Seeking RPG advice…

Lately I’ve been getting the itch to get back in to RPGs. I got my first taste of roleplaying way back in the mid-90’s thanks to ArmageddonMUD. It was a roleplay-intensive MUD based on D&D’s Dark Sun setting. It blew my mind. I played there for years before finally burning out on the setting. Since then I’ve played on various World of Darkness and fantasy type MUSHes. Of course, all of that was back when I didn’t have a family and work and stuff so devoting a few hours a day to an online game was no big thing. Now that I’m all adult and stuff I’m wondering how others get their fix.

From what I’ve seen so far it seems like the forums that offer play-by-post games would work best. I can handle making a post or three a day. The problem seems to be finding a group or setting that I like. How does a “grown-up” get in a game that isn’t going to cause them to bash their head against the wall from all the kids doing stupid stuff?

(Yeesh, did I just sound ageist there or what? I’m not against playing with younger folks. It’s immaturity and lack of depth in the game that annoys me.)

Any recommendations out there on sites/games/whatever? I’m not too picky on setting and system as long as it’s a system where I can still purchase the core books.

P.S. Yeah, I’ve put a lot tags on this post. I normally don’t, but I wanted to get as many opinions on where to game as possible.

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2 thoughts on “Seeking RPG advice…

  1. Prepare for a long response! I agree that PBP is a good option for your situation. However, I’m going to come at this from a different direction, sidestepping system and setting for the moment.

    The first thing you need are forums. Every forum is different but generally the larger the forums the more options for games you will have. Though, with large forums you have a much higher percentage of campaigns that crash and burn due to high turnover in GMs or players. Wizards and ENWorld are focused on D&D and have decent forums but a high percentage of younger players as 4e D&D skews towards a younger crowd. RPGNet has a very active PBP forum (you have to me a member to see it, which is common with many communities) and embraces a wide range of RPGs. RPGNet also skews towards an older crowd. One of the biggest PBP venues out there is RolePlayGateway, which I haven’t played on but is heavy into freeform roleplaying. Then there are smaller communities, many of which favor specific RPGs, most publishing companies have forums and those forums usually have a PBP community, and then finally private forums like mine (http://bluemoonaurora.bb3host.com/) which has only 20 or so regular posters but is a tighter community though with a whacky range of RPG preferences.

    Any and all of these communities will be happy to have you. The trick is finding a community that works for you. My advice is to go to a forum, read a few threads, and get a feel for the community. Check to see how active the PBP campaigns are and what quality of posts people are making. Join a discussion or introduce yourself and see what happens. If a community doesn’t feel right for you then leave. This is the same with a PBP campaign. If you aren’t having fun then politely tell the GM you are leaving the campaign, don’t just disappear that’s bad PBP etiquette. However, the point is to have fun so if you aren’t having fun then change things up. I will also say that sometimes it might take a couple attempts to find a campaign you really enjoy, one where you mesh with the GM and other players.

    As for system and setting, well, 4e D&D and Pathfinder are the biggest systems right now but there are tons of other systems out there, some of which are quite spiffy. I wouldn’t really worry about diving into a system or setting as much as picking a PBP campaign that sounds like fun. Just ask the GM if it’s alright that you don’t have the books and are new to the game. If the GM balks at that then it’s probably not the sort of GM you want to deal with. Also, really the rules should be in the background with a PBP campaign so they shouldn’t be a big deal, though novice GMs often make the rules a big deal in PBP. Also some forums have dice rollers but a lot of PBP campaigns use sites like Invisible Castle for dice rolling. I just say that so if your GM asks for a dice roll you can use Invisible Castle and post the link and look like an old hand at PBP. :)

    Hope that helps! If not ask more questions!

    • Wow. That was an amazing response. Thank you! Your links will help me cut through some of the signal to noise ratio that a generic “play by post rpg” generates.

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