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Author Topic: Running a D&D game in the forum?  (Read 801 times)

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Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Running a D&D game in the forum?
« on: December 11, 2011, 02:54:43 PM »
Okay, I'm a fair shake at DMing 3.5 games. However, I have only ever done so in real life where my friends are across the table so that things run a lot faster. I'm basically looking for tips, suggestions, tricks, cheats, sagacious words of wise wisdom, etc. on how I could would run a game say here on E.

Thanks.

Offline Raveled

Re: Running a D&D game in the forum?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2011, 04:17:21 PM »
I don't know much about running Play by Post games here on E, but I can share my experiances running them online in general, if you'd like.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: Running a D&D game in the forum?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2011, 09:41:11 AM »
I don't know much about running Play by Post games here on E, but I can share my experiances running them online in general, if you'd like.
Go ahead.

Offline Raveled

Re: Running a D&D game in the forum?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2011, 11:53:23 AM »
Well first, it's slow. Really darn slow. If you have a standard party of four-to-six players and several NPCs run by a single GM, it can take a week to get through a single round of combat. Similarly, advancement is very slow; for a D&D-style game it's not unusual to gain a level or two for every real-world year spent playing. If you can figure out any way to speed things up (like rolling Attack and Damage at the same time) do it.

On that note, make sure you have a good system for handling dice rolls. I don't know if the site has their own dice roller, but I've come to trust Invisible Castle. They allow for multiple rolls, notes, they even save rolls so you can go back and check details if necessary.

Those are the big two I can think of. There's lot of little tricks for different systems, but hopefully that'll give you some stuff to chew over.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Running a D&D game in the forum?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2011, 12:12:58 PM »
There is a dicebot here on site.  It does log rolls, and you can even set it up so that the dice rolls get sent to a specific person by putting that person's user ID number into the appropriate box.  A quick way to find out your user ID number is to hover over the 'My Roleplay Preferences' link under your avatar.  You'll see that the URL ends in u=#####.  The number after the = is your user ID number.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: Running a D&D game in the forum?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2011, 03:25:15 PM »
A single round of combat!? Years!?

Oh well. It was worth a shot.

Offline Raveled

Re: Running a D&D game in the forum?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2011, 03:27:41 PM »
Well it all comes down to the players. There's no reason you can't go through an entire combat in a day, but it takes dedicated players and frequent posters. Similarly, how fast the players advance is in large part down to YOU, the GM. Give them a few thousand bonus XP for every battle and they'll be rocketing up the level chart. I'm just giving you my experiences with it.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: Running a D&D game in the forum?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2011, 03:40:39 PM »
I guess I'll probably still try it, but I don't have unlimited time to spend either.

Offline Black Howling

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Re: Running a D&D game in the forum?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2011, 06:34:47 PM »
Having ran a few games on E before my time to GM dropped, I have some good experience with it. Things can roll out pretty much how you want them to. No matter what game play will be slower then table top, but this leads to added detail you might not otherwise have. As in anything forum based the reliability of players and GM greatly effects all factors. Aside from this, there are plenty of tips and tricks to making things roll out smoother. I'll list some that I use, and some that I didn't like but plenty of other GMs have lubriciously effective results with.

Pace well. Make sure players post at-least once a day if at all possible. You might want to skip their turns or npc them in battle if they slow things too much there. Roll everyone's initiative before the battles start so there isn't any fuss with it. You just tell them the order in the initial scene. Otherwise you can omit initiative entirely, simply roll for the enemies and for the players and the party that had the highest roll goes first in the order of who posts the fastest. I didn't like that approach myself, but many swear by it.

Attacks of oppurtunity should probably be handled by the gm for ease of use, over-viewing it and simply having the player play it out on their next turn. This is of course saying the player doesn't know he's provoking one, and already posting it. Let the players feel free to roll checks in their posts without running them by you first. Just make sure you check their rolls, and if it requires a different skill just review their sheet and post it in. I'd recommend either E's dicebot, great since the rolls are logged, or Invisible castle. The latter is much more user friendly, but harder to verify if the players just rolled till they got what they wanted to see.

Another point to keep in mind is having a good Sheet generator. I'd recommend mythweavers for 3.5, though plothooks is pretty decent too. You should throw out lots of story XP, ad hoc experience can be a big aid here. Accomplishments earn however much XP they impressed you with, and good roleplaying nets a lot too. Likewise, you can just have them raise a sudden level whenever you think they should. I prefer the former, but many here use the latter to great results.

Last but not least, you should get a Map generator. I use AutoRealm myself, but there are a few easier to use ones out there. At first the maps may not seem necessary, but you can notice that confusion easily runs abound when people can't see what square they are in, and how many leads to their ally or enemy. In short, grid style combat is easier to manage with an actual grid.

If anything else comes to mind I'll be sure to add it. Till then, good luck with the game.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: Running a D&D game in the forum?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2011, 06:34:10 AM »
Very good advice, Black Howling. I tend to be freer with experience than I ever am loot anyway. Thank you.

I do have one bit of worry. When it comes to displaying battlefield movement. Am I stuck having to re-upload an image for every shift of the player and monsters?

Offline Black Howling

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Re: Running a D&D game in the forum?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2011, 12:08:53 PM »
Very good advice, Black Howling. I tend to be freer with experience than I ever am loot anyway. Thank you.

I do have one bit of worry. When it comes to displaying battlefield movement. Am I stuck having to re-upload an image for every shift of the player and monsters?
I pretty much did. It's not as pain staking as it seems at first. A good map program keeps where you were previously at, so it's just a quick change there, save jpeg and upload then IMG it to the forum post. Of course you have to deal with your image hosting site, but still not so bad. At-least after you get use to it. >_>

Then again, I had fun playing around with the map. So yeah.