Day 13: What makes a successful campaign?
This a great question and certainly one of the most important ones we’ve been asked to answer. I suppose there are people out there who play one-off games. I’ve never really been one of those people.
I guess one must first define what a ‘campaign’ is. This, I imagine, can vary from group to group, but for me, a campaign is a series of adventures featuring a common cast of characters in a world that lives and breathes with a life all its own.
A successful campaign is born in strong foundations in world-building, where the world’s racial, class, and national politics are firmly established. A campaign has a rich past from which to cull from, but is an open sandbox for the players to submerge themselves.
A successful campaign is populated with intriguing characters, with NPCs that can stand on their own… but what will make or break a campaign?
You could have built a wondrous kingdom and littered it with compelling dungeons and NPCs that would make bestselling authors jealous, and it can still fall apart an unravel if the player characters falter.
For all the work a DM might put into their world, it’s ultimately the players who determine a campaign’s success.
Simply put, a campaign is only as successful as the rise, fall, and rise again of its heroes.