Tomorrow in my L5R game we're going to be having a bit of a different session. See, the game being run is supposed to be generational and we're at a generation shift. Because of that, I am using tomorrow's session to give everyone one last mini-story/scene with their character where they get to say goodbye before we go into character epilogues and character creation for the next part of the game. So, how is this being handled? Let's talk about that.
To be blunt, I simply asked my players what note they wanted to go out on. The responses I got were varied, but no one wanted to do the scene where their character dies or goes off to die. Everyone wanted something else. For two of my players they want to find an heir to pass something important to them down to. Another of my players wants to resolve a promise that was made to him in game that wouldn't be coming up for a long time in character. The other two, I'm not 100% sure what they want exactly, as they themselves aren't sure. In one case the player just doesn't know, in the other the player is fairly sure he's done everything on screen that he wants to accomplish with his character.
This player input is important to me though because these characters mean something to my players. In every case the player has put in extra work to make a person and we've watched many of these characters grow from youth to a place of relatively high experience and power. Nothing that happens here is going to be super hugely significant to anything that comes immediately after, except that it is important to the PCs and that means it will mean something to them and I can use it later. To do this right though, I need their input.
Freedom to Epilogue
Time skips aren't anything new in my game. This time however I took the chains off the players for what happens leading up to this story. I reserve the power to veto, I do have to protect the world, but instead of having the exchange be "Can I do this? Or what happens when I go here?" I prompted them to just go and write the story. In all cases the PCs are high ranked and capable characters. There isn't much that I couldn't see them doing if they really wanted to, and I trust the players with the world. After all, they're building it so they can play in it again in the near future.
Quick and Refined
I am hoping to have a quick and refined execution for these scenes. Not because I want to rush things, but because I want these to be closing arcs. This may not be where any of the characters stories ends, but it IS their last showing in scene, and as such it needs to feel appropriately final. For that, I hope to have some tricks to challenge them, but also to just present things in the light of "you're not young anymore. Time to settle up old affairs." Hopefully it will work out.
I am curious if any of you have done something like this in your games? How did it work out? Did players enjoy it? Sound off in the comments.