For the past two years, I've been playing the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons with a single group of 5 friends.
Up till now, we have played as the same characters, which grow as part of the story the designated "Dungeon Master" develops. This has included backstories that have been created in profundity and a lot of story tie-ins that have been developed by this person.
I have recently been feeling like it's time to move on from my current character, for various reasons that are not the fault of our Dungeon Master. With this, I would then be creating a new character to play and continuing to play with this group.
The issue is, the Dungeon Master has spent countless weekends through the last two years creating the fictional universe we play in, including an interesting plot that continues to involve each of our characters. As such, asking to have my character die/leave may cause a significant amount of effort for them to be lost, and a significant amount of work to be required to bring a new character into the story suddenly. This obviously will be frustrating and potentially hurtful to the Dungeon Master.
How can I approach the Dungeon Master about removing my character from the game, and creating a new character, while showing them I appreciate the amount of effort they have gone through?
For non-DnD players, to clarify the work involved for the Dungeon Master: Removing my current character from the story means that any items or plot hooks that are planned are now effectively wasted or need at least some effort to make useful again.
Although the creation of my new character's backstory would be my responsibility. It will still involve input from the Dungeon Master to ensure what I have created is viable within their fictional world.
Importantly, the main work involved for the Dungeon Master is the creation of non-playable characters and story arcs, which I am not able to help create - as the underlying story must remain secret to the players, as we discover and interact with it. As such, a new character means the Dungeon Master must now think of ways to make the world interesting to this new character and involve their backstory in the current world politics (again, without my involvement).