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    MindFlayer

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    Default Campaign Endings

    Reading through the "How much planning for a Campaign" thread got me thinking about the best (or perhaps the worst) ending ever. Was it the conclusion of an overarching plot line, or just the last in the series of largely unrelated adventures? What made it the best? Alternatively, tell the worst ending that ever occurred. (must be a real ending, not just mutual agreement to stop playing the campaign.) Why was it so bad?

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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    The worst endings are the ones that aren't really endings where the game goes no too long and everybody stops caring. Any written ending is better than that.
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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    Quote Originally Posted by bugsysservant View Post
    (must be a real ending, not just mutual agreement to stop playing the campaign.)
    ^^^aimed at above post^^^



    Anyways, I've never been in a campaign that actually finished, since my playgroup IRL don't like sticking to one campaign, unfortunately.
    Last edited by SensFan; 2007-06-29 at 02:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    My favorite?

    Watching the expressions on my players' faces as they realized they were all lost souls trapped in a perpetual dream of a fallen goddess. Basically, the goddess was trapped in a state of eternal sleep, and the conclusion of the campaign was to destroy the dark presence keeping her asleep.

    When she awoke, reality shifted and it was like the goddess was never gone and the PCs had no memory of their dream forms (but they did recognize each other).

    I had been giving them hints that something wasn't quite right with the "world" for eight months prior to their realization. It was a long wait, but very much worth it.
    Last edited by Everyman; 2007-06-29 at 03:51 PM.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    After two years of play bringing characters from 1st through15th level (EDIT: OD&D ), we had to retire them. Everyone was getting to emotionally attatched to their characters (to the point of entire sessions spent arguing whether or not one of them was permanently dead). I think that was the worst ending because it wasn't a campaign topping adventure, more of a written "happily ever after" for them. After that, we kept to short story arcs and things tended to work out better for everyone (no-one got to atatched or bored with their characters).
    Last edited by SoulCatcher78; 2007-06-29 at 04:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    Our campaigns tend to run quite short, two or three months tops, so I've seen a lot of campaign enders in a very brief span of time. It's getting to be tradition to end every campaign with a big, epic-level battle that lasts all day.

    The least satisfying was where we went to fight a bunch of gods. We managed to get a few, but all in all we were fairly unsuccessful, and we all died. Except that they all obviously recorporated a few days later, and we had enough contingencies and otherwise to resurrect us again. After an hour of play and four hours of battle (to play about 24 seconds of combat), a grand total of nothing had really changed. There was no real goal.

    The best was the end of our dragon campaign, where the PCs, all great wyrms, killed the immensely epic dracolich who had been the driving force behind everything we'd been up against in the course of the campaign. It had separate rounds of combat, from grunt-slaughter to the final glorious showdown, and was actually a completion of the plot, rather than a battle for combat's sake. Essentially, it gave the characters a sense of closure, and the players a sense of victory.

    Also, it was a kobold used as a projectile that finally killed the dracolich, but that's another matter entirely.
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    An act of throwing someone or something out of a window.

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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    Agh, I want to talk about my upcoming campaign's ideal end (I'm well aware the likelihood of what I want to happen happening is slim), but I suspect a couple of my players check this site occasionally and they might figure out who I am.

    That being said, the last campaign I ended didn't go as well as I had hoped, but it did manage to end with a pretty cool battle in front of a portal, with the party trying to shut down the portal before the BBEG could get through it.
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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    Hmm, lets see.

    The campaign I was playing for a year and a few months ended by DM trying to TPK us and fail. Last battle was with adult green dragon who demanded that we give all our magical items to him in exchange for our lives.

    Of course we said no way. We were ECL 10 party consisting of lvl 10 Elf Duskblade, lvl 10 Dwarf fighter, lvl 10 Halfling rogue and me, lvl 9 Aasimar cleric of Bahamut.

