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Author Topic: Long term campaigns versus short campaigns.  (Read 1770 times)

Ratman_tf

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Long term campaigns versus short campaigns.
« on: July 13, 2017, 01:14:27 pm »
Sound off with your experiences.
Most of my campaigns are short. The longest campaigns I've run last about a year. Some go for a few months. Jumping systems and settings doesn't help there.

I'm jealous of GMs who have run multi-year campaigns, and even used the same campaigns between different groups of players.
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Dumarest

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Long term campaigns versus short campaigns.
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 01:17:04 pm »
Longest I ever ran week after week without interruption was something like 6 to 9 months, I can't really remember. Unfortunately or fortunately, a lot of my player pool is active-duty military and sometimes they get reassigned or deployed elsewhere and I'd rather not move forward with the same campaign when 75% of the players are gone. I find it easier to start a new game. Also, I get bored after a while of the same game and like to try new things when I get a chance.

Edit: Also, I'm not a fan of "high level" games, so at a certain point I'd rather just wind things down and start something new. There are too many good games to play for me to just play one for years and years.

Michael Gray

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Long term campaigns versus short campaigns.
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 01:29:01 pm »
I would actually prefer a long term campaign; but my current group has Game ADD. My longest run with this group was a...2.5 year campaign of Pathfinder with weekly sessions. We usually get anywhere from 6-9 months, like Dumarest, before someone in the group gets a hankering for a new game system. That's if the new system actually catches interest. If not, 2-3 weeks.
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Y Mab Darogan

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Long term campaigns versus short campaigns.
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 01:38:40 pm »
Quote from: Michael Gray;975259
I would actually prefer a long term campaign; but my current group has Game ADD. My longest run with this group was a...2.5 year campaign of Pathfinder with weekly sessions. We usually get anywhere from 6-9 months, like Dumarest, before someone in the group gets a hankering for a new game system. That's if the new system actually catches interest. If not, 2-3 weeks.

I think the longest I ran was just south of three years. 3e came out so we retired it to try the new edition.
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Harlock

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Long term campaigns versus short campaigns.
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 01:41:19 pm »
I ran a multi-year Castles and Crusades game. We survived one player dropping out, one player who showed for only one game, and one player who moved to North Dakota with whom we now Skype the sessions. There's a total of five players with me GMing. It's on pause for now while one of the other players runs and AD&D2e game for us. He wanted to run a game where he could DM for his kids and I felt like there was no reason to deny him that.

Before that I ran a 3e game using the "Adventure Path" modules published by WotC (Long live Meepo!) for around a year or more. And, before that, I ran a AD&D2e campaign for my wife and her sister for over a year. Other than that, it was basically games with friends for months at a time here and there since I started playing B/X back when I was nine years old.
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Madprofessor

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Long term campaigns versus short campaigns.
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2017, 01:48:06 pm »
The definitions of short or long campaigns probably vary quite a bit.

The longest I have run lasted just short of 5 years.  I have had half a dozen games last around a year - I consider that to be a long campaign.  Because I get bored, I actually prefer short campaigns. Around 4-12 sessions is plenty to engage a setting, get plenty of depth, allow for character development and come to some resolution.  My players generally say they want longer games, but I think it is just enthusiasm talking. Eventually players start to burn out, and so do I.  I think it is better to wrap-up a campaign when enthusiasm and excitement is still high, and then start something new, rather than flog a dying horse for a year. But that's my take.

John Scott

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Long term campaigns versus short campaigns.
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 01:56:30 pm »
I am the kind of person who likes to try different games, a new rpg is like Christmas present to me, but there are two campaigns in my group that "refuse to die". A testament of how great games both are.

The first is Call of Cthulhu (10 years) and the second is WHFRP 2nd (12 years) Both campaigns we still play today although not as frequent due to real life responsibilities.

Call of Cthulhu I run 100% Chaosium published adventures, they are excellent no surprise here.
Warhammer campaign is created by myself and is set in Helmgart a border fortress-city of the Empire in the Grey Mountains.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 03:40:10 pm by John Scott »

WillInNewHaven

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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2017, 04:34:59 pm »
I find that some people think that a short campaign is a failure and I think that's a mistake. If everyone has been enjoying it and it ends because it has reached a logical stopping point, then that is fine. Reasons not to extend it (because one can always come up with reasons to extend it) are, someone else wants a turn to GM, the GM wants to run a different system, the GM wants to run in a different setting with different characters or, one that is rarely admitted, the GM does not to run for characters that have achieved some very high level. None of those is invalid.

Several of my campaigns have lasted a long time, several years in a couple of cases, but others began and ended in four to eight sessions. The characters still had places they could go because I run a big world but the campaign was over and we moved on.

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Steven Mitchell

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Long term campaigns versus short campaigns.
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2017, 04:44:28 pm »
I've had multiple campaigns go 2 years, and a few that pushed 3 years.   (Not sure if we hit 3 or not, but it was close.)  

My preference is that a "campaign" run about 18-24 months, but I consider a level range part of what separates a campaign.  My current D&D campaign will wind up when the characters hit about level 10, after 2-3 years.  We probably will use the same setting, and the same characters, but it will be a new campaign as far as we are concerned.  Might be some expanded options on characters, tweaks to house rules, that sort of thing.  I'm loathe to change the parameters of what's in or out mid-campaign unless there is a real problem to solve.

darthfozzywig

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Long term campaigns versus short campaigns.
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2017, 07:06:17 pm »
My group meets twice/month on average, with the occasional break, so I tend to think in terms of "sessions" versus "months/years".

In the last eight years or so (since I started running regular RPG nights again), our longest campaigns (WFRP 1e, Call of Cthulhu, and D&D 4e) each went over 20 sessions.

The One Ring, Rogue Trader and B/X D&D all went about 15-20 sessions (the B/X taking a temporary break when the whole group got hypnotized).

My current Star Trek TOS campaign is around 12 sessions in, and I can feel myself wanting to switch games.

Putting that all done in text, I'm seeing a pattern around the number of sessions before I want to run something else. Data-driven DM'ing.
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Shawn Driscoll

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Long term campaigns versus short campaigns.
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2017, 08:21:38 pm »
My campaigns are short. Like a two-and-half-hour movie.

Bren

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Long term campaigns versus short campaigns.
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2017, 10:27:05 pm »
My last campaign ran 255 sessions and just shy of 5 years in real time.
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Harlock

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Long term campaigns versus short campaigns.
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2017, 10:38:56 pm »
Quote from: Bren;975352
My last campaign ran 255 sessions and just shy of 5 years in real time.

That's pretty darn impressive! What game and campaign? And, if you don't mind answering, how long is your average session?
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Jacob Marley

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Long term campaigns versus short campaigns.
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2017, 11:50:40 pm »
Hmm, in looking back through my notes, it looks like the campaign I am currently playing in began on or about October 9, 2011. So, almost six years! However, the game itself has been active since the early 1980s. By that I mean my DM runs a persistent world in which each campaign influences the next campaign. For example, our PCs are currently trying to close a portal to the Abyss that was inadvertently opened by a different group of PCs back in the 1980s!

Gronan of Simmerya

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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2017, 12:12:25 am »
Quote from: Harlock;975263
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