Monday, September 12, 2011

Exactly What We Have Come To Expect From The D&D Community

Total number of persons wanting to play in a proposed online campaign: 37
Actual number of emails or comments expressing an actual desire to play: 6

I contemplated on how best to handle this as things emerged over the weekend.  To save face, I could say nothing.  I could pretend more people applied than actually did.  I could acknowledge those who did answer with gratitude, give them a place in my world and simply cover up the details.  No one would know.  My detractors would be left wondering if my popularity was greater than they wished for and those who responded might think they were chosen from a wide range of applicants.  I could even lie and say they were.

But I am not interested in my public relations, nor am I much moved by the applications I did receive.  Two seemed completely out to lunch, and four managed to repeat to me more or less the same principles I had expounded, with some small additions.  No one, I'm afraid to say, particularly blew my socks off ... which is what I wanted, of course.  It is what the gentle reader wants every time they open a new blog.  I see no reason why I shouldn't hope for the same.

I am guessing from some comments that were made that I intimidated the majority of people.  I gather that they felt I would be inflexible - despite my statements to the contrary - or that I would expect far more than they were able, or perhaps willing, to deliver.  This is all well and good.  My feeling is that if no prospective player can develop the wherewithal to produce an appeal that encourages me to run the game, then I should not feel obliged to be encouraged.  I'm obviously NOT asking for anyone to beg me.  Those who feel I am are infantile morons who have clearly not read anything I've bothered to write on the subject.

I am asking for inspiration.  My only gain in playing the game online, as opposed to playing the game offline as I do, is to play with people who are gifted and amazing in their play.  I expressed a desire to hear people say so.  I did not hear this.  I did hear from people who had no experience whatsoever.  I was thus very, very disappointed.

My detractors will rush to talk about what a swelled head I have and how I am so very full of myself in regards to my importance in the community.  They won't give credit for my honesty, nor my directness, nor the effort I made to have the so-called community stand up and meet me eye-to-eye.  To the six people who responded, congratulations.  To the two people who wrote to express precisely why they couldn't play, you have my congratulations also.  In my opinion you are unusual among your peers in that you eight people have spines.  I deeply respect that.

And I should make an exception to James C. and Chgowiz, who were given reason to believe they were shoe-ins.

As to the other 27 people who "want" to play, but really don't want to?  Who could have saved me a lot of time and energy by answering "no" from the beginning and thus clarifying that there was no real desire out there for my online world?  Fuck you.  Fuck you very much.


Anonymous said...

Indeed, based on your own comments I had considered myself an incumbent. If that's not so, let me know. I'm still very interested in playing and hope there's enough true interest among the remaining 37 to interest you.

To those reading, if you're sitting on the fence or feel intimidated or insulted at this point please put it behind you and toss your hat in or re-work your e-mail. There's no other game online, PbP, Google+ or whatever I'd rather be playing than Aelxis's. I'm not here to fan the flames of the man's ego. I'd probably take exception to his direct manner at times, too, if he wasn't so damn good at what he purports to be good at. I'm saying look past whatever preconceptions or concerns you have, but come ready to play. It's a good game and needs good players.

While the time commitment Alexis laid out may seem daunting let me assure you, busy as you may be, squeezing in a few well-reasoned posts a day isn't as tough as you'd expect and while the resulting pace may be glacial, it is a very satisfying game.

Even at a slow pace if you participate 5 days out of 7 that's 5 days of playing D&D in whatever format. And its good. Very fucking good. Come on!

Alexis said...

"Indeed, based on your own comments I had considered myself an incumbent. If that's not so, let me know. "

Yes James, it is very so.

Sean said...

The part about saving face doesn't sound right to me. This post is an excellent screening device to weed out players that are only joining your game to " check it out" and who have no interest in committing to a long term game. Well done, sir.
I hope that you take up your own gauntlet and run a great game with a dedicated core of players.

Good luck.

Jagatai said...

Sorry about that, my daughter just came back from the army and is in worse shape than the doctors led us to believe; I just haven't had time to keep up on correspondence. I was interested.

Carl said...


I apologize for not telling you this. I owed it to you and I did not deliver. You deserve an explaination.

Do I want to play? Yes. Can I commit to play? No. This is the heart of the issue and why I opted not to respond to your open solicitation after expressing interest.

The latest discussion here on what it takes to be a good DM, and how to be a better one has caused me to do a lot of thinking and questioning of my own commitment to D&D. Right now, this blog -- your blog -- is my only connection to the hobby. I spend a few minutes per day reading and commenting and that's it. I don't think about D&D after that, I don't play it, and I don't spend any time on it.

The priority of D&D in my life is pretty low right now. This is partially due to summer being actually sunny and warm this year and me spending time on stuff like my veggie garden and my motorcyle and mostly due to a distinct lack of interest in putting in hours on my own game. I'm spending no time on my game at the moment. None. I've put aside game day until after the first day of Autumn. That's about 3 weeks away and I have serious doubts about whether I'll be able to bring sufficient energy and enthusiasm to that game to maintain my players' interest. I do not feel energized to play or DM. I feel like I dump way more energy into the game than I get out of it and what I do get out of it does not carry over into other areas of my life.

I keep telling myself that when the rain starts and the days get shorter I'll be looking for D&D again. That's how it has happened in the past, but it feels different this time. I have a very small group of players that at-present are showing a commitment level similar to my own. Their other hobbies and interests are starting to require time that has been held by D&D in the past. I'm not interested in recruiting new players. I've done it, and they'll stay for a few sessions and then move on to other things. I'm not seeking out another game locally. I've played in enough "other people's" games to know that 1) D&D is usually not the chosen game, and 2) the games are at best boring and at worst some weird exercise in social Darwinism. I've said all this before.

I feel like I'm not getting the personal return on investment from the hobby that I once did. Maybe that's age and that my interests have changed. Maybe it's something else, but right now it's just not very much fun.

I went through something similar a few years ago, where my interest in gaming waned to nearly nil and I stepped away from the hobby and did other stuff for a couple of years. When I did come back, I had a renewed sense of purpose, specific goals and I was energized to play. Here's hoping a few weeks or months off can restore my desire.

skoormit said...

Sorry, Alexis, the 60-hour window you gave for crafting an answer to your summons did not fit within the exigencies of my weekend. Maybe next time it will, and you won't feel so insulted.

JB said...

Ha! My bad! When I participated in your online poll, I hadn't realized it was a preliminary application for participation. I thought it was simply preliminary market research of what people were "up for" should you start such a campaign.

And yes, I completely missed the 9am EST deadline in the manifesto post as well. I have no excuse for my lapse save that it was a busy weekend for me. I didn't even have a chance to read your response to my original comment until this evening.

Even should you decide to NOT run an on-line campaign, I will at least do you the courtesy of providing a response to the questions you posed in your manifesto, as soon as I have a moment to collect/collate my thoughts. I apologize for not doing so sooner.

jepatrcook said...

I appreciate your honesty. I'm not sure if I'm out-to-lunch or wrote-repetition-of-what-you-already-said (or both).

I will be brief: I am not a salesman, not of myself or of anything else. I ask for a chance to impress you in playing the game, not in my ability to petetition you. I will continue asking until the door is defintively shut, and if I am understanding you correctly that is not yet the case. Until that time, I say again: I would like a chance to experience you as a DM firsthand.

Alexis said...


Without the overwhelming number of yesses on the poll, I would not have moved forward at all; I have this terrible tendency to hold people to their opinion, even if it is an opinion delivered over the internet.

I felt slapped in the face.

JB said...

@ Alexis:

And for that, I apologize.

Alexis said...

Thank you JB. Forget it.