47

Tell them that the side campaign ends with an epic, glorious, TPK. Making your players co-conspirators in the shape of the finale means that they will help you drive it to that epic conclusion. There's no value, in the scenario you describe, to making a TPK a surprise or look unintentional. Save the energy that would be spent on smoke and mirrors designed ...


25

An author writes 99% of a book, and then never finishes it and won't give away the ending.* The hero is at the figurative precipice facing certain death, but the character's end is never written and the reader can never find out the true ending. Is the character dead? No, yes, maybe, neither — because this isn't a meaningful question to ask about a ...


24

You can have an ending in mind, but remember that even writers are advised: Kill your darlings. And we GMs are not even solo writers, though we share many of the same skills. As soon as making that ending happen and the actual game that's being played with your fellow players part ways, kill your darling ending with fire. An ending that organically ...


16

As a spinoff to valadil's answer, I would try talking to all the players about it and try to get a consensus. But to break it down a bit, you seem to have two interrelated but separate problems: This is "his" world which you will be continuing without him. Without him, the team will be light on combat power. The first, I don't think is too much of a ...


14

I think you think you have a problem you don't actually have. Pretty much any genre can be boiled down in the same manner you boiled down CoC. (e.g. Fantasy ends with "kill the baddie, get the reward".) Just because something is iterative doesn't mean that it also can't be varied. That said, let's try and work with practical advise to vary up the feel of ...


11

Have you talked to the departing player about it? The problem of it being his world may be in your head. There's a good chance he'd rather see the game conclude properly than get cut short or rewritten. If that's the case I see no reason to compromise the rest of the game.


9

Unless the game tells you otherwise (and some do), having a possible ending can be a valuable planning tool for the GM. You could even share it with your players, potentially, as part of the pitch. This game is about the fall of a once-great nation. Cthulhu devouring the planet. suicidal revenge of a dying race. hope after an apocalypse. ...


9

As a fellow GM, what I usually do when I want to do something like this (which isn't often!) is present the group with an impossible choice in three steps. Let me explain. A small disclaimer In my opinion, players and groups are roughly divided into two broad groups: (1) plot-oriented players; and (2) system-oriented players. The solution below is targeted ...


7

Wow! I'd suggest you go again through Pat Garret & Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the Magnificent Seven and OK Corral and then plan the appropriate end of the campaign!!! Of course these movies will give you more a mood and inspiration, rather than straight material.... I think you should tell them (...


6

It depends on the game world, but have you thought about creating a "break" in the world itself? You could potentially create some big event that "changes everything" for the player characters. A cataclysmic war starts. Aliens invade. The Big Mystery is revealed, but hints of an Even Bigger Mystery are found. The PCs are forced to flee to a new locale, ...


5

I would keep playing and recruit a new player to replace the one who left, and advising the new player to create a combat-capable character. The setting you should continue with - what gives more respect to a world-smith than some group he is not playing in using that world in play? But I think I'm missing the problematic part here.


5

Tell them the campaign is ending, and ask them if they want to participate in the finale. Be up front about the risks of characters death, but leave it in their hands as to whether or not they want to "risk" their character's story ending in death. If several of them decline to participate, consider adding player-run NPCs to the adventure to allow the ...


4

Is it possible for you to have the leaving player join the games via Skype? I have had to miss out on several games with my group as I was somewhere else and we played via Skype. We had a good old fashioned webcam hanging from the dining room light to point at the map, and with Skype it is almost as if I am there.


3

Well, I have no experience what-so-ever with FUDGE, not to mention the homebrew hack you've made to it, so my answer will be solely in terms of techniques to use. I do hope that it will be useful still. While I will suggest a way or two to achieve what you're asking, I strongly advise against it and because of that I'm suggesting two more ways to achieve ...


3

Predict your ending, but don't plan it. You know what the themes in the games are. You know who the agents will be. You should be able to figure it out with some degree of accuracy, without having to decree that it be set in stone. I like to try and figure out the grand finale as the game progresses. While I'm not a fan of preparing material more than ...


3

For starters, I will tell you one thing that I learned from Murphy: No plot is player-proof. There have been several games where the bare bones plot dictated certain events happening in a certain order, and no matter how hard I tried to plan for the chaos factor known as the party, they always seemed to find a way around my staunchest and meticulous designs....


3

If you are running a one-shot (which may run over two or three sessions), then I am afraid the only practical outcomes are success or failure: the fortunate Investigators return to their former lives, sadder and wiser and with a few stories to tell to the few who may believe them. But a long-term campaign needs to touch on the wide scope of the evil ...


3

Holistically, I think the best approach is a somewhat hybrid between "railroading" and "sandboxing". Let them figure out their own way of doing things, but realize that whatever the players do, the bad guys (or good guys if your group is like mine some days) will react to what PCs do. You should know your players and the style of characters they play. ...


3

For purposes of Organized Play, which is about the only time a question like this is particularly relevant, only what has happened in session has happened. What's obviously about to happen doesn't until it happens. This is particularly important for players who have access to multiple sessions per week... EG: Joe uses his character in both Wednesday and ...


2

I would say that, given play styles that allow you to move your character between campaigns and DMs, your DM has an ethical imperative to not deny you the right to play your character through unwillingness to continue his campaign. If the action will never resolve, either ask you DM to resolve it by fiat in a way that allows you to access your character, or ...


2

Have them try to break out, but work with the newbie character so that he betrays them to get his freedom. They all get executed and he becomes a NPC for you to use in later games that will press the player's buttons like it's time to nuke Russia.


1

And now for something completely different... As a GM, you've made the common assumption the cultists are competent. It's time to mix it up. "Brothers of the Order of Darkness? No, that's them down the hall. They meet Tuesdays. This is the Ebon Brothers of the Darkness Order. Completely different. Bloody Brothers of the Order of Darkness...." "Cultists? ...


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