This week marked the one year anniversary of our AD&D campaign. A lot of our group's members were here in the beginning, and a lot of new members just joined. Last month I recruited for the first time since we began the campaign, having grown only through referrals until then. We've been playing with these new gamers for about a month now and I feel like I hit the player jackpot a second time. Things are good.
Running a campaign twice a week takes a lot of time. It's doable with time to spare for other projects in your life as long as you're not prepping gallons of lore or generally overpreparing. I probably spend more time in prep than a lot of other DMs and I still have time for other projects. Though I live alone and avoid accumulating responsibilities.
If you're considering starting an AD&D campaign, my advice is to do what I did and grow the campaign bottom-up. Start with a single town and a dungeon, maybe a couple surrounding settlements. That way you can get started playing right after you read the rulebooks. But keep in mind that with old-school D&D, if you love the game you're going to want more out-of-session D&D time than just prep time. You're going to want to read more about the game, its history, old rulebooks, modules, Judge's Guild publications, blog posts, old magazines, and so on.
It's that last part, the "research" time, that I've been short on as a result of running the game twice (sometimes thrice) a week. I don't regret choosing twice a week though, it's been a blast and makes for a lively and engaging campaign that can support a lot of engaged players. I would nevertheless recommend at least one month of "research" time before recruiting for your campaign.
Basically, I wish there was even more time for gaming, and for reading about gaming. And I already have a lot of it. I just love gaming.
I feel very lucky to be able to play AD&D with this group. This has been some of the coolest D&D of my life.
Some of my goals for this next year include:
- Studying OD&D and old Judge's Guild products more. I believe understanding OD&D lends itself to AD&D, and vice versa.
- Run a successful hex crawl in our campaign world.
- Compile our now-40-page campaign document into a publishable form to share with other people interested in AD&D, along with our character sheet.
By the way, as part of the numerous changes that have been going on in my life during the past few months, I may be moving this blog's host, and possibly its format. No content will be lost, but the site might be down for a bit.