For this post, I’m going to substitute “game” for “campaign”. My all-time favorite campaign is also my longest-running: The Blackrazor Guild Campaign for various editions of Dungeons & Dragons. Set in the World of Greyhawk, the initial campaign kicked off in 1996 and started in the Common Year 586 … which at the time was Greyhawk’s present day.
Over time, the years went by, both in the real world and in Greyhawk. The original campaign spawned multiple successor campaigns, including our epic “Redshirts” campaign (involving the then-junior PCs of the guild, who would go on to fight a resurgent Temple of Elemental Evil, and our urban “Dark City”, which took place almost entirely in our homegrown city of Obsidian Bay.
Just before the pandemic, we ran a prequel campaign. It took place about 70 years before the original game and helped flesh out Obsidian Bay’s early history.
If we’re talking era as a proxy for genre (past = fantasy, present = modern, future = sci-fi), then the vast majority of my games (including the Blackrazor Guild campaign) take place in the past. We’ve dabbled with science fiction here and there (though our Star Wars games technically take place a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away) but even our “modern” games tend to take place in the recent past (Call of Cthulhu in the 1920s and Weird Pulp in the 1930s). The sole exception I can think of is our handful of Delta Green one-shots, which took place in the then-contemporary 1990s.
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Paizo’s version of the World of Greyhawk map. Credit: Paizo.