I posted this over on UK gamers, but I'm intrigued to know what story gamer patrons will have to say about it. Apologies to anyone (else) who frequents both forums and feels cheated by the double post!
So, I find it really difficult to end a campaign, and I don't think I'm alone. I cn't think of a single campaign I've played in that had a genuinely satisfactory ending, in the sense of feeling like the ending was a strong, campaign-defining moment that gave a sense of resolution, even if it didn't tie up the threads completely. Most campaigns I have played in ended prematurely (GM lost mojo, players lost interest, group fell apart, not enough time to play, etc). Those that didn't, the ending tended to be relatively unexciting - not a bad session, but nothing that really screams "ending".
Having said that, some of the LRPs i have played and run in have had pretty good endings - but that's partly a product of the fact that many of them were run at university, with a fixed timetable based on academic terms, which makes planning a lot easier. In those the denoument was very much GM-driven, though not necessarily less satisfying as a result. In LRPs I've had ancampaign ending where a major war came to an end and another where the players bring about the apocalypse, good strong endings that brought the campaign to a close properly.
Anyway. It seems to me good campaign endings are hard to come by. What good campaign endings have you been involved with? What made them different from the ones that just fizzled out or ended with a whimper?