Machiara
 member, 30 posts
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 01:28
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
Hi all,

I just wanted to start a thread on info you'd like to see about a prospective GM and/or game in the "Looking for Players" section.  For me, I like to see the following:

How many players the GM is looking for

Whether the GM is planning to run multiple editions of the game (has this ever worked?)

Whether the GM is taking applications first-come, first served

If not, until what date the application period will be open.

Now, a lot of GMs do put some or all of this information in their LFP posts.  But many don't.  So I think it would be cool if the community could come up with suggested information for potential GMs to put in the LFP posts.  It might help GMs to think about what kind of game they want, and it would certainly help players decide if they wish to apply.

What say you, fair RPoL denizens?  Any other information you'd like to see in a LFP post?
mintgreeen
 member, 21 posts
 I GM a lot
 I wish I could play > GM
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 01:48
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
I don't like limiting applications as a GM. To me, it's "first good application that fits", "first served".

Meaning that I can't really predict when I will close applications. I just will when I don't need any more players.

*shrugs*
Machiara
 member, 31 posts
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 04:52
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
And that's fine, but that's something that I think players would like to know up front.  Whatever your process is.  What I'm concerned with is the games where you go through an RTJ process only to find that you're in a game with, say, 10 players.  Or in the 3rd game that the GM set up from one Players Wanted post.  Both of which happened to me recently.

Giving players more information helps the GM find players who are happy with the game the GM wants to run, and it helps players find the game more suited to the style they want to play in.  Seems like a win-win to me!  :)
horus
 member, 68 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 05:25
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
In reply to Machiara (msg # 3):

I get what you're saying about group dynamics as relate to group size, I think?

In games I run I generally talk about things like post rate, group size, game system, milieu/setting, and whether or not the game has Mature or Adult Content, but that's just me.

It's really up to you, if a GM hasn't posted enough information for you to be able to make an informed decision about joining a game, to ask for what you need.  Whether the GM will communicate with you and address your questions or not can be taken as a good indicator of how to proceed.

Good Hunting,
D
wyrmpuff
 member, 159 posts
 I need a name change.
 I want more games.
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 06:00
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
I purposely left information about my latest game sparse (an Ex3 game) because I am trying out a new approach to running Exalted.
icosahedron152
 member, 721 posts
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 07:13
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
As a GM, Iím afraid I wouldnít find any of those factors relevant to my need for players, and since the ad Iím placing is fundamentally about my needs for my game, I wouldnít even think about supplying that information up front.

Donít get me wrong, Iím very caring about my playersí needs, but players and their needs are so varied that, as horus suggested, I leave it up to them to ask about any little quirk that happens to be a game-killer for them.

For example:
How many players the GM is looking for
I rarely play mainstream games, so RTJs are sparse and I generally need every player I can get my hands on. I can handle a game with two players or twenty (chance would be a fine thing). If you canít, for some reason, then let me know and weíll discuss our mutual suitability.

Whether the GM is planning to run multiple editions of the game
Until you mentioned this, I didnít even know it happened, so how could I possibly think to mention it in an ad? The concept of having so many RTJs that I canít fit them all into a single game is completely alien to me.

Whether the GM is taking applications first-come, first served
Fair question. I could post something like this, but generally, for the reasons above, I take all applications unless something flags up in the RTJ or afterward to make me blackball you. I suppose I could write Ďall applications welcomeí, but I sort of take that as a given...

Every player is likely to have a different list of things they would like to see in an ad, and a GM canít cater for them all. In the limited space I have for a readable ad (more than two paragraphs and readers will skip it), I tell you what the game is about, describe the rule system, give you a flavour of the background, tell you the posting rate Iím looking for and, if that description is something that might interest you, I assume you will ask for more info.

When you reply to my ad, tell me what is important for you.
facemaker329
 member, 6891 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 07:26
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
What do I look for in an ad?  Pretty simple, really...

Is this a GM I've had a problem with in the past?  (that's a very short list, so the answer is almost always 'no', and I keep looking.)

Is this a game system with which I'm familiar?  (Not necessarily a deal-breaker, but if I'm going to start into a new system, it's going to involve a lot more mental work on my part, and I like to know that going in.)

If the answer to that question is yes, then does the setting/storyline sound engaging?  (If the answer was no, then does it sound engaging enough to warrant the extra effort of learning a new system?)

Is the GM's spelling/grammar good?  How much extra effort will I need to sink into deciphering what has been written?  (I'm in a game where the GM routinely has a large number of typos.  It's a really good game, though, and I certainly feel it's worth struggling through his poor spelling to stay involved in the game.)

