OngoingWorlds blog

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


What do you call an *Action Post*?

As I’m building my new website “Ongoing Worlds” I started to ask myself a question which I don’t know the answer. I’ll have to explain first the functionality I’m building into the website and then you’ll see why the question is important and and how it relates to PbEM/PBP games.

Members of a game will be able to post. This is easy, it’s just a normal web form where you can write your post and send it. GM’s of the game can obviously post too, but I wanted to make sure that the GM’s post is more clear and has more authority behind it. I’ve built in a checkbox that means this post is important to the story, and everyone has to take notice of it and their characters react to whatever plot has just been unveiled.

In my PbEM game we’ve always had one person at a time running a current story. This is usually a GM, or sometimes a member who we trust and has had a great idea for a story. The story is pushed forward by a post we call the *Action post*. The asterisks around the phrase is tradition all comes from a Star Trek game that I used to play. I thought it was an established standard, but it occurred to me that it might not be, and I wanted to check what other people use instead.

What an *Action post* is for
The purpose of an *Action post* is for when a current story is becoming stale, or the characters are wandering about aimlessly without any purpose or direction. If the GM posts an *Action Post* where something major happens, all characters have to respond to it. So in the example of my scifi game, something important will happen that puts the spaceship in jeopardy, and the Captain orders everyone to do something about it.

So is it customary to call it an Action post? If not, what other term do you use?

Returning to the relevance on the OngoingWorlds website that I’m creating, a GM posts a story post as normal, and there’s a little checkbox that they could tick. I want to say “Check this box if this is an *Action post*”, but will everyone understand this?

My other option if this is not good enough is to allow GM’s of a game to change the wording of this option, so that they can insert any terminology that they use. Would this even be necessary?

Please let me know your thoughts!