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RPG Mechanic: Play-by-Mail (PBM)
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Play-by-Mail (PBM)
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Play-by-Mail

This game was played solely as a Play-by-Mail (PBM) game, where participants took turns by postal mail and, later, received their turn results. Some PBM games had no published components; others offered a published player's manual or introductory setting guide, etc. Salient details may be noted here in the description - especially for games with no published component.

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Play-by-Mail
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This game was played solely as a ''Play-by-Mail'' (PBM) game, where participants took turns by postal mail and, later, received their turn results. Some PBM games had no published components; others offered a published player's manual or introductory setting guide, etc. Salient details may be noted here in the description - especially for games with no published component.
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This game's central premise involves a Play-by-Mail (PBM) experience.

From Wikipedia:

Play-by-Mail games, or play-by-post games, are games, of any type, played through postal mail or email.

Correspondence Chess has been played by mail for centuries. The boardgame Diplomacy has been played by mail since the 1960s, starting with a printed newsletter (a fanzine) written by John Boardman, Ph.D.. More complex games, moderated entirely or partially by computer programs, were pioneered by Rick Loomis of Flying Buffalo, Inc. (FBI) in 1970. The first such game offered via major email services was WebWar II from Neolithic Enterprises who accepted email turns from all of the major email services including CompuServe in 1983.

Play by mail games are often referred to as PBM games, and play by email is sometimes abbreviated PBeM—as opposed to face to face (FTF) or over the board (OTB) games which are played in person. Another variation on the name is play-by-Internet (PBI) or play-by-web (PBW). In all of these examples, player instructions can be either executed by a human moderator, a computer program, or a combination of the two.

In the 1980s, play-by-mail games reached their peak of popularity with the advent of Gaming Universal, Paper Mayhem and Flagship, the first professional magazines devoted to play-by-mail games. (An earlier fanzine, The Nuts & Bolts of PBM, was the first publication to exclusively cover the hobby.) Bob McLain, the publisher and editor of Gaming Universal, further popularized the hobby by writing articles that appeared in many of the leading mainstream gaming magazines of the time. Flagship later bought overseas right to Gaming Universal, making it the leading magazine in the field. Flagship magazine was founded by Chris Harvey and Nicky Palmer.

In the late 1990s, computer and Internet games marginalized play-by-mail conducted by actual postal mail, but the postal hobby still exists with an estimated 2000–3000 adherents worldwide.

Flagship

Many issues of Flagship carried this description:

What is Play By Mail? The process is simple. Players send their orders for each turn in the game to a central moderator (or GM), who works out the results and sends them back. This simple process allows hundreds of players to enter game worlds of great depth, to contact each other between turns for discussion and negotiation and to play at a time that suits them.

In most games everybody's orders are processed together for each turn, simultaneously, but the results that are sent back are the individual ones for your own position. The other players won't know what you're planning unless you choose to tell them, which offers many possibilities for joint and covert action. There are all sorts of games, with all sorts of settings: roleplaying, wargaming, adventuring, empire-building, sports games and plenty more! Some are simple, some are complex, but they will all take skill and planning to play them well.

If you've never tried Play By Mail, give it a go. It will be unlike any other kind of gaming that you've played.

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