    So the dragon kills Duskblade, drops fighter, drops me and reduces rogue to 1 HP. Dragon's AC was around 38 (shield, magic armor) and he was very badly wounded at that time. Dragon's turn: misses rogue with all attacks (DM rolled no more than 5), and rogue gets natural 20 next round (he couldn't hit without nat 20), sneak attacks and kills the dragon.

    Afterwards we decided to make a barbecue of the dragon.

    At that point our DM stated that we will maybe continue this campaign in the future. We didn't even got to see what he had in his hoard.

    The best thing: we didn't realize until that point that he tried to kill us all a few sessions before that one but forgot that human bane arrows and weapons don't work on dwarfs, halflings and asimars so he only managed to kill our ranger (later duskblade) which was the only human in the party.

    Do you also share my opinion that this sucks?
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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    Wow... There should be some sort of test to prevent really bad DMs from ever assuming their position. I mean, its bad enough to go for the TPK, but to fail is just really bad. Twice. Ah well, at least you have the satisfaction of really pissing him of by your competence (small consolation that it is.)

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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    i feel like every dm should try to kill their party with serious intent, because without that mental additude the dungeon or battle (or whateverr) just wouldnt be hard enough.

    HOWEVER, the DM cant metagame any more than the players. it would be unrealistic forr a new enemy to suddenly know all of the parties weaknesses, and if its a major trap (ambush) there should always be hints amongst the terrain that could IN CHARACTER warn the party. so yeah, that sucks.

    on topic, my favorite ending was when the party realized that they had been pawns of their arch-nemesis, and discovered that in fact their 3 arrch nemesis who they thought were enemies of each other were actually the same single person who used much illusions. they were PISSed, in character, and int showed in the way they fought (they were all captured 'no, mr paladin, i expect you to die' style). i had to fudge up rules about throwing objects because i couldnt find the rules, and the druid who had just turned into a bear had just thrown the cage holding the elf hexblade at a fleshgolem.
    then the party ran out of the collapsing castle without saving the princess!

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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    bigbaddragon

    That's pretty stupid. But, in a way you did get a satisfying conclusion. Maybe not so much in story, but if the DM is just trying to kill you there probably wasn't much story to begin with. You did however beat the DM, and that's an accomplishment.


    The two games I was in just completely died half way through without conclusion. Which really sucks because both of them involved a lot of mystery and I wanted to see where they went. The obsessive completest in me can't stand this.
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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    The campaign was really good until it simply turned into hack'n'slash mostly but this happened because we pushed him into prolonging so it was partially our fault.

    Anyway he already had the idea for new campaign in Eberron and that is what we're playing now, and so far it looks good - I think I contracted lycantrophy from a wererat (can you believe it, a lousy wererat, couldn't it just be a wolverine). That will be fun to RP the next time one of Eberron's moons rises.

    But back to the topic: what do you think about designing the campaign backwards - from the end to beginning?
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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    I just have to add one more thing: at the end of before mentioned campaign the plan was that I cast gentle repose on the dragon every day and do the speak with the dead thing until he fails his save and I get the location of the dragon's hoard.

    The DM found this quite amusing
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbaddragon View Post
    But back to the topic: what do you think about designing the campaign backwards - from the end to beginning?
    You mean run a campaign backwards or design it backwards? The first is interesting sounding but hard to really do.

    Designing the campaign backwards sounds like a very viable strategy.


    My campaign seems to be be coming together in no particular pattern :P
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    Rizban: You could be all, "Today's Destruction is brought to you by the color green.... I HATE GREEN!" then fly off mumbling to yourself "Seven... seven bats... mwa ha ha ha..."

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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    I mean design it backwards, from the last encounter with BBEG towards beginning. But don't get me wrong here I am mainly aiming at the crucial elements of story (BBEG's motivation/reasons for what he is doing, the ways PCs get to him/reveal him ... ) not planning each and every encounter backwards because who knows what would PCs do. This kind of approach would require some railroading though which I don't like but isn't that bad.


