Running Published Adventures
First of all, welcome to the Pacesetter Blog! We will do a weekly post with news on the company, D&D conversations, or any other topic that is on the mind of our team! This blog will be published every Monday afternoon, and then sent out with the newsletter Tuesday mornings!
The topic on the Quest Board for this week is Published Adventures! Yes, we will be unbiased even though we have plenty of published adventures waiting for you at pacesettergames.com #ShamelessPlug.
Whether running a published adventure or a homebrewed quest, there is no such thing as "Playing D&D Wrong". However, today we will enlist some tips for running published adventures! Let us now discuss and quest!
Time to list some tips! Remember, this is a community post for a reason! Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!
1. Read the Entire Adventure Before Session Zero
A lot of us are indeed Lazy Dungeon Masters (shout out to Sly Flourish). However, there are some aspects of running a written adventure that cannot be looked over.
Reading the entire adventure before setting up the campaign with your players will not only give you a wealth of information to help your players prepare, but it also will reveal if the adventure is even the proper fit for your party. If the campaign is skewed towards combat, players who prefer roleplay will likely become disinterested relatively quickly. Vice versa for the other forms of questing (combat, exploration, roleplay, etc).
It is always better to overprepare than underprepare!
2. The Text is Not Law
As a writer and designer, it is hard to admit this. The words we write are not law. I know I know... crazy right!? No. Do not close your mind to the wonderful possibilities that can come from building upon a pre-written adventure. You may need to tweak some aspects of the adventure to better fit your world, goals, player's interests, etc.
Game designers create adventures for you to have fun. If you need to make some changes to have a bit more fun, then by all means change away!
Plus, this tip goes really well with #1 above. If you do not prepare well, you won't be able to make changes on the fly. If you have been a Dungeon Master in a game before, you know the value in improvisation!
3. Add a Historian NPC
What do you mean, Ben? I'll tell you! There is nothing worse than a confused bunch of characters running around a city or wilderness with no direction. Some published adventures will include an NPC where their sole mission is to keep the party moving in the right direction with the correct information. However, this NPC should not hold their hand either. Finding a good balance between information dump and useless NPC can be difficult, but it is certainly attainable.
The one word of warning here is to not allow the NPC to have much combat prowess. It is pretty lame when and NPC steals the show from an actual player, so try to keep them as historians or quest givers.
Tavern Wind Down
Like all great adventures, we wrap up here in the tavern to wind down with ale, wine, water, or whatever beverage your heart desires.
The overall sentiment of this article is to be prepared so you can run the best possible adventure for your group. While the players should mold to the world, the world also, at some points, must mold to the players. However, that is a topic for next week!
At the end of the day, let's just have some fun playing D&D!
Keep those rolls and spirits high,