PBF Structure thoughts

edited November 2012 in PBP Discussion
I've been thinking about ways to structure PBF to make them easier to follow. By follow, I mean easier for new players to jump in and be a part of the action and also easier for folks who go away for some time (work, vacation, etc) and want to catch up.

In the BPRD game, I've abandoned clever thread titles and instead all threads are the mission name and the sequential order of it. This is much easier in BPRD than something like AW because it follows a major plot arc for each mission.

But I think there could be other ways to do it. Plus, I admit it isn't that elegant.

What if threads were based on the real world timeframe instead of the time within the game. Say, threads start on a Sunday and end on a Saturday (unless they make sense to end mid-week) and they are numbered in a format like 11-11-12 or something. That way everyone could easily jump in at a certain timeframe. And if a scene was lasting through the "weeks", you would just move it to a new thread in the next week format and do a quick scene recap to kick it off.

I liked how Chris Weeks did The Island summaries, but those looked like a ton of work. Any advice on that Chris?

What are some other vanilla forum ways to do this without making it a whole bunch of work?

What is a way to get the entire playgroup involved?


  • One thing about the BPRD game is that for the most part we are all together. In AW we're split apart a lot more.

    I have more thinking on this, but I'm on my phone at the mo.
  • One simple(?) thing I do when i run and I think helps a lot is to describe the arrival of pc's and important NPC's from both perspectives. Tell the arriving PC what he sees when he "enters" the thread so he doesn't have to read back to figure out what's going on. Also describe his arrival the those already in thread so they have a context of the new presence. I find it really hard as a player to just be told "you're in that thread now" and then having to figure out what's going on. It's great to be told what I see and then everyone can react to the new situation.

    i think combining that with some kind of convention for thread naming/or some mid-stream tags to show that the characters involved have changed. Maybe even so far as to start a new thread (though I think this might be too disruptive) More along the lines of what you're talking about maybe?

    When I run again.... got to figure out when I have the mental fortitude to do that, I want to try and improve as a forum MC/GM, glad this thread is up.
  • Consider a table of contents. A post with one sentence descriptions of what is going on in the fiction, a time stamp, and a hyperlink to that post. That way you could see the outline of the plot and jump to any point.
  • I've been thinking about this a lot recently, and I think mease19 is on to something there — if you're sticking to a forum type game, then having a running summary post might be a good idea — something that keeps track of the major plot changes in a few sentences or less. Important details and the like. Of course, that costs a lot of time as the MC/GM, but it could be something the players could even help out with.
  • Broad Session Overview, give it a name like a chapter - Written by MC. No more than a paragraph or two.
    Key NPCs are defined and highlighted.

    All players reply, giving character perspective on what happened, development and information for that session, information out there that the Character doesn't know, information they do not know. (often I find I'm asking myself this question).
Sign In or Register to comment.