RPG A Day 2022 – How long do your games last?

My main gaming group, the Blackrazor Guild, are serial campaigners. We almost can’t help ourselves; if a campaign gets past the first few sessions, it’s very likely to run for for a year or two.

Our biggest, most memorable campaigns were all multi-year affairs:

  • Our namesake Blackrazor Guild campaign
  • The Redshirts (aka Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil)
  • Heart of Darkness (our D&D 5e “playtest” campaign that lasted for years)
  • Dark City (our urban Greyhawk campaign)
  • Shadows of the Force (Knights of the Old Republic campaign for Star Wars)
  • Second Darkness (our Pathfinder campaign, which we played when D&D 4e came out)
  • Obsidian Frontier (our Blackrazor prequel campaign)
  • Khelez-Mar (our dwarven campaign).

Not every campaign goes on for years. After Endor was a Star Wars: Saga Edition campaign that only lasted a few sessions. Same with our Mutants & Masterminds. Our attempt at running a Battletech campaign fizzled after a few sessions, as did Ravenloft. Generally speaking though, when we find something we like … we run with it.

The Lair of Secrets crew, by design, is set up for shorter-duration games. Sometimes that’s on purpose – we went into Scum & Villainy knowing we wanted to do a six episode arc – and sometimes our interests change (as was the case with Brindlewood Bay and the FATE-powered Army Corps of Engineers: Special Operations game). We’re also more inclined to do short-run or one shot games (e.g. Tales from the LoopHoney HeistSpelljammer Academy).

Gamer Working Group, the long-running lunchtime group that kicked off at my day job, but now includes folks who work at the college and those who’ve moved on to other employers, is more like the Blackrazors. Part of that is that, playing once a week for an hour, the campaigns themselves take longer to play out. But another part is that we just like running serialized, long-format games. Our current campaigns, Scales of Truth (science/fantasy powered by D&D) and Fast and the Furious (powered by GURPS Lite) both started over two years ago.

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