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Increasing traffic/uptake in the RPG Forum

Discussion Thinking Participation Barriers Encouragement

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13 replies to this topic

#1
Mazer Rackham

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Frater of the RPG Nook, I have tried to get a few games off the ground in the Nook, but unfortunately time has been against me with other projects, so my attempts have failed.  Many threads I have proposed have brought in our regulars and intrepid explorers, but we have been unable to continue with our efforts.

 

A fellow frater asked me how many games actually get played in here and my response was "sadly few".  It is obvious to me that really what we need are more GM's in here and a support network to try and match them to games.  With that in mind, what can we do to encourage this?  I have proposed that we try and get an event in here, but regrettably, things have not come together, so I thought instead of just firing off at half-bore, we should try and boil down what our challenges are, all in one place.

 

Feel free to explore around this list or even add to it.  We are all trying to get this thing moving.

 

  1. What do we think are the problems preventing PBP games from happening?
  2. What can we do to rekindle interest in the Nook from those who tried/posted before?
  3. How can we overcome the barriers to interest that maybe putting people off?

These are just some things to get brains buzzing.

 

Any suggestions or comments are welcome, but of course, please keep it civil and constructive.

 

I open the floor now to our esteemed Frater.

 

MR.


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#2
Steel Company

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I think part of the issue is visability combined with perhaps a fear of entry into something that is largely shunned still, Role Playing Games.

Sadly that shunning is very misguided, since RPG's have been shown to increase lateral thinking in players.


Still players is one thing, GM's are another, this I find is due to the amount of work that needs to go into it, doubly so for FFG style 40k games.
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To all you Space Wolf Players... Its called a Razor and the Soap isn't a Daemon.
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#3
Commissar Molotov

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Visibility is an issue - the fact that the PBP games are a sub-forum, within the RPG sub-forum, which is within the Other Games forum makes it tricky to get visibility. The fact that email notifications are turned off on the board does make it harder to keep players' attention - hence why I have been using email to keep people focused on Blackthorn/Swordhand.

 

The first thing I think is that we need a thread in the Board Announcements forum, administered by you, which keeps people up-to-date on what is happening. It could be used to advertise for new gamers (which I'll likely need to do with the third Chapter of the Deathwatch game) as well as simply making it seem like a fun and enjoyable place to be. The recent discussion in the Humble Bundle thread shows there are people who are thinking about the RPG games and have some experience with them. 

 

You could also consider canvassing for players in the Fan Fiction section? 

 

 

EDIT: Additionally, you may wish to look at running a "rules-lite" version of one of the games, to try to remove the barrier to entry somewhat. There are multiple ways you could do this... I will have a think about this. 


Edited by Commissar Molotov, 16 May 2020 - 11:16 AM.

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Check out my Deathwatch Roleplaying Game:
QUOTE (voi shet magir @ May 31 2011, 05:38 AM) 
That is an unexpectedly strong assertion from a dead person.

 


#4
Steel Company

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I agree CM about the fanfic section. Fanfic writing and RPing are not that dissimilar to each other.
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To all you Space Wolf Players... Its called a Razor and the Soap isn't a Daemon.
--Dremen


The Iron Hands, they are the real emo marines. Seriously. The Dark Angels aren't the ones who sit around cutting off bits of themselves, wearing black, and complaining about weakness and ennui...

--Octavulg

#5
Mazer Rackham

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I broadly concur with what has been said.  I do have permission to launch something in the News & Rumours thread, but this I think would be swiftly relegated to Amicus or redirected here - that's just how the Moderation and dissemination of the NRBA thread works (currently) and upon which I cannot comment further as discussion is ongoing.

 

That being said, a periodical announcement perhaps, stating Part I of the game is underway, Part II is going, etc may be more workable all round.  I agree that the Humble Bundle thread shows lots of promise and interest and I can see the same faces in there I can find in the corners of the Nook.  It's just getting games that interest them.  I also agree with the observation about Fanfic, indeed, I had planned the Heresy BC game to start there, with an announcement in the NRBA thread to call for players to design a character that would then go on to play in the campaign.

