Monday, April 15, 2013

One of those Posts...

Wherein the author in question waxes poetic about his gaming exploits.

Well, we finally wrapped up "Burning Meadows", the low-fantasy campaign I started back in August. I'd meant for it to be about a 6 month ordeal, but it stretched into nearly 9. Still, there was less actual game time than I'd wanted.

It started with a bang! and kept up an appropriately grim emotional resonance for the first couple of months. Then we went from meeting 3-4 times a month to an average of once monthly. It wasn't long before the tone lost a bit of seriousness between each session. That was fine, really; however, it wasn't quite the same game by the end.

We had a few things working against us:

  • We weren't playing often enough for full character immersion; life as adults simply got in the way. In the time between sessions the subtlety of the PCs & NPCs simply got lost.
  • We also weren't hanging out much beyond the game so when we got together fun/stupid hijinks/anecdotes would ensue.
  • I lost some of my initial enthusiasm as the game went forward. The game as I'd envisioned it was going to be a tight, emotional journey examining a  few insane months of heroic struggle in the lives of these characters. When the time between sessions started retarding character growth, I wasn't enjoying it as much. Plus, the cool ideas I got for different campaigns while wishing we could play did not help my attitude. 
  • When we did get to play, it was squeezed in between life's responsibilities so I didn't always bring my A game.
  • The ending should have taken two sessions, but I squeezed it into one. (I did this for a few other sessions as well.)

The end wasn't as good as it could have been, but I'm still happy with it (and of equal import I think the players are happy as well). The campaign was a playtest and introduction my Ayhton setting, using the most current version my system, Grit. In that regard it was a total success.

Campaigns rarely (practically never) work out according to plan. Hell, that's part of the fun. Roll With Punches is a skill that needs to be on every GM's Character Sheet. When a campaign becomes less than a joy though, it's time to cut and run. We are in this hobby for pleasure, are we not?

Though in my experience, few endings are more unenjoyable than those that simply stop. (Take a lesson Post-Modern Short Stories!) After weighing the pros and cons, you will usually find that rushing the endgame is more pleasant than dropping the campaign altogether. Your Mileage May Vary.

And now for something completely different...

This weekend I shall finally begin my series of one shots, as written about in the NYNG article. Cosmic P here we come!

Soon, I will be a Player for the first time in like a damn year! I'm really looking forward to being on the other side of the screen. I can't wait to play the cross-dressing, pansexual, drug-manufacturing weirdo I've got bouncing around in my brain-box. I'm a father-to-be so I expect I'd better get in all the weirdness I can before normalcy consumes my existence.

Until next time, May You roll Max Crits in Times of Need! (And When You Don't: Remember, Disaster makes the Game more Fun [at least for the GM].)