FemaleWriter
 member, 1 post
Thu 1 Dec 2022
at 04:41
Longtime PBeM Roleplayer Curious About PBP Forums
Greetings,

I'm a woman who loves to write and I've been writing in free-form play-by-email RPGs since the late 90s. Over the past 23+ years, I've been in (and have owned) a lot of different narrative-style free-form groups, from sandboxes to semi-scripted to the various types in between.  I've yet to play in a Forum-based RPG.

I'm excited to be here though. I've been reading the FAQs/Help pages, checking the public forums, and browsing for games. I can't wait to jump in.

I'm also very curious and believe that all questions are valid, even if one might seem silly at first.  My question is...
Is there any advice you would give to new members that you wish you had known when you first joined?

Thanks!
donsr
 member, 2725 posts
Thu 1 Dec 2022
at 05:35
Longtime PBeM Roleplayer Curious About PBP Forums
 Howdy... Like you , i started out playing Avalon Hill  games, and   joined and started   a coupe of my own...they never lasted  long

 PBP is way better , and this site is the best of them. Everything you need i on your  home page, when you run  or play in a game, everything  is   on that game, and  in each thread.

PMs  a simple, there are private lines ... You'll have  fun here.

Players wanted thread  is a good place to start. There is also a customizable  search  engine to look for games  . right belong the  main pages. game lists.

  if you have questions, ask in the forums, if the Mod   can;t answer, a player will!
1492
 member, 66 posts
 I like monkeys
Thu 1 Dec 2022
at 05:50
Longtime PBeM Roleplayer Curious About PBP Forums
Welcome to the site FW.

I don't have any advice for you, but I just joined around the first of this year and it has been a lot of fun, so I hope (and trust) you will have a good time as well. Also, I had no prior PbP experience whatsoever. Only tabletop, starting circa 1980. So this has been a whole new experience for me. If you've been doing PBeM for such a long time I imagine you'll get the hang of things even faster than I did.

Good luck!
facemaker329
 member, 7424 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Thu 1 Dec 2022
at 06:46
Re: Longtime PBeM Roleplayer Curious About PBP Forums
FemaleWriter:
My question is...
Is there any advice you would give to new members that you wish you had known when you first joined?


A few points--

--Games go through cycles.  Even games that last have their ups and downs.  When you're in a down cycle, it's tempting to try and fill up your free time with more games...but that can backfire on you if you suddenly find that all of your games hit an up cycle at the same time.  Pace yourself...

--If you're reading through the RTJ for a game and you find yourself questioning if the game will be worth the effort, or you feel like the GM's style just doesn't jive well with yours, TRUST YOUR GUT.  I have had a lot of bad experiences where there was a game setting I REALLY wanted to play in, and I found a game accepting players, but the RTJ process had me feeling like something was a little off.  It never got any better after that, each of those games left me thinking, "Okay, I'm never doing THAT again..."

If you don't feel like your style will jive well with the GM, don't put yourself through the agony of finding out just how badly your styles do not mesh.  There's a pretty constant stream of games looking for players...you can afford to skip one or two questionable ones to stay freed up for something that suits you well.

--A lot of GMs will post something about not wanting one-liner responses in posts.  Treat that as a guideline, not a rule.  Sometimes, one line is all it takes (rarely, but occasionally).  Write as much as needs to be written.  Sometimes that may be a wall-of-text epistle, sometimes it may be a couple of brief paragraphs...and sometimes it may only be a line or two.  But earn those one-liners.

--Figure out what you're looking for in a game.  My own preference is games with an intriguing setting, and if I can't find any of those that really fire my imagination, then I look for games with a rules system that I'm familiar with.  If the setting intrigues me enough, I'll labor through learning new rules.  Some people love their system-based games, others love freeform or near-freeform, and there are a few with no hard-and-fast preference of one or the other.  But figure out what really 'scratches the itch' for you, gaming-wise, and look for games that will fulfill that need.  (That's assuming that you have other, Real-World obligations and have to shoehorn your RP experience into whatever times are left open beyond that.  If you have all the time in the world for gaming, feel free to experiment.)

--Realize that a really good game is a weird alchemical blend of setting, rules, GM, other players, and your own state of mind.  You can try playing a game that you really enjoy, and find that either the GM or the other players are throwing you off.  You may find that a game that you've enjoyed for months suddenly seems laborious and joyless for you because of changes in your own life.  You can be playing a game you've enjoyed for years, with the same GM and group of players, but someone suggests trying a different set of rules and it just sucks the life right out of the game (that happened to a tabletop Star Wars game I was in for a little over a decade...I'm still a little bitter towards the Saga Edition rules for that...)  Knowing and really understanding that can help you manage your own expectations for any games you get into.
Brosuke
 member, 341 posts
 New Petitions Against Tax
Thu 1 Dec 2022
at 07:12
Longtime PBeM Roleplayer Curious About PBP Forums
Hi there, welcome to the site! :) A few things I wish I'd been told early on:

-Games fold all the time, and both GMs and players sometimes vanish without saying anything. It's just the nature of the format I guess. For me at least, it was disheartening early on when I lost my only two games simultaneously and my whole RP engagement with the site stopped for a while, but I've gotten used to the flow of things. Like facemaker329 said, there are up and down cycles.

-Try to keep track of people you have especially good or bad experiences with. That's easy with GMs or if you're the GM since you can see the usernames in question, but trickier with co-players. People with more experience on RPOL are great sources of info for which games are good to join, or to avoid for that matter.

