Saturday, 12 August 2017

PBM D&D - concept

Australia is participating in a postal non-binding plebiscite on same-sex marriage over the coming months. After daydreaming for a bit I concluded I had to try running a play-by-mail (PBM) D&D game. After announcing it on Facebook and Google+ I suddenly found I had seven responders so on to logistics.

I won't be organising any aspect of this game outside of postal mail - that's the whole point! - but here is an overview on how I plan to run it.

Give me a week to send you the first pamphlet: it shall have details about the game world, character generation, resolution sequence, "edition" (being super crunchy doesn't make sense) and so on.

In the role of referee I shall be sending out game reports and questions for players on odd weeks. In the role of player you shall be sending orders to me - and maybe any in-character prose or art you might wish to include in the report - on even weeks.

Communication shall be between myself and players on a 1-1 basis. I'll be referring to you by your character names in the report. I didn't imagine this panning out like a game of Diplomacy where players write letters to each other. Let's start simple.

Given the low baud rate of postal mail I see the players being patrons, warlords, master necromancers or the like dispatching orders to a primary henchman who will be leading a band of lesser henchmen. This way I hope to preserve a sense of player agency. Orders are not always perfectly followed out in the field as a situation unfolds - no problem! If instead you were directly playing a PC and I was corrupting what you do in play to achieve a consistent game state then that might seem a bit off.

Stay tuned!