Play-by-Post Expectations.   Posted by Game Master.Group: 0
Game Master
 GM, 1 post
Fri 11 Jan 2019
at 07:36
Play-by-Post Expectations
The following details some of my expectations for this game. For those of you who perhaps have never played in a PbP, there are also some tips and guidelines.


First and foremost, don’t be dickheads to one another. We’re all here to have fun. Sorry, I know it’s a trite thing to say, but it’s worth mentioning.

Posting Minimum

There’s a required minimum of ONE productive post per day. This requirement is for the purpose of keeping the game moving. Otherwise, it’s easy for a Play-by-Post game to stall. My experience has been that PbPs with a “post whenever you can” approach tend not to work for long. I’ve played in multiple PbPs where some players would wait days or even weeks between posts, which really slowed down the game. Even though PbPs are, by their nature, a slow format, I still want to try and maintain some momentum throughout the campaign to keep things interesting. Note that “liking” someone’s post, or responding with an emoji, does not count toward the minimum.

If for some reason you need to take a leave of absence and can’t post for a few days (e.g., vacation, family business, etc.), please give me a heads-up so I can plan ahead.

If a player goes more than two days without posting, and without giving me prior notice, then I reserve the right, as GM, to decide your character’s actions for you. Again, this is just to keep the game moving.

If the group is currently involved in a combat situation (in which timely feedback becomes more important), the maximum time for inactivity is reduced to a single day. If you don’t post for over a day, I reserve the right to act for your character or completely skip his turn.

Finally, if you decide to leave the game, there’s no need to ghost on everyone. Please let me know you’re dropping out; don’t just disappear and stop responding. People have busy lives; I get it. Play-by-Post also isn’t for everyone, and some first-time players may decide they don’t like it. Whatever the case, that’s totally fine. No hard feelings. Just let me know so the other players don’t needlessly wait on your character.

Productive Posts

For the sake of plot progression, at least one of your daily posts should be productive. By “productive,” I mean posts in which your character makes a meaningful decision or takes a worthwhile action. That can be something as simple as making an important skill roll or asking a pertinent in-character question that helps the plot along. Basically, anything that keeps the game moving forward. I’ve been in PbP games where players literally spent weeks just idly bantering with each other. And while aimless in-character chatter is fun, it can be the death of a game if it goes on for too long.

Please don’t think I’m trying to discourage in-character casual conversation; not at all. This is a role-playing game, after all, and character interactions (with both NPCs and each other) is part of the fun. I’m NOT saying characters need to be doing something purposeful and useful every single moment. I just want to avoid spending TOO much time on frivolous posts. If characters spend too long “shooting the shit” and not getting things done, then it’ll be my job to kick things back into gear.

Better yet, try to combine idle dialogue with doing something productive, all in the same post. Characters can still make witty remarks while doing something useful.

If you’re involved in a situation where you honestly feel that your character wouldn’t do anything, then please still post. Post what your character is thinking about at that moment. What is he planning to do? Since he’s just standing there, does he study the NPCs and make a Perception Roll? Does he clean his weapons to kill time? There’s almost always something you can describe, role-play, or do, even while doing “nothing.” It also gives others a chance to react to you.

Quality Over Quantity

While it’s great when a player can make a prolific amount of posts in a short amount of time, it’s preferable to have fewer posts at higher quality. A series of well-written, well-thought out posts, contributed at a steady pace, is usually better than a flurry of posts that don’t accomplish anything.

Rules Discussions

Rules questions and discussions should be reserved for out-of-game; you can either message me directly or post on the Facebook group. This helps to prevent the game from getting bogged down with rules posts and debates.

Maintaining the Pace

Maintaining the game’s pace (keeping the plot moving) is largely about reducing needless back-and-forth between players and GM. Productive posting, as well as restricting rules questions to outside the game, is intended to help in that regard. But there are several other little things one can do...

On my end, I’ll try to provide enough information in my posts so that you need to ask as few questions as possible. The point is to have players posting actions instead of questions.

To speed things up, it doesn’t hurt for players to sometimes post “if” and “then” statements - probable actions that your character will take if “X” happens. This is particularly helpful in combat. But don’t go overboard with it.

If you want to make a roll for your character, you don’t need to ask me if you should roll or not. Just go ahead and do it. This saves time and needless back-and-forth. If I decide your roll wasn’t relevant or appropriate, then we’ll just disregard it. It’s faster than you asking me “Can I make a Lore roll?” and waiting for my response.

If you post out-of-character, then make sure to let people know that’s what you’re doing. Other players may get confused if you don’t clarify such things, and that confusion can slow the game down.

My hope is that players will post any time they’ve got a minute - at home, at work, on the shitter, etc. I want people to be able to check in, read, post a reply, and move on with their day. If you can do this multiple times a day, even better.


Metagaming is often to be expected in a Play-by-Post game. In fact, I’m fine with a certain amount of it. The reason being that sometimes a little out-of-character discussion between players can actually help to move things along. Sometimes players won’t post because they’re unsure what to do and decide to wait on someone else to take the lead. This can cause things to stall. Consequently, if you’re stuck and don’t know how to proceed, it’s ok to ask for suggestions from your fellow players. “Hey guys, I don’t know where to go from here. What do you think I should do?” Brainstorm plans and courses of action.

But as with anything else, please don’t overdo it. Characters are still limited by what they’d realistically know in any given situation.

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:35, Fri 11 Jan 2019.

Game Master
 GM, 4 posts
Fri 11 Jan 2019
at 22:45
Play-by-Post Expectations