I have been running three players through this classic campaign for a good number of months now. We have been pretty good at getting together Monday nights online and playing for a couple hours.
TWO HOUR GAME LIMIT....
This actually works out so well for me as a keeper. The prep I have to do is so minimal. They can only get so far off track in two hours!
I do not discourage any tangent they want to go on, and I have a week to figure out a clever way to let them do what they want and still progress through the campaign.
Because of this I have dropped whole chapters from Shadows as written. Sometimes I skip something completely, other times I substitute a completely different published adventure.
I have done a lot of writing.
I have learned how to read a chapter of the campaign, strip out everything that doesn't matter, and focus on the main thing that does.
I have learned to set up set pieces that must happen, but leave them open ended enough so they can crop up whenever the opportunity presents itself.
I have learned how to gently herd the players to these set pieces and edit them on the fly.
I have learned how to use the NPCs as the main thing that drives my end of the story.
Once I read the scenario I figure out who the NPCs are, and what they are trying to achieve. I then contemplate how they plan on doing this. I try to plan for what my PCs most likely will do, predict possible outcomes, make a few notes and run with it.
I think Shadows of Yogsothoth is a fantastic campaign.
I do not think it flows well from chapter to chapter. I do not think the chapters really even relate to each other very much.
Some of it is even ridiculous I dare say.
BUT! I have learned so much about running this game through my efforts in trying to make Shadows work.
We have about three sessions until the end.
I would recommend this campaign to any Keeper out there. I have been having a great time with it, and so have my players.