Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Need For Secrecy

Well, it's December 1st and that means that the start date for my Arandish Labyrinth Lord campaign is only a month to six weeks away.  I plan to have the campaign underway by mid-January 2010.  I think the group will meet on a weeknight, on a somewhat focused time schedule, maybe from 6:30 or 7:00pm until 11:00pm, latest.  This schedule will be to accommodate those of us (myself included) who have busy "real life" schedules and want maximum gaming fun in a tightly scheduled format.  We have a similar arrangement in Carl's Mutant Future campaign -- we typically play from 6:30pm until 10:30 or 11pm, 4- or 4.5-hour sessions pretty consistently.  While short by the standards of my youth (we preferred epic 9-10 hour sessions, even through the 1990s), these under-5-hour sessions actually work very well in a rules-light system -- a party can get a shitload done in a session of this length.

The approach of the campaign start date means that increasingly my work on the Lands of Ara must remain hidden and secret.  The past week or two I have begun crafting the first five or six levels of an Arandish megadungeon, and I want to get a level or two done on a second one in case the party goes that direction. 

I am also beginning to flesh out the finer details of a few introductory adventure ideas for the party.  I play "sandbox" style and do not know which rumors or adventure hooks they will choose to follow up on, so I want / need to have a few "first adventures" ready -- at least one play session's worth -- by the time we start in January.  All I know for sure at this point -- and all the players will likely know when they start -- is that I am starting the party out in Swampsedge.

What this increased activity in the "secret" category means is that my output to this blog is slowing down a little, or will be soon.  There is a lot of stuff I'm creating and working on now that I cannot share until after my players encounter it, and probably some other stuff I'll never reveal.  As far as the blog goes, I will continue to provide region profiles for the remaining Lands of Ara, and I also need to get cracking on those elementalists.  It is possible that I will not have the elementalist classes ready by the start of the campaign, for I have much structural groundwork yet to get in place before they will be ready for game play, but here's hoping.

Also, coming soon, some ruminations on possible Megadungeons of Ara -- a post I will likely urge my players NOT to read, but one that must be posted nevertheless, as it is the sort of thing I would most like to share with my fellow world-builders, megadungeon designers, and idea-providers / horkers in the blogosphere.  I want your feedback!


  1. sweet mother of pearl, I can hardly wait!

  2. Groovy. Rules lite definitely works better for shorter sessions.

  3. Although it hasn't happened lately, we have had several sessions run well past midnight, which pushes them into the 6-7 hour range - certainly not as epic as the all-nighters I remember from my youth as well, but still pretty long.

  4. @ Carl: Yes, that's true, there were even a couple of those longer sessions in the early days of my tenure with the group.