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Online RPG Primer: New? Looking for Games/Groups/Players?
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Thread: Online RPG Primer: New? Looking for Games/Groups/Players?

  1. #1
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    Online RPG Primer: New? Looking for Games/Groups/Players?

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    Online RPG Primer

    Hi there, and welcome to Pen & Paper Games! If you're new, or newly returned, and looking for some gaming, the following may be helpful to you.

    1. Player or GM. To help get a solid start, decide if:

    • You're a GM looking to start a game, and looking for players
    • You're a Player, looking for a GM and game
    • Either or both


    2. System and Setting. We'll presume you know your chosen or desired genre/setting and systems.

    3. Play Format. You then need to decide what format of gaming you're interested in, from:

    • Local Face-to-Face/in-real-life (F2F, IRL or RL): traditional gaming at someone's house or for more neutral settings, some groups meet at game stores or even restaurants.

    • Play-by-Post/play-by-email (PbP/PbEm): non-realtime forum posts or emails, usually done on a schedule requiring the players to post every so often, from very frequent (once or even more often per day) to casual (twice a week). PPG forums have a built-in dice roller, as do most gaming forums.

    • Play-by-Chat (PbC): PPG Chat is the "local" version of this, as the PPG chatroom has a built-in die roller and a few games are held regularly or semi-regularly, and pick-up games also happen from time to time - this allows near "realtime" play, similar to being at the table, with interaction accomplished through typed text.


      -- Scheduled Chat Games: Some are scheduled and may involve an already cohesive group of players and may not be open to new characters, while others may welcome new members.

      -- Pick-Up Chat Games: Some players in chat may also run "pick-up" games, spontaneous games of whatever system and setting they've found players for in chat; usually these are "one-shot" sessions for people who are interested in playing a game "right now". Due to their nature, these are rarely predictable and you just have to be in chat when someone happens to run one.

    • Play-by-IM, Play-by-Skype (PbIM/PbS): this is similar to chat games and involves the players all using an instant messenger of some sort (Skype seems to be popular), in a "conference call" format - IM games are likely to feature or require voice or VOIP (voice over IP) chat.

    • Play-by-Mail (PbM): rare in the electronic age, turns are sent by postal snail-mail to the GM.

    • Virtual TableTop (VTT): these games are run using either downloadable applications such as Maptool , OpenRPG/Traipse or Gametable, all of which are free, or commercial programs such as Fantasy Grounds - these all provide varying levels of sophistication of stat-tracking, dice-rolling, chat, map-display, mini/token movement, macro use, etc., and involve the GM setting up a server or a room on a server, and the players logging in to play. VTT are likely to feature or require voice or VOIP (voice over IP) chat, though text chat is always still available, as technical difficulties can occur.


    Notes About Dice: some games may have dice add-ons or built-in to their format, others may require players sign-up for and visit certain websites to roll dice, which keeps a public record of each roll for each player, while others may work on the honor system and the GM expects the players roll actual dice at their physical location and be honest about the results.

    Notes About Advertising: when you post a thread for your game, or advertise or mention it in chat, PLEASE be aware that, wherever else you're used to, things do not happen auto-magically, and you do not get instant response. If people aren't interested, they likely won't reply or read a topic, or they're away, etc. DO NOT SPAM forums or chat, trying to get more notice for your game - that will NOT have the desired effect - it will chill players VERY quickly and VERY effectively to you, and you will find you will NEVER get players. It can take hours, days, even weeks to get responses to invitations to games, depending on the popularity of the system and setting and format and way you present it.
    4. PPG Resources. PPG and other sites on the net can help you find the type of gaming you're looking for, all helpfully collected in the Player Portal section of the forums, listing games looking for players, play-by-post games, groups, and more.

    • Find Players. The PPG forums feature a Find Players registry (which you need to fill out for your own account so your searches will be accurate) which allow you to search for players, GMs and games within a certain distance from you. Do note that if you chose "online" as your chosen method of gaming in your profile, the distance criteria will be ignored.

