I like the world of Greyhawk. No Forgotten Realms for me, I like the original D&D world. So Circle of One – Circle of Eight, see what I did there?
I’m currently running a Sandbox (ish) campaign in post Greyhawk Wars Sterich on the western border. The area is previously undeveloped so I’m building up to a Kingmaker type game (Paizo Adventure Path). But to get to a level where kingdom building is viable there has been some old fashioned dungeon crawling going on.
The thing is my players (playing together since 1979) have got used to the adventure arc/PC RPG trope – looking for the questgiver. Of course that makes the running of a game easy – send them out for the session’s mission, get the CR appropriate reward and move on. I’ve tried to keep it open and a couple of times they’ve pressed onwards and nearly get killed for their efforts. I think they’re getting the message that if they keep pressing onwards they may get in over their heads, although at 6th level it’s getting easier to press onwards a bit.
A lesson for me though. Be a bit more explicit about expectations next time especially in a more open structured campaign.
More next time on this campaign and my thoughts on Pathfinder in general.