Have you run any epic adventures, megadungeons, or adventure paths? Did you ever finish them?
I bought the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil almost as soon as it was published back in the heady days of D&D Third Edition. I had every intention of running it, but it just never happened. There wasn’t enough time.
With Rappan Athuk: The Dungeon of Graves, I ran my players through part of the dungeon, but they moved on.
The first AD&D campaign I ever ran lasted for ten years. It spanned multiple worlds. The characters when from 1st to around 12th level, playing marathon sessions about once a month. Then the group fell apart with the campaign unfinished. We ran out of time.
When AEG published The World’s Largest Dungeon, I thought: “Who has time to run that?”
I used to start campaigns with a bang, and run it with whatever ideas I found appealing, with sort of vague I idea how the campaign is supposed to end.
Now, whenever I consider starting a new campaign, I ask:
“Do I have time for this? Is time on my side?”
I don’t want to spent time on something that might never be completed.
The next question to ask:
“Can I find players would can commit?”
Back in my college days this was easy. “I plan on running this campaign every Sunday until the end of Spring semester? Can you commit?”
Now things are more difficult. Real world scheduling woes and all that.
There’s 52 weeks in 2017. That’s 52 sessions if I run weekly. 26 if I run every other week. 13 if I run monthly. Is that enough time to finish what I set out to do?
Every game master has to consider time it takes to run a campaign. Sometimes, when you consider running lengthy adventure path or a shorter campaign, you’ve got to ask yourself:
“Is time on your side?”