A campaign is a series of linked adventures undertaken by a group of characters, a party, to achieve specific objectives – i.e. to obtain riches, to defeat hordes of monsters, to grow in experience and skills, and to change the world they live in for the better.


Earth-Based Campaigns


I ran a series of loosely linked Earth-based campaigns using elements from the following role-playing games:

My other sources included books, comics, movies, music, television, video games and real life.

My Earth-based campaigns were structured around an alternate timeline in which some things happened as per history, but many things changed. This was where we played “what if?”

I interspersed these ongoing campaigns with a number of short one or two session adventures based on ideas involving some of my long-lived Non-Player Characters (NPCs). These “One Night Plays” were set anywhere from 3000 BC to the modern era and provided additional history and background for my players.

Arthurian Britain

'The Accolade' – Edmund Blair Leighton
‘The Accolade’ – Edmund Blair Leighton

What if King Arthur had really existed, and he’d married Maeve instead of Guinevere?

My Arthurian Britain campaign commenced in 495 AD and was the earliest of my Earth-based campaigns. When the campaign started, Arthur was a boy yet to pull Excalibur from the stone. We played the first half of the campaign through to 514 AD, at which time Arthur had become King and all of the PCs had become vassal rulers of their own large domains.

We had a bit of a gap after 514 AD and picked up again in 520 AD. By this time all of the PCs had sons, legitimate or otherwise, the right age to become young knights in King Arthur’s court. I asked the players to stat up and play a son of their PC for the second part of the campaign. This gave us an opportunity to “soft reboot” into the golden age of King Arthur Pendragon.

Dark Ages

Lorca Castle
Lorca Castle

What if vampires were real, and a 5,000-year-old blood-daughter of Lilith ruled history from the shadows?

My Dark Ages campaign commenced in 1189 AD. After the first few games, one of the PCs did a very bad thing and damaged Clan Bahari’s primary arcane artifact, the Circle of Order. It was an accident but after that, the plot pretty much wrote itself.

The campaign turned into one big, high stakes scavenger hunt across vast realms in different planes of existence. Driving the PCs was their very irate 2nd Gen Sire, Keeper of the aforementioned artifact.

I had plans to continue this campaign with new PCs who were to be members of the Knights Templar. We would have begun in 1200 AD in Saragossa, Spain, and journeyed to the Holy Lands. The PCs would have been commanded by Don Juan Carlos Vega y Galino, with special orders to bring true death to the unholy progeny of Cain.


Le Viaduc de Millau, Autoroute E11-A75, Aveyron, France
Le Viaduc de Millau, Autoroute E11-A75, Aveyron, France

What if H. P. Lovecraft’s view of the world wasn’t too far wrong, and powerful forces inimical to mankind lurked in Earth’s deep, dark places?

Call of Cthulhu is a role-playing game based on the horror and consequential insanity stories of H. P. Lovecraft and his circle of friends. The official game settings include the 1890’s, the 1920’s and the modern era.

I preferred the latter two eras, although we played the occasional game set in the late 1800s. These games involved the use of gates or spells so that 1920s or 1990s PCs could time travel, sometimes to alternate Earths where different histories had led to interesting results.

From 1878 to 1926 – and – From 1983 to 1992.

What if some great dark evil from beyond the stars threatened our world, and all that stood between us and total destruction was a secret government agency, an alien Star Gate and a team of intrepid Marines?

My intention with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) PCs was to explore the outcome of matching heavy weaponry up against various Cthulhu and non-Cthulhu threats. All the players had before this campaign were guns, their wits and some unreliable and painful magic.

The Marines were armed with weapons-loaded Blackhawk helicopters, automatic assault weapons, heat-seeking missiles and “nuclear solutions”. The results were very entertaining.

USMC vs “What the … ?”

What if nascent Angels lived in a share house in Cleveland, fending off the Fallen while earning their wings?

Nephilim are ancient and magical creatures of mythology and legend who reincarnate through a series of lives as they quest for their interpretation of Agartha. Nephilim proper are alleged to be the offspring of fallen angels and human women, so angels take a special interest in Nephilim due to their heritage.

Nephilim, or Angels in America.

What if a party of White Magicians siphoned power from the Dreamlands to protect the innocent from monsters in human skin?

This Call of Cthulhu campaign had a traditional flavour – less heavy weaponry and more low profile activities than the USMC campaign. I wanted a subtler, undercover approach and a stronger connection between PCs, Earth-based magic traditions and the Dreamlands.

The White Magicians.

What if there wasn’t just one James Bond, but four?

Four young men from the UK Security Service (MI5) were dispatched to bring the hurt down on clandestine enemies of the United Kingdom, specifically cultists. Watching over them was a mysterious woman from the UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) – an experienced time traveller with a PhD in occult applications of advanced technology.

Web of Spies.

Alternate Worlds

These campaigns occurred in different space and time than the above Earth-based campaigns, and each of these alternate world campaigns had its own timeline.

Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons

After decades playing a variety of role-playing games, I’ve settled on Dungeons & Dragons – a classic game in every sense of the word. We play both the 3.5 edition and the 5.0 edition. My Dungeons & Dragons campaign is set in Mystara.

Star Wars

Star Wars
Star Wars

In a galaxy far, far away …

My players still regard my Star Wars campaign as one of the most fun games they’ve ever played.



The realms of sleep have their own existence separate from dreamers, and dreamers can lose their way and never wake up.

Characters from all eras and planes of existence often wind up in my Dreamlands campaign as they sleep, where a whole new adventure awaits them.

Dragon Riders of Pern

Just because something reads well in print, doesn’t mean it will make a good role-playing game. Dragon Riders of Pern was a nightmare to adapt and even worse to play. To this day my players rank it as their least-loved game.

This exercise taught me a lot about what not to do when running a role-playing game. My most important lesson was not to create a built-in power imbalance between players in the same party. No-one wants to be another player’s spear-carrier. 

It’s been over a decade since this campaign crashed and burned, but I still wanted to run a campaign where the PCs were part of an elite team of riders on large flying beasts. Finally, I got my chance.

Wings Over Mystara is my current campaign, and I’m having great fun running it for my players.

Anfar Refinli

Anfar Refinli
Anfar Refinli

Anfar Refinli was a much-loved RuneQuest campaign created and run by Neil Fraser, my first GM, and set on a Celtic flavoured island in a world of his making. I played Dranffilo Voklaynn, a healer, and Asrano Farso Ala, a fighter. Voklaynn’s partner was her husband Tintagel, and Ala’s partner was her second-in-command, Asrane Yalesse Sen.

The campaign was retired after Neil’s untimely death in 1999. I’ve included it here because it was Neil’s finest work, and because two of my most loved characters started off in this game.