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Ending a Campaign: Taking My Own Advice
Posted By Martin Ralya On October 14, 2008 @ 5:39 am In GMing Advice,Tools for GMs | 7 Comments
When I write GMing advice here on the Stew — and previously on Treasure Tables, as well as for freelance projects — one of my goals is to only give advice that a) I have taken myself, b) is based on observing other GMs or games or c) I would take if the opportunity arose.
Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote a series of articles outlining six ways you can end a campaign. Here they are in order: How to End a Campaign… With a Bang, With a Whimper, A Sudden Stop, On Indefinite Hold, Fast Forward and According to Plan. You can also grab a free PDF that collects the whole series: How to End a Campaign: Six Approaches.
Since I wrote that series, I’ve ended a short-lived campaign of my own with a whimper (the worst possible way…), took part in a campaign via email that ended according to plan and watched one of the other GMs in my group end an awesome Stargate campaign according to plan — the absolute best approach, in my opinion. Hell, he even threw us a “wrap party” in keeping with the TV-show theme of our campaign (which totally rocked).
I bring this up because for the past year I’ve been running a Mage: The Awakening chronicle, and it’s about to end — we’ve got two sessions left (most likely). And from the start, I’ve taken my own advice and worked towards ended it according to plan, and at a point where we could resume it at a later date if everyone was interested.
Knowing from the start that I wanted to combine three of the approaches I outlined in that series — ending the game according to plan and with a bang, but also taking the best parts of putting it indefinite hold — has been a huge help to me. Here’s why:
It’s nice to know that I wasn’t just babbling when I wrote that article series — it’s actually been a big help to me, and I think it’s sound advice. As of a few years ago, I’d never given much thought to the architecture of my campaigns; I just ran them and let them end whenever they happened to end, which usually wasn’t the best way they could have ended.
If you’re in that boat, snag the How to End a Campaign PDF and give it a read. Hopefully it’ll be as useful to you as it has been to me over the past year.
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