Hello, and welcome to Pact of the Tome. This article is the fifth in a series written for new Dungeon Masters who have picked up the Dungeons & Dragons 5E Starter Set and are planning to run a game with it for the first time. The first two articles cover the process of bringing a gaming group together and building characters, and each article after that will cover one "part" of the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure. I will not assume any prior knowledge about Dungeons & Dragons aside from information in the Starter Set rulebook.
In this article, I'll cover the third part of the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure, "The Spider's Web." When your group reaches this part of the adventure, they'll have some goals in mind - most prominently, finding and rescuing their kidnapped patron - but they won't have a clear method to achieve them. Instead, they'll follow up on several leads that they've gathered, exploring various locations near Phandelver to work their way toward Cragmaw Castle. By the end of this chapter, they'll have explored several of the locations around Phandalin, found and stormed Cragmaw Castle, and uncovered the location of the Lost Mine of Phandelver itself - and you'll have brought them there!
Part 3: The Spider's Web
Where to go?
In the last part of Lost Mine, your group most likely explored the Cragmaw Hideout, got to know the town of Phandalin, and delved into the dungeons underneath Tresendar Manor. Unless things went differently than the adventure expects, they likely did these things in a predictable order. In this chapter, your players will get to choose what leads they pursue and what parts of the adventure they'll tackle first.
What does this mean for you? You'll have to be more prepared and willing to improvise than previously. There's a list of information the characters may have gathered on page 27, and it'll be worthwhile spending some time reading up on each of the different locations mentioned - Agatha's Lair, Old Owl Well, the Ruins of Thundertree, and Wyvern Tor. Except for the Ruins of Thundertree, each of these locations is fairly straightforward to run so long as you're prepared.