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Archive for the ‘Play-by-post discussion’ Category

It’s been a long road, gettin’ from there to here…

January 17, 2013 1 comment

This article is written by David Whale from Starbase 118. David also blogs at whalewriter.com.

Plotting the course. The importance of character arcs

Yeah, I did it. I invoked the much-maligned theme song from Star Trek: Enterprise.

Hopefully you’re still reading, because I used that line for a reason and that reason was not just to annoy you or to get that song running through your head. Which I expect it is. My real reason for using that line is that I would like to have a chat with you about character arcs and how important they are in story-based role-playing.

Some of you may have heard me discuss character development on the UFOP Starbase 118 podcast in November, so you’ll already be familiar with a few of the points I’m going to make here. Read more…

Mary Sue or not Mary Sue

January 13, 2013 1 comment

Mary sue characters discussing their eyes change colorMary Sue; the name is immortalized in a song and in literature, but they aren’t the same person. So, my friend, you want to write a book, short story, or merely participate in a play by E-mail online roleplaying game and need a character. This article is going to tell you how to avoid a trap even the best authors can fall into called Mary Sue.

It can be seen by some as a wish fulfilment of the author to live vicariously through the character while having no noticeable flaws or having flaws that don’t make sense, either physically or mentally. Read more…

Roleplaying Focus – What would you do?

January 7, 2013 1 comment

Hello there!

Leon Archer

Leon Archer, GM of Spellbound

I hope everyone has had a grand Christmas  Personally have been introduced and discovered the wonders of Sodastreams. Equally, I hope New Year was great – my latest ambition is to move into a new four bedroom house come March, which will be nice and a MASSIVE improvement over where I am now, although the train journey may or may not be a welcome change. Sorry I’ve not been able to post recently, my excuse is that I may of had a digit severed and reattached recently – kinda makes typing a little on the difficult side! I certainly didn’t do what most of the heroes I’ve written about would have done, namely shrug it off and continue on like nothing had happened. No, it was a case of wincing in pain and feeling a bit ill at the sight of my bone. Which brings me to my topic for this time.

What would you do?

This time, I’d like to discuss roleplaying in character.It is an important aspect to roleplaying, be it play-by-post, tabletop, or humble literature. Read more…

OtherSpace – Crowd funding a roleplaying game

January 3, 2013 Leave a comment

In the last article about OtherSpace‘s upcoming story arc, I mentioned that the new story was funded by the members. This goes to funding the website’s hosting costs (not to be underestimated! I bet there’s many GMs out there who selfishly foot the bill of their hobby, whilst users get a free service!), marketing costs, player rewards, artwork. I thought it was pretty unusual for a roleplaying community to ask for money for the volunteers, so I asked OtherSpace’s Wes Platt about it.

This article has moved – you can read it here. 

Life Lessons From the Center Chair

December 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Captain's chair

This article is written by Marissa Jeffrey, an active member of the Starbase 118 Star Trek RPG, where she plays Captain Kalianna Nicholotti, commanding officer of the massive Trojan Class Starbase 118 Operations.

Marissa Jeffrey from Starbase 118

Marissa Jeffrey from Starbase 118

Whether you are a Starfleet Captain like I am, are a leader of a fighter squadron, a GM of a game you created yourself, or a member of a sim, there are life lessons we inherently learn as we play. Much like a time we may barely remember, as children, when our most important lessons were learned through the simple act of play, as adults, we can continue to learn and grow through our roleplaying games. Though our sims are ‘just games’, there are hidden nuggets of wisdom around every corner, and if you’re open enough to catch them, you can often find yourself applying them to the real world in much the same way you do in your game. As for myself, it took three years for me and my character to traverse the path to command in the game I play, but it was only when I looked back from the center chair of my starship, that I realized just all I had learned from the process. Read more…

How Star Army uses custom imagery

December 14, 2012 3 comments

ketsurui_rikouOne of the most important and obvious aspects of a text-based roleplaying game is that it uses text. But we don’t just have to stick to the written form, many roleplaying games use imagery and cool graphics to convey ideas, places, characters and mood. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!

One of the most illustrative roleplaying games I’ve seen is Star Army, which uses brilliant custom artwork. I recently spoke with Wes Davis, creator of Star Army about the amazing artwork they use. Read more…

OtherSpace – Story arcs in a MUSH

December 1, 2012 2 comments

Otherspace

I received an email the other week letting me know that the space-opera MUSH OtherSpace is starting a new story arc, and they’re asking for money contributions to help out with funding their hosting, marketing expenses and production costs. You might have heard of OtherSpace, we hosted an article about them earlier this year interviewing Wes, the creator (you can see it here).

Whilst OtherSpace is a bit different to the types of roleplaying games ran on OngoingWorlds, they’re remarkably close and still have members who contribute to an ongoing story, just like our play-by-post games. I interviewed Wes again, asking some questions about his new story arc called “Broken Web”. Read more…

Your character is a product of their ancestors

November 29, 2012 Leave a comment

I hope you’re enjoying Way Back When Week! If you’ve not heard of it yet, see here.

Your character is a product of their ancestors. It’s a weird way to look at it, but it’s true of us all. The knowledge and experience that our parents have gathered gets passed onto us, including many life valuable life skills, and family values. Often we pick up hobbies and interests from our parents, follow the same sports, watch the same TV programmes, and do similar hobbies. Don’t forget though that your parents probably got a lot of these skills, values and interests from their parents too, and them from their parents and so on. Read more…

Time distortions in roleplaying – Do your story threads match up?

