Fundamentals of The Game.   Posted by The Pirate King.Group: 0
The Pirate King
 GM, 11 posts
Sat 17 Apr 2021
at 15:26
Fundamentals of The Game
PBP games, to me, are works of collaborative fiction. I can think of no more collaborative environment than improv, so in order to facilitate that sense of working together, I always like to share this list of improv fundamentals.

1. Listen – As simple as this seems, it is probably one of the most difficult skills to master. Listening will free you from having to think of what you are going to say a head of time.

2. Agreement (Yes, And…) – Assuming you have listened, you will be able to agree with what was said AND add information. Agreement is what allows a scene to progress!

3. Team Work (Group Mind) – Improv is a vast mechanism of give and take and support. The group mind is greater than the individual.

4. Don’t Block – One of the quickest ways to destroy group mind is by blocking other players, going for the joke or not listening.

5. Relationship – The scene is always about the relationship, not things or what you are doing. Make the scene focus on the relationship.

6. Initiation – This is the Who, What and Where of the scene… establishing the Who, What and Where of the scene is essential to having a great scene.

7. Point of View, Opinion & Intention – Enter a scene with a point of view, opinion or intention… let these drive your character and response.

8. Be in Character – Maintain your character throughout the scene. Be the character to the top of its intelligence.

9. Don’t Ask Questions – Questions your scene partner to do all the work. Make assumptions and turn questions into statements.

10. Make Active Choices – Do something, don’t be a talking head. Do something but don’t make the scene about that something.

11. Keep posts 3rd person, past tense, and from a limited perspective/pov

Example: Merrick handed Buffy the sharpened wooden stake.
"Thanks, I think," Buffy said, taking the stake with a sour expression on her face.


Limited POV means that we're reading the narration from outside the character's heads. We can see what they do, read their expressions and body language, and hear what they say out loud. We do not read their internal monologues, so try to describe how your character would act if they were happy, upset, scared, or angry.

12. Use colored text for your dialogue. Pick a color (other than orange) and stick with it. Anytime you use dialogue, use that color.

13. Out of character commentary can be made. Put this text in orange and delineate with "OOC:" This is good for "table talk" or rules discussions, rolls, etc.

14. See #10 above. I encourage you to drive the narrative. Tell us all what happens. Feel free to run dialogue for the bar tender or inn keeper. I can always jump in, but in the interest of "Yes and..." I will play along with what you set up.

15. Tone is light hearted, so don't be afraid to go a little silly or funny. Don't overdo it, but I'm open to some tongue in cheek and jokes. Think Pirates of the Caribbean.

I'm open to other suggestions as we get this rolling!