to attack the golblin" before any other action could take place...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tobus Neth wrote:
I want to play a PBPS and want to know the ground rules, character design etc...However my concern is the time factor..should all persons be on same time zone say Mondays at 6:00 PM eastern time US, or does it go like this DM Doe: "Roll to Hit the goblin"...Then you have to wait 4 days for Drizzts to attack the golblin" before any other action could take place...

The latter, typically in pbp. If you did everyone online at the same time, play by chat might be better than play by post.

Most of the pbp's run here establish some sort of guideline on posting frequency - like everyone should check the game and post every 1 to 2 days, or the DM runs your combat turn if you haven't posted within 24 hours or whatever - it varies from game to game. Some games are run that everyone can post out of order in the combat round and then the DM organises / summarises everything into a coherent whole at the end of the round.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Being somewhat new to PbP; and since its been a few years since I really played in 3rd edition - I would say that so far it's been interesting for me to see it in action.

Honestly, it's been great experience - in that I am able to get a learning curve that allows me to "retrain" - as it were - in the rules and details. I couldn't imagine asking many questions and having to make everyone wait while I figure out what to do in a real table-top session.

Getting into character is a little easier as well. I will say that sometimes my enthusiasm makes me a little antsy to see what happens next, though.

I may be jumping the ahead too much, but I have also considered setting up to run a cmapaign on PbP as well. Given my work schedule and the fact that I'm in two PbP as well, means it may be awhile before I can act on it.

Someone mentioned it earlier, does any one have any suggestions on a map-making program or system I could use. While I like the free-form quality as player, I think that as a DM, I'd probably want to have some sort of diagram for reference to show players - especially for combat scenarios. Any links would be helpful.


I’m just getting my feet wet, really, but so far I’m loving it, both playing and dm’ing. People seem to be enjoying themselves, so I must not be sucking up a storm yet, which is a good thing. I think a lot of the reasons the PbP’s die is real life conflicts and dm frustration. I think people start up the games without the proper respect for the massive time commitment a PbP really takes. Think about your regular gaming group, then think about them meeting every day for lunch, then double that.

On the plus side, if you are creative but perhaps not spontaneous, PbP’s are a great way to get time to think about your next action. I’ve also been gifted with incredibly intelligent and crafty players in both PbP’s, and it really makes the game shine and glosses over any glaring flaws I might otherwise bring to the table. All in all, it’s a great ride and I recommend it.

Ditto on Aubrey’s games, btw, sometimes I wonder if he’s unemployed!


Alex Martin wrote:


Someone mentioned it earlier, does any one have any suggestions on a map-making program or system I could use. While I like the free-form quality as player, I think that as a DM, I'd probably want to have some sort of diagram for reference to show players - especially for combat scenarios. Any links would be helpful.

Lots of people saying GIMP. I got a used copy of adobe illustrator in a Vancouver bookstore. Or you can snarf it.


Tobus Neth wrote:
I want to play a PBPS and want to know the ground rules, character design etc...However my concern is the time factor..should all persons be on same time zone say Mondays at 6:00 PM eastern time US, or does it go like this DM Doe: "Roll to Hit the goblin"...Then you have to wait 4 days for Drizzts to attack the golblin" before any other action could take place...

DMs post ground rules at the beginning. You can browse the recent ones and see what guys say.

Sometimes you gotta wait 4 days for the combat to end, yes. But you are here posting like a maniac anyway, so you might as well find a pbp to post on as well.

I have a feeling pbps are going to really start taking off here because a bunch of people have mentioned brewing something--me included.

I'm in two because I figured if I'm gonna post on one I might as well post on 2.

Oh, and: sometimes they die. The first one I joined died before it ever really started.

The Exchange

mwbeeler wrote:
Ditto on Aubrey’s games, btw, sometimes I wonder if he’s unemployed!

Only if they catch me.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Alex Martin wrote:


Someone mentioned it earlier, does any one have any suggestions on a map-making program or system I could use. While I like the free-form quality as player, I think that as a DM, I'd probably want to have some sort of diagram for reference to show players - especially for combat scenarios. Any links would be helpful.

I use JASC Paintshop Pro, and while it has taken me awhile to master the whole layering effect, once you get used to it, it is very powerful. Illustrator will certainly have all the necessary features as well. The version of JASC I'm using was purchased in 1995 or something, so even really old versions should be adequate as long as you can get them to run on your machine. As Kruelaid implies, you really don't have to spend a bundle of money to get into map-making, but it may end up being a real time-killer. Oh yeah, and if you're going to work with high-def images you need to have lots of RAM!

Drop me an email at lpotter5 <at> tampabay <dot> rr <dot> com, and I'll send you a sample map. I don't post them anywhere because I usually try to use the maps from the PDF, and posting those seems like a no-no, though I'm not sure about that. Better safe than piss off the authors of the best adventure product around.

It takes me about 1/2 hour to throw the map together (with a library of support images that can be pieced together for effect). That process is much quicker if you just swipe the image from the PDF version of the adventure.

Then I create a layer over that map that's purely for character symbols, paths, etc. So when I make updates for player positions it's a simple matter of moving around tiles that 'float' in a layer above the map. Once the positions are updated, it's a simple matter of saving as jpg and emailing it to my players. The whole update process takes about 2 minutes total.


