Hm... seems like you're using IE. Can I suggest a better browser, such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera? There are other choices too.

If you wanna stick with IE, or can't switch, I'll warn you right now, while most of this site should work with IE, stuff might come up buggy, so you might not enjoy it as much...

New Player in Stalled Games seeks Perspective

Sep 4, 2020 2:31 am
I'm a new player (since early June) and I am only in two active games, but both stalled (18 days and 24 days since last GM post).

I am asking the community for some perspective:

- Is it typical for games to stall for weeks at a time or this unusual? (i.e. should I be concerned or is this par for the course)

- Is there a stall point at which it becomes significantly unlikely the game will resume? (i.e. if the game stalls longer than X days the odds are slim that it will start up again)

- Any other thoughts, comments, advice?

Thanks
Sep 4, 2020 2:35 am
I've been in at least more than 20 games through various online venues that have done the same things. Sometimes real life happens or some folks try it and just bail because it isn't their thing. Most of my experiences with this, however, involved the GM and/or players at least giving us a heads-up on ditching. But, I've had it happen without.

I know in my last game on Discord I actually private message the players back and forth to just kind of make sure they really wanted to play. We still had one fall out after about 3 months in, but the campaign went a year to a satisfying conclusion and we decided mutually to halt there.

I think it is common for stalls, but it has made me a tad bit better on picking a group to get involved with.

Just my $0.02.
Sep 4, 2020 2:38 am
It depends, but you'll find games can stall fairly comfortably in PbP. Try not to be too frustrated. You can try and nudge a game a bit, but if it begins to sputter, then it could very well stop entirely. It happens. There are always other games. I can't speak much for others, but I've never really completed much of what I've started in PbP. Perhaps most important though, even if the games don't finish, I get to play a lot.
Sep 4, 2020 2:42 am
If the GM didn't announce that there'd be a slowdown, yeah, you may be out of luck. They may have had something come up in real life, or they may have just ditched. Unfortunately, folks are all too quick to jump ship in PbP, probably because we're all ultimately anonymous from each other. You might try reaching out to the GM via PM to see if they're doing OK and if there's anything you can do to help. Posting in the games' OOC threads isn't a bad idea either. But if you don' there back within a week, you'd be perfectly justified to leave those games.

I find that GMing two games and playing in three or four others is about the right amount of activity for me, so you could also think about diversifying. That would mean you'd have better odds of finding a consistent game.
Sep 4, 2020 3:23 am
I'll add my voice here to give you a wider sample size, but I will mostly just echo the great responses so far.

Yes Ed, this is fairly common, unfortunately. I've been playing here for about 4 years, and a lot of games stall. When a player or GM leaves with no notice, we call it ghosting.

I find most people will keep several "irons in the fire" and play in multiple games with the realistic expectation that some of them will stall. Sometimes the reason people stall is because they've put too many irons in the fire and are having trouble keeping up 😂 Find a balance that is right for you!

As you play more and more, you'll start to recognize people you can count on. You might still enjoy playing with completely new people, but more of your games will become stable as you find groups with more staying power and better communication.

Happy gaming!
Sep 4, 2020 4:12 am
Operating as a serious PbP greenhorn I can't participate much in this discussion but I will add, in a sorta marginalia thing, that I find communication via private messages unreliable, or at least in the sense that folks founder in replying. I have sent multiple messages to multiple players in the last few weeks without a blip even though they have been active in various forums.

Is it my breath?

More than likely it's nothing and everyone will jam up my 'phone line' at once. Old worry wort.
Sep 4, 2020 6:37 am
I find PMing to be an excellent idea actually. If you check the sent messages you can definitely see if the player opened them or not. Coupled with the impending zzz of inactivity, it gives you a good reason to suspect the player dropped out of GP entirely. A lot of people try it out and them find it’s not for them (or life happens!). You can see when the player joined on their profile and some people actually take that in account when choosing.

My experience is l that, if a game truly stalls, it will almost surely die out... Even if it starts again, people lose interest and move on due to the loss of pace... Routine and consistency seems to be the key thing you should look for (after the character creation momentum!) to measure the “health of the game” as far as I can tell
OOC:
yeah, I think Coriolis is one of them, so join the other space game that showed up recently as a replacement instead of waiting for it to restart :D
Last edited September 4, 2020 6:42 am, a total of 3 times
Sep 4, 2020 6:47 am
CESN says:
I find PMing to be an excellent idea actually. If you check the sent messages you can definitely see if the player opened them or not. Coupled with the impending zzz of inactivity, it gives you a good reason to suspect the player dropped out of GP entirely. A lot of people try it out and them find it’s not for them (or life happens!). You can see when the player joined on their profile and some people actually take that in account when choosing.

My experience is l that, if a game truly stalls, it will almost surely die out... Even if it starts again, people lose interest and move on due to the loss of pace... Routine and consistency seems to be the key thing you should look for (after the character creation momentum!) to measure the “health of the game” as far as I can tell
OOC:
yeah, I think Coriolis is one of them, so join the other space game that showed up recently as a replacement instead of waiting for it to restart :D
Really? If there's an 'X' does that mean the gamer has not read the message or has read the message?
Last edited September 4, 2020 6:47 am, a total of 1 time
Sep 4, 2020 6:48 am
The "X" means they haven't read the message yet.
Sep 4, 2020 4:10 pm
That's just a sad reality of the pbp format. Sometimes, games die. Sometimes you get a heads up, sometimes you don't. I know that some people here get into a lot of games, fully expecting a certain percentage of them to just sputter away...

As for how long should you wait, it really depends on how long you are willing to wait. I usually give it about a month. I've also waited longer when I've had a heads up that the GM (or in some cases player) would try his/her best to get back to us. So, I guess it really depends on am I getting a heads up or not.

I also try to communicate via PM with no-showers. However, I usually don't bother if I notice the "ZZZZs" denoting inactivity next to their usernames.
Sep 4, 2020 4:16 pm
As a vet of the PbP format for many years, one of the few 'tricks' I've found that helps a game keep moving is open communication. The most useful tool is Discord or other chat programs. If all the players are frequently on discord, it's easy to keep tabs on everyone. It's easier to poke someone and go 'your turn, bud'.

Otherwise, yes - PbP suffers from some of the worse attrition rates in the TTRPG hobby. It's a shame, but it happens, and there will always be another game.
Sep 4, 2020 4:17 pm
Moonbeam says:
The "X" means they haven't read the message yet.
Huh - every day's a school day.

I also saw somebody add their thieves' tool proficiency as a skill to a 5e sheet this week. I didn't know that you could add extra skills.
Sep 4, 2020 4:23 pm
Adam says:

I also saw somebody add their thieves' tool proficiency as a skill to a 5e sheet this week. I didn't know that you could add extra skills.
Sorcery! Witchcraft!
Sep 4, 2020 6:40 pm
A lot of schools are starting back, so may be reason various people are slowing down, even if just for a bit.

Also agree on discord. I missed I was up in a combat due to aforementioned being busy, and DM just shot me a message. I have a person discord where I've used permissions to split people into games so I can poke.

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