Maya Angelou once said that achievement was its own anti-climax. Hitting that last final control-S and closing out that nagging master document that has been sitting open on my desktop for more than half a year makes me feel a lot more out-to-sea than it does triumphant.
Yes, there's a lot still to do on the backend of the Hill Cantons: Borderlands project--editing, editing and more editing, art direction, layout, and promotion—but the longest truck haul is over. I should feel like breaking out the bubbly, instead I keep hearing the call of a little red pitchforked scamp on my shoulder whispering, “keep trucking, Chris.”
I am restless by nature and this entire project was built on exploration of a little-traveled area—domain-level play. The play of the Domain Game itself--supercharged with the ramped-up imaginations of the 20 players that touched it--generated the contours of the Borderlands, much more than the refining and revising playtesting of the last few months (valuable as it was).
Plain and simple, now that I have gotten to the edge of the map I want to go on to the next edge.
To be sure there's a lot of off-road play to still be had with this stuff, I kept dumping sub-sections like ballast to get the whole project done on a reasonably timely basis. The cutting room floor has a number of things I still would like to see hothouse and there were paths opened in the first round of playing never even explored.
I am especially interested in getting a holistic thing going—putting the Middle Game/Pendragon D&D whirly bits together with the domain-ruling and mixing it with some ideas I have about deepening sandbox campaigning.
Now here's the open invitation to come sail off with Mad Captain Kutalik again. Based on past experience I am going to start on the modest and low-key end see what builds from there.
The nitty gritty:
Monthly “face-to-face” game. The main play arena will be a monthly video-conferenced game run on G+ with a rotating cast of four-six at a time.
Two levels of involvement. At the higher commitment end I am looking for one or two (maybe three if there is interest) players who will be the “primary cast”. These players will need to be able to make most if not all the monthly games and will play high-level “lord” characters. They will be the “deciders” around a limited range of domain rule and there may be some limited email exchanges about inter-session housekeeping with me between sessions.
The second level is for more casual players and here I am taking a more-than-merrier approach number-wise and are invited to play as much or as little as they like. Players here will make a mid-level character that will be either inactive or run as an NPC at the session proper.
Both levels will play together in the monthly sessions.
Co-Creation. We are going to start with a relatively blank slate type carved-out-of-the-wilds domain—though one that has been able to sink enough roots to harbor some intrigue. One thing I learned that if you let some of you maniacs loose with creating the details you come up with some jaw-droppingly fun and interesting details, so this we will repeat (albeit on a more collaborative, lesser scale).
Rules. Here I leave it up to the will of the readers—at least as bounded by my two-party duopoly.
Blue Party: The stolid old warhorse choice. OD&D plus Greyhawk possibly with some choice bits from Adventurer Conqueror King.
Red Party: The odd-ball party of “change”. Stormbringer, first edition with a raft of house rules naturally.
Both parties will of course make use of the Borderlands existing and cutting room floor sections.
There is of course a lot more to be said. If you are interested or have questions drop a comment here or email me at kutalik at the gmail dot com.