Answering Alex Schroeder - How's My Campign? Just Fine!

Alex Schroeder asks a few questions on his blog/site to folks who've been running their campaigns for awhile. With ten years going and three active games within the campaign (plus wargames!), I thought I'd answer him about Etinerra!

How many sessions have you been playing, more or less?
Tabletop: 92 (we play monthly and I took a break for some time)
Online: 24
Play by Post: Running 2009 to 2011, then 2015 to present
Conventions/One Shots: Under 20

How long have you been running this campaign?
Ten years, although I took a break from July 2011 to Jan 2015. There were a few sporadic games at conventions during that time.

Have you had long breaks? If so, how did you pick it up again?
Yes. I spoke to existing players, I picked back up where I left off in both play by post and tabletop.

How many people are at the table when you play?
4 to 8. I average 4 players/session for 2019.

How many characters are in the party when you play?
Same number of characters as players. Average of 3 henchmen/hirelings per party.

How many players have you had in total over that time period, not counting guest appearances?
I would estimate 50, between regular tabletop, online and pbp players.

Have you had guest appearances? How did it go? Did you gain regular players that way?
I would count both guests to my regular games and one-shots. It's gone great, for 99%. The ones that weren't so great, they just didn't have fun, so they didn't come back. I have gained regular players!

What have the character levels been over time?
1st level up to 6th.

What classes did the players pick? Did you add new classes over time?
We use the core classes from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 1st Edition, with the exception of assassin. No dwarfs, gnomes or half-orcs in my campaign. I have not added new classes, though I've modified aspects of paladins and now about to do same with monks.

Tell me about some adventures you ran over that time that I might enjoy hearing about?
I've blogged about that quite a bit! 

Have the rule changes over that time? Do you maintain a house-rules document?
I've stuck with 1st edition, although I've changed some things. We're more by-the-book with combat now. For the most part, I've stuck with the same rules, with tweaks here and there. I have a house rules document!

Has the setting changed over time?
Define changed? It's expanded as players have explored and new games started, or I've played wargames within the world. It's the same world/setting/themes, if that's what you mean.

How much in-game distance did the party cover, how big is the area they have visited?
The continent that the players are on is roughly the landmass of Russia. I'd say the players of all 3 games have covered maybe 10% or so of the available landmass.

Have you used proprietary setting books? Like, could you publish your campaign or would you be in trouble if you did?
It's completely homebrew, no inclusion of other settings, though heavily influenced by almost everything! I'd probably be in trouble in that I can't imagine doing a book on my setting or people wanting to read about it and I wouldn't make a dime! It's strange, I guess. I am so proud of my world, and yet I constantly feel like an idiot compared to some of the other awesome cool worlds that I read about. I compare myself to  others and always feel like I come up lacking.


  1. Thanks for this! I knew the answers to many of these questions because I’ve listened to all your podcast episodes. So if anybody is reading this and hasn’t listened to the podcast: here’s me recommending you do. 😀
    As for setting changes, what I was thinking of was you reading a cool book and deciding to add new cultures or regions after a few years of play based on that, or players toppling governments, resettling people, or other big changes to the game world?
    As for feelings of mediocrity: same! In the German speaking blogs there’s a word for bog-standard boring campaign settings with elves, dwarves, and orcs. I run games in landscapes that look mostly like the natural world surrounding me. The game is full of boring, standard elements. I’m hoping that the act of playing transforms it into the experience my players appear to enjoy so much – but that also means that I do t think I could publish it as a book, for example. It’d be too boring unless you’ve been there.

    1. It’s actually an English acronym that I’ve only seen used by German speakers: “Hm, noch ein EDO-Fantasy-Setting. Stellt sich die ernsthafte Frage ob die Welt sowas wirklich braucht und ob es genug eigene Akzente setzen kann um irgendjemanden hinter dem Ofen hervorzulocken.” EDO stands for Elves Dwarves Orcs. The quote from a thread about Splittermond.

    2. Alex, thank you for your kind words and I took heart from your blog post - that if my players are having good games, then that is the important thing. I always feel good after a game, so I should keep that in mind.

      I will fold ideas in, yes! And there is so much in my world undiscovered that I have a lot of room to incorporate new things. There have been changes due to my wargames and how the results of those battles have affected the areas involved. That is fun to explore!


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