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Tkalamov

Any longer campaign experiences so far?

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Hi all, title is in the question. I am just curious as to how Genesys holds up as a system for longer term campaigns and whether it breaks down and becomes quite convoluted after a good 10 or so sessions. 

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I have ran one for 11 sessions as of last week. The game itself is fine. The players are able to roflstomp minions rather than struggling with them but most Rivals still challenge them and the last time they fought a Nemesis, they got saved by a deus ex machina that I threw in.

A couple of players worked their way up and got a five in a Skill. They have been spending their XP more on Talents than anything else. 

The campaign is at about the 2/3 mark, though. 

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I've played in a few long running games, a few high XP games, and i think the system holds up just fine. becuase strain and wounds do not directly scale with XP (though you can get things like toughened and grit as talents) player durability can increase, but it has to be a significant investment in either XP, items, or both. This means that minions are just about as deadly at gen as they are at any other XP level.

Now the players will get better, as their skills increase. They will get more options, as they get talents and train new skills. But the cap for "how good you are at a thing" in genesys is much lower compared to starting values than it is in other popular systems. The big trick is in balancing encounters both on a narrative and mechanical level to keep them interesting. Which can take some practice as a GM, but is also very rewarding once that groundwork is laid.

 

@verdantsf has quite a bit of experience with high XP value, and long running games. If he is willing to share it, i would listen to any advice he gives on the matter ? he's also a excellent GM and someone i very much enjoy gaming with on either side of the table.

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My current Genesys campaign is only 13 adventures in, but the SWRPG campaign I ran went for three years, with 150+ adventures and 200+ sessions. Most PCs were 1000+ xp, but two were 2,000+. The beauty of this system is that you can have groups with wildly different xp amounts, which is inevitable in the open, meta-campaigns that I prefer. However, even more important than the total XP characters have is how they use it. If someone is a highly motivated min/maxer, a completely broken character can be created well before the 300 XP mark. Emphasizing roleplay, not just rollplay, where character choices follow an emergent storyline, rather than simply what is mechanically advantageous, adds quite a bit of longevity.

For example, my character only has a Presence of 2, however, I've invested in both Inspiring Rhetoric and Inspiring Rhetoric, Improved. He's not the best leader, but I roleplay it as him using negative reinforcement to get people "inspired."

Character: "Really? You're tired? Should I fetch your slippers?! My eyes see an orc, but my ears hear an elf. Get a move on!" 

Me: "Rolling for Inspiring Rhetoric to add a boost die on top of the one already given through unskilled assistance. We need to keep marching!"

Doesn't always work, but it's fun and gives my character something to do outside of combat hack & slash. I've been in plenty of campaigns where characters never stray from stacking advantages onto their best characteristics. The beauty of Genesys is the narrative dice system, so even on a failure, fun things can happen!

Compared to GM'ing other systems, keeping things challenging for the PCs has been a lot easier. Add an extra rank of Adversary here, lower Crit Rating there, sprinkle in some Vicious, voila! 

Edited by verdantsf

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19 hours ago, Tkalamov said:

Hi all, title is in the question. I am just curious as to how Genesys holds up as a system for longer term campaigns and whether it breaks down and becomes quite convoluted after a good 10 or so sessions. 

Not in Genesys, but in Star Wars (which is almost same system but Genesys has some rule enhancements, which would have fixed few of my problems (like PCs hoarding Dedications)), I GM'd 81 session campaign. At the end it was a bit cumbersome for me as a GM because 1) I gave a bit too much XP (characters gained well over 1000 xp), but 2) more importantly, I locked myself to SW canon too heavily. That campaign will continue later now that I have solutions to problems. 

I don't see any reasons why Genesys wouldn't work in longer campaigns. Power level will rise over time, but happens in every system with character development. IMHO GM need focus on few things in longer campaign: 1) Don't give too much XP (recommendations in book are good), 2) Make sure PCs don't cheese and min-max too much, 3) don't plan too much ahead in detail. Have a rough guideline in your usage, but e.g. give opponents stats when it's appropriate, and don't mind changing them appropriately if PCs gain more XP than you anticipated (e.g. from additional side quests).

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