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OFFICIAL Play-by-Post Rules & Guidelines

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OFFICIAL Play-by-Post Rules & Guidelines
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Joined: 01 Nov 2006
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Location: Beijing

Post OFFICIAL Play-by-Post Rules & Guidelines Reply with quote
Fitting the PBP Format / Etiquette

Turn-Taking: You should generally not post more than once at a time. GMs can indicate who they would like to act/speak next at the end of a post if it is not obvious in the post itself; they should always do this when it is a player's turn to act in combat. Also in the case of combat, wait until the GM has resolved the events of an initiative count before you take your turn.

As a rule of thumb, you should open the thread in another window and refresh it right before posting to make sure no one has posted before you. If someone has, most of the time you should be able to simply edit your post to take the new context into account.

These rules may not apply if you are only making a comment, whether in- or out-of-character, but try to keep these to a minimum. In-character conversation back-and-forth is fine, but you should stop if you see a post by the GM or any kind of (in-game) logical interruption.

GM Veto: If the GM decides that your actions are inappropriate for whatever reason (impossible, assumptive, metagame, not in-character, etc.), he will PM you and tell you what changes would be best and why. Take heed.

The GM should not edit a player's post himself in this situation.

Committance: Once you've posted and made your choice of words or actions, they may not yet be set. If you would like to edit your post, PM the game master first, telling him what you want to change. If he approves, you can make those changes.

Unless the GM gives you special permission, you will be committed to your stated words/actions after the GM's next post in the thread. If another player's post depends upon yours (that is, the PC somehow reacts to your post or uses information from it), you are also committed until and unless you get the GM's permission to edit and inform the other player of your changes.

If you are the "other player" in this situation, you can edit freely once you see the first player's revised post appear.

GMs are committed to their posts once a single player has posted in reaction to them.

Narrative Freedom: Because of the play-by-post format, it is much easier and less disruptive for players to have more control over the experiences of their characters. Feel free to describe your actions in as much detail as you want, expand on the sensory descriptions of the GM or narrate your own dreams, memories/flashbacks, (possibly) hallucinations, whatever.

Of course, if something gets a bit out of hand, the game master may PM you and tell you to make some revisions.

"Minor Actions": If the GM feels that it would be more economical in space or more aesthetic (or for whatever other reason) to include small actions or short dialogue of yours in his narrative, he should PM you first to make sure what he has in mind is what you intend to do/say. If it is not, correct him.

The GM should always ask before doing something like this. The GM cannot directly control the behavior, emotions, words, etc. of your PC (but NPCs themselves might be able to if they're capable of some sort of mind control).

As a way of avoiding PMs, you can add, "If [this happens], then I'll [do this]," to the end of your posts when applicable.

Post Cleaning: If at some point the game kind of breaks down and later the GM wants to go back and delete or edit posts to make that section more readable and/or logical, he should inform the players either via PM or a separate thread in the game's forum. He does not need their permission if he does not outright change character actions or dialogue, but he should at least wait for a response from the players.

NPC Control: If you, as a PC, want to have a certain amount of control of an NPC (e.g., the character is your flunk or in some other way close enough to your character that you'd rather control his/her interactions personally), you can ask the game master via PM.

If the GM agrees, you now have a certain amount (perhaps total) control over the NPC's actions and dialogue. The GM will tell you to what extent this control is.

If the GM later wants to retake control of this NPC, he will inform you first via PM.

Dice Rolling: Unless the specific campaign rules indicate otherwise, all dice-rolling will be done by the GM. The GM can choose to roll actual physical dice or use a dice-rolling program; he is discouraged, however, from not using dice at all (unless the campaign or system itself is stated as diceless).

PMs: Though I've mentioned that private messages will be used for a lot of things, most actual game content should be kept public. The end result of the game should be readable by and comprehensible to someone who didn't take part at all.

Bumping: Just say no.

Non-players: Forum members who aren't playing in a certain game can post in most threads except the gameplay threads. If unwanted posts by non-players end up in a gameplay threads, GMs can delete them freely.

Mechanics Notation
These examples are d20-specific right now. It shouldn't be too hard to adapt them to different systems though.

Simple Checks: Any simple check (that is, against a constant number such as a DC or AC, etc.) should be notated as follows:

In this example, Lieutenant Silas Rockriver attempts to ovecome the Nauseate effect of The Chicken King's eggbombs (in the Mutants & Masterminds system).
Fortitude Save (Rockriver) +4 vs. Eggbomb (diminished) DC 15; Roll 12 SAVE

Boldening is not strictly necessary.

Contested Checks: When two characters are making opposed checks, the notation can take several lines.

Here The Chicken King is trying to escape Rockriver's grapple.
Grapple Check (Chicken King) +2; Roll 12 WIN
Grapple Check (Rockriver) +4; Roll 3

Once again, boldening is not strictly necessary.

Initiative: The initiative order should be listed by character name with each character's initiative result in parentheses. And, of course, in red.

Lieutenant Rockriver squares off against three groups of chickens and their sovereign, The Chicken King!
INITIATIVE Chickens x3 (15), Rockriver (13), Chickens x3 (11), The Chicken King (11), Chickens x4 (8)

GM's Right to Omission: The GM can choose not to reveal the DC of a check or save attempted by the player (or something similar, like an AC that the player is attempting to overcome) or the bonus an NPC gets on a check, attack roll or save. The result of rolls made by NPCs may be omitted as well, but the GM should still note them even without numbers. The GM does not have to notate his own rolls that do not directly affect the PCs at all.

Gameplay Notation

Dialogue: All PC and NPC dialogue must a) be in quotation marks and b) be formatted in a color of your choosing (that isn't black, white, gray or red) and/or in a special font. Try not to strain our eyes too much. You can use this for hexadecimal color codes.

The Chicken King poses triumphantly, nodding to himself. "It's good to be the kang."

Thoughts: If at some point you would really like to record your character's thoughts (e.g., a short mental monologue or whatever), you can do this in italics with the same font color as your normal speech.

Actions: You do not have to format all of your character's actions in a special way, but anything that you'd like to emphasize to the GM you can color red.

Response/Reaction & Quote: You can use the quote feature to point out what you are reacting to with dialogue/action/etc. if you think it's necessary. The GM may ask you to go back and edit your post to include a quoted passage if it seems unclear.

Out-of-Character: Any out-of-character comments you feel the need to make should be in ((double parentheses)) and indented from in-game text.

Things the GM Should Indicate
... most likely in a sticky post in his game's forum.

- The system used and any house rules.
- What format he prefers character sheets in.
- Any expansions to these formatting rules that she feels is necessary for her game.
- What dice-rolling method he intends to use (i.e., real dice vs. a dice-rolling program).
- What resources are open to the players for character creation options.
- If the game will be run in first or third person.
- The general tone/mood of the setting and campaign.
- Other details (if initiative will be rerolled each round, etc.)
Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:28 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
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