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Here's an image I made with Adobe Illustrator 8.

Battlemaps for pbp made with same. Click on it to get a higher resolution version that you can d/l.

It's pretty slow at first until you learn how to use your software. Also, you build up libraries of symbols and images, and after a year or so it starts going pretty fast. The island above took about 3 or 4 hours over a period of four days, but I was still learning. The blank battlemaps took about fifteen minutes each and the terrain battlemaps about 30 minutes each, but I already had the symbols (trees, plants, tables, and a finished grid with coordinates). I'm pretty fast on the hotkeys and that makes all the difference. Be patient if you are going to get into something like this.

These are all original. I don't use stuff from pdfs so I'm not stepping on anyone's property rights.


DOH!

That's Adobe Illustrator 11, and Photoshop 8: Creative Suite.

The Exchange

Radavel wrote:
Mothman wrote:
I'd be interested to see someone doing an old school style Ravenloft game.
Me too. I miss the Kargatane.

Now that is a tempting idea. I loved Ravenloft.

I wish I hadn't read this, it's gnawing away at me now.


I am looking forward to my first PbP experience with James' Planescape PbP. I was a little hesitant, I am an old player, and my experience with the 3.5 D&D rules are sketchy at best. One of the reasons I opted to try this venue out was the Planescape setting. It has much more of a storytelling feel than some of the "roll initiative" style. I am hoping that the delay posting will fit into my schedule, as I can peruse the rulebooks to make sure I have everything set up correctly.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Great work Kruelaid! It has a nice clean look to it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Luke & Kruel,

Thanks for the suggestions and samples, guys! I have an older copy of Jasc Paint Shop Pro (ver 7), so I think I'll probaby start there to get my feet wet.

Kruel - that's some pretty neat stuff from scratch! I have a working copy of Illustrator at work - but would probably have to schedule "me" time to use it like that, ie when I'm not on a project. Thanks for the samples for comparason.


The clean look (or cartoon-like) is because I tend to avoid textures, they add a lot of processing and cleanup time. I'm looking for a balance between stuff looking good and being useful.


Kruelaid wrote:
The clean look (or cartoon-like) is because I tend to avoid textures, they add a lot of processing and cleanup time. I'm looking for a balance between stuff looking good and being useful.

You know sometimes when you reread what you wrote and it doesn't make sense? ummm... "balance between looking good, being useful, and not eating up all my time."


I'm really enjoying running my PbP games. I like how much the medium encourages roleplaying. I've gotten some great scenes in my games so far.

The downside is that I've barely gotten to combat in my Age of Worms game (and those were barely combats), and we still haven't gotten to combat in my RoRL game (though I expect that to start very soon).

Still, the Age of Worms crew has done some extensive explorations of the Whispering Cairn, and had some really great early character defining moments. I really feel like I know who all of the characters are right now, and boy do they have the ride of their lives ahead of them. And my Runelords group has done some good exploration of Sandpoint, and met several NPCs. They've had some great character developing moments, too.

My biggest problem so far has been not updating as often as I'd like. Part of my problem is that I work freelance, and not at a desk or office. And many times on my work days, I don't have time between waking and work to post anything substantial, and when I get home I'm exhausted and just want to collapse into bed. My poor AoW players had to suffer through a month of me working the job from hell, followed by my disappearing for another month without a word, due to the family health scare from hell. That the game survived all that is a testament to the faith of my players, I think. I feel like I owe them a good game now, with more frequent posting. I'm working on it.

I've been loosely kicking around the idea of starting one more game -- probably an Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, possibly as a d20 Modern(Past) game -- but right now I think all that would accomplish is to increase the size of the "you need to post more often" lynch mob.

Lucky for all my players, I've got a steady show for the next two months, with good pay, so that will mean I'm busy on weekends mostly, but during the week, I'll have a lot more time to post.


Sean, Minister of KtSP wrote:


The downside is that I've barely gotten to combat in my Age of Worms game (and those were barely combats), and we still haven't gotten to combat in my RoRL game (though I expect that to start very soon).

I'm planning on starting my own pbp, and I'm trying to think of a few ways to speed up combat, anyone have suggestions...? Other than that I plan on keeping encounters fewer.

The Exchange

One or two DM's do all the dice rolls. That will probably speed things up.

For myself, I try to reduce the number of different monsters, because the party can more easily visualise the battle scene, and often kill the baddie. Each additional initiative is another post and so on..

That leads on to clear and concise descriptions of the battlefield and positioning of every creature. It's easy to be confusing over the little details, I find this is especially true if you rush a post before checking what you have written.

Also although my campaign has only just started I have played in several games and the speed is really down to keeping things interesting and getting the right players. Players who are prepared to play at your pace.

Cheers and Good luck from the newt!


Ok, what I've got so far is:

(1) fewer combat encounters
(2) fewer enemy combatants each encounter
(3) team initiative so order is always the same
(4) players post if/then actions
(5) DM rolling

I actually don't like (5), and I suspect that players won't either. Besides, they need to post their action so they might as well post a roll, too.

(6) At the beginning players post 10 rolls for saves, spot, and so on... These would be used for saves and behind the screen rolls, except in the event of save or die.

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