renortis
 member, 10 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 02:04
Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
TOTM ( theatre of the mind )
Due to my inability, for noe, to post maps, illos, etc. I wonder if it would be in poor form to g.m. A game that relies solely on descriptions and narratives to let the players know location, etc..

This message was lightly edited by a moderator, as it was the wrong forum, at 16:30, Tue 11 Apr.

aguy777
 member, 186 posts
 Join Date:
 Fri, 29 Nov, 2013
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 02:28
Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
Most of the games I run are theater of the mind, but players do get confused from time to time. If you can describe things pretty well, and give distances to everything, theater of the mind is perfectly acceptable.
nauthiz
 member, 514 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 06:53
Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
Probably 99% of the games I've participated in, outside of character portraits/pictures, have used only text to present game information.

Some systems benefit more from visual aids, especially combat maps of some sort, but really as long as everyone is on the same page about expectations there shouldn't be an issue.
V_V
 member, 584 posts
 You can call me V, just V
 Life; a journey made once
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 07:47
Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
I played ina D&D 4.0 game with great GM on RPoL. He did a wonderful job of describing the scene both in flavorful imagery and also very dry relative distances from people. WE didn't even need to use coordinates, much less a battlemap, and D&D 4.0 is miniatures game, it's assumed strongly that you're using visual aid.

So if you can be clear, and take your time to include all relevant information (as it's said, you are the players' senses) you should be fine. Especially when exact spacing isn't going to be finicky.

I'm not sure if it's like Mind'e eye but if it is, I played that, and people were more of sticklers than I've ever seen online, and it was happening right before their eyes. *shrugs*
steelsmiter
 member, 1707 posts
 AWE, BESM, Fate, Indies
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 12:27
Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
Although it's been ages since I actually ran a game (what with mostly discussions lately) but when I ran them fairly regularly I didn't use maps. I had drawn a couple world maps, but I never used location maps. One of the systems I played was really big into maps, or at least size/speed/range strata. It was THE detail game. I ran it completely without maps (but kept all the yardage stuff and whatnot.)

Lately though, I've been playing games that practically require Theater of the Mind to function as intended, such as the _____ World games. I also wrote a _____ World game, and another game that practically requires Theater of the Mind (no publishing though, It's looking for playtesters. I may never publish if my playtesters keep dying on me. Like literally my first attempt to playtest one of my actual players died.) as well as a couple games where Theater of the Mind was optional. (also up for playtesting).

TL;DR- Yeah, pretty much.

Also note: I'm a little nitpicky about certain grammatical flow so it depends if you proofread reasonably well as a GM. That's unrelated to your question though.

This message was last edited by the user at 12:31, Sun 09 Apr.

engine
 member, 278 posts
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 19:32
Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
I don't have anything against maps, but I find them difficult to use over play-by-post, so I try to avoid it. I can't claim to have run any massively successful games here, but I have played quite a bit of 4th Edition D&D here without using maps. So, most other games should work out alright too. The important things are trust and close reading. Maps obviate the need for much of either, so without the map you need a lot more of both.
steelsmiter
 member, 1709 posts
 AWE, BESM, Fate, Indies
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 19:45
Re: Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
engine:
I don't have anything against maps, but I find them difficult to use over play-by-post, so I try to avoid it. I can't claim to have run any massively successful games here,

I ran one game that peaked around 11k posts, and died around 7k due to OOC pruning. Not wildly successful I don't think but the only map I had for it was an ASCII map.

quote:
The important things are trust and close reading.

Those were difficult to come by. Some of my players have felt shafted in larger games I'll admit. Not such a big problem in your typical 4-5 man band though. The one guy in a regular sized game who ever felt shafted by anything I ever did it was fixed by a bit of close reading.
Ameena
 member, 169 posts
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 14:32
Re: Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
I'd never even considered using maps during regular narrative sections. In the two DnD games I'm involved in (both 4th Edition), we use maps only during combat. I do have a world map of my own game but the players haven't seen any of it except a relatively tiny section a while back showing the area in which they were travelling (and then it was heavily cropped to only show the bits they'd seen - it's a bunch of flatly-coloured blobs done in Paintbrush anyway so it's hardly detailed ;)). Otherwise we just use narrative description to tell everyone what's going on and what's where.
Utsukushi
 member, 1410 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 17:05
Re: Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
Even when I use maps, I leave things sort of approximate.  To some extent that's because at some point in my life it got to be kind of a pet peeve for me when PCs have those perfect laser-accuracy measurement eyes - "His breath weapon has a 30' range?  I stand 30.2 feet away and and take out my bow."  Blah.

But mostly it's just because it works fine.  And yes, in a lot of ways, PbP is better suited to narrative descriptions than exact maps.

