Friday, September 25, 2009

My Next Campaign Is A Long Way Off

I've been thinking a little more lately about running a game again. I don't have time right now (and that's not entirely bad, because the main reason I don't is the amount of gaming I'm already doing) but I've started thinking about it regularly again, sketching out ideas here and there, and figuring out when I might next have the opportunity. I'm determined to get back into it slowly: it'll be next semester at the earliest, and I very well might put it off until next summer or even later. But I'm considering it.

Part of the reason I'm taking it slow, beyond just the time constraints, is that I'm still not sure why the last few games I've run didn't work. I had fun, and the players had fun, but neither the Traveller game nor Is This Foul? ever clicked for me. They were both chores to prep for, and I didn't always look forward to game night. I'm starting to get a better idea about why that was, but I don't want to put the effort into running a regular game again until I've got, at the least, a new tack to take.

I'm also thinking I might actually prep for the game a bit before start up this time around. Normally, there's a pretty short time between idea and execution when it comes to my campaigns; it's normal for me to run a game within just a week or two of coming up with the concept. The trick there is that the two times that technique's been really successful, I was running a pre-existing world; in one case a published campaign setting (in this case, the Diamond Throne), in the other, the setting from a (terrible) novel I'd written several years prior. I'm thinking about giving that world-building thing a try again, so that suggests spending a bit more time on the game than usual.

I'm hesitant to make any dramatic statements about what exactly I'm going to run, because it's so far off that I'm almost guaranteed to change my mind twelve times before it hits the table. But at least for now, I'm thinking it's going to be a fantasy, location-based, sandbox-y thing, because I've been wanting to run something like that since I came to college and it keeps getting pushed back in favor of other ideas. That, in turn, means I want to use either Swords & Wizardry or Labyrinth Lord, with plenty of house rules and bits and pieces from other things.

I'd also like it to be a chat game. I've been having a lot of fun playing in the two Trollsmyth's got going right now, and I want to try my hand at setting one up myself. I also like the idea of pulling in players from my entire player base, which is currently pretty scattered geographically. It'd be fun to play some new combinations of people off each other, and starting with a larger pool gives me a better shot at getting a group all willing to put up with romantic shenanigans.

So that's where I'm at as far as running a continuing campaign goes. I might run some one-shots before I get that started (Vampire, Mage, and Promethean will probably get that treatment, since I can't see running a full campaign for any of them soon, but the reason I got them in the first place was to use them) but for now, it's going to be planning, and playing.


  1. One thing I've noticed over the years is that sometimes, even if it's a good campaign it just doesn't "take".

    It's not that something was "wrong", so much as ... how to say ... my mind was in another place at the time?

    Sometimes you make spaghetti and it's great, but once you have it you realize you rather wanted lasagna. It happens X3

  2. You may want to take a look at some RPGs that don't require much (or any) pre-game prep, or games that share some of the usual GM tasks with the players.

  3. I think this is a common complaint.

    It'll happen when it happens, yes? :)

  4. The combination of pre-campaign planning and using a simple system like S&W should cut down on the prep time needed considerably.

    because it's so far off that I'm almost guaranteed to change my mind twelve times before it hits the table.

    Only twelve? Slacker. ;)

  5. I hope you aren't feeling bad about pushing your next campaign back! Enjoy playing the games you are in, and let it come when it comes!

    But either way, don't stop posting!

  6. taichara: The wiser part of me knows that, but there's a lot of my brain that's set up to just take things apart and figure out why even if they don't really need it. But yeah, lack of enthusiasm is a bigger problem than anything technical.

    A Paladin In Citadel: Yup. I've been in this position before, though never this consciously; though this time around I've got some awesome gaming happening on the player side so it's no big disaster. :)

    Knightsky: That's what I'm hoping. GM fiat can be a beautiful thing.

    David: Nope, pretty happy with that decision. And thanks! :)