For the last few months, I have been steadily playing a campaign of “Pathfinder”:http://paizo.com/pathfinder, basically Dungeons and Dragons v3.75, online using regular forum software.
As a kid I was obsessed with RPGs, but never found enough people to play with and only ever played a few short adventures, so this is a nice way to catch up on what I missed. I’m playing a ranger, the class I always wanted to play and he’s turning out the way I always wanted.
Our DM is superb. I get the impression that he’s a frustrated novelist and this game is his creative outlet. I was invited to join the campaign half way through and I thought I would find it difficult to catch up with the action, but I was quickly hooked and spend the best part of a weekend following the story. It reads like a disjointed fantasy novel.
It’s been very enjoyable. I wonder if forums would work for more avant-garde RPGs?
*Update* at the request of Simpike
This is basically a PBEM, but using a forum instead of an inbox. It’s superb, but it puts a huge load on the DM. Our DM must spend *hours* writing the updates and resolving the combats. He even programmed an application to help him sort out the combats. The result is worth it. It’s exciting when your backs are against the wall. We had a character die, so it’s not like he’s making things too easy.
We use a dice rolling website to resolve dice rolls. It requires honesty and it’s often down, but it works.
It’d be difficult to use an iPhone to play. Reading the “character sheets”:http://sspace.prophpbb.com/topic6.html requires a lot of screen space. I often have to consult the “online rules”:http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ too. We do have PDF character sheets too, which might make iPhone play possible.
Apart from that, just read the threads to get a feel for it. It’s obvious how it works, but it *is* a lot of work for the DM.