Grading / Feedback system for GM and Players?

Online Campaigns General Discussion

As the title suggests and given the issues that the PBP community has over players and GMs folding over too quickly after the game starts (or just plain disappear), is there any merit in making some sort of system that can grade both players and GMs?

I'm thinking something like 'Amazon comments/reviews' (similar to the way people grade products on this website) on a certain products.

Would this be too cumbersome?

Only asking for trouble and flame wars (why did you grade me a 1?)?


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Fabian Benavente wrote:

Only asking for trouble and flame wars (why did you grade me a 1?)?

This would be the biggest problem. Reviews like this are only going to cause trauma, bickering, and people quitting.

You can already read through their past alias' and get an idea.

Dark Archive

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Perhaps instead of a grade (from 1 to 5) that would cause all the trouble, just 'commend' button could help.

This way, you like some player/GM, you give him a '+1up'. No one is getting down voted, just a couple of good players and GMs are getting recognized as such.

Another option would be a 'reference' system, where, after a game, a player/GM could write something nice about another player/GM and the aforementioned player/GM would paste it in their main alias, allowing everyone to know who to ask about that person.

The downside of this is that new players and 'bad' players would look like the same.

Liberty's Edge

I've pitched something like this before and the vocal element of the community seemed opposed.

In the meantime it's up to individuals to warn their friends away from flaky players and unreliable DMs.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Just to be clear, are we talking about implementing new functionality on the website, or just some kind of community-driven activity?

I assumed a Website feature was the intent. Otherwise, anyone can just start a wiki or google doc somewhere open to everyone to contribute to.

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Also, this is not a job. It is a game / hobby. People are going to have good and bad times as both GMs and Players. Players shouldn't be subjected to performance reviews for playing a game.

As a GM, I understand if a player just gets too busy, loses interest, goes in a coma, or otherwise drops. I would appreciate if the person just said so instead of just stopped posting all together (or making up some seemingly ridiculous excuse).

As a Player, I understand if a GM has taken on more than they can handle, loses desire/fun, loses free time, etc. Especially since now running a game, I see the crazy effort that goes into even a single round of PbP.

I would be in favor of some sort of positive feedback system though, something like the star ratings, though awarded based on the person doing something good.

Silver Crusade

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I use Oladon's Firefox extension. I suggested a personalized rating system so that at least we can keep track for ourselves without hurting anyone's feelings. Last I heard, she's working on it.

Also, if you look at her profile, you will see that she specifically recommends certain players/GMs, and is likewise specifically recommended. That might be a better system.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think that I would be afraid of the effects of this recommendation system. Not getting recommended would make people feel inadequate. A poor rating would make someone get hurt.

I was devastated when someone posted about a problem in one of my games. I got a chance to fix it and work it out with the player, but I'm worried a rating system would cause needless pain and envy.


Silver Crusade

Yeah, I see a lot of potential for this to go the wrong way. Other parts of these forums can get pretty unpleasant at times. Having a refuge from that is one of the things I really like about this part of the forum.

I've had good luck with players, with no real horror stories to speak of. That said, I do have a google doc with a (very small) list of names that I'd rather not GM for. Most of those are due to the way I've seen them treat people on these forums, rather than any concerns about posting frequency or quality.

I do think that some sort of method for recommending players is better. If you're concerned, ask someone to show you some of their successful PBPs in the past, or follow up with a previous GM or two.

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I'm kinda in agreement with Hmm and GM Lari here; even an anonymous rating/recommendation system is going to hurt some feelings and has potential for abuse from people who want to be catty and passive-aggressive over disagreements. Not to mention taste is subjective. I've seen plenty of people that I think are *good* roleplayers but whose styles/types of roleplaying might not be for me personally. Same for GM style.

However, I definitely wouldn't mind some sort of private, for-my-eyes-only rating system to help me keep track of people that I enjoyed playing with. Even though the PbP community here is actually a much smaller world than you'd initially think sometimes it's easy to lose track of good players that you've played with, especially in games that might have died or ended months ago.

I know I wish I had some warning that a certain DM had a long standing history of making recruitment posts for interesting sounding games that required extensive character creation time, only to cry wolf on RL issues.

By history I mean a cycle of at least 10 instances in profiles on this board. It didn't even occur to me to check his history.