    As for running it backwards, that would really be interesting. It would kinda look like that Memento movie.
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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    In all the years I've been playign D&D, like since way back with the red box set, I've never ever ever ever ever, ever... ever been in a campgn... did I mention I've neeeeever ever, been in a game that has ended by design at some logical end point.

    Every single dang game ends in one of three ways. We either get to some point where folks start getting bored, or the DM too overwealmed with our higher level abailities, or diverging storylines and the game just ends at some undefined point where not everyone is happy.

    Or RL get's in the way and breaks up a group,

    Or a TPK, or NearTPK.

    I'd would love for once to ride off into the sunset but it never happens.

    ..... EVER.
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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    Quote Originally Posted by Damionte View Post

    I'd would love for once to ride off into the sunset but it never happens.

    ..... EVER.
    I am trying to make that happen, give things their natural conclusion/ending like in all those games we all played (BG, IWD 1&2)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbaddragon View Post
    I am trying to make that happen, give things their natural conclusion/ending like in all those games we all played (BG, IWD 1&2)
    Dang... I never finished those either.

    I got to the end of Balders Gate II and just ... uninstalled it. I really didn't want the game to end the way it does. Someone told me how it ended a coupl eof days before I got there. That's a pretty crappy ending. So I just walked away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damionte View Post
    Dang... I never finished those either.

    I got to the end of Balders Gate II and just ... uninstalled it. I really didn't want the game to end the way it does. Someone told me how it ended a coupl eof days before I got there. That's a pretty crappy ending. So I just walked away.
    You should have finished BG 2 just for a chance to have the last conversation with that gnome Jan Jansen in which he describes how he was a god of death for some time and how gods are all in foul mood during the day because they party all night. He also said something about how not cool is to have Torm banging at your door at 3 o'clock in the morning. That was totally worth it.

    Another thing, what would you say if I told you I have a friend that completed BG2 with every possible class and subclass
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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    The worst for me was when our party decided to invade the BBEG's castle and kill him even when the DM was calling us stupid for doing it (we were basically trying to get on his nerves). The party was all around level 9. We had 6 people, and we burst into the room and tried to confront him.

    Now then, it turned out this BBEG was a level 30 gestalt character. He cast a single epic spell and killed our entire party. Not fun.
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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbaddragon View Post
    But back to the topic: what do you think about designing the campaign backwards - from the end to beginning?
    I sometimes do that. Finding a neat "scene" and working up to that point can sometimes make for very twisting and fun plots.

    However, sometimes it's also good to let things flow naturally from the start to the end, as when you force yourself to meet your "scene", you may make it seem way too contrived. From my experience, many players like to hold the reigns while you throw obstacles in their path - they often don't like sitting in the back of the coach as you drag them to each destination.

    So, I think it's best to try to reach a medium. Try to make for some really nice parts with some planning, but make contingencies in anticipation of players taking their own route.

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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    Another thing, what would you say if I told you I have a friend that completed BG2 with every possible class and subclass
    I've damn near done that. I have been through with every class...and some classes many times. I've played the whole way through at least 50 times. I like it that much. Of course, most of those times were to try out new mods that the community released. Anyway, onto the subject at hand...

    I've never had a real game end. I did play a game with a very good friend of mine, but it was more like he told me the story and I acted my part in it. Didn't roll any dice on my end and I'm not sure he did either. It took place in the Forgotten Realms and it was a Time of Troubles-esque situation. I ended up killing Talona(single handed, I might add) and assisted in killing Shar. It was a very emotional experience and has kinda tainted my view of roleplaying in general. No roleplaying experience has ever come close to the sheer emotion I felt then and I doubt it ever will. It doesn't stop me from trying to find that magic again, though.

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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    The same friend completed Diablo 2 at all difficulty levels about 30-50 times.
    Brrrr ....

