I swear, trying to keep an ongoing campaign going with continuity and momentum these days seems to be an impossibility. Over half my players had to cancel for various reasons this past Sunday for our 4E game. We try to play the game every two weeks and the past two week-ends, including this last Sunday's game had to be cancelled due to poor attendence. Needless to say I was disappointed. Two players showed up hoping another would show, but he never did, so we just spent that time chatting about gaming for about an hour and then they left.
You can't run a 4E game with just 2 players. 3 is do-able but not easy. I was rushing around the last minute trying to whip up a small side adventure, but when the 3rd player never showed, I just decided not to bother. I think in this case, playing a game like OD&D or AD&D where you can hire hirelings and meat-shie...err henchmen to round out a small party can keep a game going regardless who shows up. The 4E approach is that all the PC's are powerful enough that they don't need hirelings, but if there's less than 4 PC's you'll have trouble. And 4E is involved enough that trying to play more than one PC per player is not viable. I think this is where the older editions have an advantage of it's less complex rules design that playing more than one PC or playing hirelings/henchmen is easier to do.
All this has got me thinking about the difficulties in trying to run a continuous campaign in modern times. It may be fine if you're a teen-ager with little responsibilities, but much harder for those of us in our 30's to 40's.
I think what I need to do is not bother with a continuous plot-line that requires all the players to be involved. As evidenced by a few players who have miseed several games, they quickly forget what is going on. I think what I need to do is focus on adventures that take one game session to start and finish. Make the adventures episodic in nature with no links to any other adventure, that way if a player misses a game, they don't miss out on any information that is plot-related. Adventures will be site-based relatively close to their home-base so by the time the adventure ends, they are all back in town. This will help with continuity issues trying to explain why so-and-so's PC isn't around if they end the session in the wilderness or near the dungeon and we have to come up with a reason why their character is no longer there.