So, I'm going to run a game with some (3-5) friends of mine, we'll probably play by email since its hard to get together in person. They all liked the idea of starting as non-regents and working their way up.

Since we won't be doing traditional adventuring (roll you d20, you miss, the goblin rolls a 20, it confirms the crit, take 9 dmg, ok, you heal yourself for 5, the goblins misses, you hit, roll dmg, you did 6 dmg, the goblin dies, collect 8 copper), I was wondering how to run this.

One thought I had was to have a DC type adventure system

Idea 1
level -5 adventure(for those who will not die, no matter what) = DC 5, reward = 250xp +250gold of treasure.
Level 1 adventure = DC11 reward = 500xp +500 gold of treasure
Level 8 adventure = DC 18 reward = 2000xp +2000 gold of treasure
Modifiers to roll = balanced party +1, (average party level), highly-optimized chars +1, useful gear x2 your expected wealth +1, useful gear X3 your expected wealth +2, etc...

So a fighter, cleric, wizard, rogue, with great stats and feats and spells, with real good gear (say x3 value) who were 1st level would be +5 on the roll.

I figured failure would either be no reward or a partial reward, and failure by 5 or more = something BAD, such as death, or imprisonment.

I figured success by more then 5 could increase the reward representing optional goals.

I also thought I might email the players a couple times with scenes from the adventure, and if they respond well, they get a nice modifier to the roll, or a bad one if they respond not-so-well.
I do have a full table with xp for each DC. Does this seem workable?

Another thought was to break down each encounter the same way
idea 2
So, a typical dungeon adventure might have 12 encounters

Maybe I could tack on a -1 to each roll for every 2 encounters you succeed on. There'd be a much greater chance of death with 12 rolls, unless I changed it to have maybe a "failure table", with results like (redo encounter, lose a temp magic item, die, captured, wounded).
I'm not sure if I want to use 3E or 4E chars. My players prefer to avoid 4E, so probably 3.5 w/o splatbooks.

Any thoughts on the adventuring ideas?