First, I apologize for the lack of a post on Friday. Work has been a bit crazy with being understaffed and the summer, and I spent most of my freetime working on prep - making and discarding plans - for what ended up being the final session of my L5R game.
To give some perspective, this game started 8.5 years ago. It basically started with this blog. It started at a time when I was beginning to take my GMing more seriously as a skill set, and figured I could talk for hours and hours on how to be a good GM. I had run several campaigns for the group of friends in the years up to the game. Each lasted about 12-24 months, maybe a bit more, and told fairly contained stories. However, I wanted to try something different.. I wanted to try a more open, 'campaign' style game where the game was about the area of the world and the people in it more so than about telling a story.
That was the game we began. It ended up being a generational game spanning 4 specific time periods over the course of about 200 years. We started pre-Scorpion Clan Coup and ended in a timeline all our own full of new Imperial Families, massive disasters that never happened in canon, and several major Shadowlands Incursions into the heart of the empire that left lasting scars.
We also ended up with a meta story whose culmination ended up being the last bit of the game - whoops. This happened fairly naturally. For there to be a purpose in exploring the world, the world needs to have a story of things. And so I seeded the world with stuff. One of those developed into an underground city below the city the PCs were at. And that involved needing an origin, which branched into a major plot line of an ancient evil and the history before history in Rokugan.
Cut to the last generation and these old gods, the unwritten and unsung siblings of Sun and Moon were waking up, and some of them were ready to get right back to the war that had culminated in the descent of the Kami and the beginning of history as Rokugan recorded it.
I learned a lot from this game. Most notably, I learned that I'm incapable of keeping large stories out of my games because I game as much for story telling as anything else, and because the world - all worlds - are full of stories and eventually those will come out. Either by you seeking them out and finding them, or them blowing past you on the way to their own culmination.
Still, it was a great game. I had a lot of fun running the game. It wasn't all sun and roses, but it was definitely more good then bad. It was definitely the longest game I've ever ran.
I suppose we'll see what comes next. And what will serve as inspiration for this blog going forward. (hint: probably my D&D game if nothing else :D )