About 6 months ago (already?), I suggested that running one of the long hardback adventures from Wizards of the Coast may not be the best idea for a new Dungeon Master. You can watch the video for all the details, but to summarize:
- The Wizards hardbacks are often long intricate plots involving a large number of NPCs.
- You have to read and digest a couple hundred pages (at least) to fully understand everything going on and be able to foreshadow events (which generally is not done well in the adventure itself).
- They span as many as 10 to 15 levels of play, which is a lot of game to bite off for your first campaign.
- It's a lot just to learn to run the game much less keep 200+ pages of heavy plot in your noggin.
- Short episodic adventures give the DM much more freedom to improvise with much less preparation.
Instead, I suggested perhaps a more short-form campaign would be a better choice. Prepping smaller 3 to 5 session modules and one-shots (single session length) adventures might be better for the new DM. A shorter length campaign (5 to 7 levels) is also a better introduction to the challenges of game mastering.
There are a few exception. If you are a new DM and you haven't run the D&D Essentials Kit or the Starter Set adventures, those are both amazing introductory (and relatively short) adventures. The Dragon of Icespire Peak (Essentials Kit) is a little more modular and has more bite-sized chunks for the newer DM, but the Lost Mine of Phandelver (Starter Set) is also a very well done scenario with a plot arc the underlies all the encounters. Together, they can be used to introduce a new group of players to the Sword Coast (Forgotten Realms). Tales from the Yawning Portal, Ghosts of Saltmarsh, and Candlekeep Mysteries also contain shorter length adventures that are self-contained.
But, that's not what I'm here to talk about.