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I’ve been using pre-fabricated adventures a lot more recently. I know, I know, at one point I swore I would never again do such a thing. But as I was reminded recently by a talking pigeon, one should never say never. 

So what changed? First and foremost, I think a large part of it is a shift in focus. The focus of my last game was more about exploring the Forgotten Realms and solving the mystery of Mystra’s death. This game is a more traditional dungeon delve focused experience and finding clues about an ancient, evil civilization. In my now less-limited experience, this is where pre-fabs really shine. Small details can be added and changed, while still allowing for a good flow of building design and monster encounters. Anything that doesn’t make sense towards the ultimate goal of the story can be tossed out like old Chinese food. 

Another way pre-fabs have been helpful is in teaching me how to run good combat encounters. Combat has long been one of my weakest areas as a GM. Figuring out how to balance monster group size and level to provide a decently paced fight always seemed to be just out of my grasp. But I’m starting to get it, slowly but surely. Maybe with the exception of the headless undead (but not undead) disease-cloud hydra, I think combat has been going pretty well. 

Overall, I think I’m getting to the point where I’m out-growing the use of pre-fabs in this group. But I’m really glad they helped me get some footing as a more traditional DM. 

 

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