A play by forum (pbf) game is, in my opinion, in many ways better than a tabletop session of D&D, in most particular for those who like role-playing as opposed to roll-playing. With that in mind, I'm using this article as a sort of diary of my progress through running a new pbf, Shining Lights in the Darkness. This article will be updated regularly as I polish up the experience of creating and running a pbf.
For those who don't know how a pbf works, here is a walk through. The DM makes a post describing the scenario, with the players making posts describing their initial actions. Many people will initially think that different people post back immediately like its some sort of chat room. That isn't the case, the advantage of pbf playing is that you have hours or even days to respond.
Doesn't this mean the game takes forever?
No, as long as the responses are fairly regular by all members, a scene might take a week or two, an adventure could be done in a few months. Definitely not a single night worth of tabletop, but not "forever". Combat "can" take quite a while, which is why its often better to end combats quickly or even schedule a short round of IRC to handle them.
Whats the benefit? Many people get into role-playing games because they like reading. Pbfs allow the players and the DM to create a much more rich role-playing experience due to the amount of time that can be invested in writing out your responses.
Now that I've written a bit of an introduction, I'm going to make this sort of my journal describing how I'm putting my upcoming pbf together, house rules I'm using, etc.