I play at a mall food court, not at a home.

I play at a mall food court, not at a home.

I play at a mall food court, not at a home. I can’t take my game to a home bacause most players are underage and don’t get permission to go to houses. At the mall there is a spot where all kind of gamers gather and play tabletop games and exhibit their costumes and such. The mall is ok with this, there’s enough room for everybody and there plenty of food. The question is that I always have different people at my table. I don know how to keep a steady campaign when nobody knows what’s going on in the world and there is no involvement with the world since players change from session to session. That is campaign developments fom last week’s players are meaningless to today’s new players. Any advice?

9 thoughts on “I play at a mall food court, not at a home.”

  1. First of all, it’s awesome that the mall is cool with that. Two things off the top of my head.

    1) Don’t worry about it. Run a new one-shot every session. If the same players show up, awesome. If not, that’s still cool. You could do a “living campaign” too. In that, the actions of the characters have lasting effects on the game world, even if the characters change from week to week.

    2) Run an episodic game. Have all the player characters be part of the same organization. That way they all have a reason to work together even if they don’t know each other. Have every session begin and end at the home base so that it makes sense for the characters to change from week to week.

  2. I deal with this a lot, and I’ve found that you can do a lot of the heavy lifting by establishing a campaign premise that supports a revolving door cast. The easiest way to do that is with a centralized location (ideally paired with some setting-specific fast travel & Communication that’s not 100% reliable). Something like Babylon 5 or Planescape’s Sigil can be great for this. You can keep games discrete but related by keeping that consistent ground zero, and the “story” of the game just focuses on a different set of cast members each week.

    You can drift it a bit with some other unifying factor, like an organization. This could be an association (like a club) or an agency (with players as agents) but the bottom line is that if you set up the premise of the game so that characters come and go easily, then it’s easy for players to do the same.

  3. Oney Clavijo  Have a single hub of adventure. Maybe it’s a king’s castle who is looking for adventurers to his dirty work, or a city, or even a trading post where folk of the realm go to find help. But having a singular location where heroes from all over come to find work as heroes would make  sense. Maybe one week adventurers fall in with someone who needs help with orc raiders, and the next they’re investigating a strange tomb. Having a living, breathing region centered around a never-changing location means that new players can be one of the dozens of adventurers trying to make their way in the world, while old players will still be around because they never left the area. Having a ‘den of adventurers’ and a small region surrounding it means it makes sense for them to be there looking for work and to bump into other heroes who are working in the area. Additionally, recurring players gets to see the region they live in grow and change as time goes on and get to be an active force in the game world.

    I would recommend taking a look at the setting of Jeremy Strandberg ‘s stone-top. It’s all based around a village, and everyone is a villager. Stonetop is a hack of dungeon world, but there’s no reason you can’t use the ideals for something else :). Good luck in your adventures!  

    TL;DR: Having a single location or region that heroes return to at the end of every session means that they are always on hand if they play again at your table,and new players can easily be other people and adventurers who eke out their living in that area. 

  4. I second the episodic structure.  If each session ends with the resolution of the immediate problem then the next session can start up days or weeks later and changes in lineup are easy to get away with.  This happens in my home game, we have over a dozen that have played with us, but on any given week about half show.

  5. I am planning to run an open table style game like this in which there is a recently-rediscovered megadungeon teeming with creatures and treasure, creating a gold rush sort of situation. Each session, players return back to the local boomtown after exploring and looting. The next “day” a new party is formed to seek more treasure (or fame, or creature trophies, or whatever).

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