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Friday Recap and a Question about timing

Two of my younger players enjoy dinner before the game.
So, here's the situation.  I'm running a module, The Crucible of Freya.  The group has, over two sessions, literally completely cleared out the entire "dungeon."  Through an amazing amount of luck and guile they have defeated all three of the major "above ground" villains and are down to just the two underground rooms.  The first underground room takes longer than expected and we are a half hour past our usual stop time. One couple has to get their infant some home and to bed.

Here's the crux of the problem: this is the end of this adventure. Once the module us done, we are starting something new with new PC's, stories, etc.  What do you do, if you have to stop gaming at this point?  Do a one-encounter session next time, then switch once it is done, or just quit and not bother with the final villain?

It's conundrums like this which is why I don't like railroads or story arcs or whatever. I suppose if I had been really invested in the game I could have padded it out with more rooms or restocked the upper levels or something. As it was I wasn't as invested in this trial run of 5E and gave the players the option to choose. They wanted to move onto other things, including their own PC's rather than the pre-gens, so that was that. The players asked what was in the last room, so I told them, and then they were disappointed because it sounded cool to them, which kind of made me unhappy as well.

So, comments welcome about how you handle timing, especially hanging loose ends to a story arc.

Comments

  1. I'm not sure I've ever been in your situation.

    That said, why did you just finish it then and there? Meaning, if you're nearing the end of the session and there is only one major encounter left, move to that encounter somehow, fight the final boss, and start fresh next time.

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    1. The point where I began to feel the time crunch was when there were two encounters left: the outer "guard" encounter and the final one. I thought I had time for both, but I've really begun to realize how inconsistent D&D fights can be. Sometimes a PC group can go through a group of monsters like a hot knife through butter. Other times it can drag on indefinitely. The guard room dragged on, and I should have moved it along somehow or skipped it entirely, as you suggested.

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