So I’ve been playing Eternal Lies, the long term so-called mega campaign from Pelgrane Press. We’ve actually been recording it, I’m not sure when or if it will be released, we’ve been plagued with recording and alcohol related play quality issues throughout. However, the main challenge that we’ve faced has not been an overabundance of beer or poor mic placement, but burnout.
The campaign has been going for over a year. We’ve done our best to avoid getting tired of the themes of Eternal Lies (sex, violence, the ever present nectar and oral fixations), and the ever changing and exotic locales do a great deal to enhance this.
I took steps as well to eliminate what I felt was the worst problem with Masks of Nyarlathotep, the lack of character persistence. I’m not sure if this has contributed to the malaise of the players. That is to say, I am sure that they were dying too often in Masks, but maybe not enough in Eternal Lies.
It might be an issue with GUMSHOE, not so much a complaint against the system, but that we were playing it wrong at first and are still unfamiliar with it. The sanity vs stability pools have never been entirely clear to me. In one shot games, it generally never even matters but with characters persisting over thirty-plus sessions, the rules have become more and more important.
What do you guys/gals think? Is there a way you fight player boredom in long campaigns? Are you all just so incredible at running games that you never encounter this problem? I’d love to hear what you have to say, either in the comments or in Twitter or Facebook.