What caused your game or gaming group to fall apart?

What amazing adventures did everyone miss out on?

It’s the school of hard-knocks -- sometimes, good games disintegrate. Or, maybe they never get off the ground in the first place. Even the Knights of Camelot broke up after the GM caught the Paladin failing his Will save, so to speak. How did your game collapse and what tips do you have to try to prevent it in future games?


  • whispergnome
    Posts: 1

    Got drafted to the army.

  • Jynx001
    Posts: 80

    @whispergnome Yup. That'll do it. I have heard that there are some pretty epic games to be had during military service if you find some other gamers and have a schedule that makes playing them possible.

  • Conan_Lybarian
    Posts: 240 edited September 2019

    So many session 0's......so many ghosted campaigns. It always seems to comes down to the same thing. Not realizing the time commitment has always been a killer. It's become less common with so many ways to play now, online streaming and play by post for example. But even that can't stop someone who just doesn't actually want to make the commitment. 

    The best way to help prevent it is to just be flexible. Maybe it becomes a once a month campaign. Maybe you change to a less crunchy system. I've even run a camping entirely of one-off dungeon blitzes. It's hard to keep players sometimes, but like any other group activity, I've found the best way is to make it as enticing as possible based on player's personalities.
    Post edited by Conan_Lybarian on

  • twiggyleaf
    Posts: 2,017

    I once had a group that disintegrated due to disagreement between two players.  It got really personal and people became quite vicious, with everyone taking sides.  Advice:  Be tolerant of other players, including their habits and beliefs.  But if it gets out of hand, don't be afraid to kick out offenders or start a new group.

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • Ghandi
    Posts: 7

    I'm fortunate to have a very dedicated gaming group. My most common experience for an individual game falling apart is GM interest. Whether it's an ADHD attack, new and unexpected inspiration, or a feeling that player's aren't as interested - usually I find that if a game is going to stop it's usually because the GM stops putting as much time into it, or just calls it off in favor of a new project.

    One of the ways I've found to fight this in my own games (the ones I am running for others) is to make sure I don't pin myself down too much early in a game so that I can go with the flow (both in terms of what the players want to do with their characters and with my own sudden whims and inspirations).

    I have also seen games killed once or twice by drama, but I've found that if you're willing to continue forward once the drama is sorted out you can sometimes salvage those awkward situations and still have a great time with your group and your story.

  • Jynx001
    Posts: 80

    @Ghandi Good point about staying flexible. Improvising a way out of a tight story situation is an imperative GM skill.

    And I've also had games start to fold due to player drama -- back when we were all young and full of angst. We have mellowed substantially in our middle-agedness.

  • illuminerdy
    Posts: 3

    My last game fell apart for many reasons.

    My girlfriend was brand new to the game and was really awkward and not very interactive at the table, which seemed to cramp the DM.

    The DM's wife would rather have been doing anything else in the world which really cramped me.

    We were the DM's fifth concurrent gaming group and I think he was tired of having to set up so many games.

    It was his first time with the Essentials module and everything was way OP for three level 1 characters. Somebody died each and every battle. After 3 obnoxiously difficult fights I perma-killed my druid and created a paladin for tankiness and we were TPK the very next encounter.


    Even though we were instructed to create level 3 characters for our next session, it's been over a month and we've had 2 game nights together without DnD so it's safe to assume it's over.

  • UselessTriviaMan
    Posts: 546

    I've had many, many groups dissolve because participants have moved away. (Six years in the Army'll do that.)

    I've had player arguments, drama, ennui, schedule changes, angry spouses, and amicable completions over the many, many years. I think I've seen just about everything.

    Happily, my current Ptolus group is hitting its 3-year anniversary in a couple of weeks. No sign of slowing down, either!

    Ptolus, City by the Spire - 2016 Campaign of the Year

    "Please pay attention very carefully, because this is the truest thing a stranger will ever say to you: In the face of such hopelessness as our eventual, unavoidable death, there is little sense in not at least TRYING to accomplish all your wildest dreams in life."  - - Kevin Smith

  • JaymesBolton
    Posts: 278

    Scheduling. Not everyone works a 9-5 job especially if people work in a food service environment. The more sessions that get missed the harder it is to get the game continuing and eventually just collapses. 

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