The Role Playing Game Association is an international gaming club operated by Wizards of the Coast.
The RPGA sponsors many ongoing campaigns2 played by thousands of members around the world. Free membership to the RPGA will allow one to play in any of these campaigns
however for $20 per year one can become a full member and recieve several benefits including a couple of club magazines and access to certain modules4. As of July, 1st 2002 full RPGA membership is free and it seems the club magazines have been discontinued.
The main draw of RPGA campaigns is that they allow players to create characters4 that may be played in any module made for the campaign. So rather than going to a gaming convention and playing a different pre-generated character in every event you can play your own character(s) -- advancing them as you move from table to table and convention to convention. Because of this RPGA campaigns are to pencil and paper RPG as MMORPG are to computer RPG.
A secondary feature of the RPGA is that the modules have all been edited and approved by the volunteers who run each campaign. The thinking here is that you don't show up to a table at a convention you're paying $50-$100 (and up!) to attend only to find that because your DM couldn't be bothered to plan an adventure he's just going to try (and fail) to wing it.
While this feature looks good on paper, frequently one (or more) of the following occurs:
- The editing process fails to produce a good module. Many times this happens because the module was rushed through editing to meet deadlines and/or because of politics within the campaign's organization.
- The GM (or "judge" in RPGA lingo) hasn't read the module (often because he wasn't given time to). Some judges are incredible at running games on the fly, others not so much...
- The judge either doesn't like something about the module and decides to make it "better" or has disgraceful reading comprehension skills.
RPGA campaigns and their systems/settings. Campaigns with nodes are in bold:
In 2003 WotC gave non-d20 RPGA campaigns the "choice" of converting to the d20 system or being discontinued. This purge of all non-believers is responsible for the deaths of most of the campaigns listed below. The only exceptions to this that I can think of are Living Verge (which was discontinued a few years after the Alternity setting) and Living Jungle (which seems to have been axed despite a fairly rabid core of players).
The RPGA can be found at: www.rpga.com