Player Expectations and GM Details

About Me: I've been a Myth-Weaver resident for 10 years now, first as someone who just used it to store sheets, and then as a player, then finally as a GM. In my time as a GM, I've faced all the usual problems of railroading, being responsive to players, keeping the story going, knowing when certain storyline ideas aren't feasible, and leaving things open-ended enough to help the players gain a sense of ownership and excitement for the plot. This has come with its fair share of lumps, hard knocks, and in some cases, burnout and estrangement. I would like to think I have wisdom enough to acknowledge my mistakes and do better in the future. So, here is a short list of what you can expect from me, as your GM.

My Promises
  • I will post at least twice a week. Myth-Weavers is a play by post website. Games live and die based on how active they are; a game without any new posts withers and dies from a lack of attention.
  • If there is something that will interfere with my posting rate, I will let you know about it. I'm not prone to major illness or injury, I don't have any sick kids to take care of, and my schedule's pretty static. But holidays and family emergencies can and may happen, and I will let you know about it. A lack of communication is another major contributor to game dissolution. The worst case scenario, you end up getting a lot more phone posts from me in non-combat scenarios, which will leave you without all that fancy formatting and text colors I'm used to using.
  • I will provide the framework of the world; You are welcome to flesh it out. And by this I mean, make NPCs if they're relevant to your backstories. Give me plot hooks for your characters to use, so you have a sense of ownership. D&D is a cooperative, team game; you all win or you all lose. The same is true for storytelling. The story is better when we have a sharing of ideas and a sense of give and take.
  • If I am wrong about a rule and you point it out to me, I will apologize. I'll be the first to admit I do not know everything. Help me, and I'll help you.
  • I will have Houserules. I use them sparingly, though, and there's always a good reason for them. Sometimes they exist because of the specifics of the setting, or to clear up some vagary in the existing rules. In general though, houserules are meant to be a compromise between things which make a game too easy and game mechanics which can sometimes make things too difficult. I like to give you a challenge, not make the game impossible, because that wouldn't be fun.
  • The Law of Awesome. In short, crazy ideas and solutions, in my experience, have almost always been backed up by phenomenal rolls. Example? A group of characters took out an entire fleet of enemy warships by attacking each ship, setting it on fire, and then launching themselves to the next ship in the line by catapult shots...and they kept making the tumble, balance, acrobatics, and use rope checks to keep making it work. If you come up with a crazy idea to solve something, I'll likely allow it just for the humor value. And you'd be surprised how often those ideas work.
  • I will listen. This game is a give-and-take. I may be running it and you may be playing it, but if there's something you think will make the game better, let me know about it.

And with that said, here are my expectations for my players.

Player Expectations
  • You will post at least twice a week. As above, PbP games live and die on posting rates. I have my own expectation to meet as a GM, and this is yours as a player.
  • You will let us know if something happens. Real Life can, and will, interfere. But if you go silent on us for a period of one to two weeks with no communication whatsoever, I will assume that you have lost interest in the game and remove you as a player. Nearly every game I've been in had players, committed and otherwise, who just dropped off the face of the earth and never told anyone why or what was going on. I had one player in a game I reluctantly cancelled who didn't realize the game was cancelled until three weeks after I'd done so, then sent me a PM wondering why. If you apply to my game, you are making a commitment. It's a fun commitment, but it still is a commitment not only to me, but your fellow players, and you will see it through.
  • Be Active, Be Engaged. This ties into the above, but long story short, another pet peeve of mine is players who go, "Well, I couldn't think of anything to do/say, so I didn't post." Fine, but you can still jaw away in the ooc forum, or write backstory snippets for the hell of it, or chat up future interactions with other players. You get out of this game what you put into it. Active players make for happy players, and a happy GM.
  • Help each other out. Whether it's deciding what subclass or spells to go for, or what action might be most helpful in combat, if another player's not sure what the best course of action is, feel free to offer some advice. Don't force it on them; it's their character, not yours, but having a second opinion can sometimes be useful. And if someone wants help on post formatting, if you have some tips, pass them on.
  • Be Proactive. I'm certain you've bumped into it in other games you've played; The GM wonders, "Are they asking me to move them along here? Are they waiting for me to tell them to roll something?" and the players wonder conversely, "Should I roll something here? Would I be stepping on their toes by saying we move ahead to the tavern/forest/whatever?" There are proactive players and reactive players, and while reactive players can be handled and managed well enough in face to face sessions, for PbP, a little extra clarity and decisiveness can help to speed things along. You think you might need to roll a skill check? Roll that skill check. You're pretty sure everyone's said everything they need to and the team's next move is set? Declare it and I'll move things along. If there's some character to character interactions you want to do that would clog up the main game thread, make a new sidethread for it between you two. You want to make a chart of "What we did and what happened"? Go right ahead. You want to record info on new NPCs you meet and I haven't added them into the existing NPC rosters? Make your own thread, and get it going.