Tuesday, February 9, 2010

End of a Campaign

I have been running games for a fairly set group of players since 2000. The core was 5 players (2 female, 3 male) and then 2 to 5 rotating players who came and went through different campaigns. It was a good run but like ll things it eventually had to come to an end.

The first campaign was my first 3rd edition game - set in Greyhawk pre-wars. We began with The Sunless Citadel, ran through a Dungeon update of the old AD&D Monastery adventure, and ended up going to Hommlett and working through Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. It was great and we ran roughly 18 months with those until the party was wiped out on one of the bridges from the outer dungeon to the inner dungeon.

We decided to take a break from the mega-module with a side trip to Kalamar and a new set of low-level characters. That lasted for a few months until the group decided they wanted another crack at the temple.

We made up a new set of characters, some related to members of the first party, and headed out to Hommlett. Another long run with more progress made but it too eventually ended in a TPK.

After this we had played roughly 3 years of nothing but 3rd edition D&D and some of us wanted a break so we took a 6-month detour into Shadowrun which was a lot of fun.

At this point the group was ready to return to D&D but not the temple so we began a new campaign in the Scarred Lands. This began with the traditional 1st lvl party in a free started adventure and wound its way around to the City of Mithril and eventually into the Lost Tomb of Abysthor where we spent a great deal of time. While finally wrapping that up the group moseyed through Goodman's Temple of the Dragon Cult and Bloody Jack's Gold before climaxing with The Blackguard's Revenge and Iron Crypt of the Heretics which ended 2007 in an avoidable, disastrous TPK at about 12th lvl. This left a bad taste in some mouths and was probably the beginning of the end.

We took a 3 month side trip in early 2008 into the insanity that is Rifts until I came to my senses and suggested a new 3rd edition D&D game with most of the 3.5 books. This was heartily approved and we started in April of 2008.

The final campaign was set back in Kalamar and was going to use the classic Freeport Trilogy and the Savage Tide Adventure Path from Dungeon Magazine. This was mainly a reaction to the previous game where much of the action took place in one dungeon and one city - this time we would do some travelling. Things started well enough and the ending of the 3rd Freeport adventure provided a nice initial climax for the campaign as it was a near-TPK with party members dropping one by one as they desperately struggled to slay the big bad and only one member was still breathing at the end.

The Savage Tide part of the campaign really took off after that with long sea voyaging and island hopping and eventual arrival on the isle of dread. After one session on the island I called the game for the holidays at the end of 2009. Some of the group was not thrilled about this and some members ended up starting their own game by the time I started talking about starting things up again in January 2010. It wasn't handled well and spelled the permanent end of what had been a good group. It was a nice long run and I am glad to have been a part of it.

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