Thursday, April 30, 2009

Keep on the Shadowfell updated and free!

Wizards has released a PDF version of the first Heroic 4E adventure, Keep on the Shadowfell, as well as Quick Start Rules of the game, for free on their site. I think this is a great move -it's just the perfect package to get new players started into D&D. Also, it pretty much ensures that every 4E player will go through KoTS at some point, which makes for great shared experiences and game anecdotes, even for people not in your gaming group (ask anyone about their first encounter with Irontooth, for example!).

What really interests me, though, is the upgraded adventure. The core story and encounters are the same, but many details have been polished - format, errata, monster choices and skill challenges. I particularly like how they have added a few new monsters so that every encounter you take features at least a new one - after your nth skirmish with kobolds, Dragonshields get replaced but slightly different kobold soldiers, skirmishers get a new twist, and so on. A few plot details have been upgraded, such as the burial site no longer featuring a random Halfling, but an avatar of the major villain. Finally, skill challenges have got an overhaul - the statue chamber now looks a lot more playable, and just staying at a distance and bashing things at range no longer seems a productive strategy.

I'm looking forward to getting a chance to DM this module again, and this update looks like the perfect excuse.

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