OngoingWorlds blog

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


What's your RP doing for Christmas?


Christmas tree

I’m writing this on Christmas eve, eagerly awaiting a fantastic Christmas day tomorrow with my family. This month I’ve been wondering if December is a good time for roleplaying, as many people will be travelling to spend time with their parents over the holidays and might not have much time for roleplaying – but at the same time many people will have days off work so might have even more time than usual to spend writing and roleplaying.

I’ve been asking some other roleplayers what December is like in their own games.

Many of our members are students so we don’t see that much activity drop because of school breaks this time of year (both school and college). Although there are slower times right at the holiday, like Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Some people do travel so they drop a line in our ‘Absense & Returns’ section about when they’ll be gone and back.

Rip Guildhall, from Hogwarts Redux

For December, All is Well tends to get busier. This is a combination of us admins having more time as well as the members having more time. I have a strng feeling that this year, things may actually slow down. We’ll see, though. Each year is a little bit different. Past experience, though, is that we’re busier around holiday time.

Scaramouche54, from the All is Well RPG

AtriciaI think it’s pretty much the same around Christmas on my board. Some are students, some are not, some have jobs, some don’t… the activity doesn’t really change I think. I’m sure it will be quiet and slow around the actual Christmas dates and New Years, but besides that, all is normal

Atricea, Children of the Night RPG

dinahsaurMost of the members on my board are busier this time of year too, but we set up an event for those who signed up where their characters get ‘snowed in’ around Christmas Eve with one other character. Randomly selected to encourage playing with people they might otherwise not have and lasting until February. We’ve never done something like this before, so we’ll see how it goes!

Dinahsaur, from A port in the storm RPG

Sometimes it’s just too unpredictable to know who’s going to want to roleplay over Christmas or not. I know my life is impossible to plan around Christmas, with a big family I don’t really know how much free time I’ll get. Because of this, many people I’ve asked weren’t sure if their group was going to be active or not, like Gothy below:

The activity can vary in December, sometimes it can be very active and sometimes a lot more quiet.

Gothy, Aeterna Roma

Because of this irregular activity, many roleplaying communities focus on the social and chat aspect of their groups and spend a lot of time on OOC – possibly just out of courtesy and waiting for all members to return before continuing their stories.

During the Christmas period we usually have an OOC thread to celebrate it because of the differences in religious beliefs of the characters.

Gothy, Aeterna Roma

December also seems a popular time for challenges and competitions. Elena explains what they do in her game Before the Mast.

ElenaWe have competitions and a special board titled “Holiday Cheer”, which comprises:

The competitions are:

  1. Activity contest – who gets 20 posts in 30 days wins a prize.
  2. Recruiting contest – if a new member is recruited personally by word of mouth
  3. Creativity roulette – two people paired randomly for one thread, which requests more creativity in order to make sense and add to the story.

The prizes will be CDs and theme-related books.

Elena, Before the Mast RPG

The end of the year is really busy with our yearly award ceremony, which is a huge undertaking for the administrators of the organization. We also compile our yearly “State of the Federation Address,” do flag promotions (promotions up from Captain), induct new members into the Executive Council, potentially elect a new Captain At Large, and sometimes elect new secretaries on our Executive and Captains Councils. So, there’s enough to do OOC that keeps us busy!

Tristan Wolf, UFOP: Starbase 118

As far as celebrating the holidays on the board, we’re doing a secret santa between emmbers this year, something new we’re trying since we’ve got such a great OOC community and it will help other people reach out and get to know everyone rather than just the few people they RP with. It’s also a fun way to get creative. In general, a fun time. We also close down Hogwarts (since we are a Potter board) and open up all out of school areas for students. This gives them a chance to get out and enjoy the rest of the UK for a few weeks before being back to school. Generally, a character will have a house party of sorts for the rest of the board though that is entirely character planned. Staff have nothing to do with that.

Scaramouche54, from the All is Well RPG

AtriciaI’ve made a Winter Holiday Fun forum for this time on my board… with some IC things that the characters can reply to, but it’s not like an event, so you can reply whenever you feel like it and if you feel like it – and whatever they answer can be used for future plots. I have one called Christmas Confessions, where characters can confess something about the year that’s almost over. They can do it with their actual character account or the character can choose to be anonmyous (which I think is very interesting). It’s meant to be like the other characters can read it. Then I also have a New Years Resolutions thread, also IC, but this one the other characters can’t read. Still, whatever they write, members can use for future plots between characters of course

Atricea, Children of the Night RPG

As for activities, being a Harry Potter site, we are currently running two school-wide RPGs, one is decorating trees in the Entrance Hall and Great Hall. The other is an RPG running ‘outside Hogwarts’ at Diagon Alley, where everyone is invited to touch the portkey and go – its a weekend shopping trip (not played out in real time). We will be running a tree decorating contest, whereas our members download one of four trees and fix them up via Photoshop or Paint, or whatever they choose. Then repost them and we are going to pick some winners by various criteria.

Rip Guildhall, from Hogwarts Redux

So even though many members have fluctuating numbers over the Christmas holidays, many are providing plenty for their communities to do, either in OOC or competitions.

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas to roleplayers and writers everywhere, if you’ve got some interesting Christmas related events in your roleplaying game, let us know about them in the comments below!

Thanks to everyone who let me quote them in this article!