Author Topic: Advice Column  (Read 18078 times)

Geordie_Lad

  • Nationals Costumes
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1013
    • View Profile
Advice Column
« on: April 18, 2008, 10:01:01 AM »
Just got a question for everyone. I know that we're having a few new GMs this year (myself included), so I think this is a question we all need to know. How long, in weeks, does a HUGS compaign normally last? I've had a look on next years calender, and this is what I've roughly come up with:

Freshers Fayre: 17th September (tbc)

One-Offs: 24th September, 1st October, 8th October

Campaigns Start: 15th October

Gaming until Christmas Break: 15th October - 17th December (10 weeks)

Gaming from New Year until Easter (12th April): 14th January - 8th April (13 Weeks)

Gaming from Easter until Summer: May 6th - June 24th (8 Weeks)

Total: 31 Weeks

Is this about right? What have previous campaigns been like? I know we probably had about four cancelled sessions in YT's game last year, and we've had two in Claire's CofC game since February...
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 09:05:57 AM by Geordie_Lad »

Captain Shortworth

  • Captain of Awesome!
  • Old Skool Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 3835
    • View Profile
    • A blog of shortymonster proportions.
Re: Campaign Lengths
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2008, 10:35:18 AM »
A lot depends on the group makeup. When in Fifty's Orbis game we had quite a few sessions since there were few students, and students who stayed in Huddersfield over the holidays. I know that is less likely at the moment, with all the students sho signed up this year. Your calculations look good, just be prepared to change them depending on who is in your game.
Just so you know, I own a comic book store

Oh, and write a fiction blog for fun

Geordie_Lad

  • Nationals Costumes
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1013
    • View Profile
Re: Campaign Lengths
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2008, 11:02:43 AM »
Yeah, I'm working my campaign to be somewhere around 25 weeks, that compensates for dead GM days and dead gamer days, I reckon. I can lob in side quests if I'm coming up short, or (like Claire did with me at Easter) give one of my gamers a change to one-off once in a while...

Ant

  • Administrator
  • Old Skool Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 5143
    • View Profile
Re: Campaign Lengths
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2008, 12:27:08 PM »
It also allows for slippage when the players contact the plot.

YT3

  • Guest
Re: Campaign Lengths
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2008, 02:05:17 PM »
Yeah, looks like we had a good run for our money, though I had only 1 fresher out of 5 players.

We managed 33 sessions (with 2 naval wargame sessions).

Can I add another question/suggestion... player composition.?

This time, I would like to see at least 1 fresher, at least 1 veteran of 5 or more years and the rest filled in by whomever.

Ideally, I would like a maximum of 6 players for my game, but could take 7 at a push. Gender has little or no implications, being a pseudo-Victorian era game with opportunities for Adventurers and Adventuresses alike.

Captain Shortworth

  • Captain of Awesome!
  • Old Skool Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 3835
    • View Profile
    • A blog of shortymonster proportions.
Re: Campaign Lengths
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2008, 02:07:47 PM »
Lets just hope we don't get quite so many freshers this year. The only way to keeop the group sizes down is by having more groups, and that means spreading the society even thinner.
Just so you know, I own a comic book store

Oh, and write a fiction blog for fun

Geordie_Lad

  • Nationals Costumes
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1013
    • View Profile
Re: Campaign Lengths
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2008, 02:22:02 PM »
Mike, Ritchie, Bobby and I were working this out; we reckon we'll need about 6 or 7 games next year (6 GMs + 6 players each = 42 members, 7 players = 49 members, etc.), with two games in reserve for overflow or dropouts.

Ritchie> What's our actual size?

As for next year's GMs, so far I reckon we have:

Fifty (From the sounds of it either running Orbis or 4th Ed D&D)
Doc (Bushido or Elric!)
YT (Scurvy Death Part II with Call of Cthulu system)
Myself (Legend of Alexander with Savage Worlds System)

and possibly:

Mike (I've heard rumours...)

Chris Lamming (Star Wars)
Bobby (Star Wars) :o
I might be selling tickets for this one...

