After seeing a discussion on the discord, I thought it might be worth having a section in the "New GP Members Guide" about "How to Leave a Game." Initially, I had thought this would be "Section 5. How to Leave a Game." But then I re-wrote it because I thought it might be worth mentioning upfront. I'm interested what everyone thinks. Here's a first draft. I'm definitely open to edits/suggestions. It's probably a bit long, so feel free to cut the excess as well. I hope this is helpful for the community!
The Zeroth Law: How to Leave a Game
You may think it is strange that we discuss leaving a game before we discuss how to join a game, but one of the biggest problems with anonymous Play-by-Post gaming is gamers who stop posting and replying to messages without telling anyone that they have left a game. Many GMs here are very considerate and wait awhile before replacing a player in case the player just got delayed and is coming back, but this can cause major unnecessary delays and even cause a game to die completely. So we ask before you join a game, please consider how you will leave it.
Leaving a game is inevitable. There are tons of reasons why:
-Circumstances in your life change the amount of time you can commit to GP.
-A game turns out to be different than you thought when you joined.
-During the course of a game, it evolves in a way that is no longer interesting to you.
-The game comes to a natural conclusion, in general or for your character in particular.
Because of all these various reasons, leaving a game is completely acceptable on Gamersplane. We only ask that you leave in a respectful way so your fellow gamers can continue with as little disruption as possible.
If you are a player, then the best way to leave a game is to Message the GM and let them know you need to leave. If at all possible, do this before you are unable to continue posting, so that the GM can adjust before you actually leave. However, even if you need to leave immediately, sending a quick Message is so much better than leaving without telling anyone.
If you are the GM, then let your players know. Maybe one of them will step up as GM, or you/they can find an replacement GM by advertising the game in the Games Tavern, for instance. Then you can pass over any materials they might need and you can give them "GM control" over the game forum before you leave so they can gain access to the full functionality of the forum to continue the game.
Most game forums have an Out-Of-Character (OOC) thread so you can post there too in order to let your fellow players know that you are leaving.
If the reason for leaving is sudden and you do not have much time, then you may not have time to Message the appropriate person in every game you are a part of. In this case, please post in the Absences thread. Gamers will see the post and can adjust immediately instead of waiting for you.
As a last resort, if you have joined the discord, text a quick message to the #general thread. For example: "Sorry, I can't continue to play on GP, please pass on the message." This should only take a few seconds. An active user will then post the message on the Absence forum so everyone else knows.
As this is a very supportive community. If you let people know that you are leaving, they may even invite you back into some of the games that you left if you are able to return to GP in the future.
So please have a plan for how you will leave any games you join. Everyone involved will be very appreciative.
Now go ahead and introduce yourself and jump into some games!