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Old 11-29-2017, 10:37 AM   #1
Kymage
 
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Default Multiple Campaigns leading into one Large Campaign

This idea has been floating around my head for awhile. I got the idea after some of these shared cinematic universe movies.

Has anyone ever thought up/GMed/played a series of campaigns (with different PCs mostly) that were interconnected and led to a large campaign down the road. For example Campaign A plays to conclusion with some Easter eggs/references to Campaign B and C. Campaign B is then played with a different set of PCs with references to the other campaigns followed by other campaigns. These all lead to Campaign Z or so which combines elements of all the campaigns into one big campaign which wraps up the threads from the earlier campaigns.

Kinda of curious if anyone has done this before and if so how it went.
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Multiple Campaigns leading into one Large Campaign

I have done something similar, by running several campaigns in the same world with the same background plot elements being gradually revealed. It was frustrating, because the players didn't remember things, even when they were playing the same characters in a different context.

To stand a chance of this working, there needs to be a detailed campaign log, and there needs to be an in-game reason why characters know about events that they weren't involved with.
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Old 11-29-2017, 12:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: Multiple Campaigns leading into one Large Campaign

I have had previous campaign's characters appear as NPC guest stars in subsequent campaigns, and turned campaign events involving the old PC's into legendary background for the new crop.

There was one memorable occasion where the current PC's realized with horror that they were facing off against their own, over-powered, highly experienced creations. They rapidly decided that negotiation was preferable to confrontation and all ended well.
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Old 12-01-2017, 01:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Multiple Campaigns leading into one Large Campaign

I have played in Janyce Engan's "Stars Are Right" Call of Cthulhu campaign. That campaign began in 1981 and is still running today. I played from 1988 to 1990, then again from 1997 to 2001. (The Army and Grad School and moving and all that keeps me away).

Anyhow. While I was in the game, there were...20 something players. Those players were divided up into smaller groups about 5. Jan would run 7 days a month. Usually every Saturday and 3 Sundays a month. Our group would sign up for one of those days on the master calendar. So each group got to play about once every 3-4 weeks.

We'd play. We'd keep really good notes about where were were on any given day. There was a master in game calendar (it helped a lot that the game was set in the 1920s when travel was slow and international communication was not instantaneous). We were all in the same universe. And we were all in the same campaign. And sometimes characters switched from one group to another. My second character stared off in the "Hollywood Group" but ended up in the "Islanders Group." Once a year game time, on New Years Eve, all the players would dress up in period clothing, go to a period hotel, and have a banquet where we would LARP out making our plans for the coming year...now not all the sub-groups were exactly allied. The Junior G-Men didn't exactly trust the Islanders, for example. But we all we trying to stop the Things Man was Not Meant to Know from entering our dimension.

Anyway, it was a marvel! And if I were still in California I'd still be playing in that campaign!
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Old 12-01-2017, 02:59 PM   #5
Mark Skarr
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Default Re: Multiple Campaigns leading into one Large Campaign

On multiple occasions.

In fact, my Infinite Weirdos campaign (catch up here, link to Denver GURPS forums, same place tshiggins' Facets game is archived; mildly NSFW for offensive language), is another culmination of several story lines from different games with different players over several years. It, like many of my games, ties back into a “pre-historic” BattleTech game that we played in High School (in pre-historic times, which concluded with the "Battle of the Gates of Dawn"). It also has ties to GummiBear’s MegaDenver game and events that occurred in it, leading up to the previous multi-thread event which culminated at “The Battle of the School” and a major battle in the war for the multiverse.

Only Hand of Bobb gets the majority of references and understands what is going on, but the other players are gathering information and realizing there is so much more going on.

But, at the end of the day, all they really care about, right now, is what happened to Sherry.
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Old 12-04-2017, 02:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Multiple Campaigns leading into one Large Campaign

One thing I was wondering about is how difficult it would be to do this when the campaigns are different genres. For example, Campaign A is a standard Hack and Slash Fantasy, campaign B is Hard Sci-Fi, Campaign C is Supers, Campaign D is Film Noir and so on and so on. I think that might be not so difficult if you do it in the context of a infinite worlds/infinity Inc. type scenario but how difficult is it to do in other contexts? I can see problems trying to move PCs from campaign to campaign if the genres are so radically different.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Multiple Campaigns leading into one Large Campaign

I would say, play to each genre’s strengths.

