Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why is it so hard to end a campaign?

Still running V:tM and other plans are naturally delayed because of that. It's just so hard for me to end an open ended campaign what is a bit of sandboxed also. I have succesfully ran like one campaign with clear ending and it was Call of Cthulhu set in modern age. There was clear goal and a story. Of course actual playing did change it and affect it but still I knew exactly when to end it.

Different it is with Vampire: the Masquerade. I enjoy playing it so much I cannot end it when it could story wise end. I just continue, open new hooks and so on. I planned, that it would be around 20-30 sessions total to end this story. But currently we are at around 70th session. Way too much.
Really, the problem is I don't want to quit. But actually, why I should quit if I like the game and the campaign? Because I do want to play also other interesting games and also when I over continue the campaign just because I like playing the game they loose the focus and start to feel a bit bland. And the problem is that last time we played Vampire: the Masquerade a lot I got serious roleplaying game burnout. I basically used all my ideas in that time. I ended the campaign successfully, but it was way too long. After that I felt empty and couldn't start a new game or a new campaign for V:tM.

Break from gaming helped and switching to other game. Other game, what is also horrible for ending it. Fading Suns. Fading Suns games also always stretch to horrible long because I like playing it so much. Last one, over 160 sessions. Before it, well over 100 sessions. And after that and before it Vampire: the Masquerade.

When I get this Vampire: the Masquerade campaign to end I totally will play other games. I write down an adventure frames I want to play and maybe write down some scenarios that adventure will contain. I will leave of course space enough so actual situations in game can affect it but still I will narrow sandbox to more focused scale. I try to keep those other games in 10 to 20 sessions long so I don't get stuck and bored to them...

...And I can try out other games. Or again get stuck to Vampire: the Masquerade and Fading Suns.

One problem is, that I do have already games I have never played and I want to play. And now I am having these all new four titles which three are ones I do want to try out. The fourth is more for collecting purpose. I have tried to keep a pace of Vampire -> something else -> Vampire -> something else for a couple of reasons:

  1. I don't get overdose from Vampire: the Masquerade
  2. I can try also other games I own and am interested in
  3. I get variety from just running personal-gothic-punk-horror
  4. Other games are also fun, it doesn't need to be personal-gothic-punk-horror all the way
And can I say that I am a roleplaying enthusiast if I play like only a couple of games? Also I think that it is also relaxing and fun to play other games and genres it also developes gamemastering skills. I remember when I ran Vampire for a couple of years almost non stop and after it tried another game, I did bring that personal-gothic-punk-horror feel into that other game even though the genre and possibilities were totally different.
I don't want to get stuck into a box or manouvers as a gamemaster. Good example was Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition. It totally is something I don't play. Or it was. I did buy three core books and Forgotten Realms Campaign setting just to add into my collection but never planned to play it. Then I decided to try out something totally strange from Vampire and I did enjoy it. It was lighter to run and adventure and location or situation based. Encounters you could say with more talking with NPC's though.

So, next will still be Mutants & Masterminds. Maybe after it I won't go directly back to Vampire: the Masquerade, but will also GM other games I have. Maybe I will wait for some special day to start Vampire, so it feels special. Christmas Holidays are too long away though, otherwise would be great Christmas to get back to Vampire!

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