Well, the kids are off to school, and the dogs are draped across the floor; I've got a cup of coffee on the desk next to me, and some free time available. I read through the blogs I 've written, and I think I've now touched on most of the major themes: editing in the PHB, promoting the C&C game as a service to the RPG community, how permissive TLG should be in letting others make C&C products, etc.
Everyone likes to be an armchair general, and I've used many of the early entries in this blog as open letters to the Trolls - "I think you should do this, I think you should do that..." As it happens, I've been paid more than $200 an hour to give that sort of advice (before my anxiety disorder retired me), so I'm confident that I'm a pretty good armchair general. Nevertheless, it's always easier to run things from the armchair than from the desk, when the phones are ringing, the fax machine is printing binary code instead of letters, and Steve just knocked over your coffee cup.
So I wanted to take a few moments to reflect, not upon the tasks ahead, but upon the achievements that have been made, the quality of the game, and our cast of characters.
Jonman99: Jonman99 might seem a strange choice for first mention. He's not one of the Trolls, he didn't help develop the game, and he hasn't run a game yet. But he's our first representative of a very important group of gamers - middle schoolers. Jonman99 is 13 years old. In his first post on TLG, he lied about his age, adding 2 years so that he wouldn't be made fun of. After a few more posts, he realized that the other posters on the board were treating him just like anyone else, and edited his original post. I don't know where Jonman99 is, or how he heard about the game (armchair general says: it would be a good idea for the Trolls to find out how a 13 year old heard about the game). It says good things about the C&C community that we're not snide or condescending to the younger players. Younger players are the future not only of the C&C game, but of gaming in general. Jon's presence on the boards is a good sign for C&C! Welcome to the club, Jonman99!
Gideon Thorne (aka Pete): Pete has been all over the place promoting the game, more than any other single individual, I think.
Akrasia: Akrasia is second only to Pete in terms of being one of the game's web promoters. Between writing the review on RPG.net (clearly the work of a genius, as Akrasia isn't slow to point out), and consistent appearances on several boards to champion the game, Akrasia is one of the big players in the "buzz" game. We've got a good source of house rules in Akrasia, too: I've already posted the staff-based magic house rule, and from what I've heard, Akrasia has lots more interesting arrows in the quiver.
Breakdaddy: from the immediate environs of the Trolls themselves, Breakdaddy's playing a ground game - he's building the game one player at a time, face-to-face. He also shows up a lot on the ENworld boards.
Treebore: I don't know much about Treebore, but he or she is another of the game's strong promoters; answering internet questions both on ENworld and on the NG boards.
Julian Grimm: under a couple of names, Julian alternately runs the Ravens Keep board and posts on TLG. Special thanks are due to those who are building "castles" in the net as staging grounds for the crusade. Julian (aka Psychotic Sea Otter) has plans for an ezine, and posts frequently on TLG. While Ravens Keep is still pretty small, it's a good message board - since Julian's more rules & content focused, the board likely won't take off in a big way until M&T comes out. It's hard to write content without standardized formats, and those won't be available until M&T. I suspect there's going to be a creative explosion out of Ravens Keep once Julian's got the tools he needs. I'm hoping that my own site will be what Julian's is aiming for: a center for resources.
iamtim: Tim is quietly building a great wiki entry for C&C. He's not an aggressive promoter, but so far his board has more resources on it than anyone else's - including some essays which are very good. If website building were competitive instead of cooperative, I'd be nervous about the wiki - I think it's got the capacity to be the major archive for web-based C&C resources.
Dragonsfoot forum: is Fiffergrund the moderator? The C&C society board on Dragonsfoot is the most active non-TLG message board for C&C, and I suspect its momentum is going to keep it that way. It's the gathering point for a particular sort of fan - grognards. Grognards will always be the largest group of C&C gamers, I imagine. I hope that C&C will catch on with younger gamers - if it does, Dragonsfoot will probably become even more of a citadel of grumpiness than it is now. For the time being, Dragonsfoot represents C&C's mainstream players: mid to late 30's male gamers who began playing between '79 and '84. Well done, DF moderators! DF is the largest crusader castle in the net.
The problem with listing names is that I'm sure to forget people. I haven't written about Serleran, Jackal, EpochRPG, or any of the other major players in the creation of the game - partly because I came late to the party and missed all the development phase. To all those I haven't mentioned - a hearty thanks! [edit: there are a LOT more people I could have mentioned in this blog - it would be pages long if I kept going...]
Finally, the Trolls. Steve likes strange songs, and he's the one with the bad luck to have ended up on my email address book. As a result, he's the designated Mythmere-handler. Poor guy.
Obviously, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the Trolls. I find it very interesting that they possess the PATIENCE to have wrangled a bunch of old-school gamers into an agreement about a rule set. It tells me one thing: they don't just love games, they love gamers, too. That's what I want in the guys who publish the game I play. Keep up the good work!