As far as mixtures of players goes, I think we should still be trying to give the freshers (if we have any!) first dibs on game spots, but otherwise I do think we should be trying for a varied mix of players...this, along with next year's GMs will probably be coming up at the AGM anyway, as now's the time to "volunteer" someone to run next year  ;)

50

  • Nationals Costumes
  • Game Designer
  • *
  • Posts: 2141
    • View Profile
Re: Campaign Lengths
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2008, 02:53:10 PM »
The biggest piece of advice I could give is to try to structure your campaign with a four week section that would occur near the end of the campaign that you can completely remove without causing any noticeable joins in the plot.

You should probably also have a couple of one week fillers ready that you can throw in at any time, but in my experience rather than finding you have finished your plot too early your carefully planned campaign will be inevitably and slowly falling behind schedule immediately after you let the players at it, making for frantic action both in game and with the plot in the closing few weeks.

...Although now i think about it that could be just my crap planning!

Captain Shortworth

  • Captain of Awesome!
  • Old Skool Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 3835
    • View Profile
    • A blog of shortymonster proportions.
Re: Campaign Lengths
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2008, 03:01:31 PM »
Not so much crappy planning, it's just that your GMing style tends to run over a little. One off sessions turning into month long adventures and the like.
Just so you know, I own a comic book store

Oh, and write a fiction blog for fun

Geordie_Lad

  • Nationals Costumes
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1013
    • View Profile
Re: Campaign Lengths
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2008, 03:11:03 PM »
ATM I've written up my whole campaign to be 25 "sessions", each of which basically have a final objective (what the players need to do for the plot to progress), a secondary objective, and any plot twists I'm putting in that section; I'm expecting my party to go through one session every week.

Thanks for the advice 50, but I've already condensed down my plot (it was 39 sessions!), and if I cut it down any more, I'm worried that it'll compromise the storyline. I am planning on writing up a four-session mini-adventure if I come up really short.

Shorty> Tell me about it; the only game I've played in with fifty as GM was "Pigs In Space", and it was the year he got told off for over-running, and he left us hanging in the middle of the story!!!

Captain Shortworth

  • Captain of Awesome!
  • Old Skool Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 3835
    • View Profile
    • A blog of shortymonster proportions.
Re: Campaign Lengths
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2008, 03:37:27 PM »
A witchy-witchy one off that continued after I had left it at the end of the second session. 50, you really know how to get some detail going on in your games.
Just so you know, I own a comic book store

Oh, and write a fiction blog for fun

50

  • Nationals Costumes
  • Game Designer
  • *
  • Posts: 2141
    • View Profile
Re: Campaign Lengths
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2008, 04:36:08 PM »
What can i say, your all just too good for me to want to stop!

YT3

  • Guest
Re: Campaign Lengths
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2008, 06:38:24 PM »
I had two extra sub-plots left over from Scurvy Death part 1, so one of those will be the foundations for my campaign... I shall elaborate no more.!!

Captain Shortworth

  • Captain of Awesome!
  • Old Skool Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 3835
    • View Profile
    • A blog of shortymonster proportions.
Re: Campaign Lengths
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2008, 06:39:26 PM »
It did take us a long time to get where we were supposed to be.
Just so you know, I own a comic book store

Oh, and write a fiction blog for fun

348

  • Nationals Costumes
  • Game Designer
  • *
  • Posts: 2389
    • View Profile
Re: Campaign Lengths
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2008, 09:45:41 PM »
My advice for running a campaign ( easily given, though I sadly don't always manage to follow it myself ) is to try and devise at least one action or incident each session for each  player that he/she is best equipped/motivated for handling.
 Good if everyplayer has some motivation, backstory, personal plot thread. That said don't give out mega-important/crucial ones to players you are unfamiliar with. They may not be comfortable taking centre stage or if they happen to drop out of gaming in anycase you are left frustrated as the plot threads have to be reworked. Easily done, but sometimes its a compromise ( like the last series of Babylon Five I suppose ).
 Like others suggest , a couple of mini-adventures/ incidents are handy if you get a short fall of players during a session.
 
" Stakk! "