Is LEW in trouble?


OOC: Sorry to see you go, though it seems like the boards are dying due to lack of interest - or perhaps RL has become too strenuous for everyone.
[sblock=frustrated player rant]
Well, this is four weeks without a DM post. I believe a few players have done what they can to ... prolong this game.
I'm going to assume that it's kaputz.[snip]

Must not have been that big of a deal. [snip]

Next time don't commit to something you don't have the will-power to spend a few moments with two to three times per week. At the absolute very least have the decency to hand off the game to another DM instead of dragging players along for months on end to no appreciable effect.
/end rant. [/sblock]
Is LEW in trouble?

We've had quite a few long-timers announce they're taking a break or leaving for good and others have just faded away. We've had only 17 new characters whose players have stuck around added to the community in 2008.

We've had a particularly miserable adventure completion rate of late, with the unannounced departure of Wik and thegreyman.

The majority of active characters - 20 or 25 of them - are involved in the Mega-Adventure. It's almost a year since the M-A proper began, and 18 months since it was announced. Sadly, it has been distinctly underwhelming. 'Tempest' has been officially declared dead without ever really beginning, 'Undine' has flatlined after several player dropouts and mini-rebellions, 'Nocturne' and 'Terra' have been stalled in the middle of a combat round since around August. Rystil's not been online in 30 days, and even before that was averaging only about one game-advancing DM post a month. If the M-A resumes at all, surely we're looking at another 4 or 5 years to completion, if not longer. Is this a realistic possibility?

So if there is a problem, is there anything we can do about it? I'd not be happy to see LEW wither away.


I am definetly with you Trouvere, LEW has been my best experience with PBP and am loathe to see it die. While I also love L4W I will always prefer 3.5.

Not having been part of the mega adventure I can't say much about it, but I can see why the players would be frustrated.

I had to recruit in the general forum for my Ends Meat game, maybe this is not a bad idea? I would hate to see what appears to be happening to LEB happen here.

So what do we do? We can ask for volunteers to take over defunct games and perhaps recruit a little more asiduously. Other than that I am at a loss, but will think on it.


Is it in trouble? Maybe some. But also consider that we are coming up on the holidays and there is usually a slowdown during that time. Of course, much of what you are pointing out has been going on for some time now so it doesn't qualify as 'just the holiday slump'.

I know there have been times when it slowed down quite a bit in the past before coming back to life and I hope this will be the case again. Then again, we now have a new edition and perhaps some people have faded away from wanting to use 3rd edition rules. I know I gave up playing 3rd edition in RL. I'm only playing that edition here in LEW now. But I have no intention of stopping any time soon. I'm also enjoying playing L4W, but that's beside the point.

I have been frustrated with the slowness myself lately. 2 of my characters are in adventures run by the same DM who has not been able to game very much lately due to RL. I understand this and accept it while still being frustrated. Thank goodness one of my characters is still in an active adventure. And I am trying to keep up on my side of the DMing duties for my adventure, although I have been a little slow upon occasion recently myself.

I suppose it unfortunately comes down to 'wait and see'. We can't force others to play if they are unable to or unwilling. I hate to see a great game shrivel up and go away, but it wouldn't be the first time on these boards. (Anybody else remember the kung-fu fighting/roleplaying game 'You Bastard!' that was on these boards years ago???)

I guess all I can say is that I plan on sticking around and will make the best of it for as long as it lasts. The problem with such a dramatic slowdown is that even if we pronounced all the nearly dead adventures as kaput, we would then have a flood of characters back in the RDI with nothing to do for possibly a long time. I'd rather be strung along in an adventure that creeps slowly than have my PC sitting at the Inn where I really do get bored enough to stop checking for new adventures before long. At least when there is little chance of a new adventure starting up.

I'll be here still, hoping for a revival.


Of course if we were to have a sizable contingent in the tavern we could attempt to recruit DMs from the general forum. A pool of ready constructed PCs is nothing to sniff at.


I've noticed this too. I'm part of the problem, since I'm having a hard time postinbg regularly, especially in the game I'm DMing. I'm wrapping thatgame up, though, and won't be running a new game afterwards.

