I’ve known Dr. Karla H. Marks for some years now. We met when I was in graduate school around 2010, through a friend of a friend involved in the university gaming club. She was a semi-retired professor back then, looking to get more involved in tabletop gaming when she could.
She had started playing D&D back in the 1970s. In the early ’80s, she quit playing for almost 20 years. She came back at the height of the 3rd Edition era and noticed how things had changed (to put it mildly), but the problems with getting players together for a game had stayed the same (though in some cases it has gotten worse).
“There’s more distractions now,” she once told me. “Part of the reason I quit is because players wouldn’t commit. And when they’d attend a game, they spent their time goofing around rather than playing. Why should I waste my time?”
I knew exactly what she meant, and we had long discussions on the nature of tabletop games, then and now.
“At least now I can link up with my old group online,” she said.
We were both veterans of long term D&D campaigns. She ran a campaign based on a megadungeon full of dragons which ended after 5 years. The first campaign I ran lasted around 10 ten years. We both agreed that it takes effort and determination by all participants to see at campaign to its conclusion.
Many campaigns are doomed to fail. Others should have folded before they went beyond their useful shelf life. But there are many campaigns which fall apart which deserve completion.
The end result is How to Finish Your Campaign (Finally!). It was mostly written by her, as a testament to what it was like being a female D&D player near the dawn of the hobby. It’s about the length of an average 16-page module and features 7 rules for game masters to follow if they want to bring their campaign from a humble beginning to an epic (if not satisfying) conclusion.
Next week there will be a guest post by Dr. Marks, and well as an announcement when How to Finish Your Campaign (Finally!) will be available.
We hope you enjoy it!