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44

When I've played (or joined in others playing) these quiet characters, the best way to run them is have an almost noir style internal monologue. "I looked at the wall, and frowned. I wasn't certain, but there might be something behind it. Best not to mention it though, I'd look like a chump if I was wrong." is much more interesting than. "..." ...


31

These are not players in your group. They are casual inconveniences that are making you regularly not play. They're not even apologetic inconveniences – they don't have even the consideration to answer your messages, let alone the consideration to show up so the group can play. Kick them from the group. You are dedicated to this game, as evidenced by ...


22

There are several things you can do. Most of them are not too great for your game, but unfortunately, people who don't help the group succeed are often more detrimental than I think they realize. Aim for a cooperative solution The first thing I'd do is send them a message explaining why their absence is a problem. If they're new, explain that an RPG ...


21

Use out-of-character discussion to let the other players know you're engaged and not bored. This is more important in online gaming because you don't have any body language, eye contact, or other social cues to work with. In particular, tell them that you're playing a loner. Engage with the group in-character privately, when NPCs aren't around. Keep your ...


20

This always seems to be the answer, but... Talk to the player first. I'm assuming you have some means of contacting your players outside your normal game time, if only to set up game or let each other know of cancellations or emergencies. Send your player a message, something along the lines of "Hey, I've noticed that you seem dissatisfied at game lately. ...


19

Use Google Wave Rizzoma. Embrace multi-threaded actions. Assume competence on the players' parts. Avoid boring combats wherever possible. Have the players give commands as a group instead of individuals. Have a timeout on actions of whatever the group decides with assumed actions being whatever's "reasonable" for that time in question, absent instructions. ...


18

In a tabletop RPG, you really are the only one who can save the town. In a tabletop RPG, that dragon isn't being killed every ten minutes by different heroes. In a tabletop RPG, you're not limited to a choice of six bland faces and ten idiotic hairstyles. In a tabletop RPG, female characters can wear armor that covers their midriff. In a tabletop RPG, ...


17

More social interaction. Good excuse to get together with friends. Tabletop RPGs are generally more "open-ended" than MMOs; meaning there's more freedom of action for your character, and you're (hopefully) not stuck fighting the very same encounters over and over again. More reliance on your own imagination, which leads to a more satisfying gaming ...


17

You have two basic choices for how to have your players roll their dice: Ask them to make their rolls in secret, and trust the results they tell you. Ask them to roll their dice in the open, so that there's no question they're telling the truth. If you take the first option you must trust your players and accept what they tell you! You need to be able ...


14

Oddysey. I've run several successful PBPs and several unsuccessful ones. (It's been a very long time since I did PBEM.) These are based on my own experiences only. My advice may be incoherent as I'm going off the cuff and have taken a lot of allergy meds today. I usually set up a phpBB-based forum solely for use with the PBP, rather than using an area ...


14

I run (and play in) games like this based on play by e-mail, and log the results in a wiki. The largest concern is your rules- not your game rules, but the meta-rules to govern player interaction. There are several games that I have run and played in hosted on my wiki. Most of them have game logs so you can see examples of play. Also, my general rules, ...


13

This shouldn't be too hard to cobble together. Here's an attempt: You as the GM privately make the die choice for all of your NPCs. Do not reveal the outcomes. Each player then privately messages you their choice. I'd recommend numbering your combat rounds and having that be part of the message for clarity. Everyone's now made their choices without being ...


11

Flexibility: On the table top, the game is entirely in your head. There are no graphics to look at or fixed conditions imposed by the limitations of the software. The adventure is wide open to morph into anything you want it to be. Creativity: Same arguments as above. Not having a pre-rendered graphic to look at demands (and produces) far more creativity ...


11

admin side The singlemost important rule of any forum is consistent moderation. Don't let someone get away with behavior X because they're your buddy. It's also useful to identify the status of copyright on the board: do you as board owner assert text contributed is: copyright the poster copyright the board (which may not be legal in some places) all ...