Yeah, Mellok, your GM did the same thing to a game I was in last year. It's always good to do your research before signing up!

Maybe a 'Shamenun' deal where Troll recruitments and vanishing DMs/Players are posted with the length of absence noted. Say about 2 weeks without notice and then a post with the name,game and reason for post.

Fighter Larry/Player Jim
Rise of the Runelords
Absent 2 weeks without notice

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Just to break open an old thread. I'm a newbie here (HumbleBundle), but I'd put my 2cents in.

Rating whether you liked a GM or player will lead to problems.

Reliability can be graded however: Did the GM finish the scenario?

Players want to know if the GM is one of those that just disappear after a few weeks, or is reliable. That seems easier to implement.

As I mentioned however I am new, not only to this forum, but to PF.

I just noticed that some GMs have stars, which I think are awarded for finishing scenarios??? Does this apply to PBS games generally, only some PBS that PFS sanctioned, or only to live PFS events??

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Welcome to the boards!

GM stars are given for completing and reporting PFS scenarios, and modules/APs run for PFS credit. As long as they're reported, it doesn't matter if they were run in person, PbP, or otherwise run electronically.

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As a player relatively new here, I'd like to give my opinion on this, hopefully bearing in mind the short length I've had to observe. However, when I first joined, I read through countless pages of Recruitment threads, to get a feel for how the site worked, and what I should expect/put forth in order to have a satisfactory experience; though the sample may be small, the general trends are fairly obvious.

I'm also not going to include the PFS material I've seen up. While a "recruitment" process still applies to those, the base rules of the system really prohibit the sort of appreciable bias a rating system would give, and I feel like if there were a run of "certain players only" PFS games, the VOs for Online would step in and remind everyone that you can't exclude people from Society play.
One of the main things I've noticed prominently displayed is a desire for posters with a history. I can understand this; the guides readily explain that this format is grindingly slow, and a commitment to an AP equals at least two years of real-life posting. I have GMed games at the table, and so am also familiar with the difficulties of running stuff, as well as dealing with player loss; I feel like I can make a fair extrapolation of the work required for PbP hosting, as well. The recent Humble Bundle drew a lot of new people here, both to PbP and Pathfinder as a whole, and though I was not one of them, I was glad to see several GMs specifically opening games for those people, and felt the community-at-large was a welcoming and friendly place.

While I still feel that to be true, there is also a prevalent and obvious clique system in place. People who have had good experiences with others in the past gravitate to those people in their games. I can empathize with that as well; if one of my GMs from the table ran a game on here, I would certainly want to join. Yet, this is also rather prohibitive for new people like myself; not only do I not have a post record, but I am in competition with the "Friends of the GM." I don't mind making a case for myself, and feel fortunate to have been accepted as a replacement for an absent player in a Second Darkness campaign; tooting my own horn, I am rather proud of my submission, but in all fairness, the GM was specifically looking for a "new player" to fill the spot.

If a rating system, as proposed here, were also to be implemented, I feel like the community would be all but closed off to new posters like myself. Not only would we come with no history or post record, but we would have no "rating," either. It would take an incredible amount of effort, I feel, to crack into the niche community, before even being given the chance to be found acceptable.

All of that said, this would be less of a problem (as with so many aspects of our hobby) if there existed a greater GM:Player ratio. I look at Recruitment threads, hosted by a 3,500-post alias of a 20,000+ post account; I see applicants with similar weighty post history. I understand what I'd have to overcome. But then I see, on the main alias, more than a dozen active games, and a list the size of my palm of inactive. The same players are occupying slots in vast numbers of the relatively small offering.

Again, understanding somewhat the work that running a campaign here entails, I think that, rather than finding even more ways to play with a select few people in even more games, the focus should shift into running more. After all, if you have time to play in 19 PbPs, then certainly there would be time to instead play in 7 and GM 2.

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Many GM's play, as well, and are victims of rapidly-ending games as often as everybody else. v.v That accounts for at least some of it. A better move might be seeing how long some of their current games have gotten.

(People are usually willing to take chances on total newbie GMs, by the way, though I personally recommend starting with a short module or PFS scenario instead of something like an AP. Actually running a game to completion will teach someone a LOT and help position them for running more games in the future.)

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