    • Find/Advertise Games Forum. Secondly, the Find or Advertise Games section of the forums allow you to search the existing threads, filtered by criteria you choose, or you may post your own thread, either advertising your game or that you are looking for a game.

    • PbP Forums. The Play by Post Games Forum is self-explanatory.

    • Introductions. Say hi and maybe outline your interests, ask questions and network with others in the Introductions Forum.

    • Social Groups. The Social Group Forums is a somewhat obscure, area-specific forum for some certain groups to communicate with their local area gamers, but it wouldn't hurt to check it out to see if there's anything useful for you.

    • Member Groups. Lastly, there is also a less-well-known and less-understood resource at PPG called simply "Groups", which allows individuals users to create their own Group, for whatever particular purpose or theme. These are divided into three basic types: Gaming Groups, Local Meetup Groups and Play-by-Post Groups.

      These are separate from the normal forums and groups, and may contain just the players or games you're looking for - happily, you can use the Advanced Search feature to filter these groups for keywords and number of members, which can help cut down on the volume of groups you have to manually peruse in your quest to find... well, a quest.


    5. Other Player/Game Locators and Resources:


    6. Chatroom Rules, Info:
    • There are Moderators, though they don't come in a lot, noted by a (C) icon prefixing their name
    • It is an adult-but-civil atmosphere, no racism, sexism, hate speech, etc.
    • As above: there are male, female, adult, kid, straight, gay, bi, transgender, furry gamers in chat
    • No promotion/sharing illegal practices: drugs, warez, torrents, peer-to-peer/filesharing sites, etc.
      .
    • Busiest chat times tend to be 5-9PM CST, with up to 20 people
    • Roll dice in chat by typing: /roll 3d6 (or /roll 1d20 +5 * 6 -2)
      .
    • Expand/Collapse room lists by clicking on the right hand side Room Name or [Down Arrow]
    • Click the [Add] button above chat to create a Room to run a game. You may Password it.
    • -- Public makes a visible room, Private is invisible. You must [Invite] players to Private Rooms.
    • -- To enter a Public Room, select the room from the [General Chatter] dropdown above chat
    • -- Rooms disappear after a few minutes if no one is in them
      .
    • Private Message users by Left Clicking on a name in the user list. Invite to Private Rooms.
    • -- The Profile function does not work. The Ignore function CANNOT BE UNDONE.
      .
    • Click the [Save] button above the chat entry box to get an html chatlog of your session
    • -- PMs to and from you will be included in this chatlog
    • -- Room chatlogs are separate from General Chatter chatlogs
      .
    • COLORS: Most chatters have a black or dark background, please use light color fonts.
    • -- Here is an example of what a chatter's screen might look like: [Link]
    • -- Change Font Color: [Color Pulldown] box next to [Smile], [ B ] and [ I ] buttons above chat
    • -- Change Background Color/Theme: [Options > Theme] and [Options > Effects] Backg./Tran.
    • -- Change All Text to Your Color (on your screen): [Options > Text > Checkbox "Use my..."]
    • -- Change Userlist, Main Chat Avatar: [Options > Effects] (make sure both boxes are checked)
    Last edited by jpatterson; 12-02-2011 at 09:47 PM.
    Abstruse Decapod

    "Why aren't i just be able to write adventures that don't require crap like an Amish rpg?" -myself

  2. #2
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    Don't forget! Here, I'll make an addendum.

    5. Other Player/Game Locators and Resources:



  3. #3
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    Thanks, GeekEclectic, I have added your link to my list in my initial post also.
    Abstruse Decapod

    "Why aren't i just be able to write adventures that don't require crap like an Amish rpg?" -myself

  4. #4
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    Outstanding summary jpatterson! Well done.

  5. #5
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    A must read for newcomers! Thank you for this.

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