10 places to advertise your PBEM roleplaying game

Billboard that says join my play-by-post game

Sometimes it can be difficult to get new members, especially if you’ve only just created your game. People won’t join your game if they don’t know about it, so you’ll have to promote it as much as you can (as long as you do it the right way).

There are many websites where you can fill in a form to advertise your PBEM/play by post game. Some of these will be websites dedicated to advertising role playing games, and some will be forums where members can play games, but have a separate thread for GMs to advertise their games.

I’ve collected a list of websites where you can advertise your game.

RPG-Directory screenshotThe RPG Directory

http://rpg-directory.com/

A popular forum with threads dedicated to advertising your RPG. There are many topics for you to post inside, allowing you to post your advert in the appropriate thread. This directory seems to be well managed, with some strict rules which seems to help because a lot of the outdated adverts seem to be removed pretty quickly.

To add an advert listing, register as a new user and post in the dedicated section for advertising games. Choose the category which is most appropriate for your game, and remember to come back once a month to “bump” the listing. A good way to do this without being spammy is to paste in your latest story summary.

Or set your signature with a link to your game, and get involved with all the active discussions, someone might like the sound of your game and click through.

PBEM2 screenshot
PBEM2

PBEM2

www.pbem2.com

This is an automated listing service which allows you to add your game into one of the pre-set categories. Your game will also be tweeted under the @pbem2 twitter account and promoted on their RSS feed. There’s also a banner exchange where they promise to put one of your banners on their homepage in exchange for putting one of theirs on your site.

To add your game click “Add” and then select “I’m running a game and looking for players”. Games do get removed from this site regularly so remember to keep checking back and re-adding if you’re still looking for members. I made a guide for how to add to PBEM2 here, including video walkthrough!

PBEM players screenshotPBEM Players

www.pbemplayers.com

This site allows you to create articles, questions or post a link about your PBEM game. You have to register to become a member, but after that you are trusted to contribute worthwhile content to the site.

To create a link to your game, register and then click “Create Content”. Select “Link” to add a link to your game. Your game will then be shown in a list which gets displayed on the website’s homepage.

Once your link has been added it will remain on the site for a long time, and you can keep the entry up to date by posting comments to it.

Play by Email  PBeM    Play by Mail  PBM  List Index
PBM list by Greg Lindahl

PBM List

pbm.com/~lindahl/pbm_list

When you first visit this site you might think it’s one of the oldest-looking websites you’ve ever seen, and you’d be forgiven for assuming it’s not been updated in a decade. But it’s actually updated regularly and is a great place to advertise your game. It does look like it’s only partially built, but actually this adds to the simplicity of the site.

Many different types of roleplaying games can be advertised here, so make sure you navigate to the “Email” section for PBEM games, but there are also games organised by category so check out a few of the other links too. The website is quite old fashioned, and lacks important functionality which you might want (like a search box), and there’s no way to edit your existing entry apart from emailing the webmaster to change it. You can add a new announcement for your game however, which is good to keep your entry up to date.

To add your game, click “Add new game” at the bottom of the homepage.

roleplay onlineRoleplay Online

www.rpol.net

A forum which has many old abandoned threads mixed in with some very current ones asking for players. This can be a bit frustrating. From the homepage browse down to “Wanted – Players” to see many new threads where other GMs are advertising their games. You will have to create an account to post your advert.

roleplayer guild screenshotRoleplayer Guild

www.roleplayerguild.com

A simple forum (simplicity is good!) which many people use for roleplaying, and can also be used for advertising your game. There isn’t a specific area for submitting links to your game, but you can mention your game in the “Introduce yourself” thread and inclue a link. There’s also a “General interest check” thread to ask people if your new idea for a game is a good idea, then link to it when you’ve created it.

Or set your signature with a link to your game, and get involved with all the active discussions, someone might like the sound of your game and click through.

roleplay hub screenshotRoleplay Hub

www.roleplayhub.com

Roleplayhub is a discussion forum mostly about tabletop roleplay games, but don’t be scared off by that. There is a section on the forums for play-by-post games here. Roleplayhub also has a directory submissions section where there’s a section for play-by-post games. and a useful guide too.

rp repository screenshotRP Repository

www.repository.com

RPR is a close-knit community of roleplayers, but the site can be used to advertise your game by creating a profile to showcase your character. There’s a how-to guide hereThere’s a directory where you can list your games here and specify how many players you’re looking for to join. They also have active forums where you can chat with other roleplayers and advertise your game.

distant fantasies screenshotDistant Fantasies

http://distant-fantasies.net

Distant Fantasies is one of the oldest directory listings on the web starting as just a simple directory now dedicated to being a community for all roleplayers. This site is has a comprehensive directory that has a category per fandom (and will create one if it doesn’t already exist) as well as a dedicated list of resources for you to find sites with other services specifically for your type of roleplay. They also have an amazing RP buddy system with a character exchange to find someone to play with no matter what your preference in roleplaying is. They also have an active Twitter Feed, tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest with a Playby gallery.

RPG GatewayRPG Gateway

www.rpggateway.com

This is a directory of many types of role playing games, as well as links to resources. The homepage shows you the major categories, so you’ll want to go straight to the play-by-post section.

To add your game to this site, click “Add your RPG site” in the right-hand column.
Once your entry has been added it will remain on the site for a long time, and you can modify it by clicking “Modify your listing”.

Star Trek Topsites
Star Trek Freedom Topsites list

Star Trek Freedom’s Topsites list

startrekfreedom.com/toplist

This is a vertical list of Star Trek games. Games will get higher up the list depending on the amount of click-throughs that they have. You can add your own game to the list which will start at the very bottom, and watch it climb to the top if you’re lucky! The interface is a bit clumsy and it’s not very intuitive if you’ve never encountered a list like this before.

Conclusion

There are of course many more websites that allow you to advertise your game. Make sure you’re advertising in the correct place, where you’ll be able to advertise to people who are interested in roleplaying games of your genre. Also, Check that the site has been updated recently or you might just be wasting your time.

Also don’t just limit yourself to posting in directories. The best way to get people to join your game is approach people personally, and let them know about it. You can do this using social media, or ask your friends.

Published by

David Ball

David is a web developer, and the creator of OngoingWorlds