Running a game on RPoL is easy, but questions do occasionally come up. Here are some of the most common.
Starting a game...
How do I create a game?
On the Main Menu there's a link in the top menu bar which reads, "Start your own game". Click that to get started.
On the next screen, you'll need to supply the following information at minimum: a Game Name, GM Alias, and several checkboxes for "Genre". You can also supply the GM's Bio lines, or set them later.
Once you submit this information, you'll be redirected to the game's Game Menu, where you'll see a message that says, "There are no messages in this game."
It won't let me create a game!
There are a few issues you might be encountering. Check over this list to see why this might be the case:
- Each user has a limited number of games they can own. This isn't because we don't want you to spend all your time at RPoL, it's to stop people spamming the board and doing other sorts of antisocial things. How many games you can GM depends upon a number factors. When a user first joins the site, they can GM at most three games. This number increases automatically as a user spends more time at RPoL.
- The Game Name is already in use. If this is the case, you'll need to select a different name before continuing to create the game.
- If a game by the same name used to exist, then this is much the same thing as the Game Name already being in use. You'll need to select a new name, or wait until the old game is removed from the site for inactivity.
- Does your Game Name have profanity in it? We don't permit this and you'll need to take the profanity out of the name to create it.
- The Game Name may also fail if you're using non-alphanumeric characters, such as unusual punctuation or characters not normally found in the English alphabet. Try removing the odd characters.
- You're not logged in. Hey, it could happen.
There isn't a Genre that fits my game. What should I do?
If you truly cannot find a single Genre that suits your game, you can use the General RPoL forum to suggest a new one. If jase determines the Genre would be popular enough, he may add it.
That said, there are some things to know before doing this.
First, RPoL will not add game systems to the Genre list. RPoL doesn't organise games via the system they're in, but rather the type of setting. If you can think of a genre that's not there then by all means we'll consider.
Second, RPoL will not add a Genre for "Miscellaneous". It's better to put a game in a Genre that's at least slightly related to it rather than in one big melting pot of games that have nothing to do with one another. Having a catch-all Genre invites laziness, and people will just throw their games in there without really thinking about where they should really go.
Now that the game is created...
I've created a game. Now what?
A good start is writing the Game Introduction. From your Game Menu, click the link at the upper right for "GM Menu", then choose "Edit the game introduction".
Now, try typing something to entice, captivate, enthrall, and entrap the players you want to join your game.
Once you're ready for players, use your GM Menu's link for "Edit Game Details" to set "Requesting New Players" to "On".
How can I advertise my game?
The Wanted - Players
forum (in the RPoL Forums section of the site) is the place to advertise your game to attract new players. The rules of that forum are posted in a Notice, which will be at the top of the list when you go to the forum (be sure to read them).
Before you can create an ad for your game, you'll need to make sure your game is Requesting New Players. You can set this information in the "Edit Game Details" area of your game's "GM Menu". Your game must also have an introduction written for it, and it must have at least one game thread before the forum will allow you to place an ad.
In your ad, remember to give enough information for players to know what you're advertising, and be sure to give enough information for them to decide if they're interested in joining. Important information can include which rule system you will be using (if any), what level characters will start at, how often players will be expected to post, what the general plot of the game is, and so on.
Finally, remember to check your ad occasionally. Due to Wanted-Players being an advertising forum, it has special posting code which means that only replies to a thread placed a week after the post was made will bump it to the top of the forum and display its New Message Indicator. Meanwhile, potential players may respond there with questions, making it a good idea to check back and help them out, if necessary.
Adding new players...
Someone has requested access to my game -- how do I add them?
If you're reading their Request Access post, you can use the "Add this user" link near the bottom right corner of their request.
Otherwise, go into the GM Menu and select the link for "Edit Players". Then click "Add (Wizard)". On the next page, put their character's name in the box labelled "Enter the character name here", and their RPoL Account Name in the box labelled "Displays a list of users based on your keyword search", then click "Continue Adding - Search". The next page should let you assign them a role in your game.
It's a good idea to send them a Private Message after you add them letting them know that they're in.
People keep asking to join, but I don't need any more players!
First, be sure that your "Requesting new players" flag has been turned off. You can see its status by using the "Edit Game Details" area of your GM Menu. Next, it might help to delete your ad, if you have one, in the Wanted - Players
About Game Owners, GMs and Game Moderators...
What's a Game Owner?
Normally the person who creates the game is the Game Owner. This is the person whose Account Name will be listed next to the game name as the GM. Only the Game Owner can make new GMs or edit other GMs. Sometimes they're called the game's Primary GM.
What exactly do the Access types mean?
There are four levels of access in a game:
- Player: A Player is just a normal player in the game. Players can reply to threads and send private messages. They can read messages in any group to which they are assigned. They cannot start new threads.
- Moderator: A Moderator is a player with a few extra privileges. Moderators can edit other players' posts, in the case of misbehaving players. Moderators cannot see Private Lines or Private Messages which have not been sent directly to them. They cannot start new threads, and they cannot see whether rolls on the die roller have been fudged by the GM.
- GM: GMs, or Game Masters, can add and edit players and characters in the game, and they can see all posts (regardless of group), and all Private Lines and Private Messages, whether they are addressed to them or not. GMs can do anything the Game Owner can do except edit other GMs (that is, they cannot edit other GMs' characters, access, or posts). The Game Owner is the GM to whom the game is registered -- only they can edit other GMs. All GMs can start new threads, they can edit and delete players' posts, and they can see whether die rolls have been fudged.
