0.1 About Play-by-Comment

How does Play-by-Comment work?

As Game Master, I will make a post that describes the environment and what is happening. The players then post as one of the characters in the comments below the post. If those players become absent for a long period of time without explanation, then that character may be taken over by a new player. I will periodically be able to accept new players. To submit a character, email me at kroberge@shaw.ca.

Why Play-by-Comment?

As an online GM, I’’ve run games via e-mail. They worked okay, but inevitably, players would leave over time and eventually the game would get derailed. I considered doing a forum-based game, but I didn’t find the software flexible enough. And multiplayer games like Everquest, D&D Online, Neverwinter Nights, etc. just aren’t my cup of tea.

What I really want is to run a game at my own pace, whenever I have time. But, it’s too much to expect of players to always bend to my schedule. Then it hit me. I should start a blog, and let the readers of the site run the players. By rewarding the players’ characters with experience points for posting and them being able to read each others posts in real time, the game moves along nicely, and is fun for everybody.

Play-by-Comment Mechanics

Players post comments as one of the characters in game, describing their actions in narrative style. Players who have created the characters being used in the game, have control over their character. In the event of a player’s absence, control of the character reverts to the readership of the blog until a new player is selected to control that character. Comments that contradict reasonable gameplay or that are inappropriate will be ignored or deleted. Comments will be copied by the GM and then pasted into the next blog post, thus continuing the story. It will be necessary for the GM to edit the posts in order to integrate them into the story, but the integrity of the player’s posts will be maintained.

High-Action, Rules-Light

Rules mechanics will not be emphasized in this game. Rather, we will focus on the story and all the die rolls and game mechanics will take place largely behind the scenes. That said, the rules system being used for the game will be the homebrew d20 SPECIAL system, as outlined on this blogsite.

In addition, please note the following gameplay conventions:

XP for Participation

Experience points will be given for advancing the story, whether through killing stuff, solving puzzles, interacting with NPCs or whatever the case may be. Additionally, XP is awarded for each round of blog posting as follows:

Posting a comment: 10 xp (per GM blog entry)
Posting within 1 day: +10 xp
Posting within 2 days: +5 xp

Dice Rolling

Dice rolls will be made by the GM by default. However, if the player prefers – and it doesn’t slow gameplay – we may occasionally use the Irony Games’ Dice Server to make rolls. Be sure to include the GM (k-slacker@shaw.ca) on all dice rolls.


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