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Does anybody play in PBeM games?

Dave G

First Post
I've been trying to decide if I want to take on a PBeM game. Most of my experiences with them result in a dis-satisfying end to either the game or my involvement with it.

Have people played in successful ones? Anybody starting one soon?

Are they worth investing the time and effort to play in?

Discuss! Thanks! :D

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First Post
I've played one - I had a really great time while it lasted. The DM lasted about a month before he gave up the ghost. I never found out, but I think the thing that he was having the hardest time with was dialogue. It's really hard to do multi-participant conversations by email.

I'd actually like to play one again... do you need any players? :D

Cor Azer

First Post
I'd like to think the one I'm currently running (2+ years) is successful, although it's in a bit of a slowdown right now thanks to my time being mostly eaten by job-hunting.

That said, I was running another one for a while, and it fell apart after only one adventure, partly due to my burnt out on the idea and partly because half the players had to go off-line for an extended period of time.

And after all, it's not really a big investment in time to play, just when running one. That's the biggest advantage of PbeM games in my opinion, I can log on for five minutes here and there, check email, and fire off a quick one or two line response.


LEW Judge
I'm currently DMing one. Basically, I make it a little more narrative than gamist . Players respond in the third person rather than second or first, and always describe their actions in past tense.

The game is full of cut-scenes and the like, just liek a normal book... except when combat starts, actions begin to bog down. But that's okay, I love combat.

I hear lots of stories about pbems shutting down bec. of the GM giving up. Admittedly, I've often considered giving up before, myself. These times, I take a break from thinking. Most of the time, though, the storylines just follow great ideas that come up while working or sometimes, sleeping.

However, its not just a game to me, its also the development of the homebrew setting and of the characters. Its also an avenue for my "evilness" lol.

if you wanna check it out, just email me. I'm not saying its totally successful (as some players have dropped out) but, so far its still alive and well. (as opposed to heaving its last breath)

Argent Silvermage

First Post
I was in one for a few months and would still be playing if the DM had'nt found a lover.
They can be fun but you have to have players who all want to keep the game moving and the story has to be one that is intriguing enough to keep everyone's attention.

I would be interested BTW if we can find a DM.


First Post
I have been a player in many. A lot of those games do end in a spiral of slowed down responses and lost interest. Those that don't have been great fun though (and one still is).

When looking for a PbEM you actually get two games for the price of one (getting into a good game is a lot harder and more rewarding than it would seem). ;)

I'd say go for it (www.pbem.com is a good site to find games).

Happy gaming.


First Post
I haven't been in a good PBEM in years. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I have been in one good PBEM game in 7 years of trying. I have essentially given up at this point. I can find enough face to face games to make it unnecessary. Most simply die off. Others annoy me due to incoherence. You might have more luck, but I wouldn't bet on it.


Barendd Nobeard

First Post
I played in two different ones. Both were long-running, and still are running though I quit playing in them about a year ago.

One has been running since May 1999 (Ben Lomax's Fight the Real Enemy!), and the other (Nick Pendrell's Bohavia) is even longer (though there was a complete roster change at one point to start over at level 1--I was in the new group after lurking in the old one for a few years).

It's hard to keep a PBEM or PBP game running. Players sign up and don't post, players quit, DMs get bored, real life interferes, etc.

Part of it is just "magic"--the right group signs up (maybe not all at once, but eventually you get the right mix) and it all "clicks" and it's great. This usually means the DM has done a ton of work (and continues to do a ton of work) and the players are committed--they read every post, pay attention to detail, and post a lot.

I think one thing that makes a difference is the posting frequency. If everyone wants to (and can) post at the same rate, the game has a much better chance of survivial. But if some players post twice a day and others only post once a week, it can cause problems. The "active" players will feel the game is going too slow as they wait for the weekly posters; the "inactive" players will feel the game is going too fast to keep up. And no one's happy.

The best way to join a PBEM is to lurk on it first, and see if you like it. Then join. Obviously, with a new game, you can't lurk first--but maybe you can read Story Hours or web logs of other PBEM games the DM has run.

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