Thursday, March 25, 2010

Juggling Worlds

As I've mentioned before, I'm currently playing in three different 1e/2e campaigns. Essentially, my D&D group rotates between three different sets of PCs in three different game worlds directed by three different DMs. In addition, others will occasionally run one-shot games, sometimes with an existing particular combination of PCs and World, other times with a completely new cast, location, or even game system. We settled on this arrangement because we are blessed (or cursed) with a surfeit of DMs, none of whom really have the time to devote to the preparations a regular game would require. The end effect is that a given DM may go a month or more between running a session; during which interval he is reduced to the lowly status of player in the games of the other DMs.

Each regular player in each campaign typically rolls up 2 PCs to play, giving a total of 8 active characters. This allows us to accommodate those players who are only able to attend sessions infrequently, as well as curious passers-by who want to try out the game. The guest player will assume control of an absent regular's PCs, or one of the attending regulars will loan him one of theirs.

As you might expect, this jumble of worlds and players can lead to a bit of confusion -

Player A: "What are we doing today? Defending the city against the invading damsel?"

Player B: "No, I believe we're infiltrating the Dragon's lair to learn his troop strengths and battle plans."

Player C: "Really? I thought we were searching for a way to remove the Girdle of Masculinity/Feminity from the Cleric of Light? Didn't the master of his order tell us he knew a way to do that?"

Player D: "No, wrong campaign. And anyway, in that world, the cleric's master told us that the new Captain of the City Guard was framing us for murder. And as a further anyway, the cleric didn't put on the girdle, the elven mage did."

Player B: "Hah! That's where YOU'RE wrong! It wasn't the elven mage who donned the girdle, it was the dwarven fighter. The mage was destroyed by a fireball!"

DM: "Enough! Pan-dimensional, galaxy-sized rocks fall; all infinite realities die."


OK, so perhaps it's not that bad, and maybe I fabricated that entire exchange, but it IS difficult to keep the multiple plot and character threads untangled.

My solution? Campaign Chronicles. At least I hope it's a solution. It wasn't until we began the third separate campaign that I decided to start recording the in-game events, so the beginning of the other two journals will possibly be a little short on the details that add flavor. As a further experiment, I'll be writing at least one of the journals from the perspective of one of the PCs, maybe interspersed with out-of-character notes to ensure the details are all present and accounted for. Why? Because there's one thing the Internet needs, it's more poorly written amateur fiction!

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