Standardizing Online Play Recruiting Subjects


Online Play

The Exchange

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As this message board gets more traffic for Online Play, we need to make sure we standardize how we type the subject line for our games. There is a lot of information that players need to know about the game a GM is running.

From now on, please style your subject lines as follows:

[VTT Type / Comm. Type] #XX-YY Scenario or Module Title - Date @ Time (w/ Time Zone)

VTT Type: There are about 6 different types of VTTs that folks utilize for online play (PbP, Roll20.net, FantasyGrounds, D20Pro, MapTools, mIRC). Players need to know what online tabletop they can expect the game to be played with.

Comm. Type: Just like VTTs, there are a plethora of communication tools to use online. They are, (but not limited to) PbP. Skype, Google Hangout, TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, Mumble, TokBox, and mIRC.

#XX-YY Scenario or Module Title: This is to make sure the players know what game they are signing up for.

Date @ Time (with Time Zone): This helps players for fitting the game into their schedule. Also, since Online Play spans the globe, it is important you put the time zone.

An example of the type of header we would like to see is:

[Roll20.net / Google Hangout] 04-26 The Waking Rune - July 18th, 2013 @ 11:30 PM (EST / GMT -05:00)

This subject coneys all the information players need to know what they are signing up for in this game.

PS. Thanks to Sior and members of the Pathfinder Society Online Collective for the prior discussions on this.

Scarab Sages

Can this get stickied?

The Exchange

wvpolarbear wrote:
Can this get stickied?

I will see to it that it does.

Sovereign Court

And make sure the time in the thread title matches the time in the thread text.
I'm an idiot

Paizo Employee Developer

Thread stickified.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Online aka IronHelixx

Thanks, Mark :)


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If I could make one request? Tier/level range worked in there somewhere.

This is especially helpful for players that are newer to PFS.

Sovereign Court

An excellent suggestion! I'll be sure to incorporate that into my future listings.

Shadow Lodge

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My main issue is that a lot of times when I (and other GM's) open up a recruitment thread, we do not know this information. Its common to open up for a game and then ask for what scenario people want, and then to find out what level/tier is allowed, and then once all that is done to set a date, which might easily be a week after the thread is opened.

I'm also kind of curious, (and I don't mean this as offensive) why there needs to be a standardized way of opening a recruitment? What point dos it serve?

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

The point of a standardized subject line is so that people can quickly scan and see what's available, knowing if it's worth opening the thread or not to see if there's room and sign up for the game. It's very helpful for prospective players.

Sovereign Court

...What rknop said.

4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

My experience with PbP has been similar to DM Beckett's when it comes to recruiting — even with a group of players you already have set, you do plenty of back-and-forth discussion about what to play, who can play what, and at what tier.

Shadow Lodge

So any suggests on how to alleviate that? One could make a new forum, but then I can foresee there just being a large swamp of threads to look through, which kind of defeats the purpose. It's usually too late to edit things in the title, and generally what is done is to put that information in the Campaign section for easy reference.

Suggestions?

Sovereign Court

Perhaps keep the [PbP] brackets at the start, but if you are figuring which scenario to run, let that be known. I will admit that I was thinking this format more for live VTT games as opposed to PbP. "How different could they be?" he asked himself totally ignorant of all PbP's...

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

Yeah, I thought this format was designed more for VTT games. That's a case where the game is more like a convention game-- the time and place and scenario are set, and you're just recruiting characters.

In any case, I would say just do as much of the standard as you can, but if you're open to discussing what's going to happen, it's OK if you don't match the standard. If you do know enough that you could match the standard, it's helpful for everybody if you use it.

Shadow Lodge

Maybe there is a bit of confusion here. I think that people are sort of using VTT and Online Play as interchangeably.

Joe C. wrote:
"VTT Type: There are about 6 different types of VTTs that folks utilize for online play (PbP, Roll20.net, FantasyGrounds, D20Pro, MapTools, mIRC). Players need to know what online tabletop they can expect the game to be played with."

