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Issue No.2 | July, 2019
R P G N
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" E x t r a! E x t r a! R e a d A l l A b o u t I t! "

I N T R O D U C T I O N:


Hey all, the People's Press here!

First off, let me thank everyone for such a warm reception to my first edition of RPGN. The kind words and show of support mean a lot and I hope I can keep entertaining you guys and bringing you the latest happenings around our little site. Which apparently are many, since I've found enough material to create a bi-weekly edition! I didn't think you'd guys would be hearing from me again until August but here we are!



Today's issue is mostly going to focus on reiterating some changes that have been happening around the Guild but I'll also be sure to touch on some things from last and of course, include a couple new roleplays. After all, what else are we here for? Just a reminder, anyone can submit roleplays for a spotlight or landmark, even the GM. So don't be afraid to fire me a PM with shameless self-promotion in it.

You'll find out below that I'm certainly not above it.

So without further ado, let's get down to business.


G U I L D A N N O U N C E M E N T S:


First up for anyone who missed it, there have been some changes in the moderation policy over at RPGO. The Admins have noted Spam migrating from the site to the Discord for several years now and have now changed the moderation policy of the official Guild Discord server to reflect this. This has been done by creating an "Under Moderated" category on RPGO. In this new category, the site rules will be more loosely enforced with the exception of derogatory terms and personal attacks. Anything likewise extreme (porn, doxxing, etc) will still be an instant ban. As a result of the new policy, #politics was changed to #current-events and #debate was created for those times the discourse in #current-events get intense.

Next up, there has been a lot of staff changes this month. Probably easy to start at the top and then go down the chain of command.



First off, congratulations to @Ruby, who after serving as a Forum Moderator for over two years has been promoted to Co-Admin alongside Hank. This is a very well deserved promotion and I think I can safely say that there is no one more deserving of this honour. Moving forward, Ruby will be focussing on the overall management of the forum alongside @Hank and @Mahz.

Next up, is our new Site Moderator, @Byrd Man who is replacing the departed Rilla. Byrd has been a member of the RPG for over six years, acting as a dedicated member of the community and active roleplayer since before the dark days of Guildfall. Congratulations Byrd!

I'm also happy to report that your new Chat Moderators have been found. The Admins have selected five new Chat Mods to help enforce the updated RPGO policy. Each new Chat Mod was selected from recommendations by other members and staff themselves. They are as follows:




And lastly, with all the staff changes happening on RPG. The Admins are now looking for one more site moderator to fill the position left by Ruby. Please forward any and all recommendations to @Ruby via PM on the forum or DM through Discord.

On that note, I leave you with some words from our newest Admin:

While the Admins want to make it clear this isn't going to be a popularity contest or a vote, we do want to reach out to the community and ask for recommendations for a new site moderator to take up my former spot on the team. There is no rush to fill this spot and we have every intention of taking a long time to fill it. Know someone who you're convinced will make a great site moderator? Let me know and tell me why. Want to recommend yourself? Do it.

All recommendations should be PMed to me on the site or DMed to me on Discord. They need to be at least 18 years old.

Along the same line if you, or your group, want to talk to me about any issues or ask questions you can stop in at the recent Off Topic thread I made (Ask an Admin), reach out to me in PMs/DMs, or even send me a server invite. Since being made an Admin I've gotten a few server invites and I'm happy to hop in and chat with members who may not normally get a chance to pick an Admin's brain.

Thanks and good luck with the roleplaying!
Ruby

G M M O D I N T E R V I E W:


For this issue's Interview, I opted to interview RPG's newest site mod, Byrd Man. Byrd was kind enough to sit down with me, have some Scotch and cigars while we talked about career, where it began, his fondest memories and any advice he has for the people of RPG. Check it out below.

So from Roleplayer to Site Mod. Where did your journey begin?


Started originally in 2006 at a website called SuperHeroHype. Doing, naturally, superhero and comics based games. In 2013 I think? Our RPGs membership was flagging and we were being treated like the red headed step children of the group. I started to scout other locations and came across RP Guild. We jumped ship the spring of '13 and I've been part of the site ever since.


What was it about RPG that drew your attention?
RPGN


It was just a site that was very active and dedicated to RPing. At our old site, we were literally in the basement, the last forum on the site and seen by many as the weird kids. RPG was a site of weird kids. So we felt at home.
Byrd Man


Did you have any trouble adjusting the methods and norm of RPG? I assume it wasn't all universal to the way you and your friends ran your games on your old site.
RPGN


No, it is very different. I realize looking back that we kind of struck on something that's rare. We were all roughly the same age, had the same general outlook, and all got along great. We had one game that ran for over eight years. Just time and age made it fall apart. Nothing gold can last, Pony boy. As for RPG... I'm still adjusting, I guess. I'm a bit of an old fogie and I realize that different people do different things. With age I've gotten perspective on it and take the philosophy of you do your thing, I'll do mine. Live and let live.
Byrd Man


You mentioned that RPG felt like home. Given that you accepted the position of moderator, would it be safe to assume that you've had an overall positive experience with the community?
RPGN


Oh, for sure. I wouldn't have accepted the position if I hated the place. It's not perfect, what is after all, but I think doing my part to help out is the least I can do since the site has given me so much.
Byrd Man


What's your fondest roleplay memory from your time on RPG?
RPGN


Probably a 1x1 on I did with my writing partner and hetero life mate, Morden Man, the Pickett County War. It was a southern noir inspired by my own life and family history. It was personal and just a blast to write. Morden and I wrote our asses off for it and it's probably the thing I'm the most proud of on this site.
Byrd Man


Any advice for newcomers to the Guild or those who might be struggling at the moment?
RPGN


If you can't find a game that appeals to you, then create what you want to do. I've done that a few times. Pickett was one of those instances. This entire site is about creating, so don't let anyone else dictate writing rules to you. You're here for a reason, and that reason is writing. If you're struggling then write something, anything. If it's not good, so what? It's a start. And any amount of words can be improved upon. A blank page just sits there and never becomes something. You contain multitudes, my dudes. Just find what it is you want inside of you and make it happen.
Byrd Man


There you have it, folks, the scoop on everyone's favourite noir writer and our latest Site Mod, Byrd Man.


R O L E P L A Y L A N D M A R K S:


This issue's landmark is very special to me for obvious reasons as RPGN would like to recognize Absolute Comics: A DC & Marvel Singular Universe RP and its GMs on officially making it to 300 IC posts. Absolute Comics takes place in a world where both DC and Marvel characters exist in lore defined by each player. The RP is nearing the end of its first season. Originally launched in March, Absolute is looking to conclude Season One at the end of this month. Season Two is expected to follow immediately afterwards, continuing to use the same thread going forward and spanning from August until the end of December.


Congratulations to Absolute Comics and its players for their awesome accomplishment. Looking forward to reporting in during the Holiday Season to talk about Season Two's success.


R O L E P L A Y S P O T L I G H T:

I N T E R E S T C H E C K S:
◼ FREE

From the Badlands

Five hundred years into the future, Civilization fell. It didn't happen overnight, but to those who still cling to long past days of bliss that are left, it feels that way. No one really knows how it happened or why, but society as everyone knew it was gone. War had ravaged the earth leaving it scarred and almost barren, nations were left crumbled and their citizens scattered due to famine and war. Thanks to the level of science humanity had reached before the nuclear fallout, the blow it had suffered had been mitigated by a small amount.

