Planning a new campaign

One of the things I’m looking at this upcoming year is getting a new tabletop game started. It has been a couple of years (give or take) since my last game, and it was a short D&D 3.5 group that didn’t really get through more than a couple of sessions. A big part of the obstacles was family — I have two young children as do another couple that were part of our regular gaming group. Dealing with that aspect of things really hampered the flow — not to mention trying to work out schedules and so forth.

But time has passed, the kids are a little older (and more able to entertain themselves) so we’re looking to — as the saying goes — “get the band back together”. I think we have all been missing the (semi-) regular get togethers. World of Warcraft is fun, but it isn’t the same thing (despite what some detractors of 4th Edition D&D might say).

With a new game starting to brew, one of the first — and most important — questions is what game to play? This is best sorted out through negotiation and getting a feel for the kind of play experience everybody wants. You also need to figure out who is going to run the game, because they have a lot of prep work to do…

…or your wife can tell you that you’re running the game, and that game is going to be Earthdawn.

I think I prefer this method.

I have a decent library of games, and there are a handful of them I would love to run at some point before the heat death of the universe. However, Earthdawn is (and has been) my go-to game of choice for almost 20 years. It is a system I know very well, and I have run two very successful long-term campaigns. While I will probably need to brush up on the rules a little bit, I can focus more on setting up the story.

Here is where the problems start to appear.

I cheat. I try to recycle/reuse as much as I can.

All but one of the players in this game were in my last long-term Earthdawn game, and one of the players has been in both of my long-term games. With this being the first time back at the table in some time, I don’t want to serve leftovers.

But I also don’t want to overburden myself. I’m an adult with a full-time job, a young family, and other commitments. The days of having a bunch of free time to work on game prep are behind me. So… what to do? I need something to kick-start my brain.

I start by taking out my map.