The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #1 WOTC H1 Keep on the Shadowfell (Level 1)
I e-mailed each of the players prior to the start of the game, to help them to develop their character’s backstories- nothing too complex, I also gifted a couple of them some secret knowledge; with Kaspard and McGyver knowing the Douvern Staul story and the supposed presence of ‘cultists’, and Grey with information about a nearby ancient magical portal.
I didn’t want all of the adventurers to know something, or indeed to know too much- I figure finding things out is part of the fun, info should come in small portions that only later connect.
The new house rules seem to be doing their job, while the monsters are much nastier, some examples of their new damage abilities-
Kobold Dragonshield’s Dirty Tactics Encounter power attack delivers 2d6+7 damage, half on a miss.
Irontooth’s Battlexe attack (2/round if he doesn’t move) delivers 2d8+6 damage each hit, with an extra 1d10 damage (each hit, again) if and when the Goblin is bloodied.
The increased damage capabilities seems to be being countered by the PCs ability to use an Action Point in every combat, which speeds up the fights. The players are already getting the idea of concentrating attacks to take down the nastiest opponents first- at least sometimes.
It proved dramatic rather than game ending when McGyver expired, particularly as every one of the players failed to stabilise the Dragonborn Paladin- fate decided it, and they were all complicit.
I played up the Kobold menace at the start of the adventure because I wanted the guys to have a bit of XP before they got to the Keep proper, also for all its terror and TPKness I love the Irontooth encounter- it seems to set the adventure up nicely with Kalarel’s note.
Lastly, check out the ‘The Book of the Dead’, and, ‘The Book of Encounters’- the former lists all creatures killed or bested by the PCs so far, the later shows the encounters overcome as well as any changes to the PCs line-up. Links to both books will appear in future ‘Behind the Scenes’ sections of the write up.