Plot Twists Formula. Begin by think through the Positives and Negatives of something when encountering the tendency to simplify to Bad Guy or Good Guy, ask Why. An example would be Lord and his Sharecroppers. There is the Exploitation as well as the Economic Arrangement of Security. It's not that simple - and most importantly in a Story - depends whose perspective. If you're talking to the Lord - he'll talk about the sacrifices of his men, the maiming they're suffered, and lives lost in honoring their duties if you're talking to the sharecroppers, all the work and sacrifice they put in. Its Low Tech so there is no "Economic Surplus" where productivity increases the size of the Pie - its a Zero-Sum Game and a Lord's Expenses are very high while someone needs to produce the necessary goods.
Is the "Story Hook" (Gundren Rockseeker) a saint? What are his interests in Phandalin? What makes him in the Right? Who also can make the same Claim? Who even has the same rights? If he's not a saint, then why is he doing this? Who will be affected?
Is the Big Bad really that Bad?
My Favorite Part of reading Phandalin is the Players act on HEARSAY and are predisposed to rush and kill people.
Townspeople say they're evil and rush to kill them. In my experience, most adventures don't CONFIRM or VERIFY the information is one of my favorite lessons learned from work.
Even if someone is a murderer, thief, abuser, etc... all sides are no saint and blameless. (Currently listening to the last 6 hours of the TGC Lecture on Law - Torts) One favorite conditioned response is that I know there is an unforeseen consequence to any meddling of a System.
After work, I like reading up on the Phandalin and Putting my notes in Bullet Form. I have a hard time reading Paragraphs these days. I have a hard time because I’m impatient and want to know the Action or Criteria. You will notice I try to summarize the Bullet’s key idea in bold, then proceed to add supporting information. If its a “Fact” or Criteria I break it into a Bullet. I try not to use additional sentences, if its a Separate distinct idea I bullet it. If its a Supporting Idea to Another Idea I make it a Sub Bullet. So you clearly and visually see the order of the ideas and how they relate to each other.
If I get Newbies then I run it as Is. If they want to make more out of the experience I have notes on the complexity of the situation as they Ask questions. QUESTIONS - what the players ask the GM, and how much they scrutinize the answers leads to very interesting complexities.
I have to activate my Facebook account to find Gamers in the Area since Facebook is the Primary Socializing medium in the Philippines. Because of the traffic making it 1 hour to drive out of my neighborhood and that office hours in the philippines are about 10.5 hours long its going to be hard finding Players without Facebook that is within a 15min walking distance from my home. I can only run it at 2 hour sessions.