Running Expedition to the Barrier Peaks

The Learning DM

Screen shot 2010-12-07 at 7.07.45 PMAfter a significant break last year, I’m back in the swing of Dungeons & Dragons again. I’m playing on an online campaign through Roll20.net, and DMing two different tabletop campaigns. One group is running Curse of Strahd. In the other, we just finished Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. I’ve wanted to run this module for years now, and finally I did! Here are some things I learned from the experience.

You Can’t Run It All

First of all, there’s just plain too much content in the crashed spaceship to get through in a reasonable time frame. Our group meets roughly once a month, for 3-4 hours each session. I knew I wanted to get through the adventure in three sessions, so I really had to prioritize things.

I read through the module, highlighting cool scenes and encounters as I went. I decided that the vegepygmies, police robots, both medical androids…

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The Perfect Prop

The Learning DM

IMG_20150516_190903726It’s been a few months since I’ve posted, but my 5th Edition D&D campaign is still going strong. I am having a great time with system, particularly with the flexibility and ease of running things on the table. If I want a quick, narrative only encounter, I can do that, but when I want a map and minis and all that, the system supports it seamlessly. I’m very happy with 5th Edition in general and with our monthly campaign in particular.

I wanted to share a cool idea I had, sort of at the last minute, before our last session. For context, a bit about the adventure: the party was exploring the depths of a dangerous yuan-ti temple. As they got deeper in the temple, all manner of puzzles, encounters, and traps impeded their way. I had one room I wanted to put something cool in, just before the archetypical…

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Craft Sticks, Construction Paper, Giant Apes, and Dinosaurs

The Learning DM

IMG_20150412_172352960I am a huge, HUGE fan of the whole Lazy DM movement (Thank you Sly Flourish). 5th edition is quite a bit easier for lazy DMs to work with than 4th edition was, which I very much appreciate. However, sometimes, you just want a huge battle map with tons of minis and scenery. My session this past weekend was one of those times. I spent almost all of my prep time not in the Monster Manual, or the Dungeon Master’s Guide, but at my painting/crafting table.

I like to do big, memorable encounters like this at the beginning of a D&D session. I realize that is backwards from what you’d expect, but I’ve had too many Big Bads not get a fair shake since we only had 30 minutes left for the encounter. So far, it has worked out pretty well, and my players don’t seem to mind at all…

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