Extended Campaigns vs. One-Shot Adventures

One thing about the Savage Worlds RPG that makes it different from other systems: there’s a real temptation to jump from genre to genre and experiment a bit. The Players in our little group have thus far experienced two classic D&D-style fantasy campaigns, an outer-space adventure, Zombie Run and the Wild West. That’s just in the six months or so we’ve been playing.

There are pros and cons to this approach. Shifting quickly through different genres gives the GM plenty of more options to let him try a game idea that’s been “rolling around in his brain for a little while.” The Players get a fresh approach each time, too. If they want to be the same kind of badass warrior in each adventure, they can do that — or they can try being an inventor or wizard or whatever.

Less danger of games going stale. But there’s a bit of a danger.

When you switch adventures all the time, Players don’t see their characters develop, either personality-wise or in terms of abilities.

What’s the point in gaining experience points from a great roleplay session if you’re not going to be able to use those points to upgrade your character in the next game? One of the great things about playing the same character for a while is that it engenders identification with that character — and makes the Player get into the game all the more.

Then again, not worrying about experience points may focus the Player on having fun in the moment rather than worrying about in-game mechanics. After all, if Players ever do complain that their One-Shot adventure characters don’t get to use any of the cool powers available to Heroic or Legendary dudes, the GM can always start off the players with those abilities. There are rules for that.

Do Savage Worlds Players want to keep playing the same characters through long campaigns, nurturing them to greater heights of heroic glory? Or do they just want the most variety possible? I’d love to know.

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