The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    randomhero00's Avatar

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    Default When you come to an end of a long campaign do you expect to win? Is it a given?

    Basically, does it get harder like you think it would? Or is victory nearly a sure thing so that all that past roleplay was wasted? My group is the former. We ramp up the difficulty and pray we win...

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Valameer's Avatar

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    Default Re: When you come to an end of a long campaign do you expect to win? Is it a given?

    I favour the bittersweet wrap-ups. The end is the perfect time to lose some people.

    And usually it's the hardest part, but the players are the most focused. Give them an easy ending and it cheapens the campaign.

    Also - if the characters lose at the end - well it was the end either way. Too bad.

    I've never had a team actually wipe at the end though, no matter the challenge. I guess that would be pretty unsatisfying, but very memorable.

    So... I'd say the end should naturally be the hardest part of the campaign. Lay it on thick, and see what happens.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Talon Sky's Avatar

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    Default Re: When you come to an end of a long campaign do you expect to win? Is it a given?

    In my campaigns, it's totally possible to have a TPK right at the end. In fact, it's more likely then anywhere else in the game.

    However....usually, even if all the PC's die, they accomplish whatever they were gunning for....the BBEG also dies by DM intervention, or another party of adventurers shows up to finish delivering the ancient crystal to the middle of the tower and save the world. Of course, they never take credit, bringing the PC's bodies back to town to be resurrected/given a heroic funeral.

    Whether or not the PC's survive, a good DM can end a campaign on a memorable note.
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    Default Re: When you come to an end of a long campaign do you expect to win? Is it a given?

    I always expect to win, my friend. I also generally win. Winning at RPG means you're having fun while you play!

    Now, campaign closures, those are nice. My characters tend to get mangled to hell and back, even for adventurer standards. The ones with happy endings tend to be bittersweet. The ones with sad endings turn into horrible abominations...be it to themselves or to the world around them.
    I think that the only thing I wouldn't like would be a meaningless ending, really. If I had fun when I played, and my character wasn't ostracized, whatever closure it got is enjoyed.
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    The last one went into slavery for a decade, escaped and got hunted by the entire continent and spent a good dozen years in hiding and marginality, while at the same time restoring a god to a position of power and rather screwing half of the world in the process watching her parents die horribly. And those were only the plots centric to her.

    As far as the act of playing such character went, the two or three biggest climaxes weren't the last ones
    The ending was a meeting atop a 300 meters tall statue with the rest of the party, about 30 years after the game started(our orcish swordsman was an old master nearly dieing of old age already. His deeds were the most famous as he restarted the passion and honor of his nation, saving it from disgrace). Staring at the sunset, saying "We made it, didn't we..."
    "Yeah"

    The characters kept going with their lives after that, both adventurous and unadventurous, but their presence in the world was as NPCs. Generally people our new characters regretted meeting since they're the baddies :D
    Last edited by Synapse; 2010-10-29 at 02:38 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: When you come to an end of a long campaign do you expect to win? Is it a given?

    The heroes can live, the heroes can die. But in the end they need to feel like they managed to make a difference in the world. Some sort of victory or proper closure is required, otherwise it was all for nothing.

    If a GM just goes "whoops, looks like the bad guy was too strong for you. Take 100 damage. Oh, you died? Well, that's that! The forces of darkness win, campaign over. So, what did you guys think about the campaign?" I would probably just go "meh, anyone want to go grab some pizza at the restaurant?" and walk out without looking back.

    So, yeah. I expect my character to "win" at the end of a campaign. Winning can mean a lot of things, though.
    Last edited by Comet; 2010-10-29 at 02:39 PM.
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    Troll in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: When you come to an end of a long campaign do you expect to win? Is it a given?

    Quote Originally Posted by Synapse View Post
    I always expect to win, my friend. I also generally win. Winning at RPG means you're having fun while you play!
    ... I could not agree more. Being willing to "lose" means being open to a lot more interesting things happening.

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: When you come to an end of a long campaign do you expect to win? Is it a given?

    our last major campaign lasted a year and a half, level 2-30. we never lost a PC, but we lost a TON of npc's. we had a few close calls, and we never really felt safe.

    At the end, we had 2 separate BBEG's to fight, and we ended up splattering them in a single round :/

    im not going to lie, it was a fun ending to the game, and had we not been prepared for the fight, we could have easily been splattered ourselves.

    I think it should be a dangerous fight, i dont want to get to the end of some epic game thats lasted for a while, to just assume we will win. if you get to that point in a game, why keep going? "oh, well, i know we have 2 macguffins left to acquire, but they wont be a challenge, we win!"

    if theres no challenge in the game, there cant be a sense of accomplishment.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: When you come to an end of a long campaign do you expect to win? Is it a given?

    I've always been of the school of thought to let the players' actions dictate their success or failure, even if it is at the climax of a campaign.

    If you want their success or failure have particular meaning, set the next campaign up in the same setting, decades later, so that they can see the long-term ramifications of their success/failure.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: When you come to an end of a long campaign do you expect to win? Is it a given?

    The last three endgames I have DM'd have all resulted in pyrrhic victories for the players with either heavy PC bodycounts, terrible unexpected side effects, or both. Although the possibility of a clean win was always open, the difficulty was very high and they've counted themselves lucky to come through victorious at all. My boss villains are tough, dangerous, canny opponents, and the players know from the outset that victory will be extraordinarily difficult. We wouldn't have it any other way.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2010-10-29 at 03:40 PM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: When you come to an end of a long campaign do you expect to win? Is it a given?

    I expect to have a pretty good chance at winning. If in our last campaign the BBEG just murdered us as soon we stepped in the room, I would not have had fun. Instead there was a chance we could totally have lost. Two guys got teleported to other planes, one guy turned to stone, and this was people risking their necks by passing through a prismatic sphere multiple times so that the BBEG would be defeated. It was tough. We could easily have lost though, with just one less made save.


    The end should always be "winnable" in some way.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
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    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: When you come to an end of a long campaign do you expect to win? Is it a given?

    I was in a campaign once where we all lost and got turned into undead. Which proved a great set up for the sequel when we had to fight our former characters.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: When you come to an end of a long campaign do you expect to win? Is it a given?

    Some DM's I've gamed with just make it too easy.

    But this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Talon Sky View Post
    In my campaigns, it's totally possible to have a TPK right at the end. In fact, it's more likely then anywhere else in the game.

    However....usually, even if all the PC's die, they accomplish whatever they were gunning for....the BBEG also dies by DM intervention, or another party of adventurers shows up to finish delivering the ancient crystal to the middle of the tower and save the world. Of course, they never take credit, bringing the PC's bodies back to town to be resurrected/given a heroic funeral.

    Whether or not the PC's survive, a good DM can end a campaign on a memorable note.
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