So I have been playing a Star Wars Saga Edition Campaign for more than a year now, we are just past our 14th gaming session, which is the most a campaign has got to live in the past five years. So far I would say this is a successful campaign, despite some shortcomings and concerns.
The whole idea of starting a new Star Wars campaign began as my friend met some guys while playing Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO who seemed cool and were interested in trying Saga Edition. They have all played pen and paper RPGs before, but not this one. My friend also invited me to join, and I was glad I could finally participate in a game as a player. I only knew my friend as we sat down for the first session and haven’t stopped since, and most of us became good friends by now.
The campaign had its ups and downs in the past fourteen sessions, but the team has great dynamics, which helps us past the the bumps during the campaign. All five of the players have different playing styles and personalities which balances the party out, and thus we manage not to stray too far from the main plot. Two players (including myself) have a bit stronger personalities and so taking the initiative in most social situations. The two characters we play are a bit opposite in alignment (my lawful versus his chaotic), so it provides a good moral balance altogether, since two other players play soldiers who do what they are told and give advice if asked. The fifth player is a bit more introvert and usually just sits back and goes with the flow, rarely influencing things. Despite all the differences in habits, gaming style, our GM provides equal opportunities for all characters to shine, so nobody feels out of the game, there are no tag-alongs in the party. I think this is one of the most important things: to keep everyone engaged and have their moments.
As most RPG groups we tend to joke around and initiate off-topic conversations during the sessions, however, it has gotten a bit out of hand lately, it started to distract us from the actual game. We have invented a house rule because of this, whoever goes off-topic, pays. Since this little new law we started playing again, and the campaign started to move forward faster.
Last session we had some difficulties recalling details of our last session, and it made a big in-game argument between characters hard, since none of us remembered what exactly happened last time. This is the curse of playing only once a month, and now I see that someone ought to have kept notes or written a campaign blog with all the important stuff. It’s too late now to do retroactively, but I will surely be making notes from now on…
So to summarize, good chemistry and engaged players are the things that make a campaign last longer. Even with a mediocre story(telling) the players can have a good time, roleplay and stay enthusiastic about the next gaming session. Also, characters with plans and purpose helps…
Coming up next: A few weeks ago I had to come up with a short adventure in a very short time, and I found out that brainstorming can be a tremendous help and source for inspiration, I’m going to reflect on this topic a bit.