The Inaugural 2019 5e Spring Fling! - Myth-Weavers

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The Inaugural 2019 5e Spring Fling!

   
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Old Mar 4 '19, 9:59pm
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The Inaugural 2019 5e Spring Fling!

Tarien's 2019 Spring Fling - Forum
Dungeons & Dragons 5e

Welcome to Tarien’s (Inaugural) Spring Fling 2019! (Updated!!!)


An opportunity to learn the game, engage in an online convention-like setting, and gain some bragging rights among your fellow Weavers!

As the Sundering rises to a climax that shakes two worlds, desperation grows among civilized folk of all races. Everywhere, the farsighted turn to the wisdom of the past, in hopes of finding secrets that can guide the tumult of the worlds and harness the awesome energies now raging wild across them. For once, what “every fool knows” is correct: the greatest surviving storehouse of lore is Candlekeep. Guarding it and finding its relevant secrets are crucial—and you are there, on the spot, the fate of the Realms depending on your deeds and aspirations. Every world needs its heroes to save it, and at Candlekeep, you have a splendid chance to do just that. A wild ride, great fun, and high stakes— what more can one ask of an adventure?
What (exactly) is Tarien’s Spring Fling?

The Spring Fling is my effort to replicate a unique gaming concept I participated in on another RPG hosting site. One truly adventurous player decided to try and recreate a convention-like setting by allowing groups of players to join together to complete a PbP adventure within a limited time frame. I have come across what I feel to be an optimal setting and product to allow for a similar experience here at the Myth-Weavers site.

The founding concepts of the Spring Fling are simple:

Open to everyone! - From seasoned Weave veterans to hatchlings with egg shards still clinging to their heads

Big player pool! - Up to 56 players will be recruited.

Short season! - Just as Spring can be a fleeting season, the Spring Fling will be short in duration, with gameplay lasting from April 5 to June 28.

Rewards for good play! - While I can’t offer any kind of concrete or pecuniary reward, I have crafted some rewards I hope some of you might find appealing...

Dedicated GM - I am putting my name and reputation on this, so I can promise there will be no ghosting or disappearing on my end until the game is finished.

Prologue

You have all come seeking access to knowledge that can be of services to the cities, groups, or factions you represent. Due to the challenges facing your sponsors at home, they were unable to gather more seasoned adventurers to take the trip, resorting to collecting a group of up-and-coming heroes who showed the potential to survive the arduous trip to Candlekeep and return with the answers to their pressing questions. You have had some little time to bond during your journey and your fellow travelers are becoming more like companions than mere acquaintances, but only time and experience can forge these surface interactions into lasting bonds. You have traveled many miles and suffered hardships untold, but the goal now lies in view: Candlekeep rises from the mists as a bastion of peace and calm in a world where such things are in short supply.

Introduction (The Basics)

Rules System: D&D 5e
Theme: Epic fantasy, short season, one shot
Starting Level: 2nd Level
Additional Game Features: Due to the short life-cycle of the adventure, you should expect to commit to posting an average of three to five times per week, since the game ends on June 28. Some groups will be more active than others; posting rate expectations should be negotiated after groups are assigned and prior to the beginning of the adventure.

With the workload I expect this game to generate, I will not be posting as a GM over weekends other than to address late Friday postings. IC interactions can take place whenever players desire.

If you do not post once within 48 hours during combat, actions will be taken for you (usually the dodge or assist action). I reserve the right to eject from the campaign anyone who has not posted in a week without warning of absence. Diminished groups will not be reorganized during their individual activities, but game mechanics will allow individuals to interact with other groups for the final scenario.

I will be taking applications until 4/1/2019. The game will include up to fifty-six (56) players, split evenly into eight parties of 7. There may be some reshuffling depending on the total number of completed applications received. To help balance groups, group assignments will be randomized, so I will not be accepting requests for specific group assignments or pairings. This also helps newer players have the opportunity to play with more experienced Weavers. Special recognition will be awarded to veteran players who assume the role of mentors to these newer players throughout the Fling.

If you have any questions about the Fling’s logistics, I'd be happy to answer them here.

Character Parameters

Available Book: To simplify the gaming experience and open up the game for new players, only PHB races and classes will be allowed.

Variant builds are not allowed.

NO UA. No Volo, No Xanathar, No Mordenkainen, No Ravinca. No Eberron. No Flying Races.

