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I thought I would share some thoughts with you regarding my experience writing and playing in PbP and Pbem formats.
I am a seasoned writer/player and have been playing in these formats for the past 20 years. Yes that's right. I'm pretty old compared to most here I would imagine.
I was very fortunate that when I started writing and playing these games I found a whole community and specific writers that took me under their wing and thought me a lot. People that showed me that my characters did not have to be the center of the whole stories and games, how to flesh out characters and build up plots over long periods of time and above all to work together to create an enjoyable experience for all.
Now I have not been around OW for long and I cannot say that I read every single games that is featured here but I have noticed how very little Joint Posts are used in games.
"What is a Joint Post?" you ask?
Well it is when two or more players flesh out interaction between their characters behind the scenes and post said interaction in one post instead of 10.
Lets say Karius, The Holy Paladin Avenger just walked into a clearing. Sitting around a low fire is Faust, The Shade Necromancer. Two players are meeting for the first time.
Post 1 - "I have traveled far and been on the road long. Could I share you fire stranger?" Asks the Paladin.
Post 2 - "The night is upon us and you are welcome to join, although I have no food to share" replies Faust, making plans in his mind to kill the stranger in his sleep and reanimate his corpse and use it as a servant.
Post 3 - "That suits me fine. It's the Holy Month of Sharala and I am fasting" Karius replies sitting close to the fire noting the strange smell of spices rising from the hooded man. "I thank you for your kindness. I am Karius, The Holy Paladin." he says proudly
Post 4 - "I have heard of you. You are the scourge of the Dark Forces in Gogh. I am called Doku. An hermit."
Post 5 - "I see my reputation precedes me. I bring the Light of our Lord to the unfaithful." The paladin says puffing his chest.
Post 6 - "Indeed. Your deeds are well known throughout the land..." comes the icy reply...
And so on and on... Until you might end up with 10 posts from each player. When the players could have simply created their characters interaction behind the scenes and simply post the interaction in one single post.
"What is the difference between posting immediately on the board your or exchange 10 emails with another player?" you ask.
Well the difference is that Joint Posts encourage team work. It encourage writers and players to work together to better present a storyline. It also makes the flow of the game much easier to read for other players. Especially when the 10 posts each player wrote about their character interaction with the other will not be break down but other people's posts.
When writing together you can both decide where the story is going. Its proactive instead of reactive.
So if you read this post next time you find your self in a similar situation do give it a try. Soon you will master it and see the benefits it can bring you, other players and the overall plots of your games. :-D
Do you guys use Joint Posts in your games? Have you ever been part of one? Is this a new concept to you? What are your doubts and thoughts about it?
Let us know.
PS - Faust slices the Paladin's throat as he sleeps but his not successful in animating his corpse. >-)