11

Roll20 is another online tabletop - recently out of kickstarter - that operates with Google+ Hangouts. It's got good card support, including recently added hands and more features. The changelog has more details, including: Better support for multiple decks. Switched from the "drag upward" draw motion to just "click" to draw. You can now deal ...


11

These players have repeatedly missed your scheduled games (I assume you have a regular meet time and/or you set the game's schedule on the Campaign Info page). They do not respond to your attempts at communication. They've already quit your game in every sense except hitting the Leave Campaign button. Give them the boot, and find a replacement. Just this ...


10

One thing that's really helpful for asynchronous online gaming is a system that allows players to (tentatively) take ownership of the entire world, not just their own character. If there's going to be a lag between player post and GM response, a system with a focus on collaborative storytelling that allows the player to write a paragraph detailing an entire ...


9

It sounds like Obsidian Portal might suit your needs. If you take a look at the features list on the signup page: Free to use GM can have secret pages The wiki can be public or private No mention of page or user limits Site hosted by Obsidian Portal and is out-of-the-box Maps and images can be uploaded Special map-handling tools included NPC and PC ...


9

The Tabletop Forge hangout app includes what they call a "table" - this is something you can roll random results from. It includes a default table that doesn't replace items rolled called Card_Deck-Default, which contains a standard 52-card poker deck plus 2 jokers. You can draw publicly from this deck with /table Card_Deck-Default, and draw without ...


9

There's two ways to make the loner character work in an rpg. First, descriptively. Constantly narrate HOW you do things, the gestures, the attitude that comes across in your actions, along with the internal monologue. (Brian Ballsun-Stanton's answer is very good about this). Second, have small conversations instead of big ones Get aside with another PC ...


8

The only one I'm aware of is Goldleaf Games' Code of Unaris.


8

Rob, I was trying to stay clear of this question, but many of the major advantages have not been mentioned. Some of these have been touched on in broad strokes, but deserve more attention. I will mention a few that have been mentioned for the sake of completeness. 1) Actual Roleplaying Potential. The term roleplay existed before it was coopted by the ...


8

You mentioned this at the end of the session. If they were honest they'd not have fudged in the first place, so the problem is now that either they'll ignore that, or if they are clever, just get more subtle and fudge unimportant rolls down so that the important rolls can be pushed up without suspicion. Suspecting your players can poison a game. You've said ...


7

In a computer-driven game you have choices: you can select from the options stated in the programming. In a tabletop game your choices are not limited to a given list. You can do anything you imagine.


7

Code of Unaris was specifically designed to be played in chat across the internet. The rules even incorporate the ability of one player to "hack" the GM's typed messages by replacing single words under certain conditions. I don't think it's easy to get anymore, but you might find it around.


7

An IRC server would be the easiest answer. Pick a server, create a room, and have everyone connect to it with their character name as their /nick. All you need to do is denote some form of "This is how to talk OOC" (such as simply putting 'OOC' before each line), and you're good to go. You can even look into dice-rolling bots and/or a server which already ...


7

Using Roll20 Fog of War: I found this aspect of Roll20 is nice if you have the time to set it up correctly, but I didn't find it added a lot of value for my players. I've taken the approach of drawing my map out as we go, without using Fog of War. That way I only have to add the details that are necessary as we go, rather than drawing out every detail and ...


6

I ran a PBeM game for several years, and have done a number of successful and "failed" with others. I've only done free-form this way, though. (I call it "Collaborative Fiction" when talking to non-nerds.) One of the keys to keep things going is to be continually recruiting. New blood keeps things alive. For a free-form PBeM, I'd suggest at least 6 players ...


6

4e works quite well over Google Wave. The RPG-Bones applet has a very acceptable interface for a battlemap. Trust your players. Don't worry about cheating. Just agree on what level of die roll honesty the group wants at the start of the game. My preference is: "You may always choose to fail any roll" but some groups may choose to play "just call them as ...


6

Since this question was originally asked, more options that might give a better solution have become available. Specifically, the Roll20 online virtual tabletop. With Roll20 you can invite people by email address and they can play as their character while in-game. Some tools make it much easier even for new users, including irc style chat, voice chat and ...



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