That's what I was going off.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

Oh -- hmm. I'm not sure the PbP he was talking about there. In that list, PbP (as I understand it) is different from the other things. The others-- at least some of them-- are VTT applications. PbP is a type of game. (mIRC-- I don't know what that is, but if it's just IRC, then it's a network protocol for chat, and is also not comparable to the other things.)

Sovereign Court

Perhaps I am mistaken, but even Play by Post games make use of a tabletop of some type. Some may use Roll20, others a Google doc, others still a doctored PDF or image file. In the end, I see them as VTTs. To ease confusion, I'm trying to remember to say 'live VTT' when specifically referencing those which happen over a VTT app such as Roll20 or Maptools.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

PbP usually refers to Play By Post.
PbEM usually means Play by Email, but that is usually used for a totally different kind of game system.

mIRC is an IRC client, but the Australian group that Avatar is part of uses it as part of the gaming experience for their live VTT games.

mIRC for text-based chat, Combat Assistant (CA) for maps (DM-based movement), and Skype (usually) for voice-based chat.

MapTools and Roll20 are both VTTs that include both maps and text-based chat.

The Exchange

There is no reason to do something separate for PbP. An example PbP recruitment thread subject would be:

[PbP] 04-26 The Waking Rune (7-11) - July 18th, 2013

I don't believe a time or time zone is absolutely necessary for PbP starts, but you can add that if you want to.

Hopefully by standardizing titles, it will help players filter out what games they want to play using what tools they have at their disposal.

Sovereign Court

Joseph Caubo wrote:

There is no reason to do something separate for PbP. An example PbP recruitment thread subject would be:

[PbP] 04-26 The Waking Rune (7-11) - July 18th, 2013

I don't believe a time or time zone is absolutely necessary for PbP starts, but you can add that if you want to.

Hopefully by standardizing titles, it will help players filter out what games they want to play using what tools they have at their disposal.

And if I may suggest, for those PbP (or even live VTT) GM's who don't know exactly what they're running but are just looking for interest, as that has been mentioned before:

[PbP] Looking for Players

The point, I think, is to let people know as much information up front as possible. For some games, that will be method, scenario, time, date, etc. For others, it might just be a scenario with no time or date. Or some just looking to see what's wanted by players.

Shadow Lodge

"CA" (Combat Assistant) is the closest thing to the VTT terminology instead of IRC. It's a VTT minus the chat/dice aspect, which we cover using chat and a dice bot in IRC.

mIRC is just an IRC client; Colloquy is another which works identically, except mIRC is Windows, Colloquy is Mac. Mibbit is web-based - all are IRC.

I wouldn't really recommend using "mIRC" or "IRC", because really you could use any kind of chat application for the chat aspect. A Google+ Hangout or Skype IM or any other kind of chat would work just as well, so long as it's played in realtime.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

Well -- there's something to be said for specifying if you're going to be using a chat application. Not everybody has a Google account, and some people may be resistant to the idea of a Google account, but you need one for Google Hangout. Likewise Skype. If they're using IRC, you need *some* IRC client. Etc.

Shadow Lodge

You don't need an IRC client (though one is recommended - you can get file transfers like chronicle sheets through one, and it's generally cleaner).

There's a link on the front page of pfrpg.com.au that opens the chat room directly from your browser.

Shadow Lodge

Joseph Caubo wrote:

There is no reason to do something separate for PbP. An example PbP recruitment thread subject would be:

[PbP] 04-26 The Waking Rune (7-11) - July 18th, 2013

I don't believe a time or time zone is absolutely necessary for PbP starts, but you can add that if you want to.

Why isn't timezone necessary?

If you post a subject that says July 18th 1pm, that might easily be my July 19th 4am. I don't know if PbP has timezome adjustments on paizo.com (my guess is it does?) but subject lines wouldn't be affected by that.

