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[Merged X3] PBP Tips & Tricks Megathread

Mr Blobby

Registered User
Validated User
In regard to all of the above, has anybody ever started a game one or two characters at a time as people get their characters ready? Just throw them into the game and then the next and the next, lather, rinse, repeat, as each player gets their character together?...
Yes, that is what I do now. Once the player's got a bare-bones PC ready [quick backstory, confirmed sheet and solid concept], I start them out on their prologue. I do this for three reasons:

1/ To give the player some RP while they finish off some of the details before joining the rest of the group. [It's hard to introduce a new PC when the others are halfway through a mission. It's either a prologue or they wait. I offer the option to wait if they'd like to - none has said yes to this yet].

2/ To infodump background info.

3/ To allow both player and myself to understand what kind of PC they're playing. Also allows players to learn the pbp / game format.

My current pbp game literally started with one ready-to-play PC.
 

brahnamin

Will GM for Beer
Validated User
Recruiter Question: How picky are you as a GM selecting players? Most of the threads I look at are set up as first come first served pile-ons near as I can tell with little to no vetting in 'most' of these.

Recruitee Question: How picky are you as a player selecting which games you join, not necessarily just based on system/setting preference but on GM and/or player interactions/history?

Just curious. Ultimately, I've never had an issue voting with my feet or asking a player to leave my table when warranted, but I much prefer to sit down with like minded folk from the start, but my [admittedly inexperienced] impression of of the interest/recruitment process here feels very random. OTOH, reading through game threads and wikis I see a lot of people playing together over and over in multiple games, which detracts from the random impression I get from the recruitment threads.

Any thoughts?
 

Aikireikinu

Tsundere Cat
RPGnet Member
Validated User
After getting burned a few times, I've started checking the Blacklist first, and not allowing people on it, unless it seemed like a one off thing. I also don't accept players that, while good players, have horrible posting rates, or tend to get derailed by real life frequently, or that I've played or GMed for and ghosted on a game but aren't on the Blacklist. I also check the infraction forum, since a player that gets banned with any frequency has a higher likelihood of having to take an involuntary vacation from the game.

As a player, it's mostly 'am I interested in the pitch and the system', 'does the GM ghost on their games', and 'have I played with this person before and not enjoyed the game'.
 
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Phantom Grunweasel

Situation Normal Oll Korrect
Validated User
Recruiter Question: How picky are you as a GM selecting players? Most of the threads I look at are set up as first come first served pile-ons near as I can tell with little to no vetting in 'most' of these.
I try to strike a balance between recruiting players I know and like and giving newbies a chance. In general, if I like someone's style -whether from a game I've run for them, a game I've played with them, or a game they've run for me, I'll probably get in touch if I think they'd be interested in a game I'm going to start. I think a sense of personal connection is all-important to keep a PbP rolling. Likewise, if someone makes a strong negative impression on me - whether for being disruptive or just generally unreliable*, I won't invite them into any games I run, and I will avoid any games they're in.

*I don't mind people having to pause or resign due to unforeseen circumstances - that's just life happening. But people ignoring PMs, while continuing to browse the forum and even join new PbPs, don't get a pass from me.

Recruitee Question: How picky are you as a player selecting which games you join, not necessarily just based on system/setting preference but on GM and/or player interactions/history?
I wouldn't join a game run by someone I'd had difficulties with. Otherwise, I generally try and gauge how much enthusiasm and thought is being put into a proposal, based on the initial post, before I decide whether to join.
 

thirdkingdom

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Recruiter Question: How picky are you as a GM selecting players? Most of the threads I look at are set up as first come first served pile-ons near as I can tell with little to no vetting in 'most' of these.

Recruitee Question: How picky are you as a player selecting which games you join, not necessarily just based on system/setting preference but on GM and/or player interactions/history?

Just curious. Ultimately, I've never had an issue voting with my feet or asking a player to leave my table when warranted, but I much prefer to sit down with like minded folk from the start, but my [admittedly inexperienced] impression of of the interest/recruitment process here feels very random. OTOH, reading through game threads and wikis I see a lot of people playing together over and over in multiple games, which detracts from the random impression I get from the recruitment threads.

Any thoughts?
I pretty much run closed, or semi-closed, recruitments, usually with basically the same group of people. If someone I'm not familiar with expresses interest I ask for links to previous games they've played in. A big requirement of mine is coherency and a basic grasp of grammar and spelling: I don't want to have to work to understand what people are posting.

I would also recommend using the Blacklist as a recruitment tool. It's pretty helpful to figure out who are reliable posters.
 

thirdkingdom

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I try to strike a balance between recruiting players I know and like and giving newbies a chance. In general, if I like someone's style -whether from a game I've run for them, a game I've played with them, or a game they've run for me, I'll probably get in touch if I think they'd be interested in a game I'm going to start. I think a sense of personal connection is all-important to keep a PbP rolling. Likewise, if someone makes a strong negative impression on me - whether for being disruptive or just generally unreliable*, I won't invite them into any games I run, and I will avoid any games they're in.