 

It was a bit of a half-baked idea that followed on from the Back to Badab Thread, which I kindly also got permission to tag on to, but again, my execution was a little stymied there due to 'things'.

 

The Fanfic approach would potentially increase investment with players, pushing their characters forward.

 

I also think the rules-lite nature of the GoT style BC campaign was attractive to both the players and the GM proposing it, which is why so many faces peered in, but I was also wondering if there was some call to do our own ruleset, much as with certain projects we have collaborated on (Index Xenomortis).

 

I further wonder how much of the barrier we face is actually down to the fact that Deathwatch (which is the biggest victim of this) is now a historical game, with Wrath & Glory offering the new 'hotness' of a modern era, where Primarchs run around hitting each other?

 

MR.


Edited by Mazer Rackham, 16 May 2020 - 12:45 PM.

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#6
apologist

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Speaking as a first-time PBP participant (thanks Mol et al. for making it so fun!) with very little general experience of roleplay; and as a keen writer, the suggestion of merging the fan-fiction and RP sub-fora into one seems like a good suggestion to me. The reasons I took so long to join in are:

  • Primarily, I didn't realise the subforum existed. It's not visible, and there's very little traffic driven here – a similar problem plagues other writing-themed subfora, which is a shame as this is one of those things that a forum does infinitely better than its social media competitors. 
  • Secondarily, unfamiliarity with the rules – both the literal rules of the games, and with the unwritten rules of how to play on the forum.
  • Thirdly, lack of 'entrance and exit points'. The games that are going on are intimidatingly huge and long-lasting, so there's an impression that you're 'tied-in'. I think that might put some people who are potentially interested off.

My suggestions to tackle these:

  • The creations of a catch-all 'Writers forum' that combines roleplay, fan-fiction and army backgrounds. Here, in-character roleplay threads would be marked in some way '[RP]' or something, and sat alongside other writing threads. To avoid clutter, the OOC threads and other reference threads would be collected in a subforum.
    • The intention here is to allow interested parties to skim-read the in-character stuff as they browse the forum, and get a sense of how the games are played. The 'mechanics', meanwhile, are hidden in a subforum because they're really only of interest to those in the game.  Perhaps they could be linked in the opening post of an IC thread, to allow quick access for players?
    • Some clarification that different rules sets are welcome would also be useful. By setting things in a broader 'writer's forum', you could also open the games up to purely down to writer's fiat (i.e. no mechanics beyond the GM's say-so; like a guided writer's prompt).
  • The creation of a 'How to get involved' sticky post that explains what play-by-post roleplaying is; the principles of in-character and out-of-character threads; and codifies things like writing in particular colours to mark mechanical workings-out. I didn't know how to write in spoilers or green text, for example, and while that's easy enough to figure out, having the conventions all laid out as clearly and succinctly as possible – possibly with some examples – would be very helpful.
    • The intention of this is to break down potential barriers to entry, so that interested parties aren't put off.
  • The creation of a short 'one-shot' campaign that takes place over the course of a fortnight, with pre-prepared characters, events and GM notes.
    • The intention of this is to allow interested parties a chance to try out PBP RP – either as player or GM – without too much investment of time and effort.
    • It can also be set up and run repeatedly (even concurrently with different groups), making it as accessible as possible.

Edited by apologist, 05 June 2020 - 09:35 AM.

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#7
Mazer Rackham

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This hasn't gone off the radar, I'm currently exploring and researching what we can get up to.  I'm looking at revamping the stickies in the forums to start with and then we'll see if we can't move on with a few ideas - fixing the small things first and all that...

 

MR.


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#8
Mazer Rackham

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A small bit of Necroposting here, but the topic is relevant.

 

With a small site structure change on the way, I have petitioned the High Lords to help us in our plight to drive a little more traffic to our forum, and after much cogitation and the sacrifice of 2,031 psykers in communion with the Throne, it has been decided to place links in the Lore sections, as we are a Storytelling mob, and therefore we'll become a sister-type subforum to them.

 

However, we are also a gaming mob and therefore must have the division of power, so we're pretty much staying right here.