- NPC: NPC stands for "Non-player Character". For all purposes, their access is just like that of a player. This is usually used by GMs to denote characters who are played by them, rather than by players.
For more details on Game Access levels, please see the help topic, Game Access.
If I make someone else a GM, can they hijack my game?
As only the Game Owner of a game has the ability to edit other GMs, they should not be able to take over your game and remove you from it.
Do be careful, however: since GMs can edit players and add new ones, as well as edit posts, delete posts and threads, and create new threads, they can wreak havoc in your game. Never make someone a GM if you don't trust them.
What can't a Co-GM do?
GMs (who are not the Game Owner) have several useful abilities, but there are several things they cannot
- Co-GMs cannot edit the Game Name, change its Classification, or change its Primary GM/Game Owner.
- Co-GMs cannot edit the Game Owner's access, or the access of the Game Owner's GM characters.
- Co-GMs cannot edit another co-GM's access or GM characters.
- Co-GMs cannot transfer the Game Owner's characters to anyone else.
For more details on Game Access levels, please see the help topic, Game Access
Game limits and game activity...
What determines how many games I can own?
Every user begins with the ability to create (own) five games on RPoL. Beyond that, this number may be modified up or down by various criteria.
The number may be modified down if the user causes problems on site and is unresponsive to moderator warnings.
The number will automatically be modified upward the longer the user is on site. On-topic, public forum posts and successfully run games increase the number of games a user can run.
Does co-GMing a game count toward my game limit?
No. Only games you own (as the Primary GM) will count toward your game limit.
Do inactive games count toward my game limit? Deleted games?
Inactive games do count toward your game limit, but games you have deleted do not.
How do I get rid of a game?
To get rid of a game completely use the "Delete this game" link on the GM Menu.
If you have someone you'd rather give the game to instead, make them a GM of the game, then use the "Edit game details" link in the GM Menu to make them the Owner of the game.
Before deleting a game, be sure to give your players some notice, in case they want to save any of their information. Before making someone else the Game Owner, make sure they want that responsibility first. It's sort of an accepted standard on RPoL to let others have a week's notice before deleting a game.
How does a game become inactive?
The simplest answer is that people stop posting in it! More than that, however, RPoL will automatically flag a game as Inactive when it has not received any posts for at least sixty-one (61) days.
Are games ever deleted from the site?
Yes. Games may be removed from the site under certain circumstances. Games will be deleted from the site under the following circumstances:
- The GM of the game has violated site rules in order to create the game.
- The game's content violates RPoL's site rules, and the GM has been unresponsive to the moderators' warnings.
- The GM has deleted the game, and the game has not been resurrected for at least two months. (The actual time is generally longer than this, and usually depends upon how many posts the game has.)
- The game has lapsed into inactivity, and has been inactive for at least two months. At this time, it is usually moved to the "Deleted" area. If it has been there for at least one month (but usually considerably longer) and is not resurrected, it may be permanently deleted from the site.
My game was deleted and I didn't do it!
You may find yourself in this boat if:
- Your game received no posts for at least two months, then sat inactive for a while longer. Since RPoL is intended for active games, it has clean-up scripts we run about one a month which take long-inactive games and shuffle them into the dust bin.
- Your game violated RPoL's content guidelines and you were unresponsive to moderator warnings.
If the game was automatically deleted by RPoL script, and still shows up on the site in the "Deleted" category, you should be able to resurrect the game easily. If it was removed by a moderator, the best bet is to contact the moderators though if a game was such a problem we have removed it from the site, hope of getting it back is slim.
How do I resurrect a deleted game?
There are two methods, and either should work with the same result (you get your game back), provided you were the Game Owner of the deleted game.
Method One: Use the "Start a new game" link to create a new game with the same name as the old one. The system will then ask you if you'd rather revive the old game.
Method Two: Use the "Search for a game" link on the Main Menu to search for your game, and be sure to check the box for "deleted" games. When the results come up, there will also be a link provided to allow you resurrect the game. It should say (appropriately enough) "resurrect".
My game was deleted a long time ago. Can I get it back?
No. If a game was removed from the site permanently (which means a Search for deleted games does not turn it up), then the game is gone and cannot be recovered.
Is it better to delete a game or to abandon it?
It is far, far better to delete it. This way your players know nothing bad happened to you, and you really did want the game gone. RPoL is intended for active games, too, and we appreciate it when GMs who aren't going to keep their game active clean up after themselves.
If you do delete your game, be sure to let your players know you're deleting it and why. It's sort of an accepted standard on RPoL to let others have a week's notice before deleting a game.
If my GM is absent, can I take control of the game?
If the game is marked with the "Sole Ownership" flag, then the game will never be allocated to another GM or player. If this is not set, then we will normally consider handing the game over to another user who is already a GM when the Game Owner has been absent for three months or more, though some circumstances can shorten or lengthen this time.
Can I run a game in another language?
We do not mind if users who speak other languages wish to run games in those languages, however there are certain requirements that should be met.
Second, all site content and rules apply to the game, even if most RPoL users wouldn't be able to understand what's going on in it.
Third, and finally, RPoL is encoded to use Western Latin character sets. This means that games run outside that character set may experience difficulties, as RPoL is not set up to allow, or display, other encodings.
Last updated: 12:32, Sat 08 May 2010.
Direct link: http://rpol.net/help/?t=faqs&page=gmsfaq