Tuesday, February 7, 2012

FtF or PbB?

I've been a bit indecisive about how I want to run the campaign I've started designing. Do I want to try and form a face-to-face group locally, or should I run it as a play-by-blog? As a rule I'm not an indecisive person, but it happens on occasion and, when it happens, I find it helpful to make a list of pros (+) and cons (-). Here are the major ones I've come up with.


(+) There's a spontaneous energy over the table that isn't always there in PbP
(-) Given my work schedule, it'd be hard for me to commit to more than one play session/month
(-) If only playing once a month, the unfolding of the campaign may be a bit slow


(+) Players and GM have time to think things out carefully
(+) Experience is currently showing me that PbP/PbB really fits my schedule well
(+) I love writing as a medium
(-) May sometimes lack the spontaneous energy of a group sitting together around a table
(-) The unfolding of the campaign can be a bit slow

Looking at the lists, PbB has a better + to - ratio, especially since the "slowness" issue appears in both formats (given my circumstances), and sort of cancel each other out, giving FtF +1/-1, and PbB +3/-1. Are there any inherent features of either FtF or PbB I haven't thought of?

Of course, one might not necessarily preclude the other. I might, for example, do a PbB year round and, if that's working out, then at some point try to start running FtF games over summers when my workload tends to be substantially lighter. Hmm...

On a related note, fleshing out of the region around Fairbrook is coming along nicely, and I'll be posting about that soon (though perhaps with not too much detail since I could end up running a PbB...)


  1. I like the play by blog idea better but everyone is different!

  2. I am a bit biased because if you do a PbB then I can participate so take my comments with that grain of salt.

    It might be easier to find consistent players with a PbB game unless you already have a FtF group.

    You have more time to respond to a situation or unforseen turn of events in PbB instead of having some people sitting around the table waiting for you to come up with something.

    However, you do miss out on the interaction and perhaps some of the quicker decision making with a PbB that could be hashed out person to person in a FfF game.

    But like you said you could end up doing both with the PbB fitting into your schedule as you can.

    In the end you should have fun doing it whichever way!

    (But if you do a PbB I might get a bit excited :)

  3. I am always in favor of face to face, but to increase frequency of play, maybe you can combine them.

  4. I've only ever played face to face, but I am intrigued by the use of other options given how difficult that sometimes is to schedule.

  5. I ran a Play by Blog game at the end of last year (Dan above was a player).

    It worked rather well; I had a dead line for players to respond with orders of a week from the time I posted the results for a turn.

    I think most of the delays in a turn were at my end thanks to real life getting in the way of a game.

  6. Thanks everyone for the feedback. It's very helpful and much appreciated!

  7. Well, if you decide to run a play by post/blog then I want in! - sonofotho

    1. That's awesome! I just PM'd you on the Goblinoid Forum with some details.