D&D: By Email?

This is something that I’ve been doing for several months but just haven’t gotten around to talking about, much like everything else on this little-updated blog. My brother Porter introduced me to this group that is playing a D&D campaign, but instead of getting together once a week or such, all communication is handled via email. The campaign is here, where they have archives through December of 2004. My character is Allistair in case you’re curious. It started out with the standard ‘save the damsel in distress’ adventure, and since Porter and I have come in it’s become the standard ‘now you have to save the whole world from the clutches of the Evil Dark God.’

One nice thing I like about more experienced role-players is that party conflict only occurs because their characters don’t get along, not because the players themselved can’t get along. (Unlike campaigns I played in high school, where the adventure and goals get thrown out the window becuase of an inter-party bloodbath caused by an argument. I’m sure my friend Mitch remembers well.)

Another really nice thing is that it has a very small time requirement. The daily load is usually no more than reading five or six emails and writing one of your own. Of course one turn per day is about the maximum speed it moves along, but for five minutes a day that’s pretty good, in my opinion.

In fact it’s been so fun that I’m thinking pretty seriously of looking for a role-playing group here that I might be able to join. When I was at one of the gaming stores in town there was a bulletin board with lots of groups looking for players. I might just give it a try. … or maybe I’ll wait until the summer. This semester I have two conferences to prepare for, a paper to finish and publish, a class to take, TA another class, and continue my research. I’ll be pretty busy.

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1 Response to D&D: By Email?

  1. Porter says:

    I myself was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable PBEM (play by email) D&D is. I dare say that I enjoy it more than P&P (pencil and paper) D&D.

    One neat thing that Derek hasn’t experienced is that it is possible to have almost an entire campaign with no mention of hit points, armor class, initiative, etc. You just write up what you are going to try to do, and then the DM rolls the dice, and writes up what the result was, without any mention of the numbers.

    In contrast, in the game that Derek and I are playing, all the numbers are out there for everybody to see, with the DM rolling all of the dice.

    Both methods have their strenghts and weaknesses, but it’s fun doing it without any numbers for a change.

    Another thing that I really like about PBEM D&D is that as a player you are given more opportunity to explore your character’s character. In a normal P&P game session, the only thing you generally know about the characters is what they do. In PBEM, you can write up posts containing their thoughts, feelings, reminiscenses of the past, plans and hopes for the future, etc..

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