Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The beginnings of a play-by-post RPG

For those of you who are wondering "What in heck is play-by-post?", it is simply a roleplay game done on the internet, usually on a webforum or blog, and with a deeper emphasis on narrative as opposed to simply rolling dice and smashing things up. What makes me so excited about the forthcoming PbP RPG this blog will be tracking is that it is to be an Original Edition (henceforth to be known as Oe or old-school) styled fantasy heroes-versus-monsters roleplaying game.

"So, why's that so special?", you may ask if you are not yet enlightened and have not yet joined the Oe flock.

Unlike later versions of the game we all know by name, specifically the newest version, Oe gaming emphasizes that the game referee for the most part and the players to a lesser part have more freedom to find out what is and is not possible for the characters to do. A player cannot simply look at his character sheet, calculate the odds on whether or not he can succeed at a particular task or stunt. If you see a wall and want to climb it, you don't roll dice and let Lady LUck decide everything for you. In Oe, you better know at least a little bit about wall climbing. You can throw that d20 all you want, but it won't get your feet off the ground. You're going to have to actually describe how you plan to go about it. This sort of thing makes for excellent face-to-face gaming, but when the players have time to set their thoughts and actions down in words, it can evolve the game into a rather gripping story for others to read as you play.

And before you ask..NO you do not have to be an actual sorcerer to play one old-school style, but if you want my advice, get a copy of Excalibur and watch everything Merlin does. A good game referees will likely look favourably upon a nicely done bit ot theatre on the player's behalf. This sort of mindset can greatly enhance a PbP game for the players as well as anybody else who is reading along.

But I digress (as I often do)

The PbP this blog will be tracking is a Swords & Wizardry module called Tomb of the Iron God. Follow the link in my sidebar to the swords and Wizardry site if you have not already and download the free core rules. The S&W site has several other free downloads too as well as a few "cheaper than food" modules for sale.

The game will actually be running on Reaper Miniatures' webforum. There is an out-of-character topic here, in which the forum members are invited to join the game and, once the game is underway, players and referee handle all out-of-game questions and announcements so that the game topic will be less cluttered and more easily read and enjoyed.

So far, we have four players, one veteran from the Reaper roleplaying forums, and three others who have come over from other old-school RPG forums to join in. I'm excited about the chance to meet new people in and out of game, and to let others have the chance to see what Oe old-school gaming is about.

I'd join in myself, but I've played the module already..BUT I still get to be involved. I'll be providing the visual aides. With a houseful of miniatures, boxloads of HirstArts blocks, and my camera, I'll try my best to provide some good combat maps as the game goes along. this space for more on the PbP as well as the usual musings and randomness.

1 comment:

Chgowiz said...

Thanks for the link. I'm rolling up a character this morning. (Actually, 4 of them, just so I have something for when I die horrible gruesome deaths. :D )