|GM / DM||Telgin|
|System||DF Community Fortress (Freeform)|
|Current Party||Temperance, Flamberge, Crosshair, Lightning Runner, Convalescence|
The ill-fated successor to Dawnpick, Duskfields was not a happy accident and ended up more of an attempt to recreate the successful experiment of Dawnpick.
Behind the Scenes
Duskfields was intended to be a more structured approach to DF community forts than Dawnpick and take many of the hard learned lessons to heart. In particular, play-by-post RPing was discarded in favor of self contained scenes, the game had an end condition in mind and was set up with clear conflict from day one. A darker story was used in the hopes that it would drive the RP along better than Dawnpick did and avoid puttering out at the end. This ended up causing more problems than it solved, unfortunately.
The GM Telgin also opted to attempt to correct some canonical "mistakes" from Dawnpick by resizing ponies and giving them normal lifespans, as well as removing strange noncanon things from the game like cave ponies and diomedian ponies. Naturally, people complained incessantly about that since it broke canon, leading to Telgin agreeing that they still existed but simply weren't present in the game.
Entropy was conceived from leftover ideas from very early in Dawnpick, although almost fundamentally changed, with the character from Dawnpick's hypothetical story being much closer to her brother Mayhem.
Inspired by the nightcreature release in general, another early concept idea for Duskfields would have involved Virtue and Harvest Moon leaving Dawnpick to set up a second town somewhere, with the intention of hacking or forcing Virtue or Harvest Moon to be infected by a were creature. No solid plans for how this would be resolved were ever formulated.
The first graph shows how many unique people posted on a given day, as well as the running average. The second graph shows the number of words posted in a given day, as well as the running average. Neither graph tries to account for the content of the post. That is, people posting things out of character, "PTW" and so on still count, but those were rare enough that they do not substantially affect the analysis.
Although it felt like the game dragged on and died early, the graphs show that surprisingly it was active throughout its entire lifespan. The game was markedly shorter than Dawnpick, leading to fewer overall posts and words, but not by the margin many would expect. As the graphs show, despite the troubles the game suffered, the players that survived fallout after fallout managed to carry the momentum through to a meaningful end.
When it wasn't suffering from problems, Duskfields did produce interesting characters and stories. All-in-all, the idea of introducing a stronger overarching story was probably the best part of the game and the main villain, Entropy, was well received.
Duskfields was mired by constant player related problems. KingStrongbeard intended for his character Flamberge to be a dark and brooding usurper, which caused immense problems out of character because some players were intensely distracted from the main story in an attempt to "defeat" him or were unwilling to play the game knowing his intentions.
Furthermore, problems surfaced several times because of disagreements over the tone and setting. For instance, it should be noted that if a hostile dragon appears in a scene, it darn well better kill a lot of people or some people might quit out of frustration. Or, if you chop its head off and mount it on a gatepost, then declare that that isn't blasphemy, you can likewise get people to quit out of anger.
Also, above all else, do not, under any circumstances, allow players to fake votes among a population without making it abundantly clear to the other players that the GM sanctioned it as a plot device. Actually, just don't do it.
The Moral of the Story
"There will be no Dawnpick 3." -Telgin, in his unused Duskfields ending.
He would later go back on this decision and create Shadytrails as a very loosely related game, but wished he hadn't.
Telgin is of the opinion that community forts like these are generally a Bad Idea and that success in the early ones was a fluke.