Kaleidoscopic Whispers Play by Post Pitch

After numerous attempts at running a playtest of Kaleidoscopic Whispers crashed and burned due to scheduling conflicts, I kept hearing about this “play by post” thing. Play by Post is a method of playing games remotely via text. Historically this was done via the mail, hence “Play by Post“. I first experienced this kind of play in IRC chatrooms and MUDs in the era of mid 90’s dial-up internet. In that way, Discord seemed a perfect fit.

So I did what any normal person in 2023 would do, I went to the internet and screamed into the void “Hey, do any of my mutuals have experience with play-by-post!!”

Luckily the universe, and Yochai Gal, heard my cry and shot me a link to cool free document by Tam – here – which made it sound very easy.

So now that I’m gathering my very first PbP game over on my discord, I want to share some of my experiences.

First up… How do you do all the normal Session 0 stuff without a captive audience in real time? A Campaign Pitch!

Kaleidoscopic Whispers Play-by-Post Pitch

WTF Is this game

This is a play-by-post game of Cairn 2e, a rules light, narrative forward d20 based system. We are playing through my work-in-progress adventure, Kaleidoscopic Whispers, a regional exploration crawl through a magically irradiated, weird trippy forest. We’ll play it here in this discord daily. The playtest document is in ⁠docs , extra Cairn resources are on https://cairnrpg.com/. I am following the guidelines for Play-by-post by Tam, also in the docs channel. I’m going to try to use as many of the new exploration procedures from 2e, like point-crawl exploration vs hex-by-hex. Those may have to be adapted for the slower pace, larger time chunks of PbP.

General expectations

  1. The tone for player characters should be collaborative and cooperative.
  2. PCs are expected to work together; conflicts between them are mostly for show
  3. Any inter-PC conflicts should be mutually consensual out-of-character.
  4. The GM has prepped a map and populated it with locations to explore, NPCs to interact with and plot hooks to entice players. The PCs can travel anywhere they can reach on the map, according to their own goals and interests.

How is this gonna go?

My plan is to interact with the game 3x a day (All times in a EST/New York timezone)

  • Noon – to catch anyone on their lunch break
  • Early Afternoon – 4-5pm to catch everyone at the end of their workday
  • Late Night – 10-11pm to round out the days activities
  • I work from home and im chronically online, so these times are flexible!

I think we will do 7 days a week to start. Each check in should only be a few minutes for each of us, so hopefully that pace isnt too much. Weekends I’ll probably drop to 2x a day due to life.

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