Quote Originally Posted by Erulasto View Post
On an unrelated note - as it may or may not be obvious, this is the first PbP game I have run, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

I like to be understanding about life and whatnot as far as posting schedules go and I think we're doing pretty well.

What's a good rule of thumb to determine if someone has ghosted from the game? We haven't had a post from Sopholael since the 28th and I haven't gotten a response from PMing the player either so far as I can tell.

I want to be as understanding as possible - but what's a reasonable limit?
I'm not a big PbP-er, but from the handful of games I have been in, the posting rate of this game is astounding. I figure posting will get a tad less frequent as the 'new game' excitement wears off (and maybe that's what we've seen in the last half-week), but posting every day or two is really great.

As for ghosting... hard to tell, but if someone hasn't responded in a week, I can see assuming they dropped out. However, to be nice, I'd recommend giving them the chance to return if they explain what happened. Maybe a huge family emergency came up, or something ruined internet connection. But generally I think it'd be polite for players to say "hey, I'm busy next week, but I'm not gone for good".

So I'd recommend something like
1) if gone for 1 week with no warning, play them as an NPC in a way that doesn't harm the character (character is busy on something else, or character is there but doesn't expend limited resources (like Holy Bullets) or suffer permanent injury (like Discord/death) if in combat. Allow player to rejoin with no penalty.
2) if gone for 2 weeks, play them as an NPC and let the cards fall where they may. If no need to be in the plot, may have them be killed or leave town. Maybe allow player to rejoin, depending on explanation, etc.
I think In Nomine is a good system for NPCing a PC, since you can say they got recalled by their Superior for some important side mission. Many other games don't have good ways to do it that don't break verisimilitude.

Whether or not xp penalties can happen should probably be case-by-case. If someone had a real emergency, I can see no penalty for a 1-week absence. Part of that is that a less effective fellow PC hurts the effectiveness of the team as a whole. It seems way less important in this system than, say, D&D, but for a D&D analogy: if I got to level 5, I'd want my teammates also at level 5 so they can contribute equally; it's not fair to me if one guy is level 3 since he missed a few scenes.

I say 1 week/2 week due to the posting time we have here, and since your initial recruitment did state fairly frequent posting. In most other games, I'd extend those times, but we were told what we were signing up for when we signed up for it. If you want to keep the pace really rapid, maybe shorten that to half a week & a week, but that seems a bit too harsh for sudden changes.