Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Finishing Line

I am without doubt laying a curse on it by writing this, but my gaming group is -- after delays and personnel changes -- about three sessions away from finishing the Carrion Crown campaign "adventure path" we started almost two years ago. This may not seem worthy of note, until one realises that my current group seems to have a distinct inability to finish games; in the time I've been part of the group we have started and abandoned at least four large-scale campaigns, with two others that are supposed to be there for us to pick up when we're not playing anything else, but if we're honest those are dead too.

This scrapheap of abandoned adventures isn't a bad thing in itself -- sometimes a game just doesn't work for whatever reason and it could be worse to plough on when no one's enjoying it -- but it has become something of a joke in our group so it will be nice if we can finish Carrion Crown, assuming that I haven't now ruined our chances.

I don't know if campaign abandonment is a common issue; mxyzplk at Geek Related seems to run through three or four campaigns a year but he may be an exception. My original gaming group didn't really go for long-term play but we did sort of finish a sandbox style Shadowrun campaign -- I say "sort of" because we played until our GM +Timothy Coxon went to university but there was no neat, plotted end -- and we played Dungeoneer until we broke the system, but I'm not sure that counts. I did manage to finish Horror On the Orient Express with the group but by the time we got to the end the players I had were not the same players who started it, so I'm not sure that counts either.

I seem to have the most personal success with Call of Cthulhu -- perhaps ironic given its dual reputation as being deadly for player-characters and being rubbish for campaign play -- as one of the few campaigns my current group has completed is Tatters of the King; it wasn't a conventional finish as the players missed half of the campaign, but they did defeat the cultists and save the world so I'm counting it.

So when Carrion Crown ends in a few weeks -- again, assuming I haven't scuppered it -- and our GM Ben takes a break from running games to do stuff like move house and study for a master's degree I should perhaps run something for Call of Cthulhu, because there's a likelihood we might finish it; indeed, I will be getting and running Eternal Lies at some point. First though, I'm going to have a go at running the new version of The Enemy Within for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay; I reckon WFRP is close enough to Call of Cthulhu that we've got a fair chance of getting to the end.


  1. In acceptance of this changeability, I've started running campaigns with an explicit life-span -- around a year. I know I'll always be ready for something new after that period.

    Another nice thing of this approach is that one can run a proper "world breaking" campaign arc, without having to worry too much about what happens after the apocalypse. So far I've been enjoying this.

    1. That would probably be the wiser approach!

  2. As you know, ,y 12+ year World of Samoth campaign continues to plod along. We played earlier today, actually. But I'm looking forward to it being over.

    I've only played in two campaigns that actually came to official conclusions in my 30 year RPG career, and both of those were within the past few years.

  3. I tend to run sandbox games which, by their nature, rarely have an 'official conclusion'. There's always another story to tell.

  4. There's a reason I like to run one-shots... :)