Knowing When To End | Hero’s Academy

I was a huge fan of Star Wars: The Old Republic when it first came out. Oh yes, I played it a lot in 2011, but never finished the storylines.

I returned to it later in 2016 after they did a lot of quality-of-life changes. Now you could just play through the story and skip the nonsense quests.

So I did that, and I really fell in love with the Trooper storyline and the characters you bring onto your squad.

Now, with all the companions, you get these special conversations the more friendly you are with them. I liked everyone a lot, so I hunted down the treasures needed and made sure to have these conversations.

Well, towards the end of the game, your companions run out of things to say.

They end. The conversations end. Typically with: “Oh I’m so glad we’re good friends now,” but they do end.

And it’s sad. And it always irked me, since the companions would forever stand-still on your ship, nothing more to say, just follow you into battle; lifeless.

Like, there could still be missions left, but your companions would only speak while on the quests.

I could never really play through any of the other storylines after that happened, because it felt robotic, getting attached to characters and knowing they’re just going to become empty shells once you finish the main campaign.

And this is a reason I’m so big on endings, and wrapping up the story properly.

One of my D&D campaigns is coming to a close. The heroes will discover all the secrets and find out who the true villain is that’s been lurking in the shadows.

When I’m the dungeon master, firstly, I like to make home-brew stories. I don’t use modules for storylines. I only use them for inspiration. Secondly, I like to make sure there’s a definitive ending.

The characters will all go through developing arcs and they’ll find out all the secrets, but eventually it will end. And whether we continue with those characters again will depend on if I want to see those characters again. Frankly, I like to exhaust the options. Let’s flesh out a single heroes journey for each player, so they can leave this campaign with feelings of completion. A beginning and an ending.

Too many games go on for too long and when they go on for too long, you never get a satisfying conclusion.

These are the groups who just stop getting together and then the players say: “well my group just doesn’t have time anymore.”

They leave their characters in limbo!

Take some inspiration from the great Jerry Seinfeld and know when it’s time to end. Jerry Seinfeld did 9 years of Seinfeld, which is, to-date, still one of the most popular sit-coms of all time. He called it quits and ended the show when it was at its peak in popularity. When asked about it, he said something along the lines of “well we were at a peak and I couldn’t top it. I didn’t want to top it. If we failed, we’d only be remembered for failing.”

He’s absolutely right. Know when it’s time to end. Have an ending in mind before you begin. Your character’s don’t need to de-spawn, but the story needs to come to a completion. Having a real ending makes all the decisions you’ve made carry much more weight.

I tell my players when we’re coming to the finale. They may not like it, but it’s a predetermined ending. It gives them time to process the decisions they’re made and the final things they want to see with their characters, with me as the DM. They’re free to take those character out into the world and find new games for them, or leave them in the cushy ending I make for them.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Dungeon Master Support, Dungeons & Dragons, Game Mechanics, Video

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