Saturday, July 27, 2013

It's That Time of the Season

The summer tends to be a slow time for gaming. People take vacations, and routinely gathering to sweat around dimly lit tables with dice isn't really how we like to pass the warmer months. At the time of my last post I was running or playing three different games that all ran on different schedules. One was weekly, another bi-weekly, and the final, monthly. All except the monthly have since been dropped, but as the summer begins to wind down and the groups get re-organized, I've been thinking about how the schedule affects the game.

Weekly is too much, in my opinion. First, if you're the GM (as I usually am), its a lot of work to keep the game running at that pace. As a player, it's still demanding. Making that weekly commitment requires investment both in the story and your character, and unless you love it, you will burn out hard. But the benefit of playing weekly is (obviously) the speed at which your game progresses. Longer campaign ideas can be worked through in a matter of months as opposed to years.

Bi-weekly is what I'm used to running and remains my preference. It's regular enough that a longer campaign is still feasible, but allows enough time for GM and payer alike to recoup and also schedule other non-gaming events.

I've never run a monthly game, but I'm playing in one. I always thought that a time gap that large would be problematic. Longer campaigns are impossible on this schedule, and the first part of every session is working out the details of the previous session and picking up the thread again. However, because it is so seldom, the energy is different. Everyone shows up ready to game and every session seems more significant. The drawback is (again, obviously) that a 12-session campaign unfolds over the course of a year.

I'll be back on Wednesday to talk about Torchbearer or Shadowrun.