I find myself chaffing a bit at something that I chose to do to save myself time. I chose to use a canned adventure to start things off with our Blue Rose gaming group. The idea was to use a pre-generated adventure to give everyone exposure to the system, and to help them learn how to work with this new set of rules. That idea worked just fine, and it is doing a great job of doing just that.
Another part of this idea was that it would save me time in pre-game prep time as I would just be able to pull out the adventure and run with it. Nice idea, but I am finding that the opposite is true. I find that I am spending more time with the adventure, making sure I know what is happening when and where in the overall story of the adventure than I ever did when I was running my own adventures. The canned adventure depends upon certain things happening at certain points in the course of the adventure, and while it is flexible things are really predetermined, and deviation by too great of a degree will break the overall story.
Then there is the pacing. The canned adventure is designed to be played through in one 3-hour gaming session. I am sure that with a more traditional gaming group this would be perfectly feasible, but not so with this group due to the higher priority demands of children needing attention. Specific encounters in the adventure are created with certain time expectations…and in this environment that all goes out the window.
In a game of my own devising I would just adjust the pace, sort things out, and bring things to a wrap point when it became obvious that the children were ready to go home, whether the parents were or not. I don’t have that kind of flexibility with the canned adventure.
So what to do? Frankly I don’t know right now. Part of me wants to just scrap the canned adventure and run my own, but the other part wants to continue to use the canned adventure for what I brought it into play for in the first place. Maybe I will make adjustments to the canned adventure…make it a bit more flexible…or maybe I will just scrap it and run my own and deal with the consequences. I just don’t know…