Dungeons & Dragons Online

Using “Play by Text” to give yourself some space to take a breath

So I just finished doing a "Play by Text" scene with one of my players. We normally play in person since we all live together. I recently started a new job that demands a TON of my time and have found that the pressure of prep and sometimes even improvising things on the spot has become a bit taxing.

What is Play by Text?

Pretty much exactly as it sounds. You start a prompt via text and go back and forth from there playing npc's and describing what is happening. I use Discord so that if any rolls come up I can use a bot to have the player roll.

Why Was it Useful?

One of my players just had an incredible moment where his Paladin broke his Oath in character. He is a WoW player by trade, so I have been trying to slowly move him into the RPG aspect and out of the MMO mentality. He hit me up and we worked out his new character and was really excited about it.

Moving forward to the session he wanted to have a moment alone to try and pray/soul search. This would have taken a fair bit of time at the table, and we were wrapping up in the next 15 min. I told him we would get to his prayer and talk this week some time.

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That's when I had the idea to just play that scene by text. We texted back and forth last night and today throughout the day whenever we had time. On a coffee break? Send your response to the last prompt. It went FANTASTIC. We both had some space and time to formulate our responses and it made for a great scene. Also it took a lot of pressure off of both of us to perform at the table in front of the group and not take too long as to bore everyone else.


As with anything, this may not work for everyone's table. With scheduling and time being very hard to work around it worked well for us.


I didn't have time at the table to dig into a one on one scene with a player so we played the scene out via text. It went really well and I would suggest it for certain moments!

Source: reddit.com

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