Technology had not received the the same fate as most of humanity's inventions like cars, trains, and planes had fallen into decay. Anything that had required parts from long before the war or heavy maintenance had been left to rot. Reduced to bows and swords save for a few dozen firearms, they were hard to come by as guns require upkeep that would be hard to maintain. People became wanderers, merchants selling secrets for better survival, nomads, or those choosing to live by the sword as hired guns or bandits. Even though they were forced to live in small tribes and communities, humanity did as it always does, it endured.

After several years of famine, the earth had began to heal, although some parts of the earth were beyond healing. civilization had start to bounce back even if only by a little. Mother nature claimed what was originally hers as vegetation started to grow in the now abandoned cities. Habitats sprung back to life leaving animals to claim some of them and without the threat of extinction animal life had thrived. Society had taken the chance to build three sanctuary cities around the places that life had returned. Resources were not a problem as people who lived to the cities were assigned jobs from explorers, to soldiers, to doctors and the latter. To keep from overpopulation the cities only let small groups people from the outside in once every fifty years. This is our year.

To a New World

Observers, that is what we are. When we enter into a new world, our perspective is either too great or too small, making it more difficult for an organic experience. To fix that, why not be creators as well?

This RP will be a little bit different in that you, the player, will also be included in the world building. That way, a better understanding of people, flora, fauna, physical laws, relationships, etc. in the world can be reached. However, you won't have limitless creative powers. First of all, an agreement on the general setting must be made. Once we establish a few (or a lot) of the larger facts, you will then build the setting(s) that your character grows up in. Twist is that you won't know everything about what other players have written about their locations depending on the level of communication in the IC world. You'll know what your characters know and you won't know what your characters don't know. Once we've established characters, settings, and miscellaneous baubles, it's onto the RP.

◼ CASUAL

The First Magical Incursion

Back before the advent of the sciences, humanity had the ability to cast magic. Magic users were the more dominant force of humanity. During these periods their power was nothing short of incredible and you could tell these people apart from the standard human by their tattoo like birthmarks. The magical powers these people possessed had a varying range - from telekinesis to elemental abilities. At the height of their power the Magic users accounted for almost 70% of the human population.

However, the magic users were split in their philosophy. Some of them believed that it was the magic users job to protect the earth and its inhabitants. Others thought that it was their place to control the rest of the world. This differing view of beliefs eventually culminated in a magic war between the two warring factions. The first was the Guild. They wanted to protect the Earth. The second faction was known as Corpus - the group that wanted to dominate humanity. This war was highly destructive, causing many lives to be lost in a short span of time. At one point it was even thought that the Earth might be destroyed. The remaining non-magic users of Earth, in the fallout of this war, decided to put aside their petty squabbles of country and tribe, and try to deal with this 'magic' problem.

What happened next was nothing short of genocide. Quickly, large groups of Magic users were being murdered. The population of magic users quickly diminished. As their numbers dropped so did the chance that any new born children who were born became magic users too. After hundreds of years of persecution, the remaining population of magic users had dwindled to less than 5%, and today in 2019 has fallen to 0.1% with only an estimated 20,000 magic users left.


Post-Apocalyptic Cyberpunk RP (Concept, Interest Gathering)

This is a concept for a cyberpunk role play set in the future of 2295 A.D. A series of nuclear wars and natural disasters across the world in decades past have devastated the earth we once knew. What of civilization that survived these tumultuous times is now a disorganized mass of rogue states, armed republics, and police states. Our story is set in the fictional New Seattle Commonwealth, or “NSC”.

Seattle was one of the few west coast cities that ultimately recovered from the last nuclear war that destroyed the United States as a whole. In the twenty years since it was first established, the Commonwealth has flourished compared to so many of the other states and republics across the precursor United States. It’s population touches nearly seventy thousand, and is completely self sufficient in terms of resources, from electricity to food to fresh water.

The Commonwealth itself is protected by a powerful ballistic missile system and a capable air force . Security is maintained by a police force (the Enforcer Police) and an army of cyborg special commandos. Until recently, the city was “ruled” over by a president. Six months ago, this all changed when an insurgency erupted. The Superior Council ousted the president and established its own absolute authority over the city.

The Council was able to do this by somehow seizing control of the cyborg army that majorities the Commonwealth’s defense force. And many among the Enforcers sided with the Council. The Superior Council affirmed its rule over the city through direct force while the former president staged a rebellion against the usurper councilmen.

The city is now plagued by war as the former president and his forces, “The Underground”, fight to reclaim the city from the Council. Based in the surrounding ruins outside of the city limits, the rebels regularly launch attacks against the city while Underground operatives within chip away at the Council’s power base through counter-propaganda, bombings, and information warfare and espionage.

In the fight for the New Seattle Commonwealth, everyone must choose a side.

◼ ADVANCED

𝕮𝖔𝖎𝖓𝖘 - Action/Thriller about Global Espionage and Freedom Fighters

Order and Chaos, Chaos and Order

Two opposing forces... Think of a coin, tossed into the air and landing upon the ground. One side faces up, basking in the Sun. It takes in the light, the glory, the warmth. Some would even say it’s the winning side. The other side? It faces the Earth. On that side, there’s nothing but shadow, cold, and dirt. Everyone wants to be on the light-side. The thing is… Sometimes it’s hard to tell which side is which.

That’s Order and Chaos. One side takes in the glory; the other is steeped in shadows. One is revered; the other, forlorn. The light-side of the coin? People will tell you it’s Order. People think, then, that Order is Good, but Good and Evil are different from Order and Chaos. So how do you know what side is actually facing up? Which side is facing in the heavens? Which side is staring down to the depths?

That’s the thing. Nobody can tell you which side is which. Or rather, you can’t trust anybody to tell you the truth. The whole ‘history is written by the victors’ and ‘lions don’t have their own historians’ thing… You can’t rely on society, history, or The System to tell you what’s right. You have to figure it out for yourself. Sometimes, you can find out.

Sometimes you realize you’re on the wrong side.

The Titan's Pyre - Alternate Fantasy Russian/Spanish/Balkan Civil War

- Alternate History/Fantasy World with a map we would need to develop.

- Mid-1930's technology and general political atmosphere, though with modifications.

- Have not decided on the degree to which magic is employed, or its mechanisms, but an open to that conversation and ideas. Different political ideologies may have different outlooks on magic, including the enslavement or use of magic users in a way that renders them unable to make their own decisions as a form of control.

- There was a WWI type war as destructive.

- The trend is increasing extremism in politics on both sides, nihilism and a lack of faith in liberal democratic institutions and the rise of authoritarian/totalitarian governments. All this exacerbated by post-war nationalism and the dissolution of empires, either through decline, overthrow or losing the war.

- Vinheim, formerly a conquered province of the Korelsk Empire (Now the United Socialist Republic of Korelsk) is in a state of limbo; conquered close to forty years ago, nationalist movements are on the rise within. While the USRK is in control for now, the USRK is engaged in a destructive civil war elsewhere. All the same, they will not let go of Vinheim without a heroic effort.

- A scion of the royal family is attempting to organize support for a restoration of crown rule, but that involves navigating the parties.

- I am open to ideas, but I think there should be a couple different narrative themes - what the leadership wrangles over and decides and the consquences to the people actually fighting the war. That said, I want two sets of characters; the 'powers' and the 'people.'

◼ NICHE

Takanis - A Dark Fantasy NRP

From the cold Ice Wastes of the polar north, beneath the blistering heat of the Great Inland Desert, and the monster haunted jungles and ice-capped mountains of the far south, the world of Takanis is covered with the bleached bones of dead empires. Some perish through civil war, others through decadence and infighting, and some still through the exploitation of magic, their own hubris and the horrors of the Outer Realms. Some indeed linger still, disunited fragments of once-great empires holding on still to their tattered glory, broken but not forgotten…

Thus it has ever been. Thus it ever will.

