In my previous post, I reviewed a bunch of my favorite rulesets for optimization for Play-by-Post. It occurred to me almost immediately that I hadn't really thought about Maze Rats enough.
In fact, I'd mis-remembered and mischaracterized it. Upon reflection, one of the mechanics I took issue with is actually a big strength. Re-reading the rules, it seems like just a few very simple hacks could make it a highly-optimized PbP game.
As follows: Danger Rolls are rolled by the GM.
Danger rolls usually fail, so it is in the player’s interest to describe their actions plausibly and mitigate as many risks as they can, in the hopes that they don’t trigger a danger roll.
2d6 + ability bonus ≥ 10
If you have taken enough precautions to have a distinct advantage in an action, but not enough to have eliminated the distinct possibility of danger, the GM will give you a roll with advantage.
3d6 keep 2 + ability bonus ≥ 10
Because each character only has 3 ability scores (STR, DEX, WIL), it s…
I’ve played a lot of PbP games: all your favorite flavors of OD&D, AD&D, and their retroclones, Call of Cthulhu, Marvel Superheroes, Traveller, Dungeon World, etc. ad nauseam.
In almost every instance, I forgot what ruleset we were using at some point. Which is a good thing. Once chargen is over, you spend a lot more time describing your characters actions and poring over the GM’s descriptions than you spend interacting with rules. When you do roll, it’s usually a combat to-hit roll, which you’ve probably programmed into the online dice-roller as a macro. Pretty much any game will work for PbP.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t points of possible optimization.
Point 1: Resolution. Anything that can keep the action moving is a boon to PbP. A game that requires a back-and-forth exchange of information to resolve an action is going to progress very slowly. A good rule of thumb is that it’ll take 2 or 3 days to get a response from any given player. At that pace, an exchange that w…
This is presented with generous permission from Ben Milton, and should in no way be an excuse for not purchasing a copy of Knave from Drive-Thru RPG. It's inexpensive, and deserves your support. Also, Ben's layout is 100% the one you're going to want to print out for reference at the table.
Let me know if you see any mistakes or areas for improvement!