chops1916
 member, 1 post
Sun 11 Aug 2019
at 18:22
New user
I've recently become interested in ttrpgs, namely D&D, after replaying the Baldurs gate games and watching critical role (on episode 42 of the first campaign atm). I'd like to get into a 5e game since it's the most streamlined edition, apparently, and should make grasping the rules a bit easier. I decided to try out pbp first before trying to find a face to face group, barring that, DMing straight off the bat.

So, what advice can people offer? What kind of game would suit me, a total beginner? I'd like to play in the forgotten realms.
I'm not completely against DMing either, if people think that wouldn't be too much to chew straight out of the gate. The slower format of pbp seems like a great way to learn the game properly.
facemaker329
 member, 7115 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Sun 11 Aug 2019
at 18:50
New user
Look through the Wanted:Players forum, there should be plenty of D&D games listed, they usually stipulate which edition rules they're using.

Where you're new to gaming, it might be advisable to start with a low-level game,  so there aren't as many bits and pieces of your character to keep track of (5E may have made this advice less applicable, I don't know.  3E had all kinds of skills and proficiencies and level bonuses and...for someone new to gaming, I could see it being a daunting task to keep track of it all if you 'jumped in the deep end' and started with more advanced characters).

When you find a game that looks appealing, and you Request To Join (RTJ), be forthright with the DM about your lack of experience with gaming, 8n general, and with D&D.  Most DMs will be fine with it, but it's to your advantage that they are pre-warned that you may need a little extra help keeping it all straight or understanding the game mechanics.

Keep in mind that some aspects of tabletop play get compromised in the play-by-post format, just to improve the overall flow of the game.  Combat rounds that would be resolved in a few minutes in a tabletop setting may take days, depending on how many players are involved and how often they can post.  So your DM may cut some corners, simplify combat, or 'handwave' things in play-by-post, just for the sake of expedience... when and if you get around to playing face-to-face, you shouldn't expect it to run the same way.
chops1916
 member, 2 posts
Sun 11 Aug 2019
at 20:00
New user
In reply to facemaker329 (msg # 2):

Yeah, that makes sense, and helped clarify things for me. I'll take a look in the wanted players forum. Thanks for the advice.
donsr
 member, 1685 posts
Sun 11 Aug 2019
at 20:54
New user
 As  FAcemaker  said.. you can search  by using the   game search Browers on the Main page....

 also?..any new post that comes  up in 'wanted  players" is  new... the  first 4 pages are normally , the   active games that want  to keep getting  fresh  faces... other game  page 5  and after, tend  to be slower  moving , or flat out  dying.
V_V
 member, 837 posts
 You can call me V, just V
 Life; a journey made once
Mon 12 Aug 2019
at 03:41
Re: New user
chops1916:
So, what advice can people offer?


  1. Apply in batches, and prepare for many, many, many games to "die" (end without satisfaction or often declaration). D&D especially has a toll any DM must pay to be successful, in any pragmatic sense. If you can't get past the first combat in a D&D game, the DM is either very new, or burned out. This happened to me well over 200 times in the past ten years (not counting those that never get into a combat), it's the norm. Most DMs fall in this category, at the very least a couple times.

    It's normal for combat to slow, and RL always makes it harder to have metered posting rate. Don't just expect it (game death) to maybe happen, expect it to happen the majority of the time. Failure breeds success though. Some of the best GMs I've played under had great games among other decent ones, even just good ideas that weren't fun in practice. If a GM needs to call it quits, chances are that's not truly the end. It will be a major setback if you don't learn to hit the ground (after that games falls) and keep running (either RTJ or DMing yourself).

    The next toll for a DM is the first level gained, when you get the XP necessary to get to the next level. Whether it's 1st to 2nd, or 10th to 11th. That's really where you separate the "tries" and "does". Many DMs, rather most, can't muster this. At least in my experience. If you've gained a level, whether purely through dialogue, or combat alone, or hopefully (IMO) a mix of the two, you should be willing to consider that a success. In its own right. The vast majority of games I see in D&D have promises or going "to 20th and beyond" not only is this difficult, it undermines simply the small scale which in and of itself is still quite an undertaking. It's the old business model of a fashion mogul. How to sell a million shirts? Sell just one shirt. Then do it again a million times.

  2. Criticize constructively and sparingly, and give sincere praise often. If you like something, speak up! Let the DM know how cool it was that a god made special scene for your character, or how exciting you were when your fighter found a weapon that was directly his favored (sword, mace, axe). Praise for DMs, is like the stereotypical gamer fuel (be it Doritos, coffee, or mountain dew) it keeps them running when they might otherwise give up. I cannot recommend this tactic enough. Be sincere, but that shouldn't be hard if you're in a game for long enough. As the old adage goes; enjoy what you have, not just what it could be one day. I find too many players are in the latter camp; just waiting around for the game to interest them, meanwhile being very inactive in the interim.

  3. Pacing is difficult as well. It's one thing to get the party to the next encounter, the next level, the next module. It's quite another to do so in what players would call "realistic". I recommend patience, and perseverance.

    I would HIGHLY recommend you find ten games that update slowly, then one that updates quickly. Especailly if you're new to the site. This has simple reasoning. If you join the fast game, and it does indeed have good momentum, you will either need to commit, through hardship and RL troubles, to be there; or expect you might quit and be unable to rejoin. It can be very off-putting to not have "a second chance". Players have done this, and I've heard them say "this guy was a jerk!" for just short of banning them for quitting.

    So I cannot advise enough, start slow. even if you like quicker games. You can always move up when you're ready. Statistically, 9 out of those 10 games will likely die anyway. It's good practice. There are very few DMs that both promise quick play, and also can maintain that pace after the newness wears off. When you commit to a game like that, it really can absorb a part of your day. Most DMs are lenient if you can pay your dues, so to speak. No one does this 100% of the time, EVERYONE has RL come up, but fast paced games can require a higher degree of commitment, and will be serving to those who can remain committed. Games like this are like face to face "game night". Instead of other commitments (date, time, food, carpool, ending...) you just obliged to post everyday. Failure can result in the same kind of effects, but no one is perfect. There's a happy median to follow.

  4. Know what kind of game you're getting into. If you don't know, ask. If the DM can't say, then that's different. You made an effort to make an informed decision, and were forced to make a blind pick. Sometimes it really isn't you. Sometimes it really is them.

    You'll find you'll avoid certain types of gaming conventions (hack'n'slash, dungeoncrawl, comedy, meatgrinder/rogue-lite, pure RP, tactical) and gravitate toward others.

  5. For background: start small and build up. Even if you're playing a 20th level character, be clear about the background; but less is more. If a DM asks for more, be willing to give it (or not, you can always abort a RTJ that's too much work!). I find DMs will often want less these days, and what background you do give, should often be packed with information and compelling to read.  I won't tout my own writing, as I don't value it objectively; but try to favor vivid incomplete scenes, than dry overhead complete narratives. In essence, make the DM or other PCs wanting to know more, evoke imagery, rather than dictate facts.

Greymist
 member, 2 posts
Mon 12 Aug 2019
at 03:58
Re: New user
IMO, if you want to learn how to play 5E, you should play face-to-face before you play-by-post.

I have been on RPOL since May, and I have only been playing 5E since last year, maybe 10 or 12 sessions FTF. So I am in a similar situation as you.

The "problem" with PBP is that a lot of the rules happen behind the scenes or are hand-waved since it can take days to complete a single round of actions, sometimes. I am loving RPOL, as I can participate in some games which work for my schedule. But FTF is where you will learn the rules WAY faster!

My 2 coppers.