I'm not involved with the Mega-adventure. A risk with that, of course, was that if the DM went AWOL, it left dozens of PCs in the lurch, not just a handful. Do we have any DMs out there ready to run adventures? If so, post up, and let's free up some PCs. I know there are some higher level PCs available, say levels 7 to 9.


the concept of the M-A is a good one as you can really get into the concept of enduring worlds but you need commitment from everyone and from the DMs firstly... This has not been the case and I'm surprised no LEW judge stepped in to take over. I think none of the M-A modules are still live, maybe bar one. This is a waste of time for everyone.

I think LEW worked best for me in small short scenarii but then you wonder why doing an enduring world. So yes definitively in trouble.

Knight Otu

I'm really, well, conflicted is probably the best word. I want to help LEW back. But I feel I simply can't at this point. I don't feel I can commit to DMing an adventure right now. I can't go back to being a judge, either. :(


The greatest problem with the M-A, as far as I can tell, is not only have the adventures died, they took the best and brightest PCs with them.

Heck, at this point, I've written off my PCs and have remained committed to the adventure I'm running. And even that has hit a bit of a wall. So, if you've got a 1st level out there, come to the Red Dragon Inn and join The Forgotten Map...


I see now that L4W is up and running. I hadn't even noticed. That says something about how much time I've been spending on this board myself lately. L4W is surely somewhat to blame for how slow things have gotten around here.

I'm very glad to hear a DM is recruiting, even for 1st level PCs. If new adventures are opening, that should be a good impetus for adventurers to return to the RDI. I'll get in a post soon bringing Iggy back in there. He's level 9, now, I think.

If your adventure is stuck, then make a post in there that you'd like to wrap it up and return to the RDI. If your judge is active, he/she should then step in and take over, or wrap it up. If your judge is unresponsive, then post in this thread & I'll try to find time to close it out for you.

If anyone wants to help, it would be nice to dig up the "who's active in the RDI" thread & update that. I can't remembere its exact title.


After a week, my further thoughts:

The Mega-Adventure is the elephant in the room. I have been reluctant to comment on it previously because none of my characters is involved, but I stayed out mostly because I had misgivings about putting all the eggs in one DM-basket, even considering Rystil's astonishing average of 35 posts per day when it began.

Putting so many characters "in synch" - all heading off to adventure simultaneously - was by itself harmful to the health of LEW as a living world, I believe, beyond just shutting out other potential DMs (thegreyman suffered here, I think). I realise people prefer earning XP in an adventure to hanging out in the Tavern RPing, but when I started out here, I liked the continual coming and going of various adventuring parties at the RDI, with the opportunity for characters to get to know one another, boast of their deeds, and form new parties. The months of the utterly silent empty RDI were depressing.

Howsoever, the M-A has collapsed. Many of the judges have expressed the intention of reducing their LEW involvement, so they are unlikely to want to complete the adventures. In any case, these were supposed to be only the first round, followed up by yet more and then some kind of grand finale. Does anyone really want to set aside the next year or two to run someone else's idea? Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a plausible way to resolve the storyline after the Council at which so many NPCs insisted they were certain of the danger. Oh well.

Regarding L4W: I certainly don't begrudge it its success and I don't think L4W per se is responsible for LEW's problems. I can't think of anyone who's abandoned LEW for L4W, though there are people who've left LEW because of 4e, of course. So far there's little overlap of players between the two worlds and those that are involved in both (covaithe, Halford, Phoenix8008, for example) are among the currently most active LEW members. Most of the new L4W players probably wouldn't have decided to participate in PbP without the push of the new edition in any case. That situation isn't going to improve. LEW probably has seen most of the players it's ever going to have.

Which brings up another point. If we have few new arrivals, there's a hard limit set to LEW's lifetime, as the existing characters draw nearer to 20th level. While that might take another 5 years for some, 10 years for others, eventually we'll all reach it. Long before that, the character of Enworld will be altered. Right now, we have no more than half a dozen active 1st level characters!

It's probably time to reopen the discussion on allowing a fourth character to those who want one. Last time, the idea was received fairly favourably, then the suggestion to allow additional characters only by spending DM credits was made, whereupon (perpetual danger in a forum for people who by definition are very fond of complicated rulesets!) the thread was diverted into the minutiae of a purchasing system, and foundered. Anyway, the situation has surely altered since then - of currently active players, about half have 3 characters already; the other half have had the option to post another for a long time but never exercised it.

