Continuing were I left off… The demise of the Rise of the Runelords campaign was followed by another attempt at running a complete adventure path, this time it was The Curse of the Crimson Throne. I had high hopes for this campaign, but it was not to be. The campaign was canceled after only two game sessions, mainly due to scheduling difficulties.
I had also started running another game concurrently with my “main game”. This one was called Stories from Darkmoon Vale. The success of my “secondary” game soon overshadowed CotCT, contributing to its demise. SfDV was built on a completely different kind of foundation. It had a larger pool of players, of which only three out of a total of eight were required to attend for a session (most sessions had five or six players attending). The structure was similar to that of a weekly television serial, where there are self-contained one or two -session episodes, and a larger main plot faded almost completely into the background.
Running SfDV was like a breath of fresh air. Suddenly I was in a position, where I could run almost any kind of stories, in any order, at any time, without any added pressure whatsoever from having to conform to a huge main plot. Also, due to a very active group of players, all the pressure of scheduling game sessions was gone. SfDV was almost exactly the kind of almost-weekly game I had been striving for for the better part of a year. By this time my grasp of the rules was firm enough for me to start taking liberties with the game mechanics without having to make too many compromises.
The end of Darkmoon Vale came about from a completely unexpected angle. I’ve blogged on this already, so I won’t dwell on it here. Suffice to say, having a consensus on exactly what kind of game you are running is paramount to a long-running campaign’s success.
Yet again, you live and learn. Darkmoon Vale had been my most succesful D&D-campaign so far, and it seemed to me, that the effort put into brainstorming and analyzing what worked, and what didn’t, was starting to pay off.