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Malachite Drake

OOC [July 2015]

23 posts in this topic

Alrighty, guys. It's officially July and after a month of game, we have a few things to discuss. 

 

First off: PbP as we've been doing it is simply not going to work for a game that is also tied to a LARP that advances in real time. Writing and going back and forth between people simply takes too much time to keep the forum game at all in sync with the live action games. It can work, but it takes people being online pretty much all day and rapidly responding to posts. 

 

I don't know about you guys, but I have this annoying, insistant thing called a life that gets in the way of posting every fifteen minutes.  :whistle:

 

So, where do we go from here? We have a few options:

  • Try to pick up the pace this month and keep going with the current set-up. I think this has a low chance of being viable long-term, but I am willing to give it a shot.
  • Close the venue. <-- I will cry. I'm just sayin'.
  • Try doing chat-based nights during the month and leave the PbP aspects for private scenes and solo character mood threads. 
  • Something else? If you have a suggestion, please speak up!

If we go with the hybrid of chat and threads, then when and how often would people like to have chat scenes scheduled? My Thursdays are booked, and the third Saturday of every month is when I go to the nearest SPI LARP to me. As I'm in the Midwest, USA, so I'm in Central Standard Time (on Daytime Savings, because we're bad at practical change); that translates to -6 GMT. I have an infant, so my general schedule is 8-ish to 10-ish most days (so, 3 AM to 5 PM Zulu). I'm fine with running a once-a-month chat session up to a weekly chat session. The chat program here on RPGPost is great; we can have a dedicated room and there is the option for private PMs, and an in-chat script for die rolling. I know there are more sophisticated/complicated chat options out there and I'd be willing to entertain using them if people have a good suggestion or I find one that seems exceptionally well suited to our use, but the chat here will work just fine as well. Let me know what you guys think. I hope we can hash this out within the first week of the month and get going with whatever the new set-up will be quick enough not to lose a month of gameplay.  :)

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I've taken a couple of days to consider the question, because I didn't have a real answer. I still don't, but think that leaving the thread unanswered is probably worse than not having a real answer.

 

I've played forum-based or email-based games before. One of the things that is beneficial is establishing how often players are expected to post and actively moving things along. Daily, three times a week, or even just once a week presents a clear schedule for minimum commitment. Players are expected to meet that threshold if they want their characters to be included in plot development.

 

Most small games are at least somewhat party/coterie-based or have some strong external pressure that drives PCs to work together. Right now we don't have such pressure and not all characters have any clue of who the other characters are. There aren't strong collaboration incentives and there isn't a strong sense of having things to play off of in regards to each other.

 

I picked an outsider and somewhat antagonistic character to play. I can try stepping up that antagonism if it would help people have something to react to and band together a bit, even if it means my character's destruction. This is an offer.

 

We could give some either focused chat-based or supporting use of chat-based efforts a try. I fear it would leave out those who can't attend though, which is one of the big strengths of a forum-based game. There aren't that many of us playing at present, which might make it viable, but might also hinder long-term growth. I'll try it, but I'm not sold on it being the solution.

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Yeah, I keep going back and forth on the chat (limited availability) and pure forum playing. I think the primary issue here is that I cannot post consistantly several times a day or even guarantee that I will post each day. I don't have the time and with my health issues, I'm not willing to accept the stress of trying. In this first thread I also wanted to have at least most of the players post before posting for NPCs again. Otherwise it becomes a game of mostly the ST playing with herself and while that's giggle-inducing, it's not actually all that fun for roleplaying.

 

I'm really not sure what to do. We have an exceedling small group already and I don't want to exclude anyone because of scheduling, but pure forum play doesn't seem like it's going to be able to keep pace with a LARP that runs in face-to-face realtime. I also don't know that myself posting more often is actually going to get most of the players to post more often. This thread has been somewhat dissapointing as it's been up for four days now just asking people to check in and give an opinion and I've only had two players respond. If it takes a week or more for all of the (rather few) players to respond once to anything, IC or OOCly, then this just isn't going to work. 

 

I'm open to suggestions and if anyone else is willing to run and do daily or more updates, please let me know. 

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Sorry, I've been furiously refreshing the other threads, didn't see this one until today. I think that's just learning curve for me though - now I get there's a new thread per month I'd be okay with it.

 

I'm probably not going to be able to do much live response. I'm in Australia, I've got kids, and while I am on the computer most of the day it is difficult to get a solid block of dependable time. If it is IRC chat I might be able to do something occasional.

 

Wordsmith pretty much covered everything, but here's my 5c. I'm in a bunch of other PbPs - albeit pathfinder ones over at Paizo - so am going to pretend I've got some experience.

 

To be honest, I wasn't sure how a LARP like game was going to transfer over to PbP. I thought everyone else had more experience so I just figured I'd shrug and see what happened.

 

Seems like we've got a group of approximately tabletop size. Even if we were actually meeting up and doing this live I would question how well the game could work in solid PvP (character's primarily interacting only with each other). Additionally, I think Blood & Smoke has a lot of good things when PCs work together, not so many when they're antagonistic.

 

A Strix chronicle where one or more (or possibly less) of us is possessed at any time, and we're hunting down Strix with the court as backdrop could work. I'd suggest I'm unlikely to post more than 1/day. I see there'd be a lot of relatively mechanical scenes then, and those tend to be pretty easy to do.

 

Another possibility is to set up multiple scenes at once. There is the problem of what to do if Hendrick dies in scene 1 while still being part of scene 2, but if everyone is prepared to be mature usually that sort of thing works out. Does help if people try to avoid poking the bear of causality.

