We’ve all stuck to a campaign that was well into its death throes. It can be hard to give up on a story that had a lot of work put into and characters that took time to create. Sometimes shooting a dead horse is a mercy.
No One Shows Up – if your group meets together regularly and suddenly you have schedule conflicts, take a hard look at your game. Is the reason it’s hard to fill the gaming table due to a lack of interest in the campaign?
Your Players Don’t Care – if the pre-session banter takes twice as long as usual, your normally attentive players are more interested in their cell phones and almost anything starts a non-gaming related discussion, your players aren’t into your game.
You Don’t Care – It takes a lot of time and effort to run a campaign. When all of that work feels exhilarating and you can’t wait to run your next session, you know your game is a hit. If going through your session notes, creating story hooks and figuring out what to do with plot holes is unbearable drudgery, there’s no reason to continue. If you’re not enjoying the campaign, your players aren’t either. They can sense that you’ve given up on it.
This advice is easier said than done. I’ve run my share of dud campaigns and it can be hard to throw in the towel. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re only 3 sessions in or 30 sessions in. If no one is enjoying it, acknowledge it. Discuss with your players what went wrong and move on.