The game I run is based in LOTFP's rules, sandboxey to such an extent that the players always do unexpected crap that keeps me on my toes and working hard between sessions. I decided to drop in the Temple of Elemental Evil in a location which is close enough to the Keep they have been asked to manage by the powers that be that they can't ignore it. I also dropped a couple of other plot hooks on them so as to give a choice, but was secretly hoping they would go for the TOEE because I love that module. The group is 5 characters, between levels 4-7, plus their followers. They decide on the Temple, and I'm thinking whoopie!! a DM break between sessions for a bit, as they do an old fashioned dungeon crawl for a while.
They take the secret entrance in to level three, after taking out the outside guard tower, get the Golden Orb of Death, have a few tough fights, get scared shitless after a few follower deaths and near deaths, and decide "Fuck this, we're going back to the keep, getting some troops, and assaulting this goddamn place."
Fuck! There goes my break between sessions as I gear up for mass combat. I haven't done any mass combat in DnD since the late 80's or whenever Battlesystem came out. So here I am between sessions pouring over the module, trying to determine which troops would come out based on the internal politics of the module, and which would stay, based on security needs.
Oh, almost forgot to mention, they decided to split the group, meaning the fighter will lead the troops while the rest of the group assaults the Temple at the same time.
My brother (who is not in the group) and I are going to give it a test run next weekend if we can, using Delta's Book of War as our mass combat system.
I'm kind of looking forward to it. I never knew sandboxey stuff could be so much fun. It certainly broke me of my habit of planning too far ahead.
At the same time, being new to the mass combat aspect of it, any and all suggestions appreciated!