Sunday, June 24 2018

PBEM Questions and answers

Is it a FAQ? Is it a forum?
Well, it's really something in between!

We understand that there might be a few things you are wondering about. In this section you can ask your fellow PBEM players questions and also voice other topics of discussion.

Perhaps you are stuck in a post and need help? Don't know where to take the story next? Need help with a great name for a character of NPC?

Your comments and replies are always much appreciated, help your fellow players!

What is the optimum number of players for a PBEM game?

What is the optimum number of players for a PBEM game?

Too few players might make the game slow-moving and boring, but too many players might make the game too manic, with too many posts per week, and lots of different storythreads to keep track of.

So what is the optimum number of players in a PBEM game?


I'd say about 7 is perfect! not only because that is how many players there are in my pbem right now, but also because it is enough to make sure the game can continue if one or two players can't post for a week or so.

Submitted by CptTed on Mon, 05/03/2010 - 17:16

That's one for every day of the week! How many of those members are admin? Just one GM? Do you think your game would get too much to handle if you had more members?

Submitted by onion on Wed, 05/05/2010 - 10:32

For me, it depends on the response-mails. if i get to many information for each player: 6 players maximum.
Personally I prefer PvP short term games, where results of each battle are added to long term high score.

So: 6 players (admins excluded) with 1 week turns.


Submitted by Fendai on Fri, 05/21/2010 - 19:35

My current PBEM game has eight (8) players at one point it had twelve (12) to start... I had turn around times for many of the players every 6 hours... That can become overwhelming... Now its just a daily turn around time maybe twice if everyone responds - but for the most part I know the players now and give them sufficient time to respond before moving the group as a whole along...

I am hoping to start a new SciFi campaign PBEM game soon that I want to have fourteen (14) players running in it - not all at the same point in space but all moving to a common goal... At least it is hopeful...

Submitted by ShadowHawke on Mon, 10/11/2010 - 20:43

I am a GM, and I've had as many as 15 players and as few as 6.  Typically of those 6, only 4 were really active, so 6 was way too few.  My goal is to always have between 8 and 10 people that are members of the group at any one time.  Beyond that, it gets confusing and some of the players feel left out, because there just isn't enough room in the main plot for them to be active.

I'm still working on that however.

My game is S.S. Seiklon Axel (A member of Star Trek Borderlands  There is an ad in the links section.


Submitted by Gorgon on Mon, 11/28/2011 - 01:50

As many as you can handle. We started out with two on our free form/no stats roleplay story. We have had as many as 24 active accounts at the same time.i think it depends on the nature of the game and how you collaborate. We use nova. Players can join up and do a joint post, which can take a week or a month to finisg, depending on their speed. If you have four jps going on, it isnt unlikely to need about 6-8 players in total, to get some sort of flow to posts. That is what works for us.

- To hear with Eyes is Love's Fine Wit
. . .  Shakespeare

Submitted by Daenelia on Thu, 01/24/2013 - 15:50

The game that I’m running has room for 52 players, as I have 260 cities and each family has 5 members. My action / play move is monthly with all emails due by the 1st of the month, allowing me 2 weeks to respond and reply. Doing 2 players a night (working full time job and home life as well) I can safely handle 30 players. I have 4 currently and am allowing 2 sets of actions per player just to build game time for them. I have an open ended, human moderated game in place. See for details and info.


Submitted by Loki on Fri, 05/17/2013 - 02:09

I have a Play-by-Wiki game based on SAGA System rules for Dragonlance 5th Age. At first I played by E-mail, and had 8 players, 6 of them active. It was okay. I have now 9 players. 6 of them post between one and three times a week, but three of them post once every 15 days at most. When they all post, as I try to advance the plot at least once a week, I get a lot of work (it is not automated and I am the only GM).

If you want everybody to post on average twice per week, and you don´t want to invest more than three hours a week, 8 players is a good number, just as it is with Pen-and-Paper, I think.

Submitted by Ozono27 on Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:56

I think the number of players is far less important than the players themselves. I don't think I've ever seen pbem fail because it had too many or too few players. They fail because players start and then drop. I've had fantastic experiences with just one other person, as well as a dozen or more. The all ended the same way.

"Hey, you still there...?"


Submitted by swift_4 on Mon, 02/10/2014 - 18:41

Well like most of you I say that it depends, I have had one game where I had thirty players each competing against each other. I have to say that thirty was too much for me, but this was a PBeM Grand Strategy game.

My current game has about seven which seems to work very well...

I have also managed and RPG game which had at its height some fifty players, I dont personally think there is ever a set number of players that you can possibly say is the right amount each game and game type has its limits as does their GM's I find that the bigger the game the greater the need for more GM's with the game that had fifty players having five GM's working together.

I would say the real question is how many players should there be per GM.


Submitted by ImperialGM on Sat, 01/31/2015 - 09:04

I like about 10-12 for an active game. It gives enough going on that if some members have IRL issue and need to slow down it wont really hurt the game. 

Submitted by MerciaKavi on Tue, 02/03/2015 - 03:10