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Successful Campaigns! Against all Odds!


So this thread is inspired by "Failed Campaigns"... but, naturally, the opposite!

The idea here is to post about a campaign (or series of games) that you didn't actually think would work out, but somehow, against all odds, it did! Or just a campaign where something unforeseen and amazing happened, like you met your partner or your one-shot game turned into multi-media franchise.

My example is this: One of the members of our weekly group asked me if I knew anything about the ttrpg "BattleTech", as his teenage son was interested in the video games. I hadn't played it in years, but in the 90's I used to play it a lot and even used to host big games at conventions. So I dusted off all my books, we gathered a couple other curious players and I ran what I thought would be a simple one-shot demo game. After the one-shot they wanted more(!), so I spun it into a campaign story inspired by the old video game "Crescent's Hawks Revenge!". The game lasted almost a year, ending only when the story was complete. By the end, the son had purchased a whole slew of his own miniatures, started painting them, and was even teaching his friends how to play. Now we're playing a MechWarrior Destiny campaign based off the original characters.

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So I run "con campaigns" -- that is, I will run 4 or 6 4-hour slots of a game at a convention: continuous, episodic and complete. If you translate this to my usual 2 hours every 2 weeks hone (read: VTT) games it is 2 or 3 months of playing.

Anyway, I experiment with different themes and genres all the time, mostly using one of 3 systems: D&D, M&M or Savage Worlds. It usually goes off pretty well, enough so that folks that only signed up for one session end up hoping to get into another slot.

Bur I had no idea that my 5E iteration of Return to the Isle of Dread would work so well and be so good. I ended that game with a 10 AM Sunday slot with 13 players. It was stupid awesome.


Small God of the Dozens
With some trepidation I ran a historical game some years ago. Now I'm a medieval history guy by training, so I loved the idea, but I really wasn't sure it would fly with anyone else. So the premise was essentially late medieval minor nobility mashed up with the Sopranos. That sounds odd, but it's actually quite accurate for a certain period of especially English history in the late Medieval where bands of 'knights' were collected, or just got together, and essentially rampaged about doing dirt. Anyway, the game was a blast, which made me happy. I had thought it was little too based in some specific historical stuff but that ended up not being the case.


So I run games at the community center. Old School Unfair Unbalanced Hard Fun RPGs. I have my players, and then there are the players that hate my type of game style. So towards the end of last year one of the other groups wanted to play a 5E Spelljammer game. Their DM did not want to run it, so they posted an add for a DM. After a couple weeks they got no hits. So then they came to me...

So this group of young twentysomethings that hate everything about my game, asked me to run a spelljammer game for them. I said that the only way I would do it was with all my house rules and game style they hated. And they agreed that was fine.

So....we start the game. It's a little bumpy, but they don't complain...though, sure, one of my house rules is no complaining during the game. But they don't complain after the game either. By the second game, even the bumps are gone. They have a wild ride, being used to the much more typical simple gameplay. But they embrace it. They love playing a game very different then their normal game. They have found that while most of my house rules sounded "so bad" to them....that they were not bad at all.

And the game is still on going......

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