Perhaps one of the less-known forms of RP, Play-By-Email (PBEM) is an incredibly fun method of roleplaying that deserves more attention. Below is our first guest article from UFOP: Starbase 118, a PBEM group that's been around for 22 years! We'll have more articles about PBEM coming from our Federation friends in the not-so-distant future. 

I've looked into Starbase 118 quite a bit and it's a very cool community with a seamless system for interactive storytelling. If you're a Trekker or just someone who has always dreamed of exploring the vastness of outer-space, this would be a fantastic way to fulfill your fantasies!

Without further ado, here's the UFOP: Starbase 118 RPG Team with a basic explanation of what PBEM is. 

Role playing games come in all forms however for the most part they are bound by a common thread, the art of storytelling. We are going to cover the differences in how rules define the way a story is told between table top role playing games and Play By E-Mail Role Playing Games (more colloquially known as PBEM RPGs). Rules are the basic building blocks of any good role playing game and by default define how the game is played, how the characters are made, and how the story will be told around the characters.  


Play by email games are different from tabletop in that there is no rule book. Much like normal tabletop games, PBEM RPGs have the social aspect where they write and roleplay together as a community and not as an individual. Though many communities have different methods of passing on the story to the next player.


The character creation format and story format are established and are presented to new players step by step to help make sure that new players have a firm grasp of how each group plays their respective games. In UFOP: Starbase 118 each player writes a part of the story from their character's point of view. The game master is usually the in character head of the team or group and though the story never technically ends, they are broken up into missions with down time in the middle.. There is no one person who holds all the monsters or the answers, and sometimes plots don’t work out the way people intended them to because someone else took it in a different direction. This style of story allows a lot of creativity and everyone has a chance to add something that the other is not expecting with the leader making sure it stays as cohesive, but fluid.. Out of character communication becomes so much more important in this style of story but at the same time that’s part of what makes it so fun.


Anyone can tell an amazing story. Add some heart, motivation, and an internet connection, you could be in for a great adventure with tabletop online cousin. Meetup is a good place to find good table top gaming groups in your area, or even to start your own. If that doesn’t do it for you, play by email groups could be your answer to a fun RP environment that only needs an email address and an internet connection!

UFOP: Starbase 118 RPG is a Play By E-Mail RPG that has brought Star Trek to roleplayers and writers alike. Having been in operation for 22 years and a dedicated staff of captains to bring the adventure and excitement of Star Trek to the very fans who enjoy it. This is the Adventure you’ve been looking for.