All campaigns come to an end, and sometimes that ending isn't what we hoped for. It's part of gaming. Unfortunately, our own Eudura game has suffered just such a fate. It was the inaugural show here at Lawful Stupid RPG and we're really sad to see it go. But part of our mission here is to show you authentic gaming, and this is as real as it gets. We sat down with Harry, Eudura's DM, and asked him to talk us through his decision, and what his plans are for the future.
So you've decided to end the Eudura campaign. Could you tell us why?
Knowing when to make a change is one of the most overlooked parts of tabletop roleplaying games. I think it’s something that every group has to look to at some point or another. I sensed that Eudura wasn’t inspiring or motivating myself or my players as much as I would have wanted. As with all hobbies, when the fun stops, it’s simply time to stop.
I may have made a mistake with such a heavily homebrewed world, as much of the knowledge was esoteric and often piled on in a way which made it difficult for players to follow. This progressed into players ‘floating about’ the world rather than being part of it.
It wasn’t all terrible though. I was inspired to come up with a new campaign in an established world that I could tweak into a fantasy setting. I was a little jaded by the medieval setting of traditional D&D, so I decided to place 5e in time periods that I’ve always been fascinated with: the Bronze and Iron Ages.
Was this a hard decision to make?
I spent a lot of time thinking about it over the course of a few weeks. My urges to pull the campaign were at their strongest after slow sessions, but I could sleep on that and bottle it up until the next session began. After one session however, in which there was an abnormal amount of silence and lack of engagement, I knew something had to change.
I slept on it and gave it a day, but my feelings were the same. The community made it easier on me, supporting my decision and looking forward to a different campaign setting.
Have you had any feedback from your players on your decision?
Several of Eudura’s players will be joining me in the new show. I would not have ended Eudura unless I was sure the players were also finding it a little stale. Of course, some players were sad to see their characters go. I can only apologise to them. I know it is unfair to invest in a character, only for me to take it away.
Overall, the decision seemed to be welcomed. 14 sessions was enough time to try and let the campaign find its feet but, as much as you want them to, some things just do not work.
What would be your advice to other DMs who find themselves in a similar situation?
Tackle problems you see developing as soon as possible. I should have forcibly moved the plot along in the large moments of silence.
If you think a player is doing something counterproductive, don’t let it fester. Confront it early and be decisive in your actions. Players value a DM who is stalwart in their rulings.
All games run the risk of coming to a premature end. What do you think DMs can do to prevent this from happening?
Be on the lookout for behaviour which seems harmless at first, but may develop into a problem for the campaign.
Prolonged tangents are fine if they happen rarely. Remember that six players have shown up to play some D&D, and if one player is talking about a TV show for five minutes, they’re doing so on everyone else’s time. Politely but firmly, always keep the game on track.
I believe players who care little for their character are less interested in playing at all. Constantly throwing your character into suicidal situations is not good roleplaying, as there is a difference between ‘decisive’ and just plain chaotic. Approach your player after the session and discuss whether they want to continue playing that character, or playing at all.
You mentioned plans to run a new campaign in the same time-slot as Eudura. Can you tell us about that?
I have had my fill of the medieval setting by this point. I’ve DMed and played in it for thousands of hours and I want to challenge myself with a change.
I will be launching a new campaign, Pantheon, set in a fantasy version of the Bronze and Iron Ages and beyond. I will be taking inspiration from classical literature such as the Iliad and Odyssey and from newer productions such as Clash of the Titans and God of War.
The setting will have an emphasis on Gods and Heroes, spanning several different pantheons.
What's particularly exciting for you about this new game?
The inclusion of figures from real life and mythology. On the surface level, this means that heroes such as Theseus, Achilles, Bellerophon, Sigurd, Romulus and Remus will be present in the world.
It irked me that I could not include many famous wizards and sorcerers from the ancient world, so I adapted famous poets, philosophers and scientists to fill those roles. Famous bards such as Homer and Virgil. Famous wizards such as Pythagoras and Sokrates. Famous clerics such as Cassandra and the Pythia.
What I am most looking forward to is how the players will interact with these larger-than-life figures in their world.
What do you think our viewers will enjoy about it?
I think viewers will appreciate how easy it is to approach the campaign without having to watch dozens of catch-up episodes to know what is going on.
As much as I love D&D lore, it can be overwhelmingly esoteric to the new viewer. As a DM, I forget this and assume viewers know as much as players. With this setting, anyone with a basic understanding of mythology can start viewing anytime and have a good idea what’s going on. Everyone knows who Zeus is, who Poseidon is, who Hercules is. I hope to run the campaign in a way that people can pick it up at nearly any episode and enjoy the viewing!
We’re really excited to see Harry bring the mythic world to life with his new game, and can’t wait to see what heroic characters step onto the stage he’s crafting. Tune in on Friday 29th March at 22.30 GMT/17.30 EST to see the first episode of Pantheon!