Three things to ensure a satisfactory endgame…

2008 May 30
by Dante

Tonight should be the night! Barring any further tomfoolery from Vanir and our intrepid bunch of adventurers, we will be looking at the endgame of our campaign! I thought I would share three things that I feel are required to craft a decent final session:

  1. The Big Event – Whether it be a major ritual, the ascention of a new pantheon, destruction of the Big Bad, or the out-and-out death of your party you should really save something big to go out with. Even if you want to leave the door open for some follow-up adventures, you should mark the end of each story arc with something significant. (Hint: this usually means significant rewards/treasure too!)
  2. Suspense – Nobody likes seeing the plot coming from down the block, so be sure to keep a few suspense cards in your hand for use during the final session. You want to have that brief moment where things look bleak, the battle becomes more difficult or emotionally significant, or something unexpected occurs to really climax the story.
  3. The Epilogue – I have taken to requiring some sort of epilogue. My job as DM is to tie up the loose ends of the plot, describe the world after The Big Event and frame up any further opportunities for adventures. After that point, I like to turn things over to my players so they can tell me what the immediate future holds for their characters. Will they go home to their families? Continue adventuring in search of the next elusive treasure? Change professions and bake scones for a living, never raising their blade in anger again? This gives both you as DM and the players closure and an opportunity to bid farewell to their characters.

I know there are a possibly unlimited list of additions that should/would/could appear in the final session of a campaign, but I think those three are key components to have some level of success.

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