Wastelands: Keeping It Going

ENTRY 4: Keeping it Going

So, you’ve gotten a story idea for your new RP and think it’s really kickass. Great! Now, you got some interest going and people really wanna jump in and play it. That’s even better! You’ve gotten it started now and you’re going along for a few days, weeks, months however long and then interest starts to wane. Your players don’t post as much as they did when the thread first came around. You know they’re still around, but haven’t posted in a fair while. What’s wrong?

A number of things can do this, one of which is real-life. The influence of the outside world can really get in the way of posting (I speak from experience when I say this). They might still have the interest, but not the time.

The other thing that might happen is well within your control: the players have lost interest because it’s become a little dull or predictable or just slow. Something that CAN cause this is your own devotion to the story. If you came up with it, it’s your job to help keep it going and people interested! If someone doesn’t post for a while either, this can mean someone has lost interest. What’s a creator to do?

Well, a lesson I have learned from Wastelands is to definitely take into account what the players are saying. Talk to them outside the story and get their take on it. If they’re devoted fans of the setting you have created, this can become, like I have said many times, fertile ground for new Rps. If it has gotten stale and people haven’t posted in a while, see what they think should happen. It should be taken with a slight grain of salt, especially if the player is suggesting god-moding.

Which is another important topic I think we should cover right now. God-moding is a term used to describe a character that is unbelievably powerful, can do anything and has no faults. A gamemaster CAN use this to an extent though, if they are controlling one or two characters to steer the plot, provided they don’t overtake it. In Wastelands, this takes the appearance of some major characters in the setting. They have their stories (some of which are becoming novels) and for a time, they intersect with the RP that is going on. In one or two cases, the individuals who I use for steering the plot are also used to deal with the unruly players or god-moders. (It helps that the characters I use to deal with god-moders in the setting ARE for all intents and purposes actual deities). But, like I just said, a gamemaster who uses them needs to use them carefully.

Which brings me back to the original point. If a gamemaster carefully applies this, they can generate interest. Maybe one of these important characters in setting needs these peoples help for some reason or another? Maybe the players can investigate this character. If they are so powerful, then it’s logical to assume they could be a powerful ally, or deadly threat. Just remember that the RP is NOT about that character and you getting to play around like a god with them! Like any ‘meal’ this character is just a side to the main course of the player’s adventure.

Another way you can keep interest in your RP is by doing what I talked about last time too. Getting new blood involved. They can get involved and interested in a world others may have forgotten about. This can ultimately help bring it back.

Sometimes though, just a little nudge is all people need to get back into it. By this, you can try sending personal messages to the players to see how many are interested in it still and out of those who will continue. This is especially helpful with players who are sporadic in their postings, but it should be taken with a grain of salt. Something like this CAN (though I have never had this problem, I am sure it can be seen like this) be seen as a little pushy.

In all, the best thing to keep an RP going and the interest in it strong is to take a page from Sun-Tzu’s The Art of War. Keep the troops moving and morale high. They will be eager to fight and that momentum can help push them on towards victory. In the world of Forum RPGs, this can be interpreted as keeping the players motivated and intrigued in the gamemaster’s setting. Keeping the post count up and regular to keep it from getting stale and slow, and push through to the conclusion of the story, in which another can begin.

Join me next time when we’ll take a break from all this technical stuff and delve into some fiction of Wastelands!


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