For my last installment on Play by Post gaming, I’m documenting what I intend to do for my Demon: the Descent game.
Play By Post, Part III: What Will I Do?
First off I’m not using forum posting and instead relying on emails and text chats. My reasons go back to why my friend’s Vampire game “failed”. Not everyone in my group is a writer. Some are (ranging from a self published to fan fiction writing) but others not so much. I know from personal experience how writing anxiety can cripple my involvement in a game. So I don’t want differing levels of post quality to dissuade the “weaker” writers from contributing. So I’ll write up the permanent record (like I have been) incorporating player contributions as they fit in.
I also intend to use email threads to break up the story into smaller more personal bits. Is that a good idea? Perhaps not but it does allow those bits of the game to be more focused and hopefully faster.
I intend to periodically (perhaps daily) update the group as to how all of the different threads are advancing. Eventually I will weave them all together into the log. This will be handled via the campaign’s Obsidian Portal forums.
As for the rules, I’ll plan to make all the rolls, mostly to make things faster (for example by avoiding the issue of comparing resistance numbers). The players can declare intent and describe how they intend to complete an action and I’ll work out the details to their advantage.
The post content should be descriptive and ideally proactive. I intend to end my posts on pressing (perhaps leading) questions: how do you investigate the owner of the webcams? What do you do as the investigators close in on you?
Edit: I realized my initial posting plan was too ambitious. I’m doing 5 times the work as my players, probably at a higher standard than any of them.
As for post pacing, everyone should plan to post once every three days (i.e. at least twice a week). We’ll use chat’s for busy scenes like combats or important conversations. These will count as a post (perhaps even 2).The benefit of the chats is that we can run them over the day or evening and they won’t impact my commitments on an average day too much.
If people have prolonged breaks away from the game, they need to let me know if it will be more than 3 days so I can plan around them.
Overall our “sessions” or Chapter will run three weeks long with the occasional week-long break for me to do planning for future sessions. At the end of a Chapter, the characters can refresh Aspirations, Conditions, and earn Chapter beats.