How's the Campaign?
I answer regarding the Open Table campaign I’ve been running via Discord.
How many sessions have you been playing, more or less?
We’ve done 25 sessions. Session 26 is this Sunday!
How long have you been running this campaign?
First session was 2019-02-10, so just under a year.
Have you had long breaks? If so, how did you pick it up again?
We took a four month break. The server wasn’t totally quiet during that time; I ran a play-by-post side game during those months to keep something going on. Eventually we just picked back up. I think one regular had to drop out at that point.
How many people are at the table when you play?
Average of 4.2 people at the virtual table.
How many characters are in the party when you play?
Average 6.04. We have a house rule where under certain conditions (e.g. if the number of players is under six), players can choose to bring along one of their lower-level characters as a “retainer” (different from how the word is used in the BtB rules). Mercenaries can also be hired (and have been in later sessions), but while their use is more-or-less unrestrictived in the wilderness, in the Underworld they will only hold areas that have already been explored & cleared, i.e. they won’t push into unexplored dungeon areas.
How many players have you had in total over that time period, not counting guest appearances?
Apparently 44 players created PCs. I think 17 of those never actually played. That gives us 27 players who played at least 1 session.
Have you had guest appearances? How did it go? Did you gain regular players that way?
This is a casual West Marches-esque game. Players come & go. I think one or two players have been present at most of the sessions, but other than that, we’ve had people bop in for a single session, or stay for six or a dozen and then fade off, or be there every other session.
What have the character levels been over time?
Every character starts at Level 0 and gains Level 1 after surviving their first delve. We have a couple characters at level 4, and a couple at level 3.
What classes did the players pick? Did you add new classes over time?
Characters are randomly generated at Level 0, but upon gaining Level 1, players can choose from Fighter, Thief, or Sorcerer. We’ve had maybe two-thirds Fighters, and the rest split between Sorcerer & Thief.
Tell me about some adventures you ran over that time that I might enjoy hearing about?
The party spent several sessions exploring a dungeon within the city limits of their Home Base town, a strangely-expansive delve beneath the old mausoleum within the grounds of a ruined manor. While in the dungeon, they took several quests from a Wizard dwelling therein, helping him gain access to areas of the dungeon. Eventually orphans on the surface began to disappear, and the PCs made the startling realization that their employer was culprit! The wizard escaped, but they destroyed his allies & rescued most of the orphans, who took up residence in the ruined manor, becoming wards of the hermit-like owner.
The party has had a history with petrification. In one delve, the party ran into mysterious “snake-haired figures” who turned 2 characters to stone. In another, the party was surprised by a cockatrice, and three more characters were statue-fied! But the party went to great effort in later sessions to retrieve the statues & restore all of their comrades to flesh.
Have the rule changes over that time? Do you maintain a house-rules document?
But the biggest change rules-wise has been that we decided to put the dice rolls behind the ref screen at some point. I started out rolling the dice via a bot on the Discord server, but we found the process of using dice in the chatroom took a lot of time. Eventually I started rolling most dice to save time (still in chat), but eventually I tried running a session & rolling the dice “offline” and relaying the fictional results (not the numbers) to the players. They liked it & we’ve rolled that way ever since.
Has the setting changed over time?
The setting started out very simply, according to my Bare Bones Setting principles. Since then, I’ve tried to roll player-instigated events back into the setting, so they can meet recurring characters, visit the same locations & find them changed, that sort of thing. And now that the PCs are exploring the world further away from their first safe haven town, the world is growing session by session.
How much in-game distance did the party cover, how big is the area they have visited?
Not large! They’ve crossed maybe 20 miles of terrain, west of their first home base.
The region map is available to the party, so they know very roughly what exists in an 8 hex x 8 hex area.
Have you used proprietary setting books? Like, could you publish your campaign or would you be in trouble if you did?
The setting is original, but it’s also very minimal – there’s not much to be published! The dungeons populating the world are a mix of originals & modules.
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