So the current plan for my RPG Sundays is this: I alternate between D&D and Warhammer. The D&D campaign has six new players in it, while Warhammer is with my old group. The D&D campaign is expected to go all year, while the Warhammer game will go at least several months. I have settled into a pair of long-term campaigns.
I'm happy about that...for the most part. It's what I've wanted for awhile. I've never even seen what high-level D&D play looks like. I've never done a long-term campaign for any RPG, really, not beyond three or four sessions.
I'm also a little panicky at the thought of a long-term game, though. I'm constantly digging through RPGs, new and old. I'm constantly looking forward to exploring a new game. I like having games open to the public, to bring new people into the hobby. I've helped people meet other people. Whole groups of friends have formed from games that I ran. I'm proud of that. I'm happy It's an honor I can take with me beyond just the game itself.
So I'm conflicted. I do want to do some long-term play, but I also was in a really comfortable niche with all my public one-shot adventures. The original idea was to have only D&D be my long-term game. That way I could have my cake and eat it, too. But I know the other group is craving some long-term play, as well. And they've stuck with me through so much, I think they deserve a shot at what they want.
Another concern I have for these long-term games is whether a bi-weekly session will even cut it. I think of an RPG campaign like a TV show. Would I be able to follow a TV show that only aired every other week? Would I even want to bother? Obviously RPGs and TV shows aren't quite the same thing, but both things do tell stories, and the question becomes how much time can I put between episodes of a particular story before that time becomes a liability to the story? Now, to me, since I'm running two games on alternating weekends, I of course am unaffected. But what about my players?
When people ask me how to run a good RPG, I tell them to master the Three Knows: Know Your Game, Know Your Players, and Know Yourself. I guess the fundamental problem I'm having right now is I have a direct conflict between what I know about myself (I tend to run one-shot, short term games with new players), and what I know about my players (they want a long-term campaign where they can develop their characters and the story). It would be easy to tell my players "Hey, that's just not what I do," but I don't want to lose them! But if I give them what they want, how long will I be able to keep it up before I inevitably lose interest, or want to play something else?
Going into 2014, these are the big questions I want to answer. 2013 was all about getting back into the hobby, meeting new people, and playing a bunch of great games. Now I want to refine that experience, get right to the core of what it is about this hobby that drives me, and I want to really get to know the people who choose to go on this ride with me. So I guess the answer is right there, isn't it? Time to buckle down and play through a campaign!
Still, I'll just keep all these other games over here, and maybe flip through the pages every once and awhile...
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