Play By Post

Play By Post

Play By Post

I’m tinkering with an idea for a PbP site for PbtA games.

But before I’m even remotely considering implementing it, I need to make sure that it can handle a “standard” DW game.

What would such a site need and what would be nice?

I’ll share my own thoughts later. For now I just want to hear your thoughts.

30 thoughts on “Play By Post”

  1. Need: Dice.

    So “Nice” it verges on Need: Some kind of embedded character sheet solution. A few of us have designed Google Drive solutions for that over the years, but something organic to the site itself would be nice.

    I will think of more.

  2. Nice to haves, in order of complexity:

    – Character sheets

    – Ability to post in and out of character (with varying avatars/names/colors)

    – Ability to click a move and roll for it, possibly with prompts

    – Ability to add macros for custom moves

  3. Notification of posts would be great too. Either by email or some other means. That’s one thing I love about G+ Pbp is the notifications.

    Maybe an app?!?

  4. Agreeing with Robert Doe—app or mobile friendly. I’m GMing a Dungeon World PbP campaign over GDocs and most of the posts happen from phone or tablet.

  5. Needs (and by that, I mean, needs to have this to make it worth not using something generic, like a G+ thread or a standard forum).

    Dice roller embedded in text (e.g. “/roll 2d6+2” and it resolves to a number when posted; when you look at the post, you can see the result but can also tell that it was a roll (and what was rolled).

    Some easily referenced/updated form of character sheets, ideally not limited to specific rules or implementations (e.g. so I could implement house rules or custom playbooks as desired).

    Some easily referenced/updated “handouts” manager.


    Versioning of documents (or annotations, etc.), where the versions are linked to posts. E.g. I could upload my character sheet. When I take damage in a post, I can update my sheet and link it to that post. If I reference my sheet from earlier posts, I’ll see the original HP. If I reference my sheet from subsequent posts, I’ll see the character sheet as it existed at that moment. Of course, have an ability to also easily see “current state.” But the idea would be to read a post, click a link to a related resource, and see what that resource looked like at the time of that post.

    This would be extra helpful for maps or similar representations of situation. GM could post (or quickly make) an “initial” map, and then in a post the player’s/GM could submit a change or an annotation (e.g. if I drop my bow and charge into the fray, I move my icon on the map from the clearing’s edge and into the mix of icons fighting in the middle). The next post, the GM could say how one of the lizardmen breaks off to intercept me, and update the map to reflect our position. When reading each post, we could click to see the map and its annotations as of that post.

    (Let me know if I’m not explaining this clearly.)

  6. Another nice feature, maybe: some separation between actual content on a post and meta-discussion.  The thread itself would be the “official” description of what happens.  The meta-discussion on each thread would be there for table-chatter and possibly for discussion/clarifications.

    E.g. The GM might post “Krikor, you hear rustling out in the brush. Something’s sneaking up on you, sounds like goblins.  What do you do?”  

    And then the meta-discussion could be Hawke’s character going “UH OH!”

    Krikor’s post could be like “I notch and arrow and draw my bow, peering out into the shadows, staying sharp, trying to spot them. I’ve got a couple other arrows gripped between my fingers, Lars Andersen style. As soon as I pinpoint some targets, I’m letting fly!”  

    And then the meta-discussion could be the GM and players hashing out whether that was Discern Reality, Defying Danger with WIS, or just the GM saying what happens.  Maybe Krikor’s player goes back and edits his post based on the chatter.  (And there should be an audit trail of the post, so we can see what was originally posted if we want.)

  7. I know Dungeon World doesn’t use maps like a lot of other games, but some ability to post pictures is mandatory for me. Otherwise ill second about everything said already.

  8. So, almost all of the features discussed above (dice roller, character sheets for DW, handouts, maps/pictures) already exist in Roll20. One could simply use the chat window for gameplay. Roll20 also lets players and GMs whisper to one another privately, which adds a nice element. Only downside would be no notifications. Is there something that PbP needs beyond what Roll20 offers?

  9. You could also use Skype or a forum site like G+ for game play backed by Roll20 for keeping track of characters, handouts, maps, dice rolls, etc. That’s a less elegant/less integrated solution than doing everything inside Roll20, but still buys you all the features discussed above.

  10. Sorry, one more thing. Roll20 does set up a forum for every game that could be used to handle gameplay instead of chat. The forum does include an email notification feature. In principle, you’d have the flexibility to “zoom in/out” from asynchronous play using the game forum to synchronous play using chat if all players are available and interested in going more real-time. OK, done cheerleading Roll20, I promise!

  11. I’m sorry I haven’t responded until now, but I… Forgot.

    From the looks of it, the only thing missing in roll20 is dedication. It can do it, but it’s not made for it. With everything that implies.

    Would you rather use a dedicated service than roll20, or wouldn’t you care?

  12. The android version of Roll20, well… It sucks.

    If there was a more dedicated mobile site or app. I would definitely use it. As of now, roll20 for android does me no good

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