Behind the Screen: The Endgame – Epilogue…

2008 June 1
by Dante

I am pleased to report that we successfully chased this campaign into the barn on Saturday. Vanir had accurately predicted based on my Friday post that they had some interesting times ahead, and to my mind the three aforementioned endgame elements played their roles superbly.

Caution: The following contains some description of my campaign and/or characters involved and how our Friday post applied directly. If you hate that kind of thing, head on over to one of our many blog affiliates/buddies on the right hand side today. Also, lighten up a little.

The Big Event

Going up against the goddess of pain and suffering – it doesn’t get a lot bigger than that! An interesting sidenote: Kanati and I elected to play our god/goddess rules a little more… uniformly than the actual rules dictate. I prefer goddesses to have a certain uniqueness to their magic, attacks, and damage descriptions than your standard rules imply. Suffice it to say the goddess of pain and suffering tends to be a little… extreme.

Kanati also did an excellent job of reigning our cast into an area where they couldn’t explicitly use the environment to their benefit… the group was escaping through underground caverns with a small group of rebels and got trapped by oncoming hordes in an area known as “The Hub”… essentially the middle of a bike-spoke set of caves. The baddies poured in from all sides and cornered them while our goddess made her big entrance.

This ticked off our party and got them to initiate battle… and what a battle it was!


Those of you reading along have likely followed our troubles with managing epic characters. I decided to bring about our element of suspense in a different way in this session: hit them hard, fast, and not give them much time to rest. In fact, our end confrontation occurred with most of the party on partial rest, so they were looking a wee bit nervous when she showed up.

The second way we added suspense was with the end of the encounter. The deal was this: whoever took the final blow against our goddess was brought before our pantheon of gods, and told that the only way to stop the goddesses reign of terror was to strike her down and take her power (it really wasn’t quite as Highlander-esque as it sounds, but go with me here).

The rest of the party way left scratching their heads as our paladin and the goddess faded from their sight. We led Sir Geekelot, our paladin’s player, downstairs and told him this information and he put a lot of thought into his decision but ultimately made the sacrifice to save the world. It was somewhat poetic that he be the one to take the final shot, as the ethical dilemma was heightened because of his strong allegiance to a good aligned god.

The Epilogue

Without going into much further detail, our epilogue was FANTASTIC as a result. Vanir (and Bat Loaf, his character) were so involved in roleplaying the interaction with our paladin/new god that I actually had to ask him to take a few seconds of a break to find out how everyone else in the party was reacting or if they wanted to do anything.

Then it was right back to the roleplaying. I was very proud of our group, how in character they stayed during this portion and how much care was taken to actually react as their character would. We had some of our more “goody goody” characters acted as expected and wanted out of this situation post-haste. Our neutral characters (both of which were very close to our paladin during the course of the campaign) elected to remain around him as he took on his new role as god.

The Conclusion

Happily, my formula appears to work pretty well. I hope all of our players had as much fun during the closing sessions of our campaign as we did creating/running them, and I hope that you have gained a few new ideas for how to execute the final sessions of a campaign!

One final note: never, ever, ever introduce a dead gold dragon on a whim to your epic level players. They will only find ways to befriend/reanimate/abuse this relationship.

That is all!

One Response leave one →
  1. Dice Junket permalink
    June 2, 2008

    That strikes me as a brilliant end to the story, injecting a bit of gravity and tension into the final sessions can be a real challenge and it seems that you’ve played it brilliantly.

    Now I wonder if my group would have taken it quite so well, I’ll have to see when we get to the end of our own plotline.

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