Wednesday, November 30, 2016


While people decide which campaign they want to be in, we can take steps towards figuring out where the indeterminate campaign will be.

In future, when I want to give actual real life times, I will designate them as follows.  It is nearly 12 noon for me, but it is nearly 7 pm Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and 2 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST).

As such, I will give this as a real life time as 7pm GMT/2pm EST.  I trust that the Pacific Time people, like me, can figure out what I mean compared to the American eastern seaboard.

To determine what "Elsewhere" is, we'll take a ballot.  This will take at least three ballots, I figure, so I ask that people be patient.  Here are the options:

Western Europe (Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain)

Northern Europe (Scandinavia, Denmark, Russia north of Moscovy and west of the Urals)

Eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary, Kiev, Moscovy)

Africa (limited to what I've created; south Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, not including Egypt)

Ottoman Empire (Egypt, Middle East, Greece, Balkans, Mesopotamia)

Safavid Empire (Caucasus, Persia, west Afghanistan, west Pakistan)

Moghul Empire (India, Ceylon, east Afghanistan, including Burma and southern Indian states)

Northern Asia (Turkestan, Uzbek, Kirghizia, Kazakhstan, Jagatai Empire, Siberia east of the Urals)


Sorry, I'm not going to run Paraguay at this time ~ it is not connected to the trade system.

When you vote, please designate your first, second and third choices.  Please do not abbreviate.  Abbreviating will suggest you're not really prepared to take the time to express yourself when the game starts.  Also, I like attention to detail [he said, looking at Maxwell who spelt Frederic's name with a 'k'].

Please give you choices in this format:

1)  Region; 2) Region; 3) Region.

Your first choice will be rated at 3 points; your second at 2 points and your 3rd at 1 point.  Points will be added and we will revote on the top three choices overall.

Best of luck.  Deadline 12 noon GMT/7am EST December 1st.  Votes by those in the Donbass campaign will not be counted.


  1. 1) Northern Europe; 2) Northern Asia; 3) Western Europe

  2. Regarding attention to detail: both of us skipped the é's in Frédéric's name, but you didn't comment on that. What, in your mind as the DM, is the difference between typing an e instead of an é, and mistakenly adding a k? I'm not being salty: I know this is important to you, and that my words here represent me as a potential player, so I want to be clear on what you expect and why you think the way you do. And I'll try hard, I promise, to double-check everything before submitting.

    As for regions: I swear that nowhere in the post did you say whether you want us to pick "big" regions (e.g. Western Europe) or "small" regions (e.g. Britain, France, etc.). My assumption would be "small" ones, but just in case (and to save a little back and forth) I'll answer both. Hope that's OK.

    If it's the former:
    1) Western Europe; 2) Moghul Empire; 3) Eastern Europe.

    If it's the latter:
    1) Spain; 2) India; 3) Poland.

  3. Maxwell,

    Hah haha hah haha ha ha ha!

    I was just pokin' you, friend.

    As regards voting, I meant that you should from the list I provided. I didn't mention Spain, yes?

    Vote so noted.

  4. 1) Northern Europe; 2) Eastern Europe; 3) Western Europe.

  5. Maxwell,

    Why ~ you have something riding on this?

  6. I meant I got wound up by "looking at you Maxwell..." i.e. I took it as more serious than intended.

    I didn't mean that the vote on the initial play area was winding me up ... other than that it's exciting.

    Dang, text communication is hard! No wonder you wrote us that "keep it short" post. I'll stfu now.

  7. 1) Northern Asia 2) Mughal Empire 3) Northern Europe

  8. 1)Safavid Empire

    2)Moghul Empire

    3)Ottoman Empire

  9. Might I also recommend that in the context of that attrition process, you signal when you publish a new post, Alexis ? Like you do in the campaign logs ?

    As for details - and this is more meant to sway my possible future campaign mates - but I would like to point out the following :

    - 'Oh, Afghanistan. How you have fallen so! What has happened to cities of Balkh and Kunduz? The gardens of Ghazni and Qandahar? The great palaces of Kabul? You are like a mistress who has lost her lover and weeps for her children.' - Chronicle of Ibn al-Athir

    - "Tel" or "Tell" is a term mostly used with regards to certain landscape features in the Middle-East, and those landscape features exist because of generation after generation of edifices being built atop the ruins of other edifices.

    - When Xenophon and his men fled Persia towards the Euxine Sea more than 2000 years before the campaigns in Alexis' world, he already came upon thousand-years-old abandoned cities in the desert.