On top of that, we live in a world where there is, on average, one GM for every six trillion players*.  I'm not sure it's really poor form to run anything ever.  I mean, OK, some places have their themes, and if they're in a position to say, "No, we don't want your D&D game here at the We Hate Dungeons And Dragons Con, actually," then more power to them!  But... um, I was going somewhere with this, I swear.  Anyway.

Yeah.  You're fine, and thank you for running games.  Welcome to RPoL, where the medications are currently: Off.


*-Give or take a few.
Evil Empryss
 member, 1527 posts
 Try tasting your words
 before spitting them out
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 17:18
Re: Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
renortis:
TOTM ( theatre of the mind )
Due to my inability, for noe, to post maps, illos, etc......

Are you unable to do so from your computer, or do you think the site won't allow it?  There are ways to post maps and illustrations in your RPOL posts, and even specific places for maps that the GM can post... just in case you didn't know and that's the problem.

But I know plenty of GMs who do without maps in their games, so there's nothing saying that you can't run a game without them.
engine
 member, 280 posts
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 17:23
Re: Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
It's not in "poor form" as far as the site is concerned but I've gotten into it a little with respondents who take some issue with my choice not to use a map with certain game systems. Of course, arguing with a GM about their game choices when you're not a part of their game is itself pretty poor form. Anyway, the point is that while you're allowed and encouraged to run games sans tableau, it might (depending on the game, and everyone's mood) have an affect on your ability to attract players to a particular game.
Sir Swindle
 member, 194 posts
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 18:14
Re: Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
People do TOTM all the time, don't sweat it.

quote:
it might (depending on the game, and everyone's mood) have an affect on your ability to attract players to a particular game


Don't ever let this stop you, Even INCREDIBLY niche games can attract enough people to play.
engine
 member, 281 posts
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 18:30
Re: Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
In reply to Sir Swindle (msg # 12):

No, don't let it stop you, just bear it in mind.
swordchucks
 member, 1366 posts
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 19:27
Re: Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
engine:
I've gotten into it a little with respondents who take some issue with my choice not to use a map with certain game systems.

I've run some fairly crunchy games with few or no maps, and I kind of feel like the important thing is to be up front and clear about that fact before the game starts.  If you know the game system you're in can reward someone willing to manage every last bit of tactical advantage, they need to know that you won't be doing that before they even apply.  From my memories of 4e, you could build characters that worked fine without a map, but some characters were built around precise positioning and movement tricks which really didn't work without a map.  If players knew that the later were impossible ahead of time, you'd likely avoid most of the backlash against that.

In other words: Communicate.
engine
 member, 282 posts
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 19:34
Re: Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
swordchucks:
If players knew that the later were impossible ahead of time, you'd likely avoid most of the backlash against that.
Yes, I thought so too.
LonePaladin
 member, 575 posts
 Creator of HeroForge
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 01:13
Re: Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
I've seen every option in the range of choices here. I once ran a multi-party 4E D&D game, where every combat round featured a full-color image of the battle map, with the players' avatar images on the map, like circular tokens. I'm currently playing a game -- same rule system -- where there is no map, and players are allowed to declare positioning as long as it sounds feasible.

I've been in games that use simple ASCII grids for maps. I'm running a D&D game that handles combat like those old CRPGs like Wizardry or The Bard's Tale.

So, yeah, you can go pure theater-of-the-mind, or detail every little detail. It's up to you and your players.
facemaker329
 member, 6911 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 02:27
Re: Are TOTM games welcome one this site?
I'm in three games (that are active) right now...one of them doesn't use maps at all.  Another one has some general charts for the star systems we're in, but nothing specific.  The third one has only one map, it's the deck plan of the ship we're on...but none of the places we go in that ship have ever been mapped, except verbally.

They all work fine.  Sometimes there are misconceptions, yes...there's a fair bit of OOC chatter in the third game about, "Now, were the bad guys HERE?  or am I just envisioning this wrong?" and even a few times where someone ran with their conception of what was being described, even though it didn't agree with what everyone else got from the description, and the GM just ran with it, anyway (depended on how critical to the story it was...)

RPOL's general policy is, as long as you aren't violating the TOU for the site, you can run the game any way you want...maps/no maps, system/freeform, players roll/GM rolls/NOBODY rolls dice, etc.  Telling prospective players details about how you'll run the game is a good way to sift out those who will take exception to your style of play...if they don't like it, they don't have to join the game.  Run it however works for you, advertise how you're going to run it, and encourage would-be-players who don't like what you're intending to seek elsewhere, if you feel like you can't come to an accord with them (running a game is hard enough without someone nagging you constantly about how you do it...)