Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Picking Up Where We Left Off - Returning to a Campaign Left 8 Weeks Ago Mid Adventure

Yeah, mid January was a bit hellish on my end, and I gladly passed the DM reins over for a few weeks, followed by a few weeks playtesting as a player (and some non-gaming G+ Hangouts thrown in for good measure.) Needless to say, I'm am pretty much off kilter as far as the campaign I was running

Do I?

- try and pick up the adventure where we left off, knowing that the momentum is gone along with player memory.

- forget the last adventure and hand-wave the party to a new situation / adventure / etc.

- move to the S&W Thieve's World as a sandbox for a session or two, either with new characters or moving the current ones over (with minor adjustments)

- something completely different?

Looking for some inspiration :)


  1. In media res - do a quick recap, then launch them straight into a situation (wandering monster, ominous noise, annoyingly cheerful NPC) that they will have to deal with immediately on the tactical level. They won't have the opportunity to waste time discussing what they want to do strategically. After that encounter you're off and running in normal game mode.

  2. The animated Clone Wars just hit Netflix, and I've been watching it. One thing that I think they do well is it seems the show dips in to one adventure in three in the lives of the characters.

    For the most part, you could insert 2 or 3 adventures between each episode. The brief establishing scenes with narration explain what is going on, how we came to be in this situation, and the episode takes off from there.

    The d20 Conan game had a similar introductory structure, assuming that fortunes ebb and flow between story arcs or episodes.

    I think that would be a cool model for how to handle certain kinds of games. Maybe you would want to try it out for yours.

  3. What will bring satisfaction to your players? I know mine would likely enjoy playing through the final encounter at the beginning of the session, so they have some actual 'closure' but the fat is trimmed off - then letting us pick up a fresh adventure for the remainder of the session.

    Its also good to remember that often its ok to imply and assume narrative e.g. "You spend endless weeks scouring the desert, looking for the pharaohs tomb. You arrive at its entrance weary and fatigued - your first thought is of rest, but the thought of the macguffin falling into the hand of the enemy weighs heavily on your minds"

    I think this is one of those rare examples where a bit of read aloud text is ok.

  4. I’d go with The Hangover meets Thieves World.

    They wake up groggy in a cheap room in an inn to the sound of the door being smashed in, ruffians busts in demanding a macgrufian, then attack when the character delay. after the combat the PC realize they are in an unfamiliar city and have no memory of the past six months, time has passed (its now summer was winter or the opposite) they have new gear, scars, beards, spells in their spell book ect, the last thing they remember is being in the dungeon from your last adventure.

    Give them clues (why did they commission the local alchemist for 6 potions of water breathing, who is Marckan the Black Wizard and why do they own him a favor?, why do they have a deed to an abandoned mine?, etc.) and let them piece the past together.

    Magic is a great way to explaining group memory loss.

  5. Demand that the players refresh your memory as to where you left off, or you will remind them in manner that may to their disadvantage. Bonus points given for creative answers.

    What could possibly go wrong?


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