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Author Topic: Play-By-Post Handbook - READ!  (Read 5833 times)
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AfterCrescent
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Posts: 4220


Here After


« on: May 21, 2008, 06:28:49 PM »

Hello and welcome to the Play-by-Post (PbP) forum here on BrilliantGameologists.com.

You may be wondering what exactly PbP is, well this thread should answer that and many other questions you may come up with. If for some reason, your question is not answered here, please post it in the Play by Post questions and suggestions. I will do my best to answer it or get it answered by the right person.

Well now you may be wondering who I am. I'm AfterCrescent, and the wonderful people at BG have graciously allowed me to be the moderator here on the PbP forum for the time being. Big Grin I shall do my best to help you all out in any way I can.
- And I'm Prime32. Same deal. AC isn't as active now as he was when this was written, but I'll do my best to cover for him.

Okay, I think that covers the introduction... On to the good stuff! PbP is similar to your normal table-top game, only instead of sitting around a table playing, you post online. There are a number of benefits to this form of playing table-top games. You are given plenty of time to think through your actions, so if you are not the most social person but your character is, you have time to think what a charismatic person might come up with. You also get to play with people all over the world. Also, because we here at BG love all types of gaming, there's no system restriction, so maybe you've always wanted to play that one system but no one you know would learn it. Well play it here! Big Grin

Everything sounds great, right? Well it is, for the most part. There is one minor drawback about PbP when compared to traditional table-top games, and that is time. PbP moves at a much slower pace because not everyone is online at the same time. This is especially true when playing with people from all over the world. The game is constantly running, 24/7, but it moves at a much slower pace. Don't lose heart though, PbP are amazingly fun once you get going. Wink

Remember the only rule we have here is - Don't be a douchebag!
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 12:25:35 AM by Prime32 » Logged

The cake is a lie.
Need to play table top? Get your game on at:
Brilliant Gameologists' PbP Forum. Do it, you know you want to.
The 3.5 Cleric Handbook
The 13th Guard - An alternate history campaign idea.
Clerics just wake up one morning and decide they need to kick ass, and it needs to be kicked NOW. ~veekie
AfterCrescent
Moderator
Organ Grinder
*
Posts: 4220


Here After


« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2008, 06:28:59 PM »

Okay, so now you've gotten a rough idea of what a PbP is, but you may be wondering how to play in one. The most important thing to remember is to always use details. The more detail you put into the game, the more fun you'll have. For example:

Bad - John eats his breakfast.
Good - After waking up with a massive hang-over, it takes John almost twenty minutes to roll himself out of the bed and downstairs. As he pulls a chair up to the table with the rest of the party, he lets out a grumble before grabbing for his bowl of gruel and hastily scarfing it down.

Here's a little generic guideline, although different GMs may prefer posting in a different method.
Use normal text to explain what your character does.
Speak in color. Choose whichever one fits your character best.
Think in italics.
<<Use double arrows for telepathy>>
Use a spoiler for out of character information. This can range from a combat block, to a rules question, to whatever.

One of the best features that we have here is that with each game, the GM becomes a mod for that particular mini-forum. He or she can choose to have one thread for character sheets, one for in-game discussion, one for out of game discussion, and even a thread for spectators to comment on what's going on. Whatever your game needs, you'll be able to set it up in your little private forum.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 12:24:11 AM by Prime32 » Logged

The cake is a lie.
Need to play table top? Get your game on at:
Brilliant Gameologists' PbP Forum. Do it, you know you want to.
The 3.5 Cleric Handbook
The 13th Guard - An alternate history campaign idea.
Clerics just wake up one morning and decide they need to kick ass, and it needs to be kicked NOW. ~veekie
AfterCrescent
Moderator
Organ Grinder
*
Posts: 4220


Here After


« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2008, 06:29:06 PM »

