All great stories do end. Even long running books that are worth reading have defined beginnings, middles, and most importantly an end. A book series that goes beyond its defined time can jump the shark in the same way as a television show. In my opinion the Wheel of Time and the Jack Ryan series both went several books beyond what was reasonable. After that it is clear the writer is merely stretching out a small idea into a long money-making series.
Thus I decided to end the story of my longest running campaign group. The world in which they adventured will not end; although things will change. In thanking my players I have given their characters a great destiny that only they can fulfill. At the end of each age my world changes – sometimes these changes can be simple and other times they can be catastrophic. The Age of Heroes is ending on my world and their characters have been selected to choose what new age will be born.
Several players have come into the campaign and left, even while the core group has remained pretty solid. My plan is to have some of their longest running friends and foes make appearances. The problem is that I only have a small amount of time – I cannot stretch this game beyond the Labor Day weekend. I will do what I can do to make this swan song memorable, while avoiding the temptation to have the story I am trying to tell overshadow the story each of them tell about the end of their characters.
I am sure it will not come out like I am envisioning, but that is why an RPG game is unlike simple storytelling. In storytelling one person speaks for all of the voices, in an RPG my voice may speak louder because I am speaking for the world – but the players’ voices must carry weight or they are doing nothing more than listening to me tell them a story. It is not cooperative storytelling because I am still driving the main plot, but something else entirely.
Wish me luck
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