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Tips for running QuestWorlds as a Play-by-Post Game


Stan Shinn

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I'm mulling over running a QuestWorlds Play-by-Post game (set in the Star Trek: The Original Series universe) run on a forum.

Given the asynchronous nature of forum-based play-by-post games, what is the best way to handle contests? Have the GM set the stage for a scene with the various goals and prizes, and rolls to set the target numbers for resistance, and then let the players react and roll? Or maybe have it be more fluid where players present their goals and go ahead and roll, and then the GM reacts and alerts them to the resistance after the fact? Or maybe something else?

Aside from basic contests, what sort of extended contest would or wouldn't be advisable in a play-by-post context?

Any tips are appreciated ūüôā

 

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From what I have seen of @jajagappa's play by forum HeroQuest games, keeping the number of rolls low allows for storytelling the rolls, while using cooperative narration in the build-up.

As per the rules, the player(s) state their goal, then roll for it, with the narrator using a roll for the opposition. In play by post, that roll can be called from an engine, or the narrator can do the rolls with actual dice, or drawing numbered cards like the Glorantarot deck as randomizer and additional inspiration. The narrator offers the outcome of the opposed roll, giving the rolling player the chance to offer how a marginal defeat may be turned into a costly victory, or otherwise reveling in the narrative potential of the defeat.

Other than simple contests, I think that group extended contests work reasonably well.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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7 hours ago, Stan Shinn said:

Given the asynchronous nature of forum-based play-by-post games, what is the best way to handle contests? Have the GM set the stage for a scene with the various goals and prizes, and rolls to set the target numbers for resistance, and then let the players react and roll? Or maybe have it be more fluid where players present their goals and go ahead and roll, and then the GM reacts and alerts them to the resistance after the fact? Or maybe something else?

I've been running PbP for HQG/QW for 8+ years, and I definitely use a more fluid style.  The system lends itself to narration, particularly in a PbP game.  While I may describe a scene, I leave it to the players to determine what they are trying to do, and determine what abilities they are using and roll against.  Sometimes in the narration I might indicate that something looks to be difficult, but I almost always set the difficulty based on my interpretation of what they are doing (and often even knowing what they've rolled).  

Feel free to read through some of my game over on RPGGeek for examples.  

Orlmarth Campaign pt 4

Orlmarth Campaign pt 5

Orlmarth Campaign pt 6

23 hours ago, Stan Shinn said:

Aside from basic contests, what sort of extended contest would or wouldn't be advisable in a play-by-post context?

Most of the time, actions come from Simple Contests.

I occasionally use Group Simple Contests in situations such as climbing a tough mountain, or everyone trying to sneak past the guards to a place.  

I use Extended Contests at most at two particular points of a narrative arc:  the center of the rising action, and the climactic finale.  These are dramatic events that I want the players to remember, and where it is often critical to apply Hero Points to get a bump to achieve a victory.  These don't necessarily have to be combat, but it is an event which all the characters are participating in (to some capacity).

What I will note is that in a PbP setting, Extended Contests can take a while in real-world time, so you do want to keep the narrative dramatic enough to keep everyone's attention.

 

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