Dungeons & Dragons Online

Should I push to finish the campaign I’ve been running for a year, or scrap it and start something else with my group?

So, I've run two campaigns with this group, one that fizzled out due to me being a new DM and not really planning for the long haul and one which is still ongoing but has been on hiatus for a few months now. For planning the second campaign, I decided that a sandbox game would suit my group and built the campaign to be based in a major city. Well, long story cut way short, they did not interact with any of the lore/story stuff going on and instead pursued personal goals and ended up working for a local crime lord. That was all great, and led to some wonderfully personal stories we wouldn't have experienced in a more traditionally structured campaign.

This approach became difficult when they were warned multiple times about an upcoming event but just sort of didn't do anything about it. If you're interested in what the event is, then the following paragraph is a brief summary. Otherwise, it should be enough to know it is a large scale disaster that will leave the city they're in forever changed.

Basically, in my homebrew world there is a god of the moon who protects the barrier between the material plane and the rest of the planes. The city they've been in is a weak spot in this barrier, which is why they've faced so many extraplanar threats here. On The Moonless Night, the god of the moon dances across the sky to strengthen the barrier around Liboria (the city). This leads to a single night once a year where this god manifests as a sort aurora borealis above Liboria and, by virtue of being a god directly manifest in the material plane, is vulnerable. There is a entity worshipped in the city as a god who is not actually one, but plans to make his move to kill the moon god and steal their divinity. The process will be disastrous for Liboria, not least because followers of this entity have strayed from his teachings and are partially under the thrall of Mammon now.

Now, I think it makes sense with their characters that they didn't find out more about what was going on. We have an Urchin Monk who seems to be on his way to becoming a sword saint, a Gladiator Barbarian who is more interested in forming a force to take back across the sea to overthrow a frost giant kingdom who enslaved him and an Ex-Bandit Bladelock who, as of a few sessions ago, got her soul back from Mammon. None of these guys are especially smart or heroic, and they've spent more time doing odd jobs for aforementioned crime lord than any research or interacting with the plethora of NPCs who have been preparing for the upcoming event.

However, they finally found out about the severity of the event ~36 hours before it is actually going to happen. They found out through their crime lord buddy, who has grown to care for the party a lot and so advised they flee the city. My players spent the last hour of the last session planning what they were going to do during the time they had before the event and then that's it. We haven't had a session in four months now and we left at such a narratively tense point I'm a little stuck on how to pick the campaign back up. That combined with the lukewarm responses whenever I suggest we get it up and going again makes me hesitant to push for it.

Maybe even more damning for the campaign is the fact that I wrote most of it (including the upcoming arc) over a year and a half ago now. I'm just getting bored with the ideas behind it as well. If I could reinvigorate the interest in the campaign I'd happily go rewrite some stuff to make myself enthusiastic again. Given their responses though, I just don't care that much anymore. We had fun goofing around for a while in the city I built and I just feel like as soon as they realised the scale of the upcoming event, they went off of the campaign. It might not have just been that, there were a few career things going on for a couple of us, but it's hard to shake the feeling that it has contributed to us not playing.

Also, if I'm honest, a full homebrew campaign like this might have just taken too much out of me. I experienced a lot of burnout prior to our last session and usually left the table feeling pretty mixed about the whole experience. I love the moment to moment running of the game at the table but it isn't always as fun to try to wrangle everything together. I probably put too much pressure on myself, adding to the stress. Furthermore, I'm a graduate student (as are my players) and I just don't feel like I have enough time to write the campaign that I want to.

All of this has led to wondering whether it's worth the effort to resurrect the campaign I was running before so I don't waste the prep I've already done (which I'm not totally sure I'm happy with anyway) or scrap the lot and start with a prewritten campaign that I can just run us all through. Getting my players on board for another campaign shouldn't be too difficult but I'm worried that the problem is with me as a DM nd I'll just end up running it for 8 months then get bored again.

Thanks in advance for any responses. I'm sorry if this plea for advice isn't super clear, I'll be happy to clarify on anything if people ask


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