Hidden 18 days ago Post by Alix
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Alix

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For some time now, I've been interested in creating and managing a roleplay of my own on a forum, but I wanted to know if there were any helpful tips for someone like me who wants to make this into a small group size of 3-4 players, including myself?

Is there anything I should know beforehand about holding a roleplay this size? Is it more challenging, does it put more pressure on the players to post more frequently? Anything important that I should know?

Additionally, what can I do to gain the trust of potential players who aren't familiar with my writing style and personality? Will a simple introduction and writing sample do?

The reason I want to make a group roleplay of this size some day is because of my lack of experience and I feel like it might be easier to maintain due to IRL business and work.

I also have been reading some articles from here, and I do have ideas for stories, I'm just curious to see if anyone on here has some good advice to share.

Thanks for your help in advance. ♥️
Hidden 18 days ago Post by POOHEAD189
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@Alix Best advice I could give is making sure you stay with the 3-4 limit. The hardest part about wanting to do a small group roleplay is seeing 7 people make characters you like (or you just like the person) and accepting them all. The temptation is always there. Just remain firm and you'll do grand.
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Hidden 17 days ago 17 days ago Post by BrokenPromise
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For some time now, I've been interested in creating and managing a roleplay of my own on a forum, but I wanted to know if there were any helpful tips for someone like me who wants to make this into a small group size of 3-4 players, including myself?


Yes.

Is there anything I should know beforehand about holding a roleplay this size?


yes.

Is it more challenging?


Compared to a group? I'd say the challenge is different. We'll get into that a bit later.

Does it put more pressure on the players to post more frequently?


Hah! I wish. Roleplayers will always put their own schedules and desires ahead of your passion project, as they should. You pressure players into posting by crafting an RP that people want to be a part of and being a gracious host. Offer to help struggling players, stick to your posting schedule, stick to the vision you outlined in your interest check, etc. They will post if they want to play.

Anything important that I should know?


Yes. (okay, I'll stop now.)

Additionally, what can I do to gain the trust of potential players who aren't familiar with my writing style and personality? Will a simple introduction and writing sample do?


You strike me as a 1x1 RPer. Anyway, a discerning player will be able to pick up on your quality of writing by reading your interest check. Group roleplayers will be interacting with you as well as the other players and won't solely be reading your posts. Who you are as a person isn't nearly as important as what your RP is about, who else is joining, etc. When I join an RP, it's usually because the concept seems interesting and/or part of my squad is participating. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. If you need help making a good IC, just look at others and make mental notes about what you liked, didn't like, etc.

The reason I want to make a group roleplay of this size some day is because of my lack of experience and I feel like it might be easier to maintain due to IRL business and work.


It's actually harder in that regard. Yes, you technically need to write less, however, it doesn't always work out like that. On the other hand, if three people leave a large group you can still run things and slowly recruit new players. If you have a small group of three players and three of them leave. Uhhh...

It is easier to cater to an individual player's needs when you have fewer of them, but the real cheat code for an enjoyable small group RP is to have a gigachad buddy or two that have stuck with you through thick and thin, posts regularly, etc. They'll have your back and can give you great feedback on stuff when you need it.

I also have been reading some articles from here, and I do have ideas for stories, I'm just curious to see if anyone on here has some good advice to share.


"There's a difference between knowing the path and walking it."

Thanks for your help in advance. ♥️


Not a problem Alix, just helping out!
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Hidden 17 days ago Post by Alix
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Alix

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Thanks so much, guys!

You two have given me a lot of inspiration and I'm excited to think more about how I want to approach this. It may take me some time, but I hope to eventually create something amazing that will make my future players happy.
Hidden 16 days ago Post by Lord Wraith
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For me personally, I like to have my OOC ready before my interest check. A lot of people might see this as a wasted effort, but I've seen too many RPs stall out between gathering interest and building their OOC. For me, the interest check is a way to advertise as opposed to gathering enough interest to run an idea. If I have an idea, then I'm going to run it and I think that confidence goes a long way to getting players interested.

That said, keep the iCheck concise, it should be able to communicate your premise but it does not to include the entirety of an OOC. The OOC on the other hand should contain or at least direct to all relevant information a player will need to create a character. If it's a fandom RP, link to relevant wikis or characters where appropriate. If it's original, lay out your information logically and with enough detail to create your world. If you want players to contribute to world-building, leave them space to do so, and if not, communicate that as well.

Have rules in place. But more importantly, make sure they are rules that you will follow. If you apply rules to a game that you as a GM break, then your players' trust and faith will be quickly eroded. This is where you also get to post your desired pace and post length, make sure it's again something you can produce consistently as well.

Character sheets don't need to be overly complicated, nor do they need to be long. Make sure they include information relevant to your game and what you need as a GM to accept them. A lot of character sheets are bloated with information that is not relevant to the game or would be better revealed in the IC. I'm pretty guilty of overly convoluted character sheets myself and a lot of times too much information has come back to bite me. If you want your small group to primarily interact with each other in a linear game for example, don't add a supporting cast section to a sheet because that gives the impression of a more sandbox story.

As a GM you also get to decide if you're going to play a character, just drive the story or both. You can drive via your character's POV but you risk becoming the main character. Likewise, you can drive the story through updates and NPCs but you risk a lack of engagement. I like a balance of both, but it is a balancing act where you are writing two distinct styles of posts.

If you're using dice and rolls to determine player actions or outcomes, that's also going to factor into how you approach IC posts versus a more collaborative writing environment.

