OngoingWorlds blog

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

By

Fandoms – Reviving the Dead


There are quite a bit of RPGs for Star Trek, Star Wars, and other franchises that generations have grown up on. But it is difficult to do them justice at times. Many a Harry Potter RPG has died after only a few months. They all have had good concepts, but players lost interest and/or time. While many have flopped, just as many games continue to thrive to this day.

Whether it’s life or lack of RP element(s), something happens to send the players running for reality and almost never look back. Those that do only comment to see if people are still playing the game, though it is clear that many have just left it to float along in cyberspace.

How do you revive these games? There are so many ways to go about it that it’s hard to decide which is the right way to do it. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s just better to let the game close down and start over somewhere else, fresh and new.

Revival 1- Posting

Sometimes, posting is all it takes. Much of the time, players are spreading themselves thin and can’t keep up with all of their games at once. When this happens, be patient. Talk to the player through email or a handful of OOC posts. This way, you can set up a system of how to work things out

Revival 2- Email

Other times, people don’t get on daily like other players and the game halts as you wait for this one player to return to post to all of the stories. Try emailing them and see what’s going on. Often, it’s life, but sometimes it’s just that they need a break. By sending an email, you can get the game going again, even if that means having to take over some new characters.

Revival 3- Start Over

This may sound strange, but there are games that have gotten revived because they started over new. This means that a player still playing but not posting can join your game again with other players like him/her. In other words, a new game and a new group with the same old faces. It’s not a bad idea, so that those who can’t seem to get a post in edge wise finally get the chance and those who needed to quit playing but forgot to unsubscribe can move on.

(Non) Revival 4- Closing

Yes, you read that right. This is for the mods who know when they have a dead cow on their hands. This is not to say that the concept of the game wouldn’t work, it’s just that the right players haven’t come along. Copy everything you need to down in a word document or on some paper (i.e. game description, character groups) so you can come back to the idea if it appeals to you. Otherwise, just move on to closing the game down. People have lost interest and want to play other games. Whether it’s lack of plot or slow game play, it’s all a matter of the player’s point of view. If your game dies, but you have solid ground work, don’t give up. Wait out the players a bit and try again later. But, before you do close the game, give people a heads up so that they can save the character info if they want to. Sometimes, a good character just needs the right game to call home.

Decide which is the right path for you. It’s not always easy. You may decide to try to revive a game, but it’s long been dead. Playing Frankenstein isn’t always a good thing. From Star Trek to Harry Potter, from Anime/Cartoon to Live-action, knowing how to revive and when to let go is essential. It’s sad when a game dies. We loose part of ourselves. But it is sometime necessary so that the posts will go on.

*NOTE: This applies to all games, but is focused of fandoms because this is more noticeable with these RPGs.*

  • Louie75

    I’ve been part of a Trek game that has been in existence since 2007. We’ve been a group of 4 since 2012 and one of our reasons for staying around so long was very good story telling. Our chapters can last a year until resolution.

    We’ve encountered some of the issues in the list above, but the worst issues were merging with various gaming groups. The problem was most of the leadership of those groups would not avoid butting their nose into our format despite promises to the contrary. There was always some “admiral” wishing to assert their group authority by meddling with plot formats or making adjustments for the sake of making an appearance.

    Our success was by remaining an “indy” game. Most of the groups we have merged with are either non-existent, or limping along. I’m not saying groups are bad things. They do a lot of good by offering resources, but I always advise any game looking for a merger to do so carefully.