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Post Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:56 pm 
 

I've never played a Play-by-mail game, and am looking through some old Flying Buffalo Quarterlies, and just got to thinking what those games were like..?

Does anyone have any recollections about how the games were run, were they enjoyable, good value, etc.?

FBI was charging $10 for set up and five turns in 1978, which seems like a non-significant amount.  Just curious about the experience.


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:43 pm 
 

Thunderdave wrote in PBM question:I've never played a Play-by-mail game, and am looking through some old Flying Buffalo Quarterlies, and just got to thinking what those games were like..?

Does anyone have any recollections about how the games were run, were they enjoyable, good value, etc.?

FBI was charging $10 for set up and five turns in 1978, which seems like a non-significant amount.  Just curious about the experience.


Before Flying Buffalo, another mom-and-pop company out of [Michigan?] ran Feudal Lords. The turns were run weekly. You managed resources, made alliances with other Lords, and attacked other's lands. You had a maximum amount of orders you were able to perform every turn (10 or 20... gods... it was more than 25 years ago...).

I enjoyed it.


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:18 pm 
 

Invincible Overlord wrote in PBM question:
Before Flying Buffalo, another mom-and-pop company out of [Michigan?] ran Feudal Lords. The turns were run weekly. You managed resources, made alliances with other Lords, and attacked other's lands. You had a maximum amount of orders you were able to perform every turn (10 or 20... gods... it was more than 25 years ago...).

I enjoyed it.


A few months ago, I was able to pick up a copy a set of PBM procedures for Feudal Lords from the early to mid 1980's, I believe.  I don't know enough about it to speak definitively about what else may be out there or not, but the copy that I picked up was from Graaf Simulations, the owner of which was John Van de Graaf, the guy who wrote Quest for the Fazzlewood who was out of Michigan.

ETA: I just checked it and the copyright is 1982.  I also have a copy of 2 different errata sheets with are dated March, 1983 and July, 1983 respectively.  I will load a picture shortly.


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:52 pm 
 

Here's picture of it(it's not great):

Image


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:26 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote in PBM question:
A few months ago, I was able to pick up a copy a set of PBM procedures for Feudal Lords from the early to mid 1980's, I believe.  I don't know enough about it to speak definitively about what else may be out there or not, but the copy that I picked up was from Graaf Simulations, the owner of which was John Van de Graaf, the guy who wrote Quest for the Fazzlewood who was out of Michigan.

ETA: I just checked it and the copyright is 1982.  I also have a copy of 2 different errata sheets with are dated March, 1983 and July, 1983 respectively.  I will load a picture shortly.


Van de Graaf Simulations!!!!

Thank you!


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Post Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:01 pm 
 

There was a company called Schubel & Son in the 70's and 80's that ran several play by mail games, including Tribes of Crane, which had quite a few players.  They also had a space game and a small unit military simulation set in the Middle East.  The games had human moderators. You could write detailed orders, and they would then determine what happened.  As a result, these games were sort of halfway between a board game and a tabletop RPG.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:27 pm 
 

I think in the modern technological world, a play by email would be good fun


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:36 pm 
 

I play by post/forum over on Unseen Servant. It's a great way to play when Face-to-Face games happen irregularly. It's definitely different, and not for everyone, but I enjoy it.

DF has someone looking to start a PBeM game I think. Just checked, it's been going on for a couple years, but check here for details: Dragonsfoot • View topic - Looking for a few new players - 1st ed AD&D - PBEM

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:52 pm 
 

Flying Buffalo is still around and still running PBM and PBEM games: http://www.flyingbuffalo.com/pbm.htm

  


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:05 pm 
 

Have you guys thought of an Acaeum PBeM gaming session or do you have regular gaming ongoing?


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:35 pm 
 

I would think playing by conference call would be more appealing and serve a similar constituency (people who are from all over the place who want to play the same game).  Plus, there's no delay.  You could send group e-mails with maps, images, etc...   8)


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:04 pm 
 

I remember playing Monster Island and um... I think Adventurer's Guild.

Both were pretty awesome back in the day.  Monster Island was neat as you didn't really understand the environment or items or crafting and had to learn it as you found it.  Adventurers Guild was more of a assign percentages to various combat actions and stances and reactions to opponents actions, then run through a series of automated arena fights.  There were some automated dungeon exploration and non-combat activities as well.

