I am beginning to worry my regular participants in the online campaign with all this nonsense ... since they now are beginning to feel I might change my mind and not run, preferring to play around with this.
Nothing has changed. I will start the online campaign again. I'm never quite sure how much of my time it will take, or what's practical, and the situation has changed for at least one of the players, so things will have to be taken a step at a time - but what the hell, we've been playing since 2009 and a lot of ground HAS been covered, given the fact that the whole thing is in text. Most campaigns, I think, don't last as long or have this kind of continuity. However slow or fast we're able to move, I'm sure we'll make progress and I'm sure the party will feel engaged.
Now, this other thing, this suggestion yesterday. I think it goes without saying that any DM is a megalomaniac in some regard; that we tend to conceive of weird, wild, woolly things to try, and that in the trying there's things to learn and fun to be had. A bunch of people expressed a desire to run in my world and no, sorry, I haven't got the time to run everyone. Running takes more than just describing a few events. There's character creation for one, and explaining the complex rules of my world, all of which takes a lot of time. There's mapmaking for combat, there's the processing of weather and other tables, there's keeping records, there's a lot of stuff that needs to be done to maintain the various elements of the campaign ... and doing it in text makes it doubly harder. Something I could explain live at a table in three minutes can be virtually impossible to get across with sentences. Thankfully, I think that the screencapture program I started using this year will help enormously with some things ... since I can demonstrate movement as well as describe it.
What I can do is fuck around with a sort of mass game, see if I can't get a dozen, two dozen, even more people playing a bit of simple combat with simple characters. Some strategies might come to light, some realities about player interaction, and some FUN may be had. A lot of work? I guess. The blog might suffer. My writing might suffer. I may have to play a LOT less time-wasting video games. I may have to stop watching crap on Netflix. Who knows. Time is a movable feast, and there's always tons of it that gets wasted.
I have more time than most people, for a number of reasons. I don't have any family that needs my constant attention. I don't drive for two hours every day commuting to and from work. I don't donate my time to causes. I don't support any charities. I make time for stuff; I'm not duty bound by anything or anyone to fulfill any commitment except the one that pays me. This seems to make me more flexible than everyone, who tell me constantly how little time they have.
Do I get stupid busy? Yes. Do I sometimes find it hard to fulfill my commitments? Of course. But I let everyone know, I make my apologies, and I move on. If you were to play this game I proposed on the Dungeon board, I promise your commitment would be a lot less than mine ... and when it ended, no matter how little time passed before it ended, the worst angst you could possibly suffer would be a mild disappointment.
What, you live in this world and you're not used to disappointment yet? You poor bastards.
That said, I have some simple questions. I want to see nicks and avatars, not just results from a poll, and the way people respond matters as much as what position they take.
1) Would you want to play?
2) If you did play, would you want a clear, transparent indication of what monsters, and how powerful they would be, there were at each level? I remember the original Dungeon monster cards were pretty nasty on Levels 5 & 6, so they wouldn't be that harsh ... but I do think I need more than merely 6 orcs in the 6th level room. Should my actual solution be revealed, or would people rather be surprised?
3) If the monsters go up, so should the treasure. Shall it be a Treasure Shower, so that succeeding a room practically makes one a higher level, or should it be a hard slog, with maybe three or four rooms first. In other words, 4 people kill 3 rats on the first level. If there's a thousand gold pieces in the room, that's only 250 each. If you want to go up levels more quickly, there has to be something like 5,000 g.p. in a first level room, to cover the whole party. Don't try to get too specific answering ... just, ridiculous treasure, or the expectation of having to suffer before reaching the next level? The power of the monsters would have to be adjusted. Also, greater monsters means greater slowing in the lower levels ... and a greater dependency on lower level fights. If the danger level for the rooms in toto is flatter (less treasure per room, better chance of four 1st levels taking on a 4th level room) the spread of people on the map board is greater.
4) Should there be Player vs. Player? If not, what sort of victory conditions do we want to specify. If there is, how should it be restricted?
5) Are we just playing until we're sick of it?
6) Do people who die get to start again? How often? Infinitely?
7) It will save time if I pregenerate simple characters. Who isn't good with that, and why? I can always create a group of 20 that people can pick from.
I think the only thing I might be uncomfortable with is the too much treasure option. Other than that, I don't care one way or the other. I know I'm going to run until I'm sick of it, or until interpersonal drama kills it. That's how it goes.
But tell me emphatically that you don't want to play. Make it clear that there's no interest and then I can drop it and move on to whatever is next.