OOC: Table Talk 1.   Posted by The Traveler.Group: 0
Abigail
 player, 62 posts
Mon 8 Apr 2019
at 17:59
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
I seek opinions:  Should I prefer

 -- +2 to saving throws with a particular attribute or

 -- +2 with initiative
The Traveler
 GM, 109 posts
Mon 8 Apr 2019
at 22:01
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
We don't use individual initiative in this game, due to the inherent slowness of PbP. I recommend buffing one of your saves.
Abigail
 player, 63 posts
Tue 9 Apr 2019
at 00:55
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
The Traveler:
We don't use individual initiative in this game, due to the inherent slowness of PbP. I recommend buffing one of your saves.

Well that does make it quite simple, doesn't it?  :)

Thanks!
Rurik the Red
 player, 52 posts
 Cleric of Avandra
Wed 10 Apr 2019
at 21:23
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
Hi all. I'm off to a week-long family reunion starting Friday. I should have internet, but my log-ins may be sporadic.
Eradil
 player, 103 posts
 A very old elf
 Defending civilization
Thu 11 Apr 2019
at 02:46
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
In reply to Rurik the Red (msg # 228):

Have a good time. My family reunions usually involve vast amounts of tasty food.
Jaim Walker
 player, 105 posts
 Human
 HP : 20/20
Sat 13 Apr 2019
at 03:26
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
Looks like we're waiting on a few more directional votes to get moving.
Andriel the Hammer
 player, 79 posts
 Blood for Kord!
Sat 13 Apr 2019
at 18:29
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
Andriel has exercised his democratic power as wisely as one might expect.
Rurik the Red
 player, 55 posts
 Cleric of Avandra
Mon 22 Apr 2019
at 14:41
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
Hi all. Back from the family reunion. Yes there was good food! and beer!
The Traveler
 GM, 119 posts
Wed 24 Apr 2019
at 22:25
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
Heads up for all my games: I will be heading out of town Friday to Sunday with my wife to do a 50-mile bicycle tour/cultural festival and don't expect to be online much, if at all.

Thanks! Shane
Eradil
 player, 114 posts
 A very old elf
 Defending civilization
Sat 27 Apr 2019
at 02:43
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
I will be away tomorrow at the SCA Blackstone Raids.
The Traveler
 GM, 120 posts
Tue 30 Apr 2019
at 10:06
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
I had a great weekend away from the kids with pretty much perfect riding weather. Unfortunately, when I came back to work on Monday we are in full-on prep mod for my bosses boss, full bird Colonel-type , visit this week. This means early days bleeding into evening social obligations as we entertain our visitor.

All this to say, it's going to be a busy week for me. I am going to try to post in my games tonight after work, but after that, my next posting window likely won't be until Friday.

Thanks,

Shane
Eradil
 player, 115 posts
 A very old elf
 Defending civilization
Wed 1 May 2019
at 03:45
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
Thank you for letting us know. I trust all goes well with the visit.
Eradil
 player, 118 posts
 A very old elf
 Defending civilization
Tue 7 May 2019
at 04:15
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
I will be traveling Wednesday and attending the International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo Thursday through Sunday, returning late Sunday night. I will probably have Internet access but my playing time may be limited.
Andriel the Hammer
 player, 89 posts
 Blood for Kord!
Thu 9 May 2019
at 12:01
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
Having some health problems. Will be back soon, I hope.
Eradil
 player, 120 posts
 A very old elf
 Defending civilization
Thu 9 May 2019
at 23:15
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
In reply to Andriel the Hammer (msg # 238):

I hope you are better soon.
The Traveler
 GM, 123 posts
Sun 12 May 2019
at 01:45
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
Okay, so this was not an easy post for me to write, but here goes my best attempt...

Over the past few months, maybe even the last year or so if I am being honest, I have found it increasingly difficult to maintain the enthusiasm or creativity required to run play-by-post games. I have thought long and hard about this issue for some time, trying to figure out how to bring back the same excitement, joy, and wonder, that used to come naturally to me from this play format, but nothing has seemed to work.

I think a combination of issues are at play, but perhaps the main issue is I have been running play-by-post games for the past 10 years and I am probably just burned-out. In fact, in total, I have run 12 different games over those 10 years, 8 of which I brought to, what I feel was a satisfying conclusion, and 4 of which I am currently running.

