Pure kibbitizing from the peanut gallery. Feel free to tl;dr it.
Definitely correct. The single most important thing about a PbP game is maintaining momentum. Everything can be kicking along just fine and then out of nowhere, boom, there’s a tiny little bump and everyone stops posting. So you do whatever you can to keep the wheels greased, so to speak.
I’ve been running a game on Roll20 for, oh, roughly one global pandemic and am interested to see how it works with a PbP. It could definitely be useful as a repository for character sheets and whatnot, but it’s not quick to load and could be frustrating if you’re just wanting to post and make a quick dice roll in a five-minute break. A lightweight site like orokos.com lets you make rolls and then generates bbcode that you can easily paste into the thread.
One thing about play by post - everything takes five times as long as you thought it would: combat in particular. A single round of combat can easily take a week or more, especially if you’re keeping stuff in initiative order. It can be effective to make player actions all happen simultaneously and generalize some stuff a bit.
I think taking advantage of in-line images is an excellent idea. You can post a new screenshot at the top of each round showing the battlemap situation, let everyone narrate their actions and make their rolls, adjudicate them all at once, do all the monster actions, and then post a new “top of the round” screenshot afterwards.
It’s also very helpful to give the players certain pieces of information and even let them do some monster rolling. So I might have a monster that I present this way:
EVIL BAD EVIL ORC GUY
Current HP: 13
Saving throws: +2 dex, -1 wis, +0 all others
Special: EBEOG will get a free attack (+3 to hit, 1d8+2 damage) on any character that moves into his melee range.
The players are allowed to roll for the monster if the roll is in direct response to something they’re doing. So if I cast entangle on my turn, I can immediately make EBEOG’s saving throw (since the saving throw is rolled as soon as the spell is cast). Now I know whether he slipped free or if I can describe the vines clutching at his evil limbs and holding him down. If I move into melee range, I can immediately make EBEOG’s attack roll against myself. And when I make my own attack, I’ll know whether I hit and whether I killed him.
This may be a bit much for newbies, but the benefit is that it gives a lot more narrative freedom when constructing posts. Instead of “I charge forward and swing my sword and…???” you have the space to think about the outcomes of your actions. It helps to keep things moving at a good clip. That’s also why I like to give monsters “special” actions that trigger during player turns. It all gives the players a little more grist for the mill and keeps combat from devolving into, “I swing my sword, tell me what happens.”