*I don't mind people having to pause or resign due to unforeseen circumstances - that's just life happening. But people ignoring PMs, while continuing to browse the forum and even join new PbPs, don't get a pass from me.



I wouldn't join a game run by someone I'd had difficulties with. Otherwise, I generally try and gauge how much enthusiasm and thought is being put into a proposal, based on the initial post, before I decide whether to join.
Slightly off-topic, but I think the Blacklist has been a huge boon to the pbp community here. I recently went back and counted, and there were about half as many notices this year as there were three years ago when it was first implemented.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
I've only played in one game on here, and it was the combination of genre, system and specifics that grabbed me. I probably won't do it again though (which is no reflection on the GM, who was excellent and kept up with matters as well as could be expected over time, but on me, as I don't think I'm quite reliable enough to want to risk leaving people hanging when I get in a mood swing).
 

Bremen

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Recruiter Question: How picky are you as a GM selecting players? Most of the threads I look at are set up as first come first served pile-ons near as I can tell with little to no vetting in 'most' of these.
I'm as picky as I can get away with, but generally I don't seem to get enough signups to really pick and choose. If I did, I'd probably turn away players who had had problems in the past. As much as I feel people should have second chances, I've really been burned by people promising to do better who then go and abandon games again.

I specifically don't do first come first serve for exactly that reason (in a perfect world, I'd prefer to be able to pick the cream of the crop as far as players, no offense intended towards players in general), but in my experience a lot of people wont sign up if they feel a game is full, and often wont even look at a recruitment thread once it's longer than a few pages.

Recruitee Question: How picky are you as a player selecting which games you join, not necessarily just based on system/setting preference but on GM and/or player interactions/history?
Less so than I would like to be with players. Honestly, and this might sound weird, in my experience a game lives and dies more by its players than its GM. If a GM does nothing but sit back and occasionally throw monsters/challenges at a party, but the players are all active and have fun playing off each other, than that's really the kind of game I like. If a GM builds a complex scenario/world with lots to do and none of the other players post or put in effort, then the game tends to fall apart. Obviously this isn't a universal rule and if the GM flakes out completely then the game can't really go on, but all around my experience is more about the players than the GM.
 
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Mr Blobby

Registered User
Validated User
Disclaimer: I don't play pbp's here; I do so on dedicated forums.

As a GM:

I can't afford to be really picky. My pbp game is too new and too niche to attract more than a trickle of potential players. It's pretty much 'first come' basis when I have spare slots going.

I'll admit: I'm also a little bit of a poacher. There's been a couple of times where I've invited one I've RP'd with and enjoyed to my own sandbox.

I've come to learn that out of five who express initial interest [aka join the forum], only one reaches their first IC thread. Half of the no-shows literally are ones who we exchange a couple of PM's [usually about their concept, which I usually agree to] then vanish. I've had a couple which dropped out from either understanding the game wasn't for them or due to RL issues. I respect these ones the most; they at least told me so before vanishing.

As a player:

I look for 'the triforce of pbp': players, GM and world.

If you can see other players are regularly posting and actually doing things, that's great. After all, you can't RP without other players.

Seeing the GM regularly active is critical. If they're frequently on, posting in IC threads as NPC's, doing background work - excellent. No pbp game can survive without a GM's steady hand for more than a few days. Yes, some players are proactive; but others aren't.

Lastly, the world has to be interesting and well-built. I always check out the background resources they've constructed; if they're well-done and useful, a big tick there. The more they provide, the less I have to ask.

The bonus is the forum construction itself. If the links work, it is not graphic heavy and is well-organised, this makes me feel confident about the GM's organisational skills. For I know from experience, some half of my time is spent on general housekeeping, answering basic questions, keeping the site ticking over etc.

Lastly, there are a couple of GM's I now flat-out refuse to play with. I shall not name them, or the games they ran; but my experiences with them were not really positive. I know these well enough to be able to recognise their writing style, layouts etc so even if they did a new game, I'm fairly confident I'd spot them.
 

zedturtle

Maker
Validated User
Recruiter: I'm pretty open with who I take, and have only got really burned once, and really flaked off twice (if the player retires from the game with any sort of message I don't consider that a flake, just the cost of PbP). But at this point, my games have waiting lists, which helps as a filter... you have to really want to play, because it might be a while before you get in.

Recruitee:I'm very, very picky... I'd pretty much have to be point blank invited to join a game as a player. I'm just not that good of a player, and I'm not actually really interested in being a player. I'd be really, really happy if I could just run games for folks all the time. The need to eat and support others precludes this, unfortunately. :)
 
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