|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
In the past I've often started out my homebrew adventures with too much focus on a small area like a town and the surrounding countryside. I then tended to let them wander too much until the crisscrossing plot lines and sidequests had thoroughly confused us all. Finally the whole thing would tend to run out of steam as the higher level sessions became too tough to consistently prepare during a week when I might unexpectedly need to work 60+ hours and play in another game or two.
One step I'm considering to remedy that would be to write the high level portion of the adventure first. I could also try to write the entire campaign in advance though I'm concerned that might make my adventure railroad a little too restrictive. Folks don't seem to mind with APs, but when they know it is homebrew I think they like to challenge the DM a little and poke around to see what you are or aren't prepped for. Another way to implement that might be to use an AP for the early part of an adventure and then cap it off with some homebrewed stuff or just bastardize an AP so that worst case you'll always have something to run when game time comes. I've had some experience with "winging it", but while it can sometimes be fun it can also easily go wrong.
We had one DM who would delay our progress with random wilderness encounters and then kind of apologize for it. The funny thing was that we actually enjoyed those mindless battles. Maybe they would have grown dull at some point, but it wasn't a bad way to spend a session once in a while.
@Bwang - I started an online project similar to your notes a while back for a campaign where the DM offered us way too many adventure hooks. The main document has grown to 17 pages and also uses color coding:
Blue = completed quest
Purple = quest which was started but not finished
Red = current quest
Fuschia = adventure hook we haven't investigated yet
When I arrived for the last session the other players had printed out the document and were poring over it to determine which quest the party should go on next. That made me feel like maybe it wasn't a wasted effort!