Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dungeons and Dragons: It Begins

So if you're a follower of mine on Twitter or a Facebook pal, you know that I received the 4th Edition D&D rules boxed set for my birthday and I've launched an ultra-nerdy, ultra-awesome family D&D night which may or may not expand to more hardcore gaming in the future (maybe at the local comic shop -- James, what do you say? -- or maybe an after-school club I'd run). I've owned a lot of D&D books in my day (mostly 1st Edition), and played a fair amount, but not in a long while.

So here's my question to you genius gaming readers of mine: What's the best pre-packaged 4th Edition adventure module (or modules) for beginning gamers? I could use some help on this one.

6 comments:

Stefan Delatovic said...

I DMd Keep on the Shadowfell for my friends and it went well.

It's set up as an introductory adventure for Level 1 characters, and we'd never played 4E before, so it seemed to be a good fit.

It works well and runs quite smoothly. It's a little slight storywise but for us it worked as a nice starter on the mechanics.


If you're heavy on the role playing you might need to do some heavy lifting story-wise, but I'd recommend it.

anthony.casaldi said...

Keep on the Shadowfell is definitely the one to go with. It comes with 5 or 6 pre-generated characters which can help everyone jump into the game quickly. After they get adjusted to what does what, let them go back, read the PHB, and tweak all the elements of their character.

The adventure is light on story, but that helps as it can easily be broken up into a few satisfyingly resolved adventure chunks giving you and your family a chance to assess whether your enjoying the game and would like to continue playing.

Keep on the Shadowfell is part of the "H" series of modules. It's H1 and there are two more in the series that loosely link together to create enough questing to take your family from levels 1 to 10 which, depending on how often you play, could be many, many months of fun.

Normally a lurker here, but I'm a big fan of 4th edition and felt the need to spread the word a bit! :)

Jer said...

Another good thing about Keep on the Shadowfell is that it's now available for free download at Wizard's D&D website.

I'd agree that the adventure is a bit light on story, but it leaves a lot of room for you to expand your own story elements into the framework. The NPCs are all just brief character sketches, but that means that it's pretty easy to flesh them out more fully to fit your immediate needs. The adventure is almost designed like an "old school" adventure - where it mostly describes a location and you can fit your own story within it. The design is more modern, though, so there are a number of story elements and a general plot that weaves its way through the adventure.

There are also a number of free adventures on Wizard's website. The first couple of Dungeon magazines when 4th edition came out were available for free download from the website, and issue #155 has some extra Keep on the Shadowfell enhancements - including a few extra encounters that can beef up the adventure. (A number of the early Dragon issues for 4th edition are also available for free download if you're looking for more material - issues 364-367, I think).

My group has quite enjoyed Keep on the Shadowfell (we're not quite done yet) and I can recommend it. As long as you plan to fit your own story around the location provided, the adventure is great. If you're expecting it to provide a complex plot right out of the box, you'll be disappointed though.

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