On his blog @kensanata asked about peoples campaigns and posted a bunch of questions. As others have written already, that’s a fun way to reflect about one’s own campaign, so here we go:
- How many sessions have you been playing, more or less?
- How long have you been running this campaign?
We started in April 2017 I think. Played about once a month, and now about every two weeks.
- Have you had long breaks? If so, how did you pick it up again?
Yes, we paused over the summer months. I feel it was not difficult to pick up again. We just did it. Last year a bunch of new players joined the group and at the same time the PCs basically left the place they had been adventuring at over the first sessions of the campaign. So that was kind of a new start.
- How many people are at the table when you play?
Usually around 5 players plus GM, we had sessions with 9 players though and also one or two one-on-one sessions for side quests.
- How many characters are in the party when you play?
Usually every player plays one character, so about 5 PCs, and most of the time they manage to get some NPCs to come along. We had never more NPCs than PCs in the party.
- How many players have you had in total over that time period, not counting guest appearances?
11 regular players in total, right now there are 6 regular players.
- Have you had guest appearances? How did it go? Did you gain regular players that way?
Yes, a few. 3 – 4 I think. Some stayed for 2 – 3 sessions, and then left again. I think most players who joined and stayed were sort of determined from the beginning.
- What have the character levels been over time?
The highest level so far was 5th level. Right now, there are two level 5, one level 4, three level 3, and two level 1 characters.
- What classes did the players pick? Did you add new classes over time?
Mostly standard classes, so fighting-men, magic-users and clerics, now and then we had a thief join the party. Almost all of them are human, very few are halflings. I think there was only one elf and one dwarf character in the whole campaign so far.
And yes, we have a custum class I’m particularly proud of: Punks! Perfectly normal punks from our timeline, sporting mohawks and leather jackets (AC 7) and wielding clubs or even baseball bats, it they managed to take them along as they were pulled through the limbo to the fantasy world. One of our players has even gathered an NPC punk rock band around his character. They have to get along with medieval instruments though – no electricity in the borderlands 😉
- Tell me about some adventures you ran over that time that I might enjoy hearing about?
Hm, that’s sort of a tough question I find, since everything has been continous events in a sandbox. But here’s one event, that particularly baffled me:
The party was hunting down some evil wizard who had supposedly kidnapped an NPC female magic user who had helped the party before. The evil magic user had summoned a bunch of minor demons and had a horde of gnolls at his disposal. The party lost 1 or 2 NPCs on the way to the magic user. So a pretty normal dungeon crawl up to the point, when they actually faced off their main antagonist: That evil magic user, crit failed his saving throw against a charm person – so what should I do with the boss going out of commission in the midst of the session?
I decided to have the demons rip him apart, since being charmed by an opponent he had lost control over them. The demons then took his remains with them to the underworld, so at least some of his mightier magic items were out of reach of the player characters – just for the time being. Then I decided to let the dragon come in early, who had an appointment to get some plunder from the evil magic-user. What finally happend was, that the players didn’t care too much for the kidnapped girl, who was left to the dragon, but managed to get all the plunder and run away with it … oh my … 😉
I also liked how on some other occasion the party basically took a whole session to plan and set up an ambush on a tribe of orcs. Decent planning, lots of NPCs involved, and our first delve into actually using the Chainmail mass combat rules. Handfuls of dice and the most successful session in terms of XP and gold we’ve had so far.
- Have the rule changes over that time? Do you maintain a house-rules document?
Quite a bit actually. We started with BECM rules as written, but added house rules rather quickly – then, after tinkering with some rules additions from AD&D 1st edition, I decided to take two steps back. What we do now is basically 3LBB plus a bunch of house rules. I like to use d6s for hit dice, attribute bonuses are somewhat deemphasized compared to BECM, and if the players would let me, I’d happily do away with variable weapon damage.
The house-rules document we use has almost evolved into a stand alone edition. It’s written in german, and is available here.
- Has the setting changed over time?¹
Not much. We started at the *Keep on the Borderlands* at it’s canonical location in Mystara and I added in Hommlet, Nulb and the Temple of Elemental Evil about four days to the west. Everything else is out of the box Mystara.
- How much in-game distance did the party cover, how big is the area they have visited?
Including a side quest, which was an overland journey in which only 3 PCs took part, about 160 miles from east to west. Most PCs have only seen the area between the Keep and Hommlet, so about four days of travel. So the whole area would probebly be about 20 x 120 miles.
- Have you used proprietary setting books? Like, could you publish your campaign or would you be in trouble if you did?
Yes, the B2 *Keep on the Borderlands*, Mentzers *Expert Rules*, and T1-4 *The Temple of Elemental Evil*.