O N G O I N G R O L E P L A Y S:

◼ FREE

Kings Dominion

Welcome to kings dominion a school dedicated to teaching and honing future criminals and assassins skills the main sponsors are The yakuza, Mexican mafia/syndicate, Dixie syndicate and the remnants of the Soviet party. The students that come from these organizations are called legacies, while kings dominion has many of these legacies a majority of the school are kids from the streets or orphanages that our scouts saw potential in these students are called rats. You will play a new arrival to kings dominion whether it be as a legacy or as a rat.

The Vampire Princes

There is a kingdom where all supernatural creatures live and get along. There is a capital city where the castle resides. The castle resides in the very center. A vampire family, with non-vampire relatives, live in this castle and rule the kingdom. Some are kind, but others can get pretty mean. One day, the time came for the king to choose one of his sons to rule in his place when he is gone. However, like himself, they had to be married before that happened. And so, he provided that condition as a challenge. Whoever found a bride first would become his successor. But, she must be genuinely in love with him, and prove it, before he could become the heir. The race began after that. Word got out, and anticipation and anxiousness filled the air throughout the land. What would happen now? who would they choose? We will have to find out.

◼ CASUAL

𝖤𝖵𝖤𝖱𝖳𝖧𝖮𝖱𝖭𝖲

Your character is someone who lives in the fictional city of Bloomfield Bay, a beautiful coastal metropolis boasting a burgeoning population of four million and upwards. As the city expands its residential districts and constructs more high-rise apartments surrounding the glistening waters of the bay, its population is blissfully unaware of the strange illnesses that have stricken several backpackers and citizens living in low-budget accommodations within the city slums. As the government does its best to pretend like the poor and their problems don't exist, the cases are swept under the rug as a localized epidemic affecting only areas with poor sanitation and hygiene.

People are told to wash their hands more often. Then the news segment cuts to the latest styles in Hollywood. The problems do not exist.

Your story begins here.

Vivid Recollections Season 2: Into The False Light (Urban-Fantasy, Cosmic-Horror, Mystery Thriller!)

Vivid Recollections will be a small town-type story set in Farmer Hill, Montana, a town built by the mountainside. To the average person, there's nothing notable about it other than its picturesque appearance. It's just a small farming community that exports crops, people go to work, kids go to school, and so on. The town has a secret like no other... and without the knowledge of many is host to some eldritch monstrosity. The story will follow a group of students that attend Grand Ridge Academy that are just living their lives when they're involved in a situation that was straight out of a horror movie. They come out of the situation with magical powers known as Abstractions and eventually come in contact with a being known as the Glutton. The Glutton is an eldritch God that has the power to consume all creation but is trapped in the mountain - threatening to break free of it's confinement.

After the fight with the being goes horribly wrong, the group is all knocked into a coma. The story will begin with the cast awakening in a hospital and finding out that Farmer Hill has changed a lot; people are going mad and killing each other, monsters roam the streets, and people preach about a "redeeming light". Worst of all, the Glutton is close to bringing about the end of days. Many more Awakened have been knocked into the coma, but once they Awaken they will have to face the Glutton and it's dark legion in a battle that they're not sure its possible to win.

This story will be an urban-fantasy story that will cast a certain light on "magic", while leaving it ambigious whether or not it's truly magic or not. The storyline will have elements of superpowers, horror, and more - but the story will be a very dark cosmic horror stoy. The theme of Vivid Recollections will be Memory, Emotion, Connection, and Repression. A big part of the story will be the characters having a repressed memory, or emotion, that sabotages them in some way. How they'll get over that repression, and help them connect with other people. I also want the story to be dark, and very symbolic in nature. I won't be providing clear answers to everything.

◼ ADVANCED

[ASOIAF]: Before the Dragons Danced

This Game takes place in the year 111 AC, before the Tournament of King's Landing that will, historically, give the name to the two major factions in the Targaryen Civil War of the Dance of Dragons, the Greens and the Blacks. King Viserys I sits the Iron Throne of Westeros, while his brother, the infamous Daemon Targaryen rules the previous Pirate Stronghold of the Steptones as it's first 'King' fighting continual conflicts with The Kingdom of the Three Daughters and the Princedom of Dorne for domination of the critical Southern Sea trade routes. Their separation has allowed the wounds of their parting to settle, but rumour has it that Daemon grows tired of his paltry Kingdom of Sea and Stone.

Winds of Fate - A Thief's Adventure

The story starts off in Guillan is a huge capital and port city, and is the crowned jewel of the Lands of the Nine, and home to the High King. All the subsidiary kingdoms must answer to him as the top authority. Guillan is a grand city, sure.. but it is dense and dirty, and extremely corrupted. There is a major divide between the rich and the poor which is very disproportioned and acts very much like great bellows, only fueling the fires. As a massive port city, it is also a great trading hub, and almost anything from even the furthest bits of the Nine's can be found here if you have the coin for it.

It's crime syndicates are plenty, and range from petty criminals to vast, and infinitely powerful groups. The Black Hands are at the top of it all and are all but untouchable.. Pirates and cutthroats, scoundrels. All manners of outfits. The streets are constantly soiled robbers and pickpockets, piracy on the trade routes, rape and murder.. even rumors of slaving and human traffickers from the very bowels of the city. Nothing is off limits to those consumed by greed, and everyone seems to have an angle or a finger in something. Mind you keep your wits about you, or as best you can..

◼ NICHE

War Never Changes

War, war never changes. Even after humanity blasted its own ashes across the surface of the Earth in the Great War of 2077, its cutthroat ambition did not die down. The year is now 2290, and humanity has once again ended a bloody war. While this war could never come close to the awesome destruction wrought by the atomic fire of the Great War, it nonetheless has ruined lives and changed nations. You must lead your nation through the aftermath of the Hoover War, otherwise known as the Wasteland War, a seemingly futile and meaningless conflict perpetrated by ambitious warmongers and fought by the beaten masses of the Wastes. Will you lead your fair nation to economic and cultural prosperity, or repeat the actions of those before you, seizing that which is rightfully yours with overwhelming strength.


C O M M U N I T Y C O N T E S T S:


New Contest alert!

RPGC #24: Tactical Espionage Action is now live!

Calling all infiltrators, operators and saboteurs: we have another mission for you. Any platoon of oafs with assault rifles and a brain cell between them can storm and capture a location of interest, but how intact it will be after they are finished is another question; bullet fragments and grenade shrapnel tend to make a mess of things, including any computers and filing cabinets full of valuable intel. Some things are much better handled with a deft, maybe even a gentle touch. Perhaps there's a VIP that requires disappearing, or a junction box needs its contents trimmed a tad to cause a little disturbance and draw attention away from a crucial area. Of course sometimes, remaining entirely undetected is not an option. One will need to adapt and get their hands dirty, though still have the good sense to be reasonable and surgical about their movements.

This is where you come in, agent. Your wide variety of skills as a dependable, determined and resourceful asset makes you perfect for the wetwork that is required of you. Light is green, agent. Grab your gadgets, probe for an insertion point, and move with the shadows.

And if it does come down to horseplay, at the very least try not to get blood on your suit.

Head on over to the thread to get all the details and be sure to chime in on the Discussion Thread as well, if only to show Frizan some love.

Contest Entries will be accepted until Friday, August 2nd.


