From the Ashes of Past Campaigns

Back in the mid 1990s, I tried to run a non-Realmorin campaign.  It was going to be based in Celto-Nordic setting with Greco-Roman invaders as the sometimes allies/sometimes enemies.  I had made many lists of important persons, each list based around a culture or or location.  I had a Bard NPC, who was the lynch pin to the campaign plot.  I got to pull ideas and uses from my Chivalry and Sorcery books.  It was great!

It ended with the first game.  It was not as quick an ending as the “Thirty Minute Campaign” (If you really want to know about this one, comment and I’ll try to develop a decent post about it), but it ended quick enough.  The game ended when one of my Players got it in his head to kill off the Camber McGregor – the Bard that my plot hinged upon.  The game folded at that point, because I saw no way to move the game forward and it seemed obvious that my Players didn’t care for this campaign.  It was sad; I was really invested in that campaign setting. (2013.11.23)

Twenty Years Later – I can make use of the lists of NPCs that I created so long ago.  I don’t even remember the plot line of the original campaign, but that doesn’t matter.  What does matter is the setting.  Iolta and Thrain is a Celto-Nordic setting.  I’ve got my reclusive dwarven kingdom and my hidden elven realms.  Norn is Viking-central.  I am thrilled to have players invested in the setting and since I am not thrusting a plot upon them, I can fill in the Spaces of Setting and enjoy it as much as my Players enjoy playing in it.


Do any of my fellow GMs have tales of getting to use things that they failed to use before?

Game On!


2 thoughts on “From the Ashes of Past Campaigns

  1. LOL! Of course! I’m still struggling with what to do with all of the scraps of paper (with notes, and NPCs, and old maps and adventures and…) that I’ve accumulated over the years – stuffed rather haphazardly in binders and hanging files and folders.

    Recently I essentially lifted two old NPC’s whole-cloth and “rebooted” them to see how they’d develop in relation to new players. When it comes to “unused” stuff, I think I just do that constantly – I’ll use it as flavor text for something else, or have a walk-on NPC with more development than normal, or be thankful that I have a map that the players haven’t seen before immediately available. I do have a handful of reoccurring sites that get reused semi-regularly – the Well of Souls and the Tombs of the Kings both come to mind as places that I’ve used for 30+ years in my campaign world.

    With a game world that has spanned so many years what I really enjoy is finding/figuring out “what happened afterwards” – so an idea for a important evil wizard’s compound that was never used during the “Wars of Binding” campaign became “The Black Stair” megadungeon for the Dunstane Campaign.

    I expect the biggest example of “something old is new again” would be a section of my world that was labelled “the Silver Waste” but which never fit very well. Conceptually it became the Realm of the Great Waste, while geographically that area was kind of blank (aka “there’s land in them thar hills”) until the events of the Dunstane Campaign and the Coming of the Blight.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. D, it strikes me that you and I probably run very similar games. My return to places were the Tower of Spells, the Grove of Four Trees, and City of Kardon. By placing my new campaign on Iolta and Thrain, I’m forcing myself to create new locations and NPCs. This should be very fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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