Why not have PBP game finding as part of the paid gauntlet?

Not sure if this is the right place. But I’ve been thinking about this. Not everyone can do one shots (for example, Google Hangouts are rough for those of us living in China). I feel like this would be an area where the gauntlet community could provide value, and could induce people (like me!) to contribute to the patreon.

There are a lot of issues in PBP play that the gauntlet could help with. Namely, a better process for abandoned games. If someone abandons a game (however that is defined), they can no longer take part in PBP. That sort of thing.

I dunno. Just a thought. Always sad about all the great Hangouts I never get to take part in!

Edit: and I’ll admit an ulterior motive of wanting to find (or run!) a good PBP hearts of wulin game once the full rules come out (mainly the longer term campaign oriented stuff)


Sometimes PBP games are organized through the Slack, but it’s never become a convention in the Gauntlet Hangouts calendar — I imagine since the calendar schedules discrete sessions and PBP is more nebulously timed, PBP isn’t really suited to the rigidity of calendar scheduling.

As for organizing through the forums, that’s be something to bring up with @edige23 and the moderators…I don’t really see why a listing couldn’t be put up, but I’m by no means a deciding voice here.

If you have access to the Slack, I’d recommend socializing the idea there.

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Relatively few Gauntket Hangouts sessions are run with Google Hangouts any more. Would it be impossible to join b games run using alternatives such as StreamYard or Zoom? Is any online be meeting software off limits in China? Are there Chinese alternatives the rest of us could consider using? Forgive me if these are ‘Doh!’ questions … I’m just curious how we could integrate you into the calendar.

Chinese alternatives do not feel safe/convenient even for someone like me who speaks both Mandarin and English. Note that some local services cannot even be accessed overseas without reverse proxy or something like that.

So far my personal experience (currently located in that zone of limited internet) is that streamyard has yet to be completely blocked (but if the service uses anything that requires Google or another blocked service in the backend, those will cause connection issue during play). It’s only a matter of time before they also get banned, so I’m using it as much as I can for now.

Even with some help from (imperfect) proxy magic, people who have played with me here know I will disconnect at least once during play (not always due to censorship, but a combination of technical issues), but because they’re patient we got through the games. My storytelling ability suffers due to the unpredictable technical distractions, but I tell myself that I’ll improve over time once I stop needing to double-check the rules (aka one less cognitive load).

Play-by-post/chat would be great for more nuanced wuxia storytelling (enough time to do some research or use clever puns before putting words down), but it’s so easy to lose motivation if the group is not already devoted to either the genre or writing a story together for an uncertain amount of time. As for synchronous play-by-chat it still tends to take longer than video/audio-chat because we tend to want to edit more.

p.s. I might sound like an apologist, but I want to believe that it’s not all about censorship to freedom of information in all cases, but probably has an element of protecting local industry in the same field against foreign competitors who had a head start. In the future it’s not clear which giants in the industry of which nation will win out, but for now I personally prefer certain styles than other types when it comes to web services; it just happens that many of those services are blocked (throttled to the point of unusable) where I am currently.


Totally agree here. That’s sort of where I figured at least some accountability via the gauntlet would help. As part of a fairly activity community, there is a social component to not abandoning the game, etc.

Re: censorship in China, probably not the forum for it, but I think it’s a pretty convenient
一箭双雕. They have made a lot of inconsistent decisions, and even key banning (eg Google) are well known to be related to the company’s willingness to play along (eg apple keeping data in China, as well as manufacturing phones for the Chinese market that can’t display the Taiwan flag emoji). Why is bing allowed if the goal was to protect a nascent Baidu? And so on.

BTW if anyone is interested in a PBP hearts of wulin game once the fuller rules come out, I’d love to give it a try. I am a wuxia lover who would love to collaborate to tell stories in a wuxia way!

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There are a lot of issues in PBP play that the gauntlet could help with. Namely, a better process for abandoned games. If someone abandons a game (however that is defined), they can no longer take part in PBP. That sort of thing.

I think this is actually close to the opposite of the Gauntlet’s policy when it comes to video chat games. All games have an open door policy and people are allowed to drop out whenever they feel the need. There is a general culture of treating the calendar seriously, and it’s certainly frowned upon to drop at the last minute or ghost. But as far as I know there are no actual punishments for dropping. I think this is a good thing, since there are many legitimate reasons why someone might want to drop, not least of which is “I’m not having fun but I’m a bit embarrassed to say so.” So if you are looking for a way to make PBP games more reliable, I would look towards the culture of the Gauntlet community rather than a strict set of rules.

That said, I have been enjoying PBP gaming quite a lot lately, so I would certainly be watching with interest if anyone tries to set up a formal system for it on this site. One thing I might suggest is to copy the Gauntlet model of short campaigns with defined endpoints. If you said “This PBP will run for 6 months” or “for 4 sessions’ equivalent” or something, then it might make people less likely to ghost. The interminable nature of many PBPs means that they are pretty much guaranteed to end with people getting bored and wandering off.


I would target finishing a typical one shot in 3 - 4 months. Otherwise, the pace will probably be too slow for more than a 2 player game.

Hey @jco, I’m a fan of play-by-post as well. I don’t think this Discourse forum is the best spot for actual play of PBP, honestly. I prefer Tavern Keeper:

It isn’t perfect (can be buggy), but it’s a pretty decent place with a solid community, even a Discord server. Have you checked it out?


Oh, I definitely agree. I wasn’t proposing using discourse/the gauntlet for playing the games, only for organizing them. Def would want to host them somewhere else.

Tavern keeper was actually recommended to me by someone on the gauntlet! I haven’t used it, but it seems really slick.

I’ve mainly used myth weavers. It seems like the most feature complete one I could find, though it’s a little ugly (though not as ugly as rpol!)

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Myth Weavers and RPoL have their own distinct styles. I play at Unseen Servant, it’s a forum that is just PbP games. And since it’s forum based it makes more sense to me (read: it’s easy for this social worker to use :slight_smile: )

Unseen Servant is small for a community I think, definitely compared to RPoL, but that helps keep games lasting a long while there. Though we don’t have a PbtA game there, yet, it does come up as having folks interested in trying it. But unfortunately it’s true that PbP games can die easily, and while I enjoy playing them, the slower pace can hurt the game. We have games there that post daily, and one that posts every other week, though most settle into a 2-3 posts a week groove.

It’s certainly different than FtF gaming, but it is fun. And it alleviates scheduling difficulties, and anyone knew to the rules, because you have plenty of time to learn as you play. Interestingly enough, the game that posts every other week is a Star Wars d6 game, and it’s our oldest active PbP running for (I think) 7 years now!

Hope that helps!
ETA: full disclosure, I’m a Mod over at Unseen Servant, and the forums are here: www.unseenservant.us

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