    All of which goes to oh-so-subtly hint at the possibility that the East is basically made of dungeons in the real world. Just imagine in play ...

    ... are you imagining yet ?

  10. I do hope that I can make myself clear about something. I say this in the hopes of establishing total clarity.

    Would-be players are COMPETING for a place in the campaign. I don't want to run up to 11 players simultaneously forever.

    The competition in this case is based on two things:

    A) Can you follow instructions EXACTLY.

    B) How consistently are you reading the blog so that you can respond to information that is needed and to instructions.


    While I can read your intentions perfectly, and they are Short and Precise, do you understand that they were NOT put in the format I requested?

    There is a famous story of Van Halen's contract with venues, asking that all brown M&Ms be removed from candy dishes that were placed in their rooms backstage. Many people mocked this request, many people called the band a bunch of prissy assholes who obviously had delusions of godhood and thus felt they were entitled to ask for ridiculously needy things just because they could.

    Fact is, the candy dish was a TAG. It meant that the band's manager could walk into the band's room back stage and see in ONE SECOND that the venue had READ the contract and had taken the time to FOLLOW the contract. If there were brown M&Ms in the candy dish, it showed immediately that the venue plainly did not respect the contract and that there were bound to be many other things the venue DID NOT DO.

    That's what this is. If I see people not following instructions, as written and given, what I think is, "Uh oh. Trouble." There are going to be vast numbers of details and issues of communication that arise between me and the players ~ those players who resist following the simplest, clearest instructions are going to be kicked to the curb because I am not interested in this getting harder just because a person thinks, "I know, I will do it MY way."

    That is not going to work in this situation. That is only going to make my game, and the game of all the other players, more wasteful and time consuming, as we all struggle to keep track of HUNDREDS of comments between up to 6 players at once.

    I hope this helps players understand why square peggedness will be regarded as a fail.

  11. Yep. I see trouble.

    Thank you, Frederic, for your time, your interest and your inconvenience.

    1) This is not the time to tell me how to "Manage" the other players. I'm actually not warning people about when I publish a new post because that IS the attrition process. If you're not checking the blog regularly, seeing on your own that a new post has been put up, you're not invested enough.

    2) Ibn al-Athir is FOUR CENTURIES before my world takes place. You plainly have a strong preconception about what these places are or what they must be. You are completely forgetting that this is MY WORLD, and not the real world as it applies to your reading and meshing together of various histories that you've read. That's going to make issues when it turns out the nitty-gritty details of the world you encounter is not the world you EXPECT to encounter.

    3) I'm not strongly in favour of you using this time to give semantic lessons on what a "Tell" is. Just now, no one cares about that. This is D&D. There are going to be dungeons EVERYWHERE, there are going to be lost cities EVERYWHERE . . . no one thinks that because they choose to play in Scandinavia or Spain that it will be hard to find adventure.

    I think you're going to be trouble, Frederic. I think you're going to push other players to your agenda and I think you're going to forget that you're on probation.

    So again, thank you. You're out of this, you're done.

  12. Alexis,

    I'm sorry, I'm not certain I understand. Are you saying that I should have presented it thus :

    1)Safavid Empire; 2)Moghul Empire; 3)Ottoman Empire


    Or, if you're referring to my not-published comment about the merits of a campaign in the above regions, I apologize, I was merely trying to heed to your recommendation that players should reach out to other players and thought that my campaigning for a campaign simply needed to be separate from the vote itself, so as to make the former easier to distinguish.

  13. You're not being booted for reaching out to the other players.

    I will explain again:

    1) You're being booted because you're trying to tell me how to run this show. You ASSUMED that my choice of posting without warning was an oversight, NOT deliberate. I'm a DM. I'm a brilliant DM. You should take it as a given, especially right out of the gate, that NOTHING I do about the beginning of this isn't 100%, totally, absolutely, painstakingly and without exception deliberate in the unholy extreme. You didn't.

    2) You're being booted because you're more concerned with urging your fellow players than you are in following instructions. Look at your second attempt in your last comment. Do you fail to see a space between the closing parenthesis and the name of the region? Brown M&Ms, Frederic. Brown M&Ms. Exact means exact, not more or less.

    Read your Kipling

    All along o' dirtiness, all along o' mess,
    All along o' doin' things rather-more-or-less,
    All along of abby-nay, kul, an'hazar-ho,
    Mind you keep your rifle an' yourself jus' so!"

