long running campaigns, short arcs, or one shots ? - Page 2 - RPG Crossing
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  #16  
Old Apr 26th, 2021, 04:11 PM
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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.
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Last edited by Menzo; Apr 26th, 2021 at 04:15 PM.
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  #17  
Old Apr 26th, 2021, 11:47 PM
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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.
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  #18  
Old May 1st, 2021, 08:38 PM
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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.
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  #19  
Old May 1st, 2021, 09:00 PM
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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.
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