    I ended up killing Talona(single handed, I might add) and assisted in killing Shar. It was a very emotional experience and has kinda tainted my view of roleplaying in general.
    Believe me, if my character ever grew up powerful enough to kill a god on his own than I would get emotional too.
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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    I'm part of the kind of group that never ends up finishing a campaign, mainly because we have five people in the group which all want to GM. We've only ever finished one campaign and that was a disappointment, we all died in the end with no obvious purpose, and that's the way it was actually supposed to go!

    I'm GMing next, and I'm absolutely hell bound on finishing it, I've had enough of never knowing how things would have finished!


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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbaddragon View Post
    what do you think about designing the campaign backwards - from the end to beginning?
    Could work, depends on your players. A lot of time this just leads to railroading if your group tends to ignore/miss/avoid plot hooks, so don't get too attached to your glorified ending. But again, that's more of a players issue than one of design.

    Back to off topic: Did you try the expansion pack? Much more satisfying than just the original game. Also I recently started on Icewind Dale, and have just purchased the expansion. I will concede that it is nowhere near as good, but I still love the old infinite engine. Personally I have never played Diablo. Would you recomend it?

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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    A long time ago, we were playing Rifts (yeah, laugh, whatever). We finished several story arcs succesfully, and then for about 5 sessions, the GM brought a friend of his to play an NPC ("guest starring", he called it)...

    Turns out the guest character (can't even remember what character class he was, only that he was human), played us like a harp, spent about 5 full sessions gaining the group's trust... and then got us all into a trap and killed us all in order to steal some data discs he had been sent to retrieve!

    Then we all stayed to listen to the "Epilogue" of the story;
    Turns out this guy was an assassin sent by the Coalition to steal said data discs... The guy gives the discs to a Coalition high level Commander in a "secret meeting", and then the Commander says: "Wait here, I will get your reward..." he gets up from the table and knocks on the door of the empty hangar they had arranged for the delivery and payment to be done.

    ...and then the door opened and a full platoon of Coalition soldiers and dog-boys grab the assassin before he had time to fully react, they tied him down and executed them as a firing squad, since "he knew too much"

    -

    We all forgave the GM and his friend for killing us all because it was all so well played... The GM's friend was surprised the GM had planned to kill him all along, too.
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    Default Re: Campaign Endings

    The best ending to a campaign ever was part well scripted ending and part player taking a 90 degree turn. The character was playing a secretly chaotic evil warlock, and the party was fighting in a flying city over Waterdeep to repel an invasion. They had made it to the engine room, and the player passed me a note saying "what happens if I take the control crystal?". I told him that the city would fall, and the guy turns invisible, steals the crystal, and crashes a giant flying city into Waterdeep. It was shocking to everyone, and completely awesome in every way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bugsysservant View Post
    Could work, depends on your players. A lot of time this just leads to railroading if your group tends to ignore/miss/avoid plot hooks, so don't get too attached to your glorified ending. But again, that's more of a players issue than one of design.
    I was thinking to make my campaign around NPC knight who would hire PCs to achieve some greater goal of his. I was also thinking to give the knight a healer companion to allow PCs more versatility with character creation by allowing them not to worry about healing. The knight would of course take them through few non important adventures first so he could test their abilities before introducing them to the plot.

    Quote Originally Posted by bugsysservant View Post
    Back to off topic: Did you try the expansion pack? Much more satisfying than just the original game. Also I recently started on Icewind Dale, and have just purchased the expansion. I will concede that it is nowhere near as good, but I still love the old infinite engine. Personally I have never played Diablo. Would you recomend it?
    Of course I played Throne Of Bhall. Even now I can remember the battle with Sendai, very exciting. Killing Demogorgon too. Also I remember it being quite fun making Serevok my party member (that death blow of his = 200 damage), and I remember beating up some dragon one on one with my paladin.

    Regarding Diablo, its hack'n'slash and your finger (the one you right click with) will hate you. Don't play it, go with IWD 1 & 2 instead.
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