Alignment Requirement: No Evil

Starting Equipment: You must buy all equipment, starting gold is below based on your class:

Barbarian (50gp)
Paladin (120gp)
Bard (120gp)
Ranger (120gp)
Cleric (120gp)
Rogue (100gp)
Druid (50gp)
Sorcerer (70gp)
Fighter (120gp)
Wizard (100gp)
Monk (12gp)
Warlock (100gp)

Ability Scores: Ability scores are based on the Standard Array featured in the PHB on page 14: 15,14,13,11,10,8.
Hit Points: Maximum at 2nd level. There will be no leveling in this adventure.
Backgrounds: No customized backgrounds. You can select from any of the backgrounds listed in the PHB.
Character Submissions: I’ve got a little outline I’d like everyone to follow for submitting a character. You will also need to start a thread in the Applications Folder for your submission. If you have any questions about my rules for character building, any thoughts about character backgrounds, or to request that I review your character then you can do so by posting a question here.

Technical Stuff

Application Deadline: April 1, 2019 midnight (US Mountain Standard Time)
Session 0: April 2 - through April 4, 2019 (US Mountain Standard Time)
Game Begins: April 5, 2019 at 8 am (US Mountain Standard Time)
Post Requirements: Minimum posting rate of three to five times per week.
Party Size: Maximum of eight groups; 7 players per group – total of 56 players, randomly assigned.

Other Requirements

I really want players who give detailed and interesting posts. Not one-liners and blocks of speech text. The rule of three applies here: What is your character thinking, doing, and saying.

Expect your actions to have consequences. Don't be stupid. Play smart. If I give you lots of hints that opening the box will unleash fiery death. Don't open the box and expect to live.

I'm a story-teller, the rule of cool applies. If it's cool, cinematic and epic, screw the rules; I'll probably allow it. If this grates against your rules lawyer soul...we are not meant to play together.

Unless I tell you otherwise, assume you can play with the scenery to help craft the story.

Initial Questions and Answers:

So I read about this really cool character build on [insert homebrew site here]
Nope. Nope. Nope.

Can I use the alternate Ranger build out of…?
Please see above response.

Can I submit more than one character?
No. I'm going to go ahead and limit it to one character submission per person. With 56 potential players, along with the sundry half-finished applications that tend to occur, I will have more than enough reading as it is.

Do I have to know anything about D&D to apply?
Not really. I will do my best to help individuals who are motivated to learn acquire basic skills to participate. I also hope that should other experienced players join, they would be willing to take on a tutoring role to help new players understand the fundamental mechanics of the game.

My [insert relationship] and I want to play on the same team. Can’t you make that happen?
In the interest of gaming balance, random groups will provide a more equitable gaming experience for everyone. There are more than enough other gaming opportunities for bonding; this doesn’t have to be one of those.

This sounds like a lot of fun; would you be willing to do this for another gaming system, like GURPS or Pathfinder or [insert favorite game system]?
At this point, this is more a proof-of-concept experience. Since my primary background is in 5e, keeping things as simple as possible minimizes the number of possible hiccups that can potentially derail this entire crazy train. That being said, the future is the future. Let’s see how this goes before making any other commitments.

Umm…You Mentioned Something About Rewards?

As I mentioned previously, the idea for the Spring Fling came from a similar type event held on another gaming site. At the end of the adventure, the event organizer identified several types of behavior that would be rewarded. The reward came in the form of a banner image that could be added to a player’s signature line, with the idea that prestige would be attached to the possession of such a badge. Since MW doesn’t have a lot of reputation tools that individuals can use to identify and recognize noteworthy action by other players, I felt like this could be a step toward rewarding merit.

Currently, the badge looks something like this, though it is a work in progress. If anyone would like to help, I would be more than willing to accept assistance in refining the optics of the badge:


I have identified 4 categories for rewards – 3 group rewards and 1 individual award that can be given to multiple worthy players:

Flingiest of Spring Flingers: This badge is awarded to the first group to successfully complete the Final Scenario.

Box? What Box? This badge is awarded to the group that devises the most unorthodox or clever solution to address an obstacle faced within the game. The solution does not necessarily have to be successful to be considered, but should respect gaming ideals of party survival and objective completion. I will be awarding this badge on my own observations.

