RPG Fridays: When To Call It
This one goes out to all of my fellow GMs, Keepers, DMs. Basically the person running the game. When do you call it a quits? You lost players. The game keeps getting canceled due to real life. It has lost its mojo. Has it happened to you? It has happened to me on more than one occasion and seems to happen with the same blasted campaign!
I recently called my Horror on the Orient Express game. This was the fourth time trying to run it (I'm nothing if not persistent.). I was jazzed to be running the game, on the cusp of completing a two and half year run of Mask of Nyarlathotep. That game was amazing! I made a matchbox and one of the players still talks about all of the great props for it. This is the amazing part . . . a CALL OF CTHULHU game got up to 12 players at once. Yea. I ran a CoC with 12 players a couple of times. But as expected, gamers come and go, so we really had a solid six players.
With all of that momentum from successfully completing Mask, having one of my players tell me that the ending was incredible and felt totally Lovecraftian (yeah . . . they did not win), I took on my cursed campaigned with my shiny new Kickstarter HoToE books.
After nearly a year of more missed games than played, a player doing the fade away (after the first session due to it being mostly character creation and in-character attending a lecture full of clues), as well as personal stuff all around, I ended the game. I took stock, made notes about what I would do differently if I ever tried it again, but really would a fifth or sixth time be the charm? Probably not; I'm guessing the curse would continue. And I do have a shelf full of other games.
I have been running Call of Cthulhu for ages now as my primary game. For a while I was running three campaign games a month: Cthulhu, Star Wars (SAGA) and Pathfinder. Then it narrowed down to just CoC, due to the kid for the past year or so, but it is time to put it back on the shelf and break out some other systems as my main campaign game.
My current contenders in order of preference are: Esoterrorists, Shadowrun, Star Wars: Edge of the Empire or One Ring. I have year-long campaigns in mind for each one and plot strings for additional campaign arcs after that. I am close to just narrowing it down to the first two, as I love Robin's work, the premise of the game, and it is burning a hole though my bookshelf waiting to be run. My love of Shadowrun goes back to my teen years; I have never had a chance to run it, and all of the great games from Harebrained have my brain churning out ideas. Currently, the game to be chosen is still up in the air until early 2016, and it has six confirmed players.
So much like Jean Grey, even when you have to end something, you can rise from the ashes. All right, I am off to work on one of my con scenarios and speculate on what game to run from my local crew.