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How To Play By Post

on Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:42 am
Formatting:
Your posts should be formatted in a way that's easy to read for the GM and other players. Requirements that will be enforced are:
- Posts are expected to be at least 150 words long.
- Coloured Dialogue. It makes your dialogue stand out from your characters internal thoughts, and your descriptions of items and the environments.
- Use italics for your characters thoughts. Again, it makes it stand out a bit from the rest of your post.
- Always make a short list of your actions, such as attacks, spells, skill checks, etc at the end of your post in brackets. This is so the GM and other players can double check your actions in case your descriptive writing was a bit unclear. If there are more than one of the same kind of unnamed enemy, please specify which at the end of your post. Any other Out of Character [OOC] comments should be added here.
Example:
"Gadzooks!", said Billy as a blob of slime was hurled his way. He quickly stepped to the left before throwing a spear at his assailant.

[OOC:
- Billy dodges the spear
- Billy throws a spear at the gelatinous blob in response to the attack]

Writing Style:
- Avoid first person narrative. When the “person telling the story” changes every six sentences a story can get really annoying to read.

The most aesthetically appealing narrative structure seems to be Third Person Limited. When everyone writes in that style, the story flows like a novel and gives everyone reading a firm grasp of all the characters thoughts and motives.

You might think “aesthetics aren’t important”, but they are. Think of it like a novel. You’re devoting a lot of time and energy into this story. It deserves to have the best you can give it. Compare the following-
.
.

1) @ Minmaximus: “Can I see your sword?”

2) To Minmaximus “Can I see your sword?”

3) Psioney asks Minmaximus if he can borrow his sword.

4) Psioney walks over to where Minmaximus is eating and asks “Can I borrow your sword?”
.
.
Which one of these would you rather read? Which would you rather be known for writing?

A PBP game is all about description. Be creative. Refine your writing skills. Use spell check.

Your Character:
Playing by posting will be slower than a tabletop game. Because of that, your character will get more time in the spotlight. Through the ability to show internal monologue, describe expressions or mannerisms in detail, and generally convey more about a character than you can normally, a PBP is an opportunity to really delve deep into roleplay. That means you should be ready to do that.

More importantly, you should be ready to do that from the very beginning. Use internal monologue to show your fellow players what your character is about. Don’t worry about revealing things prematurely or before they ask. Think of it like a novel. It’s ok for the reader to know things that the characters don’t.

You will also be expected to keep your character sheet up to date and correct.

Posting Commandments:
Thou Shall Avoid Walls Of Text

Thou Shall Not Hog The Spotlight

Thou Shall Not Assume The Actions Of Others

Thou Shall Not Assume Outcomes Of Actions

Thou Shall Not Derail Gameplay

Thou Shall Use The Discussion Thread

That’s it.

Basically, the trick to a good post is to be descriptive without being verbose, and to leave the outcome of any stated actions open-ended. Wait for the GM to give you the results. Then you can post again describing the results if you want.

It’s not good to say-

Minmaximus fires his bow, driving his arrow deep into the beast’s face.

-because, Minmaximus might actually miss, or the beast might have DR you didn’t know about, or deflect arrows, or any number of other things that might change the results of the action.

Instead, leave your actions open ended and don't assume you're automatically successful.

Doing this tends to keep your posts shorter, which is nice, and gives you the chance to post more often, which is also nice.

When in doubt, take it to Discussion.
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