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Nervously considering.

Nervously considering.

So I am toying with the idea of running my first game here on the weave. I am thinking of running, carrion crown, strange aeons, or some other module to try and make it a little easier on myself.
Any advise to a gm whos had plenty of face to face running experience, but never run pbp before. Im worried about getting overwhelmed, or not being able to do one of these stories the justice they deserve. Also loathe the idea of a pc ghosting and game grinding to a halt cuz of that...
Words of advice / encouragment please?

PbP is a marathon, not a sprint. Having 5 posts a day from the GM at the start can look good, but you have to pace yourself not to burn out quickly. Aim for consistent posts over a long period of time.

Look at what's coming around the bend, not at what's on the distant horizon. PbP is slow, and you need to keep things interesting. If an encounter serves no purpose and is just filler, cut it. Combat is especially troublesome in this manner.

Players that are engaged won't ghost. The best way to do this is to actually engage with them. Having a Discord server or something where you can all hang out and talk is a great way to build community among the group.

Your posts as a GM don't have to always be super long or descriptive. Aim for concise, easy to read posts that give what information they need to in the capacity you can deliver it. Some moments benefit from longer descriptions, but not all.

Aim for posts that are clear in the relevant information. This relates to the above. Players will be referencing your previous posts when writing their own, and they need to know what is happening as they skim through the post for the 4th time to catch that one detail they missed and need.

PbP takes dedication. Games can take years of daily posting. That's a lot. It's also more than many people are expecting. Which is why, again, I stress that PbPs are marathons, not sprints.

If you're playing Pathfinder, expect lots of apps. Lots of them. So many. Have a way to sift through them quickly and whatever you do, do not start two groups of the same game. Find the players and apps that are the best and pick them. Have an extra player in one group if you must. Two groups is never a good idea.

Speaking of choosing characters and apps, choose the player, not the character. Interact with your players, see how their style meshes with your style. Gauge their expectations, compare them to your own. Have casual chats with them to see if you like them. The characters you choose won't determine the longevity of the game: the players will.

I could go on with minor details, but I think that's the main points.

Luckily there is a whole thread dedicated to this

My two cents:

Ghosting will happen. Be prepared, set expectations and have some back up players that are willing to step in when you lose a player. Don’t be scared to pm the player and ask what’s up with them. After the amount of time you made in your expectation section if you haven’t heard back then replace the player.

PF games are very popular and it takes a lot of work to review apps so don’t be scared to cut recruitment short if you get more apps than you can review.

Don’t be scared to ask for feedback.

Experience is the best way to learn so Go for it!.

Last thing, be commited! Players are just as worried about GMs ghosting so if you commit to GM a game then stick with it. Games are easier to continue with the loss of a player or two than they are with the loss of a GM and you can always accept say 6 players even though you really only want 4, knowing that one or two may drop eventually.

Good Luck!

I totally agree with the previous comments about ghosting and the be prepared for the long haul.

I have a couple of suggests. First, run a short adventure that only lasts a couple of months, or volunteer to help as an assistant GM. It will help learn what you like and dislike about running a Pbp game. I learned that I preferred to roll initiative for players. Waiting for everyone to roll just slowed things down, and still end up rolling init for some people. Now I just rng in a spreadsheet to roll for everyone.

Second take a look at various games to see how different GMs organize file folders, and manage information within the game. Organization is important, but you do not need to reinvent the wheel.

Using a published adventure helps in more ways than just making it easy to prep.

PbP's typically run for long stretches of real time with little progress in game-world time. This makes it a lot easier for the GM to become impatient or to lose steam than in a typical tabletop setting. This would also impact your creativity, and your ability to weave a story.

With a published adventure, you still have a guide for stringing the tale along, even when you're going thru a creative drought. All you'd need is dedication to not dropping the ball. The adventure should be able to sustain itself while you get your mojo back.

Ok. Thank you everyone. I will see what i can do to heed these words of wisdom.

@drezdock: Focus on the strengths of the medium, and shape your game so that it benefits from those, and is hurt less by the weaknesses. Play by post may be slow, but it offers lots of distinct advantages: added immersiveness, and lots of time to think things through, reference books / rules, etc (so, no need to stress yourself - you have time).

Try not to write yourself into a dead end. Players *will* ghost - and that doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong - so be prepared for it. I have found that the best way to do so is to run an episodic game, or at least one that allows easy entry and exit of various PCs, so you can easily replace characters if necessary (and it will be necessary, even if you are the best GM in the universe). At least in the beginning, until you find reliable players that you are compatible with.

Play by post is essentially writing, with some mechanics thrown in. If you enjoy the reading / writing aspects of it, make sure to select good writers. And folks that are generally nice and can get along with each other and can be flexible with their character ideas. Even if I have a fantastic character concept, it doesn't mean jack if I am a total jerk, or stubborn as a mule, or actively trying to disrupt the game.

Originally Posted by AsenRG View Post
@drezdock my best advice is to not stress over it. Even if you make a mistake, so what? It's still just a game!
Basically this.

DMing a game can be hard and not everyone takes to it well. My first game I knocked out a PC in one round (didn't know my own strength, huh?) and after a heated OoC "discussion" the player ragequit. Oops. Yeah, it went pretty badly.

But... so what? There are plenty of "bad" DMs around, and most of them keep on DMing regardless. Actually DMs are in such demand that most people seem not to mind and will happily apply to their games anyway.

I guess my point is, what's the worst that can happen?


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