Monday, February 24, 2014

How Should I Proceed With the Gray Box Project?

As I wrote about yesterday, the D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop has proven a bit of a distraction from other posts, but I'm getting ready to jump back into my close-reading of the original Forgotten Realms boxed set (the so-called Gray Box).

The next post in the series will be the finale of my three-part reading of the "Religion in the Realms" section of the Cyclopedia. After that, the A to Z entries of the Cyclopedia start properly. The little break occasioned by the blog hop challenge has given me time to reflect, and to realize that I'm at a crossroads with the series, here. The way I see it, there are two possible directions to take with the order and content of my remaining posts in the series.

The first direction would be what I initially set out to do, which is start on the first page of the Cyclopedia and go straight through the entries as they come up, then move on to the DM's Sourcebook of the Realms and do that book in order. In effect, I'm analyzing the contents of the Gray Box from a relatively objective standpoint, seeing what's in there and (more importantly) what's not.

However, since (re-)starting the project, I've also begun running my own campaign set in the Gray Box-era Realms. This has necessitated some focused reading ahead on my part that's quite apart from the blog series as a whole, and I'm now seeing that I could combine the two efforts by highlighting the sections I've been reading out-of-order. Rather than going A to Z and page 1 to 100, there would be a fair amount of hopping around based on the needs of my campaign first and foremost. For example, rather that posting about "Adventuring Parties" (the first entry in the Cyclopedia proper), I'd probably post about "Cormyr" (since that's where I'm running the campaign), and then maybe even skip over to the DM's Sourcebook to look at the entry on overland movement and encounters (since I read up on that before the first session). Certain parts of the books would not be covered until much later than they would with the A to Z model, but on the other hand, I'd be effectively demonstrating how one uses a boxed game world to make one's own campaign, which I know is something a couple readers have expressed interest in since I started this series.

And so: I have created a poll, the first poll in the RPG Corner's nearly five-year history! Use the poll widget over on the right there, or leave me a comment on this post, and I'll take everyone's opinions into consideration before making my decision on how to proceed in a week's time.
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