C O M M U N I T Y D I S C U S S I O N:

P R E V I O U S D I S C U S S I O N:

What do you need to play a roleplay?

A GM and players help, like a lot, but before all that you need a story, a setting, lore and rules. At least, the GM does. But what do you need to play a roleplay? For those of you yelling 'CHARACTER!' at your monitor in frustration right now, you're absolutely correct. But, you don't just have a character, you have to create one.

Character creation is a key component of any roleplay. Even before writing in a jump-in RP, you need to have some idea of who or what your character is before those first couple keystrokes are entered onto the screen. So I pose the question to you, what factors go into creating a character? What do you think is important to consider? Or do you start with nothing but an appearance and a name and the rest comes from exploring the setting?

Below are the answers some members of our community provided towards the above discussion:

I find that my best characters come when I get a brief little concept that pops into mind - i.e. 'Geeky Scientist Who Wears Roller Skates No Matter What' or 'Entitled Trust Fund Baby Who Doesn't Speak Any English, During the Zombie Apocalypse in Georgia.' If I have that little blurb for myself, I can usually find a name that I think matches the concept, then I look for a photograph. I usually come up with first names and then struggle with the surname. The personality usually springs from that initial concept and then I work backwards, thinking about what happened in their life to make them that way. In one of Lady A's RPs, I play probably one of my best character creations - Cecily Ashworth. I knew that I wanted to play a nerdy forensic scientist who loved comic books and as I went through the motions, I realized comic books appealed to her because she felt like an outsider growing up. She felt like an outsider because her parents had them moving a lot, so she never had permanence (which is why the logic and unchanging aspect of science appealed to her). She picked forensics in particular because her parents were lawyers - but they moved frequently since they were defense attorneys that catered to the worst of the worst around the country. I made this character in my senior year of high school and now that I'm about to graduate from college, I still adore her.

On the flip side, my worst characters I have to say came from either picking a faceclaim first - or in superhero RPs, a power. I have trouble writing and connecting with them if I don't get that initial pitch in my head. I think that having a personality you find interesting and/or a concept such as mentioned above can make for a long lasting and enjoyable character. In the cases where I didn't do that, I ultimately ended up shelving the character (those in X-Men may now realize why I stopped using Dean Kesseli now lol)

But in short - personality and that little blurb? Those are the most important factors for making a character in my opinion - at least, that's been the case for me. Since ultimately the goal of making a character is to create someone you enjoy writing about and that you're excited to tell stories about - and if I don't get those two things nailed down first, then I'm ultimately not going to be that invested in the character and their development.

Oh - and as an extra thought, thinking about what sort of character arcs you might want to play out also is great to do while creating the character! Playing a static character isn't fun, but what I do love about character arcs is that you can come up with them at any time - and if you didn't like the character you made during character creation, you can start slowly pushing them in a direction to become that amazing concept you once had.


Something I learned from my good friend @Dervish is that the two most important things you need as a GM before you start your roleplay are 1) a roadmap and 2) a reliable group of players.

The story beats of the plot, all the way until the end, should be figured out before you set off. Yes, stories can deviate, but you need something to deviate from in the first place, otherwise it's easy to feel lost and overwhelmed while trying to keep your players interested and engaged. Think of the story you want to tell first, then find people to do it with.

Vet your players. Judge their character sheet, make them submit an excerpt of their writing, possibly even go through their post history to find out how often they drop roleplays and how often they stick to them. Most roleplays die way before they reach the end. Many before they even begin. If you want to see your story through to the end, don't accept people that are known to flunk out. The gods (and @Jbcool) know that I flunk out a lot. I wouldn't necessarily accept me because of that.

Well, I would, but that's just because I'm that fuckin' good.


Before you make the roleplay you need passion for the idea. You can prep a roleplay and half way through it, you lose interest. Don't make a roleplay simply because others want you to make the idea. Make the roleplay when you're most inspired and ready to take on that commitment.

Like @Hank said, a road map, or a general idea of where you want to take the story is beneficial. But, I'd like to add that it's important to be open to your writers' ideas and also be able to improvise, if needed. There needs to be a balance of plot and giving your writers freedom to explore their characters and their own story arcs.

Hank's other point, with having a dedicated group of writers, to me should be an incredible highlight to the success of a roleplay. You can never 100 percent guarantee all those that apply to your game will stay invested, unfortunately. So, the route I choose to go to is: test the waters. To me, even flakes deserve a second chance. Still, be prepared that you will lose writers and think of how to recover from that. A back-up plan, like organically writing their characters out. Unless your game has major roles like a king in a kingdom and the writer leaves unceremoniously and at a terrible time in the story, I feel like if you're capable of working around possible hiccups then you will find those that are the ride or dies for your story.

One of my best experiences as a GM was for a superhero roleplay called Divided We Stand where I was a stand in GM for a long period of time due to the actual GM's personal life. Many people joined and many people left, yet pushing the story past those lows is kind of like weeding out those that aren't passionate about the idea anymore or invested with their character(s) as much as you are. I built a GM team of five people, who took care of different sections of the universe and moderating. My team kept me sane and I found myself inspired by them, and the other writers still fighting the great fight, because of how much they fell in love with the story. It helped that I kept them engaged by planning events, with suggestions from all my writers, but also that they kept thinking of possible head canons which was the catalyst for future posts. Our imaginations are truly our fuel and when we run out of ideas that's when we know we need to do something to either bring the spark back, like going to the GM or the people in the roleplay for advice, or find something else that brings us joy.

Communication is key. Stay transparent with your feelings and hopefully the GM and everyone else will help you. Life happens. Sometimes, for your own health, you have to say goodbye. That's okay. We love this hobby, but if you're only in a roleplay because you have to be and not because you want to see it through, that's not good.

Take care of yourself.

I will say, it feels phenomenal when you see your roleplay, or a roleplay you're a part of, flourish and overcome many obstacles. At the end of the day, that sense of fulfillment and enjoying the ride for however long it goes is what I look forward to.

In addition, at the beginning of a roleplay, you might have an idea of who is reliable and who isn't. Someone who is completely reliable could end up dropping because they took on too many roleplays and someone who has flaked many times before could prove you wrong. The only one who can decide your method of judging and giving writers grace periods, and forgiveness (or no forgiveness), is you.

I hope with perseverance and strength you find just what you need for the roleplays you're itching to write.

Similar to @Morose I have to have a bare bones concept in my head. A sells pitch to myself. That, or I have to really want to explore a certain territory. May it be a controversial subject or simply a character with a goal. For example, oh man, I have a strong desire to write an abrasive knucklehead that is so caught up with his ex that he fails to focus on the present with his friends. That would allow me to explore the subject of learning to let go and move on. If we can connect something about our character to ourselves, which I've had my fair share of bad breaks and letting go, then we find ourselves able to relate to them even in the slightest. Some of our best writing roots to our own personal experiences. But it isn't limited to just that. Sometimes I want to write out topics I would never personally do in my waking life like make a sado-masochist that toys with people as if it were a game. Why the hell not?! I like to challenge myself and if I really want to do it, even if I'm not sure I'm capable of giving it justice, you bet your bottom dollar I'm going to try! And do research. Lots of research.

