OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers


Snipping in a PBEM game

Often in a PBEM game you’re going to have lots of story threads going off all at the same time. This is okay, soap operas and TV programmes have several stories running alongside each other anyway, and as Humans we’re perfectly capable of remembering what’s happening in each story.


Jack Bauer in 24 - they recap what's happened at the start of the episode

Jack Bauer in 24 - they recap what's happened at the start of the episode


In a TV show, there is normally only two stories, an A-Story and a B-Story. Soaps can have more as the scenes are often shorter. However, in a PBEM game, depending on the amount of players you have, there could be loads of stories all running separately. Often it’s really easy to loose track of what’s happened in a story, so it’s really handy to have a short summary at the start of the post, just like in the TV series 24 when they spend the first 5 minutes showing what’s happened so far.

So in a PBEM game you use what is called a <snip>. This allows you to insert the last few lines or paragraph from your previous post. If you left your last post on a cliffhanger then this is especially handy, or other players might have to go and find your older post to see what the hell is going on.
The idea is that you put the word <snip> before the paragraph, and <end snip> underneath.

Jack chased the terrorist down into a dark alley. As the rain beat down on Jack’s face, he stopped and saw the terrorist pull the sheet off a device. It was a nuclear bomb.

Different formats of <snip>’s
All of the PBEM games I’ve been in have used the format <snip>, but that isn’t the only way you can do it. I’ve seen others use ::Snip:: and others surrounded by hyphens like this:
Either way is absolutely fine, as long as your game sticks to a defined convention.

What’s the most used form of <snip>?
I want to know what you use in your PBEM game, to see which is the most common way of snipping a post. If you use anything different to what I’ve mentioned here please write it in the comments below.