OngoingWorlds blog

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




No, I don’t mean the song. This is about players who are gone for days to weeks on end without posting on a game. His finest life gets in the way, I mean who doesn’t need a vacation every now and then. The problem is when you don’t tell other players when you were going to be gone. One day is fine, two days is understandable but frustrating, three days is pushing it but we can still wait, four days is beyond too much. I mean if you are really gone that long, what was the point in signing up for the game to begin with? Shouldn’t you be on a game where everyone is usually busy and plot is slow?

First off, I’m not saying you can’t be gone. Odds are, you’re going to be gone for school, work, family outings, excetra excetra. And is that is fine. We encourage you to not spend all your time on our games. However, days two weeks is gone too long without notice. Spending too much time on any one game can really interfere with things that you have to do. We all loved the world that we have created, the characters we use to travel said world. But you cannot expect to still be on a game if you are not active enough.

Now, I know I said two days is fine. But the same thing happened to you a person was gone for two or more days, to be more than frustrated? If I’m going to be gone for more than a couple hours, I tell everybody I’m playing with that I’m not going to be on. If I can’t get to a computer, I will at least use my phone putting OOC post to inform the other players but I will not be on. I have already many people that I would be gone for a weekend because of personal reasons.

This is something we should all do. Not supposed to be gone for hours, but if you’re going to be gone for a day or more. This way, the other players can post around your absence. If you are a major player, even letting them control your characters as a sign of respect for them and yourself. This shows that you respect your other players and love to know how your character should be played, if needed. I often that some people play my characters if I’m going to be gone for a day or more. If I’m going to sleep I tell them, “Hey, I’m going to be.” If I’m going to be gone for a couple hours, then I tell them they can go ahead and post but not to expect a reply for me anytime soon.

If you can’t respect the other players and have to say something, respect the character you have created. Being gone for more than one week can result in you being kicked off of the game. Not all mods will kick you off of the game if you’ve been absent for a week, but after a week your character has been forgotten and nobody really knows how to bring them into story line that has already been created. Create a character, then leaving, and returning after a long period of time can result in you not only not knowing what is going on in the game, they can also result in you losing a lot of what has already been established by your character. So respect the character enough to post as often as you can.

If you can only post once or twice a day, please inform all your players. If you can only post once a week, tell everyone. If you are going on vacation for a month, please, for the love of all that is good about role playing, hope that you will be gone so that people can do something with their own stories! If you can’t do it least that then play with people who know how you tend to be. If someone you know is playing on the same thing as you and they understand what you do and how you do it, then they can at least inform somebody for you. This way, if you have no internet access of any sort, people will still understand that you will be gone for a long period of time.

Please, respect your fellow players, your characters, and the game enough to inform everyone when you will be gone for days. Respect the name of the game. Respect Ongoing Worlds. And respect the craft we all enjoy.

  • Kraken

    I am just going to put my two-cents here and leave it at that:

    First, yes it is upsetting when people vanish, but life happens to the best of us and sometimes people cannot predict when they will be away from a computer to give you adequate forewarning. I’ve known decent players who have poofed because of military, personal loss, family and more… I don’t think many know the stresses of life that others go through at times. Being insensitive enough to give them the boot because they didn’t respond within a week is kind of ridiculous.

    Moreover, saying that these people should be moved over to the slower paced games is quite literally insulting to those game creators and the players who take the time to create a character for your game. Mainly because you are implying you don’t want them and feel that they should be cast aside to a game that is less deserving than one of your rapid post games.
    I, myself, am a moderator of one such game and if you understood the time that goes into plotting and world-building (heck even some of our posts takes days to create) you would be holding your tongue rather than insulting us with this article (AKA: Rant).

    On the topic of other players controlling my characters; (and I only mention this because it is one of my largest pet peeves) I find that to be one of the rudest things a player can do especially when they make large and/or personal decisions regardless on my preference for that character. I take hours, days even weeks in planning my characters because of the detail I put into some of them. To have worked so hard on a character and then someone go and ruin it because other players are impatient to wait for a post from me is insulting to say the least. I’d even go as far to say it’s more disrespectful than vanishing off the face of the earth.

    Yours Truly,

    • Tiberius Creations

      To be quite frank, a lot of this is a bit insulting and Kraken and I are most likely not the only ones to think so.

      I am an AP student, Honor student, a music program student, a part time employee, I am part of four different bands, and I’m trying to get into a state university. I am lucky if I can find some time to at least sit down and think about getting on Ongoing Worlds, let alone get on gmail and read or write emails. With that schedule there is no guarantee I have time to get in contact with my players as I’m sure their busy with life too.

      About people forgetting other players, a lot of us in iSociety don’t post over a few days, almost a week. But no one yet has been left behind and forgotten. That’s a bit of a label saying that if you don’t post for a couple of days you are obviously forgotten. Also, posting with other people’s characters is a huge no no in roleplaying. Tagging, yes, taking, no. That is probably the biggest insult to most because that’s almost saying “well if you don’t want to I will.” Chain posting with characters is not necessarily a good thing too, and it’s not a loss of respect for a character if you don’t post for a couple of days.

      Life is busy and it sucks, but to make people feel guilty about it is not the way to go. That’s wrong. It’s not the loss of respect for the game or the characters, it’s just the bigger roleplaying game we all play.

      • Rhiannon

        I am sorry you find this insulting. However, people who just disappear for no reason are why I wrote this. I actually got rid of a player for inactivity and they emailed me, explaining the situation. I, of course, let them back on the game. Now, I know around what time they get on, that weekends aren’t always good for them, and that they don’t post because of things popping up and they need a day or two to catch up. That’s kind of how all my games are. But one or two people are so sporatic in their posts that the story literally goes nowhere for days. My hope is to help people understand that, if they can’t keep up with the game, to respect people enough to try and contact someone somehow. I never meant to insult people.

        • Angfaulith

          reactions you receive here are quite understandable, I was also affronted by this blog post. Also understand that they are not mean. People always drop out, sometimes they pop back in but other times you shout out and they are not to be found. I have a lot of experience with people disappearing off the blue in the
          middle of a good row of posts, only to never come back. I actually waited a few months for said person, then gently wrote the character out of the plot in such a way as they could come back later.

          So people drop off the surface of the earth, it happens. A better post would be aimed at how to deal with it fairly and respectfully. Write the character out if they don’t post for a while. How long you wait depends on the pace of the game, but it’s always possible. We write to be creative. Someone disappear in
          the midst of a fight, toss in a sudden explosion, earthquake or whatever else can separate people. You don’t force reactions on the other character and it’s a clean separation. Rarely do people disappear without a reason. Perhaps the game was not what they thought it would be, perhaps it’s to hard to keep up or its too hard to get in. A common fall off point on the slower paced games is
          actually that the content and backstories are massive. I often try to help people into these stories but it can be hard to land regardless.

          That said I have booted several people for inactivity, but I will wait months to do so and will usually write them mails to ask if they will come back. The game goes on regardless, you can’t wait forever. To make a game last you start out, loose a few, get a core and build on it.

          Best regards


  • Katrina DeWitt

    What is worrying me more is how hostile the reactions are to this article. There are some solid points. Thing is this problem can be solved with a simple post in whatever OOC you got to say “I’m going to be gone a few days”. Takes 20 seconds to make the post.

    And if the host of a game can’t work around the needs of their players, their skill as a host for said game is lacking. Then again if the player was at a key point and everything hinged on the player it might be a better idea for the Host in an emergency to take control of the absent character for the sake of the game.

    At that point it’s a matter of trust.