End of a campaign

Well that’s it – my Dungeon World campaign that has been running on a weekly basis for the past few months has reached it’s end, our heroes confronted and defeated two of the great evils menacing the land, the necromancer Jaspar Sirsk and the gestalt intelligence the Thinker, incarnated in the body of a great Apocalypse Dragon.

However the victory was hard fought and great sacrifices were made, with people becoming burning vessels for the power of the gods and others sacrificing themselves so that companions might live. In conclusion, I had a real blast running the final session of the campaign, it was great to see the heroes kicking ass and throwing their all into one final push to rid the land of great evil, some old friends and rivals re-appearing and seeing the PCs digging deep, using every last ounce of power they possessed–and sometimes more–in pursuit of victory.

Campaign endings are always a bittersweet time for me, it feels great to have rounded off a campaign in an enjoyable manner–it feels even better when the players are talking about it afterwards and discussing their favourite bits of the campaign–however, it is a little sad to leave a beloved campaign world behind and there are always stories left untold.

A small sample of untold stories from my own campaign:

  • The vampire the White Raven still lives, after his defeat by the heroes his misty form is slowly reconstituing itself in his coffin, what became of him?
  • Sanya survived despite his apparent death as the blacksmith Rayn, but with the weight of his memories and his past burnt away.
  • We know–from the epilogue–that Milo becomes the High Druid of the re-newed Black Forest one hundred in the future, but there would be many more adventures before he died an old man surrounded by the land he loved.
  • In the epilogue Glarg marries Doudwarika and returns to his homeland to become chief of his tribe, what further adventures did he have during that time?
  • Corinth travels with Glarg for a time before founding his own settlement in Snowcrest and settling down for a quieter life, but if there’s one thing we know about the world, it seldom lets heroes rest easy for long.
  • Dirkir–although born into the Hammerfall Clan–was accepted upon death by the gods into his adopted clan, the Lightfoots and was ushered into their afterlife, becoming one of the honoured ancestors of his new clan.

One thing I’ve learnt while I’ve been GM-ing though is that often it’s far better to leave a campaign with some stories untold–but with a satisfactory conclusion–rather than continue trying to drag out a game and resolve all of the loose plot threads.

The Epilogue

My favourite way of rounding off a campaign is to let each of the players do a short epilogue for their characters, describing what happens to them in the days, weeks and years following the conclusion of the campaign, I then normally round off with a short narrative tying the epilogues together and saying something about the state of the world. I normally give the players fairly free reign to just narratively describe this epilogue and–as long as they’re not imposing stuff on other characters–I’m generally fine with whatever they suggest, to me this is a nice way of rounding off the campaign and it gives the players a say in how things end, in the same way I like to give them an opportunity to having input at the beginning and during the running of the campaign.

Video Playlist

All of the sessions from the campaign are available for watching on the Youtube playlist linked below:

I had a great time running this campaign, many thanks to my players and anyone who has followed our adventures 🙂

One thought on “End of a campaign”

  1. An enjoyable campaign it was, too. I agree with you, that not every thread needs to be tied up. It really wouldn’t make sense to have several unrelated threads all be concluded at the same time. So long as the main quest is wrapped up, leaving some things unfinished makes it seem more like the world continues on.

    I agree with the bittersweet comment, something Dennis and I were discussing yesterday.

    Thank you for running it and I hope Glarg was a positive addition to the campaign. I enjoyed playing him.

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