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 6. Playing a Forum Game Well

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PostSubject: 6. Playing a Forum Game Well   6. Playing a Forum Game Well I_icon_minitimeMon Jan 30, 2017 5:17 pm


What follows are a few bits of advice mostly stolen ruthlessly from Steve's forum games.

Be bold and proactive; don’t fear death: Particularly at the start of a forum game, you may not know what to do, and figure slowly building up your power is most sensible. Perhaps it is, but it’s not as fun. Furthermore, because replacement characters are a thing, it throws away an early opportunity to make your mark. The only consequence to dying is fluff and the loss of a bit of Influence (something which is not as significant as Infamy is in Black Crusade!).

Post long rather than often: Now, I’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t post often: the game will be better the more people post. However, you shouldn’t post often at the expense of longer posts.

It’s just sensible when you think about it. The GM is dealing with two other players, some of which may be making long posts of their own. If you make a short post consisting of one sentence that your Heretic has said, then the rate of play slows as you have to wait for a sentence by sentence response from the GM. Using a strawman by way of example, consider the following set of posts:

Quote :
PC: I enter the room with a swish of my cloak. “Hello,” I say, with a smile.
GM: Your guest smiles in response. “Greetings,” they chuckle. “And how are you?”
PC: “Well, yourself?”
GM: “Yes, well, well indeed. So why am I here?”

As I noted, this is a strawman example. But it’s illustrative: what the above doesn’t show you is that each post was ten minutes apart. That’s thirty minutes of play.

The solution is to make lengthier posts, with conditional sentences. It gets to the meat of the roleplaying more quickly, and gets you more roleplaying for your time:

Quote :
PC: I enter the room with a swish of my cloak, greeting my guest with a smile. Charming him with etiquette and witty small-talk, I bide my time before driving to the real subject of his visit. However, if he seems impatient, I will endeavour not to waste his time.

“So,” I chuckle, “We simply must discuss these rumours… [etc.]

From there, the first response from the GM will immediately move the story along.

Interact with other players: Again, this might seem quite obvious, but is it is often overlooked. The most fun you can have in this game is when other players are involved. As such, seek them out and cause havoc (or, you know, help).

What forum games allow you to do best, other than play at long distances to a flexible schedule, is plot. You can prepare plots in secret and spring them on others. But plots are no fun without the springing. And your plots aren’t going to be sprung very effectively if the first time you meet another player character is when you’re about to betray them. They’ll just figure that the reason you haven’t said hello sooner is that you’ve been working on a plot to betray them.

I think the reason players fall into the trap of avoiding one another is because player characters are the most dangerous. Well, yes. But, to direct you to the first piece of advice, you shouldn’t fear character death to the point where it makes your game worse. Firstly, replacement characters come with the same XP. Secondly, don’t forget that it’s actually super hard to kill player characters, as you start with at least two Fate Points to burn, probably more.

That’s all I can think of for now. Hope you find them helpful.
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