Still, no matter how many characters there are available, we still need DMs too. I do intend to run something (for low level characters). All that really holds me back is the lack of available players (in a M-A Catch 22) and limited patience for making adequate maps.

The most important thing, I think, when it comes to running adventures is… to set aside ambition. I get the impression from opening DM comments of past games that there's a tendency to underestimate the length of time a game will take by about a factor of 5. Seriously. Timezone limitations, general life issues, misunderstandings, postings out of initiative order that need revising later (my personal bugbear), they all add up. Games that go beyond 18 months tend to die. It's far better to run a short vignette that finishes than to attempt some great masterpiece that loses half its players halfway through and then just peters out. If a DM wants to run something bigger, it should be chopped up into completable stand alone short segments, each ending with XP, level up and Orussus-based downtime for party members to be swapped out.

Well, that was disconnected and rambling.


Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
For the record, LEB ain't dead. From my perspective, its limping along and its about as alive as LEW is now. We didn't have a M-A, but several of our DMs/judges also disappeared (partly due to overlap in LEW/LEB).

Xir is my only LEW character, and missed the big M-A drive. Lucky for me, 'cuz P8008's game been fun. But that was the risk w/ a big M-A game. Living games work great in the small and not in the large for this very reason.

I think 4E (not L4W) has part to do with the die out in momentum, but I think a large part of it is that big posters (who ran games, judged, etc.) left. That left a void that is difficult to fill when there isn't enough new blood coming in. This goes for LEB as well. Players show up; but DM/Judges are needed to complete the deal. While I have hopes for L4W, it will need to be careful that a similar judge/DM diaspora does not occur in a few years time.

Note, Living Supers is dead for similar reason... DM/Judges left, and there wasn't enough player interest to step up to the role.

All in all, I think LEW/LEB is in a bit of a downturn, but are not dead yet. Until more DMs/Judges can be found, they will be necessity be smaller/fewer games. As those succeed, players will come to DM and some of those might judge. Its a slow rebuilding process, but its the one we have. Forcing it won't do it, though some gentle recruiting/advertising wouldn't hurt for either group.


I don't think LEW is dead, either, but it could use some love. Specifically, what I think we need are DMs. Judges... well, we need at least one or two active judges, to approve characters and award DM points and to end failed adventures gracefully -- I think time XP and a free ride to the RDI would suffice, in most cases -- but we can mostly get by without many judges. There are plenty of players left, I think, or there will be once the MA mess is cleaned up a bit.

As long as there are players and DMs and at least one judge, the game isn't dead.


There's a natural attrition to PbP. We do need to continually add judges, and recruit new DMs and players, to keep LEW alive. Perhaps I should start a judges' roll call.

I wonder too, if our character judging system has failed us of late. The character judges were very very good. Too good, maybe, as it took too much of their time. I submitted two of my PCs for level up months ago, and still have only received one approval each. We might consider the alternative, used on some other boards, of having the individual DM approve the level up of each character in his/her adventure. It wouldn't be as thorough, but it would be much faster and easier, and wouldn't force any game to wait.

Shall we catagorically rule the M-A closed? Are there any objections to this? I think if we did, we would free up a number of PCs. And I would prefer to see new adventures aimed at the PCs we have, as opposed to new 1st level PCs. Beyond that, I don't have a problem with raising the 3 PC limit. I know of other boards that operate fine w/o that limitation.
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I'm in the same boat as Manz, I've been somewhat delayed in my posting on my own game. I've made some effort lately to power through the last few sets of encounters and the last hurray as Gemhold is freed. Let me tell you, planning a battle between 250 combattants is a bad idea in 3.5. That almost killed my game as it was so daunting to complete. I definitely agree that smaller more manageble games are the best way to go (though of course I broke that rule again with my plan for my L4W game too).

One of the reasons that I've been a bit dissillusioned with LEW lately is the M-A dying completely. Both my active characters were in there and stalled from playing = less motivation to DM. I agree with Manz and the others the M-A is dead and second his motion to close all threads. I think the players who stuck it out should be rewarded. I have a bit of time coming up this weekend potentially. I could review one of the threads and award XP to close it out. If some of the other judges or ex-judges would do the same for the other threads we can wrap it up quickly and all get back to posting in the Inn at least.

