Rules, rules, rules. Every game needs some. The question I find before me is: which rules? Do I choose a ruleset (B/X aka Moldvay or BECMI aka Mentzer) or do what I did with my previous campaign and choose a basic ruleset and modify it? Kabuki Kaiser wrote a great post discussing the joys of having a mix-and-match set of rules. Not having a rules lawyer or a group of munchkins helps a lot, and I'm not sure about the former in my batch. And how much player input should I use? Some of my players are very inventive and will spend a lot of time working on a character background. Some of my players are naturals at going at right angles and manage to create plots and NPCs with their very play. This is wonderful. However I also have some players who, if I give them an inch, will try to take a mile, and this is where I run into difficulty.
What will happen if I allow races or classes I'm not sure have a place in my world? This sandbox world I'm trying to only lightly sketch in, to be filled in by the actions of … the players? I suppose it's really a question of how much control I want over the world. My world. But should it be my world? Shouldn't it be our world? Mine and my players'? Isn't my whole point to lay the ground before them as they advance over it, to describe each detail as it becomes relevant? Isn't it really therefore a group world? Perhaps I'd best then relinquish my claim to it.
I have a difficult time letting go of my creations. It's one of the reasons I don't sell my artwork. I've already created some things for the world. I've written up some detail on the city of Illi Pesch. I know what kind of humanoids live in the surrounding area. I intend for the theme of the campaign to be a dark struggle for survival in the face of increasing incursions by the humanoids and other baddies. But what if the players turn aside from this entire region and take their adventure somewhere safer? It's their prerogative to do so. Am I prepared for the campaign to turn in unexpected directions? Kinda.
Maybe I'm not ready to run this thing just yet.