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MoonHunter Sayeth 20171016


Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Has there been a development towards shorter campaigns/ chronicles?

In my opinion, yes.

Younger gamers are remarkably free of restraints. Except for the occasional class, round of school work, and parental obligation, they have a great deal of time. This is time they often spend on gaming. Chronicles run for a couple of years, with multiple games sessions a week (one or more chronicles). This often creates "old gaming memories" of these carefree days and the intensive chronicles they create. They often set our opinions, like that games should go on forever. (I was never that way... I wanted my games to simulate a novel or a comic story arc.... but I was different.)

Even if you only game once a week, you alway seem to get to play.

Ah the good old days.

First comes a time when troupes have a group of school going, part time working to full time working, young adults. They still have fewer obligations. These are the years with fairly consistent gaming. This is often when those older chronicles continue or new long term chronicles begin. (or if you are us, different good chronicles two or three nights a week). Games seem to last a good long time, so chronicles run for a while.

However the creep happens.

You know the creep... not that gamer you don't want to play with ... the creep of obligations. Work is always the big one. Not just the forty hour a week, but overtime and work trips. Class still comes into play, as advanced degrees and certificates come up. Social obligations move from family to social to significant others to family again (and three year olds are harder to work around). Throw in other things like theatre, historical recreation, model trains, legos, or just the need for time out. Heck travel times get longer as people move for jobs or just affordable housing.

The creep does it. It makes gaming harder.

A gamer stops having the time to game properly. Then the juggling comes up, juggling every ones time so we can all show up. Getting together weekly becomes the serious challenge.... the every other week becomes a challenge.... then once a month... then... okay.

As time becomes precious, we plan for obligations or people leaving. We no longer have the time to prep a game properly, let alone run it. So instead of infinite chronicles, we plan for 52 sessions, or 16 sessions or 4 sessions.

Now you might be able to work through this with skype or online connection. It helps overcome various issues. However, obligations and creep are still there. You can't just game like you used to when you were younger. So you plan for shorter games.

As the gaming community demographic ages, a higher and higher percentage of us do not have the time to dedicate to gaming in a group like we used to (or prep for said gaming). Darn that creep. Now we sometimes fill our gaming need by online rpg sites or spending time in the FLGS, but we still want to game (face to face or face to screen).

Thus a premium on quick prep, effective runs (less BSing, actual focus at the table/ virtual space, and playing faster), and quicker game mechanics, is very attractive to a larger and larger segment of the gamer population.

Even if we are gaming with the same old games, we need to plan for a chronicle we can actually finish.

Since we know we will only be playing six times this year, rather than in years past when we might of played six time in a month (or two), we want to have story lines/ campaigns that will conclude in a satisfying way sooner than later.

A lot of things could happen over that year, causing us to lose players or changes in the GM's life. Thus shorter games are "safer" because we will be able to complete them.

So yes, we are looking towards shorter campaigns/ chronicles.

This rant brought to you because someone's homework took up all our bandwidth until right about now.
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