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View Full Version : Roleplaying How do people make elaborate posts in a Play By Post game?



gooddragon1
2019-09-21, 08:41 PM
So, here we have a sample post in the spoiler of an elaborate (imo) post:



Sienna slouched in her chair, the cup of mulled wine already dulling the various aches and pains that her dragon blood hadn't been able to reach. She had barely spoken to Halad since returning to town, only giving the elf pained scowls every now and then. The other patrons had taken a quick glance at the halfling as she entered, hiding half lipped smiles behind mugs and spread fingers. He face was ruddy and smeared with blood, most of it not hers. He cloak was in tatters and half of it trailed behind her, dragging mud in across the floor. An errant twig had fallen from her hair as she sat down.

"That's the last time you use me as the bait." She said finally, for perhaps the hundredth time since she'd met Halad.


Is that level of detail required for pbp games? How do people do that? Doesn't it get exhausting? Other questions? Comments?

Motive (In the interest of full disclosure): I basically am probing the idea of pbp to play my homebrew (a variant class feature for the D&D 3.5 ranger, not a large deal like a class).

DataNinja
2019-09-21, 09:54 PM
Personally, length-wise, I don't feel that that's too elaborate. The only real big "problem" I can see there is that there's description of 'responses' to the character in it - the player should say what they've done, the DM is the one that describes how the scene reacts.

But, in general, PbP is a lot different than real-time. Longer posts are a thing, and conversation often flows... less naturally. If you have five people talking, then it's a lot more likely for A to speak, B to reply to A, C to speak to D, D replies to both A/B's conversation and C's, and then E contributing to all the subsets.

If you stopped to do things one line at a time, finishing one conversation before moving on, rather than "jumping around" (i.e. if it was read in 'real-time', you'd basically be alternating conversations or whatever), it takes a lot longer. Infodumps are more common, with "Any questions" coming at the end. And so forth.

In addition, giving more description to one's actions tends to be an advantage of PbP, as well as being able to display one's thoughts. It can give a better view of the character, without feeling like you're just eating up everyone else's time. It doesn't need to be flowery or purple prose, though. Just... having one or two lines of text can often leave things feeling lacking at times. (I personally don't find it exhausting, especially if I'm really into the character. It's super fun.)

That's another reason for tending towards larger posts - a lot more likely for everyone to have something to respond to. It sucks if the cycle just ends up being the NPC says something, and then you just have all five PCs say some simple variation of "Yep" and then you say the next line. Slows things down immensely, and stuff like that can easily cause early disinterest.

(As an aside - I would recommend having a realtime chat for any PbP games, like a Discord. Not even for playing the game, but just it takes so much quicker to clarify things, plus I find people bond more and ghost less if they befriend each other and have a place to casually chat. Just my two cents, at least.)

Rogan
2019-09-21, 10:42 PM
Personally, length-wise, I don't feel that that's too elaborate. The only real big "problem" I can see there is that there's description of 'responses' to the character in it - the player should say what they've done, the DM is the one that describes how the scene reacts.


I would not call this a problem. Sure, the DM controls most of the world, but allowing the players to describe some minor details will make their posts more 'alive' while at the same time keeping some work away from the DM, so he can concentrate on more important things. It's also a way to speed things up. If the player writes the (most likely) reactions if minor NPCs, he does not have to wait for the DM to do so.
Since PbP is often rather slow (especially if the players are living in different time zones) keeping things in one big post instead of many short is a huge advantage.
And if the DM feels like the reactions the players include are off for some reason or another, he can override the post.

Lord Raziere
2019-09-22, 12:35 AM
So, here we have a sample post in the spoiler of an elaborate (imo) post:





Is that level of detail required for pbp games? How do people do that? Doesn't it get exhausting? Other questions? Comments?

Motive (In the interest of full disclosure): I basically am probing the idea of pbp to play my homebrew (a variant class feature for the D&D 3.5 ranger, not a large deal like a class).

Dude, I've made posts much longer than that just for IC meaningless/jokey conversations. though they were freeform and didn't have to worry about mechanics, so my pbp experience is probably not the norm.

Faily
2019-09-22, 08:12 AM
Not a particularly long post, no. I mean, I've seen and written longer and shorter ones myself, but this one seemed pretty par the course for setting the scene, in my opinion and experience.

Some people like to write lengthy prose, others prefer to just to "yep". All I can say is don't feel pressured to write a novel, but stay with what you feel is nescessary.

Koo Rehtorb
2019-09-22, 09:26 AM
One word at a time.

LordEntrails
2019-09-22, 10:39 AM
That is the type of post I would expect as the norm for a PbP game. It's been years since I done PbP, but yea, that's normal.

If you are more interested in single sentence posts, PbP might not be for you. Most PbP players I've encountered wanted detailed story level interaction. They all enjoy writing and want to share writing a story together.

Another way to think of it, what's the posting frequency? In most PbP games, it might only be a couple of posts per week. If posts are fairly detailed, the story is going to develop in a glacially slow manner.

FinnDarkblade
2019-09-22, 12:32 PM
I mean, that's one of the few advantages that pbp has over face to face roleplaying isn't it? You have time to sit there and think about your character and their reactions and can come up with a lot of detail. You're also not hindered by any of the awkwardness of trying to act in front of people. I've always found that I roleplay a heck of a lot better in pbp and it's not uncommon for me to start typing up a post on my phone and then leave it unfinished for half an hour or so before going back later to revise it before posting with something to say that's more interesting and more connected to my character.

Imbalance
2019-09-22, 01:53 PM
How long have you been using the Internet?

gooddragon1
2019-09-22, 04:43 PM
How long have you been using the Internet?

"How many breads have you eaten in your life?" - Mr. Brando

I don't think playing a mute character would go over well, so I guess keeping to utility in responses might work based on the replies.

Jay R
2019-09-23, 06:45 PM
Some people enjoy writing more than other people do. They will write longer, more elaborate posts.

That's all.

Write your posts your way, and let them write their posts their way.

TheYell
2019-09-24, 01:43 AM
I think that par for the course for play by post, where you have the posts archived so people can get the flow of a storyline as well as move through concrete actions. It tends to encourage literary texts. You might prefer to run one online through discord chat which would be more terse, impermanent, and casual.

Eldan
2019-09-24, 02:59 AM
For me, that's the entire point of writing Play by Post over using a chat client to play. YOu get to write elaborate descriptions of things, your characters motives, emotions, thoughts, reactions.

Dimers
2019-09-24, 04:41 AM
Yep, that kind of post plays to the strengths of the format. Relying heavily on back-and-forth is problematic in asynchronous communication.

When I GM -- which is exclusively PbP, anymore -- I encourage people to fill in details I haven't and make presumptions about plot-peripheral NPCs' responses. Like Rogan said, if a player writes something seriously dissonant with what I have in mind, we can always go back and change it.

The Insanity
2019-09-25, 02:46 PM
Personally this kind of long posts are what makes me shy away from PbF (which is a shame since other than that it's an almost perfect medium for me to game). I'm just not interested in someone's literaly work when I'm playing rpgs, regardless of whether it's amateour or actually good. If I wanted to read a novel I would buy a book.