 

Other than that, I understand if you decide that this needs to go live. It does mean I'll have to bow out - which is a pity as I really liked the way this game was going.

 

Tim Smith

Au2000100323

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I know that something we used to do on RPG-Post sometimes was to get together in chat for a brief time to sort of outline a scene, and then embellish on that outline with forum posts.  It helped pick things up, in part because that outline allowed people to post quicker (since they weren't trying to suddenly adjust for odd turns, could write out a combat scene based on a brief exchange in chat, etc).

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Okay, I've spent the past week trying to come up with a solution for this and the only one that has come to mind requires an ST with more time than I have (which is just being on constantly and updating pretty much whenever possible to keep scenes moving quickly and encourage players to post at least daily or multiple times a day).

 

The chat for outlining scenes is a good idea, but runs into the same scheduling conflicts as using chat for the scenes does. 

 

A partial solution that is still rumbling around in my head is to do a redesign to a more table-top style game. Tim's points are very good ones and I'd mostly ask the players to add some hooks and PC-to-PC connections, and give me probably another week (this whole parenting/author/editor stuff, it takes all the times.....all of them) to adjust the plots for coterie-style play, then start up again. 

 

Otherwise I think I would need to ask if someone with a more open schedule would be willing to step up and run the venue. 

 

So, thoughts?

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That sounds like an idea: adjusting it more to a joined coterie. I should add that the safari fic didn't really seem to be a high activity, things do to, options available deal. More like an introductory thing.

 

On the other hand, maybe I can take over the venue. No one is submitting for Hunter after all...

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Gabe, if you'd be up to running, I'd certainly make a PC and play. I'd probably even remake Puck, as I rather miss his more sinister original incarnation.  :firedevil:

 

As for the opening thread, yeah, it was a scene set to give people a chance to intro the PCs and get to know each other, but one more suited to TT or LARP than PbP, apparently.  :sleep: Well, actually probably just better suited to larger number of PCs. When I think Vampire, I'm not at all used to a game with less than a dozen characters at minimum, and usually more like 20 to 30. 

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Crazy thought, but:  why don't the two of you co-VST it?  I'm seeing co-STing crop up a fair bit in another club, and it does seem to help with the fact that we've all real lives with real time demands, and it also allows for a nice mixture of creative ideas from the ST team.

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A partial solution that is still rumbling around in my head is to do a redesign to a more table-top style game. Tim's points are very good ones and I'd mostly ask the players to add some hooks and PC-to-PC connections, and give me probably another week (this whole parenting/author/editor stuff, it takes all the times.....all of them) to adjust the plots for coterie-style play, then start up again. 

 

Damnit! Retyping my post after I lost it. Now much briefer.

 

So - if we do go more table-top style, I've got some ideas.

 

If one of us gets an investigative (Sherriff, Scourge, Secret Strix-hunter) position, they could drag the others in.

Hendrick is new, but I thought the Farm would often contribute low level muscle to groups, and he could be just another Farm boy. He does have a link with Jeacques, and I think most of us do.

 

In this case we could do a thread for Court (where there is no combat!) each month, and another thread for the next month's investigation. This takes advantage of the PbP ability to have two scenes at once. Potentially individual investigation or court scenes could spill over to chat - I've a feeling that organising a subgroup will be much easier than organising everyone.

 

Potentially one GM could run court, the other could run investigations. That way both would get to play and run without much worry about overlap. 

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Sorry I went AWOL, guys. Stomach bug has been kicking the ass of pretty much everyone at my house, including the baby. So...many....poopy...diapers.  :boohoo: Anyhoo, Gabe, are you still up for taking this over? Or Co-STing somehow?

 

Also, anyone going to be at GenCon this August? My husband's family goes every year and we get to tag along as VIG guests (which is super awesome for the VIG room and free sodas!). I'd love to meet up with anyone going!

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Anyhoo, Gabe, are you still up for taking this over? Or Co-STing somehow?

 

Yes, extra yes for the second. :)

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Okay, so Gabe and I are going to Co-ST the venue. He's going to handle the more "action-y" threads for the game and I'll do a social thread for each month (your local monthly Elysium, effectively). Since we're through most of July anyways, I say we call this month a wash and start fresh with August. I'll probably get the Elysium thread started early since I'll be at GenCon at the start of August. 

 

Also, I'll post a wrap-up to the first thread. Sorry for leaving that hanging, guys! It may be a few days, I'm still trying to kick the stomach bug, as is the baby.

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i have your stomach bug now mala :(

 

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Sorry to hear you've been sick @Malachite. Sick children = worse than being sick yourself :(

I'm really glad to see this though. I logged in today with the expectation the sudden quiet meant the game had died. Very excited to see how wrong I was!

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Apologies for my own absence of late; life did some unexpected plot complications.

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Okay, at this point I'm going to have to bow out of STing Vampire. Between baby, work, and just life, I simply don't have the time. Gabe, if you would be up to running the venue, please do so. My apologies, everyone, I've just been smacked with entirely too much to do this year. I've already stopped all other online PbPing I've been doing, and I'm still just too pressed for time and energy. Hopefully I can come back at a later date, but I have no idea when that might be right now. 

Again, my apologies.

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Understand Malachite.

I've been there and it is amazing how much time a baby takes.

Best wishes.

Gabe - are you going to be able to take over?

If it means the difference, run by live chat and I'll drop out. I'm a bit worried we're dead in the water :(

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