Ever run an awesome game where the entire group is having fun with a great finale and it is the perfect time to end the session, but then one or more of your players says “This is great! We should keep going!”?
Do not, I repeat, do not answer that question until you have answered these three questions first:
Do I have enough material to continue?
If your session was 31 flavors of awesome because you had done excellent prep work of some sort and you now have nothing ready to use you should not continue the session. If you were improvising and find yourself tapped out at the moment do not continue the game.
Do I have the stamina to continue?
I do not know about the rest of you, but when I GM I put a lot more energy into the game than when I am a player. Maybe it is because I stand when I GM, or because I am putting more effort into portraying several different characters instead of just focusing on how I play my PC. I do not have an answer as to why, but I am always considerably more tired after a night of GMing an RPG as opposed to a night of playing an RPG.
The point? If you are feeling even slightly tired you should probably not continue the game.
Do I want to risk this great session becoming a bad one?
The first two questions are just meant to get you to be honest with yourself. If you asked this question first you might automatically respond with “This session was so amazing it cannot possibly go bad now!”
Oh yes it can. The best laid plans of mice and men my friends. Great sessions can turn to crap sessions with only a few bad decisions, and the first bad decision was usually to keep going when the session had reached a good stopping point.
So do yourself a favor and keep these three questions in mind when you end a great session and someone says “Let’s keep going!” If you are up to that challenge and can continue great, but if not just politely say no and keep your players salivating for more in the next session. That will give you time to not only ensure that you are ready to GM, but it also gives you time to analyze what worked and how to make the next session just as fun if not better.
Have you ever had a great session go bad because you decided to “keep going” when you should have just ended the session? Have some tips on how to keep a great session going without risking it going bad? Then share your experiences in the comments section below with us gnomes and our readers, and let us know how you feel on the matter.