    3) You're being booted because it is taking TWO comments to explain to you exactly why you're being booted. How many comments is it going to take to explain what you see on a street or how you move in combat, or how your sage abilities actually work or ten thousand other details having to do with the game?

    You're too easy to quibble, too resistant to instructions, too insistent on explanations of things that should be blatantly self-evident . . . and most of all, you're just plain unable to understand what it means to be on probation. I said when I was willing to take everyone one that the issue was going to be with people who weren't obsessive about checking the blog and weren't easy to get along with.

    Your solution was to suggest that I should make it EASIER for YOU to know when to check the blog. That's the very definition of your being too lazy to keep your rifle jus' so.

  14. Alexis,

    The first was merely a request, that came upon me because I found your implementation of it practical in the campaign log. It wasn't an advice or a suggestion, not at all.

    As for the rest, I assure you I wasn't trying to "pre-order" or co-opt the campaign, I was simply trying to communicate my enthusiasm with the other players -which at least one of them seemed to approve of- and to convey my willingness to invest in the game, as you said was necessary.

    I assure you I contemplated following your explicit instructions and only them, but reading the other posts told me that you expected not only scrupulous adherence to your instructions, but also some demonstration of zeal.

    I'm sorry if I overstepped and am very aware that we have precedents, but I merely attempted to contribute as much and as best as I could with the understanding that your instructions were more restrictions than norms.

    I was wrong, but I didn't try to wrong you.

  15. It was an attempt to allow you to KNOW when I posted because the warning for the post would appear in your email feed so that you would not have to keep checking the blog IN CASE I posted something without your knowing it.

    Practical? Perhaps. For your purposes, definitely. For my purposes, failing to do so exposed a would-be player who seems to think that I'm here to change my behaviour to suit his requirements. It also exposed a would-be player who will carp and insist on his innocence by splitting hairs between what is "advice," a "suggestion" and a "request," as though the semantics of what he asked for is the issue. It also exposed a player who was willing to KEEP COMMENTING after being shown the door, demonstrating his lack of respect for other people here who followed instructions and did not feel the need to tell me what to do.

    There's the door. You're booted. I will not approve another comment by you on any thread associated with the campaign.

  16. 1) Northern Europe; 2) Western Europe; 3) Northern Asia

  17. 1) Ottoman Empire; 2) Eastern Europe; 3) Safavid Empire.

  18. Sorry, Jonathon . . . you had stated that you wanted to be with the Donbass party. That means you'll be in modern-day Eastern Ukraine. You don't need to vote here.

  19. My apologies; I should have asked directly. When you said time was running out on me in the other thread I wasn't sure if it was because I had voted incorrectly earlier in that thread or if it was because you were expecting us to vote here - you said our votes wouldn't be counted, which made me worried that you might be expecting us to participate.

  20. There are two different clocks counting down ~ the only one that affects you is the one asking you to join a campaign, and you've gotten in on that one. The other clock regards those who joined the campaign you didn't join.

    There is a lot to read here, all going on at once. And now everyone is on edge because I booted someone; and that someone is going to be all incensed that I'm not now booting you, as though this is the same sort of mistake.

    Everything is fine.

  21. Jonathan,

    I see what happened. You posted "Donbass" at 11:33 my time; I am keeping notes on the side, on excel, and stupidly wrote "Donbass" in my notes instead of your name. Then didn't notice it as the day went on. Then, when I looked at my notes, not seeing your name, I wrote that you were one of those I hadn't heard back from.

    My error. This is what I mean, however, about things getting complicated. I make one tiny note-taking error and everyone gets concerned about misunderstandings and the possibility for feeling mistreated or forgotten.

    Sorted, however.

  22. As an aside for our friend Frédéric (feel free not to approve this comment, Alexis, but I wanted to give an outside view) and others who might be thinking: Who this guy Alexis thinks he is?

    I've also found problems with people that insist on discussing every single nitpicking issue, on detail, taking an excruciatingly long time both to understand and to correct them, so I fully understand Alexis' plight on this one. Think for a bit, put yourself in the organizers' shoes and you will see. If you don't, well, then believe me, you WERE going to be a problem.

    A last point: before anybody even *thinks* a single epithet like "arrogant", "entitled" and the like, remember our host is offering to run:
    1)you, personally (and as you can see, there's a line)
    2)almost on real time
    3)for free
    If you can't see the need for scarcity to create barriers, then, again, you were going to be a problem. No offense meant. It's just a question of compatibility


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