Mad at the Mad Mage

1 Jul

Published adventures can be wonderful things – they give the DM great ideas, and make the whole gaming experience a treat. Most of the time, traditional DM’s use bits of what they read and then use it in their own homegrown campaigns.

I am not like most dungeon masters.

First off, I’m lazy I run a weekly D&D campaign at my local gaming shop on Roll20, and up until this whole pandemic, we offered D&D Adventurers League. For those of you unfamiliar, it allows players to take their same characters from one game to the next, without having to have the same weekly schedule, and allows DM’s the opportunity to pull in new players without having to go through the arduous process of finding them. After a year and a half, I have a solid group of six players who come every week. Some have left, some have joined, but solidly six… which is amazing.

So my son buys Dungeon of the Mad Mage and tries it out… but after running it with his players, gives up after one session. But it is the ultimate dungeon crawl – 20 levels of dungeons, massive monster lists, great challenges – I had to try this out!

Yes, it is beautifully written, amazing art, and great scenarios. There’s just one major flaw… it has no plot! To be fair, it has several plot ideas, but these are pretty flimsy and they will last for several levels, and then you’re stuck. Travelling between the levels is fun the first time, but then dull as hell going back, because you have to then return to Waterdeep (Level 0) to collect on the mission. So my players finish the first, then third, then the fifth mission, but then I have just start making up goals.

To be fair to WotC, their more recent adventure books have been great, but man, has it been difficult to make the campaign fun for my players. We should wrap it up pretty soon… then I’ve gotta figure out what to do next. Do you think I can convince my D&D Diehards to play Albedo? How do you handle a campaign that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere? Write your comments below!

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