Community centric campaign with rotating cast?

I was thinking about an idea I had of having a campaign centred around a community, but having the cast of Players change every so often. The community centric focus is to tie various PCs together while at the same time allowing them to have their own stories. You'd have a short story line that lasts a handful of sessions, the switch out a couple PCs for different players and characters, then pursue a different storyline in the same community. I was thinking Apocalypse World for this since it is fairly community centric and handles PvP conflict well. I was also considering The Quiet Year for creating the community and the initial conflicts.
It could give players who can't commit to a normal campaign but want more continuity than a one shot exactly what they need. It could also give noob GMs a chance to try out the role in a setting everyone is familiar with, AND possibly let Forever GMs take a break.

Has anyone ever tried something like this? Or had a large enough player base for it? Or just any thoughts on how this might work?


  • I was looking for something sort of similar in this thread, some of the responses might be helpful:
  • We do this all the time, either by rotating GMs by story arc or by session. It works better with some games than others; it works gloriously with open-ended games like Archipelago. While our player group is largely fixed, every session adapts to who can actually show up, and we typically have a large cast of characters to draw from. Right now we're playing a game about a fleet of 120 space refugees, so sessions can focus on a single ship in the fleet, or the entire fleet, or whatever makes sense. At the end of every session someone volunteers to facilitate the next session, building on the emerging story and adding some complications and adversity and building out the universe a little.
  • Thank you both for the suggestions. I will check out both that thread and Archipelago (which I hadn't heard of before).
  • I think DramaSystem would work well for this.

  • The challenge with changing players is, of course, keeping everybody on the same page regarding the imagined content. Maybe having some kind of bulletin or end-of-session summary addressed to absentees could help.
    Once that's worked out, picking different characters within a community as the focus each time shouldn't be an issue. One game I played recently which works like that is the latest iteration of Fifth World.
  • Keep a wiki or etc. Like a show "bible".

  • Archipelago, if you are interested in checking it out. All profits to charity!
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