Dungeons & Dragons Play By Post: How It Works
Advance Dungeons & Dragons Play By Post: How It Works
NOTE: Some of the links may be outdated because they lead to Dungeon Master Threads that are not active but the substance of what is said still applies.
UPDATE: This also refers to the style of certain Dungeon Masters since some Dungeon Masters do not use a Party Leader thread for party actions but instead interact with the Players.
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This is a rough, brief "how-to" For how the game works and how to set up your stats for easy reference during play.
Although the GM likely reads the Party thread or at least glances through it occasionally, it is mostly for inter-party discussion, roleplaying, banter, etc.
Rather than each person making individual posts for the GM to respond to, the game is done like this, in the Steps below:
1) Party Leader (Me in this case) regularly reads the Play By Post Game thread to get an idea of a situation or choice (Or result of a previous party decision) as presented by the GM. ALL PLAYERS SHOULD ALSO READ UPDATES TO THIS THREAD.
2) Party Leader presents and/or summarize the situation in the Game thread so the rest of the party understands what is going on and the main choices as he sees it, and usually offers his own intention, best guess or suggestion(S) for the group.
3) Party members and Leader roleplay and discuss things unofficially among themselves in the Play By Post Party thread, until ideally everyone has posted their final main thoughts and desired actions and any required die rolls they want their character, and the party, to make, regarding the current situation. Very slow or absentee posters, after a few days, are usually assumed to "Go along" With the Leader's choice. "Turnaround" For Game thread to Party Leader thread is usually 2-6 days, depending on: players' Party discussion activity levels, post relevancy to the situation, and clarity and conciseness of posts, providing all the info needed for the Party Leader to read.
4) Party Leader interprets (If needed) each character's actions and any necessary rolls, to put them into an easy-to-understand and read standard format, and ties everyone's posts all together as best he can in a single post.
5) Sometimes Party Leader posts his final summary or compilation of the members' actions in the Party thread so anyone can post any changes or additional info or feedback, which he responds to and adds in if necessary, but sometimes Party Leader goes with what he has, to speed things up when possible.
6) Party Leader posts Party Actions/Orders summary in the Party Leader thread. The GM regularly checks this thread to see what everyone is officially doing, and makes a response post in the Game thread for ALL party members to read.
7) No posts by anyone other than the Party Leader, in any forum, are considered to be "Official" Character actions "Submitted" To the GM, as only the Party Leader is the "Liason" That makes the official post of everyone's actions for the GM. Only the Party Leader posts in the Party Leader thread, only the GM posts in the Game thread. Out-of-Character questions, comments or discussion, usually to clarify game mechanics or etc. (What spells do I have, what should I roll to do X), should be posted in the Questions thread. Those interested in roleplaying and posting character history/background, and new developments, should post in the Character Development thread.
8) Repeat from Step 1.
*) Note: I encourage you to fill out your "Character sheet", the parts of which which appear to the right and left and at the top and bottom of any post you make, by clicking the [Edit Stats] link under your character's avatar/icon on the right hand column one of your posts - this takes you to your main Int. Discussion forum Edit Profile page, which covers more than just your general main forum info, and you can scroll down until you see the Advance Dungeons & Dragons fields, where you can enter various stats.
Advance Dungeons & Dragons Name and Class/Level/Race fields will be displayed at the top of your posts, like mine that says "Namdar Al Sattar", and "Half-Orc/Rogue/1/M/CN/6'5/320".
Tome is displayed on the right side of your every post and can be any notes you want to put there, background, religion, etc.
Spells/Skills are displayed under the Tome.
Ability Scores and bonuses and other stats (AC, HP, etc) will show up on the left column.
Equipment will be displayed at the bottom of every post you make.