Adventures Being Strung Together

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So i'm a noob New Inexperinced DM. I.E. I was the only one who bothered to read the DM book so I got to be the DM, and I'm fin with that, but something has gotten me slightly worried as we play. Reading on mutiple adventures that my Players could go to, I get the sense that they aren't building up to anything, or they don't seem that linked or related. That may be becuase they're lower leveled.

For example I was reading up on the Rescue at Rivenroar and I spotted a bit of text that stated this:


What’s an adventuRe Path?
Scales of War is the fourth Adventure Path to appear
in the pages of DUNGEON Magazine. But what, you ask,
is an Adventure Path? Quite simply, it is a series of
related adventures intended to form a complete D&D
campaign that takes your players from 1st level all the
way to, in the case of Scales of War, 30th level.


While I have no intention or desire to rail-road and force my players into certain adventures that they feel their characters would have no reason or business to be doing, these Adventure Paths sound like something I'd be interested in.

So what are you're takes on this, and as experinced DMs, what do you think might be most enjoyable for the players?


 
So i'm a noob New Inexperinced DM. I.E. I was the only one who bothered to read the DM book so I got to be the DM, and I'm fin with that, but something has gotten me slightly worried as we play. Reading on mutiple adventures that my Players could go to, I get the sense that they aren't building up to anything, or they don't seem that linked or related. That may be becuase they're lower leveled.

For example I was reading up on the Rescue at Rivenroar and I spotted a bit of text that stated this:


What’s an adventuRe Path?
Scales of War is the fourth Adventure Path to appear
in the pages of DUNGEON Magazine. But what, you ask,
is an Adventure Path? Quite simply, it is a series of
related adventures intended to form a complete D&D
campaign that takes your players from 1st level all the
way to, in the case of Scales of War, 30th level.


While I have no intention or desire to rail-road and force my players into certain adventures that they feel their characters would have no reason or business to be doing, these Adventure Paths sound like something I'd be interested in.

So what are you're takes on this, and as experinced DMs, what do you think might be most enjoyable for the players?


 



A campaign/adventure path does not have to take place every single session.

Feel free to spice it up with side quests and "in-between" adventures. A campaign can take place in one rapid fire burst/succession of sessions, but to give your players freedom, allow them to deviate for a while from the "main story" to pursue their own goals or different agendas.

Also, in the case of "most enjoyable for the players" this is a time I would full on advocate asking them the kind of game they would enjoy. Do they want a highly focused campaign about the plot you, the DM, lay out for them. Or do they want a more open world setting with a slower pace? Asking them, will allow you to build in a direction they'll enjoy. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Of course! But I don't feel as if there is a "main story" so far, the adventures so far have been self contained with in themselves, there hasn't, as of yet seem to be any over arching plot between any of  the adventures, is that something I'm supposed to fill in as a DM?
Scales of War is a pretty long commitment. I've been running it for about 3 years, and we're about halfway done. You can mod it pretty heavily, but at the end of the day, there is an interesting storyline, and you are going to want that last conflict at level 30.

Honestly, I would advise a new DM against starting it now. The monsters are out of date, and once your players hit their stride, it will be too easy. If you want to run prepackaged modules, there are plenty of newer ones available in Dragon Magazine. Another place to look is www.livingforgottenrealms.com, which has a ton of content available for free download. There's a couple mods marked "INTRO", that would be a good place to start.
Scales of War is a pretty long commitment. I've been running it for about 3 years, and we're about halfway done. You can mod it pretty heavily, but at the end of the day, there is an interesting storyline, and you are going to want that last conflict at level 30.

Honestly, I would advise a new DM against starting it now. The monsters are out of date, and once your players hit their stride, it will be too easy. If you want to run prepackaged modules, there are plenty of newer ones available in Dragon Magazine. Another place to look is www.livingforgottenrealms.com, which has a ton of content available for free download. There's a couple mods marked "INTRO", that would be a good place to start.



Alright, thanks! I think this'll be really useful.
One way to create an overarching storyline is to pick plot elements or NPC's that particularly interested your players from earlier adventures, and look for ways to use them again in later ones.
Of course! But I don't feel as if there is a "main story" so far, the adventures so far have been self contained with in themselves, there hasn't, as of yet seem to be any over arching plot between any of  the adventures, is that something I'm supposed to fill in as a DM?



Yes, you are kind of supposed to fill in the blanks.

Here's my current campaign for an example:

The players are mercenaries in a town. They've been here a few years. They are hired to investigate some murders. They found a locket which was then stolen from them. They hunted the thief down and were captured by bugbears. They allied themselves with the bugbears and freed them from an overlord (more directly, they freed them from the overlord's minion who was relaying orders to them). When they returned to the town, they discovered it burned to the ground.

This is basically the intro to the campaign. It took me 4 sessions to do all this.

The goal/story of the campaign from this point forward is for the characters to become leaders for the town and rebuild it. They get to design it from the ground up. Meanwhile, earlier plot elements like the murder locket and the overlord of the bugbears (a powerful Mind-Flayer) are going to come back in to play. Which will drag them into solving the murder cases which are connected to a certain Mind-Flayer. Which then in turn drags the entire town into the middle of a Mind-Flayer civil war, which is the ultimate goal here. That's my big plot. And as time goes on, the players will slolwy begin to realize how everything is connected.

Does this help?

Edit: Also, use plot devices and recurring characters to help string together adventures. They do wonders for this sort of thing. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/

 Also, as previously touched on, there's no real reason why you can't run a pre-packaged adventure simultaneously in the same session with something you made up yourself. As long as the events in the premade module don't require a certain time frame (i.e., you have three days to save the world), you can intermingle events from one quest with the other, advancing each plot a little at a time rather than focusing on one particular quest and then proceeding in a linear fashion to another adventure.
The party encounters a minor location from one adventure on the way to the main location from the other, or when returning to town from exploring someplace in one adventure, they end up selling something to or otherwise interacting with an NPC that features in the other quest.
 I once had a player look through some of my old modules and say, "Hey, this one looks cool, how about we play this next?", and I said,"Dude, you already have..." Tongue Out
It had just taken them three character levels to get around to finishing it, since I'd been hacking it up and using the encounters and plot to pad out/fill in empty spaces in the main adventure whenever that particular encounter seemed appropriate.


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