Beyond that?  I really don't care about the rest...FCFS vs time limits?  Does't affect me much one way or the other, aside from letting me know if I've got a little time to sit and think through a character concept or if I need to hurry and get a proverbial foot in the door.  Multiple groups within the same game?  As long as the GM can keep up with everyone, great.  Large vs small group?  Again, if the GM can keep up with everyone, so much the better.  Any other stuff?  As long as the GM can keep the game moving, it doesn't matter to me.  It's his game, I'm just there to play.
Gaffer
 member, 1435 posts
 Ocoee FL
 40 yrs of RPGs
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 15:18
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
First come, first served? Does any GM just take the first four RTJS and quit looking? Or do some players who aren't chosen complain that it isn't fair since they KNOW they were the first RTJ? Seems like everyone should assume their chances will depend on whether their character concept fits and whether the GM sees any red flags, whatever those might be for that GM.

Given player drop out rates and the fact that I mostly run a fairly niche setting/system (1920s-30s Call of Cthulhu) I generally take as many players as I can get. I had 9 start one game and wound up with 2 at the finale.

All I look for in an ad when I want to play are system, setting, and a bit about what the story might be like. If those pique my interest, I'll give it a shot.
Briel
 member, 27 posts
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 17:58
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
In a LFP post, I mostly look for if the GM is one I have history with (positive or negative) and if the concept of the game sounds interesting.  Most everything else is negotiable.

The most important thing to me, though, is the list of games they've run previously that pops up underneath the post.  If I see a large number of sub-1000 post games, I'm probably not going to bother to submit a RTJ regardless of concept.  If I see one or two, that's fine.  But when you start to see a half dozen games that the GM abandoned fairly early, that's a giant red flag to me.
mintgreeen
 member, 25 posts
 I GM a lot
 I wish I could play > GM
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 19:51
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
quote:
If I see a large number of sub-1000 post games, I'm probably not going to bother to submit a RTJ regardless of concept.


Fair enough, though I started up a number of games, some of which have gotten chugging towards the 1k and others which haven't quite yet.  =D
bigbadron
 moderator, 15284 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 19:59
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
In reply to mintgreeen (msg # 10):

Well, the list of "other games" does include a mention of the last post date, so you can see the difference between a stack of new, active games, and a bunch of sub-1k games that haven't had a post in a couple of months.
Briel
 member, 28 posts
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 20:58
Re: Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
mintgreeen:
quote:
If I see a large number of sub-1000 post games, I'm probably not going to bother to submit a RTJ regardless of concept.


Fair enough, though I started up a number of games, some of which have gotten chugging towards the 1k and others which haven't quite yet.  =D


Oh, there's a big difference between games where people are posting still and inactive/dead games.  I should clarify that I do look to see if those are active games that are still going or not.

But I've definitely seen GMs posting for players where I see 20+ deleted / inactive games with less than a thousand posts and no games that have gotten much beyond that.  That's a red flag to me.  Basically, I either want to see a relativly new RPOL GM (thus, the benefit of the doubt) or, if an experienced RPOL GM with several games on that list, someone who has had at least some success running games.
Brianna
 member, 2113 posts
Thu 23 Feb 2017
at 21:59
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
In reply to Gaffer (msg # 8):

Gaffer: I have had at least one GM who did take anyone who applied, on a site where privacy wasn't quite so tight so that it was fairly easy to know if someone was a serial bad player, and even though everyone already in the game warned him about a particular player.

I don't tend to play much now, pain or the meds to control it both mess my concentration but when I did I liked to see -

* Enough about the expected game to grab my interest (this is also the GM's writing sample for me), doesn't have to be long, but something with a hook

* game system, if applicable - and Some following this will refer to systems like D&D or similar

* approximate level of characters - I may be interested in a level one game if it looks really interesting, but not a high level one

From here on the info might be in a public RTJ thread in the game -
* if the GM has expectations about posting, like every day, or three times a week or whatever, and do posts have to be a certain length or anything like that

* More info about the game to expand on the hook in the PW ad - even if we are going to develop the character together after I apply, I want to start thinking about what/who I want to play and where that character will fit into the story.  This is a further writing sample too - or a warning to me about how poorly the GM doesn't organize his thoughts.  If he can't do it here, he's surely not going to do any better in game under time pressure.

* Exactly what the GM wants to see in the RTJ - should be something, unless he's doing the 'take everyone, or the first few', and with enough so that he can tell if the applicant is at least minimally literate (unlike the difficult player I referenced at the top of this post), but preferably not too huge

* and of course the things other people have mentioned - I'm sure I've missed things.
Nerwen
 member, 1870 posts
 seek to understand before
 you seek to be understood
Fri 24 Feb 2017
at 01:10
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
On the GM's past history thing, I noticed the last time that I made a Wanted Players ad that it showed the few inactive games that I've had for a while, but didn't mention either of the two 1000+ posts successful games I've run in the past, because those were several years ago and the site doesn't archive anything that far back. So... might not always be the best judge of past GM success?