I think (for me) both of these really worked way back when before the advent of the internet as we know it and spoilers, strategy, and forums for everything.  It was fun to run across a new monster or see someone else's strategy up close in the duals and say "wow, that was cool, never thought of trying that".

I went back maybe two years ago and the Adventurer's Guild game looked like it was still running but it was like $10 a turn via email.  Seemed like a bit much considering it was probably 1/2 as much in the 80s.  I looked again after I saw this thread and the domain has lapsed, so I guess that's done.  Oh well.

At anyrate, PBM was fun, and I didn't have problems scavenging the $20 or so a month to enjoy them.  Also, since I was overseas it scratched an itch I couldn't really get at, and even better, since I'm a touch anti-social, I got a gaming fix without all of the added overhead.  Interesting how the internet has changed things since then.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:52 pm 
 

stylean wrote in PBM question:I remember playing Monster Island and um... I think Adventurer's Guild.

Both were pretty awesome back in the day....  Adventurers Guild was more of a assign percentages to various combat actions and stances and reactions to opponents actions, then run through a series of automated arena fights.  There were some automated dungeon exploration and non-combat activities as well.

I went back maybe two years ago and the Adventurer's Guild game looked like it was still running but it was like $10 a turn via email.  Seemed like a bit much considering it was probably 1/2 as much in the 80s.  I looked again after I saw this thread and the domain has lapsed, so I guess that's done.  Oh well.


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Asa was a Goblin swordsman
Drackmoor was a elf - Daze caster
and Duncan the Dark was a summoner of Mordtch

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Post Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:37 am 
 

I remember that Pegasus Productions had a couple of games I played in the late 80's:

Alamaze - a fantasy global conquest game.  You chose a race and went about building armies and alliances until you took over the world. Did pretty well with Wood Elves, but never could make much headway with the Dark Elves. They had a pesky issue of only being powerful at night. And since the computer randomly decided when your armies attacked they were inconsistent at best.  

Their other game I enjoyed was a State of War. You controlled a US state of you choosing in a future scenario where everyone's out for themselves.  You could engage in deficit spending, sneak your armies into Canada or Mexico, and occasionally run up against extremely powerful "Federal Armies" that would just kind of roam around.  

Great fun at what seems like it an unbearably slow pace today.


I remember when Elf was a class.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:02 pm 
 

By-Tor & SnowDog wrote in PBM question:...You controlled a US state of you choosing in a future scenario where everyone's out for themselves.  You could engage in deficit spending, sneak your armies into Canada or Mexico, and occasionally run up against extremely powerful "Federal Armies" that would just kind of roam around.  

Great fun at what seems like it an unbearably slow pace today.


I misread this at first. I thought you meant that the dissolution of the USA is happening too slowly for you!

  


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Post Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:01 pm 
 

By-Tor & SnowDog wrote in PBM question:I remember that Pegasus Productions had a couple of games I played in the late 80's


The game you mentioned is actually called Earthwood run by GSI. They later released Middle Earth PBM which still exists but run by a UK company now.
MEPBM has elements of MERP in the game and survives as well as Mithril Miniatures off the old license deals they had with the Tolkien Estate.

Pegasus Productions released Alamaze which is a superior PBM and also still exists. Dragon Magazine had a large article about the game in issue 131 and the game is playable online now. It's a turn based game and I believe called Kingdoms of Arcania presently but it's the same game with updates.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:15 pm 
 

Reality Simulations (Hyborian War) also ran some Alamaze games but they were less invested in the game as they licensed it. It was an inferior environment to play Alamaze.
The designer of Alamaze created the Forgotten Realms PBM for them but they weren't able to program his extensive design and so a simplified version of the game was programmed and released for a quick payday.

I think Alamaze is an all time great game. The PBM format was very niche but for a short period of time some of those games had thousands of players and made a lot of money. The phone bills were egregious, most of the games involved a lot of diplomacy.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:12 pm 
 

sauromatian wrote in PBM question:
I misread this at first. I thought you meant that the dissolution of the USA is happening too slowly for you!


Lol! When posting from my phone, my fat thumbs tend to speak a language of their own.


I remember when Elf was a class.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:15 pm 
 

Broadway wrote in PBM question:
The game you mentioned is actually called Earthwood run by GSI.


Yes! That is it, exactly.  Thanks for the catch.


I remember when Elf was a class.

  
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