Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nightwick Abbey in Hindsight Part 3

Part 1

Part 2

In part one I discussed what I thought the failings of Nightwick Abbey were and in part two I discussed it's key strength, strangeness, as well as what I will be changing if I continue to develop it for play.  Now I wish to discuss possible venues for my campaign dungeon.

The most pressing question facing the future of the demon-haunted abbey is whether or not I'll use it again for my current gaming group.  While I hope to be in Knoxville for the rest of my graduate experience, this largely depends on whether or not I can secure funding here for the PhD program.  As such, it seems possible that the Greyhawk campaign might be the last thing I do with this group.

If I do manage to get funding, it could mean I'll be in Knoxville for several more years.  If that is the case, it's possible that the Greyhawk campaign might wind down or become a stale and the players and I will decide to visit something else.  Whether or not this ends up being Nightwick Abbey at least partially hinges on how much of the material I end up folding into my version of Castle Greyhawk.  On the one hand, I want to maximize the usefulness of the material I've already developed.  I envisioned Greyhawk as a more low maintenance project largely made up of the re-flavored carcass of my old dungeon.

However, this is proving to be far from the case.  While zany, Greyhawk is much more in the vein of "classicist fantasy," to borrow a phrase, as opposed to Nightwick Abbey's romantic/gothic streak.  Granted, it still contains much of the mythic underworld in it, but the goblins and orcs who dwell with in mate in the usual fashion and are motivated by more or less the same (base) desires as the humans.  While I think this makes for a more unique dungeon, it does cut down on the re-usability of much of the Nightwick material.

This is both a good and a bad thing for Nightwick Abbey.  It's good because it means that Nightwick's material will stay in Nightwick.  If it was duplicated too much in Greyhawk, it'd be unlikely that I would run it again in the near future.  Since I won't get to use some of my ideas they'll stay fresh if the dungeon should see play again.  It's bad because it means I have to spend more time developing Greyhawk Castle, and I can't devote as much time to fixing Nightwick Abbey's problems and drawing up knew levels beneath its tumbled ruins.

One possible venue then could be google+; however, I'm fairly busy as it is and running anything more than the occasionally side game would probably end with my having a heart attack.  Still, I'll at least think about running a one-shot or two online.

Online gaming becomes much more attractive if I'm forced to leave the Knoxville area.  I have a fairly large following (for which I am extremely grateful) and I imagine that if I was deprived of a group I could leverage that into a semi-regular online game.  I used to be much more dismissive of online play than I am now, especially after I saw how well it worked with my skype-based Traveller game.

There is also the possibility of publication.  This is highly unlikely outside of a free download or some shitty pamphlet I freely distribute myself.  Nightwick Abbey relies far too heavily on others materials, notably the very excellent dungeon geomorphs the OSR has been so amazing at producing.  As such it would require extremely heavy editing before I could produce it in a form that I'm both happy with and that doesn't piss off someone with access to lawyers.  If I manage to produce further material on Nightwick Village,  I may include some notes on the dungeons various levels and specials.  These will not include maps and I'll attempt to avoid any actively AD&D material.

At this point, everything is up in the air.  I'm running a bit longer than I wanted to, so I will discuss the inspiration for Nightwick Abbey in part 4.

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