BadShot's Hints and Tips to a Smooth RPG

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Copy and pasted from PF2, I typed up these hints and tips to help with future roleplays, some were added by other members of PF2 and their credits are still there.

These will mostly apply to both Traditional and Storyboard styles for a forum based RPG, and have 2 sections for both the DM and the Players and 1 for Both.




Make sure you have your story built or at least mostly built before you create the recruitment thread

  • If your story isn't formed long enough for you to think of the rest, your RPG could be halted while you think, and the Players will become bored of waiting, and possibly drop out.

Don't make your story set in stone

  • This will create tons of problems, you never know how the players will react to what you do, and can affect negatively. I find it best to build the crucial moments, the events that MUST happen for the story to progress, and leave the rest almost blank. I call these travel times, where Players can talk, develop their characters, talk to NPCs, or you can throw in a random fight to spice things up while they travel to their next destination.

Don't center the story around your character if you have one

  • When it comes to Storyboard styles, the DM will commonly have a character of his or her own to join the party, I have seen a few times of RPGs that are built for the DMs character, the others can become bored from this from feeling like they are simply tagging along.

Think of possible outcomes and be flexible

  • If you think of possible outcomes, it can ready you in case something happens that you didn't expect. Of course you can't predict everything, but it helps to be prepared.

Don't be afraid to put your foot down

  • It's your RPG, you lay down the rules and you enforce them, if someone starts to derail the RPG or starts to be OP, there's a few methods on how to deal with it. The only one who should be OP is the Final Boss.

  • Simply point out in the recruitment thread that derailment or OP characters will be dealt with. This would be their first warning, so they can't complain about not getting one.

  • Politely ask then to stop or simply tone it down a notch, either by PM or in the OOC thread.

  • Give them a taste of their own medicine, be OP right back. (This may piss them off however, but they asked for it)


Don't railroad unless it's explainable in-universe (Courtesy of Lord Umber)

  • When you're pushing the players along, don't tell them that their characters, after learning something in the middle of the session, will now go, to the tavern. However, what you CAN do, is say that they were kidnapped during the night, and taken to the basement of The Neighing Pony. Why is this? because it's explained in-universe, having god tell you that you went here is far less fun than being kidnapped by god's minions.

Don't make obscenely OP NPCs (Courtesy of Lord Umber)

  • This includes bosses, you can make them really strong and guff like that, but they still have to be beatable, unless he's, I dunno, Future Superman.

Don't overdo it (Courtesy of recentteen14)

  • By this we mean don't give yourself too much work, 1 RPG is good enough, don't try two like Toki did. I may be able to run an RPG and participate in one at the same time but that's because I love this stuff and have no life.

Be creative

  • One of the worst things in an RPG is boredom, sometimes it can even be the RPG itself. I like to come up with interesting themes (commonly related to games) to attract attention. If you feel your players are getting bored mid RPG, don't be afraid to twist it up a bit. People love action, give it to them!

Make the ending worthwhile

  • It's the ending! I mean come on, this is the final battle, the best part! It's gotta be good, this is what they've been working towards, will the stereotypical villain be bested or will your heroes fail miserably and doom the world? Don't make it anticlimactic like that Secret Stash mission from BL2. I WANTED TO KILL THAT BADASS SKAG!




Don't make your character OP (mostly a Storyboard problem, where characters do not have stats or rolls)

  • This is the bane of RPGs, both Players and DMs hate them because they end things too quickly and make things unfair for the DM. If your character is capable of tearing apart a group of tough enemies singlehandedly in one fell swoop, they might be OP. Tone it down, at least for the RPG.

The DM is the master of the RPG, so you play by his or her rules

  • The DM is providing the RPG for everyone, he or she is allowed to deal with anyone disrupting gameplay.

It's OK if your character is special, just don't make them obnoxiously special (Partial courtesy of Citidel)

  • Try to make them fit with the setting if you can, or even the story or party if possible.


Citidel's Tip

  • One of the biggest hints/tips/ways to not be obnoxious is when creating your character, create it it to fit within the setting. Design your character around the story. Hell, if you can, design it around the party. Don't expect the gm to have to come up with some ridiculously contrived plot just because you want to play the long lost progeny of Galadriel and Sauron from that one drunken tryst.

Respect the DM

  • He provided the story, he can do what he wants with it, if you don't like it you can drop out.

Notify the DM if you are going to be away and unable to post

  • If this doesn't happen, the DM and the Players will have no idea where you are, and you may have to post for something to progress, resulting in a standstill.

Don't drag things out

  • This sorta applies to both, but when doing character development or conversations, if everyone else is ready to go, try to wrap it up, they're waiting on you.

Try not to argue with the DM, UNLESS it's actually valid (Courtesy of Lord Umber)

  • This has happened plenty, and EVERY SINGLE TIME, it's resulted in the session dragging like a guy having a butt race with a dog. it's not fun for anyone either, and usually only ends up with the GM disliking the player who started it. Rarely, have I seen the GM actually be corrected.

Separate Player Knowledge from Character Knowledge (Courtesy of Lord Umber)

  • Remember how the DM tells your telepathic elf that he's received a vision, which no one else can see, and ends up vomiting from the images? Wanna try and use that knowledge without asking said elf what he saw? You didn't separate Player Knowledge from Character Knowledge then. Player Knowledge, is what the Player knows, out-of-universe. Character Knowledge, is what your PC knows, and, as such, wouldn't know what YOU, the Player, know, such as an event that occurred and he wasn't there, and couldn't know because of circumstances.

Be Prepared (Courtesy of recentteen14)

  • RPGs can take a long time, my first RPG lasted almost a year (but that's because I'm slow to post, I like to take my time) and if you aren't dedicated you can cause some serious trouble for the DM by dropping out, unless you have a valid reason. Too many dropouts can quickly kill an RP.




Don't be an ass... (Courtesy of recentteen14)

  • Basically what it says... be kind to your fellow RPers, if they fuck up, give them some advice, not bash them and make them feel horrible.

Use common sense (Courtesy of Lord Umber)

  • Exactly what it says on the Tin.

Don't rush

  • People have lives, they can't post 24/7. I had this happen to me once, someone was asking my character something crucial, but I couldn't post atm because I was busy for a few hours, when I finally checked I find that he/she asked, moved on and figured it out anyway and pretended my character simply was being too slow to respond. Don't do this, give them a bit, if it's been a day then you can move along. This also applies to responding, unless you have what you're going to say planned, don't reply without giving a second thought, this isn't live, take your time to think of a proper response.




Feel free to add your own tips, if I find them suitable I will revise/summarize them if needed and add them to the list.

Edited by Badshot
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