Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Campaign Dissonance

So I started off the year with a plan to get a little more out of my game time by focusing on just a few games for the year. This has worked alright to some degree but not 100% the way I had hoped.

  • The ongoing Ruins of Adventure 4E game is cruising along just fine and getting back on schedule this week. After a few skips in the schedule to allow me to play in some one-shots for a change everyone is ready to finish off the tomb of the ogre king and explore the rest of the city.
  • The old-school Basic D&D game is played intermittently but going well and we are all happy with it.
  • I have restarted the Apprentices 4E campaign set in Impiltur and played one session so far, which they seemed pretty happy with at the time.
  • We switched the Star Wars game over to Saga and launched it with a bang.
  • Mutants and Masterminds started off with Atomic City Issue Zero as a playtest of the system and has gone precisely nowhere.
I'm happy with Phlan and with Star Wars but the rest is sort of in limbo for now. I had high hopes for Atomic City and I have one Apprentice that really wants to play it and the others are interested but not bugging me every time I see them. I also made some noise about running an AD&D 1E game and one of them is fired up about that. One of them would probably go for a Star Trek campaign too (down Bark!) but only that one, making it not really an option. That's nothing new - about half the time they don't want to eat the same food or watch the same shows either - but it's the first time it's spilled over into the gaming arena. All of them though have been talking about the Ancient Greece game I brought up a while back in an attempt to appeal to their Rick-Riordan fueled mania for gods and heroes. The problem is there's really not a slot for it on the schedule

Which is the real problem - you would think that having multiple kids in the house would make for an easy time getting a game together. I did. Part of it is that with 4 kids spread across elementary, junior high, and now high school, there are practices and homework and social occasions and programs at all kinds of times. Plus, being a blended family there are the usual schedule complications of who goes where when. We've recently ended up with several weekends where one set of kids is present but not the other, making it impossible to keep a party together. This kind of stuff happens but we've had a longer than usual stretch lately and it's really killed the momentum.

Plus I've spent way too much time at Ars Ludi re-reading the West Marches posts and trying to figure out how I could work a campaign like that in while also reading a bunch of posts at The Alexandrian on how he runs his Mega Dungeon and thinking I need to work that in as well. When the actual playing and running slows down the distractions start to creep in.

I was thinking that a commitment to focus on just a few games would let us get more out of them but what it really has done is make it sting even more when we can't stick to any kind of regular schedule. I have material, I have players, I just can't coordinate schedules enough to make things work.

So I'm going to talk to the apprentices tonight and see what they really want to play in March and beyond and try to get back on track.  It may turn out that one 4E campaign + Star Wars + occasional red box adventures is all we can really fit in, and that one 4E game may be Heroic Age Greece and not Impiltur. The Supers game may get set aside for a time until we can really spend some time with it, like this summer. 

I realize it's a good problem to have (as opposed to the typical teenaged sneer at anything mom or dad think is cool) so I'm not unhappy with it, just a little frustrated. 

I'll post up some of the Classical Greece concept tomorrow for ideas and comments.

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