Style of Play

A Warhammer Fantasy PbP run by Barrier Peaks.
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Barrier Peaks
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Style of Play

Post by Barrier Peaks » Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:22 am

I suppose this needs to be discussed, at least in passing, so that we have some clue as to the hows of the PbP process.

In the distant past, I've run PbP games. I've noticed that PbP games are currently much more interactive, almost as if the players are writing their portions of a novel or story. Posts will include their private thoughts and perceptions, as well as descriptions of their actions and their dialogue.

There's a line that's drawn, though, between what a character can reasonably do with little effort, and what a character will need a skill roll (or "Test" in WFRP) to do. As far as skill rolls go, I'll be making them for all players as the circumstances warrant it. I certainly don't want this to be a straightjacket for folks and their creative energies.

So, let's discuss methods. What do you expect from the game, insofar as methods of play? And what is your comfort zone, insofar as how interactive the game is for the players?

If there's anything else you'd like to add that I'm missing (not unlikely), please bring that up, too.

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Post by devlin1 » Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:44 am

My experience with PBeM and PBP games is that they can easily get bogged down in internal monologues as each player assumes the starring role for his individual post. I see RPGs as ensemble pieces, where the characters have the opportunity to be on equal footing with each other, should they choose to be so, not by out-monologuing the other guy, but by giving everyone else room to breathe. I used to be in a long-running PBeM composed primarily of guys who either were writers or considered themselves to be on some level but hadn't actually done any real writing (e.g., me). And we all wrote the hell out of every single thought that popped into our characters' heads, which eventually brought the action grinding to a halt. Seriously, it should not take four pages of separate POVs and internal thoughts to cover three seconds of combat.

Anyway, I'm starting to get a little far afield, but I think it'd be a good idea for each player to keep a separate journal (if he so chooses) of his character's longer ruminations on life, the universe, and everything as the game progresses. That way everyone has a chance to write as much as he likes without exacerbating the inherently slow pace of the game.

You're probably not asking about any of that, though. You're probably talking about game mechanics issues. As for that, I think it should be entirely in your purview. I don't think it makes sense for me to roll any dice at all, really. I think it's better if the mechanics are almost invisible. In combat, I'd want to know if I hit a guy, or if he hit me, and I want to be able to specify tactics on an almost round-to-round basis (or provide guidelines for my character to be interpreted by the GM) but I generally wouldn't want numbers creeping into the narrative-- I think they belong at the end, if anywhere. Believe me, I'm a numbers kinda guy, what with my HERO fixation and my wrong-brained approach to WotG, but unless it's a face-to-face game I don't think it makes a lot of sense for me to roll dice. That includes web-based die rollers. Why should the GM wait on me? Just roll some dice and let's go.
Mike Olson
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Post by mordraine » Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:38 am

I agree with dev that ultra long narratives tend to bog down the game. I don't think we'll have a huge problem with that anyway with this group, except maybe for dev (I mean, look how long that last post was where he was just talking about play style! For gosh sakes!).

That being said, in the PbP/PbEM games I've been in, I've always had great fun getting into the mind of my character, and I would like a chance to expand upon things on occasion (not overly so, but a little). Also, there are occasions where two PCs are interacting in a scene, and there's a chance for the players to work on joint posts, which can be fun.

As far as mechanics go, I'm more than happy to let the GM handle all that.

(PS - here's the website for the PbP game I ran some years ago. It was fun, and it has the sort of style I like best in PbP games).
Hey man, I'm slinging volume and fat stacking benjies, you know what I mean? I can't be all about spelling and shit!

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