Controversy in Pony Tales!

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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  ZamuelNow on Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:47 pm

Bronymous wrote:Cases in point: PBPs are very easy to RP in, so my character gameplay is almost always concerned with that in such games.
That's an interesting response. In person there's a lot of vocal inflections and body language you don't get on a forum. Oddly, I'd say the main strength of pbp is record keeping. Rather than struggling to remember past events, you can simply backtrack and read older posts.
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  A1C Bronymous on Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:17 pm

It helps that you always have time to formulate your posts, as opposed to on the spot responses, so you get to think about how your character would respond, vs, how you would respond playing as that character. You also can absolutely always say everything you want to say, without fear of getting drowned out or preempted by someone else. They can ninja your post, sure, but you still get to put your speech out there.
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Zarhon on Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:34 pm

As far as character creation goes, I usually try to go for filling a niche or two in a party - some kind of unique utility, ability, character trait, or option that the rest of the team is either weak in or lacks. After determining what that niche is, I build the character around it, taking up talents that make the niche either reliable, have special functionality / "combo" uses, or make it independent of the DM most of the time (so I don't end up in a situation where the DM can't provide a challenge where that niche is needed or useful for, leading to me twiddling my thumbs in boredom). I almost always try to pick the abilities to fit either the character's flavor, or be functional for the niche and being able to be justified (for instance, a griffon that has burrower, which is both justified in backstory and flavor, and provides a direct benefit to him (for his niche and main "gimmick" of his personality and/or skills) and his party (by giving something unique via the natural abilities of the racial).

PbPs are indeed RP heavy - they allow for well-thought-out roleplaying for the PCs (in acting and dialogue), planning out encounters and challenges for the DM, allows for seamless OOC discussion and other "behind the scenes" interactions... It's main weakness is a vulnerability to inactive players, and incredibly long-winded / clunky / easily complicated combat.

Contrasted with skype, where one's lack of on-the-spot creativity, or simply shyness, or some other social/personal factor, can lead to a "drop" in roleplaying immersion. This is especially apparent for character conversations - not everyone is comfortable or good with talking, or living up to the role of their character. It also limits character interactions a bit, due to how Skype operates - people can't see each other (losing gesturing cues and subtle face communication) and there's awkward silences when nothing happens or everyone tries to do things, talking over each other. DM's are also often forced to improvise to player actions on the spot, which can lead to complications or divergences from planned RP events. It does however hold advantage in quick DM decisions and the power of talking/explaining something over vast walls of emotionless text, as well as having a rather steady pace, and generally allows for a lot more "ideas" to be tossed around to try.

So in Skype game, there's a somewhat larger value of utility, pro-activness, combat, and "doing cool stuff", than there is in RPing. It is very easy to have players stuff twiddling their thumbs, unable to do anything, depending on what challenge they face and what utilities/racials/stats they have. It's also a bit oriented on success more than good RP - while in PbPs, success can be gotten with RPing thanks to the luxury of time, Skype games usually abandon roleplaying when success or decisive action is needed, or when it's not required for justification.

It also has a lot more enjoyment in combat, since it's not "slow" as it is in PbPs, the rules and complexities are easier to manage (due to not being disconnected by extended periods, time-wise), and there's a degree of obvious/visible cooperation - combat becomes something like a spectator sport, where other characters can pipe in, make their own comments, plans, strategies, and has stuff like cheering, face-palming, going over-the-top in the vigor of combat... It's just stuff you can't get with plain text.
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  ZamuelNow on Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:19 pm

It's interesting how the variance in experience affects things. My first tabletop RPG experience was in person so actions and reactions wound up a bit different. Any situation with time pressure seems to have swifter reaction than pbp unless the group is in super apathy mode. And not just the factor of number of days between post, the players seem to more greatly acknowledge that the timer even exists. I personally have found tabletop combat more difficult than forum combat though that may be coming from playing a different system, plus the fact that some of the players have a min-max and/or metagaming edge. I also think the need for faster reactions and the chance of things easily going haywire is why the idea of some talents like Challenge the Gods don't bug me at all.
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