D&D General Decision paralysis: how do you homebrew?

pukunui

Legend
Hi folks,

As you may be aware, I want to convert the old 3.5e chestnut, Red Hand of Doom, to 5e and run it for one or both of my groups. The thing is, as presented, it's kind of its own mini-setting using the semi-default Greyhawk gods and such with a few notes on how to put it in various other settings like FR and Eberron.

I don't want to run it the Realms, even though it was originally designed to be placed there and slots into a specific spot on the map seamlessly. I want to either run it in Eberron or in a homebrew setting of my own design.

If I run it in Eberron, I don't have to do any world-building. All I have to do is figure out where on the map I want to run it and how to tweak things to fit Eberron's unique lore. The adventure itself suggests a number of locations, none of which play nicely with the shape of the adventure's map. So the bulk of the work I would have to do would either be reshaping the Eberron map or reworking the adventure to fit an existing location on the map. If I were to do the latter, I'd choose the Eldeen Reaches.

If I go homebrew, I have some bits and pieces already determined, some of which is ripped off from Eberron and Dragon Age and the like. But the main sticking point is figuring out the details of the gods. After reading about greatwyrm dragons and dragons as gods and the like in Fizban's, I got the idea of trying to incorporate that into my homebrew for this world as well.

But I honestly am just completely and utterly paralysed by indecision at this point. I cannot make up my mind. Do I want to do the work to fit it into Eberron or do I want to make my own homebrew world?

If the latter, do I want to have the gods be greatwyrm dragons? If yes, do I want that to be known or a secret? (I did try running Odyssey of the Dragonlords for one of my groups not that long ago, but we gave up before the big twist reveal.) Or do I just want to have the usual pantheon of squabbling gods? Or do I want something a bit tighter? Another question is: do I want the gods to be a real, knowable force like in the Realms or do I want the matter of their existence to be up in the air like in Eberron? If the latter, do I want to make it so there are no clerics or paladins? I've done that before, and it was fun and different, but do I want to do that again for this campaign? If I get rid of clerics and paladins, do I want to keep things like divine soul sorcerers and celestial warlocks?

The answer to all of the above questions is: I don't know and I can't decide!

So my question to you guys is: How do you guys make up your minds about this sort of stuff?!

I'm almost at the point of pulling out my hair in creative frustration!


Thanks in advance.
 

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Oofta

Legend
When I get into this situation I flip a coin. Then I go with it unless I suddenly realize that I really, really wanted heads when I got tails. There's not really a good way of doing it.

As far as gods and whatnot, how much does it really matter beyond fluff? How much does that fluff matter to your players? If it matters to them, ask their preference. There are times when I don't know what to do next that I'll send out a ranked choice poll (there are several free options) to my players and let them decide.
 

pukunui

Legend
Then maybe Eberron is the way to go? It gives yo ua sound foundation where you don't need to decide everything.
2nd point: I would go with the option that is easier to prep, so I guess that would be Eberron if your familiar with that setting.
I'm not hugely familiar with the setting. I know the basics, and I've read the 5e book and bits of some of the 3e books. I've only just starting playing my first ever campaign in Eberron as a player and am really enjoying it, but I haven't ever DMed anything set there. From where I'm sitting right now, going with Eberron doesn't feel any easier. It feels like I'm just exchanging the work of building a world in which to set the adventure for the work of adapting the adventure to fit an existing setting.

I can either try to redraw the Eberron map to fit the adventure's mini-setting in wholesale, or I can take the broad strokes of the adventure and try to apply them to an existing location on the Eberron map instead. Either way, it's going to require a bit of work, and none of these options is any more appealing than any other.

It's not that I don't want to do the work. It's that I can't make up my mind which is more appealing.

Personally I would discuss it with the group I plan to run the adventure/campaign with. I tend to homebrew collaboratively. If you can't make a choice, it probably means you don't have a strong preference on way or the other. Therefore, seeing if someone else has a preference may lead to an easy decision.
As far as gods and whatnot, how much does it really matter beyond fluff? How much does that fluff matter to your players? If it matters to them, ask their preference. There are times when I don't know what to do next that I'll send out a ranked choice poll (there are several free options) to my players and let them decide.
The trouble here is that I'm not doing it with either of my groups in mind - or rather, I am doing it with the idea that I could run it for either or both of them. And there are some aspects that I don't want to reveal to them - like, if I decide to go with dragons as gods and make that be a secret, I wouldn't want to say to my players, "Hey, do you want to play in a world where the gods are really dragons but nobody knows that?" because I'd want that to be something they discover through play, just like how you discover the truth about the ancient elven gods in Dragon Age through playing the games (and even then, it isn't revealed straight away ... it took until the third expansion pack of the third game for the writers to reveal that little tidbit).
 

dave2008

Legend
The trouble here is that I'm not doing it with either of my groups in mind - or rather, I am doing it with the idea that I could run it for either or both of them. And there are some aspects that I don't want to reveal to them - like, if I decide to go with dragons as gods and make that be a secret, I wouldn't want to say to my players, "Hey, do you want to play in a world where the gods are really dragons but nobody knows that?" because I'd want that to be something they discover through play, just like how you discover the truth about the ancient elven gods in Dragon Age through playing the games (and even then, it isn't revealed straight away ... it took until the third expansion pack of the third game for the writers to reveal that little tidbit).
Ok, if you might possibly set it in Eberron, will keep the default magi-tech assumptions? I feel this is something that may or may not appeal to some groups. That might guide you.

Also, I think you are worrying to much about which is more appealing. You can do both. Do the Eberron version now, work on your homebrew world in some free time and use that setting for your next campaign.
 

pukunui

Legend
Ok, if you might possibly set it in Eberron, will keep the default magi-tech assumptions? I feel this is something that may or may not appeal to some groups. That might guide you.
Yes, I would. I don't think either of my current groups would be put off by Eberron's magitech. However, the existence of the lightning rail and airships and such does make it harder to run an adventure that's supposed to be set in an isolated location without easy access to the wider world. One of the suggestions in RHoD is to set it in eastern Breland, but there's a lightning rail line that runs through there to the edge of the Mournland.

I guess part of the issue is that RHoD assumes it's set in an area not under the control of a larger nation, which isn't really possible in Khorvaire, which is completely carved up by the 5+ nations. There's no real "no man's land" outside of the Mournland.

I'm actually quite tempted to just handwave the existence of another continent on the planet and plop it down there without fully mapping things out beyond the adventure's specific location.

If not, I like the idea of the Eldeen Reaches, as I feel that fits the theme best (a mostly rural area with a noticeable druidic presence). It's just that the layout of the Reaches isn't as conducive to the RHoD adventure as I'd like it to be. I'd need some help from someone more knowledgeable about Eberron at least.

Also, I think you are worrying to much about which is more appealing. You can do both. Do the Eberron version now, work on your homebrew world in some free time and use that setting for your next campaign.
Potentially! I think even if I work on the homebrew sans Red Hand of Doom, I'll still run into some decision paralysis, though. :)
 

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