Update 5/1/2012 --
I am provisionally opening this thread again, but read through the entire post, as this should not be taken as being generally open. I shall explain.
At this time, I am only taking on requests:[INDENT]a) which pertain to a prior effort (i.e. previous CDQ/WLDQ),
b) which extends something I have done in the past, OR
c) to which I have previously agreed at some point. [/INDENT]For any other requests, I am reserving the right to be extremely choosy regarding any requests that do not fit this criteria at this point. Any who do not fall into one of the three criteria above may be declined or deferred for a fairly long time. It is a simple matter of available time and my desire to not leave hanging loose ends, though it may also be a matter of what I may not wish to address (i.e. certain themes, topics, dogmas, etc). I will provide an explanation with every "no", so that everyone is in understanding of each other. In a perfect world, I'd be more open, but I have to work with what I have. I will also politely decline anything that I feel that you can do on your own, in game, without my help or the help of another GM.
I am also reserving the right to take any requests in the order which works out best for me. It may seem arbitrary, but there is a method to my madness. As with any good madness, it defies being written down in any comprehensible sort of way.
In the spirit of transparency, I'm going to list some things up-front here so that any reading this can understand my style and expectations. Some of this may already overlap with our CDQ rules, but it never hurts to remind or clarify.
For all who make requests, you implicitly agree to my questing style, which is to say there will be opportunities for both success and failure, not necessarily in equal measure. Risks will be proportionate with rewards, and vice versa. I have been known to prod at the sore spots of a character's psyche. I have killed off family members and more. I have found (or fabricated) some seemingly insignificant mote within a character's history and/or ancestry and dragged it in all its ugliness into the light of day. Yes, I'm cruel like that, but at the same time I will still make every effort to make a quest personal to your character, not just some railroaded story of my own creation with your character as the accidental main character.
I believe firmly in the Calem Rule, and in my interpretation this means that actions produce results, for good or ill. Failure is always an option, even critical failure. However, failure is not always the end of the road. There are opportunities in every failure...usually.
I expect my questers to put forth an effort. Clearly, everyone is different in their ability and style, so I do not expect perfection, only effort. The sum of your efforts will determine the outcome of the quest.
I expect my questers to play their characters, not play to the expected results. Opportunities are not always obvious. Do not rely on pure mechanics to save you. They'll help; they have their place, but remember that I've already taken them into account. More important will be your role play and how you apply your characters strengths, abilities and characteristics, whether mechanical or not.
Given the nature of my available time, I may run a CDQ in a rather unconventional means. There may be a fair reliance on "offline" methods in addition to in-game actions. Unless absolutely needed, I will not be time-bubbling anything. This means time will pass between sessions...possibly not as much as our accelerated game time would suggest, but time will pass.
It is my intent to maintain a high degree of internal consistency, whether it be with world lore or PC/NPC characteristics. I will not be entertaining any unsanctioned variances just because the player may wish them. Time passes outside of the quest. The world rolls on. No quest is an island. You just might change the world, but possibly not in the way you expect. I will also discuss, in the fullest manner appropriate, the results and what they might mean, whether positive or negative.
When choosing people to accompany you on your CDQ, choose wisely. I will also let the missteps and actions of your party affect the outcome.
From my perspective, CDQ requests are simply that: requests. Assuming it is reasonable, I will set up a scenario by which a quester can achieve his/her goal(s), but it is by no means a guarantee. Like I said above, failures can have their own opportunities. Sometimes you have to fail to succeed...I've actually had that happen several times. Do not request a CDQ with me and expect to pass. Do not get upset at me when you fail because you didn't do what was needed. I will try to set up a situation where there is a path to success, but I will not guide anyone forward through that path. That's your job, not mine. Success will be an option, always, but the difficulty of that success will depend directly on the magnitude of the reward for that success.
The grander the CDQ request, the more likely it will be broken up into multiple CDQs. The more general the request, the more I will put my own spin on things. I do not do pre-written results or pre-defined outcomes. If you want to write your own CDQ, ask another GM. By this, I don't mean the endpoint so much as the path. If you want a new class, achieve status within an organization or some other sort of specific endpoint, these are all fine, but you will have to earn them and it may not be easy or clean. It may actually be quite messy, and your character may bear the scars.
GCDQs are for a well-defined group, not just a bunch of friends or the like. This means a guild, deity association, or something of the sort. The goal of a GCDQ should reflect the goals of the group as a whole, not of a single individual.
For CDQs, the party size should be kept small. This is for your benefit as much as it is for mine. The more people I have to manage, the more time it will take, and the more likely it is that you will run out. It also becomes less personal for you if you cart along a lot of people. I recommend three or fewer people total, though I am willing to entertain some leeway with a good reason.
For GCDQs, obviously there may be a larger group of people working to the same end. As such, I will allow any number of people on a GCDQ up to twenty (20) people, and that simply for performance reasons. The added condition here is that the members of a GCDQ party must belong to the group in question or have a very solid reason why they should be part of the effort.
Please give me the courtesy of letting me know, in advance of a quest session, who is expected to attend.
Specifically for group efforts, you will succeed and fail as a group. Keep that in mind.
Plot CDQs are likely to stretch out over some period of time, and they likely will not follow the general CDQ format, which is to say they may not be run in “sessions” or have a distinct beginning or end. The plot is not monolithic, and neither is any CDQ based upon it. Actions will build upon actions. Results will build upon results. Your past actions can and will come back to you in some way, for good or ill. Be prepared. You can also walk away at any time. The world will move on.
At this time, there is only a narrow range of plot-related issues for which I will entertain PCDQ efforts. I'm not going to disclose them either. If you ask, and I say “no” then it's probably not on the list. I will, however, attempt to direct you to someone else who may be able to assist.
For as choosey as I am about CDQs, I am even moreso about WLDQs, given the nature of such quests and investment required in preparing and running them. As such, I'm only going to accept requests that I feel I can do with justice and the appropriate level of attention I feel they deserve. Otherwise, I'm going to decline. Do not be offended. It's better for everyone that way.
Everything that applies to CDQs (of all types) and in general will apply even more strongly to WLDQs. This is especially true for the comments regarding playing one's character (not just one's character sheet) and party composition.
Party size for a WLDQ must be a minimum of three, which is to say the WL candidate and at least two other people. I will place no limits but the practical ones upon WLDQ party size, but I highly recommend keeping the the party limited to those who can help or who the character would have along on such a task. This can change over the course of the WLDQ, of course.
As with CDQs, I request the courtesy of knowing who you intend to invite to your WLDQ. This can change as circumstances change, but I like to be prepared.
Am I done yet?:
I'm sure there's more, but it's long enough already and hopefully this will give everyone a good idea as to what to expect from a CDQ run by me.