Death of a D&D game

I killed it on Sunday. Wrapped up another session of monster-bashing, gave out the experience points, let them sack the lair for treasure, then told them; this was the last game. Campaign is over.

They were shocked, but not too shocked, and not really, terribly disappointed, I think. To be honest, the past couple of months, things haven’t been going terriffically with the game. I’ll still be seeing some of them for bizarre board game nights, and maybe someone else will start a campaign. But I’m out of the DM business. Probably not for good, but I need at least a few months off.

This campaign was the most successful one I’ve run yet. The game ranged all over the map; political intrigue, revolution, monsters, treasure, artifacts, dragons… at one point, the party blew up a volcano. With significant world-wide aftereffects. And nobody ever got higher than level nine. I saw the party develop teamwork, respect, cooperation and resourcefulness in the course of the campaign. I threw everything from straight combat to code-breaking at them. It was a blast.

Things changed a few months back; players who’d been through the whole two-year run of the game left town, and friends of theirs took their places. The first “book” of the game finished playing out in a climactic battle over a mountain pass, a week-long battle that took three days to play out, and the next phase never really came together for me.

The new party were nice people, but they weren’t used to playing together, and so I found myself, after two years of playing, back to square one. I was teaching the party how to work as a group together, when I wanted them to be ready to move on to greater, more complex feats of role-playing. I wanted political chicanery; they wanted to kill stuff.

And frankly, I spent way too much time on the game. I counted it at between ten and twenty hours a week, between prep time (making maps, generating encounters, plotting, painting figures, making props) and game time. And I wanted a break. It’s an odd feeling, not having to play this weekend; it’s kind of like quitting a part-time job. One that I loved, but man, it’s cut into my free time.

There’s more that I wanted to do with the game; there are actually five phases, each of which would take about two years of play time to resolve, that I would like to DM. The campaign is about a war, rougly paralelling WWII, all the way from the first rumors to the aftershocks, and how a group of heroes, even low-powered ones, could affect its outcome. I never really thought that I could get through all of it, but it was a great framework within which to set adventures. There are a lot of stories left to be told, but I can put them off a while.

So, I’m left with several hundred, maybe thousand dollars worth of stuff; books, miniatures, software, printouts. With the Encyclopedia Magica, just bought off EBay, on its way. Two bookcases full of stuff.

However, now I might have time to play guitar again, or play computer games, or read a book, or maybe even get my old radio show back. I have time to hang out and relax with my boyfriend, and maybe see a movie or two a week. I have time, which I very badly needed.

But I’m going to miss the game. Who knows, maybe in a couple of years, I’ll dust off the volumes of lore, and dig back into it. But for now, it’s over.

Long live Burin.

I’m sure you’ll play again. A real gamer is nover truly done.

Viva la D&D!!

I’ve been in the same boas several times, myself. However, I am now on quite the opposite of the thing you were in.

My friends all live in a different state now that I moved, and we rarely see eachother. It’s very dissapointing because I’ve been crafting a 3rd ed. game for more than a year now, and I have no way to make use of all the material.

Some day I shall use this material. Oh, yes.

I had to quit playing when group members started casting real spells and my character died. You see the same thing happened to another person, only when her character died (black leaf) she committed suicide. I didn’t want to fall to Satan so I quit. It was a terrible, terrible thing, really it was.

Here’s the documentation of the incident…

Sorry to hear that, Mr. Visible. Running a campaign is immensely satisfying when it goes well, and horribly tedious when it doesn’t. I hope you can find a good group of folks and get back into the hobby eventually.

Someone recommended it in the other thread, but I’ll repeat it here: The ENboards are a great resource for DMs and players alike (although they’re being pretty slow lately). You can get all osrts of good advice on running games, managing players, and the like. I spend far too much of my time over there.


Sorry to hear that. Come August, my DM and her husband are moving out of state, so no more D&D for me. Hopefully I’ll be able to hook up with another group, but I’m really picky about who I want to play with, so my hopes are low for that.

But that sounds like a great campaign!

Lego, where’re you moving to? ENboards also have a good “gamers seeking gamers” forum. I found one truly horrible gamer couple and one truly wonderful gamer couple through that forum. If you’re moving to a medium-sized area in the US, your chances are good of finding other gamers there. Just make sure you have coffee with them before committing to a game with them.


D’oh – you’re not moving, your DM is. Should read better.


That’s “Sould read gooder.”

Thanks for the replies, folks. It’s always sad when a group falls apart, but that’s always the way it is. I was surprised things lasted as long as they did: 2 1/2 years. And in all that time, I think I played three times; the players never wanted to DM. Sigh…

I’ve been part of some really great campaigns that I hated to see end, but this one was past its time. And now, I’m faced with the really amazing feeling of having free time. I may just go home and watch the tube! What luxury!

So maybe a group shall besiege Chez Heap and demand you run a game. We discussed gaming once a while back. There are gamers in NY.

I know. You gave me happy links. In fact, I have before invited Dopers (which ones, I don’t recall) to our house. Most find it too far outside the city. If you are actually interested in playing, or just coming up to visit, in fact, just say the word. In fact, I’ll discuss the idea with TruePisces Saturday if you like.