Another issue is that I first came to PbP after I moved to New Mexico and did not know any local players to continue playing face-to-face games with. PbP was a convenient way to play RPGs, without the hassle of trying to find like-minded players and then work through the various scheduling issues that come up with face-to-face games when dealing with adult gamers with other responsibilities. When I moved to Hawaii, 3 years later, I met other gamers and started playing face-to-face games again. Then, when I moved to South Carolina, I linked up with a growing local community of tabletop gamers and now have more gaming options than I have ever had in my entire life.

Now back to PbP. These past 10 years have been incredibly rewarding. I have played with an immensely talented group of individuals over that time, yourself included, and have grown as a writer, gamemaster, and person as a result. A few of you have played with me from my very first PbP game--The Beast Inside. Several of you played with me in multiple long-running games spanning back almost a decade. It's crazy to think about in hindsight, and it's definitely been a lot of fun.

But, it hasn't been as fun for me over the past year or so and some of you may have even noticed as much from the quality of my posts. From my standpoint, my posts have been formulaic, rote, and without the passion that I used to be able to devote to this craft. And to me, this is a craft. I have always tried to hold myself to very high standards when it comes to running games (really anything I do) and lately, I haven't been meeting that mark in my PbP games.

Again, I think this primarily boils down to burn-out on my part. I have toyed with new game forms as a way to generate sparks of creativity. For example, my DDAL game was an effort to to leverage smaller, episodic published adventures to see if that would help. Gaxmoor was exactly the opposite--urban sandbox dungeoncrawl. Unfortunately, neither of these efforts remedied the underlying problem. If anything, it made it even worse.

Now, this isn't to say those games haven't been fun. I have enjoyed running all my games, but not so much for the games themselves, but for the interactions I have had with you, the players. That has honestly been what has kept me coming back to my PbPs and trying to muster what is necessary to keep them going--my relationship with all of you.

This relationship is why I am communicating with you now about this issue. I respect you, value your friendship, and am continually impressed by the creativity you bring to the game. I think it's the right thing to do. Hell, I even state as much in my posting guidelines in all my games--Communication is Key.

All this to say, after long consideration (and I have been thinking about this for months trying to figure out how to articulate my feelings on the subject), I think I need to scale back/take a break from PbP.

Since I have four games, I have tried to figure out ways to bring each to somewhat of a satisfying conclusion...but unfortunately, for some of the games, there really is no good way to do it. What follows are my plans for each of our games:

Heroes of the Haunted Highlands: Since the party just defeated the Mummy Lord beneath the Ruins of Adrik and gained a considerable treasure hoard in the process, I think this is a pretty natural stopping point. We can assume the adventurers will go off on further adventures, etc. but those will either remain in our imaginations, or be accounted for by a different Storyteller. The Heroes of the Haunted Highlands have had an impressive adventuring career and I am happy to have been along for the ride.

Realms of High Adventure: This group is currently in the midst of the Battle for Brindol. This will be the penultimate battle of the campaign. The future of the vale will rest on the party's performance in these upcoming battles. I am committed to running the Battle for Brindol to completion and suspect it will take, at most, a couple more months to get to a conclusion. The campaign will either end as the adventurers victorious or the vale conquered. We'll find out which it will be...

The Lost City of Gaxmoor: Unfortunately, there is no good way to end this game, as it is an open sandbox and it is still pretty early in its development. I apologize to all the players in this game, but I think I need to pull the plug on this one. Outside of a TPK, I can't envision any natural ending for this game that doesn't involve a huge time commitment. This makes me feel terrible, as I have never abandoned a game and have always prided myself on my ability to run games to a conclusion. But it just can't be avoided. Sorry, guys :(

Uninvited Guests: We are actually really close to completing this adventure and will wrap-up this game very soon. The good news about this game is since we used Adventurers League format, you will all be able to use these same characters in other Adventurers League games...either online (via Discord, Roll20, PbP, etc.) or face-to-face.

***

I want to re-iterate that I did not come to this decision easily. I have spent a lot of time thinking about it and trying to figure out how to communicate these thoughts in a coherent way. Hopefully, I succeeded and you understand where I am coming from. I have thoroughly enjoyed my interactions with each of you, both IC and especially OOC, and don't want there to be any hard feelings.

Thanks again for your friendship and all the fun times over the past months (for some of you) and years (for most of you). It has been a hell of a ride and will look back fondly on the many great memories and stories you helped create. You guys are awesome!

Shane
Rurik the Red
 player, 60 posts
 Cleric of Avandra
Mon 13 May 2019
at 15:52
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
In reply to The Traveler (msg # 240):

Thanks for the game.  You did a great job and if you ever return to running on rpol, I hope I notice and can join in again.

