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Lunch Time power sessions, and Email RPG

So a group of my buddies started an RPG session a while ago. Due to the typical constraints of our lives: timezones, families, kids sports, chores, work, birthday parties, holidays, and life in general, we have been running what I like to call the Lunch Time power session! Our first issue is this: we live on different sides of the US right now, so physically getting together is pretty much not an option. However this is our core group of players that started back when we were like 12 ( ok some of us started around 18 but most of us around 12 but I digress)! The point is this is the group we wanted to play with. So I configured a server, through team speak on there, and got to coding. I created online interactive char sheets that calculate bonuses, attack rolls, saving throws, damage, ect, cleaning up all the crap that we always forgot to include anyway. Then we realized that getting together at night and having an online chat session was pretty much impossible too! So we tried conference chat during lunch time for some of us, and just after work for others. This presented an interesting flow. See basically this chunks up our sessions into hour long peices that just like watching a TV show need to either start and finish, or at least have a point to the session! The funny thing is, it really changed the course of the campaign and I think in all honesty it makes the game time more fun. See when we get to playing, there is no BS, we are there to work ( or play I guess ). So as soon as those char sheets come up, we are in the game zone! I'm running the game, so I realized very quickly that having something important happen in each session is crucial, and that combat wasn't always needed ( I noticed early on, that many of the standard combat type situations we have run into in the past took to long to really play well for our session ( unless we wanted to have an entire session of resolving combat....umm boring anyone? ). So usually every 2 sessions or so there is a combat. It's kind of funny, but it almost works like a TV show now. Well it has been a while, so a combat must be coming up! Or that guy is important because he is talking to us only 15 minutes into our session! Anyway that portion of it worked out really well.

Then it happened. One of our players got deployed! Yup you guessed it no internet access for a while! Now granted this is just a short stint, but a bigger one is coming up. So I decided to take this short guy to try some ideas. Since I have everything on the server, I can run his char if need be. But that isnt' nearly as fun.....So here is what I did.
1) split off the guy that isn't there, so he isn't working with the main group.
2) lunch time power session are only once a week, so not too much ground is covered.
3) started email RPG with the deployed guy.

So the email RPG was interesting. See we tried it before, and it was very short little blurbs, and we ended up basically having someone roll a die and report the number. If you were within 3 of the GM's number than it went your way. All pretty awkward and really didn't take into account anything that your Char had in the way of bonuses, ect. So I decided, hey you tell me generally what your plan is, and I'll run it through just like it was a regular session, rolling up skills, npcs, ect. after all I had access to the char in question, since it is all on the server. And then I just spice up the verbage on the email. Plus since we do it every day, it pretty much keeps the two groups in sync! So once a week I compile the emails we have and post them to our quest journal. It's all working out pretty good so far. We are 2 weeks in on the email front, and the funny thing is, we are getting alot of good char backstory, with all the free writing time. Pretty much every action has some sort of "lost" type flashback, explaining why the char does what he does. So far pretty cool, so hopefully the campaign can continue when he goes out for the big deployment!


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