We made it about 2/3 of the way through what I had initially thought of as "the campaign." I decided to move the ending up a bit as things threatened to drag out beyond the ability of the players and myself to stay involved--it would probably take another three or four years to get through the remainder.
As my first (and so far, only) extended GMing tenure, it's been a great learning experience. I have some thoughts as far as what went well and what went badly, but I'd like to hear from the players and any observers.
Things I think I need to work on:
- Follow-though. Setting things up is easy; getting the conclusion to come off properly... hard. A related problem is impatience--there were moments when I should have, or would have liked to have, taken more time with something but cut it short for one reason or another. A lot of groundwork was laid and never used for one reason or another (including planning lapses on the part of yours truly).
- Record-keeping. It's tedious, but I should pay more attention to it.
- Pacing. Too often things lagged because I got distracted, or I didn't pester people or just move on without them when that might have been the better thing to do. It is crucial in PbEM that players be able to expect a certain level of posting frequency; if it drops, they find other ways to fill the time, and it's very difficult to get back up. Of course you have to take into account players' differing natural inclinations in this regard, too; some tend to be terser than others.
- Managing expectations. It wasn't always clear to the players what was expected of them. The fact that a lot of the time I didn't actually have a preference on what they did was a big problem at some points, leading to a sense of aimlessness.
Thank you all. I am extremely grateful that you have given me so much of your time and thoughts and talents over the past seven years.