Monday, June 1, 2009

The End of A Campaign

I'll admit, I've never handled campaign endings well. OK, so, if a campaign is allowed to die a natural death--that is, we mutually agree to an endgame, we retire the characters, or otherwise find a nice way to close things out smoothly--I'm fine with that. It's when stupid little things get in the way and a campaign goes tails-up that I get really frustrated.

The campaign in question was being run with HARP, and though it wasn't perfect by any means, it was a lot of fun. But we kept running into problems with the apartment clubhouse where we play--the front office kept messing up, causing people to drive long distances only to find we were locked out. We tried to play at my house--too crowded. The local library wasn't open the right hours. The FLGS was too far away for some folks to make it. Scheduling killed us.

And so, for now, that campaign is a goner. It looked like it would work, but between all the errors and foul-ups and inconveniences thus far, we're just going to have to punt. I don't take it well--I miss gaming face-to-face when I'm between campaigns, and my e-mail and online campaigns only go so far. I tend to wallow in my own self-pity for a little bit for awhile before getting out there again.

For the appropriate sound effect, I direct you here.

A minor tragedy as far as things go. But I still don't handle it very well.


Ryan said...

I have a campaign that is currently on hiatus, but I think it's actually on life support and we need to call the family. My goal was to start February 27th. The first session was sometime in late March and to date we have played three times. The game usually gets cancelled at the last minute when two or more players suddenly can't make it. Nobody can make it on the right days so I've called a stop until mid-June, but somehow I have the feeling that it isn't ever going to start up. Yes, I agree it is quite frustrating. Luckily, I have another campaign that starts in nine days, so my withdrawal period will be mercifully short.

Zachary The First said...

Yeah, the "slow death from infrequency". It sucks. Glad you have something else starting up soon. Rest and Recruitment time for me. :)

Tony Law said...

I feel ya, man. I had a campaign that ended after 1.5 years with the PCs all reaching level 20 and the group had a helluva time getting there.

That was about 3 years ago. I've been trying to recapture that feeling since with other campaigns but haven't. Real life always seems to get in the way. :(

Helmsman said...

My two and a half year old game of Exalted has ground to a halt too for a lot of the same reasons you cite. I hope that I can maybe continue it someday when our schedules settle some but it might be another year til that happens. So I feel your pain for sure.

sirlarkins said...

Oof, I feel your pain. I had a campaign go on indefinite hiatus a couple months ago that was through mutual consent, and that wasn't a big deal, but shortly before that I had another game peter out due to some of the most ridiculous scheduling conflicts I've ever seen (seriously, it was only two players but it was like trying to arrange a meeting between the President of the U.S. and the British Prime Minister). That was teeth-grindingly frustrating.

On the other hand, my epic Pendragon campaign actually had ground to a halt after eight months of steady play only to be resurrected by popular demand a year later and trundle along for another six months. So you never know, I guess.

Zachary The First said...

Well, I guess the one thing about failed campaigns is it makes you really appreciate the ones that actually pan out.

Norman Harman said...

That sucks.

I think you should post about using HARP. I'm sure it would cheer you up ;)

I'm actually working towards ending my current campaign (after characters save the world) worried that it will be anti-climatic.

Kiashu said...


Pissed off 1 of 4 participants enough they're "taking a break from gaming", another 1 says, "well I have another campaign, so..."

Which left me and the TPK-inflicting GM, who wanted to be a player this time.

When it's my own campaign which fizzles or group imploding, I go immediately to the next campaign, never more than one weekly session missed. But when it was someone else's, I do Zach's thing of being lost for a bit.

Andreas Davour said...

That sucks. Hope you can find a stable site for a game again.

I'd love to read some of your experiences with HARP!

Zachary The First said...

@Andreas: HARP's a fine system--it's a system that sort of takes care of itself after inititial character generation. We found starting magic characters a bit more powerful than we'd anticipated, and in previous campaigns, after about level 8, there's a pretty steep power bump. But all in all, it's a great game, esepcially if you use one of the alternate crit systems/charts available.

I'm sure I'll write more on it in the future,