I have a feeling that I might not have had the greatest gaming experiences, when compared to other people. Often, our campaigns were long on prep, and fell apart a couple of weeks in. There’s only a few campaigns I can ever remember that lasted for more than 2 or 3 sessions. However, as with everything, I still have a TON of great memories about the campaigns I played in.
• My favourite campaign was a Twilight: 2000 campaign, run by my friend’s older brother. It was the longest campaign I ever played in, lasting a couple months. It was also a BIG campaign, at one point having almost a dozen players, but usually having about 8 regulars. We would get together in small groups once or twice during the week, but we would usually have a massive game once or twice a month on Friday nights, where we would play for 6-8 hours while jacked up on Slurpees and junk food, before crashing for the night, then getting up the next morning to go downtown on the bus to pick up our new comics for the week. How my friend’s brother managed to juggle this campaign, I’ll never know, but he did, and it was fun. It was sort of Free City of Krakow, but it went beyond that, with our group turning into a group of arms dealers and mercenaries. It ended up with our group chasing a red-headed psychopath across the Polish countryside, and him gleefully trying to destroy us. One of the player’s went through FOUR characters over the course of the campaign, as the running joke became his characters blundering into booby traps, and getting their legs blown off. It also featured my character misunderstanding a situation, and killing a bunch of a local warlord’s troops as the rest of the party negotiated a deal with him, then having to stash the bodies in our LAV and trying to escape before anybody noticed them missing. The climax came when, as we closed in on the big baddie, he blew up the bridge we were driving over. Half the party died, mostly because they kept trying to dive back down to the sunken LAVs to get their gear, and drowning. Good times.
• Another of our epic campaigns involved a truly massive 16-played AD&D campaign. All I can remember about the campaign is it was two groups – my friend’s older brother DM’d one group of his friends, who were characters trying to save a kidnapped princess, as well as my friends and I, who were another group a week behind the first group, trying to save them from the baddies going after them. There was a crazy overriding plot, but we never got to the end game of this campaign.
• Another memorable campaign was a Top Secret campaign. My friend’s brother (again) was gamemaster, but unbeknownst to us, his brother was playing a Russian double-agent, and the whole campaign was us trying to find Russians, while he tried to assassinate us all. I am proud to say I was the last character to get assassinated… I ended up in a mountain cabin with the double agent, and the real Russian agent, when a bunch of Spetsnaz ski-troops showed up to pop me.
• I once played a character who was a Drow named Cevek (pronounced by me, at least, as suh-VEEK). I played the character as not knowing common very well, so I said everything in character phonetically. This pissed off the rest of the players, who started to call my elf Honda (figure it out). It didn’t end well.
• One memorable Traveller campaign featured my Aslan getting his dewclaws ripped out when he used them to try and anchor himself from getting sucked up by a giant vacuum tube, and then causing a TPK when we took over a starship, but put the two characters with no navigation skills on the bridge, so when they called for help on the ship PA, we were met by several marines in power armour with Gauss guns. It ended… messily.
• The BEST time I ever had playing an RPG was the summers when I played AD&D with my cousins at the cabin. There was about 8 of us (including two girls!), and one summer, we worked our way through The Saltmarsh series over the course of two months. It was GREAT fun. Another summer, we were playing when my mom’s uncle, a Catholic priest, came by and watched. He got right into the game, and even inadvertently gave away a foe that had us stumped (we kept shooting at two glowing eyes in the dark, and wondered why we were having little to no effect, until he said “Aha!”, and mimed a third eye on his forehead… that’s when we figured out we were fighting two cyclops).
• Running my friends through the first Dragonlance module, when an unfortunate roll on the wandering monster table resulted in the group of low level character meeting the black dragon within 4 minutes of starting the adventure, and getting completely eviscerated by it.
Of course, there are other memories (like, the Traveller campaign where I was forced to play a useless belter because he ACTUALLY SURVIVED THE 11+ SURVIVAL ROLL… TWICE), but these are the ones I remember all these years later. It doesn’t matter that they weren’t necessarily the best campaigns… in fact, most of them weren’t that spectacular at all, when compared to the epic session write-ups I see today. But they were FUN, and that was the most important part.