DMing session 5 of the Lost Mine of Phandelver tomorrow. In the last session, the party rescued Gundren Rockseeker from the goblins and bugbears of Cragmaw Castle and they will now be heading to the town of Phandalin. If they don't immediately head for the final section of the campaign, this is where the campaign becomes quite open with a bunch of side quests and interesting NPCs to interact with. I'm very excited but also pretty nervous. I always get nerves before DMing a session though, in a way, I find it helps me to prepare just well enough that I'm ready for anything. I've been home alone tonight so I've been practicing my NPC voices/mannerisms in preparation.
Story wise, Gundren is very eager to head to Wave Echo Cave in order to check that his brothers are safe. As I'd like the party to remain in the town and do some side quests, I'm going to roleplay as a shape shifter, mimicking one of Gundren's brothers. He'll be blind drunk in the town inn, wailing and crying over the third brother's death. Which should remove Gundren from the party while he sobers up his "brother" to get information from him. I'm anticipating that the shape shifter will attack Gundren when they are alone but Gundren will fight him off and the shape shifter will escape to be brought back later on. The party have already, indirectly, gotten an important NPC killed and lost Gundren's wagon of supplies so killing Gundren off isn't really an option, unless I want to be a mean as strawberry float DM.
A friend from work, who is a fellow player in another campaign, will also be joining us. So I may have to scale up the combat encounters depending on how well the party perform with an extra player.