November 23, 2012 2 comments

Distorted clock

One of the most complicated aspects of writing for a roleplay online is one that I’ve actually never heard many people discuss, although every game and group probably has their own interpretation of how it should be handled. What I’m talking about is time.

Time is more or less constant (unless you ask an astrophysicist of course). And often days or weeks can go past between writing your roleplay post, and you often don’t want time to have elapsed since your last post, which means time goes slower in your roleplay. Read more…

Roleplaying Focus – What’s Your Genre?

November 12, 2012 2 comments
Leon Archer

Leon Archer, GM of Spellbound

Hello, and welcome to another Roleplaying Focus.

Today, I’d like to talk about various genres people play in their games, and why they play that particular genre. For this I’m going to need a some of the OngoingWorlds players to join in!

Leon Archer, GM of Spellbound
Spellbound is a high fantasy game involving students at the mage academy of Aetherion.

I’ll shamelessly start with my own game in OngoingWorlds, Spellbound. It’s a game with magic, mages, ethereal creatures. castles, and dragons. I like to split fantasy into two sub-genres into itself, just because fantasy involves such a wide variety of themes. For me, there’s high and low fantasy. High fantasy, such as Spellbound is all about being as far away from the norm as you can. It’s allows players to be completely creative at time, which is why I love it so personally. The tricky part is generally to avoid clichés or becoming so powerful and nothing is ever going to threaten that character. Although, through experience I have certainly have developed ways of doing so, heh heh. For me, I’ve found that because of sheer scope of a high fantasy game, it allows players a much easier time in accessing a roleplay without having to worry so much about the constraints of the world their character is in, or fitting his character perfectly with the lore. It’s a much more flexible genre. Read more…

Introduction to Star Army – a bespoke play-by-post universe

November 3, 2012 Leave a comment

People and armour

Star Army is a play-by-post roleplaying game using a phpbb forum. The game consists of dozens of plots, all taking place in the same shared universe. They have about 80 regular members who write and roleplay for the site, and has been going since 2000.

I spoke recently with Wes Davis, creator and administrator of the game, and he was able to answer a few questions about Star Army.

Tell us about Star Army

Wes DavisRoleplay primarily focuses on military starships and their crews. We’re just coming out of a multi-year metaplot that was war-centric, so we’re starting to shift focus onto independent adventure plots on the dangerous frontiers of the major empires and improving the diversity of plot types and character types.

Star Army is a space opera setting with faster-than-light travel, aliens, space navies, and post-human construct races. Major themes include questions about what makes us human and what is worth fighting for. In Star Army, the galaxy is in the aftermath of an epic series of wars. Read more…

The Age-Old Debate: Quality vs. Quantity

October 12, 2012 6 comments

Rolls Royce vs average cars

So Which Is It?

In all my years of simming I don’t think any single issue has been more divisive in the play by e-mail/post/board worlds than the question of quality vs. quantity.  Unfortunately, since no one conducts scientific studies of online role playing or its participants, we’re forced to rely on basic observation and our own experiences, which can be very deceiving at times.  Nevertheless, I can recall multiple instances when a quality vs. quantity discussion blew up into a full-scale battle, sometimes splitting sims, and even clubs on occasion.  I bet you remember similar episodes too!  So what is it?  Which attribute is more important for the success of a sim?  Is it quality?  Or is it quantity?  Answer that question in your head right now.  Better yet, write it down on a scrap sheet of paper. Read more…

Roleplaying Focus – Avoiding Alienation

October 8, 2012 2 comments

Man sat on a beach

This article has moved. You’ll find it here.

The best sims are original sims – member-created universes in RPing

September 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Submarine

Then the torpedo struck. A massive explosion threw him clear of the ship and over the side, tearing the small warship in two in the process.

The captain came to a minute later. As he floated in the Arabian Sea, he saw a flash in the middle distance. A streak of light climbed out of the ocean and turned north, dropping low and hugging the sea. Another flash followed a minute, doing the same.

At this point, he realised what the streaks were. Cruise missiles.

As two more missiles followed from their underwater launcher, the captain prayed that a Third World War had not just started. Read more…

Impressing the Moderators – Character creation 101

September 14, 2012 Leave a comment

DavidThis article was written by Andy from Blue Dwarf, a roleplaying game I’ve been running for over 11 years. Andy’s been a moderator for many of those years, and knows what to look for in the application of a new character. On OngoingWorlds, creating a character is the 1st part of an application to join a game, so it’s got to get the Moderators attention, and be well written. It’s the only way you can prove your skills as a writer and if it’s not up to the Moderator’s expectations, they might not allow you to join the game.

 

lego men

Stand out from the crowd

As a moderator of a sim on Ongoing Worlds, I tend to see a lot of character submissions. It’s always great to see interest in a sim, for people to have a genuine desire to join the story that you’ve been building for several months or even years, which makes the disappointment of a poor character submission so frustrating. The character that you submit to the moderators is what the first impression they will have of you will be made up of. They don’t know anything about you, other than what you put in the form, so it’s important that you get it right.

Imagine, that you’re applying for that job you really want. Would you send a CV that’s lazy, and unimaginative? Of course not, so why do it here?

The profile that you compile will tell moderators what you’re going to be like as a contributing member of their group. Moderators care about their sims, and are usually protective toward them and will only want to accept members who will create interesting posts, and they’re not going to be convinced of that if you send them a profile that doesn’t even live up to that expectation. Read more…