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Firstly, let me explain that I'm an older gamer and am not savvy with all the new developments and lingo that gamers use today. And maybe someone who is savvy with the lingo could teach an old grand dad like me what's what with a few definitions.

I have run play-by-mail games using AD&D in the 90's, with lots of players and lots of stories wrought. Never once however did anyone do what seems to be the common response today. I used to issue a chunk of storyline, perhaps 500-1000 words of carefully planned stuff, at the foot of which I offered DM advice, game mechanics data and response suggestions, according to what the character might perceive (spot checks essentially, but before they came out). Players read the text and decided what their character would do. This then was sent back to me for further process. That's simple enough for me to understand.

The last two times I have dipped my toes into PBM, in forums or via e-mail, a completely different response has come about. Now, players REWRITE the story (usually changing enough to invalidate the plot) and send it back expecting those alterations to be accepted and for me to be, essentially, function as a LEAD WRITER in a collaborative work. Is this the norm now? They also don't want character sheets or dice rolling, or, accept they are in play but never do any character management. Or pay attention to the data unless I poke them over something. 
Anyone help a confused old DM? What definition should I use and look for to make sure I don't step into something I would immediately regret and have to extract myself from? 

Collaborative authorship isn't my thing. That's not what PBM was back then, as far as I know at least, and I don't even know if the style I cultivated is even around these days. Thanks for helping. Suggestions and definitions needed. 


© Chris Baylis 2011-2015