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Kage2020
24-12-2005, 04:59
Just wondering if anyone here had any experience running PbIM (Play-by-Instant-Messenger) RPGs and, if so, how you found they operated? How did it compare to, say, PbEM and PbF (and, of course, the obligatory comparison to f2f)?

If you are experienced, do you have any advice on the subject? It's just that as a part of the Anargo Sector Project (http://wiki.anargo-sector.net/) I'm considering running a focussed PbIM campaign so as to speed up the resolution of scenarios...

Kage

Kage2020
28-12-2005, 19:01
Hmmn... no-one seems to know much about this style of gaming, then?

Kage

Goblinardo
29-12-2005, 01:02
I wouldn't know about running a campaign with actual IM software (Messenger & Co.) but I've been in one using OpenRPG, a free Python-based RPG chat client, with dice rollers, maps & stuff.

Compared to F2F, it lacks a bit of speed and visual cues (facial language, etc.), and the feeling of "being around with friends"; however, it is easier to control information, i.e. "who knows what", due to private messaging and other direct GM-player channels. In my campaign, we used Ventrilo (a voicechat client) and microphones to speed up the game. It was helpful, but sometimes laggy.

Because of its real-time nature, it's more like the real thing than PbF or PbEM, but it misses the detailed wording that comes with those two. In other words, expect a bit of AOL-talk in your game.

The greatest problem with PbIM is its dependance on trustworthy players: too many skipped sessions will send the campaign to the Wastes. It's absolutely necessary to set comfortable times for everyone involved, and if needed kick players that only play a couple of games and then leave without a reason.

Hope it helped.

Kage2020
29-12-2005, 16:25
That is indeed helpful, Goblinardo, and what I was after. PbF and PbEM just doesn't have the speed of resolution that would enable it to be an interesting addendum to off-forum wargame advancement of the Anargo Sector Project (http://wiki.anargo-sector.net/). Since personally speaking f2f gaming is not possible or, rather, I'm not willing to go through it in a new country with people that I don't know, PbIM is the next obvious step to filling the gap.

Who knows, though? If ASP-orientated RPG becomes successful, I might make little journeys around the State (or wider) in mini and transitory ASP 'groups'... ;)


I wouldn't know about running a campaign with actual IM software (Messenger & Co.) but I've been in one using OpenRPG, a free Python-based RPG chat client, with dice rollers, maps & stuff.
Well, free software is always good. How did you find that working for you, Goblinardo? Was it easy enough to use? Also, is it IE-specific? I ask only because I use Firefox... ;)


Compared to F2F, it lacks a bit of speed and visual cues (facial language, etc.), and the feeling of "being around with friends"; however, it is easier to control information, i.e. "who knows what", due to private messaging and other direct GM-player channels.
Well, since it is a reaction to the lack of f2f, I don't think that is going to be a problem.


In my campaign, we used Ventrilo (a voicechat client) and microphones to speed up the game. It was helpful, but sometimes laggy.
Hmmn, I think that would definitely be an issue since I only have a 28kb connection in rural Virginia. :mad:


Because of its real-time nature, it's more like the real thing than PbF or PbEM, but it misses the detailed wording that comes with those two. In other words, expect a bit of AOL-talk in your game.
AOL talk? Are you talking about the use of 'text speak'? If so, that is one of the things that I would oust players. I cannot abide it, I'm afraid.

Definitely, though, with regards to the quality of the posting. I am expecting it but feel that the increase in place of scenario resolution will more than make up for it. Again, I want it to be part of the narrative story of the ASP.


The greatest problem with PbIM is its dependance on trustworthy players: too many skipped sessions will send the campaign to the Wastes.
Indeed, although that remains a problem in all forms of online gaming. Scheduling is, however, of paramount importance.

Anyway, thanks for that Goblinardo!

Kage

Goblinardo
29-12-2005, 17:08
Well, free software is always good. How did you find that working for you, Goblinardo? Was it easy enough to use? Also, is it IE-specific? I ask only because I use Firefox... ;)

OpenRPG is quite easy to use, and it's browser-independant, actually. You do have to have installed Python, but you can get all necessary components at:
http://www.openrpg.com/



AOL talk? Are you talking about the use of 'text speak'? If so, that is one of the things that I would oust players. I cannot abide it, I'm afraid.


As annoying as it can be, it certainly speeds up the game at times, specially with messages not related to the game (as in "brb" for "(I'll) Be Right Back"). I'm not saying that you should take stuff like "OMG I r teh l33t Inqiustr0rz n u r teh heresay suxx0rz" in your game, though: feel free to use the Frying Ban-Pan of Doom on those players. ;)



Anyway, thanks for that Goblinardo!
Kage


No problem.

Kage2020
29-12-2005, 18:11
OpenRPG is quite easy to use, and it's browser-independant, actually. You do have to have installed Python...
Thanks for the URL, although I had already Googled it. I only had time for a quick glance at the FAQ and didn't see whether it was browser dependent. So, thanks for clarifying that.


As annoying as it can be, it certainly speeds up the game at times, specially with messages not related to the game (as in "brb" for "(I'll) Be Right Back").
Certain limited conventions on the 'Net would be something that I find reasonable (OOC, IIRC, BRB, etc.), but abbreviations (not even 'l33t' speak) would not be accepted. It's one of those preference things: I take the time to practise my typing so that I can write with reasonable fluency, so I expect it from my players.

How did you find the flow of the game? For example, you mentioned dice rollers, but were combats played out using the relevant game mechanics? I have a tendency of using a fairly complex system (GURPS) but use the semi-qualitative approach in the diceless version of FUDGE to simplify game play where necessary...

Kage

Goblinardo
29-12-2005, 19:19
How did you find the flow of the game? For example, you mentioned dice rollers, but were combats played out using the relevant game mechanics? I have a tendency of using a fairly complex system (GURPS) but use the semi-qualitative approach in the diceless version of FUDGE to simplify game play where necessary...

Kage

We did use the game's combat system, complete with grid maps and "miniatures" (it was, after all, WFRP v2) thanks to OpenRPG's map options. The game didn't suffer slowdowns of any kind at those points, but then again WFRP mechanics are very simple. I'm not familiar with GURPS, but as long as you have a clear understanding of the system and are prepared to deal with certain complicated situations beforehand ("what should players roll if they try to jump over the chasm firing at the mutants below?", for example) then there should be no problems.

You can always go for a diceless game, of course, but the "Roll Dice" buttons are cute and shiny! :D

Kage2020
29-12-2005, 19:29
Well, that's one of the reasons that I tend to utilise a semi-quantitative overlay. I only utilise dice when I have no narrative weight attached to a given situation.

Fair enough, though.

Kage