Role-Playing Games.......by E-Mail !!
By Krymner 01-10-2010 07:45 PM
It was about my junior year of high school when I first discovered Dungeons & Dragons. The problem was, not many others in my small hometown were interested in playing. So, it became just me and another friend of mine creating adventures for one another. Neither of us were really huge into D&D, but like I said, it was a small town, and there wasn't much else to do. Other kids our age were either drinking and smoking pot, playing sports, or wasting time socializing at the local mall. None of that really appealed to us, so the two of us would get together and play video games, and occasionally roll some dice playing D&D.
Back in the early 90s when I first stepped into the world of the internet, online role-playing wasn't anything like it is today. There was no WoW back then. Everything like that was text-based. I tried a few role-playing chat room games, but those were too limiting for me. That's when I discovered Play-By-e-Mail games (aka PBeM).
I've always considered myself a pretty fair writer. The PBeM system gave me a chance to be as wordy as I like, and do it all in my own time. I like collaborating with other like-minded individuals as we role-play our created characters in developing a story.
There are a TON of PBeM and PBP (Play-By-Post) games running even now, a lot more than you would think. The majority of them are free-form games that use no real rules system like D&D. They're mostly just interactive stories, many of them based upon popular fiction franchises like Star Trek, Harry Potter, X-Men, Twilight, and other "geek" culture things like that.
Players either create their own character, or assume the role of an established character. Whomever runs the game (The DM, GM, Monitor, or whatever their title) sets up challenges, and the players respond in-character within their emailed message. This system really appeals to creative writers who want to role-play, but do it in their own time. Responding to an email every day or so is a lot easier than trying to get together a half-dozen players in a room, or even an internet chat room.
I haven't done any PBeM gaming in several years, and only rediscovered the fun of it this past summer. I'm more interested in playing fantasy-based games, and I personally like having a rules system like D&D to set boundaries of what players can and cannot accomplish.
After a month or so of playing, I started to run my own PBeM game back in July, using AD&D 2nd-Edition rules, and set in the Spelljammer campaign world. Spelljammer is basically fantasy in space, where the rules of physics are suspended and magic powered galleons fly across the stars in search of adventure.
Anyway, if you think you may be interested in PBeM gaming, feel free to "google" PBEM and find out for yourself how fun it can be. Also below, I've linked to a FAQ about PBeM games.
And here is a short segment of the PBeM game I run as an example. I color-coded the player's responces so you can more easily differentiate between the characters being played:
[Lysander:] Lysander watches his companion as she returns to the waiting area, and he couldn't help but notice that the front of her dress had been pulled down several inches further than normal. He attempts to catch her eye and then smiles, doing his best to hold back a chuckle. "Thought you'd try to gain an edge in there, did you?"
[Jodu:] Jodu heard the comment, looked towards Annabeth and quickly averted his eyes. He stared down at his feet, swinging them and twirling the hair on his right foot nervously with his toes. His ears turned red. Jodu was not sure why he was embarrassed, although perhaps it was because this was the first time he had worked with female crew members. Jodu felt… protective of his new crew.
[Annabeth:] She giggles at Lysander and her face turns a bit red, but she offers no apologies. "Strange though," she said. "The man didn't seem to notice at all. Maybe its true what the say about bald men in brown robes?" She giggles again at the thought.
[Jodu:] Perhaps Annabeth was willing to entice their marks – Jodu had placed her into the upper class and with the associated social graces and restrictions that entailed. The interviewing priest was certainly a social step above himself. She had seemed squeamish dealing with Kilaus in Bral, probably due to his social standing and personality. Perhaps she felt uncomfortable with that kind of company and by extension with his own. He looked to make sure no one was watching him, then continued to idly play with his hair, this time both head and foot.
[DM:] Once everyone had taken their interviews, the five would-be bounty hunters waited in the small room for almost an hour. Cerafina stayed with them the entire time, offering them encouraging words and answering any questions about aspects of the Jupiter Federation laws. Finally, another man dressed similar to the interviewer in plain brown robes came into the room, carrying several papers and offering them to Cerafina. "Here are the licenses," he said to her as he handed them over. "Please give the envelope on top to Captain Bal." Cera nodded and held the papers close as the man turned around and exited.
[DM:] "Well," said the elf, smiling at each of the others. "Looks like you're all legal now. We've got a few hours before leaving port, so you're free until then. I'm going to head back to the ship and see if our prisoner has been transferred yet. I'll pass out personal licenses once we're set for Europa." With that said, she turned around and exited and began to head back to the Starhunter.
[Kit:] “I pass?” Kit blinks. She talks to herself, her tone surprised. “They give anybody license these days.”
[Corbin:] Corbin nodded, “I agree Kit. I have to assume that they were looking for something other than just the answers to their questions. Psssh! I’ve had it with clipboards. I’m heading back to the Starthunter.”
[Lysander:] Lysander stands as soon as Cerafina is through speaking, but turns to face his shipmates rather than follow her out. "I'm off to the market to procure a few supplies - would any of you care to come along?"
[Kit:] She shrugs. “I go shopping. Time to look at books!” With that she heads towards Tello's, near the market, eager to smell the fragrance of dusty tomes, and wet ink still drying on the pages.
[Jodu:] "Sorry Lysander." said Jodu quickly, anxious to follow Cerafina. "I have to go back to the ship so that I can find my way to a friend, otherwise I would go with you."
[Annabeth:] The priestess stands up and takes the dark-clothed bard by the arm. "Oh Lysander I would love to accompany you in shopping. But you'll have to excuse my nerves. I'm a tad bit claustrophobic and these corridors outside do make me dreadfully anxious. But once I'm inside a shop I calm down so lets hurry."
[Lysander:] Lysander watches as the young elf departs to do some shopping of her own, a slight look of concern on his face. He then glances at Jodu, and nods in understanding. His gaze then settles upon first his arm, then Annabeth herself, and finally her bosom once more. He smirks, winks at her and nods again, this time signifying agreement. "Alright. We should probably keep an eye on Kit too, I worry about her sometimes - though she is tougher than she appears."
[Jodu:] Jodu hurried out of the office, catching up with Cerafina. She might benefit from an escort back to the ship – those papers were important to their wellbeing and the way she clutched them gave that fact away. He made idle small talk – asking if the library had a set of law books from the Jupiter Federation.
[Corbin:] Corbin followed, listening to Jodu, but not with his full attention. The Spire made him uncomfortable, and he couldn’t relax here. Once he knew Slade was in someone else’s hands, maybe he could look up old acquaintances and wipe away the taste of small-minded officials.
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|Halo05 - 01-10-2010, 09:33 PM|
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