-It takes some practice to pick up context in the Wanted - Players game advertisement posts, but it's a useful thing to pay attention to. The most obvious example is that if a GM has fifty deleted games and this is new game number fifty-one, you shouldn't have very high expectations for its longevity :) Depending on the cast list and post count, a game that keeps getting bumped every week might have a lot of turnover or difficulty attracting players, or it might just be a game with unlimited space for new people, or some other situation entirely. Things like that.

This message was last edited by the user at 07:16, Thu 01 Dec 2022.

ladysharlyne
 subscriber, 3511 posts
 Member before Oct 2005
 Creative Writing ROCKS!!
Thu 1 Dec 2022
at 10:22
Longtime PBeM Roleplayer Curious About PBP Forums
Hiya lass!  There are all sorts of advice and every individual is different.  So from a long playing GMs viewpoint this is only my take on games.

Rules are sometimes just gaming etiquette.  System games have rules based on that game but could have others that are proper etiquette that the GM expects from their players.  I can guarantee you that the GMs have their reasons for their specific rules and it may not be what you think!   Every  GM has their own preferences.  If you are not happy you can just say goodbye nicely and leave.

1.  Donít be judgmental of how many games a GM has whether Live, inactive or deleted.  A GM comes up with a game idea so they try it.  Get a few players who are interested and so the game take off.  Then suddenly posting and interacting stop and the game just dies.  So the GM decides it just didnít work out and they delete it after discussing with the few players are left.  If GMing a game ALWAYS tell your players you are deleting and why!  Deleted games should NOT be a death judgement of a GM for trying.  Those GMs are usually good people with what they thought would make a good game but it just didnít work out.

2.  Donít be judgemental of other players spelling/grammar because English might not be their native language, or they have a disability but are as important as the next player..  We are a world wide site here and thatís one of the things that makes this place GREAT!

3.  Donít be that rude player or GM that disappears in the night without a word leaving a GM/other players hanging.  Always tell the GM if you are going to be away for a week or longer and when you hope to return.  When you Ďghostí a game you leave players and the GM hanging and waiting unknowing when or if youíll return.  You do NOT have to go into details. Politely PM the GM and say you are leaving. There is no excuse as with todayís technology there are mobile phones (yours or a friends), libraryís, Internet cafťs, family or friends computer, etc etc etc.  Just a brief word to your GM!

4.  There are times that disappearing GMs and/or Players disappear without out word and itís because of what they have happening in their real life.  We all have real lives or we wouldnít be here.  Life should always come first, family, sickness, work, deaths, others reasons etc.  You donít know what that other person behind their computer screen is going through.  Donít judge even though Ďghosting and disappearancesí are annoying.  See rule number 3!

5.  Posting rates of games vary.  My games are slow to moderate due to all players real lives.  Regardless of what some players may think, we are ALL human.  Just because two players in an active thread are online at the same time they should think of other players/characters in that same thread.  No one likes to have to read back two or three pages of two people posts to be able to catchup and post their next post.  Some GMs and Players are rapid fire posters and desire this in their games.  Always be considerate of others.  Ask the GM if you canít post and they will see what should be done to get you flowing. Always ask the GM.

6.  Communications between Players and GMs is very important.  Stay in touch, talk things out.  This is best done in a PM, Not in an in character post {ic}, but in a PM.  But communication is the key.

7.  Donít be judgmental when looking at Player Wanted Ads.  GMs usually post these for need to fill a character that was abandoned and is needed for that game or they have an open door policy to all because they welcome new players who are new to seasoned players on a continuous basis.  Since RPol is always getting new members the Wanted Player Ads are reaching out to those looking for games nee and old.  Donít judge a GM or game as desperately needy because a GM has a routine for pitching their games!

8.  The Cast List in games shows the characters and the players.  There should be no Ďcliquesí in a game.  EVERY Playerís character{s} are as important as the next!   Most games, if the GM allows, have an amount of players in the players section of the list but some GM mark characters as all players or all GMs, give them titles to every character, and NPC can mean one of two things, Not Played Character or Not Primary Character.  Not Primary Character usually means the player plays more than one character.  SimplesÖ

9.  A game may have a large list of characters but few players.  You should NOT be put off by this.  If the game advertised then it is open to new players.  Read what a game is about in the ad and if you like what you read and a character comes to mind then then RTJ to the game and talk to the GM to see what they are looking for and present your character.  Deciding to try a game should be based on do you like the setting, the World, etc. Please donít judge a GM by things you donít know anything about or what actually happened in their other games.  Give yourself and the GM a chance pertaining to the live game you are interested in, not their past trials and errors if other games.  You donít know what happened then and GMs are human.

10.  Donít flame or condemn other players or Games as there are two sides to every story and those that do this whether in other games, public forums, Discord, etc have a sad life if thatís all they have to do.  You donít know the other side of the coin and these players most likely were put out of said game due to having a bad attitude.  When you GM or are in a game YOU make your own decisions based on YOUR own knowledge not someone else's.  If its NOT working after trying a game just politely PM the GM and say thank you but its just not what I was looking for.  But if you like how an Ad reads then give it and yourself a chance.

Iíve learned all these Rules of etiquette through nearly 20 years on here as a player and a GM.  Yes, I wish I knew these upfront when I started but I am still learning and trying as are ALL of us.  Your gaming/writing experience is YOUR experience to discover not that of others!  Donít fall into the trap if being judgemental of GMs and GAMES of the past.  We LIVE in the present not the past.  Again read whatís a game about and decide for yourself to give it a go yourself.

ladysharlyne
xx