So, I’m running a solo campaign via email. It’s going great! I’d like to say, the Hub and Spokes mechanics are perfect for PbEM. We’ve only been playing for a little over a week, but have already torn through two scenes by email, with an additional introductory scene in a face-to-face session. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a PbP game move so quickly. I’m sure the fact that there’s only one player has something to do with it though. I may never go back to GMing PbP groups again. ^^
Anyways, a couple questions, related to PbP/PbEM games:
1. Artha Awards
According to the RAW and the AdBu, Artha is to be awarded at end of session, in order to limit in-game access to this currency and promote meaningful usage. However, in PbP games, there is no end of session. The story just goes on and on until it finishes. So, when should I award Artha?
I’m leaning toward just awarding it at the end of every scene. We’ve been going through the scenes pretty fast, so this would mean Artha awards every few RL days. The reason I am considering this is due to the slow nature of PbP. If I set up much longer intervals between Artha awards, we run the risk of: forgetting the cool RPs that deserved Artha; losing the feeling of Artha being an award; never, ever seeing an epiphany taking place (unless the game drags on for five years or something). What do you all think of this? Also, should I raise the OBs to compensate?
2. Trait Votes
Similar to the Artha question, when should I call for trait votes? If we waited as long as suggested in the RAW, we might not get trait votes for a whole RL year. Should I just have traits develop naturally during play?
My next question relates to our campaign specifically, rather than the nature of PbP gaming. In our campaign, the PC is the 19-year-old son of a noble, who spends half his time at home in his father’s castle, and the other half wandering around the wilderness, hunting the “beast” that will lift his family’s curse. The PC’s effective Resources exponent is zero. We’ve established that his father is sort of a poor marcher baron. He has a little wealth, and some villagers and farmers who pay tribute to him.
Anyway, this has led to a bit of confusion pertaining to the lifestyle maintenance check. Although the PC’s Resources exponent dictates that he is impoverished, he avoids this fate by mooching off his dad. What should I do? How should the maintenance check work? Removing his father or the castle from play is not an option at the moment, as they’re both pretty important to the current story.
I’m considering just having his dad give him a 2 or 3 die fund, and sending the PC out to collect taxes. Failed tax-collecting would not only lead to the PC’s Resources starting to dwindle away, but also affect his father’s economic state. In such a way, they really might lose the castle if things get bad in town.