Thursday, November 17, 2011
Campaignhammer - Running a Long-Term Campaign
For some years now, myself and my gaming compadres have been trying to put together a system for running a decent warhammer campaign. We've had some successes, with mini campaigns run over a long weekends and some attempts at designing our own system. But the holy grail of campaign gaming eluded us, the long-term narrative campaign. Recently, it seems as if we have cracked this particularly hard gaming nut. The problems ranged against you doing this are manifold. Coordinating player's games and orders, people living in various parts of the country and thus the problem meeting for games, life in general and campaign fade out syndrome, to name a few.
Using a modified version of the original mighty empires rules plus various extra rules from old White Dwarf articles, we've set up a campaign running among nine players with a dedicated non-player gm. We've set up a blog for all map updates, fluff and general campaign news, as well as a dedicated email group. I think the key to it all is the gm. someone willing to run the campaign long-term. It's a lot of work, and we're lucky enough to have such a person. That in place, I have taken on the mantle of map-maker and updater (see the pretty picture above) which also helps. When we meet up for a campaign weekend, I have a large-scale version of the map printed out so we can set the game up easily.
We've so far been lucky with players too, everyone knows it's a commitment, but not overly so. Tabletop games can be resolved without playing the actual game due to an alternate system, but those the want to and have the time to play can. We've had only one player fall at the first hurdle and just not participate, and as we have nine, that's not too bad as we can compensate.
As a big fan of narrative games I'm loving it. There will be scenario driven games depending on the hex and various conditions, and it's way more fun to have the host of the vampire lord Stephane Dreux send his rotting fleet to brave the magical storms and land on the island of Asur's Rest to assault the remote dwarven coastal settlement there than x vampire counts army battles y dwarven army.
We're still only in year 2, but it looks like it will run it's course. We still need to settle on specific victory conditions, as I think all good campaigns need to have a definite finish point, or they just fizzle. We're having a blast so far though!