Name your hobby. Go on. Because I can’t.
When I first started roleplaying I learned that the term to use was PBEM. Sometimes the agreement over capitalisation would alter like PbEM or PBeM, but it’s essentially the same. It stands for “play by email”, the way that I used to play. People would send emails to a newsgroup, to be distributed to the other members. Read More
Even the mighty Superman has weaknesses and obstacles to overcome
In this article we’ll talk about why things shouldn’t ever be too easy for your character, and how you can do to make things more interesting by putting obstacles in their way.
Your character should be realistic
So you’re playing a PBEM game and you want your character to be as believable as possible. The reason why you want this is so that other members of the game will read your posts and really feel like your character is a real person.
In reality, good things don’t happen all of the time. For total realism, sometimes bad things happen to good people. If you want to do something in real life, there will be things standing in your way. Similarly if your character wants to do something, there should be obstacles that they should overcome before they achieve their goal.
If characters on TV or films achieved what they wanted to straight away, we’d cut out the story, and that’s the interesting bit!
Sometimes it's time to put your characters down and speak as yourself
OOC is an acronym for “out of character”. It is usually used in a PBP or PBEM game to indicate that the following text is written by the author, and not intended as speech from the point of view of the writer’s character.
If you see this in a post, it usually means that the following paragraph has been written by the member as something intended to communicate to other members, like an instruction or comment. The member is making it clear that this is something they are saying, and not the character they are writing about.
When is it used?
Use an OOC comment at the start of your post, or at the end to either comment on the post, or at the end to give a suggestion or instruction about what the reader should do next.
Wizards Inc is about Wizards in a modern day office block
Many many role playing games are set in a fantasy world, each with their differences in how you use magic. Fantasy is a staple of Play-by-post games too, and it allows the member’s characters to live their lives in a rich and exciting world where the only limits are our own imaginations.
Mike Bullen has created his own play-by-post game where the characters are Wizards. What is most unusual is that instead of being set in a typical Dungeons and Dragons type world, this one is set in our own world. Wizards Inc is a game about some Wizards who work in an office block in England. They solve problems for clients using their magic, but try to keep their wizardry secret from normal people.
I’ve known Mike since he joined up for my Blue Dwarf play-by-post game, and is a fun writer. I’ve asked him a few questions about his Wizards Inc game.
So you’ve got a PBEM game, and you’re recruiting for new members. You accept members based on the character biographies they’ve provided to you, but how do you know that these players are going to be any good in your game? Well, you can’t really tell until you see them post.
A Mary-Sue character is a stereotype of RPG games and fanfiction
There is a stereotype character called a Mary-Sue. This is normally a female character who is so perfect that she’s annoying. She resembles all the many character stereotypes all rolled into one. A Mary-sue character is normally a player’s first character, when they don’t realise that they are creating such a stereotype.
Mary-Sue’s aren’t always female, as male characters can have all of these stereotypes too, as well as some more of their own. A male Mary-Sue is sometimes called a Marty-Stu.
The name Mary-Sue comes from a short Star Trek fanfiction story, written as a parody of fanfiction.
Look at the points below to see if you have any Mary-Sue stereotypes in your own game. Maybe your character is one and you didn’t even realise! Take each of these points with a pinch of salt, some of the points mentioned actually make good character traits on their own. But a typical Mary-Sue will use them all.
1. The character is named after the player, this could include their nickname, first name, last name or all of their names.
2. The character’s name is a noun or word that isn’t normally a name. (Angel, Moon, Chaos etc) This could also be a name of historical/mythical significance that doesn’t relate in any way to the character or the setting of your game.