Friday, January 20, 2017

Modules in an On-Going Campaign

This is an adventure I've thought of using but would spend too much time changing it
In my gaming career, I haven't ran too many published adventures. When I was younger and had a lot of time, there didn't seem much point. These days, I can definitely see the appeal. I've run more since starting this blog than I did in all my gaming years prior, I think.

The problem is, either I'm too particular or my settings are such special snowflakes that it still takes a good bit of forethought and prep for me to be happy with them. In my Weird Adventures game, Castle Amber only wound up serving as inspiration to swipe a couple of rooms from for a sprawling, haunted estate. Jason Sholtis's Zogorion, Lord of the Hippogriffs was so freely adapted that the session served as the basis for Mortzengersturm, the Mad Manticore of the Prismatic Peak. I tend to alter them so much that I'm pretty picky about the fodder I start with, if only to minimize that tendency.

I wonder if other people have that problem? Do other folks with particular settings/campaigns just alter them to accomodate the "facts" of the published adventure or do adaptations like I do?


Luka said...

Frankly: both.

I adapt the adventure to fit the campaign, and the campaign then grows out and around it.

I imagine adventures and campaigns working together like artificial coral reefs. The adventures are these big chunky concrete wrecked bits you drop in, and then the coral reef of the campaign eats them up and makes them different.

It's pretty fascinating!

Trey said...

That's a great analogy!

Chris C. said...

My issue is that I have a lousy memory. I have to read and re-read a module so many times in order to really have a grip on it that it isn't worth my time. Contrarily when I make something up myself, the effort I put in "makes it stick" in my brain so in the end it takes less time to make up stuff of my own than it does to read (and re-read and re-read, etc.) a module and run it. It all boils down to that one practical point for me.

jdh417 said...

I had a similar experience with Castle Amber. I wish I still had the module. I might be able to appreciate more than I did as a teenager.

Jon Bupp said...

I'm the opposite. I have almost always run published adventures. I usually lack the inspiration to come up with ideas on my own, but I can take someone else's idea and totally make it my own.

The secret for me is not to run the adventure as published, but to use it as inspiration. I usually run them on just two reads. One to get decide whether I like it, and the second right before running it. The second read-thru often is just skimming.

The way my mind works, I usually remember the things I really like about an adventure and just focus on those things. I've been reading Johnn Four and his 5 room dungeons recently, and this has echoed my style. I keep the interesting bits and toss the rest. I've even add in bits from other adventures.

Last year I was running Age of Worms. In the Encounter at Blackwell Keep, instead of the lizardfolk lair from that adventure, I used Tomb of the Lizard King.

To cut down on the work of converting, I just make some notes of what I like and what I want to use. I end up converting things "on the fly" based on my notes and what the players are best reacting to.

I had almost forgot about Castle Amber. I may have to dig that one out. It would fit my current group very well.

Jon Bupp said...

I forgot to answer you closing question.

Sometimes I modify the facts of the adventure to fit my world, other times I modify my world to fit the adventure. Whichever tells the best story.