75 – Endings in Roleplaying Games

The Mythcreant Podcast

Endings are hard enough when you can plan them out in advance and the characters are slaves to your will. What about when you’re a GM and all the characters are controlled by wily players? Don’t worry, our hosts have the answer. Or at least, they have long anecdotes that might contain answers. Mike lays out helpful advice for when to disengage the safeties, Oren waxes philosophical about how much you should plan, and Chris describes what endings have actually worked for her as a player.

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Have a question or comment for our hosts? Send it to [email protected]

Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:

Creating a Memorable Climax for Your Campaign by Mike Hernandez

Primetime Adventures

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion


Treat your friends to an evening of dark ritual murder. In a fictional game scenario, of course. Uncover your lost memories and save the day in our stand-alone game, The Voyage.



  1. AndrewR

    While taking the clerics powers was bad, the point was to have the players and PCs ask why and realise that something was wrong, leading them to the real Big Bad. However (I believe) the DM got it right the second time he ran the adventure by having the NPC paladin be the one who lost his powers. It’s the same idea as killing an NPC to show how dangerous the monster is without sacrificing a PC.

    I actually think “The Gamers: Dorkness Rising” isn’t a bad movie for a prospective GM to watch as long as you realise the GM in it is not a perfect example and has a character arc whereby he learns what he’s doing wrong (like disempowering a PC in a boss fight or trying too hard to control his PCs so they ‘play the adventure right’). In some ways the GM in that movie needs to learn the difference between a writer (who controls all the characters and action) and a GM (who can’t).

  2. Nicholas

    In high school I was in one campaign the better part of two years? Three? It was one of those magical high school campaigns where you could meet on Friday, and play till Sunday when we had to rush home to do homework. Near the end we were all basically demi-gods, power creep had gotten way out of control, and we had gone seriously off the rails.

    The point being, I was out of town one weekend and the campaign ended. I was shocked when I got back, so of course I asked, “well wtf happened?” Honestly I think it was some version of the big baddy (a kill all life/reanimate it all necromancer) basically turned out to be the master of the universe? The equivalent of literally walking up to our characters and saying, “I don’t want to play anymore. You win.” If I had to guess our GM had finally gotten sick of running it, and ended things. It was a frustrating experience, like finding the last chapter of your favorite book is blank.

    • Oren Ashkenazi

      Ah no! Not even a giant battle with bear cavalry and a million billion spells? What else are highschool games for?

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