Ultimately, character creation starts off with a seed. A seed from a picture you see and suddenly boom you see a character in that face. A seed from your childhood and suddenly boom you have a backstory in mind. A seed from a simple chat you had with a friend and boom a what if joke leads to you thinking of a 'goal' to give a character. Once you plant that seed and choose to bring that character to fruition, you choose how much care you'll give it. Maybe the seed was good at first but when you started watering it and giving it sunlight you found out: hey, this type of flower doesn't mesh well with me. I use to like playing naive, innocent characters, but now I just find it boring. Or maybe, when you grow with the flower, you surprise yourself and realize, hey I'm not half bad at this. I didn't think I could write a villainous antagonist that everyone loves to hate, but shoot, this is fun! I'm pretty good at being evil!

Wraith said there is no right or wrong way. There really isn't. We can suggest our methods, but it takes you just exploring topics and yourself to find out what works for you. I'm twenty six years old and I've been roleplaying for 15ish... plus... years. There doesn't come a day that I don't learn something new as a writer. Just try not to fear failing. I know that's hard to do, because we writers tend to have insecurities that eat at us daily, but once you're willing to give it a good try, who knows what you'll discover about yourself.

I'd say entertaining even the smallest of ideas you have can go a long way and bring you down a road where you might create the best character you've ever made.


As an artist, my approach to building characters or RP games is very loose. If I am completely honest, I like to build worlds and interesting characters more than I play. The act of creating for me is the best part. I agree that having a "road map" is fairly important, as @Hank mentioned above. However, I very much like to improvise most of it, and I like to feed off of the group more than I like to nail down a solid plot. As @TootsiePop stated, I feel as though improvisation is the best approach, for me anyway. Having a thoroughly laid out plan is stifling, and it can really deter optional ideas and avenues that you might not have even thought about. I definitely enjoy being led by the group.

I do try to create a very immersive environment putting enough information into a sandbox type game that players have tons of options, lore, etc., so that they can lead themselves without too much given direction. This allows for characters and worlds or places to reach their full potential, and become whatever it is that they become without a great deal of hinderance. More recently I have been adding a bit of tabletop mechanics in with my games, not so much that it is overbearing, as I do enjoy the literary aspects of this play by post style of roleplaying. The reasoning behind this is that I have grown tired of players just writing in glorious action or success without any real consequence or gravity within their posts. That is probably one of my biggest peeves about play by post RP's, as it becomes way too easy to just write a character through a scene.

I enjoy grittier themes, and flawed characters are the best in my book, but more often than not failure and compromise is overlooked, and takes a backseat to having a glorious outcome or a chance to shine, and it cheapens the deal for me. Write through success is the vanilla of play by post roleplaying for me. I hope this is making a little sense to everyone because it is hard for me to describe, but I am sure that GM's know what I am talking about. I very much believe that setbacks and failures compound and enrich plots and characters, and fortify them into being genuine and realistic, and make them true to themselves respectively, and there's my two cents.


Want to add your own thoughts to the above discussion? Well, you still can! Just be sure to reply in the original thread.

C U R R E N T D I S C U S S I O N:

Maintaining a player base is a key to keeping a roleplay running for a long time. But sometimes as GMs or even as a fellow player, we struggle to do this. This issue of the People's Press I'd love to talk about both the why is this such a struggle for so many roleplays as well how do we resolve this.

A strong foundation or core is the key to any structure. If you don't have a foundation, there's nothing to support anything you might add on top. Adding new players constantly isn't going to solve your issues if you can't keep a core group who drive the roleplay. So how do you reward those players for their commitment and consistency while keeping the RP open to any newcomers who might come your way?

Players like to feel valued and as a GM it's very important to communicate with your players. So many of us are guilty of relying on that little 'like' button far too often. I read your post, I pressed the 'like' and that's it! Well, what does that really tell anyone? By my own admission, far too often I used 'likes' as a way to track what I've actually read. I've yielded far more positive results from commenting on my players' posts than I ever have from leaving a reaction.

As a friendly reminder, keep all discussion civil and remember the golden rule:



A D V I C E C O L U M N:


I got nothing for you right now, so I'm going to plug a guide.

@BlueSky44, (You may remember them getting a shoutout in the landmark section of the last issue), and @Morose have crafted a wonderful guide on how to perform to develop and run a multi-arc roleplay. Be sure to give it a look here.

Hello there.

We are very pleased to be able to present this guide on how to develop and run a long term, multi-storyline roleplay. With more and more roleplays reaching landmarks on the guild, it's becoming more common than ever before to see GMs cross the finish line and complete the story they set out to tell. For some, it's a bittersweet moment - you have accomplished something fantastic, but you aren't ready to say goodbye to those characters and that world just quite yet. In order to keep the good times rolling, one solution is to make a sequel - same characters, same world, just a new plot.
BlueSky44

Thanks to both of you for your contributions to the Guild, I know I've found this helpful for my own RP transitioning into its second season, so I can only hope others get the same use out of it.



C O N C L U S I O N:


Well that's another issue done!



I just want to reiterate that the People's Press is here to stay and I'm always looking for submissions. So if you're cooking up a new interest check, have a roleplay you want to be promoted or have those all oh so sweet landmark achievements you want to brag about, let me know! Additionally, RPGN is here to get you answers if you have any concerns about roleplaying or just need a little bit of advice, send me a question and we'll get the community on it.



As before, I'm open to suggestions for new categories, spotlights or whatever you'd like to see included in the Guild's News. You can comment with any below, or send me a message either on RPGN or via my personal account, @Lord Wraith. Until the next issue, this is the People's Press signing off!

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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Morose
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Alright, for this week's discussion it's actually something that I do think about a lot, so here goes nothing!

When it comes to getting that first core group of roleplayers, it has a lot to do with your GMing style. There will be some roleplayers who mesh well with you, some who can tolerate you, and some that will find just about everything you do to be infuriating - and that's perfectly fine! There's a roleplayer for every GM out there, so as long as you are upfront and honest about how you're going to GM, you will end up with roleplayers who can thrive with your unique style in the end. But if you try to be something you're not - i.e. if I tried to be a super super laid back and easy going GM - then it won't work out. You'll end up frustrated and your players will too, so be yourself. You'll make friends and if you host more than one roleplay, odds are if they like the concept, they'll show up for the next one as well.

Once you have your player base, I find that there are three ideas to keep in mind: challenge, encourage, and correct. I'll elaborate a little bit on each of these:

Challenge - It's super easy as a GM to go 'well, I've got this awesome group, now I can just coast.' Hell, I'm a lazy person by nature so I totally get that urge. However, if you aren't challenging your roleplayers to grow as players and writers, then they aren't going to enjoy things. It's like if you let them easily overcome every obstacle - no one wants to read a story like that! So maybe for you, the answer is to come up with more complex problems as the storyline goes on and maybe allow your roleplayers to take a little more control. In my the Gifted RP, I actually am letting roleplayers portray the villains in the story and it's been amazing so far. It certainly has challenged them and I know it's challenging me as a GM.

Encourage - I do drop likes on posts, especially if I know someone is having a rough patch in real life or on the guild, as I know seeing a notification that I got a like or something puts a little spring in my step. I'll make comments in our discord chat saying things like "omg Max [the character] is a dumpster fire but damn it, he gives me life. Loved the post!!" I try my best to encourage other people to do things as well. If a post makes you feel, say something! It encourages everyone to keep on writing, as well as lets you know when you've done something well.

