Monday, February 22, 2010

Social Implosions

So, this place has been kinda quiet lately, and it's largely been because I've been unable to talk about my ongoing Continuum Campaign. Back in late December, there was a social implosion that cut the size of the play group in half. This is a gross over-simplification, but basically those 3 players are no longer on speaking terms with one-another. This put the status of the campaign in question for a while. I told the remaining two players that we would keep going while we waited for the fall-out to sort itself out.

It's nearly two months later, and none of the players have come back. Two of the three of them were playing characters who were siblings with intricately interwoven backstories, which makes them not interested in returning as the same characters. Who is on speaking terms with whom changes fairly frequently, as I understand it, so none of them are 100% comfortable coming back. It just wouldn't be fun for them to interact with each other. I find myself very wary about trying to encourage any of the players to return to the game, out of concern that I might be perceived as taking sides in the greater conflict between the people involved. It's pretty yucky.

The weird thing is, despite being down to just two players reliably, and the constant uncertainty of who else might show up week to week, the game has been really good. There's this unjustified awkwardness for the first ten minutes of every session as we all wonder who's going to show up this week. Unjustified, because despite people saying they plan to come back, no one has. Once that initial weirdness passes each week, the rest of the game is awesome. The plot has picked up speed, and I left with great cliffhangers the last two weeks. The sessions have been a great balance of action, humor, characterization, and exploration. I'd be happy to have 1 or more of those 3 missing players come back, but I'm also thrilled with the in-game dynamic as it stands. The two players/characters that we've got work really well together. It's a great campaign, but I almost feel guilty for enjoying it considering the social context of it all.

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