I took advantage of some quiet time on Saturday to work my way through Sean McGovern's "A Guide to a Curse of Strahd". It's a great sixty-four page PDF which walks you through the entire campaign and talks about choices which may be important to take. It recommends building an arc for the campaign; it doesn't need to be rigid, indeed being malleable will be an advantage.
The chapters are discussed with notes on experience from playing and things to watch out for. There are also a lot of useful cross-references to the other core D&D books like the Monster Manual and Player's Handbook.
Having just completely reread the campaign while on holiday, I found the guidebook useful to draw my thoughts together. I've also worked through Mike Shea (Sly Flourish)'s notes on his blog. I may yet dip back into the Reddit.
Before Wednesday's restart, I need to read the Tarokka deck to set my default assumptions and then work through the module in Roll20 to make sure that I have all the NPCs and locations ready to roll. I think that some of the players may need to finish their characters levelling up to level 3, which means that it may be a gentle restart.
One thing I have noticed is that I am a paper and pencil GM. I much prefer to do scenario preparation using paper, and then type up later (if at all). This will be interesting when my reMarkable 2 finally arrives; I think that it will prove a useful tool to have a halfway house. Even when I build from scratch, the computer bits may well just be the initial concept until I work it up a bit more.
So, Curse of Strahd, Season 2 will start on Wednesday. The characters will enter into Barovia proper rather than the hinterlands. The fogs will swirl, the wolves howl and evil will stalk the night.
6 September 2020