OOC engagement also goes a long way. Encourage players, thank them for playing and posting. Tell them what you liked, speculate and spitball with them. This can either be done with the forum OOC or you can do a Discord if that's more your speed.

Lastly off the top of my head. Don't be afraid to say no, whether that's to accepting a character or even a player you don't like, to shooting down ideas that conflict with your vision for the IC. There are times to be flexible and constructive, but your enjoyment also matters and as the GM you need to be engaged. If players are running off with themes and ideas you're not enjoying, your engagement will dip. But likewise, it's important to indulge players as well. You'll find a balance as you get along with your players.
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Hidden 16 days ago Post by Alix
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Alix

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Wow, I wasn't really expecting to receive such detailed and thoughtful responses, so thank you, everyone!

I will absolutely be keeping these tips in mind as I work more on this. 📓🖋️

I really wanted to ask this question because I'm mostly used to making games for friends in a super casual setting like Discord and other stuff, but it's been on my mind for awhile to try something different like this.

The last time I tried to do this on a forum (which was awhile back), it didn't go so well, so I'm a bit nervous to try again, but I'm hoping it'll be different this time around.
Hidden 15 days ago Post by Rockette
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I will always preach communication and intention.

You can have the best narrative, the most thought-out cast, the most detailed setting and lore and characters.
It'll fall flat if you don't keep in touch with your players. People like to talk, people want to get to know their GM. If you're not engaged in the telling, then why should they be?

The hardest part of running a game, from my personal experience, is the intent of your setting and the plot. When do you drive it forward and when do you allow player influences? Too often will you intend for a linear story and it becomes lost to sandbox elements; suddenly you're stuck writing the same day and it drags on for far too long and now you ask - what else is there?

Players will be incredibly engaging in the beginning, they'll make the CS, they'll build relationships with other characters, and they'll hype it up endlessly.

Then they disappear. The first month is the most telling of who is in for the long haul and who is just there for the process of creating the character. Often all inspiration and thought goes into the CS and fizzles out too quickly.

Have the objective of your narrative already plotted out -- chapters, episodes, etc. It doesn't have to be written out from beginning to end, but I suggest having little blurbs or concepts written to yourself for reference.

You don't need the fanciest interest check or ooc, but players like looking at aesthetically pleasing things. Details matter.

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Hidden 14 days ago Post by Alix
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Alix

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Have the objective of your narrative already plotted out -- chapters, episodes, etc. It doesn't have to be written out from beginning to end, but I suggest having little blurbs or concepts written to yourself for reference.

You don't need the fanciest interest check or ooc, but players like looking at aesthetically pleasing things. Details matter.


Thank you for sharing your input!

I especially love this piece of advice because it can be such a pain for me at times organizing all these ideas that I want to write and try out. Before I know it, I've already gone into the deep end of daydreaming, to the point of no return, and I've made zero progress on what I was working on.

It was also definitely in my plans to make my game as aesthetically pleasing as I can without it being potentially overwhelming for my players. There's just so much more I can do on a forum as opposed to Discord where I'm very limited — even more so without Nitro.

Plus, I have a huge backlog of images and other graphics that I've been meaning to use for something like this; I'm excited to try them out and hope others will enjoy them too in the foreseeable future. ♥️
Hidden 10 days ago Post by Dion
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YMMV, but I have generally found that Discord is either the saving grace of small scale RP's or it's a sign that it's dead on arrival, so I guess that is not really advice but it's still good to know, probably.
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Hidden 10 days ago 10 days ago Post by LovelyComplex
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@Alix Lord Wraith and Rockette hit many points that I agree with.

I will add that with a small group it’s important that you lead by example and offer a safe space for your team to open up and blossom into great writers. Be transparent and real with your writers, reach out to them, especially when you notice that some might be more quiet than others. You, as the gm, are the driving force but you’re also human too. I try to do mental health check ins and reach out to writers to see if I can assist them in anyway if they are struggling.

A roleplay will have waves where everyone is active/hype and when everyone is burnt out/tired/going through it. Being resilient during those times matter especially if you know you have a dedicated batch of writers. I assure you those can be only a speed bumps in the road. You, the gm, just have to persevere. It’s okay to lean on others for support and it’s okay for everyone to take breaks. At the end of the day, there is no linear way to GM - small or big.

Big roleplays eventually trickle down to small roleplays because life is a beast in its own and a handful of people find themselves uninspired or unable to commit. And that’s okay. It happens. Life happens. But once you find your core group, keep attentive to them. Allow them to have some creative liberties, while also setting boundaries and limitations.

You have a vision but so do they. Allow them to expand your story and add color to it, make them feel like what they bring to the table matters - because it does, and as you guide them down a path, they’ll show you sights you didn’t think of but really enjoy seeing.

Collaborative stories can be a beautiful thing - and as the director of the film, you help push it forward. But like Rockette said, you need to know what you want out of the roleplay. Your goals, your intention, your ultimate destination. Once you set the foundation, it’ll be easier for others to help you build a house.

And if writers come and go like the seasons change, don’t feel disheartened (easier said than done). Pick up your chin, think of a resolution, keep going.

Ultimately we’re all just people trying to have a good time and it’s okay for you to not know what methods work best for you right now. You’ll never know your gm style until you gm a roleplay, you know? Trial and error. Practice. Keep going. In time, you’ll find people you adore that loves your creativity and that inspire you. Those same people will support you and express how they do things, and you can take a page out of their book to add to your ever growing manual of roleplaying.

Stay open minded, be kind hearted, and don’t be afraid to try new things/change things up. Be honest about the process.

I know for me - transparency has gotten me far.
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