Now, I've also developed a system of well.... blatant bribery at times. Blue and I will give out rewards for noticing little easter eggs or posting quickly, such as reroll cards (if they ask for a dice roll and don't like the result, we'll reroll it for them) or extension cards (to give them more time to post). I've recently been making trading cards of all of the active characters and I've been giving them out to people as roleplays reach milestones (i.e. 100, 200, 300, 400 posts and arc completions). I'm working on developing a game that can be played with the cards, but people love collecting the cards of their own characters and it definitely encourages them. Here's one of the cards based on Blue's character, Angstrom, in the Uncanny X-Factor:


Correct - This isn't the fun one. You have to apply the rules to your longstanding members just as harshly as you would for a newcomer. Everyone has to be treated equally and even if they've been playing with you for a while, people will make mistakes. It's your job as the GM to make sure that no one is above the rules - not even yourself - as otherwise, it's easy for a culture of favoritism to spawn.

Okay, and now onto enticing newcomers to join - honestly, it has a lot to do with the culture of your roleplay. If it's a longstanding roleplay, people are going to be intimidated about joining. Blue and I discussed this in our guide which was helpfully linked in this issue of RPGN. Beyond what we discussed in the guide, I think that it is important to have opportunities for new players. If all of the slots and roles in your story are filled, then why would someone want to join? No one wants to join a roleplay if there just isn't room for them. You need to make sure that roles are open and the newcomers are made to feel welcome, ensuring that you value their contributions and don't just see them as a number. I think a lot of times, people look at recruiting as just boosting the numbers in the roleplay - and they forget to look at the fact that you are essentially trying to bring in a new cast member (to use the analogy of a show). If they can't throw wrenches into the plot or end up just as important as the original characters, if not potentially even more so, then why should they bother? Why shouldn't they just wait for the next RP interest check to come around that's pitching a similar idea?
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Jasper19
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@RPGN thank you for mentioning my rp kings dominion I did not expect that
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Ruby
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The news is too kind.

Great read!
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Dervish
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@RPGN Thank you for all your hard work! I look forward for these installments; I'll try to remember to fill out thr community question this time around.
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Opposition
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𝕸𝖞 𝕿𝖍𝖔𝖚𝖌𝖍𝖙𝖘 𝖔𝖓 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝕮𝖚𝖗𝖗𝖊𝖓𝖙 𝕯𝖎𝖘𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖘𝖎𝖔𝖓

I find myself thinking about this predicament of maintaining a playerbase quite a bit. I do agree with @Morose’s idea that the unique style of every GM contributes greatly to how well their roleplays seem to do in the long run and how many players are attracted to their ideas. If you look at your past Guild GMs you can usually identify the elements that made up their style. I did this myself and often noticed that some things that stick out are whether or not a GM uses Discord and how they run their discord, and how they interact with players even before conversations of the story arise. This means that even in the interest check stage, there’s a lot you can do to ensure interest of possible players. I’ve taken to ensuring that my players’ questions are answered in a timely manner, that they know they can ask any further questions, and that they are free to provide constructive ideas to the areas where the story still needs to be developed where questions may emerge. Allowing contribution from the start of things allows players to become more invested in your ideas.

Once you have your player base, I find that there are three ideas to keep in mind: challenge, encourage, and correct. I'll elaborate a little bit on each of these:

Challenge - It's super easy as a GM to go 'well, I've got this awesome group, now I can just coast.' Hell, I'm a lazy person by nature so I totally get that urge. However, if you aren't challenging your roleplayers to grow as players and writers, then they aren't going to enjoy things. It's like if you let them easily overcome every obstacle - no one wants to read a story like that! So maybe for you, the answer is to come up with more complex problems as the storyline goes on and maybe allow your roleplayers to take a little more control. In my the Gifted RP, I actually am letting roleplayers portray the villains in the story and it's been amazing so far. It certainly has challenged them and I know it's challenging me as a GM.

Encourage - I do drop likes on posts, especially if I know someone is having a rough patch in real life or on the guild, as I know seeing a notification that I got a like or something puts a little spring in my step. I'll make comments in our discord chat saying things like "omg Max [the character] is a dumpster fire but damn it, he gives me life. Loved the post!!" I try my best to encourage other people to do things as well. If a post makes you feel, say something! It encourages everyone to keep on writing, as well as lets you know when you've done something well.

Now, I've also developed a system of well.... blatant bribery at times. Blue and I will give out rewards for noticing little easter eggs or posting quickly, such as reroll cards (if they ask for a dice roll and don't like the result, we'll reroll it for them) or extension cards (to give them more time to post). I've recently been making trading cards of all of the active characters and I've been giving them out to people as roleplays reach milestones (i.e. 100, 200, 300, 400 posts and arc completions). I'm working on developing a game that can be played with the cards, but people love collecting the cards of their own characters and it definitely encourages them.

Correct - This isn't the fun one. You have to apply the rules to your longstanding members just as harshly as you would for a newcomer. Everyone has to be treated equally and even if they've been playing with you for a while, people will make mistakes. It's your job as the GM to make sure that no one is above the rules - not even yourself - as otherwise, it's easy for a culture of favoritism to spawn.

These are great ideas, and I think your three main points here offer a lot of insight into what GMs think about. Each of them has a place in creating the unique signature a GM offers to their players. People attach to your roleplays for a reason after all. If we can identify how we use mechanics that contribute to these three factors, then we can usually find out what people are looking for in our roleplays both on a personal level and on a more general level.

Challenge is definitely a difficult thing to maintain throughout a roleplay as a lot goes into maintaining it. There’s a certain balance you have to create that creates difficulty and challenge for your players so that their goals grow ever more developed and greater as the roleplay ramps up, while also allowing for players to achieve goals regularly so as to avoid a roleplay that is stagnant with a plot that never moves along. This can be done in a number of ways, and goals can be vastly different on a case-by-case basis for roleplays. Sometimes, your players are looking to defeat the next villain in the overarching story, but sometimes they are just looking to develop a piece of their character to create a dynamic person of them. It then falls upon the GM to create the challenge in a unique way for every player. Each player doesn’t want to end up being in the same place doing the same thing at all times after all.

I think its also important to spotlight your players’ characters in their specific challenges as well. Because of the vast array of diversity in any roleplay’s cast, each player will find that there is a place their character is naturally drawn to in any given setting. I tried to put this to action in my recent roleplay Futility: the Great Game. Having a racer character amongst the cast that was specifically designed to be the team’s driver, he was a bit more out of place in gunfights and political intrigue. That made his character no less integral however. Identifying what the player was looking for in his own character’s development, I offered the opportunity for situations where his car and chase-scene-esque talents would come in handy. In short, we really just need to learn to cater to the players that are developing the roleplay right alongside us as GMs.

Encouragement takes many forms, and forum-based reactions certainly have a place among GMs. Alongside the self-validation that we all hide when we receive reactions that people are interested in our writing, it’s also a great way to keep players updated with the fact that their posts are getting read. As harmless as that may seem, I believe it is important for the roleplayers to know where I am at in keeping up with their posts. I also tend to try and comment on any new post that arises in a timely manner. This can help keep players thinking about what they’re going to do next and what they can expect from the GM’s end before they prepare their next post.

I’ve been a fan of the more subtle ways you can reward players for active and continued participation in the past. This mostly came in the form of more detailed lore and the possibility to go even deeper into scenes than would not have been otherwise possible if everyone else was ready to move along. In my newest roleplay, 𝕮𝖔𝖎𝖓𝖘, I’m actually planning something a lot more blatant and akin to @Morose’s own idea using a mechanic I’m calling SECRETS. This involves players being able to find or receive files from important characters or in important places that will contain advantageous bits of lore that will come into play in the story’s future. While it’s basically the same thing that I previously described, I believe the concrete and visible nature of the rewarded information will have a more powerful impact on keeping player interest. It is always fun to be more involved in a storyline, and the use of this unique element allows players to be better prepared for and more invested in where the storyline is heading.

