• Advertising for a Game

    This is a blog post I've been meaning to write for a while as most posts I see in the Recruiting office aren't really that good at selling the game and telling others about it. Partially thats from people not being sure how to communicate it, and partially because they think they have to adhere to the questions Asmoedeus put there as some things to answer.

    In this blog post I plan to go over what I think makes a successful recruiting post and how to create one to get more interest in your game and to better communicate what your game is about.

    What information is needed?

    So first of all - what is needed for this to go on?

    You need to know your system, times that are possible to play, game style, game platform (pbp, maptool, etc), House rules. Basically Asmodeus' list covers this part so jot it down in note format. You should also note setting, key game ideas and such.

    Coboney decides he's going to run a new Pathfinder game and after putting in some work on the game gets to work on a recruiting post. Looking at his notes and such he creates the following things

    - Pathfinder system. 25 Point buy, SRD Paizo content only. 1st level.
    - Maptool, no voice
    - Themes: Exploration! Ancient ruins, different peoples...
    - List of House Rules. (Probably in a spoiler format)
    - Setting: Greystone - a homebrew setting similar to middle-ages Earth in the 1500s
    - 4-6 Players
    - Times: Monday 7pm EST-11pm EST or Wednesday 7pm EST-11pm EST depending on group.

    Selling your game

    So now with your information down you have the basic information that is necessary to recruit for a game. But stop here for a moment. This is your game that you're running. Do you really want to just put up a simple post and see what comes? Sort through who's interested in the game you're working with the players to create? Having people skip it by? Have it blend into the crowd?

    What most posts lack in my opinion is definition, creativity and vision and this part is all about that.

    What you need to do is look at where you're starting the game and your ideas for the game themes. These may change as the game goes on - that's fine because that's adapting to the players *you already have*. At this point you don't know who you'll have and you're the person deciding it and putting it forth for them to see.

    What you want to do here is think about what would you tell someone to get them interested in your game. What is it that makes it something beyond 'role playing game of this system'. Why does the game interest you enough to put hours upon hours into running it? This is the creative spark you want to plug into and use in this stage to show off.

    If its a new setting you want to introduce the setting here a bit - if you're using an existing setting no worries. You want to introduce the premise of your game, the hook to adventure, and probably a bit of a prelude. Now I'll write up a bit here and we can break it down.

    Taking what he has Coboney writes the following for his recruitment post

    Greystone - The New World

    Welcome Traveller,

    You're here for the boats to the new world I presume? Good to hear. They need strong people like you over there to deal with the savages and monsters and to get the land ready for the king's visit. Now here's your paperwork for when you get to the other side of the trip - but be careful not all wish the king's project success.

    Greystone - The New World is a Pathfinder game set in the setting of Greystone, a world based roughly off of 1500s Medieval Europe, with expeditions to the new world leaving and many lords fighting over rights and power. You and your companions are a group being sent to the New World by King Leonidas of Kalasin, one of the largest realms of Greystone to help deal with the issues that the Govenor of Manalvar is speaking of.

    Monsters, mysteries, exploration, intrigue... all these and more await you in the world of Greystone.

    Game Information

    System: Pathfinder
    Platform: Maptools
    Players: 4-6
    Sources Allowed: D20pfsrd Paizo content is allowed except where restricted by house rules.
    Time: Either Monday 7-11pm Eastern or Wednesday 7-11pm Eastern depending on the group.

    Creation Rules: Background is mandatory though not long if you do not wish it to be. Feel free to work with me on it.
    25 pb
    Level 1 characters
    Everyone starts with 1 masterwork weapon and 300 gold to spend.
    House Rules:

    That is an example of how I would do up a short recruiting post if I were recruiting for 'Greystone'. Even with just a couple short paragraphs its added a lot of flavour and description beyond a line and playing 20 questions with Asmodeus.

    Notice that it starts off with a bit of in character touch. I find this often useful to get people thinking in terms of characters and world and interest. While for Greystone I used a short bit, how long or short to make it depends on the game but it should be used to frame a starting sequence or a defining game moment (like the assassination of a king that leads to the civil war the game is covering).

    Then it goes on to speak about the game a bit, about what can be expected, what type of story can be expected and why its happening while not going into great detail - remember that in writing a lot of times using less can lead to more as the reader will fill in the details and in a case like this it allows them to come up with character ideas and explore things you never would have thought of.

    Beneath that is the nuts and bolts - it basically lists a short version of the 'question/answer' in a neater format so everyone can see what its about. Character creation rules, backgrounds, game day/time/platform/system, should all be included here.

    Well that's my take on it anyways, if you have any questions feel free to pose them below or shoot me a PM

    Signing off,
    This article was originally published in blog: Advertising for a Game started by coboney
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. cailano's Avatar
      cailano -
      I agree that's a much better sell... but is it necessary? In my experience if a gamemaster posts "I'm running a game... its got dragons." He'll be buried in players within a week.
    1. Blynbradden's Avatar
      Blynbradden -
      You might be buried in player requests; that are empty. However, if you DMs put more effort into the recruitment you they just might get hits from people that are actually interested and want to play in the same world as you them.

      I absolutely avoid even looking at a recruitment that I can't read. (Not that mine are ever free from errors.) Just posting a list of raw data without even formatting it is much more likely to draw flaky players, in my opinion, than taking the time to give your ad a voice of its own.

      I have a recruitment up for a game right now that has drawn some interest, but must not meet the needs of the players because I have only sold two people on it. But the two people I have sold are actually interested and are working with me to make sure the game will work for us all.

      how many responses have you seen like; "yeah, dat be cool," "hey, can I play a half dragon-godling with fire wings?" or even better is the radon post with a set of stat rolls. Really? Come on, man.

      I think I'd be interested in at least talking about Greystone above.
    1. DarkisnotEvil's Avatar
      DarkisnotEvil -
      Personally, I wholeheartedly support this, and plan to use this as a bare minimum baseline for my own advertisements when I finally stop dawdling and choose one of my thousand ideas to run with.
      Quote Originally Posted by Blynbradden View Post
      how many responses have you seen like; "yeah, dat be cool," "hey, can I play a half dragon-godling with fire wings?" or even better is the radon post with a set of stat rolls. Really? Come on, man.
      I like what Joshua76 used once: providing a scene as a prompt, to which the players write their character's response and activity, as they would in game.
      It shows you how dedicated the players are to expressing a character concept in a way that someone won't need a spellchecker to translate, and gives an early signal for things like your half-dragon friend. Even better, it sets a tone for similar scenes in the game itself.
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