 

You may also have noticed I'm retired as an active Moderator as of this post, which was by my request and no reflection on any of the RPG Nook dwellers - I wasn't getting as much done as I wanted for you all (or across the board) and life is...well...nuts.  That makes Slips the Sheriff again! :D  I reckon I'm the Deputy Second--Grade? :P

 

Once I get some room, I'll focus on a few posts like Apologist said - I think the way Commissar Molotov runs games should be the Gold Standard convention, as it makes sense and especially as we now have to face the fact that the FFG forums are going to the wall bit by bit.  We'll get it all sorted.  I know my gang are top flight.

 

MR.


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#9
Commissar Molotov

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Thank you for all of your efforts on our behalf as moderator, Mazer. 

 

I am still frustrated that the success of this forum is hampered by architectural issues. As I write this post, the main page says that the B&C has 50,163 members. I simply do not think that it can be the case that there are only ten forum members who are interested in playing in RPG games. Particularly in the age of popular web series such as Critical Role and the like. 

 

Anything that can mark a shift from passive recruitment (i.e., hoping for people to wander by at the same time we are looking for new players) to players actively seeking the forum out would be a positive thing. The denizens of the Lore sub-forums should hopefully be of a similar mindset to us, so I will look forward to our new brethren! 

 

I do believe that if the NR&A forum can have posts like the Boxing Day Bash Announcement, which ultimately converts into a thread with fifty-six replies from twenty forum members, that there can be some manner of advertisement in NR&A from us in the PBP forum. (This is in no way meant to denigrate the long-lasting commitment to the forum from Grotsmasha.)

 

As I write this, there is a forum banner at the top for the SONS OF DORN EXPANSION VII - a thread from the Imperial Fists sub-forum (usefully for our comparison, a sub-forum of the Adeptus Astartes forum) which has 70 replies from twenty-five forum members. Is there a way in which someone with graphical inclination could make a forum banner for the RPG forum, and that it could be (periodically, even) included in the rotation?   


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Check out my Deathwatch Roleplaying Game:
QUOTE (voi shet magir @ May 31 2011, 05:38 AM) 
That is an unexpectedly strong assertion from a dead person.

 


#10
Mazer Rackham

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Just found this thread across in The LIBER Forum which highlights a lot of our discussion but also shows they are tucked away too.

 

My compliments to Xin Ceithan championing us over there.

 

Working to the rules-lite version of DW or CM's OW type campaign would probably be an interesting pull, but that's the thinking behind the Kill Marine games I'm running, and is trying to go some way to taking the edge off our challenges.

 

@ Mol I saw the reddit thread for your game was deleted.  Perhaps this is an opportunity to post in the NRBA forum, which would be a correct use of that forum (Board Announcements) - for your Blackthorn Pt III.

 

MR.


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#11
Brother Tyler

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@ Mol I saw the reddit thread for your game was deleted.  Perhaps this is an opportunity to post in the NRBA forum, which would be a correct use of that forum (Board Announcements) - for your Blackthorn Pt III.


Just be sure to include a note that you have moderator approval to post this announcement (in case some other mod gets over-zealous).
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#12
Commissar Molotov

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Thank you, Tyler, for the confirmation.

Just as a note regarding Reddit - the post was deleted because my account was new (the auto-moderator assumed it was a spam post) but I have gotten a new post up, which should hopefully be driving some traffic towards the forum.

Edited by Commissar Molotov, 20 January 2021 - 07:58 AM.

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Check out my Deathwatch Roleplaying Game:
QUOTE (voi shet magir @ May 31 2011, 05:38 AM) 
That is an unexpectedly strong assertion from a dead person.

 


#13
Commissar Molotov

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NR&A Announcement thread for Blackthorn is up here.
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Check out my Deathwatch Roleplaying Game:
QUOTE (voi shet magir @ May 31 2011, 05:38 AM) 
That is an unexpectedly strong assertion from a dead person.

 


#14
Black Cohort

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Play by post is a niche within a small hobby.  And keeping a campaign alive is an art of it's own, the one I tried to run here survived maybe 6 months.  You need around a half dozen people who are committed to regularly posting for months or years.


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