#RPGaDay2017 Day 14: No end in sight

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Monday is here! At least you have new #RPGaDay2017 content to enjoy. Today’s topic is about a topic near and dear to my heart. Long campaigns!

August 14: Which RPG do you prefer for open-ended campaign play?

I love long campaigns. They are my bread and butter. My typical campaign lasts an average of two years. Not only that, my homebrewed campaign (about which I’ve written in the blog before) was created in 1987, 30 years ago! The current version, after I rebooted the timeline and continuity, in 1993, has been going for 24 years. So that’s the point of reference I’m coming from when I talk about a long running open ended campaign. What RPG have I used for all those games?

Dungeons & Dragons of course! Through the life of the campaign world we’ve played D&D BECMI, AD&D 1st and 2nd editions, D&D 3rd edition and 3.5, Pathfinder and currently D&D 5th edition. There was also a Microlite20 play by post game, and a brief campaign with the Rifts rules in post-apocalyptic. Notice a constant?

Yes, If I had to pick my favorite game for open ended campaign is D&D, any version of D&D. There may be some who dismiss the old classic in favor of newer games. Others will dismiss the modern version as being nothing like the game of their youth. Some will claim the games longevity has more to do with market presence and brand awareness than real merit. Love it, hate it, or simply dismiss it, I think D&D is great for sustained open ended play.

D&D plays on so many common fantasy tropes, some of the games conceits have become tropes themselves. The leveling system keeps offering players new powers and opportunities to grow in a structured way. Because so many of the mechanics of the game were absorbed into computer and console role-playing games people are often familiar with concepts and the mechanics like hit points, fighters, wizards. The game has not always been easy to pick up, but there have always been introductory versions of the games to guide people along the way.

Perhaps its familiarity, or simple laziness, but D&D, in all its incarnations mentioned before, have been part of my campaign for so long… I really can’t pick another game.

Just as we’ve been doing all month long, the team at Desde la Fosa  has been posting video replies in Spanish to the questions to #RPGaDay2017 on our YouTube channel. Since every team member of Desde la Fosa is participating you’ll often get different perspectives from what I write here. We are grateful for your views and your shares!

What game is the best fit for open-ended campaign play? Let us know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “#RPGaDay2017 Day 14: No end in sight”

  1. I’ve had similar experiences. My homebrew “Vanished Lands” fantasy campaign setting has endured for 35 years through different editions of “Dungeons & Dragons,” and my average adventuring party lasts about two years.

    More recently, my role-player groups seem to prefer shorter campaigns and trying multiple rules systems, and I and other Game Masters have linked settings for such things.

    Always leave them wanting more, and happy gaming!

    1. 35 years! That’s awesome… I am aware that the composition of my regular group has helped long sustained campaigns, adults, most of us have no kids, we have the time to meet regularly. Not that the contrary makes gaming impossible, but it changes the time people have for long campaigns. Thanks for the comments, and happy gaming to you too!

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