The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Moonday, 17th of Fireseek, 2000.
And so soon after the adventurers are on the road to Hammerfast, traveling with a sizeable merchant caravan- the snow is deep and crisp and even, but the Trade Road is well-traveled, even at this time of the year. Their journey is uneventful, but cold, and two days later, after leaving the caravan behind, the guys are glad to be entering Thunderspire, although…
The entrance, a huge carved passage into the great rock, is intimidating- cautiously and carefully they head into the depths on an ancient road some thirty feet wide, the passage a massive fifty feet high. Every fifty or so yards are pairs of great statues, depicting Minotaur Lords built to reinforce the span of the tunnel- most with greataxes raised high over their heads.
A little while later, from a side passage, the guys hear noises- shouting, threats screamed in the common tongue, but guttural- Goblins, the PCs make haste to investigate.
Just to say we’ve had a long chat about the good and bad of the first scenario in this series- H1, the consensus is the PCs want to be challenged more- more titanic and nasty fights, new bad guys for them to best, and more speaking parts for the bad guys- more intrigue, and a big bad guy, an enemy for them to hate. It’s all very obvious of course- it seems they want more of everything, and more intensity.
The decision then is to try and make Thunderspire a bit more momentous, something that takes a while to piece together… and to get through, gulp, I’ll do my best.
This play through is however pretty much as written in the module handbook, although we’re sticking with the house rules we tested previously 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, dialling them down a notch.
The sessions for H2 were longer than those in the first adventure. We found a time when we can get everyone together every two weeks to play, and at times play late into the night- once or twice to 2 AM, starting at 7 PM, all of the sessions lasted at least 5 hours.
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.
This adventure carried on straight after H1, with only two weeks between the end of the first adventure and this one.
Okay, back to the action, Goblin voices… You know what happens next.