Play-by-Post Gaming?
Introducing the concept of play-by-post role-playing
AOMTealFox, 511.08.05 @ 00:03

As promised in our "What is New Worlds?" We offer you an introduction to play-by-post (PbP) gaming. Play-by-post gaming refers to a method of roleplaying. It is sometimes also called play-by-forum. As its name suggests, players play with each other by posting on a forum.

The idea is fairly simple once one understands the different components involved in play-by-post gaming. The following will be found on every play-by-post game on the internet:

- A web-based forum, which serves as the central repertoire for posts

- A group of players who each control a single character (or more)

- A common setting

Gaming begins when a player posts a starting chapter that begins a storyline.

The player sets the starting scene for a story and gets his character in place.

Other players then read the starting scene and judge whether they want to participate in this storyline or not. If they do, they will then write an additional event which gets their character into the story thus changing it.

The original player then needs to write a response to take into account the new events. With two characters now in the action, the player posts a reply to the new event created by the player that preceded them.

This process continues until both players are satisfied that the storyline has reached its natural end. Depending on the size of the game, only one person may write an entire storyline, or 5, or 10, or 20, or even more!

Practice makes perfect, if there is something that every resource devoted to teaching individuals how to write says: In order to become a better writer, you simply must write more and more.

The New Worlds Project naturally forces you to keep practicing. Not through coercion, not through forced assignments, but simply through fun and a bit of peer pressure from your co-writers. The methods we employ naturally draw you in, and your co-writers by their very action of adding to your ongoing stories force you to respond in writing.

The Project offers many places for you to discuss on-going role-plays and novels, these places are used actively by our members in order to discuss various aspects of the storyline - aspects which are vital to think about if you want to be a good creative writer. From plot development, to character development and everything in between, the Project trains you to think about these aspects because if you don't figure it out the role-play will quickly hit troubled waters.

In short, yes, the New Worlds Project certainly can prove a useful tool to help improve your writing skills.

Clearly, despite using the same method, there are variations between the play-by-post games. New Worlds applies the methods in a particular way. This section shall seek to explain how the New Worlds Project applies the play-by-post method to support its science-fiction mission.

In the New Worlds Project, to be able to participate in the role-playing game one needs to have the following:

- A registered account at the Nuribis website

- An approved character biography

- A Target Locked Writing Group

Once a player is promoted to the rank of Lt. Cmdr., they can initiate storylines in Weapons Free to be written by themselves, in pairs, or with a Weapons Free writing group

In New Worlds, players role-play characters that they have created based on the information provided by the common setting. Often, the characters will be officers in the military, with a specialisation chosen by the player with the advice of the moderator. Players often role-play the most important officers on their starships or ground platoon.

All new players join a Target Locked writing group of their choice. Players then write about their characters, and how they perform and react to the challenges posed by the missions facing their ship or ground platoon. These missions and challenges are given to the player by the Target Locked moderator. Players thus usually write about their characters performing missions that will help their major power win the ongoing war.

Once a player is promoted to Lt. Cmdr., they become eligible to participate in Weapons Free. They can from then on role-play the commanding officer of their own starship or ground platoon and participate in the setting in a much more expansive manner.

New players begin by conceiving their first character. Using the background documents available on the Nuribis website, they are asked to write a biography about that character's life and post it for review on the website. Our Dean of Personnel then reviews the biography and advises on changes that need to be made to ensure full compatibility with the universe.

Once the biography is approved, the player is expected to join a Target Locked writing group (these can be selected from the user profile page). In the process of completing missions, you will discover more about the setting, allowing a progressive learning process that will enable you to use the setting to its fullest potential.

To keep you motivated, New Worlds has a ranking system a bit like the military does. As you post more often and as you contribute more and more to the Project you will be promoted and given more access, responsibility and ability to change the setting.

The New Worlds Project is a surprisingly open community with very few rules. The members of the Project have been able to judge well the limits of decency. Due to our subject matter, the war, we also allow a good deal of creative liberty with regards to themes of violence, to swearing, etc. The rule of thumb given to our members is that these themes need to be used only to the extent that they contribute to the quality of their storyline.

The Project maintains a short list of rules that are applicable in particular to the role-playing game and to the forums. These are designed to ensure quality of writing, and quality of enjoyment of the game for all users.

1. Whilst we would like to offer our writers as much freedom in their writing as possible, we would ask that writing not exceed an R (US) or 15 (UK) rating. This prohibits scenes of an intensely graphic sexual nature as well as extremely graphic descriptions of obscene horror or violence.

2. Without the permission of the author who first created that character, you may not arbitrarily kill off player-created characters without their prior consent.

3. If you want to write a story involving some kind of super-weapon or balance of power altering device, please contact the administrators for approval. Any unapproved use of such weapons will be severely reprimanded.

4. It is prohibited to copy work from other sources. "New Worlds" is an original universe; therefore we ask that you not borrow things from other science fiction universes (like Warp Drives, Star Destroyers, Klingons, Narns etc.) We recognise that some crossover of references may be necessary (since those universes use generic terms like thrusters, bulkheads, sensors) but no major infractions of this rule will be permitted.

5. God-moding, that is the posting of "solves-everything" posts, is not allowed in New Worlds. Your starship, for example, cannot in one minute be participating in conflicts light years apart. Likewise, it is very unlikely for a light frigate to be able to destroy a heavy fightercraft carrier in one magical shot.

6. New Worlds Administration monitors all posts for continuity issues. Continuity ensures that all events in the New Worlds universe are actually connected and do not contradict. If you are approached by the New Worlds Administration with a request to adapt a certain part of your role-play as a result of these continuity issues, you are kindly asked to comply.

7. Anti-social behaviour, in the form of "faction prejudice," will not be tolerated in New Worlds. The New Worlds Administration will take proactive steps to ensure that no "New Worlds cliques" develop. We ask that all members participate with one another without prejudice.

8. New rule as of March 2005: New Worlds is very concerned with ensuring that players interact with one another, as a result, New Worlds players are asked not to create threads before having found a co-writer who will assist in the writing of the storyline. Exceptions can be granted on a case-by-case basis by any of the New Worlds Administration.

9. New temporary rule as of May 2005: New Worlds has become very concerned about the unlikely proliferation of so-called "rogue, pirate, mercenary" type characters. As a result, a moratorium on such characters is in place indefinitely This prohibition has been partially lifted as of May 2008..

this content item is from New Worlds Project - Sci-Fi Creative Writing and Roleplaying Game
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