Okay, folks, here’s the deal: if you’re reading this, it’s either because you’re a member of my adventuring troupe and you got my message, or you stumbled across this page by accident. If the former, go ahead and skip to the next paragraph. If the latter, I don’t really care what you do; this page is intended for the eight people I share my campaign with, but it may provide an interesting illustration of what happens when you try to go too far, too fast.
I took on a huge burden when I chose to be your Dungeon Master, and only now am I beginning to realize the true scope of my choice. I basically assumed responsibility for the weekly entertainment of eight people, each of whom with their own ideas of fun and their own personal goals and preferences. Not only that, but I also chose to hand-craft a world from scratch, rather than use one of the pre-built options. I made myself your MC and screenwriter, all in one fell swoop. And now it’s come back to bite me in the ass.
I think we can all agree that the game has been suffering lately. We’ve made almost no level progress in weeks, we’re caught up in pointless busywork, and the story has slowed to a crawl. I’ve been winging it for months now, making stuff up as I go along, and it’s because I’m just plain tired. I’m tired of Ravenholme and all its pointless characters, tired of the Aether, and tired of where the campaign seems to be heading. I’ve lost the energy I used to have, and I’m sure it shows whenever we get together. The spark just isn’t there anymore. I’m just going through the motions. I’ve gone from your storyteller to a play-by-play announcer.
I don’t know how the rest of you feel, but I think I’ve made a mistake. Correction: I think I’ve made a series of mistakes, going back for months. If anyone disagrees with me, please feel free to let me know, but I feel it was a mistake to bring us to the Aether in the first place. I think I did it just to get us out of Carlow, when I wrote us into a corner with the Summoner and the Deep Crows and everything. I couldn’t figure out how to get us out of there, so I wrote in a new dimension to give us a clean slate. And then I screwed that up, too, by taking us out of the fight and giving us a bunch of pointless sidequests.
We had a good thing going, back in Cian. We were almost pure combat, with just enough roleplaying to keep things interesting. I enjoyed writing it, and everyone enjoyed playing it. We were one big engine of kickassery, eating wootcakes and drinking awesomesauce. I want to go back to that. To that end, I’m putting forth the following idea. I want to make it clear at the outset that this is in no way a final decision, that anyone who disagrees with me is more than welcome to do so, and that I will not make any changes whatsoever to our established campaign unless everyone in the troupe supports them.
I want us to go back to Cian. I want to retrocon the story so that we never left. I want to go back and clear out all the extraneous crap I invented to keep everyone busy because I was too lazy to think things through and come up with a decent storyline. Remember the goblins in Avalbane? Remember our first dragon in the Lorcanfort? Remember the sewer beast in Carlow? Weren’t those fucking epic? I want to go back to writing stuff like that. I want our campaign to be simple, straightforward, and awesome, not the complicated mess it is now. So I want to go back and re-write it.
Please understand: I have no interest in quitting as Dungeon Master. I fucking love being your Dungeon Master! You have been the greatest Dungeons and Dragons crew I’ve ever rolled with, and I couldn’t wish for a more excellent group of friends to DM for. I know you’re all very attached to your characters, which is why I’m not suggesting that we start all over again. Please don’t think that I’m blaming you guys for anything, or that this is some kind of punishment; I just want to go back and correct the mistakes that I made. More importantly, I want to recapture the magic of those first few months, when things were raw and ragged and we were still learning just how amazing we could be.
Again, this is just an idea, and it’s one that’ll have to be approved by everyone before anything happens. We make our decision as a group or not at all. Please give me feedback; in fact, the more the better. I want to know how everyone else feels about the state of the campaign, and whether or not you think this is a good idea and why. We’ll base our decision on everyone’s recommendations. I, for one, believe this is our best hope for bringing the magic back.