Enforcing rules certainly something I struggle with as I personally have found the laid-back style of long-term GMing to be more favorable. Every GM is going to have to draw lines somewhere. That sucks, but there are ways you can go about it to maintain interest and look upon the system of keeping a roleplay going as less of a rules-based system and more of an accommodation system. If a player forgets to post because they’ve lost interest in the roleplay, that’s a lot different than someone being unable to post because of some struggles in real life or a stint of absence. I try to solve this problem in my own roleplays by allowing players the option to have me treat their character as a momentary NPC if they find themselves unable to carry on for a period of time but still want to remain involved in the roleplay.

Allowing players to take a more backseat role when they are unable to invest themselves as much as others shouldn’t always be a bad thing. I’m going to have to bring up my new roleplay 𝕮𝖔𝖎𝖓𝖘 again, because this was another aspect of running a roleplay I’d seen when previously GMing that I wanted to put into action in my newest attempt at GMing. The roleplay all takes place with a base setting— a safehouse for the group where they will be interacting outside of the greater ‘missions’ of the story. When players find themselves busier or less able to invest themselves in the roleplay, they will be able to keep their character at the safehouse and attend to manners of character development at a pace that won’t keep other players waiting. I’m excited to see how effective this mechanic may be.

I have rather limited experience with trying to recruit players into an already running roleplay, but I suppose what I’ve noticed is that supplying a transition into the cast is rather important. Since any additional players that might not have been around at the beginning of your roleplay weren’t right alongside everyone else (and I’ve come to believe that you shouldn’t try and force them to have been there in the past), they need to have their own unique goals for joining up with the rest of the cast and working alongside them. This can manifest as a scene unique to the new players that bestows on them the motivations and information necessary to find a place in the already established crew.

I think it’s important to mention that while new players should be able to influence the plot and interact with the greater world just as the main characters did, it may also help to create a unique role for the new players that allows them to be different from the main cast. Just as the old players have valuable information and experiences that they can bring into the plot, new players need to be given their own array of experiences that they can use to fulfill a new role in the story. This can be difficult as it can be tricky to create a new role that isn’t fulfilled by the present and can still be relevant to the story. That boils down to the job of the GM to make their roleplay morph and change to encompass all its players.



I hope my discourse may help some of you. I’d love to hear what others might think of the ideas I’ve posed here. This is just my unique perspective, and I fulfill a certain niche on the Guild with my style just as all other GMs end up doing. Identifying your own style and tropes can really help you develop a story in a way that works for you and the people that you draw in, though. Also, thank you very much @RPGN for the shout-out to 𝕮𝖔𝖎𝖓𝖘. The OOC has just been put up and we'd love to have any and all interest parties involved!


—𝕺𝖕𝖕𝖔𝖘𝖎𝖙𝖎𝖔𝖓


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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by ComradeMaxx
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hey wow thanks for shouting out my RP, Absolute Comics, random unbiased reporter. RPGN is my favorite news source on the Guild
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Current Discussion: Maintaining a Playerbase.

Alright, so I operate off a simple rule that the first three months of a roleplay are absolutely critical; as a GM, you need to be able to keep momentum going and set deadlines and stick to them. There's a lot of things that I think a lot of GMs do that contributes to games not making it out of the gate that they may not realize, and it goes back to even before the first IC post drops.

Make sure you vet your players and give feedback on reviews while sticking to your standards; all it takes if a few minutes of checking someone's posting history to make sure they stay with games and not drop most of them. Granted, we all have times where a game isn't for us, and that's fine. It's more the people who join a dozen roleplays at the same time and then commit to none of them; giving that player a character slot at the expense of someone who has proven to be someone who can stick things through slumps and slow downs is going to hurt in the long run. Likewise, review every character sheet that comes in and make sure it's up to your standard; have people revise them when you give feedback, and you can tell a lot about players for who are willing to make adjustments and those who butt heads with you. You want to make sure that your players who are accepted are roughly of similar expectations and skill level and generally have positive temperaments.

On that token, figure out how many players you're comfortable managing and stick with it! You don't want to have a story in mind where you have a half-dozen players and end up with a full-dozen or more if it is a bit too much for you to handle or doesn't work with your story. I myself prefer about 6-8, and as the game's established I don't mind picking up new blood, but my personal GMing style is trying to help players craft their own personal stories and incorporate parts of their character bios into the RP and it's a lot more meaningful and manageable if I only have a small portion of players compared to say an open sandbox with an always open tag.

The other major factor of player numbers is posting rotations; less players means faster turn around times, and one thing I notice GMs get caught up on all the time is that they wait for absolutely everyone to post before moving the plot along; oftentimes people lose interest in an RP if they have to wait weeks between GM move along posts because one or two people are dragging their heels. This is why setting deadlines is important! If I notice that the posting rate is slumping (or people don't have anything in the works), I basically say a week from that day, or as I usually do, next Monday-Wednesday, is my move along day and everyone should have their stuff in by then. I don't punish players for missing the deadlines, it just means they missed out on a chance to reply. The only time I really kick someone for being absentee is if it's been well over a month and they haven't contributed anything. I do give them a head's up and a deadline, but even that might be temporary.

Point is, you need to keep momentum going and as a GM, you should already know how your first quest/ mission is going to pan out, all the major NPCs already created and a story already in mind before the game even launches and then just fill in the blanks as you go. Players should never be forced to wait on their GM past a certain length of time; say "hey I'm moving the story along on Friday" and stick to it. Let players know that they're not waiting on a dead RP or a GM who has no time for them. Remember; players are trusting you as a GM to provide an experience for them, and by submitting a character to you and an interest to take part in your story, it's your responsibility to demonstrate to them that you aren't wasting their time. We have all joined an RP, spent hours on a character, and then find out that the GM lets the game slowly die before it even gets started. It's frustrating and demoralizing, and I think as GMs, we have an obligation to our players to respect their time and efforts.

Now for actually running the game, I have a simple rule; focus on the engaged players and don't worry about the not-engaged ones. What I mean is if people are constantly talking about the story and characters and are posting regularly, those are the players who are going to form your core group, whereas players who rarely post, don't talk OOC, and generally seem to be absentee in general are probably going to end up dropping and putting the entire game on hold to make sure they post is a major factor games on this site die. This is why I keep saying deadlines; tag everyone, let them know when they have to post by, and stick to it. Have your next GM post ready to go shortly after and keep going like that. If you notice players missing several deadlines, you probably should have a chat with them and see where they're at and ask if there's anything you can do to help their inspiration or alleviate their concerns, and sometimes it ends up being a positive experience. But you shouldn't sacrifice the enjoyment of an entire group over one or two players who seem very disinterested; if you put too much time and effort into those players at the expense of the 6 who are extremely motivated, you're going to end up bleeding those players because the game's stalling and not moving along.

On a more positive note, one thing that absolutely keeps players invested and feeling good is consistent positive feedback. Hit that like button when you read a post; it takes no time at all and lets people know that their hard work is being read and appreciated. When someone makes a post, compliment it and say what you liked about it! Talk about the characters and what happened a bit; if you do that kind of feedback, it starts to become a self-sustaining cycle where players all feel like they can participate and the more they put in, the more they get back. I've found it helps really develop characters OOC and helps flesh them out as people, and I've had some pretty awesome plots in roleplays that player characters had that largely spawned from OOC discussion and feedback.

