I have to admit defeat here. After several weeks of investigation, several days’ worth of work, and a few posts about it, I have read the writing on the wall and decided to skip a homebrew D&D campaign. As much as I’d like to do it, I realized that part of my lengthy investigations has been solely to avoid having to do the creative work that I thought I wanted to do, but which I always bounced off of once I tried to start it.
Instead, I am going to dust off the difficult yet somewhat rewarding Tyranny of Dragons duology for my players. The reasons are simple, if not entirely good considering how difficult the modules were to run.
First, I bought the FG VTT module Storm King’s Thunder yesterday after perusing several official modules and reading reviews. This one got high marks not just for its story but also for its organization. Some of the content of Tyranny of Dragons was poorly organized, so this mention helped make up my mind. But on the other hand, there were several entries which stated that the events in Storm King’s Thunder are designed to build off of events in the Tyranny of Dragons. If everything goes well and the first module segue into a second, playing SKT and then jumping into Tyranny might not make a lot of sense.
Second is plain old hindsight. Some of Tyranny went well; some of it was a complete disaster. I had issues with the way the second module, Rise of Tiamat, was formatted, with too much buried information spread out across several unrelated chapters. I felt that this seriously degraded my ability to run a decent session and although we got through it, I didn’t have a good impression of Tyranny as a whole.
So why go back? Plainly put; I know it now. It’s been run and I have a much better handle on the flow of the modules. I also believe I have a better idea on which parts need to be included, which should be included, and which can probably be put aside. I still have many of the notes from the original runs of the modules (although not the posts here on the site). I am also taking time right now to fill in some of the “known blanks” that I ran into the first time, l like custom NPCs, locations, and items.
Right now, we are trying to find a day and time that works well for everyone, and it’s looking like Thursday is the current front-runner. We might not get started until May, as we’ve all got adulting stuff to deal with. I plan on getting back to my M.O. of weekly recaps here on the site that run down what the party did and followed up by my “behind the screen” analysis of what went well and what could have been improved.