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  #1  
Old Dec 31st, 2020, 07:10 AM
diannemariz18 diannemariz18 is offline
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long running campaigns, short arcs, or one shots ?

Do you prefer long running campaigns, short arcs, or one shots when you run or play a game? Is your answer different for when you are a PC as opposed to when you are a GM, and if so, why?

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d
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  #2  
Old Jan 3rd, 2021, 04:01 AM
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I prefer short arcs, definitely as a player. I want to play for a few weeks, whether that is every day, for a few hours, or once a week, for a few hours, I do have a tendency to get restless playing in the same campaign.

When I played first edition, I was happy to get to fifth level, and then move on to something else. From 1988 to 1992, I played a number of different games, so we'd play a game for a week or two, and then switch to a totally different system. Some of those games didn't have any material available, at least not that we knew of. The game master would develop their own plan. D&D was the only one that reliably had prewritten modules, so I'd use those, even if I worked on adapting them to Rolemaster, Palladium, or MERP. Other people ran Shadowrun, Traveller, Star Trek (battles), Cyberpunk, Cyberspace, RIFTS, Ninjas and Superspies, Marvel Superheroes...and more.

I'm happier today to run a campaign for a LONGER time, because apparently, the books are longer and more costly. Not five dollar modules anymore, they are overarching books of a couple hundred pages, hardcover, and about as much as any of the other books (about $30). That makes me want to "get my money's worth" from a book that I buy, as a DM.
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Old Jan 4th, 2021, 02:54 AM
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Just an aside, this topic would probably get more traffic in general discussion or gaming advice. Talk to an admin about moving it to a better forum.
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Old Jan 4th, 2021, 06:41 PM
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I prefer the combo... A longer running campaign, made of smaller arcs. Gives people places to pop in and out, or even abandon an idea (PC they fell out of love with) and still come back in with something new... just do it between stories.

It also allows a wide variety of story styles, I believe... so you can do a little horror, and then do a hack and slash, then a puzzle quest, then a dungeon crawl... and let everyone get a bit of fun and shine in the spotlight.
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Old Jan 6th, 2021, 05:26 PM
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I prefer long campaigns with an over-arc throughout with several smaller arcs (themes). Some have started to refer to these as seasons given the switch to doing it online/streaming.

I like one-shots to try a new system before investing in it.

Last edited by Yamaneko; Jan 7th, 2021 at 04:23 PM.
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Old Jan 7th, 2021, 04:06 PM
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I agree with Admin Dirk and Yamaneko, where you have a long running campaign made up of shorter arcs and even one shots that all tie together. I think that is why mercenary groups or adventuring guilds work so well. In those settings you have a base organization for the players to join and move around through different kinds of adventures. That allows Dm's to create a number of different scenarios to keep the game lively and players interested. A player can also drop a character and bring a new character to play and have some familiarity with what has already happened.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2021, 01:01 PM
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I like the idea of long running campaigns made up of smaller arcs as well. I think it can be especially useful in the PBP format since it gives players who are getting bored with the game an out without ghosting and newly recruited players a good jump in point.

Last edited by Goldmyr; Jan 22nd, 2021 at 01:01 PM.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2021, 09:42 PM
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I agree with long campaigns in shorter arcs. I think, though, that there is wide latitude in how closely those arcs are linked together. Pathfinder AP campaigns are made of six shorter arcs, but they are linked pretty tightly together.
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  #9  
Old Jan 28th, 2021, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Admin Dirk View Post
I prefer the combo... A longer running campaign, made of smaller arcs. Gives people places to pop in and out, or even abandon an idea (PC they fell out of love with) and still come back in with something new... just do it between stories.

It also allows a wide variety of story styles, I believe... so you can do a little horror, and then do a hack and slash, then a puzzle quest, then a dungeon crawl... and let everyone get a bit of fun and shine in the spotlight.

This episodic campaigns are great, mixed in with a few long term campaigns that aren't episodic just for those epic moments. I've found that the episodic ones tend to attract players who like to stick it out to the end too, so in effect they're the second category. I also try to ensure the episodes have some sort of common plot / theme that means they can be played as one-offs and provide fun, but with enough connection to previous and future material that it adds to the enjoyment for those sticking with it for the long run.
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  #10  
Old Jan 29th, 2021, 11:24 PM
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I definitely prefer the long running campaign but in my opinion they work best when they are not one long stretching or linear arc but a long term story that you can weave into, away from and back into again. I find that it keeps the main story fresh and the side bars create a ton of inspiration and chances for improvisation that add to the campaign. Having said that, its important to keep the main arc overshadowing things so it doesn't get lost or too long out of sight. As a player I like long running if they are engaging and the occasional one shot to try something new.
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  #11  
Old Jan 30th, 2021, 10:30 PM
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Longer arcs, for sure. I like building out a character with a meaningful story and motivations, a clear voice, and a fun ability progression. It takes some investment to weave those all together and not everything falls into place immediately. I want to delve in when I think I've developed a character well. And a big world with room to explore in is the best sort of campaign to really sink into.

That said, smaller arcs within are important as milestones to give a sense of progression, as well as to give closure to the issues that come up in the campaign. But, I like tying up loose ends.
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  #12  
Old Feb 11th, 2021, 08:31 PM
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To be fair, nearly all of my RPG experience has been one shots. All but one of those were at our local convention (I ran one End of the World scenario which had two players and myself).

Granted, those one shots have gotten me exposed to:
Call of Cthulhu
Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP)
Top Secret New World ORder
Gamma World
FATE (Dresden and another FATE based system)
Star Wars (the d6 system and the FFG system)
Monster of the Week
Starfinder
Hercules and Xena
Heroes Unlimited
Dread
Rick and Morty meet Doctor Who (I think Cortex based)
and more that I'm sure I'm not remembering.

I would play a longer campaign if time permitted (local games have a tendency to run week nights when I work).
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