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EN World Play by Post for Dummies


I've never played, quite possibly the only one on here that hasn't from the sounds of it.

How does it work?
How much time do you spend in a typical game each week?
Tips for someone that wants to do it for the first time?
Dummies guide to PbP?

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Certainly not the only one, and this isn't a bad idea for a thread at all.

Check the first post In This Sticky Thread. While it has not been updated 2003, it's still incredibly applicable.

As for how much time you spend in a game, well, that depends how fast the games you join move, how much time you want to devote, and how many games you're a part of. If you're involved in 5+ games, expect to have posts to reply to almost every day. But if you're only in 1 game, the pace can be about a post a day if not slower. It all depends upon the GM and the players in question, and you can devote as much or as little to the game as you'd like (although I'd always recommend at least not posting less than a paragraph, unless you only need 1 sentence to move the action).

For a first timer, look at the topics that are Recruitment threads in Talking The Talk: these are GMs looking for players for games. The first post will usually outline what type of game and system, as well as what they're looking for in regards to players and characters. From there, just get talking with the folks in those threads, build a character according to the guidelines, and get to know your new party members.

Most people here are going to use Coyote Code to do their rolls, which I have found is very serviceable.

I'd also advise you to get a little familiar with some of the coding here, like putting things into statblocks

[sblock=Like This]This can be really useful for not cluttering your posts with your character stats or rolls and actions[/sblock]

Just quote my post to see the source code there.

Likewise, differentiating your speech with a flash of color here and there can be very useful for highlighting your Dialog, and is often a good practice to get into so you're not just giving a wall of black and white text to read. You can even get fancier and use Italics to show Internal Thought, or use Bold to highlight very important parts of your post, but also try not to get carried away with stylistic choices that can be distracting in your post: remember, you're writing to be read and understood, first and foremost.

Honestly, the sticky I linked to is a great rundown, and I'd start there. Any other questions, please feel free to ask, and welcome to the boards, EnWorlder!


Jago has some very good suggestions. I would give a few caveats, however. I dislike the use of colors denoting dialogue. Coming from more of a writing game background than a tabletop background, I find it makes for lazy writing and reading. Also, a lot of colors don't show up well in some situations. I find I have a lot of trouble with them on my mobile. Italics for internal thought is fine. I suppose Bold for dialogue, if you really feel you must "color", though again, I don't think "wall of text" should be a problem in a writing game.

A bit of advice about the spoiler blocks: Mobile devices don't handle coding, so if you put huge amounts of text in them, say, your whole character sheet, or near abouts, all that is going to do is make reading it hard, as we have to scroll all the way through all of that to get to the next post. So keep everything succinct with the bare minimum needed (HP, AC, tracked resources like a brief spell list or ammunition) and slap in a link to the character sheet for anything else.

That said, welcome to the game forums!


How does it work? Pretty much like a regular game, only in super slow motion. On the up side, this means that you have time to consider the situation and craft interesting responses. PbP can be a great for really getting into character.

How much time do you spend in a typical game each week? It varies. In my case it can take 20-30 minutes to generate a post as a player, and an hour or more as a GM. More if I need to reference rules, or read back through the thread to find something posted earlier. I tend to work on the basis of needing an hour a day to manage my one game as a GM and one as a player.

Tips for someone that wants to do it for the first time? Read though some of the existing IC threads. Check out the first pages of some OOC threads as well. That should give you a fairly good idea of how games are created, and how they run. Don't overcommit too early. It can be tempting to jump into new games when things are slow. But when they all pick up and/or life gets busy, you can find it makes your gaming feel a bit more like work than fun.

Dummies guide to PbP? The sticky thread below is a good start.



Creator of The Untamed Wilds
How does it work?
The experts above have more than adequately illuminated this thought. As a new PbP gamer I found the format easily identifiable and quickly learnable, including most of the coding. I tend to agree more with Jago's style of posting with the use of colors, but I am on a laptop, not a mobile device. Any question I have had about dos, don'ts, and hows I usually will voice in PM (private message) to one of the most active posters. Even though I have no idea who these people are, I have found them all to be willing to help.

I also find the ability to cut and paste images extremely usual to visual aide in the story line.
Greenmtn said:
How much time do you spend in a typical game each week?
I am very active. I try to post something every day, but laxity is the more common approach, and the delay certainly gives more time for thorough thought on responses.
Greenmtn said:
Tips for someone that wants to do it for the first time?
I am running my own system in which I would love to have new people join. The Talk-the-Talk thread is where recruitment tends to be posted. I haven't seen new games being started recently but you can always post a thread stating the system for which your are interested in participating. If you would like to try a new system that is geared more to role-play than dice roll, send me a message and/or check out the recruitment thread.
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