A while back I mentioned that I was going to explore playing in an online D&D game as a way to cram more gaming into my life, particularly after my doctor told me my nerdosterone levels were dangerously low due to my home game only running every 3 to 4 weeks. I also thought I might be able to be a player for a change instead of having to DM, plus I could do all this without having to leave my house, after my kid went to bed and with as little clothing as I so desired, which seemed like an epic win to me.
So I answered a post on one of the WoTC forums looking for players to start up a game set in Eberron. This felt a little awkward, not unlike what I imagine answering a personal add in the paper might be like….SSME (single straight male elf) with a fondness for archery seeking MHDM (Monty Haul dungeon master) who likes long delves through trap infested tombs and is open to “group” expereinces. Before you know it I had downloaded skype and was talking with people from all over North America, as characters were generated and posted online at Iplay4e.com and a game time was set.
It was at this point things sort of went off the rails as we had trouble setting up the virtual game table, which was then followed by the DM dropping half of the players from the game because he kind of didn’t like them (the people dropped were a package deal and had been playing together in another campaign). This “restructuring” occurred while we were all online and talking through skype, I got a message from him to end the conversation and switch to a new one, and bikkety bam that was that. what followed was a continuous series of setbacks and red flags that consisted of the DM not showing online for several first sessions (due to what appears to be plausible excuses), his decision to run a DMPC which he then seemed to focus more on getting his “build” perfected than getting the campaign organized, which then resulted in the other players pulling the chute. It became apparent that the DM was not that interested in actually DMng and more interested in playing his “build”, so in an attempt to salvage something from this massive cluster fuck I took the reins and talked to the other players and agreed to the run the game. The real kick in the nads is that I was really excited to play for a change, poor Solton Griss my little Half-Orc Ranger and first-mate of the Shattered Dream had to sheath his twin bastard swords. What’s that saying, “always a bridesmaid never a bride”?
We had our first session the other night and it went reasonably well, with only some minor snafus with maptools. I decided to run a published module just for the sake of my own sanity (all the maps are published and easily loaded into the online tabletop) now that I am apparently running two friggin games, and this one is weekly, but I will talk more about the game in future posts. One thing about this whole skype and on-line thing that is a little surreal and somewhat disquieting is the quasi-relationships and pseudo-intimacy you build with people you have never met and the ease of with which that relationship can be severed or disconnected through the click of a button, like the one-time member of the party who I only remember as the revenant dominatrix/warlock who’s background was that she was gang raped and killed by a group of men (like really wtf?).