Sunday, June 25, 2023

Reflection on Light of Xaryxis

Earlier this month my group finished playing through this campaign; here are some thoughts from my players and myself. Here's a link to my notes from it. 

Spelljammer Campaign Notes

  • This was the campaign that I needed for this school year. We are still playing every other week, during the school year, which means we have some eighteen sessions for the campaign. That worked well, with one for each part of Spelljammer Academy (four total) and one for each part of Light of Xaryxis (twelve in all). It was exciting for me to see the new Spelljammer books and to delve more deeply into 5th Edition D&D.

  • The storyline was pretty straightforward, with each chapter leading into the next one. My group was okay with this, although I wouldn't want it to be the play style for every campaign.

  • Juggling three books at one time was sometimes challenging. In one scene, for example, the PCs faced some psurlons aboard a nautiloid, requiring me to have all three of them open. I understand why they're organized in that way, but it was a little cumbersome.

  • Along that same line, it would be nice to have the Astral Adventurer's Guide available by itself, rather than requiring people to buy it along with the adventure book and Boo's Astral Menagerie. Players don't need the Menagerie, and certainly not the adventure.

  • Some of my players were surprised by the scope and scale of the scenario. I felt a little guilty running a campaign in which all of Toril was at stake, seeing as I haven't done much with the Forgotten Realms in the past. My players were familiar with the setting, though, and enjoyed the references to it in Spelljammer Academy.

  • It became a running joke when we referred to their “lengthy and comprehensive” training at the academy, seeing as their characters gained four levels in as many sessions and about twelve hours of play. That setup did work well for bringing them to 5th level to start the campaign book, at which point the pace slowed to an advancement every three sessions.

  • I was impressed by the amount of support material that was available from the DM's Guild website for use with this campaign. I only ended up using one of them—a scenario called Mind Flayer Over Matter—but there were many more available. While the Dungeons & Dragons game has long had third-party content available, I'd not previously seen it to be designed intentionally for use with an existing campaign storyline.

  • In the end, my players enjoyed the campaign, and that's what really matters.

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