The Dusk Barrens
Some notes from my desk
This is a game about who your character is going to become, and how far you're willing to go. How deep into the Barrens? How far into its secret past? How high a level?
Getting to level 8 is very hard. Also, it's not a goal in itself – unless you decide to make it so (for example, if your character is looking for power or glory). Your goal is whatever motivation you chose for yourself, for this character; The campaign's goal is to uncover the main secret of the Dusk Barrens. The world is there to be discovered, and it doesn't care how many characters you've played, or how they ended their career. So have fun with your characters.
Do you want to have long conversations around the campfire? Find some other players who feel the same, and go on an expedition. You'll have lots of fun roleplay. You probably won't be getting as much XP as the people who rush forward, and you'll probably won't discover as much of the world as the people who push further west – but who cares? You'll have your own fun. And any expedition increases your familiarity with the Barrens, thereby helping all the heroes.
The game is intended to be played over a period of about 18 months of real time. As already noted in other places, the Dusk Barrens have a story, and the story will eventually come to an end; at first it'll have to be unearthed, but eventually it'll take a life of its own.
You might die, perhaps even quite soon. Celebrate that character's story, let it become a part of the ongoing tale of the Barrens, and introduce someone new to continue in their stead. (Perhaps even continuing their legacy; we'll talk more after the first death…)
Inspirations for the Dusk Barrens
The original West Marches, of course.
Ribbons are taken from 100 Character Ribbons by DiBastet.
The travel rules are inspired by the Journey rules of Adventures in Middle Earth.
And also the following websites: