So after two episodes of Hoard of the Dragon Queen, we come to the dungeon crawl. No more spoilers than that – I hope.
It’s a fairly straightforward explore/objective mission with one big difference for me – maps. I am lucky enough to have a set of the original Dungeon Tiles (and additional tiles coming from the Void Star Studios Kickstarter – hooray!). There is no better use for Dungeon Tiles than a good dungeon crawl.
However (here it comes), I didn’t like using the map. Put down the grid, and the creativity flows toward the tactics and away from the story (PCs or otherwise). Part of the problem could be the timeframe. Two play sessions (five hours or so) equates to about an hour of actual game time. Not a lot of time to advance character stories. Part of it – probably the biggest part was the focus on tactics. Inches between characters become more important than interactions. The PCs also start to focus on roles (healer, support, meat shield) and abilities instead of any history between the characters.
The next few sessions will be focused on travel and hopefully some PC interaction. I sent out some emails with questions about backstory looking for some options to insert into the module. Lots of potential.
So moving forward. Less maps. More story. Keep asking players questions.