The DCC game sort of fizzled, which is too bad because there are many things I like about the system. Spotty attendance coupled with my less than expert grasp of the new rule set were the main culprits.
Lately we've been playing Lady Blackbird. It's a story-based game a friend is running (I'm a shapeshifting goblin). It's a neat change of pace, but I think we are nearing the wind-down point with the system. This naturally turns my thoughts to what I might to run if I take a seat in the GM's chair again.
So –big surprise– I'm thinking about BX/LL. More specifically, I'm thinking about a "name level" campaign, where the PCs start at or near the 9th level range, where all the "endgame" stuff starts to happen.
This is a realm of the game that I rarely get to play with, mostly because I've always pushed for the extended campaign where PCs earn those levels all the way from 1st. Sadly, nowadays that's a level of time commitment that most players (and GMs) our age simply find difficult to manage.
One of the reasons I like the idea of the long slog up the XP ladder (besides being a grumpy SOB of a GM) is the way that all those sessions create a bond between the PC and the larger campaign world. It's hardly a new idea, I know, but it's still true. One of the appeals of higher level play is the idea that the PCs become movers and shakers in the greater world, not just better orc-killers.
To balance these challenges, I may try borrowing from more story-based games and have the players devise "hooks" for their character that are already in play, instead of developing in-game. Again, not a new concept.
The next issue I need to address, for my own preference, is that of higher power PCs. I loves me some low level grinds. I know, I know, evil GM and all that; but the tighter resources present their own challenges in the game. Over the years, I've been guilty of letting lower level/power campaigns make my job easier because the PCs simply couldn't muster the magic or puissance to face harder challenges easily. Nothing's worse than a carefully crafted encounter or puzzle being sidestepped by an unanticipated spell or item in the party's arsenal.
I'm trying to push outside my comfort zone a little by giving the players higher level options and resources. In return, I want them to see beyond the crawl and use those resources on a larger scale. At the same time, I think I may introduce a few house-ruled bits of DCC-inspired weirdness to keep things like spells and magic items from being too easy to depend upon. [evil laugh] But that's a different post.