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This question is directed at DM/GMs who have run the adventure Murder in Baldur's Gate.

I am prepping to run this adventure, and it seems that this module's ten phase / three faction plot structure makes for a variety of player and DM decision points and interaction with arbitrary sized groups of NPCs.

My objective is to do pre-emptive decision point preparation so that encounter size, pace, timing and CR all fit the plot. I'd like to use lessons learned from those who have run this adventure by identifying those points that most often slowed play down. (Once identified, mitigation can be applied).

I intend to run this in D&D 5e, but experience with pacing issues and their resolution in a 4e or 3.5 context should be highly relevant and are acceptable as answers.

If, as a DM, you ran this module/adventure during or after the playtest:

What pacing/adventure flow problems did you encounter as a DM when running the adventure, and how did you resolve them?

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  1. The characters aren't well intermixed with the adventures. Often an adventure or event is tied to some key character, and I found when running it you needed to flip back to the character sheets to work out what was going. I personally made some character flash cards for each key character so that I could quickly remember who they were. For example, at the start Ulder greets them, and if you just use the adventure you may have no idea of what he's up to. Also, the book states a lot of events that just happen (such as Ulder greeting the PCs and wandering off before they can say anything) so it's important to be able to quickly react when things go off the rails with flash cards. On them, you can note how well Bhaal favors each.

  2. Generally locations and things have massive description blocks with a lot of reading, and it's hard to predict where your PCs will go and so which part is important. I personally solved this by noting this to my players, and saying I'd need a five minute break once they decided their first mission to skim those parts of the book again. One of the first targets, say, is someone who lives in Danthelon’s Dancing Axe, which is mentioned forty or so pages before.

  3. The overall plot is generally fiddly to pace, since it's a massive chaotic adventure where the PCs can ignore lots of events and respond to others and kill others in a chaotic way. I found it helped to keep a list of factions in the city, and note their mood after each adventure.

  4. There's generally kind of vague triggers and rewards for things. Silvershield for example offers 10 gp a day and unspecified rewards. I tended to try and offer more tangible rewards and favors to try and prod the players to do things, as they had a tendency to wander around.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your points 2 and 3 were where I was getting lost as I was trying to figure out the prep. (So I guess it isn't just me). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Aug 31 at 19:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am glad to have helped, and while my answer is late, I hope it helps you with future campaigns. This one is very wordy. \$\endgroup\$ – Nepene Nep Aug 31 at 20:14

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