You Cotton-headed Ninny-Muggins! This badge is awarded to the group that demonstrates the best level of authentic role-playing and collaborative storytelling. The Spring Fling is not intended to be a race to completion, but a holistic gaming experience. Groups are encouraged to engage in IC interaction, though a completely social game is not expected. This should not be interpreted as encouragement to violate Wheaton’s Law based on the idea that “Well, that’s what my character would do…” I will be awarding this badge on my own observations.

Fling Ambassador: This badge will be awarded to individual players who take a leadership or mentoring role in assisting other group members who might be less familiar with PbP settings and mechanics or who are willing to helpfully address OOC questions about D&D and RPGing in general. More than one individual can be recognized with this badge, which is a recognition of individual merit.

Final Notes from the DM
I am fully committed to this experience. I am willing to dedicate the time and effort needed to support a fairly big project like this. I have put in significant time in organizing and preparing as much material as much as I can to make this a fun and exciting gaming experience for all involved. As long as you, as a player, remain active, I will continue to fulfill my obligations as a DM. This is my no-ghosting guarantee.

It is my hope that if you apply, you will be as willing to work to help make the experience meaningful and enjoyable. I understand that real life commitments must take precedence over a gaming hobby like this, but if you are willing to apply, I would hope you will do everything in your power to honor the obligations you are making to your future companions.

My hope for this event is to examine the hidden details and logistics needed to host such large-scale activities in the future. I believe these kinds of settings can improve the overall gaming experience for a host of Weavers and hopefully spawn a regular series of these kinds of events. While I fully respect the benefits of an intimate game of committed players working through a campaign that can last years, this isn’t the only kind of gaming that can or should happen here at MW.

Please do not hesitate to PM me, call me out on something, disagree with me, ask questions, bite your thumb at me, or anything else you need to do for me to get your application. I promise - I don't bite.

Game Description:

Welcome to the Inaugural Tarien’s Spring Fling 2019!

An opportunity to learn the game, engage in an online convention-like setting, and gain some bragging rights among your fellow Weavers!


As the Sundering rises to a climax that shakes two worlds, desperation grows among civilized folk of all races. Everywhere, the farsighted turn to the wisdom of the past, in hopes of finding secrets that can guide the tumult of the worlds and harness the awesome energies now raging wild across them. For once, what “every fool knows” is correct: the greatest surviving storehouse of lore is Candlekeep. Guarding it and finding its relevant secrets are crucial—and you are there, on the spot, the fate of the Realms depending on your deeds and aspirations. Every world needs its heroes to save it, and at Candlekeep, you have a splendid chance to do just that. A wild ride, great fun, and high stakes— what more can one ask of an adventure?

What (exactly) is Tarien’s Spring Fling?

The Spring Fling is my effort to replicate a unique gaming concept I participated in on another RPG hosting site. One truly adventurous player decided to try and recreate a convention-like setting by allowing groups of players to join together to complete a PbP adventure within a limited time frame. I have come across what I feel to be an optimal setting and product to allow for a similar experience here at the Myth-Weavers site.

The founding concepts of the Spring Fling are simple:

  1. Open to everyone! - From seasoned Weave veterans to hatchlings with egg shards still clinging to their heads
  2. Big player pool! - Up to 56 players will be recruited.
  3. Short season! - Just as Spring can be a fleeting season, the Spring Fling will be short in duration, with gameplay lasting from March 17 to May 21.
  4. Rewards for good play! - While I can’t offer any kind of concrete or pecuniary reward, I have crafted some rewards I hope some of you might find appealing...
  5. Dedicated GM - I am putting my name and reputation on this, so I can promise there will be no ghosting or disappearing on my end until the game is finished.


Last edited by Tarien; Mar 15 '19 at 3:52pm..
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Posting tentative interest.

Hmmm... this seems like as good a time as any for a great old one warlock. Expect the start of something tonight.

Interesting concept of keeping things short.

Just a reminder that the Spring Fling will be closing applications in just a few days. The application process is very easy and the competition is open to all comers, regardless of experience, etc. Sign up today!

So with a little more than 30 hours left, I have received 7 complete applications and 1 pending (very close). In all reality, for this to work, we really need somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-24 players minimum. That being said, the likelihood of the Spring Fling actually flinging seem slight to non-existent at this point.