And finally, last last big point; do not tolerate toxic behaviour. If someone's causing issues in your game, constantly argue with other players, insult players or characters, or otherwise turn the OOC into a toxic shitposting nightmare, get rid of them, no refund. The internet is full of holes for people with shitty personalities, your RP doesn't have to be one of them. You should always try to cultivate a positive and active atmosphere so people want to keep coming back and participating. If you don't, all it takes is a few shitty comments to start driving people away if an RP is still in its infancy. Personally, if I notice a Discord or OOC starts getting into uncomfortable or inflammatory rhetoric before characters even get accepted, I'm out. I only have so much free time, I'd rather spend it in good company.
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Gcold
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I myself prefer about 6-8, and as the game's established I don't mind picking up new blood, but my personal GMing style is trying to help players craft their own personal stories and incorporate parts of their character bios into the RP and it's a lot more meaningful and manageable if I only have a small portion of players compared to say an open sandbox with an always open tag.


@Dervish made a lot of helpful points in his post above; I have some more advices going further into running RPs:

Having an established player base is crucial. However, it's inevitable that some of these players will drop out as the RP progresses. Even if they are fully committed and motivated, their real life may present obstacles we GMs cannot predict. Finding new players is necessary, and I believe doing so serves not only to replace departed players, but also bring in new perspectives to keep the story fresh.

With that said, the longer a thread exists, the harder it is for new players to join in. Besides the obvious need to catch up on story (going anywhere from several pages to the length of several novels), new players also have to contend with a close-knit group that often appears exclusive. Breaking into that established circle is tough; it's awkward and confusing when they laugh at inside jokes and circlejerk over RP-specific memes (even if they are entirely wholesome).

After a certain point (likely after two or three years), it becomes very difficult for the RP to gain new players. That doesn't mean the story has to end. As GMs, we need to be flexible with our plot and group management, and adjust to player-made developments when necessary. This may mean breaking the story down to multiple chapters/arcs/episodes, moving forward with time skips and rebooting to a new thread.

In the end, remember that a successful RP goes far beyond the original GM(s). I've seen enduring RPs change hands multiple times, letting new voices better the story even as the OP loses interest or resigns due to real life concerns.
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Stormflyx
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Maintaining a player base is a key to keeping a roleplay running for a long time. But sometimes as GMs or even as a fellow player, we struggle to do this. This issue of the People's Press I'd love to talk about both the why is this such a struggle for so many roleplays as well how do we resolve this.

A strong foundation or core is the key to any structure. If you don't have a foundation, there's nothing to support anything you might add on top. Adding new players constantly isn't going to solve your issues if you can't keep a core group who drive the roleplay. So how do you reward those players for their commitment and consistency while keeping the RP open to any newcomers who might come your way?

Players like to feel valued and as a GM it's very important to communicate with your players. So many of us are guilty of relying on that little 'like' button far too often. I read your post, I pressed the 'like' and that's it! Well, what does that really tell anyone? By my own admission, far too often I used 'likes' as a way to track what I've actually read. I've yielded far more positive results from commenting on my players' posts than I ever have from leaving a reaction.


A wonderful edition of RPGN, so thank you for that!

For the discussion at hand, keeping a roleplay alive and maintaining your playerbase. It’s a difficult one isn’t it? There are so many factors that determine the success of a roleplay. From the perspective of a GM, it starts with the initial idea we have. (All my amazing ideas come to me in the shower, anyone else?). So I’ve got my idea – and then I want to take it to the boards. It would be very easy for me to create the IC there and then, get some response, and dive right in! But that’s not the way.

Others have got it right. Plan plan plan, get a timeline mapped out. I personally love Google sheets! If anyone would like my RP template that I use in Google sheets, holler! Think of several events, how they tie together etc (this is relevant I promise). Having a good OOC thread is fundamental to attracting a good playerbase.

I’m a strong believer in by being authentic to yourself. By laying your expectations down, you’ll attract the right people from the get go. You want to get the quality players for your needs who will share your values when it comes to the RP – and having quality players is where it’s at!

I also strongly believe in being the player you want to see. Being helpful and kind goes a long, long way. Usually when I join an RP, GM or not, I review character submissions and give my own feedback. This for a start gives me an incredible knowledge of the characters in the game. My mind will start buzzing about how my character might react to theirs. I once joined a roleplay and about 2 weeks after we’d started there was a fellow player who actually still didn’t know the name of my character which I remember being very disheartened by at the time. I make it a goal to know the characters in the roleplay I’m in. To read sheets, give feedback and compliments and shed praise.

I try to do the same when new posts appear IC. Sometimes I’m too busy to do this, and I can’t do it absolutely every time – but it’s always lovely to give someone a genuinely kind word on something they’ve worked hard on. 1 million times out of 10 it’s going to make their day and encourage them to do more.

As a GM, there are many things I’ve done to uplift the RP experience for the players in my group. I find a character wish survey to be really effective in getting players to think about their characters beyond the current plot. Are there any individual storylines they want to tell that they’ve been shy to ask? Any struggles they want to face? What kind of development would they like to see happen? When I get the surveys back, I can discuss with my GM partners and we can create things like subplots, specific NPC etc to make sure that everyone gets a chance to shine in the RP. We can then put these important wants of our players in the aforementioned timeline Google sheet so they’re not forgotten, and we can map out when things can happen with little overlap on other stories.

We have frequent character and plot discussion, after every GM move along I will tag each player with a collab concept idea so I’m always touching base with them. I touch base privately every now and then to make sure everyone is happy.
Which brings me to Discord! Gosh what a tool?! Perfect for instantly messaging your players, sharing links, images, having VC, planning OOC events. An absolutely vital resource to keep an RP alive and your players engaged imo.

I recently got to meet the wonderful @Hank irl and that was through a friendship that has come about through Discord, and our fabulous VotD roleplay!

Something else I’d like to touch on, for those of us out there who GM. It’s so important to take care of yourself too. Often times we spend a lot of our time engaging our players and helping them with their own characters and with our plots, that we stop to take a breath and help ourselves. It’s okay to slow down, it’s okay to be vulnerable and share that you’re finding it hard, and you need to take a step back for a moment. When you have those moments of needing to re-evaluate your own direction and character related issues – take the moment.. Don’t burn out trying to help everyone else. I’ve recently experienced this, shared my pains with the wonderful @Dervish and he was as understandable as I would have been had one of the players had the same feelings.

Lastly, as a GM and a player – sometimes you have to take a step back and smell the roses! Look at the amazing RP you’ve made, the friendships that have come about from the RP you’re engaged in! Celebrate your success, pat each other on the back for the amazing writing you’re doing together.

Shout out to @Dervish and @Leidenschaft for being my favourite partners in GM crime, to @Hank for being my partner in all crimes to ever exist, and the fantastic playerbase of VotD who continue to surprise and amaze me on this crazy journey! 😊
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Ruby
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Something else I’d like to touch on, for those of us out there who GM. It’s so important to take care of yourself too. Often times we spend a lot of our time engaging our players and helping them with their own characters and with our plots, that we stop to take a breath and help ourselves. It’s okay to slow down, it’s okay to be vulnerable and share that you’re finding it hard, and you need to take a step back for a moment.


I forget to do this as a GM, site staff, etc. It wears on me rather deeply so I definitely appreciate this bit of advice.
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Hidden 25 days ago Post by Spambot
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Bah. Guild-side spam will never die.
Hidden 19 days ago Post by RPGN
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Just wanted to update everyone that, although delayed, the next issue of RPGN is in the works.

Sorry about the lapse in communication everyone and thank you for all your contributions to the discussion.
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