Thursday, February 12, 2009

Good Investment

Having written the rant on why I wouldn’t give two hoots for the game community, I’ll make a plug for what I would love to do had I the means…that would be, to run my world really well.

First off, I’d love to have a secretary. I envision it as a full-time job, about $45,000 a year, in which I would need someone with a good grounding in history, literature, office skills and graphic design. Having a better understanding of computer dynamics and programming would be principal regarding whom I might hire. The individual would have to have excellent social skills, a powerful memory and would have to have a strong perfectionist streak. I imagine I would go through a series of candidates before finding one who was able to perform consistently and to standard.

The working hours would be fairly odd: four days a week, exchangeable, from nine A.M. to five P.M., during which a mass of hard research, design and idea development. Much of this work would be, for many people, quite boring, such as systematically going over every city in the world which I have not previously researched and adding it to my already bloated system; fixing my bloated system; preparing methodology and programming in order to simplify my bloated system; and adding additional as-yet inconceived of material to my bloated system. Since I would only sometimes be working on my system during those same hours, and other hours which fit in with my schedule, the secretary would have to gain a firm understanding on why things were done, and be able to remember and explain why decisions were made at given times. I would have to trust the secretary to make correct, reliable decisions so that I wouldn’t have to go over the work again, and thus productivity could be increased. Since I have a talent for delegation, I don’t find this a problem.

The fifth shift every week would be the Saturday night running, in which the secretary would be employed from four P.M. until midnight, with overtime compensation to be offered for long games. During the game, the secretary, well-versed in both my system and the system from AD&D, as well as at least as many role-playing game systems as I myself have (in order to make interpretive rule suggestions when called for), would have all the information regarding combat, spells, magic items and so on at their fingertips—i.e., when something was asked regarding a particular rule, it would be fabulous if the secretary was able to either A) quote the rule verbatim or B) have fast hands.

After some period of experience, once the secretary was familiar with my perspective and methodology, it would be desirable if they were able to “run” the campaign in my absence, or if they were able to run this half of the party while I was elsewhere running the other half of the party, allowing for a lot of interesting dual adventures with potentially harrowing or hilarious results. Since this person would be working for me, I would be able to countermand any problematic conflicts, while it would be very much in my interest to give them a free hand in order to develop excellent running skills of their own. The fringe benefit in that would be to be able to run in my own world, during which time I would disallow myself the privilege of having the “last say,” which I would not need as I would have come to trust this person.

If it happened that this resulted in an increase in participants, it might then be interesting to hire new persons to work part time on the development of the system and full time on Saturday nights. I think it would require one additional hired DM for every additional six regular players. If it became quite popular, some sort of registration would be involved, but since I see doing this out of the income I would earn as a writer, I don’t see there being the need for fees in the early stages. Later on, it happens that a certain class of people are unable to treat something with respect unless they pay money in order to “join,” but because I don’t especially like that class of people and because it would spoil the free and interactive discourse of the experience, I would put that off until it became absolutely necessary. I see that circumstance arising when there might be so many people interacting in the game that they might not know each other except by face, and that only by the recognition that people have paid for the right to be there could respect be managed.

Unfortunately, this also creates a circumstance in which that certain class believes that once they have paid, they are automatically deserving of respect. Which they aren’t. Also, it creates that circumstance whereby different classes of people feel they have the right to lord their long status over noobs. This would have to be policed firmly, which I think would only be possible through a joint resolution on the part of those DMs operating at each table, whose quality would be managed by me.

Yes, that’s right, it’s all about the power. Heh heh heh.

But what the hell, I’m paying for everything, right? And like any business, the CEO makes the final decision, after listening to the board of directors. I think that with careful hiring standards and an expectation for creativity and self-education, I could build a board of directors with an unusually high quotient for detecting bullshit and keeping a positive order.

Once again, with four or five DMs running 20-30 people weekly, all in the same world and all operating according to the same rules, some very interesting interactions could start to develop between this group of players making a power play against another group, or with different groups gathering together into different campaigns. I see a scene where group one meets with group two, they exchange materials and information, and then party members as the two mages in the one group decide to split up to make better use of their talents.

If all the parties were willing to remain in the same general area (and there’s no rule saying they would have to), then this sort of switching and reforming could go on all the time.

Now that’s D&D!

(There will be more. Oh yes, there will be more)

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