So, you’ve got the detective in Campaign D. He comes across the actual problem. He learns of the grand plot and has to figure out how to save the universe. Through that, they encounter some world-jumping supers from Campaign C, who help them work through some of their problems, and determine that they can check around and determine what needs to be done where (with or without the characters from campaign D, your choice). They meet the people from Campaign A, who agree to go recover the magic totchkey of plot-device. They then take everyone to Campaign B, where they can put everything in position to open the portal to Campaign E, where the player’s favorite characters from the previous games join together and save the multiverse.

That’s just one of an infinite number of ways to do it.

Working backwards . . . is quite a bit more complex. And you have to know, early on, you’re going to do it.

One of the artifacts from Campaign A, makes an appearance in Campaign B. Say it’s a crown (just an example to tie them together). The characters in Campaign B find this crown somewhere it should be impossible to be: say a crater on Mars. Evidence points that this was placed here, for some unknown reason. It’s an unresolved mystery, but winds up on display in a museum. The Supers for campaign C wind up with the crown early on, and, through a complicated series of events, wind up being the ones to plant it in Campaign B. Now, the detective in Campaign D, finds pages from an unpublished manuscript of the murder victim they’re investigating, depicting the events of the other games. They become infatuated with the idea of the crown, and manage to actually find it, discovering it is capable of warping reality around itself. What do they do with that knowledge—knowing that it led three other worlds to their doom. Can they save their world? Can they go back and save the others?
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Multiple Campaigns leading into one Large Campaign

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kymage View Post
. . .
These all lead to Campaign Z or so which combines elements of all the campaigns into one big campaign which wraps up the threads from the earlier campaigns.
. . .
The complexity of this really seems to hinge on one aspect that I'm unclear about.

Are you truly trying to bring most of the players from the various campaigns into Campaign Z, or is Campaign Z just influenced by the events, backgrounds and NPCs (who may have been PCs at one time) of the prior campaigns?

The former seems to be require much more innovation in the style described by trooper6 (four posts above), whereas the latter seems to "just" be intense adventure design.

Do you intend Campaign Z to have the regular number of players as any one of your other campaigns or to be the aggregate of all (or most) of the players?

Last edited by Tom H.; 12-04-2017 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:04 PM   #9
Mark Skarr
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Default Re: Multiple Campaigns leading into one Large Campaign

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H. View Post
Are you truly trying to bring most of the players from the various campaigns into Campaign Z, or is Campaign Z just influenced by the events, backgrounds and NPCs (who may have been PCs at one time) of the prior campaigns?
Well, I have a small pool of players to draw from. I'm always on the lookout to add new GURPS players whenever I have the chance. So, most of my players are the same one from the previous campaigns.

Otherwise, the PCs from the previous games are usually NPCs in the newer ones, however, if the player for the PC is still in the group, I'll give them some information and let them play the character for the authentic feel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H. View Post
Do you intend Campaign Z to have the regular number of players as any one of your other campaigns or to be the aggregate of all (or most) of the players?
Again, that depends on your location and your pool of players. Me, I try to keep my games between three and six players (maybe seven, but that's about my limit). An aggregate game might be to complex to really try.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: Multiple Campaigns leading into one Large Campaign

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H. View Post
Are you truly trying to bring most of the players from the various campaigns into Campaign Z, or is Campaign Z just influenced by the events, backgrounds and NPCs (who may have been PCs at one time) of the prior campaigns?
It could be either. What got me thinking about this issue was me watching a movie from the Marvel Cinematic universe and trying to figure out how each movie interacted with the other movies. I could see a campaign Z using the Star PCs from the various previous campaigns or just having background/events/people of the previous campaigns influencing Campaign Z.

If I was playing/running such a series of campaigns, I would probably prefer the first with characters from the previous campaigns making appearances in the finale campaign.

Last edited by Kymage; 12-05-2017 at 03:34 PM.
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