Is it just me? - Myth-Weavers


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Is it just me?

Is it just me?

But why do so many games seem to just die?

It seems like almost every game I get involved in, people just suddenly stop posting and the game just ups and dies. Is this something that is only happening to me? A string of bad luck or something? Or am I just being impatient with the slower pace of pbp gaming?

Do other people have similar problems?

It happens a lot, to everyone. And there's many reasons.

To start with, a lot of people bite off more than they can chew, and then they stop carrying their weight, and it all falls apart.

Sometimes Real Life Happens, and they have to drop for those reasons. Which usually disrupts the rest of the players and causes the game to crumble.

Personality conflicts also happen. Again with crumbling as a potential outcome.

Really- you need a perfect storm of dedicated individuals who care enough that they refuse to flake... a GM who can roll with the weirdness as well as keep things interesting, and a hell of a lot of patience amongst players who have good chemistry with one another. Oh, and they must not have lives to distract them from the game.

... It's a rare combination, to say the least...

Especially for "open advertisement" games where some of the people don't know one another ahead of time. A little easier to make happen if the players and GM(s) are familiar with one another ahead of time and like working together, but even then there's no guarantees.

Even the vast majority of tabletop games die eventually. I have a depressingly large folder of old tabletop PC's, about half of whom got played for one or two sessions before the game broke up. Most of the rest only got played for a month or two. The really long term games, those are the ones you talk about with your gaming buddies years later. Add all the stuff inherent in online gaming, and really, it's kind of amazing that any games stick around long term.

I've been in a game for a few years, and its still hard. Everyone, GM included, has flaked at least once, and the gm has had to replace other players a few times, but 2 of us in from the beginning are still in, and we seem to have more dedicated teammates now. The key is communication matters. I flaked for a few months but responded to PM's and stuff and came back from RL when I could. The GM ran my character during that time. It takes a lot of patience and dedication and players able to refind their inner character voice a few times.

It took me 4 years to find one.

Yeah, it’s definitely not just you. And it’s really hard to predict which games are more or less likely to last. And the few predictors that are noticeable will usually make the game that much tougher to get into. (E.g. The ad is put up by a well-established DM with a long and unbroken posting history, or it’s a thread recruiting a single replacement for an established and long-running game.)

Something I’ve found is that if you run a game as a dm, then the game runs as long as you’re willing to put the effort into it. You may have to replace players or characters that drop out, but chances are you’ll be able to keep a relatively stable core of people. Additionally, I’ve found that there’s a lot of game creation and recruitment that goes on outside of the advertisements forum. Getting a network of players in your game/games that know you as a dm can sometimes (but def not always!) mean that you get a heads-up when they’re starting a game. And I’ve found that those informal games are sometimes a bit more stable.

Of course, I’m kind of dealing with a small sample size on this advice, so take it with a big grain of salt unless others confirm.

Unfortunately it requires dedication and commitment from everyone involved. Not everyone is ready or even can put that kind of mentality forth. With online games like these you have a bit of anonimity aspect too. A person can disappear, stop participating and bog the whole game down for others and theres virtually no consequences to those actions. This happens a lot less in RL games because disruptive players will be socially ostracized from the group and group members but it still happens

Conflicts also happen whether they be personality or otherwise. In my experience (keep in mind I GM far more then I play) the most common of these is a player just not liking how a GM calls something and they outright quit because they feel the person is being unreasonable and always will be. On the other hand sparks can fly from social, economic, religious, political, or philosophical differences and not everyone can approach those discussions with an open mind and a respectful tone. Ive seen many people quit over the years because of it and Ive kicked plenty of people from my groups who openly and unapologeticaly degraded other players beliefs.

Ultimately I dont believe there is a hard and fast rule that will make a game be a long and successful one. The only thing you can do is put forth the effort to try and make it fun for everyone. If everyone else does that then maybe, just maybe, it'll last and give you stories to tell for years to come

Admittedly I don't have a lot of PbP experience, but both games I've been in (one of which I was GMing) fell apart due to people flaking. It's also a problem with online play in general. My guess is that it's so easy to join a game, a lot of players just never really take an interest. They join on a whim, and they leave on one too when the novelty weas off. I'd just like if people were kind enough to notice the group they're leaving.

I've had that happen, that's why you have to either run short campaigns, or find a dedicated group, and mix things up a lot.


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