On google groups, it's better to go even further and list two timezones - your local timezone and straight-up UTC+0 so that time conversions are less of a nightmare to work out for every game for the foreigners.


Avatar-1 wrote:
Joseph Caubo wrote:

There is no reason to do something separate for PbP. An example PbP recruitment thread subject would be:

[PbP] 04-26 The Waking Rune (7-11) - July 18th, 2013

I don't believe a time or time zone is absolutely necessary for PbP starts, but you can add that if you want to.

Why isn't timezone necessary?

If you post a subject that says July 18th 1pm, that might easily be my July 19th 4am. I don't know if PbP has timezome adjustments on paizo.com (my guess is it does?) but subject lines wouldn't be affected by that.

On google groups, it's better to go even further and list two timezones - your local timezone and straight-up UTC+0 so that time conversions are less of a nightmare to work out for every game for the foreigners.

For PbP? Because it doesn't really matter.

Unlike most of the other methods you don't all have to show up at the same time. If I start a PbP July 18th at 1:00, that just means that's when the Gameplay thread gets made and the first post goes up. It'll probably be hours or most of a day before everyone has posted their first response.

You may not even know the day you'll start when you post the recruitment thread. It might depend on how fast you get players.

The last one I joined said "I want to start Sunday or Monday so recruitment will be open through Saturday." in the recruitment thread. And the game did start on Sunday!

Shadow Lodge

Oops, der. I think I forgot what play by post was for a minute there!

Liberty's Edge 5/5

I should have read this days ago... Will start using this format for posting in PSOC. :)

Liberty's Edge

Would it be a good idea to also put the level range in the title? I know figuring it out is only a couple clicks away, but it would make things just a bit simpler.

The Exchange

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I also agree that tier range is very helpful.

With regard to time zone, we should make all game times based on GMT. Everyone knows what time zone they are in. For example I'm in GMT+8. So any game I see being run, I look at the time and add eight hours. I've been confused as heck in the past and double checked times. There's been occasions where GMs have posted odd time zones I'd never even heard of before.

Keeping all game times as GMT will make life easier for all and then no-one has to try and convert anything (let alone figure in daylight savings).

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

I always list GMT (although I call it UTC -- that's the ISO standard, I think, plus years of being an astronomer trained me on UT), in addition to my own time zone.

Liberty's Edge

Is there a way to make the sessions more searchable by Date/time? For instance, if I would like to play Friday night, could there be a calendar or drop down that I could click with that date?

Scarab Sages

We are working on a calendar of some kind for a central website, but for now on these forums no such search option exists.

Sovereign Court

I typically go to the online play forums and Ctrl+F for the date. So if I'm looking for Feb 27, I'll just search for 27. Beats going to every single gorram fracking Warhorn there is to compare calendars.


What does it mean when the subject says core? I'm guessing it limits the classes/etc to a core set of rule books, but what is that set? It would be a good idea to update the initial post to include terms like this that are in common use.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Maryland— Baltimore aka DrParty06

Core refers to games being played under the Core Campaign rule set. See this blog post for the full set of information.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Online aka IronHelixx

Thanks, DrParty06.

I think these stickied posts are due for an update - a lot has changed since the original post.

We'll see about getting an updated set of content posted.


The link under Core for Character Traits Web Enhancements points to http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/resources which does not seem to be right, or at least does not seem to have anything to do with Traits. Is that the right link or is the name misleading or am I missing something here?

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

miteke wrote:
The link under Core for Character Traits Web Enhancements points to http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/resources which does not seem to be right, or at least does not seem to have anything to do with Traits. Is that the right link or is the name misleading or am I missing something here?

The traits web enhancement is HERE.


Heh, I was going to ask about CORE too. There may be a large influx of new people interested in playing Pathfinder via online platforms, so updates would indeed be a good idea for the stickies.

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