I wanted to do an article explaining the basic terminology used in a PBEM/PBP game, as it might not always be clear. This article starts right from the basics with the word:
A post is an item of the story that a member submits. A post will continue the story that has been told so far, usually from the point of view of the character of the member who has written the post.
The post is usually written from a 3rd person perspective, and usually tells a sequence of events that directly relate to a member’s character, but the same events will also happen to any other characters who are with the character. It’s possible to have separate story threads in a PBEM/PBP game when the characters are split up, so different things might happen to different characters.
Length of a post
The post can be any length, something which is usually specified by the group. The average length of a post is about one or two pages, so that the reader doesn’t have to scroll too much through it. If the PBEM/PBP game is played via a forum, it might be okay for a forum to be just a couple of lines of dialogue, with little or no descriptive text. This would make this type of PBP game a lot like a chat-based roleplaying game.
Other types of posts include:
*Action* posts: usually written by the GM or the person running this story. An *Action* post will set into action a series of events which will affect all characters in the game. It is usually a way of introducing or pushing along a story to move it quickly to a part which is most interesting for the members.
Back-posts: A normal story post, but this is set in the past. A back-post will usually occur if a member or GM has pushed the storyline of the game forwards, but the individual member still had something they wanted to write in that time period – but missed their chance. If a post is labelled as a “back-post” then it’s clear that it’s set in a period of time before the most recent post.
Joint-posts (or JP): This is a post which has been worked on by more than one person, so it is labelled like this so that both members get equal credit.