View Full Version : DM Help Short Run Campaign: When to stop?

Narrow Century
2016-05-17, 02:27 AM
So, technique question with some specifics.

The party has been looking for a big fancy Macguffin that they want to use to heal a religious and political rift in the dwarven people. This has been the thrust of the campaign, and they're in the final dungeon crawl to get it.

However, there are still a few story threads they left unresolved that they might want to resolve - most prominently, a nearby city under siege by raiders and in dire straits. At least one player has expressed a major interest in going back and helping however he can one this is done.

The intention of this game was always to be concise and focused - an Indiana Jones type race against time treasure hunt, so a clear and satisfying ending was always in the playbook, but now the question is where exactly to end it. Right as they escape the dungeon, cover the "what happens next" in epilogue narration? Play through the saving the city and the particulars of reunighting the dwarves? Cover these thins in brief playable vignettes? Save these events for post-campaign one-offs, mysteries to be solved another time?

2016-05-17, 07:28 AM
My favorite way to end a campaign is to have it end when it feels like it has ended, and moreover, to sit your players down and go one by one and say "What happened to your character after all this?" Give them 100% control, within reason. Let them be the GM of their character's story from that point forward. If at some point you want to return and play through some of the specifics, then do it. But let them ultimately decide what happened to the characters.

It makes it easier on the GM, and it makes it really nice for the players. It gives them the ending they want. Obviously.

May vary from group to group, but I find that this approach works very well.

2016-05-18, 08:20 AM
Always stop the joke at it's peak and I feel the same is true for D&D.

If you had planned the current dungeon to be the end I'd do that. If they really want to go back there make it worth their while and introduce seeds for the next campaign; a teaser. Introduce something neat that they really can't act on immediately and inform them it will be a big deal in the next campaign.

Maybe it's something they, as players, wouldn't know. Maybe it's a really interesting baddie who is only exposed through magic.