Tuesday, January 20, 2009

All good campaigns must come to an end. . .

On Sunday, Angela's campaign came to a conclusion. I didn't really expect it. Neither did she. I knew we were coming close, but I thought we'd have another 2-3 sessions. Fortunately, the ending was a good one. Here's why:
  • It involved major antagonists. Our last combat was actually against Malik, the wizard who cursed the PCs in the first session, starting off the campaign. He'd ordered us killed later on, and had been sequestered in a cave trying to free a mad god from the statue in which it was trapped. There was a race against time to find him and defeat him without actually coming into contact with the statue.
  • It involved paying back a patron in a big way. The early part of the campaign took place in a fairly bucolic, Shire-like area. It was protected by the world's oldest dragon, a Great Wyrm Bronze called The Mabon. The Mabon was going senile, but he served as an ally and a source of (spotty) historical knowledge for the PCs. In the last session, we found he had gone North to die. We gave him another option.
  • The answer was before us all along. The campaign's plot was a bit twisty. Essentially, 3,000 years ago, the archmage Mitra saved the world from an impending deluge by severing a link between the plane and the elemental plane of water. Unfortunately, the flood, and the link, was necessary to the plane's survival. In severing the link he had killed Tra, the plane's sun god (there was some treachery by other gods involved in this) and doomed the plane to crash into Mechanus. Mitra had been cursed with vampirism by Tra. We enlisted Mitra's help to undo what he'd done. He needed to retether the plane, but to do this, he needed a candidate for sun god who was capable of performing an arcane ritual that most archmages couldn't handle. He didn't want to do it himself (and had another part he needed to play in the ritual anyway). We'd spent time trying to find someone to do it. In the last session, we thought of The Mabon. In doing so, we saved him from death and he became a god.
  • It preserved the feel of the campaign. We generally solved problems through diversion and trickery. Our last challenge of the campaign came when Dawn's Wrath, the planar vampire-hunting organization from which we'd retrieved/stolen Mitra's ritual notes, tried to intervene in the ritual, thinking it would create a vampire-god. We'd framed another vampire, Trebonius, for the theft, so they thought that they were coming to stop him (and not the FAR more powerful Mitra). We got warning that they were coming through the portal from Sigil. Our side of the portal was located in a lich's lair. The lich, Dobriel, was gone at this point, but he was a collector of reptillian monsters. We blocked off the side door, so Dawn's Wrath had to go through the monster collection. Then, once they made it through, we mocked them heartily. First, we pointed out that a Bronze Dragon (not a vampire) was ascending. This cut down on their motivation. Then we pointed out that they hadn't done their research... that it was Mitra, and not Trebonius who was involved. This meant that they wouldn't survive if they continued. Then, we pointed out that Mitra was already a god anyway (something we'd figured out... he wasn't fully aware of it himself as far as we could tell). I tossed them a geode (portal key) and suggested they go back to Sigil.
  • It referenced many of our earlier adventures. In addition to the above, we heard about what was going on with the gnomes (who'd we'd clashed with), the bee-people of Death Island, and the Wayfarer's Guild (an early antagonist-turned-quasi-ally).
  • After the game, we had a question and answer session. I found out that The Mabon's well-dressed ogre majordomo was a reincarnated dragon. We learned the gritty details of the plan of the gods who had turned on Tra and used Mitra as an unwitting assassin. We learned the details of Malik's plan and why he really wanted to free the mad god from his curse. We speculated about what our PCs might do in the aftermath of the campaign (we were offered jobs as champions of The Mabon). This sort of decompression is, I think, important.
Now, Angela and I need to finish planning the campaign we're planning to co-GM (a modern fantasy game powered by FATE).

3 comments:

RPG Ike said...

Fun stuff. I've yet to experience a campaign to completion on either side of the screen :( so it's nice to hear about yours, particularly one with so many plot threads twining together.

I'm also rather interested in hearing about your Co-DMing experiences. What's your plan to tackle that?

szilard said...

Re: Co-GMing

That's a whole other topic. I'll definitely post about it. In part, I think we'll both use things we learned while being part of GM teams in LARPs. Otherwise, we plan to split the NPCs between us. I'll probably run most combats and more mechanics-intensive things (since I like to and she doesn't). We're still working out a lot of details, though.

Tony Law said...

Glad to hear you completed your campaign. I've heard one to many stories of people not able to do it. I was lucky enough to DM an Eberron campaign that lasted a year and a half and went from level 1 to 20. It was a great feeling. :)