I was able to run the second session of my group's new Champions campaign, Champions: REVIVAL, this past Sunday, the 20th of May.
I was excited. Really, really excited. The feeling of potential this one has is hard to describe. It's off the charts.
It's like I've discovered a door in a house I've lived in for many years that I've never seen before. Upon opening this door, I see an entirely new floor, with dozens and dozens of rooms that seem familiar though I've clearly never visited them. I can not wait to investigate further!
Since the world I'm using is one I previously played in and used with prior campaigns, much of the material is well known to at least three of the players. They love the setting and are looking forward to 'seeing' familiar faces, locations, and discovering in what direction their favorite plot lines have gone.
At the same time, the campaign needs new material as well. This is a world they once knew, now about four years on. It has to have changed, grown, and suffered loss along the way. It should be easily recognizable and yet totally surprising at the same time.
For the other two players who are coming in cold, how do I introduce over 10 1/2 years of backstory without losing their interest during the telling? They'll be right there for the new but will they be overly confused by the old?
Going through the campaign development process for this bad boy is therefore less about Campaign Construction as it is Campaign ReConstruction.
I had to take everything I knew about the campaign up to the last point in which I was a participant and say to myself, 'That's not the end of the story. That's the beginning of it'.
This was followed by contacting several of the players and getting their accounts of the game post-me. I did some research into the canon of Champions as per the official products, the canon I could recall or get an account of from the old players, and then cross reference my own personal notes from previous games I'd run in this setting.
Finally I mapped out the logical (to me) progression of various character journeys, plots, and subplots, as well as throwing in a few surprises.
Next, and perhaps most importantly, I took at look the Player Characters my group and created and got a handle on their various backstories and particulars. Using these write-ups as a base, I envisioned how the PCs would interact with the world I'd built, and vice versa. Modifications were made to the setting - nothing huge, a nip here, a tuck there - and I was able to organize what I believed to be a working replica of the game universe as it would be some six months after the final session of the original campaign.
Luckily, another element I remembered to include was room. I left room for new heroes, new villains, unexpected turns of events, and additional player input.
The results have been awesome so far.
They say you can't go home again. Maybe that's true, but you can recreate your old house and start a new life there from that point forward.
More as it develops.