From Edena to all in the IR
Ok, here it is.
I cannot run the IR if I cannot rely on my players to stay.
It is not possible.
It is not a matter of whether I am angry or not angry, or whether I am enjoying the IR, or not enjoying the IR - it is not possible for me to run the IR if I cannot rely on my players to stick with it.
I have committed a vast amount of time and effort to this, and continuing this requires considerable time and effort.
I must update the lists.
Do you know what that entails?
I have had to read through 20 pages or more of e-mails, posts, all out of order, often contradicting themselves, often revised and revised again.
Then I must read every word of every post of every thread in the Turn.
Only THEN can I assess accurately your status in the Arms Races.
I must first determine, though, the amount of damage to every and every country in play (there are over 100 of them), the damage inflicted on your Planars and other allies, and so on.
Then I must do the regular update on your Arms Races.
Then I can read through the enormous backlog of material, to ascertain who gave technology to who, who spent how many points of magical research, what the penalties were, how much you advanced your civilization, how much the PLs of your countries are affected by it ...
And then I must add up all your scores. It only takes a full hour to do just that alone.
Then I must place your forces on the board.
On Turn 3, that took 7 hours to accomplish.
It took 3 hours for initial set-up, then 4 hours more as I read through 50 e-mails where you'all redid your Templates.
Then, during play, I must rp for my own forces, describe battles, update what is going on, and roll for all of the forces on the board.
I must arbitrate disputes that cannot be handled by dice, deal with secret plots, and otherwise attempt to enable you to have fun.
Now, creating Turrosh Mak's new roster on the Lists took me a long time.
I ascertained damage.
I distributed damage.
I ascertained everything from his Template.
I went over all the other Templates to make sure his roster was accurate.
I prepared to set his pieces up anew on the board.
Exactly what am I supposed to do now?
I could play his Power.
I do not wish to do so. I am playing Vecna.
And I have enough on my hands without having to play a Power.
I can give his Power to a new player.
That new player will have NO familiarity with the rules I have set up for the IR ... he will be thrown headfirst into deep water without knowing how to swim.
I can break up the Power, and give pieces of it to other Powers.
That is what I am mostly likely going to have to do.
Probably, to Dagger, GnomeWorks, and William.
But that means I must take the time and effort to redistribute all those countries.
And Dagger, GnomeWorks, and William must send me new Templates.
Dagger, GnomeWorks, and William needed Turrosh Mak as a crucial support and ally.
Turrosh Mak was a fundamental part of the IR storyline.
Imagine taking Gimli out of FOTR, and look at the result.
It isn't good.
How am I supposed to know if anyone is going to stay in the IR?
How am I supposed to know if 3 or 4 more players won't get up and walk away from the table this Turn, or next Turn, or the next Turn?
How am I supposed to prepare for that, or hope to deal with it?
What is coming up is going to be a very ferocious war.
It is going to beggar the war that has just occurred, in it's scope and the amount of damage it inflicts.
A lot of Powers are going to be thrown onto the ropes, hopefully to rebound into the Ring, but perhaps not.
That is what really big wars are like.
Forrester understands this very well.
He has been through two of them already.
He really DID blow Evereska and Evermeet off the face of Toril, and he really IS going to wage all-out war to win.
That is the nature of how Forrester plays.
If you expect Forrester, of all people, to pull his punches, you are incorrect in your thinking!
You see Forrester as an unbeatable foe.
Forrester seems to think he is an unbeatable foe.
As Moderator, I MUST BE NEUTRAL ... I cannot tell you how you can defeat Forrester, or cheer you on as you fight him.
I must remain neutral, for the IR to work.
But I am allowed to say that there are ways in which you can defeat Forrester.
But nothing is handed out easily ... you must look for those ways.
Forrester has weaknesses you have not thought of.
You have strengths you have not thought of.
And, if you succeed in beating down Forrester, you will almost inevitably face another great Power that arises to take his place.
It could be Kalanyr, or the Dark Union, or Anabstercorian, or Darkness, or Uvenelei.
And then, you must figure out how to beat down this new Power in all IT'S arrogance and willingness to crush you all.
Such is the nature of the IR - it was the nature of the first IR, and the second IR.
However, I need a commitment that more people aren't going to walk out on me.
My time is not unlimited, and it is not given without reason, and I do not wish to waste it creating rosters, and then losing the player.
I do not ask for much.
All I ask for is a verbal committment.
A verbal committment that you'all will stick it out through Turn 10.
Stick with the IR, come thick or thin, through Turn 10.
I have committed to you.
Through 5 preparation threads, through the thread of Turn 0, through the thread of Turn 1, through the 2 threads of Turn 2, and through the 2 threads of Turn 3, I have been there for you.
And I have readied the roster for Turn 4.
I have been there for you.
I need you to be there for me.
Would you DM a game where you had 8 players, and the loss of even one of them might wreck the whole game, and any and all of them might walk out on you at any given moment?
That is what I have been doing.
I request a verbal committment.
I have made the case, above, for why I need a verbal committment.
I deserve a verbal committment.
I have given freely of my time and energy, in spades, and I have done my best as a neutral arbitrator.
I deserve a verbal committment.
If you would, please state on this thread that you will be there for me, for the IR, through thick and thin, through the end of Turn 10 - barring a legitimate and/or serious problem IRL that stops you from being able to play.
Is that too much to ask?
Once I have your verbal committment, we can go back to our IR, and I don't have to worry so much.
The coming war is going to be ferocious and messy, with mass destruction and mayhem.
Many of you will be on the ropes, and have to fight your way back.
But that is the IR, and in the first and second IRs, a lot of people had fun.