My home group has been playing Paizo's "Rise of the Runelords" adventure path using 2nd edition for the past couple of years. We are just now getting to the home stretch in the campaign. It has been a great experience. The group has evolved over that time until we have settled on stable group of five. They are a great bunch and I am hoping to keep this group together for a long time.
The group is a mixed bag of experience. K-Slacker and I are definitely from the old school, two other players are mostly 3.5-era gamers and the current campaign is the first for one player. As such, each comes to the table with a certain bias and set of expectations.
The adventure path itself has been fun. I have been enjoying the process of trying to hide the rails from the players and reacting to their actions. I have also been enjoying the process of converting a series of adventures designed for 3.5 back to 2nd edition. It has re-taught me a number of things that I had forgotten about 2nd edition. As an aside, while my heart belongs to B/X I have played more 2nd edition than any other edition of D&D.
Using an adventure path has also kept the work load to a minimum. Which is great as, you might remember, I am the father of two kids whose schedules just keep getting busier. Prep has been very easy, the support from Paizo and their forums is great, and the adventures themselves have been fun and memorable.
However, while hiding the rails from the players has been fun, there are definitely rails. Which increasingly becomes a drag.
As the adventure path begins its home stretch, I am beginning to think about what the next campaign might be. I want to try to give the group, specifically the 3.5-era guys and the new guy, a real "old school" sandbox and also develop a campaign that is an open table with more flexibility for attendance. The first thing that came to mind was to try to redo my Northern Marches campaign but then I also thought about revisiting the City of Thieves idea I had. Honestly though I am worried about the level of player agency required for a good sandbox and if some of the members of the group are up to it. Also, I am lazy and a little leery of the effort.
I am going to pose both to the group (and maybe include as un-yet fully formed idea for a third) and see which they would prefer. I will post the final decision here and hopefully use the blog as a place to develop my thoughts about the campaign.
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