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Nathan Albury
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Our Friday night gaming group is starting up a new game with the new year. I'll be GMing "Twilight of the North", set in Tolkien's Middle-earth using the Fate Core system.

Our OP page is here: https://twilight-of-the-north.obsidianportal.com/

I'm not sure exactly how many we have at the moment, but its possible we may be looking for 1 or 2 more players.

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So our Dresden Files: London game is finished up with character and city creation and crossover stories, and I just thought I'd share some of our themes and our main cast of PCs.

Themes and Threats

- Every Nook & Cranny A Spirit: London never lets go of the past and the past never lets go of London, there is an overabundance of ghosts in the city.
- A New Breed of Ripper, A New Breed of Wolf: A brutal murderer is stalking the streets of south London, recalling serial killers of the past, but the supernatural community suspects a rogue werewolf.
- Everything Has A Price: There's a blackmarket of the supernatural thriving in London, where you can buy and sell everything from artifacts and knowledge to magical creatures and souls.

Main Cast

- Dr. John Alistair Carnahan: An Egyptologist at the British Museum in service to the an ancient Egyptian spirit named Nefertari. He wields power over the desert winds and the ghosts of the past, though he's really doing it all to keep his daughter alive.
- Chief Deacon Jaroslav Guilbeau: An American military officer attached to the embassy in London, who comes from a long line of Cajun werewolf-hunters. He's torn between his service to a princess of the Wyldfae, and the secret organization within the military that wants to collect and harness the power of the supernatural.
- Baines: A Pakistani-descended immigrant who was orphaned as a child in London. He spent several years as an occult investigator for the Vatican before there was a rift in his order that ended with him cast out, and now he's lying low back in his hometown trying to put his life back together while running a humble bookshop. He kept his sacred ring though, which helps him create wards to contain the forces of evil.
- Miles O'Callaghan: A descendant of Irish druids, Miles was a member of the White Council until he deserted from the War with the Red Court Vampires out of disgust with the wanton violence. He's taken up honest work in a brewery, though he spikes the beer with a bit of magic to spice things up!
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A pale, ghostly hand stretches forth from the wall, holding a bloody sword…

A one-eyed vagrant lurks in abandoned alleys, a hound of hell straining at the leash in his rough hands…

An angel appears over the Thames, arms lifted over the horizon of South London in a gesture of sorrow and compassion…

--

Our Friday night gaming group that began on Obsidian Portal (and includes GMs and players from award-winning games on that site) is starting a new Dresden Files campaign set in London. We play via Roll20, so if anyone is interested, let me know here and I'll send a private note with the details.

Our "session zero" is tonight (8pm Eastern), but I'm sure we will be able to add players as the game progresses.
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I spun off a private version of Obsidian Retreat, as some folks would participate (or participate more) in private conversations.

I'll send out invites but if for some reason I miss you, poke me in this thread.

https://plus.google.com/communities/101326704715656622327

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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/252020431/obsidian-portal-reforged/comments

The Reforge Kickstarter page is still the second result when Googling "Obsidian portal". Anyone who backed is probably still free to leave comments there about their opinion of the current state of things...


Any web developers or designers among us?

Particularly someone who has worked in PHP.

I know quite a few people are looking at alternatives (City of Brass, Realm Works, Epic Worlds, etc...) and that's because having the community is a big part of OP. Personally, I don't think any of the alternatives I have looked at quite match my list of "wants". Others are making their own sites.

Myself and a couple others started a project late last year to build an alternative, but then Andrew came along and things looked hopeful for a while, so we discontinued. I still have that domain registered, hosting paid up, and an open-source, PHP-based platform installed that natively supports many of the features needed (wiki, forums, calendar, etc...).

I don't mind paying for some of those expenses out of pocket (domain registration, hosting, etc...) but the biggest expense would be hiring a web developer to code some of the specific functions that the platform doesn't already support.

The biggest challenge is automating the process of spinning off each new "campaign" into its own instance, and there is some decision-making to be done about how to approach that (separate databases versus full instances of the platform, etc...).

Anyway, I won't devolve into a boring technical discussion, just wanted to check if we have any interested technical talent here?

Intriguingly, one website value calculator shows Obsidian Portal as having lost about $15,000 in value since last year (down from $101k to $85k on that specific calculator). This is interesting for two reasons:

1) Most of these calculators estimate site value as a function of traffic, so this is a darn good indicator that OP is hemorrhaging members if it is losing that much traffic year over year.

2) The three current estimated values I found for OP were $88k, $85k, and $52k. That's... easily purchasable with a small business loan. But is OP a sinking ship? Would it be worth it/possible to turn the place around and save the community?

Howdy, Basileus here.
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