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This is the end

Written by Expy - Published on September 10, 2007

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Instant Campaign Builder Part IX: Ending the campaign

This article is part of the Instant Campaign Builder Project.

Why plan the ending?

I strongly suggest planning the ending, the last scene of your campaign before the first game is ever played. Here’s why:

  • Knowing where the campaign is headed – or where it could be headed – can help you make a lot of decisions on the fly and improvise more effectively.
  • You might realize you need to plant clues, items, or information along the way.
  • Once the ending is planned, foreshadowing becomes an option. A while ago I wrote about roleplaying foreshadowing.

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Expy the dragon says:
When in doubt, add a red dragon
to the last scene of your campaign.
It spices things up!

How to end a campaign
I would definitely try to deliver on the promise you made in the first game. Other than that I would refer to TT’s How to end a campaign.

End a campaign…

With a Bang
With a Whimper
A Sudden Stop
On Indefinite Hold
Fast Forward
According to Plan

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Written by Expy

Meet Expy The Red Dragon

Expy is the mascot for DungeonMastering.com and the real mastermind behind Expy Games. He likes to hoard treasure, terrorize neighbors, burn down villages, and tell white dragon jokes..

No matter how fearful the legends claim dragons are, they always end up being defeated in 5 rounds by adventuring parties they encounter. That’s what dragons are – experience points for the heroes in your Dungeons & Dragon party. And this mascot is no different, hence the name Expy.

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9 Responses to “This is the end”
  1. Phil says:

    You mean like how J.K. Rowlings wrote the end of Potter’s 7th book before writing the 1st one?

    Damn, I have never ever done this. My campaigns usually peter out when our collective (read mostly my) inspiration falters and the attractiveness of newer Supplements pulls us too strongly.

    However, I do have an idea on how I expect this one to end… Oh boy 4th edition is out, we start the new game in August!

  2. Yax says:

    I haven’t read the Potter books. Did she really write the ending first?

  3. I don’t know when she wrote the end to Harry Potter.

    But I do know that the end of the campaign is a time of celebration, or should be anyway. When the party finally reaches that goal and the world is safe again (or whatever), you should celebrate. You’ve accomplished something very important, congratulations.

    I like having a set ending because I like to know that the character I’ve worked so hard to build has achieved something monumental in her life.

  4. Yax says:

    Words of wisdom. We should indeed celebrate the end of a campaign.

    As part of the end-planning why not plan for a real life party, meal & ale or something like that.

    The whole celebration could be in-character, or not. Or both!

    What do you think?

  5. Phil says:

    Or you can actually return to an older campaign and conclude it properly like we did here: http://chattydm.blogspot.com/2007/07/ending-campaign.html

  6. Jammercoves says:

    In a lot of ways it’s like a TV series where the creator(s) actually have a plan for where the series goes. Somethimes though the realities get in the way and the series is cut short. Does it stop dead in the middle of an episode? Do they get fewers easons than they thought they were going to get and have to cram a lot of ideas into the last season? Maybe they get a follow-up one-off where they can wrap things up or maybe they actually get to play it out how they saw it.

    By all that I mean it’s a great idea to have an plan for the end of the campaign, but sometimes if reality comes crashing in you should be ready to crunch things down to essentials to reach a conclusion rather than have the campaign stop abruptly.

    All this is assuming your campaign survives forst contact with the players’ hair-brained schemes of course. :)

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