...and why it should drive my players crazy.
I have a tendency to create entirely new campaigns when we have too long a hiatus between gaming sessions and sometimes just because I got a good idea and wanted to run with it. My players have the patience of Job; week to week they don't know what setting they'll be playing in or if there'll be character generation involved.
They just roll with it. Work and school kept us away from the Norse game for too long? I needed to play some adventures I got for a contest so I could accurately judge them? I am running my Roman themed contest and decided it would be cool to start a new adventure to set the mood for all the new adventures I am sure will start pouring in any day now? It's December and we always play OA in December? I need to play-test my WW II B/X game? They are cool with it all.
I actually said to them last month that part of the reason I keep all the character sheets here is so I can restart old campaigns where we left off if that's what strikes my fancy that week and they were cool with never knowing what campaign or even RPG they are going to be playing from week to week. I have long running campaigns, but they run like British television, you might have three to five episodes then have to wait a year before the next series.
My daughter Ashli has a Halfling Thief character that is probably her favorite character of all time, Ruby Cloverleaf. She's had that character since she was maybe fifteen years old, she's twenty now, Ruby gets played maybe half a dozen times per year. The thing is, I guess, as a DM I'd rather DM something I am super enthusiastic about than just go through the motions if I am losing interest in a game for a little while. Sometimes I need to have a little time to recharge, to think about what's going on in a specific campaign and so taking a break will be my idea; more often than not though, a change of campaign is usually brought on by a lack of gaming for at least a couple of weeks, during which time I will have had a cool idea.
That's not how it used to be. I used to run a campaign practically forever. Being a grown-up and having life get in the way of gaming has kind of put a damper on that. I haven't gamed with the Darryls for months now. I haven't gamed with Lance in the better part of a year, although he says he wants to do some board gaming this week. Lee's new job in the ER has kept her away from our game table for most of the last six months, so it's a nice surprise when she can make it.
I have got maybe the best group of players on Earth, they put up with not knowing what we'll be doing from week to week, just to suit my desire to DM whatever I feel like DMing because I can be fickle. What they don't know is that whatever the genre, where ever it takes place, whatever RPG system is used it's all part of the grand design anyway; it's all one unified campaign setting; everything that happens in one “setting” (or sub-setting) has subtle effects on the others.
I just wish I had the ability to dump my brain onto paper and have it all make sense. When people ask me questions, usually the members of my design team, I always know the answer, pretty much regardless of how esoteric the question might be. The setting exists fully formed in my head, the rest of the team are there to help me bring it out, and to do illustrations. I am no good at art. Poetry might be nice too, setting-wise. Flavor stuff, I know the flavors, I just need some help with getting them to the masses.