Tuesday, 15 March 2016
For The Gaming Hive-Mind: Love What You Do Or Do What You Love?
A 'simple' question for the gaming hive-mind this week: if you're looking to give your campaign legs, is it better to "love what you are running" or "run what you love"?
Let me clarify: Our gaming group - The Tuesday Knights - has had a successful fantasy RPG campaign going for over two years now (The Chronicles of Cidri) and yet I'd be the first to confess I'm not generally a great fan of the fantasy genre (luckily I had numerous micro-adventures from Tim Shorts, of Gothridge Manor, to kick the campaign off and now it pretty much runs itself thanks to the players' choices and reactions to events).
However, several years back, because I love superheroes (have read comics since I was 10, collect all the movies on DVD, am enraptured by the numerous TV shows currently airing etc), I attempted to run a supers campaign, using Villains & Vigilantes (a system I grew up playing under a brilliant gamesmaster who knew the rules inside and out, my old pal Steve, Pete's older brother; a system that essentially led to the creation of HeroPress as a 'brand').
And it crashed and burned.
Was I too attached to the genre that I couldn't "cope" if the players had different takes on what it meant to be a superhero? Was I too enamoured of the genre that I wanted the game to unfold exactly like a Marvel or DC comic book?
Has our fantasy game succeeded where the supers failed because I'm "less invested" in genre emulation?
What are your experiences with successful long-running campaigns against short-lived ones that you had high hopes for?
Is it better not to attempt to run a game in a setting or genre, and sometimes even system, that you are totally besotted with if some, or all, of your players don't have the same breadth of knowledge, passion, or investment?