With regards to the character judges, having done it myself for LEB for a while, its too much work. We need help and I think having DMs process their own level ups is a good suggestion. Of course that means I've got like 4PCs * 3 recent level ups = 12 levels to look through. I'll admit I may have caused the delay in character judging in one fell swoop.

As for the edition thing. I've given up on most of my 3.5 games, but have more invested in LEW and would love to see Tenebrynn and Eternity continue. Waiting for the next L11-12 adventure to come along might take a while though. In addition I've got a business course coming up soon that will take up my time from Nov 25-Feb4, so I wont be taking on any more DMing and hope to finish Gemhold by then if at all possible (not likely).


I think Trouvere has hit the nail on the head. With RA disappearing, the M-A has stalled, freezing a large percentage of LEW characters. Then, with several judges having to back out of LEW, there's no one to step up and finish them. Actually, I don't think many of them were ever assigned judges.

Because of the inactivity, I'm not sure who's still around. But it seems to me this might be a good time for a changing of the guard (or infusion of new blood, or whatever cliche you prefer).

So I'll suggest the following (I'd make it a formal proposal, but I don't think we have the judges to get it passed):

Figure out how many judges we still have, and how many we need.

Also, the overall big mega-adventure may be dead, but there are a few signs of life out there. "Bizarre Bazaar," is still moving, and I think Rae may be willing to tough out "Blind Watchers" (but I think he also may want to drop it. I know he's been busy lately.)

AFAIK, the rest of the M-A adventures are dead. We need to determine which ones are really dead and have a judge step in to award final XP and end things so people can move on.

How have new judges been chosen in the past? Do current judges select nominations or does one volunteer? I've been around for a while and I'd be willing to help out. There's a few things that've made me hesitant to DM a LEW game, but I might even step up and do that.


For what it's worth, Bizarre Bazaar has only a tenuous connection to the MA, and would do just fine on its own.


Coming in here from the sidelines, as I've been disinterested here lately, I have a couple opinions. To run through the list...

PbP has always had attrition in general. One of the major advantages of LEW was that it somewhat blunted the effect of attrition since characters were persistant and you could recruit from a pool of players. Still, it's bound to happen. How many characters on the first five pages of the character thread are still active?

For one, enworld was terribly slow for a couple months this year. It frustrated me so much that I delayed my Red Hand of Doom game for 3 or so months before I was able to continue the adventure.

Then 4th edition coming out. A lot of people like it more, and would rather be playing that, regardless.

And L4W coming out. This probably has a somewhat limited effect, but it's still worth something. I'm sure some players, when confronted with a choice because of their limited time, would choose to make a character for a persistent 4e world at the beginning rather than a persistent 3e world at the figurative 'end' of the edition.

The mega-adventure really was the elephant in the room as someone put it. Having all the games floundering around (and run by one GM mostly?) really messed with stuff. It played against the strengths of the system in some ways by doing that.

Winter is always slow. Christmas season especially. That's some part.

Throw it all in a basket along with LEW not being featured prominantly on the forums (it used to be high enough up that when you looked at the general forum list you could see it on initial load, but that's not the case anymore), lack of character approvals, and some of the other issues and you can see how things would flounder.

Plus, character approval has always been a bit of a pain. When activity was high, it's problematic because there's so many to approve. Even when things are not so active, approving characters takes a great deal of time, making sure every single rule is followed correctly. It also adds a certain amount of startup time for the players wherein they have to wait quite a while to get started. You can't just jump into a proposed game very easily.

Oh, and on another point, enworld really doesn't havea lot of good play-by-post features that can be there. A dedicated messageboard could have in-line dice-rollers, access to view character sheets from the player's posts, and a lot of other stuff. Sure, we can get around it, but all I'm saying is 'it could be better'.

As for suggestions... Well I can see reasons to try to continue on. There's no reason to stop the game for people that are still enjoying it.

I would somewhat recommend a merger of sorts. I realize that thematically this doesn't make much sense, and some players would dislike the idea, but merging LEB and LEW might do some good. You would have a combined player base using the same system.

People that wanted to stay in LEW could, or you could merge into LEB following some guidelines to make the character line up. I'm not sure how much people would benefit from that though, as it probably won't solve any of the core problems.