GreenTongue
 member, 845 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sat 15 Jun 2019
at 18:01
Is a "West Marches" style game viable in the PbP format?
For those that don't know what "West Marches" is ...
http://arsludi.lamemage.com/in...iments-west-marches/

How could it be coordinated? Would it be all the problems of normal PbP games on steroids?

What if any parts would work?
praguepride
 member, 1431 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sat 15 Jun 2019
at 19:56
Is a "West Marches" style game viable in the PbP format?
It would be easy enough. I know there was a big West Marches 3.5 d&d fr community. GMs would pitch games, players would volunteer and then at the end they would all return to the free agency pool. Kinda like the various public play things like Pathfinder Society but without set plots.

Only difference is even a small adventure goes like 3-4months on pbp.
aguy777
 member, 316 posts
 Join Date:
 Thu, 28 Nov, 2013
Sat 15 Jun 2019
at 23:16
Is a "West Marches" style game viable in the PbP format?
I run a West Marches game on this site with more than 47,000 posts that has been going for just over three years now. Yes, it is viable, but it can have many problems. Groups stalling is a real issue, so a GM needs to be rather proactive in keeping things moving.
evileeyore
 member, 193 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Sun 16 Jun 2019
at 02:03
Is a "West Marches" style game viable in the PbP format?
The only problem with a multi-party game in pbp is non-synchronicity.  Where one group my take 3 real life years to do a three day dungeon raid and another does over a hundred multi-day dives in the same 3 years.  If you don't care about synching them temporarily, as in they will not cross over or come into conflict with one another, then don't worry.
aguy777
 member, 317 posts
 Join Date:
 Thu, 28 Nov, 2013
Sun 16 Jun 2019
at 02:16
Is a "West Marches" style game viable in the PbP format?
The issue of synchronicity brought up by evileeyore can be overcome by ignoring the differences in time between two groups, if encounters between the two are desired.
RosstoFalstaff
 member, 166 posts
Sun 16 Jun 2019
at 14:15
Is a "West Marches" style game viable in the PbP format?
I tried running one and it went fairly poorly. Not for lack of good players or enthusiasm on my part but the format doesn't lend itself to pbp very well. Still trying to make it work

Now part of that is my problems and flaws. I get busy and sometimes the attrition of rpol works against me

But I'd suggest if you want to run a West Marches style game there's no reason it shouldn't work.

PbP is slow. Rpol is slow. West Marches games are slow.

So my suggestion, along with mitigating the negative as best you can as aguy777 points out, is to lean into the positive that pbp allows. Accessibility at any time, detail and immersion. Combat takes as long as roleplaying in pbp so consider both situations worthy of advancement and challenge in the story.
Yaztromo
 member, 246 posts
Sun 16 Jun 2019
at 15:09
Is a "West Marches" style game viable in the PbP format?
I am currently running on RPoL a few campaigns that, while settings and worlds do change, retain some of that concepts of the West Marches, but not all, and they seem to work and keep themselves fresh during the months and years that are required in RPoL to run campaigns, with new players joining when old ones look for different games as normal.
What I made different is that the game is not 100% sandbox, but every time you run an "adventure" that you can choose among many options, or you can ask for a specific kind of adventure (of course you can always go off on a tangent, but in general you have a thread that you can follow)  and then there is a "fixed time" for every adventure, before going back to base. This makes sure that all new adventures start periodically at the same time, so the characters can always mix up after each adventure.
evileeyore
 member, 194 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Sun 16 Jun 2019
at 17:26
Re: Is a "West Marches" style game viable in the PbP format?
aguy777:
The issue of synchronicity brought up by evileeyore can be overcome by ignoring the differences in time between two groups, if encounters between the two are desired.

Or accounted for.  For instance if you're in a 'weird world' setting where time may flow at different rates in different areas.  I ran a campaign like once specifically to account for different groups that met and played at different frequencies.
pdboddy
 supporter, 671 posts
 EST/EDT [GMT-5/GMT-4]
Sun 16 Jun 2019
at 17:26
Is a "West Marches" style game viable in the PbP format?
I think a west marches game would probably work very well in the PbP format.

One of the problems with face-to-face roleplay that the west marches format offers to solve is timing.  By having multiple GMs, and the fact that the players decide the time, you should be eliminate the timing issue.  The players pick the GM who is available for their time.

The format also eliminates a lot of the work for GMs.  As a GM, you try to have some parts of your world fleshed out, especially for where the players are going to be roaming around.  But if your players latch onto something unexpected, you may end up having to make something up on the spot.  But with west marches, the players choose what they wish to explore, so there's much less chance of being caught with your pants down as GM.
GreenTongue
 member, 846 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sun 16 Jun 2019
at 18:37
Re: Is a "West Marches" style game viable in the PbP format?
pdboddy:
But with west marches, the players choose what they wish to explore, so there's much less chance of being caught with your pants down as GM.

I would think that it is more likely than less as you don't know which direction they will go.

Are random lists used more often?
Which of the pre-made options will they encounter?

Or, are things generated completely improve?
praguepride
 member, 1434 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sun 16 Jun 2019
at 18:50
Re: Is a "West Marches" style game viable in the PbP format?
There aren't really any rules. Some people roll up random plots, others might use smaller published modules, some people just create stuff off the top of their heads, some have a long inventory of adventures they'd like to run without worrying about a grand meta plot to tie cool encounters together.
pdboddy
 supporter, 672 posts
 EST/EDT [GMT-5/GMT-4]
Sun 16 Jun 2019
at 19:00
Re: Is a "West Marches" style game viable in the PbP format?
In reply to GreenTongue (msg # 10):

In my understanding of the setup, the GM provides the players with different tidbits of information, clues, news, etc etc, about the wider world.  The players decide what is important to their characters and indicate which of those they are going to act on.

Since it is the players decision, I think it less likely that players would THEN do an about face and trod off somewhere randomly.