FAQ

1. I want to play in a game, what do I do?
Well after reading this handbook, go to the Gaming Profile/Preference Thread and put up a profile for GMs to see. The next step is to go to the Play by Post General area and look for new games starting up soon. Hopefully you'll find one you are interested in. If not, try again in a day or two and see what's new. Then post in the thread, saying you are interested. If the GM wants you to submit a character, start building. If not, wait and see if you are selected. Make sure to keep up to date and remember what you applied for. Wink

2. How do I roll dice for PbP?
The simplest way is to use Invisible Castle.  Once you are at the site, in the upper left corner, you should see "Roll Dice". Click on that. In the box for Character Name, put your character's name. Generally it is a better idea to put the entire name, since a name like Himo may be used more often by others than Himo Nar' Sarlan. Then in the Dice box type what you are rolling. If you want to roll multiple dice, separate them by a semi-colon. Such as 1d20+19;3d6+5.  If you want to, write a note as to why you are rolling. Something simple like "Reflex Save" or "Attack roll" will suffice.  After you have typed your info in, click "Roll the dice" on the bottom of the Note box. When the site loads, click on the text next to BBCode and just paste it into your your response. Like this: Explanation Roll (1d20+19=22, 3d6+5=17)

Prime32: I've created an alternate dice roller for whenever Invisible Castle experiences technical difficulties, which works in a similar way. There's a thread about it here, where you can post questions and feature requests.

3. How do I make links to my dice rolls?
You can click on the text next to BBCode for ease of use. If you want to edit what the text says, so that you can write something like "Axe attacks the goblin, cleaving through his armor." and have the word "cleaving" be the link to the roll, you can do that.
Code:
[url=http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1602257/]Explanation Roll (1d20+19=22, 3d6+5=17)[/url]
When you copy the link Invisible Castle gives you, you should see the above. Just change the "Explanation Roll (1d20+19=22, 3d6+5=17)" like so:
Code:
[url=http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1602257/]cleaving[/url]

4. What do I do if my GM disappears?
Hopefully this does not happen. If a GM starts a game, it is usually for the long hall. Also, if for some real life reason the GM is not able to continue, we hope he or she can find a replacement GM. However, if for some reason you join a game that starts and the GM does disappear, there is not a lot we can do for you. If this happens, wait a couple days to make sure he or she has actually disappeared. If so, post in the Open Game Advertisement thread. If you don't get any response, consider starting a new recruitment thread.

5. What do I do if my player disappears?
Much like the above issue, we hope this does not happen. However, if it does, please wait a few days and attempt to contact the player to make sure he or she has actually just disappeared. Hopefully, if for some reason they are not having fun, they will give you warning. Either way, when this happens, post in the Open Game Advertisement thread. Then you will hopefully be able to recruit a replacement player.

6. I'm not at home with my books, but I want to make a character to submit for a game. Is there any way I can do this?
Yes. Depending on the system you are running, there may be an online source for information. System Reference Documents exist for D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder. There is also the Min/Max It! board where people are always willing to help you work on a build, and the famous Handbooks subsection with prewritten guides.

7. I keep hearing about this "Point Buy" thing. What is it?
Point buy is a system of stat generation for d20 systems like D&D. All stats start out at 8, and you pay a certain number of "points" to increase the stat to what you want. The most popular point total is 32.
A 08 costs you... 00 points
A 09 costs you... 01 points
A 10 costs you... 02 points
A 11 costs you... 03 points
A 12 costs you... 04 points
A 13 costs you... 05 points
A 14 costs you... 06 points
A 15 costs you... 08 points
A 16 costs you... 10 points
A 17 costs you... 13 points
A 18 costs you... 16 points

Pathfinder uses a different set of costs, which can be found here.

8. Who is in charge of this forum?
The Brilliant people at Brilliant Gameologists, of course. I'm also here to help out (notice the Helper Monkey icon :wink). [Prime32: Hey, don't forget me!] But most importantly, you all are! This is a community forum for the community and without you all, it doesn't work. So voice your questions/concerns/suggestions in the Play by Post questions and suggestions thread.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 12:22:56 AM by Prime32 » Logged

The cake is a lie.
Need to play table top? Get your game on at:
Brilliant Gameologists' PbP Forum. Do it, you know you want to.
The 3.5 Cleric Handbook
The 13th Guard - An alternate history campaign idea.
Clerics just wake up one morning and decide they need to kick ass, and it needs to be kicked NOW. ~veekie
AfterCrescent
Moderator
Organ Grinder
*
Posts: 4220


Here After


« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2008, 06:29:13 PM »

I want to run a game. What do I do?

