Halting a campaign with a ‘Meanwhile…’

Over the past few months I’ve had some attrition with my players due to people moving on. It’s common here as most people I meet that play D&D are on temporary work contracts. So my group number has trimmed down some.

My first campaign had a pretty grand story arc. I could’ve easily seen it going up to the paragon tier. But as the group diminished, I felt I was losing a lot of the personal stake in the campaign. I wanted to run something tighter and smaller in scale, allowing a definitive end in a few months.

My kicker was that folks were enjoying the original campaign. Yet with a smaller group size (3), I just didn’t think I could have kept the scale as grand as I wanted. Not to mention, I had milestones planned out but was getting a little burned out with the current arc. I needed a break.

I wanted something smaller in scale and could wrap up in a few months. So my players were willing to jump into a new campaign. However, I was in the pickle of trying to figure out a good way to wrap up the current one. I thought if we tried to play some of it out, it would still take several sessions to tidy up all those loose plot ends. So I took a staple from comics and pulled a “Meanwhile…”

Basically the original group is still together, heading back to a city after exploring an Eladrin tomb. On the other side of the world, another adventure is unfolding with an entirely new group. Two completely different groups running two different campaigns in the same world.

At some point I may get the group to decide to pick up the original storyline, or keep rolling with the new party. As another possibility, I can have some characters fold into the ‘old’ group and jump back into the old quest arc.

This current campaign should end at a fair point and then we could jump right back into the old group. If possible, I might even keep things dispersed and separate. So if the group feels an itch to pick up the other characters, I could just run a few sessions with the alternate party.

I think this is a pretty good compromise. It allows for everyone to hold onto their old characters and still try something new. I think for this to work however, you need a lot of good notes and possibly a decent adventure log. Fortunately I’ve been keeping things up through Obsidian portal. We’ll see how things work out, but I’m excited.c6092-willinghamslavers

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