Overview: I’ll be running a 4e D&D Campaign via Email, and I may test out the D&D Insider game table if I feel particularly adventurous. You can play, or you can observe. By "you" I don’t mean to imply that this game is open to the public. It is invitation only and "you" know who "you" are by virtue of having spoken to me in real life.
- Players will know the names of other players, but will not know the names of those players characters. Thus each player will experience the campaign as if they were the only PC.
- Observers will not play, but will have access to all player’s private files and will know who everyone is and can thus read the story from all sides.
Tier: This will be a paragon-level campaign. For those who aren’t aware, email games move significantly slower than table-based games, especially with me DMing. Do not expect time/story to move rapidly. Last time around we got through two days of game time in about 4 months of real time.
Requirement: Everyone who plays or observes will need a live.com account to get access to the files. You do not need to have a hotmail account or anything, just need to sign up any one of your email accounts with live.com and then I can get you into my private skydrive files.
Process: My goal is to process one "turn" a week. However I am excruciatingly busy at work and may not have time to keep to this schedule. I will post to this blog a story update that moves the whole setting forward. Each Player will have access to a private file on my Skydrive. Each Observer will have access to all folders. This blog will have posts that cover the history, character notes, maps, artwork, homerules, and all other details needed for the smooth running of the game. Add comments to make requests. For instance, if you want to know more about "frank the King of Place" drop a comment in the Character Archive post and I will expand frank’s profile with appropriate information, such as the fack that his name is spelled with a lowercase letter because he is illiterate and his scribes are mocking him and the rest of the court thinks it is funny so refrain fro telling him. Information that requires skill checks to acquire will be added to the Player’s notes in their private folder until (if) it makes it into the official novel for the setting, at which time it will be added to the public archives on the blog.
Inside each Player’s private folder will be the official character sheet, and Story as well as several note files. I use Word, so hopefully you do as well, but I can make RTF work. The Story will be a third-person narrative that tells the story as that character experiences it in novel format. Each player will get a private email and a file will be posted to their private folder on my Skydrive. The player will send me their actions via email. We will have a few back-and forth emails to clarify everything and get all the required rolls (using an online random-number generator, I’m still investigating which to use). When we are both satisfied, or running out of time I will formally edit the character’s Story. Notes include private information and a record of our emails, dice rolls, and so on.
Actions will not be limited to 1 round worth unless we are actually in combat, and even then I will try to move combat through multiple rounds per week. Instead one "turn" is a nebulous time period that means "until another character has to make a significant decision". I will attempt to extrapolate forward as much as possible to blend this, and you have permission to retcon as long as you’re not altering the outcome of a roll (but see the houserule for Story Points). Try to avoid running too far forward, but also don’t limit conversation to just one sentence. If you know you’re going to ask several questions, ask them all in one email. If one of my early answers would change what you asked, retcon and we’ll move the conversation. If-Then statements are good ("if the guard says he doesn’t trust Bob, I’ll ask him why and use streetwise to get the information if he hesitates to share, if streetwise doesn’t help, I’ll move to diplomacy and use a bribe–up to 5 gold in 1g increments starting at 1g–before giving up").
Style: Hopefully you are all comfortable with stories that move slowly. As you know, while I make munchkined as all hell death machines to play when I’m not running a game, the stories I DM are more complicated than Girl Genius and almost as complicated as Requiem. I aspire to one day equal the truly evil plotting and foreshadowing genius of Trudy from Platinum Grit (she is my hero). Expect lots of talking. When fights happen they will be fast and brutal. If you build a combat-heavy character and do not have enough feats and utility powers invested into story abilities, expect to be very frustrated and bored. That said, while it is hard to make a totally gimped 4e character, don’t ignore combat ability. This is paragon tier and the enemies will be horrible and vicious, and I have gone two campaigns without killing a PC and I have a reputation to maintain.
Genre: High Fantasy. Note that I am a purist language-wise. This means "lots of traditional fantasy" not "high powerscale". I am heavily influenced by the old fairy tales, not the clean happy modern ones. I mean the Sidhe not leprechauns. I mean Snow White’s queen being made to dance at her wedding in iron shoes heated red hot. I mean Sleeping Beauty waking up when she gives birth to the prince’s child nine months after he "kissed" her while she slept. I occasionally dip into horror, but will not make it a big emphasis. Technology will be very limited. Crossbows and complex mechanical traps will be rare and socially have impact as if they were magic. Most societies will not have that level of mechanical cuning. That said, I’m going to try and make magic a smidge more rare than in most 4e games. Specifically, there will be no such thing as a shop that sells magic items. Expect to have anything you want custom crafted. Opportunities for this sort of crafting will be as common as purchasing is in normal 4e, this is a flavor change only not a mechanical change. So it means that the common folk won’t be walking into a store that has magic items in plain view.
Need a name for the campaign too. If anyone has an idea after I post the setting and notes section. Let me know.
Anything else? Drop a comment I’ll try to get to it.