As most of you know, the Dwimmermount campaign went on hiatus when one of its key players moved away while he hoped he'd still be able to make it into the city on a semi-regular basis to get together, that hasn't happened. Now, to be fair to the player in question, the way things developed in campaign is entirely my fault. When I began the campaign way back at the beginning of 2009, I'd hoped that, with enough players and with a megadungeon at the center of things, I could avoid just what happened. I had hoped that, as in the earliest days of the hobby, individual characters wouldn't become the focus of the campaign, that role being taken by Dwimmermount itself.
Unfortunately, as players dropped out of the campaign or showed up ever more regularly, I failed to replace them and so, inevitably, the campaign did become focused on a handful of characters, the loss of any one of which made it ever more difficult to continue playing. Had I done what I'd originally intended to do, I should have been recruiting more players all along, with the understanding that only some of them would continue to play with any devotion, while many, if not most, of them would be drop-ins who showed up more rarely. Had I done that, I think the campaign could have weathered the loss of a single player. Indeed, the very idea of a "key player" is antithetical to the kind of campaign I was hoping I'd actually run. I guess old habits die very hard.
Of course, a few weeks ago, I got the chance to run a couple of levels of Dwimmermount with a group of total strangers at OSRCon and it was a blast. The rekindled in me thoughts of my original goal for the campaign: a "rotating cast" of players all of whom explored the same megadungeon. That idea would work, I think, if I had ready access to a site other than my home at which to meet. I say that because, while I have had very large numbers of players in my house at any one time, it can get crowded and less conducive to the kind of play I prefer these days. Likewise, given that, under my original conception of things, I might not know who is going to show up in advance, I think I'd find it easier to manage at some "neutral" locale -- like the "games day" meet-ups or gaming clubs I remember from my youth.
The obvious solution, of course, is to turn to Google+ and the other online tools that are fueling ConstantCon and I will admit the thought is an attractive one. The biggest issues for me are twofold. First, finding a time when I can do this without distraction. During most days, I am not alone in my house, which means that I'm primarily restricted to the evenings, after my family has gone to sleep. That's fine, but I need to sleep, too, so this would likely mean a fairly small sliver of time in the late evenings -- say, between 10 PM and 12 AM EST -- and I'm not sure that's enough time, especially if I only do this once or twice a week. Second, Google+, as I understand it, works best with four players and a referee, which, again, is fine, but that means I'm either going to have to severely limit the number of players who join the campaign or I'm going to have a largely different crew every session, which rather undermines the notion of a campaign. I say "severely limit," because, based on the emails I have received, a very large number of people want in on any online Dwimmermount campaign I might theoretically start. Even if I am picky in whom I choose, we're still talking a lot more possible players than I've ever had access to locally -- an embarrassment of riches indeed!
Meanwhile, one of the remaining players of the Dwimmermount campaign has kindly offered to run a low-key Labyrinth Lord + AEC campaign set in the world of Red Tide for my wife, my daughter, and I. My wife's not really a roleplayer. She enjoys the idea of it and is obliquely interested in fantasy (though not necessarily "D&D fantasy") and decided to give it a try. My daughter, of course, is very interested in both roleplaying and fantasy. She was drawn to this idea because Red Tide includes several Asian-derived cultures and, these days, she's quite fascinated by all things Japanese. Me, I'm just happy to be able to play once in a while rather than referee, which is my usual role. We've only had one session so far, but it was enjoyable and I look forward to more. As the campaign progresses, I'm sure I'll have things to share about it here.