Friday, April 15, 2011

Discussion: When Is It Over?

Before I start off this weeks discussion, I want to assure those that play in my games and read this blog that I am having fun with the games we have going, so this isn't about our games.

Anyhow. Some games go on for a long time. Other games only last a few months or a few sessions. I have a friend who has been running a game for going on 10 years now; the players simply refused to let him stop running it one day, and they have continued ever since. Another friend ran a GURPS infinite worlds game for the better part of 4 years before closing the doors on it. Almost every game I have ran to completion has had an end point pre-planned in it from the start. So, the question is, how do you know when your game is over? When do you know it is time to move on?

Now, obviously, there are some of the big signs. No one can make the game anymore, people aren't having fun, or the GM had to move away, for example. However, there are other times when a game has just reached a point that it just feels wrong to go on with it. How do you recognize that point? Have you ever ignored it and kept going? Did it work out? Are there cues you look for? Do you care about jumping the shark?

I want to hear about how you've seen your games come to an end. The good ways, and the bad ways, and what you've taken away from these. Like I said, my own experience here is very limited, the majority of my games have a planned ending point in the story, and I have yet to have players demand a sequel. Other games have just fallen apart on me due to scheduling concerns. How about you and yours?


  1. Our games tend to end only when the characters have reached a "good old age" and we don't know where to go with them from where they are. They've accomplished what the players have wanted them to do and they retire. In how we play, I think that's about as close to "winning" as we get.

    Sometimes we talk about bringing someone out of retirement but we very rarely do it.

  2. The "I've lived my life and did what I wanted" retirement is pretty much winning in RPGs. The character had their story told, what more could you ask for?

    I think you could have fun bringing an old char out of retirement, but it would also depend on how things were and what was going on. I've always thought it'd be cool that when a GM ran a new game in a familiar world, if one person could bring back their old experienced character as a guide/mentor for the new pups. Common story trope, sure, but one I've rarely seen in RPGs.

  3. Actually that would be really interesting especially if the old char was really OLD and had a bunch of debuffs. He might actually have a hard time keeping up with the youngins