The world is not enough.
Its been an interesting time gaming wise this last couple of years as one online group rose and then died after suffering from massive ennui another ended due to the fantastic news that the Keeper has become a Dad .
I was starting to get a little worried with all these groups ending to be honest as sometimes online games are hard to find that fit into work and life schedules but luckily another established group popped up and were looking for a couple of replacement players everything fitted and I was lucky enough to get in.
It was a classic published scenario updated for modern times and was wonderfully dark and gritty and the group was really cool but after awhile I started having problems with the story/plot as we were leaving lots of story threads behind as it seemed to become a go to location find main clue among some others and then follow the main clue to the next location.
I understand that this is kinda the way things are meant to go but it did seem that we were leaving so many things unfinished and for me It started to unbalance the games internal world (Which I know is a weird thing to say about a game involving flying squids but ?) as I found it harder and harder to understand why are characters were continuing the Investigation with all this other stuff mounting up.
It really had no impact on the main plot as we were still moving forward with that but all the cool stuff around the main plot which helped with the immersion was getting ignored and even though some of it should have had an effect it didn't and so everything started to get a little confused and muddy for me.
And we really needed to have a review of the many things we had found and what part if any they had in the overall investigation but to be fair Players being Players and the limited session time we never really got around to it.
It really struck me how often that the published adventures have natural break points in them where the Investigators have the opportunity to take a break,read the books and take a relaxing holiday in a room with comfy padding but that it seems to be rarely used as the Keeper and Players just keep rushing forward led on by some sort of gaming madness.
Though to be fair I have always struggled to keep a somewhat realistic sense of time passing in games especially when after a month of gaming your characters may have done anything from twenty minutes to a week or more of things in game I think a lot of people have had those games that when they look back on them go "Hey that was a two hour session and all my character really did was park the car and walk into the scary house. Still had a blast though"
So to cut to the chase I left the group which was a big decision and whilst there were a couple of other reasons the fact that the in game world was starting to creak was a large part of the reason I quit things like our boss was kidnapped and possibly murdered and we never checked into it we just carried on with the main plot and left him to his off screen fate.
I must admit I had plenty of chances to push to go back and tidy up these threads but I didn't try hard enough to be honest so that's something I as a Player need to keep on top off especially in the longer campaigns.
So the question after this ramble is how important is the whole game world that you are all creating is it a vital part of the game or is concentrating on just the main plot points enough?
Do your Players really need to call their families every so often to explain why they are travelling the world for several months or is that just unnecessary window dressing?
For me as I get older I feel that if I have filled in that bit on the back of the character sheet and added my contacts etc.I really should involve them even if its a call to my make believe Mum to see how she is doing and not to worry about the fact that I'm visiting a certain Grey Dragon Island.