It had been months since I had played DnD, as most of my old regular group had scattered to the winds. All for one reason or another. I had just heard about the 3.5 PH that was coming out, and I liked some of the balancing of the classes and some of the spells they were doing.
So I was down at the local gaming shop, and as always I noticed some of the people there playing some old 2nd edition games regularly. So I thought, what the hell, I’ll see if anyone else was interested in starting a campaign with me. I got a few new players and a few regulars with me. The first session had me playing with 4 players. Then I had another 4 who had been watching/listening to my gaming session asked me to run one for them too. Which I tried doing for a few sessions, but that much time commitment was too much for me. So I brought them all together for the centennial celebration held at the ruling city of Kalor.
For the next year I ran this campaign every Saturday and had stolen all the main players into my one campaign. 9 people I wound up running with, and I had to draw the line there and deny others from being able to join. I had never expected that kind of draw. 3.5 hit and I started transitioning over. So for a long time it was 3.John. All the plot twists I had been planning for years, all the story elements to weave into the plot finally came to life. It still stands as my favorite gaming memories to this day.
I eventually brought the first half of the campaign to a close in Kalor as I had planned so many years ago, with Garrick on the loose having escaped to the main land. My plan of running with just an outline of the main story and playing off everyone else made for a good time for everyone. It also let them have an impact on the story, as I had to create NPCs and events based on their actions. It also let me learn the greatest tool of a DM, and that is if you give them enough rope they’ll hang themselves.
Everyone reached or was within a level of 20 by the end of the last session, and the end of the story elements I had come up with. This left me in a funny bind though, as I hadn’t actually ever planned what would happen after this point in the story! The idea it would ever get that far seemed like a pipe dream, and here I was facing it. So I then got to work on the epic story, and since I had never ran or played in a serious epic campaign I decided to be more frivolous with the magic and equipment. Which I feel was a good idea, they had been playing these characters for a year. It was time to let them feel like they were pretty badical.
The epic campaign ran for another year, although I only DMd 50-75% of those weekends. After all that time I had to take a break as I was near burn out. Near the end I had been taking multi week breaks, trying to stave off the eventual burn out. I and many others felt the final battle was a bit of a let down, and it was sadly due to me rushing things along to finally bring things to a close. I was so close to complete burn out on gaming period. I wish that I had taken a few weeks or even a month off to make that last battle better. But such is life.
So that is the end of the tale of the campaign setting. I picked it back up again in ‘07 but only a very small core group has stayed on. I’m hoping the reboot here will get things going again once more.