As I see it, there were several factors that contributed to the failure:
  1. Lack of GM reputation - I have to accept that I haven't done enough around the site to have garnered any name recognition or reputation that would gather interest. This kind of activity requires name power, which I have to do more to have. Solution: Keep posting, keep playing, keep participating.
  2. Unusually short recruitment period - This issue ties a bit to the previous one, in that having a short posting period really necessitates immediate draw, which didn't occur here. In looking at several other recent 5e ads, I saw a notable amount of interest and activity in terms of applications, which I assumed indicated a hunger for more 5e games. The idea of short recruitment, open recruitment, and a "We'll take anyone" would draw more people's attention. Cutting down on the time players had to make the decision to join seems to have worked against the ad. Solution: Keep the ad open until April 1, 2019 and change it to the April Fool's Conclave.
  3. Game too short - As this is a one-shot, the premise of the game is likely to have dissuaded some players to consider joining, as they are looking for longer-term commitment opportunities and the work involved in creating a character for such a short pay-off didn't make sense. Solution: The nature of the competition being what it is, I am not sure there is a solution to this one, though offering player groups the opportunity to keep using the same players for future competitions could add some interesting wrinkles, such as past champions get extra perks, etc.
  4. Character creation limitations - Of all the possible issues, I am thinking that the arbitrary limitations on character creation might have been the death knell of the game in its current form. My thinking behind this was to try and limit the need for access to extra material for new players, but it is likely that without the freedom to make choices, many more experienced players saw PHB only and said, "Yeah. No." Opening the options to all WOTC official work (except Ebberon and Ravnica, which I am not experienced with), wouldn't mess with any of the elements of the game, but could increase potential interest from the MW community. Solution: Expand participation rules to all WOTC published work; I would stick with the rules about no homebrew or UA.
  5. Overabundance of low-level games - One common lamentation I see in the forums is that most games seem to always begin with level 1 players that seldom last long enough to progress. That means there is a lot of work spent in character creation that yields very little in terms of playing time and development. By making this a 2nd level adventure, this game wouldn't change that trend. Finding another adventure that allows for mid-level or high-level adventures would likely engender more interest. This particular adventure could also fit that bill by increasing the challenge level of the various scenarios. Solution: Increase the character level to 6th and make appropriate changes to challenge levels in the various encounters already formatted.
  6. GM posting errors - I am not sure how much this one contributed, but I have to acknowledge it as a possible explanation. Posting errors such as the mistake in the standard array and the calculation of damage dice can undermine player confidence in the quality of the gaming experience. While I think these errors were fairly minor, and I really do appreciate those messages that brought these errors to my attention, I have to accept that for some players, these kinds of mistakes so early in the process serve as red flags for future issues. Solution: Slow down and pay attention to the details when creating and posting content.
  7. Confusion/disinterest in the underlying premise of the adventure - This kind of experience isn't for everyone, and some people might not be interested in this kind of game. Solution: Accept the reality of the idea that 'different strokes for different folks' means not everyone wants to participate in everything.
  8. Not enough detail or guidance in the adventure - More references to the actual source material for the game could spark more interest, though I am not really sure about that one. Revealing too much information at the beginning can ruin some of the fun and suspense associated with the game.

That being said, I see a couple of possible alternatives:
  1. Extend the recruitment period by 2 weeks, then run the Spring Fling as currently advertised.
  2. Call off the Spring Fling, as currently constituted, and simply run the adventure as 1 large group with level ups.
  3. Update the Spring Fling ad with the alterations that I can already see that need to be made, then readvertise and run in April - June. In this case, I think that would mean 3 things:
    • Extend recruitment to April 1.
    • Open character creation to all published WOTC material, except Ebberon and Ravnica.
    • Character creation at 6th level
  4. Call off the Spring Fling and run an open comment post-mortem in the Game Planning thread to figure out what elements contributed to its failure (I have some ideas already) and then try something again in the summer.

Regardless of whether you applied or not, any comments or observations would be most heartily appreciated and sincerely considered on my part. If you did apply, I would especially appreciate your perspective on which of the four proposals you would support. Thanks!

I feel like it's mainly a combo of DM presence and the definitive time limit/one shot. Being a one shot isn't such a bad thing (most games probably don't even reach the length of a one shot) but having a defined 'we start this date and end this date' is probably a bit daunting. Most of all however is that people are probably wary of how many players would be accepted as there is a potentially high chance of burnout by the DM from handling so many groups or people ghosting which stagnates a group until you can reassign them.

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