Chris
The Traveler
 GM, 124 posts
Mon 13 May 2019
at 20:54
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
In reply to Rurik the Red (msg # 241):

Thanks! per my message in the Highlands game, I will definitely look you up!
Jaim Walker
 player, 117 posts
 Human
 HP : 20/20
Tue 14 May 2019
at 03:14
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
Could we get a fun description of everyone descending into the catacombs only to have them collapse on us, killing everyone?
Eradil
 player, 121 posts
 A very old elf
 Defending civilization
Tue 14 May 2019
at 03:47
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
In reply to Jaim Walker (msg # 243):

Personally, I would rather the catacombs collapsed in front of us, preventing us from entering the city, but not killing us. Then we could all settle down in the brothel...
Eradil
 player, 122 posts
 A very old elf
 Defending civilization
Tue 14 May 2019
at 03:47
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
In reply to The Traveler (msg # 240):

Thank you for both of the games I was in. I hope to play with you some other time.
Andriel the Hammer
 player, 90 posts
 Blood for Kord!
Thu 16 May 2019
at 14:41
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
I return, to bear witness to the end of days...

I won't repeat my long-winded write-up from Heroes of the Haunted Highlands here, but will simply reiterate my understanding of your loss of enthusiasm (we've all been there; such is PbP) and once again offer thanks for running such fun and interesting games. Although this was rather a short foray, it was very entertaining, and I enjoyed having the opportunity to try out another class in C&C and to play a boorish meathead as an amusing counterpoint to my far more conservative and unassuming rogue in said other game. I will gladly join you again, should you return to RPoL at any point.

Thanks and all the best!

Liam
The Traveler
 GM, 126 posts
Sun 29 Sep 2019
at 14:29
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
Hello folks!

Hopefully life is treating you all well. As for myself, the last few months have been really good.

On the gaming front, this past summer I ran a Kids-Only (ages 10-14) 5e D&D mini-campaign at the local game store. This game was loosely based on the excellent cooperative board game Forbidden Island and was a lot of fun. Table size for that game ran from 5-10 players and those kids really kept me on my toes! Running games for kids is a lot of fun because they don't approach the game the same way as adults. Lots of outside-the-box thinking and you need to be really good at improv to keep the game moving.

I also wrapped up my 18-month 5e D&D Tomb of Annilhilation campaign, in which the players were successful in foiling the machinations of the notorious lich Acererak and ending the Death Curse that had plagued the lands. I ran that campaign under the Adventurers League format, and over the course of the campaign over 40 players ran through that adventure! We did have a fairly steady crew of 4 players, but having new players drop-in/drop-out kept things pretty dynamic.

I was able to wrap up the last of my PbP games, Realms of High Adventure, earlier this month in what hope was a satisfying conclusion to a Basic D&D game that had been running for 3 years and which had started as a "one-shot". In the end, the players prevailed against the Red Hand of Doom and prevented their warlord from summoning Tiamat into the vale and visiting certain death upon the citizenry of that far-flung realm.

On the non-gaming front, my family completed the South Carolina Ultimate Outsider challenge, in which we visited all 47 state parks! It tooks us a little over two years to visit all the state parks and was a very memorable adventure consisting of camping, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, fishing, swimming, horseback riding, body-boarding, and just sitting back and enjoying the great outdoors.

I also got orders a couple of weeks ago, wherein we will be moving to San Antonio, Texas in January! We're really excited about this move and the new opportunities it will present. I think this will be my last assignment in the Air Force and we will be putting down roots in Texas. I have 23 years in the Air Force and this assignment should bring me to 25-26 years of military service. Air Force basic training is in San Antonio and there is something fitting about ending my military career in the same place where it began. Texas is also a really good place to retire and has good job opportunities for both me and my wife. Excellent schools for my kids too, who are both now in middle school.

Obviously most of my focus is on moving right now and as a result, I won't be doing much gaming in the next few months...but have definitely been thinking about what I want to do next! Lots of ideas to be sure, but need to sort out our move first.

At any rate, like I said up front, I hope all of you are doing well and the dice roller has been cooperating lately!

:)

Shane
Eradil
 player, 123 posts
 A very old elf
 Defending civilization
Mon 30 Sep 2019
at 02:23
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
In reply to The Traveler (msg # 247):

See my comments in your other game. I would be glad to play if you ever run another RPOL fantasy game.
Andriel the Hammer
 player, 91 posts
 Blood for Kord!
Tue 1 Oct 2019
at 11:35
Re: OOC: Table Talk 1
Ditto. To both points.