long running campaigns, short arcs, or one shots ? - Page 2 - RPG Crossing
RPG Crossing Home Forums Create An Account! Site Rules & Help

RPG Crossing
Go Back   RPG Crossing > Feedback & User Resources > Gaming Advice
twitter facebook


Thread Tools
Old Apr 26th, 2021, 04:11 PM
Menzo's Avatar
Menzo Menzo is offline
Community Supporter
User Statistics
Last Visit: May 14th, 2021
RPXP: 2753
Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo Menzo
Posts: 520
The more I think about this issue, the more I think play by post works best with a standalone adventure, rather than a long campaign.

There are examples of long campaigns that have kept going here on RPG Crossing, but it seems to me the majority fall apart. I think this is because of the comparative slowness of play by post. A player can look at an estimated time to completion of 1 year and say "I can do that". But if the estimated time to completion is instead 2 decades... that can be a different matter. Particularly given that it may take a considerable period of time to even hit the 'beats' of that campaign. By 'beats', I mean those individual high points that make a campaign so memorable.

In other words, players may drop out of campaigns because they perceive that they may never get to kill the BBEG unless they want to invest 2 decades of their time, and it may even be four to six months before they even hit the first 'beat'. That's a long time to remain motivated without the sauce of killing a baddie, or meeting that famous NPC (for example, Van Richten in CoS), or picking up a critical magic item.

Players have ambitions -- desires -- to play in a really long campaign. But I wonder if, in play by post, it's a realistic ambition.
I am currently recruiting players for Night City Blues, an introductory adventure for Cyberpunk Red.
I am currently playing in Uncaged: Found Families and The Topaz Championship.
I have taken the Oath of Sangus.

Last edited by Menzo; Apr 26th, 2021 at 04:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 26th, 2021, 11:47 PM
zevonian's Avatar
zevonian zevonian is offline
137 NPSG Graduates
User Statistics
Last Visit: May 14th, 2021
RPXP: 38855
zevonian zevonian zevonian zevonian zevonian zevonian zevonian zevonian zevonian zevonian zevonian
Posts: 30,975
I've been on site over a decade and have yet to be in a game where the PCs gained 10 levels. Really, best I can think is a pair of games where we started at 3rd, maybe 4th level, and gameplay ended with all characters were at 9th. Each game lasted over three years.

I like the ambition of a GM who wants to go 1-20, bit unless you're handing out a Deck of Many Things after every encounter, bad cards removed beforehand, please consider that you'll need years of posting to attempt it.

Now, in tabletop, I've been in multiple campaigns where we ended up between 18th and 22nd level. What's the trick? Play every week for a year, and don't let one character get all the "best" magic items.
Reply With Quote
Old May 1st, 2021, 08:38 PM
Sorcerious Sorcerious is offline
Very Young Dragon
User Statistics
Last Visit: May 14th, 2021
RPXP: 100
Sorcerious Sorcerious
Posts: 10
They all have their merits but all my fondest memories are all from long running campaigns. They tend to go better when divided up into smaller arcs.

One offs can be fun but I have trouble putting the thought into a character that I will not be able to get attached to. It can be fun for silly ideas if you know going in that it is a one shot. I once had a bard that played the jug and quickly got my pop bottle taken away by the other players.

Short campaigns I find are in an odd middle place where you cant just make a throwaway character because you might get stuck with something you don't want but you also can't use your best ideas because you don't want the game to wrap up just as you are really getting into it.

I should add though that I haven't actually done a play by post game yet the above is in person experience.
Reply With Quote
Old May 1st, 2021, 09:00 PM
DrowNinjaPrincess DrowNinjaPrincess is online now
Great Wyrm
User Statistics
Last Visit: May 14th, 2021
RPXP: 993
DrowNinjaPrincess DrowNinjaPrincess DrowNinjaPrincess DrowNinjaPrincess DrowNinjaPrincess DrowNinjaPrincess DrowNinjaPrincess DrowNinjaPrincess
Posts: 2,197
Long-running campaigns are good, but it's always better to keep them in short arcs. Consider that with pbp, a "short arc" could take a long amount of time. Also, downtime for players to actually do more normal things is also good. I also feel like if the same story arc is going on and on, that probably means complications continually make it harder for the PCs to achieve their goal, or the mystery and intrigue is such that with every question answered, five more even-more-perplexing question arise. That in itself can feel frustrating, if done repeatedly.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:38 AM.
Skin by Birched, making use of original art by paiute.( 2009-2012)

RPG Crossing, Copyright ©2003 - 2021, RPG Crossing Inc; powered by vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. Template-Modifications by TMB