One of the many questions that comes up in my time acting as a Dungeon Master is whether or not I should go a prefabricated adventure that’s been published by the company in charge of the d20 system in particular, or create one from scratch.
There is no right answer in this. Both have their place and it really just depends on the person what works best for you.
To give a quick definition: Homebrew is simply any session or campaign (adventure) that you run your party through that has been developed by yourself.
This is the type of adventures that I typically run for my players. I just love the freedom to come up with fun stories that are not limited by what has already been established. I often have an end goal that I want them to get to but leave how they get there relatively open to the players unless they are looking for a more driven story.
It is, however, quite a bit of work and can sometimes be difficult coming up with a fair yet challenging set of encounters both diplomatic and combat related.
If you are wanting to get a group of players from level 1 to 20 then a homebrew adventure is probably going to be a little more likely to get you there rather than a prefabricated one.
That said there are several people who have created and typed up their own campaign along with custom monsters and have them available as free downloads for others to partake in and enjoy. These can turn out really well if they have arrange the content appropriately.
These adventures lie on the other end of the spectrum. Companies like Paizo and Wizards of the Coast have published and continue to publish adventure paths for dungeon masters to navigate with their players. These adventures work really well because it is from the official companies in charge of those d20 systems and thus follows their standards for rules and balance.
They also have just individual modules that you can use to give your party a chance to do something different that only cover a small range of levels.
A good example of this would be one that I have been participating in as a player called Giant Slayer. This adventure runs from levels 1-17 and it’s pretty straightforward. The one sentence synopsis of this adventure would be: the party has to fight giants to save the area.
This prefabricated adventure has proven to be a lot of fun with a very compelling story and I look forward to seeing what happens next.
Either way, the choice is up to you and what you feel you can do the best. You can choose to create your own situations or take something already done or even a little of both. No matter what you decide, however, as long as you are having fun then things will turn out fine.
Until next week!