Good question. Anyone here can run a game. And more importantly, you don't need anyone's permission to do so. You are the community, after all. But I figured I'd come up with some suggestions to help everything run smoothly.

First off, please be certain you are in it for the long haul. Like I mentioned above, PbP can move slowly at some times, so be ready to accept that and still strive to make it fun, because it can be.  If you aren't going to stick around, please don't start a thread and get people's hopes up. Remember the Don't be a Douchebag rule. Big Grin

Next step is to make sure players want to play what you want to run. Check out the Gaming Profile/Preference Thread to see what people enjoy playing. I am definitely keeping that up to date for all you GMs. Big Grin

Assuming you're fine with all of that, the first thing to do is start a Pregame/Setup thread.  For consistency, please put the system you are playing in brackets at the beginning, followed by the game name and something like pregame/setup thread. Examples:
[Shadowrun] Age of the Beast - Pregame Thread
[D&D 3.5] The Lost Years - Setup Thread

Inside your thread you'll want to layout a few things for prospective players...
1. Describe the background, either of the story or of the world, if it's a homebrew setting. Or both, really. Give your game a hook, a feel, something that will attract players and make them want to play.
2. State any houserules that will be in effect. This really helps players not upset when something they expected doesn't worth quite that way in your world.
3. Decide if you want full characters, just backgrounds, or just a show of hands of who wants in. Let the players know so they don't do too much work if you're not even going to look at it.
4. It's fine if you don't know when you first start, but whenever you decide the cutoff date for selecting players, put that in the first post so people know.

Once you pass that cutoff date, select your characters. Feel free to continue to use the setup thread to develop backgrounds, fix any errors, or otherwise plan/discuss your campaign. Once you are ready to play, make a post in the Current Games thread.

In this thread, make one post, and use this format for simplicity:

Name of Game: *insert name*
GM(s): *insert your name*
Players: *list names*

Once you do this, we will set you up with your own mini-forum and give you mod power over it. Once I see your game has picked up and is ready, I will lock the pregame thread. It will sink to the bottom of the forum and be available for reference, but immune to thread necromancy.


Prime32: We can also provide you with subforums within your game forum (which may in turn have subforums, and so on). If you have something large-scale and feel you need this kind of structure, the following format is suggested.
Quote
Name of Game: *insert name*
GM(s): *insert your name*
Players: *list names*
Subforums: *list subforums*

Subforum Name: *insert name*
GM(s): *list only if different from parent, mod rights are not inherited*
Description: *insert description to appear under board name, can be left blank*
« Last Edit: February 17, 2011, 02:31:40 AM by Prime32 » Logged

The cake is a lie.
Need to play table top? Get your game on at:
Brilliant Gameologists' PbP Forum. Do it, you know you want to.
The 3.5 Cleric Handbook
The 13th Guard - An alternate history campaign idea.
Clerics just wake up one morning and decide they need to kick ass, and it needs to be kicked NOW. ~veekie
AfterCrescent
Moderator
Organ Grinder
*
Posts: 4220


Here After


« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2008, 06:29:19 PM »

Last but not least. Are you looking for a place to put your character sheet? Well look no further. You can use any online site like Myth-weavers or copy any of the character sheets from the Character sheet template thread.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 06:31:12 PM by aftercrescent » Logged

The cake is a lie.
Need to play table top? Get your game on at:
Brilliant Gameologists' PbP Forum. Do it, you know you want to.
The 3.5 Cleric Handbook
The 13th Guard - An alternate history campaign idea.
Clerics just wake up one morning and decide they need to kick ass, and it needs to be kicked NOW. ~veekie
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