Interaction between PbP players & audience

A few designers have experimented with interaction between play by post players and their audience.

I think Epidiah Ravachol's motif writing ritual for PbP Swords Without Master is a great example, because it let's the readers of the story express their own interpretation of it.

I want to let more contribution though.

I'm running a play by post PbtA game on rolegate.com based on Paul Czege's The Clay That Woke RPG.

We are experimenting with a feature which lets readers and outsiders contribute to the story. On every weekend we hold an open discussion about a civic issue which came up during gameplay. You can share your opinion on it as a nameless minotaur if you have a rolegate account. Just search for Minotaur World and open it's public chat!

Does anyone have another example or idea?

Comments

  • No, but it's something that I'm keen on trying either for PbP or solo forum posts with audience feedback.
  • My experiences with reading (but not playing) someone else's PbP have been mixed, which isn't surprising - those stories aren't made for an audience. It would be interesting to see if a chance to contribute would change that experience. It sounds like you are allowing the audience to comment on the game - good stuff! - but would you ever incorporate audience comments into the game itself? I mean, besides that audience comments would spark some ideas for the players, would you ever *explicitly* include their comments into the "game world", ie via a vote or something?.
  • My experiences with reading (but not playing) someone else's PbP have been mixed, which isn't surprising - those stories aren't made for an audience.
    Which is sorta weird, when you think about it. PbP is essentially just collaborative writing, but it seems that it often takes the form of rather disjointed, self-indulgent protagonism rather than something truly collaborative. I would think that PbP based off of some of the more egalitarian "storygame" rulesets could change that (as those sorts of games are often explicitly made to direct creative energy into producing a story for an audience, albeit one consisting primarily of the other players).

    The first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the topic was games that have mechanics for players not "on-screen" to still influence what happens in a scene; to influence rolls, to control certain thematic details, etc... Though to what extent these are adaptable to an audience potentially unbounded in size, or how they might survive being unchained from the interface of a central participant (the "Player Character", often enough) is questionable.

    Do your PbPs regularly involve out-of-character negotiation of scene setting, stakes, etc... before they are written up? It would seem that that would be the prime place to incorporate audience participation, though I could easily see it becoming unwieldy without some strict controls.
  • No, but it's something that I'm keen on trying either for PbP or solo forum posts with audience feedback.
    Are you familiar with the project E. Ravachol made on Twitter a few years ago? The audience could vote on where the story should go. We tried to implement it in Hungarian and it worked nice!
  • [W]ould you ever *explicitly* include their comments into the "game world", ie via a vote or something?.
    Yes, definitely! But I dont have any procedure for that... yet!
  • My first thought is the the sundered land a doomed Pilgrim, but just added to a normal pbp game.

    As in when something is not known you ask the question to the audience (you can even ask very leading questions) and say "Anyone can answer" and you take the first answer. I agree with the above suggestion that it would work best with non-pre established world elements.

    My other thought is about the thing we are doing over on a story games discord, just an open ended collaborative story where anyone can add a few sentences as long as they don't contribute twice in a row.

    It's surprised me how good it had been (not perfect mind you) but it has kinda dwindled down to a few regular contributers with more inconsistent others, but perhaps that just works better.

    It makes me want to write something up with just a few more rules, namely to guide the story to some kind of satisfying ending rather than peetering out.
  • edited October 2018
    As in when something is not known you ask the question to the audience (you can even ask very leading questions) and say "Anyone can answer" and you take the first answer. I agree with the above suggestion that it would work best with non-pre established world elements.
    I think the 'opposite' of that is more encouraging with a right minded group: If you are the part of the audience, whenever you want, add color to the current scene, but dont change anything! It is successfully used in games like Lovecraftesque, Nerves of Steel,, and less consciously in Swords Without Master, The King is Dead, etc.
  • Sure I like the idea of adding color. I just thought asking direct questions was a cool way to implement that in a pbp setting. The question signals when you want the input.

    If you playtest anything let us know how it turns out, I love this idea, it seems perfect for Discord games.
  • I think you convinced me, @Kenny_J: the best would be the two together:
    1. Audience generally could add color to the scenes and flash out minor details.
    2. And they could make important decisions when asked directly (first answer or vote).
  • Awesome. Hope it works out!
  • Taking the Doomed Pilgrim and a game like Shock as examples, it seems like an audience can act in a spectrum that goes from almost full GM to a more limited role (like contributing dice to one side in a conflict).

    I can see immediate benefits for a PBP game such as not having to wait for a GM to respond. There's also a certain amount of control on the player side, because they can choose to ignore whatever input the audience gives (though that might be discouraging), and they can frame the input by the questions they ask.
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