Playing Ars magica as a pbp- thpoughts

I'm reflecting my experiences with playing this game as a pbp.

I've come across several problems/observations that result from the pbp-playing style, and want to try and see if I forgot some.

  1. Speed
    Pbps are slow compared to table gaming. This means that initiative is usually ignored in combat by players and sg alike.
    You have to completely step out of your life and into your post every time your character does something.
    Suggestion: Stories could be reasonably simple, short and loaded with action. I've found playing styles that demand expalnations for story/personality flaws, and that are rich in lab seasons better suited for pbp.

  2. Changing faces
    People drop in and out of pbps even more suddenly than out of table games, because they are slower and in an anonymous game such as a pbp, the moral theshold is lower, because doing so doesn't cost you any rl friends that can personally spill tears in your lab. Another reason might be that groups are less close to begin with.
    Suggestions: More players to start with, experienced players to start with?

  3. gentle gift
    The gentle/blatant gift hardly ever plays a role in pbps. Other social skills on the sheet are often substituted by those of the player (I myself am not sure how to play my Com+5 magus).
    This is worse than in table gaming because pbp basically IS communications.

There are, of course, two ways to deal with this: ignore the social crunch or use it. I think it's simplest to just ask the players to roll social Abilities in major scenes or appropriate moments, as befits their description of their actions, and respond with NPCs accordingly. However, I'm posting to suggest another idea on the "use the crunch" front, taken from D&D 4e: you can make important scenes into "social" encounters. These can be mock-battles, using rules along the Debate rules in HoH:S. Use the in-character talk as considerable modifiers, but allow the characters to "wear down" the opposition by a certain amount of Fatigue Levels to achieve their goal.

Alternatively, and more simply, use the D&D 4e idea of needing x successes out of y die rolls. Anyone can roll once per post (turn), using any skill he can justify. If he can't justify its use to directly influence the NPCs, he can still roll to provide a bonus to the next roll if he can justify that.