I generally will try to work in anyone who applies, but I also tend to make them do a lot of work to demonstrate that they're going to be worthwhile. About a third of total applicants make it through chargen.
icosahedron152
 member, 722 posts
Fri 24 Feb 2017
at 08:02
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
Briel:
But when you start to see a half dozen games that the GM abandoned fairly early, that's a giant red flag to me.

This seems to me to be an over-critical assumption but, alas, is common thinking.
It takes two (and in RP, generally several) to tango. Just because a game is short, it has not necessarily failed, and even if it has, it is not necessarily the GM's fault.

There are many games that fail as a result of player attrition and sometimes, I might even say frequently, it doesn't matter how good the game concept is, or how enthusiastic the GM is, if the players don't want to play, the game is doomed.

This is particularly the case in less popular games where GMs struggle to find someone to give it a go, don't have the luxury of choosing the best six out of twenty applicants, and don't have an infinite supply of players to replace drop outs.

It also doesn't take account of GMs who experiment with different concepts, creating taster games and playtests that are designed to have a short run, nor those who play strategy or board games that have a limited number of turns before completion.

Long games are often the result of a fortuitous synergy between the GM and the players.

The concept that 'Short Game = Bad GM' strikes me as a very myopic generalization.
NowhereMan
 member, 118 posts
Fri 24 Feb 2017
at 08:06
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
In reply to icosahedron152 (msg # 15):

I definitely have to agree here. Especially considering that I have a habit of using RPoL to run games for RL friends, and sometimes those don't end up working out. At least half of the "failed" games I have are because an online game turned into a face-to-face one.
Gaffer
 member, 1436 posts
 Ocoee FL
 40 yrs of RPGs
Fri 24 Feb 2017
at 13:31
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
Post numbers are also greatly affected by the number of players. A game with 20 players only needs 50 posts from each (not to mention GM and NPC posts) to top 1000. A game with only 3 players needs over 300 from each to get the same number.

I had a 3-player game that went on steadily for over two years before reaching its conclusion and had under 1000 posts. All three players came back to play in my next game, which just concluded after more than a year with nearly 1500 posts by 7 players.
C-h Freese
 member, 255 posts
 Survive - Love - Live
Fri 24 Feb 2017
at 16:43
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
One of the most fun games I ever played here was "Maids the RPG".. quit the laughing in the Peanut galley; I was a Butler, having retired on a pension as a military assassin.
   But the point was the Role-play was fun and ended up I thought with nice closure.  But it was in no sense a long game, lasting only a few months.

   But if you notice I still remember it with fondness.
   There is no way it could have a high count.
silverelf
 member, 195 posts
Fri 24 Feb 2017
at 16:58
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
When I put up a rtj for something and I take on more players than I intended because it happens, I make them a part of the same organization, this way they can switch off for what is needed in an adventures. Sometimes the groups are big for adventure that has more than on goal and they split into other groups. So the fact that there are different groups going on within a game isn't an indication that there less special just they are doing different things.

I also have taken on games for people who can only post X amount of times. I do not delete the game unless I feel they are never coming back. SO inactive games will happen. Same with the fact that some are out to sea or on ships. I myself am fighting a illness so sometimes I go into the hospital.

But things that I feel are important are usually
Goals and Objectives I like to see what the players want so I can work it into the story if at all possible.
Important NPCs: I list these because they can in a pinch be fitted somewhere and have them as plot points, or go missing, or need help with something.
Possible prestige classes: I always list this since in most cases training is needed, and I give the characters the opportunity to meet a mentor.
I also like to note areas they are going to be in, so we don't have people in a frozen tundra dressed for the desert.
Madaralol
 member, 1 post
Wed 1 Mar 2017
at 09:01
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts

This message was deleted by admin, as it was against the ToU, at 09:45, Wed 01 Mar.

IamJacksUsername
 member, 6 posts
 5erenity
 South Africa, Cape Town
Sun 5 Mar 2017
at 22:34
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
Anyone have a best practices list? Session 0 stuff, ordered by things most likely to turn people off so they can stop reading ASAP, like:
0. deadline for applications (or that first applications will be accepted);
1. system;
2. map or theatre of the mind;
3. posting rate and length required;
4. number of PCs;
5. PC level start and ending level;
6. sources that may be used for PC creation;
7. ability determination e.g. 3d6, point buy, 4d6k3, 7ak6, etc.;
8. optional rules;
9. major house rules;
10. PG, R-rated (swearing, sexual violence, sex, violence);
11. setting and play style focus (more important for systems that can handle very different settings);
12. ?
LucidWarrior
 member, 46 posts
Mon 6 Mar 2017
at 17:51
Important Info in "Looking for Players" Posts
For me, as long as the Gm posts in their rtj a brief concept of their game, enough to get me engaged; outlines roughly the basic plot, and what they expect from potential players, im good. Those requirements can be filled a lot of different ways though. I mean, I really just don't like those ads you see where you click on it because the title sounds interesting and all the gm has written is 'looking for 3-7 players'