The most common thing I get asked when starting to run a new role-playing game online is how does Play by Post work. Here is a break down of how I run AD&D (1e/2e/OSRIC) games with Google+.
First, what is play-by-post. Play-by-post PbP is a game run by posting situations and then allowing for players to respond to them. It’s not the fastest way to play, and the waiting sometimes sucks; I have to make sure everyone has a chance to contribute before rolling out the next part of the story. But where it works really really good is for people who are across the globe in different timezones and on different schedules. A single area could take a few hours to a few days to complete – but everyone has the opportunity to contribute without having to rush to be online.
Google plus is a little different than forum play, here’s how I setup my games…
The area is where I post descriptions of locations within the game. Just as with an adventure having area identifiers (Area 21) so to are their areas post as PCs discover them. As the progress from area to area, I make sure to include a brief recount of what happened up to that point so everyone is on the same page as we start the new area.
Every area has a corresponding combat discussion or two. Keeps the rolls and roll results for each combat round clear. At the end of one round typically I post a link to the new combat thread to start the next round fresh. On the follow up round, I make sure to include a brief recount of what happened up to that point so everyone is on the same page as we start the next combat round.
Example of the above in action
For combat, the first thing in D&D is to declare you action. Then roll initiate and modify it as need.
The player, Kith-kannan, gets an email roll request. In his email he is instructed to follow a link and roll. Roll page
Once each player has made their roll I post the entire roll summary on the post:
Initiative Order Results
Jorah rolled 1
Farin rolled 3
Morwen rolled 4
DM Events of this area (5)
Kholaran rolled 7
Dannus LeToreque rolled 8
Perilot rolled 8
Theirry rolled 8
Athas rolled 10
Everyone else goes last
That’s all there is to it. Seem a little complex, but once you get into it – it makes a lot of sense and moves quickly – faster I think than a forum run game.