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How can I be a good play by post player?

zenten

Active member
Validated User
OK, I signed up for one here, and things seem to be getting close to the point where we'll start playing soon. Thing is, I'm a bit worried that I will hinder things once the game starts, because I just don't know what's expected in such a game.

I get that updating frequently is good, and letting people know if life is going to get in the way for a bit. Beyond that what are some tips for being a good PbP player?
 

Peter Svensson

Reads Too Many Comics
Validated User
Make sure to give every other player a chance to respond. Be patient if another player has something preventing them from posting a timely response. Don't dictate what other characters do in your posts. (IE, describe your character as absurdly beautiful, rather than say "you fall in love with his absurdly beautiful looks.")

And relax. It's a game at the end of the day.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Registered User
Validated User
Think of what you're doing as written improv, so the rules that apply there apply here:

1) Don't close off other folks' potential actions.
2) Don't try to make it all about you and your character. (I would include in this not writing a small essay about how your character feels about everything, like how the cheeseburger you're eating makes you think about how your father sexually abused you as a child and how conflicted you are because you later saw him eaten by a werewolf. Just eat the damned cheeseburger in peace.)
3) Provide any relevant stats in the post that your GM will need to adjudicate. Yes, he can get to a character sheet and look at it, but if you put the relevant stats into your post, it'll make things go that much faster. And track your own stats.
4) Don't slack like I have been with my two Ptolus pbps at ENWorld.
 

GreenTongue

Registered User
Validated User
Try to give the person running it something to work with. A bit more than a single line when possible.

If you don't know what to do next, don't just wait for someone else to do something, post in the Out of Character chat that you need a hint.

Don't ask for details that don't matter. Do ask if you need more before deciding what your character will do.
=
 

Pteryx

Simulator & Spellcaster
Validated User
Check the game much more frequently than you're required to post. If you're supposed to post once a day, check when you get up in the morning, during your lunch break, when you get home, and before you go to bed; that way, you're more likely to hit just the right opportunity to make that one post. -- Pteryx
 

Kredoc

Registered User
Validated User
Be clear in stating what you're doing. I've run a lot of PbeM stuff, and one thing that crops up over and over is a group discussion of planned action followed by... nothing.
 

Gilbetron

cried twice in his life
Validated User
If you want players and GMs to love you, get into their characters and settings. So don't try be so much about your character being smart, instead have your character be impressed with other PC's smartness (or whatever). Be the straight man, the blank (set interesting!) canvas that others can be awesome against. And one great trick I find is try to get permission to have some sort of "entity" that is also under your control that is almost always around. It's difficult and awkward to have your character having a conversation on his own, and odd to broadcast the characters thoughts. Having another entity (person, familiar, AI, whatever) with you allows you to write natural conversations that help communicate what your character is thinking.

So instead of:
JoePC watched the woman walking away, thinking that maybe she was coming on to him for some nefarious reason.
you can do:
As the woman walked away, JoePC says, "Wow, she seems ... nice."

FredFamiliar wryly notes, "With your looks, 'seems' is the operative word."
 

Argent

aka Jerry Sköld
Validated User
If you want players and GMs to love you, get into their characters and settings. So don't try be so much about your character being smart, instead have your character be impressed with other PC's smartness (or whatever). Be the straight man, the blank (set interesting!) canvas that others can be awesome against.
This is good advice for any type of RPG - play-by-post or tabletop.
 

The_Levitator

Registered User
Validated User
I've been playing in a C&C PbP game for over a year now, so I've learned a few things along the way.

I think it takes a group a couple weeks to get its pacing down. Some people will have more time to post more often. Some people will post much longer posts than others. Some will post literary-style, and some will post barebones style. Once everyone gets comfortable with the styles and preferences of the other players, it gets much smoother and enjoyable.

It's definitely important to have patience in a PbP game, as not everyone can post as frequently as others. I also try to pay attention to the GM descriptions and other character descriptions, and try to only post enough information to cover roughly the same time period. Sometimes it's obvious (like, don't give a soliloquy during combat ;) ), but sometimes it's not so obvious. If I'm ever unsure, I will post something like, "and if there's time, Levian will scan the room for anything unusual". Our group has gotten into the habit

I think it's also good for people to follow the protocol in order to make posts consistent and easier to read. In our game, for example, spoken text is bolded, while private thoughts of the character are in italics. We have an OOC tag for OOC text.

Oh, and I think it's a good idea to use paragraphs as much as possible, as most people don't like reading big huge blocks of text. ;)
 

zenten

Active member
Validated User
If you want players and GMs to love you, get into their characters and settings. So don't try be so much about your character being smart, instead have your character be impressed with other PC's smartness (or whatever). Be the straight man, the blank (set interesting!) canvas that others can be awesome against. And one great trick I find is try to get permission to have some sort of "entity" that is also under your control that is almost always around. It's difficult and awkward to have your character having a conversation on his own, and odd to broadcast the characters thoughts. Having another entity (person, familiar, AI, whatever) with you allows you to write natural conversations that help communicate what your character is thinking.

So instead of:


you can do:
Does that mean that having more than one character under my control is desirable?
 
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