The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #1 WOTC H1 Keep on the Shadowfell (Level 1)
Just a note to say that for each session of play there’ll be a ‘Behind the Scenes’ section- like this one, a chance for me to share a few notes about the play, or else other things of interest as and when they occur to me.
And so, KOTS- this is the third time I have played this scenario. The first time ended in a TPK by Irontooth and the Kobold Wyrmpriest in the Kobold Lair behind the waterfall, that was my in first ever session DMing 4th Edition D&D, not an auspicious start- particularly as the three of the five players that day never returned to play 4e again. My second attempt to DM a group through KOTS experienced a similar fate alas, three of the six PCs were killed by Irontooth, again. The three left standing fled the scene, we played on for another 2-3 sessions, with new PCs for those that died, but the game foundered- impetus was lost for a myriad reasons, and again KOTS was abandoned.
So, not a great history with me, but I wanted to give it another go.
This play through is pretty much as written in the module, however we’ve added in a few house rules to make 4e more palatable to us, they are-
1) One Action Point for every encounter, no saving them up, if you don’t use it you lose it- until the next encounter begins.
2) All monsters inflict MM3 style damage, I figured out a formula and converted every monster prior to play- I also reworked Elite monster defences, and added a few powers here and there to beef up the opposition when needed. I likewise messed with monster hit points in line with MM3 rules- particularly for the Solos, dialing them down a notch.
As to the players two of the five have never to my knowledge played D&D, or any other RPG- save on a PC, previously (Grey & Winstanley). The other three have all been playing RPGs for at least ten years, and have experienced D&D, and in particular 4e, before (Dirty, McGyver & Kaspard). The youngest player was 32, and the oldest just shy of 50, when we started this campaign (back in 2009).
The sessions, for the most part, lasted 3-5 hours- although they were subject to ‘real life’ intrusions. At least four of the players were present for each game session, actually we were very lucky and for most all five players were around the table. The house rules helped to speed up proceedings, however up to an hour of each session was spent chatting and catching up with in-game or else ‘real life’ events- alcohol at times was consumed.
None of the players, or the DM for that matter, were concerned with playing an intense tactical game; likewise none of the PCs have been optimised- our intention was only to have fun. The over-arching story, while delivered pretty much as written, was changed at times to suit the needs of the DM, and to make it a little more coherent. The hope is this write-up will serve to entertain and to offer an insight into this series of adventures.
Last point, we started playing this campaign (I think) towards the end of 2009- we played through Keep on the Shadowfell, Thunderspire Labyrinth, the Pyramid of Shadows and after a six month hiatus the King of the Trollhaunt. Which took us to the middle of 2011, and then the campaign ended, or so we thought- due to ‘real life’ issues. That was until early 2013 when fate conspired to get us back around the table. We don’t play this campaign so often now but we’re through the Demon Queen’s Enclave and into Nightwyrm Fortress (as of August 2014), the guys are approaching Epic level and quite frankly the game has got better.
This then is our campaign, enjoy.