Todd. Great points. I guess where I’d deviate here, to me, it’s not "because it’s not written into the rules, but because I wasn’t expecting it. If the GM tells me that in this campaign, I’m going to have you guys name a bunch of buildings, and towns, and rivers, and stuff, ok, cool. I expect that. Or, if I don’t want to do that, because I feel it ruins the feel of walking in a world as some folks have commented, then I thank my buddy for the invite, but this isn’t the game for me. As far as the GM being another player, yes and no. Yes, the GM should have fun. Yes, the GM does 95% of the work. But, the GM has the most control. I’ve never understood folks who “have to run this game because my group won’t play the game I want to run”. If my buddies didn’t want to run the game I offered, I’d have other players, and I sure as hell wouldn’t run a game I didn’t like. I’d rather sit home and read than play a game I don’t enjoy.
Tom, more great points, but I again would like to deviate. “if it’s the end of a campaign, an easy win shouldn’t be possible.” I think it can. I ran a 2ish year long campaign, where the goal was to break out the mayor/ major crime figure in an area who had been kidnapped/ arrested by another kingdom. Most of the campaign was overland getting there, a lot of hostile territory, etc. Once they managed to slowly work their way into the city/ fortress, they did a ton of recon, measured tunnels, marched out cell distances in paces, etc. The break out was a cinch. And to distract the city from the break out? Assassination of the king. I don’t remember what the exact mechanism was, but it was well thought out. I’m not taking that away. They kill the king, they rescue/ break out the mayor, now they have to escape a city that’s looking for them and literally on fire (it was a diversionary tactic… with drawbacks…) They still got their win, their planning made it easy, but there are just a few more hurdles. They don’t get to sail off into the sunset. They still have to get across the city, break out, do other stuff to get away, make it to the docks and then… well… then they actually did sail off into the sunset.