View Full Version : Tips for a Campaign Conclusion

Totally Guy
2008-10-26, 02:05 PM
My first campaign is coming to an end and it seems that with this session I might end up with a bit of a railroad.

1. There are a number of loose ends to resolve.

2. There will be a big boss fight.

First help with the loose ends. They're not exactly sidequests but with the goal of beating the big bad a realistic option for them now I don't think they'll prioritise concluding them. Alernatively they could be railroaded.

Secondly it feels like I'm going into this with the single option of the big fight scene finale. It'll still be their descision how this all happens. The twist is that the guy they think is the greater evil will repent and the lesser villain will be the credible threat so really the final fight could be several things depending on how they respond to this. But again getting to that point feels like a sure thing where there should be options for other legitamate things for them to do. But then I'd risk prolonging the campaign with a pointless activity or concluding it in a way that is contrary to the drama that's already built up.

It's a bit like I've allowed divergence and now I need to converge upon something instead.

2008-10-26, 02:15 PM
Best idea?

If you've determined that your BBEG and his Trusted Lieutenant have seeds of doubt, then let it happen. If that's a false seed, let that happen.

When the chips are down, the sidequests tend to seem more like distractions, than goals. Let that happen. They tend to be good lead offs if you pick the campaign up later. I'm sure one of them could spawn a whole new BBEG.

As for the boss fight... Above all, don't railroad. Make sure like the players feel less like you're telling a story, and more like they're forging their destiny. Set the stage, set the scene, and play your parts. And play them well. BBEG fights should, at a minimum, have a risk of PC wipe. At worst? Well, serious botches on BBEG's have led to TPK's.

Don't coddle them, but give them an opportunity to shine. Players react well when they feelt there's risk. Once, I had a player build a 60 AC Dwarf with 400 hp, immunity to crits, and a low save of +26... at level 15. The rest of the party advised him to fall back from the White Dragon Trusted Lieutenant. He charged forward alone.

He was dead in 2 rounds. It wasn't even close to pretty. The remainder of the party? Gave it a lot more respect after that. The player who died? Never charged alone into a room with a dragon again. And the game was better for that. Give the players risk, give them dramatic tension, and you give them something they remember.