Embers of Dawn Mini-campaign

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I just want to get a clarification about each part of the Embers of the Dawn mini campaign. Each part ("Stirring the Embers, "Burning Scent of Perfumed Swords", etc, etc) are supposed to be 2 rounders/double-length. It is only mentioned once in the first part, but never again. Looking at part 2 & 3, and seeing how many encounters there are, I would assume so. But I wanted to make sure since I'm planning on running this for a mini-convention and I want to slot accordingly. Also, any insight about how these run would be great too.

Thanx


I just want to get a clarification about each part of the Embers of the Dawn mini campaign. Each part ("Stirring the Embers, "Burning Scent of Perfumed Swords", etc, etc) are supposed to be 2 rounders/double-length. It is only mentioned once in the first part, but never again. Looking at part 2 & 3, and seeing how many encounters there are, I would assume so. But I wanted to make sure since I'm planning on running this for a mini-convention and I want to slot accordingly. Also, any insight about how these run would be great too. 



They're supposed to be two rounders, yeah. In my experience both running 'em at home and seeing some convention runs, they're more like 1.5 rounders, but trying to squeeze them into one round would be a mistake.
That's been my experience too.

In terms of general advice, hm. (Hey, can this thread get moved to the Adventures forum, btw?)


As you may have noticed with the story awards in MINI 1-1, this series is all about the NPCs. Figure out the voices you're going to use for each of them, and play them up. One of the most gratifying things about running MINI 1-1 for me was that my players went with multiple choices for that one story award. That tells me I did something right.


This will also pay off later in the adventure series. Promise. Make the NPCs vibrant.


I think the character of the various locales is also super-important. The PCs will be touring the Windrise Ports over the course of the mini-campaign. Think hard about the essential nature of each port, and play up the differences. I'm keying in on scents, for example: each port smells different, right? For me, Tarmalune smelled like food -- fried meats, exotic spices, tangy vegetables. Sambral is, of course, perfumes.


But that's just my differentiator. Yours could be something else. Either way, though, the ports are characters in their own right. It's important, I think, that they aren't just a homogenous mass. Read the Dragon articles on the Windrise Ports if you haven't; that'll help.


(Hey, can this thread get moved to the Adventures forum, btw?)



Ask and ye shall receive.

Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Read the Dragon articles on the Windrise Ports if you haven't; that'll help.



There was a dragon article on Tarmalune that I read (and it actually influenced me to set my latest MYRE mod in Tarmalune) but I didn't see one that covered all the windrise ports; could you tell me what issue it was in?

Thanks
Read the Dragon articles on the Windrise Ports if you haven't; that'll help.



There was a dragon article on Tarmalune that I read (and it actually influenced me to set my latest MYRE mod in Tarmalune) but I didn't see one that covered all the windrise ports; could you tell me what issue it was in?



This is the one I'm thinking of -- mostly crunch but there's a page on the other cities as well, and the backgrounds are somewhat revealing.

(Hey, can this thread get moved to the Adventures forum, btw?)



Ask and ye shall receive.




Or not.  So much for that idea...
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Is there any room for characters to play mods outside the campaign series, or would any play outside the series level characters out of range? I'm curious because it seems like there are a ton out already and still in the level 1-4 range...
IIRC, at low tier they're around 775, and 1095 for high.  They're set up so that you can do all of them at high tier without leveling to fifth.  So for every two you do at low tier, you could do one other adventure, give or take.
IIRC, at low tier they're around 775, and 1095 for high.  They're set up so that you can do all of them at high tier without leveling to fifth.  So for every two you do at low tier, you could do one other adventure, give or take.



If you play all 6 of the MINI modules at high, and don't die-die in the middle, with full success, your PC should just level to 5th at the end of the 6th module. (6,570 XP)

If you play at high, and play any other module, even at low, you will probably reach 5th level at the end of the 5th module, and not be able to play that PC in the 6th one. (5,475 XP + 400 XP > 5,500 XP)

If you play at least two of the MINI modules at low, you wil have a bit more wiggle room, but I find that a lot of people are loath (unwilling) to play any 1-4 module at low...

In general, I agree, kinevon.  Most people are unwilling to play at low tier.  However, the mini-campaign suggests people create new characters, and that will help people decide to play low.  Also, the Senior GM organizing the mini-campaign in this area told us that the first half was intended to be run at low, while the second half was intended to be run at high.  Those two pieces of info helped push people that were planning on playing 3s and 4s to pull out new characters they'd previously made up, or use pregens to quickly get in on the action.

So far, I've been enjoying the mini-campaign.  As a gross generalization, LFR's missing a good tightly woven storyline - that's just a by-product of the way that WotC has decided to organize LFR.  The campaign, however, gives you the fun combats and continuing story that's been missing from the regional modules.  The story is more engaging than the staggered episodic nature of the rest of LFR, probably because each adventure connects to the another, giving it a more organic feel.


The campaign, however, gives you the fun combats and continuing story that's been missing from the regional modules.  The story is more engaging than the staggered episodic nature of the rest of LFR, probably because each adventure connects to the another, giving it a more organic feel.


I have overall been pretty disappointed by the whole thing.  They seem to be getting worse as they go, and I feel like I'm playing the same module over and over again. 

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1. Arrive in port
2. Get jumped by bad guys
3. Go through a skill challenge to find out where the bad guys are hiding
4. Raid the bad guys' lair
5. Chase escaping bad guys
6. Find out that the real threat is elsewhere ("I'm sorry Mario, but the Princess is in another castle".)


The campaign, however, gives you the fun combats and continuing story that's been missing from the regional modules.  The story is more engaging than the staggered episodic nature of the rest of LFR, probably because each adventure connects to the another, giving it a more organic feel.


I have overall been pretty disappointed by the whole thing.  They seem to be getting worse as they go, and I feel like I'm playing the same module over and over again. 



How many have you played? I'd agree that both 1 and 2 follow that pattern, but it feels to me like they're establishing a pattern for the sake of breaking it later on. 

Also, if your DM isn't making Sambral and Tarmalune feel very different, he or she is doing you a huge disservice. 
I would think you are very hard pressed to say MINI1-5 is anything like that, and the conclusion (which obviously isn't out) seems pretty different as well.
Still... having the same pattern for roughly 6-8 rounds of play seems a bit much
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
Still... having the same pattern for roughly 6-8 rounds of play seems a bit much


If the first four modules all used the same pattern, I'd agree with you.

Hmm. Well, I've only played MINI1-1 through MINI1-4, so maybe we're talking about a different four modules ;) I'd say that at least 6 of those 8 rounds were the same pattern, and I'd be willing to shrug and agree if someone said it about all of them.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
Hmm. Well, I've only played MINI1-1 through MINI1-4, so maybe we're talking about a different four modules ;) I'd say that at least 6 of those 8 rounds were the same pattern, and I'd be willing to shrug and agree if someone said it about all of them.


You'd be wrong. I can't speak to your play experience, but the pattern of encounters is only the same if you're willing to reduce it down to the barest of bones. It's sort of like saying that Thunderspire Mountain is the same as Pyramid of Shadows, since in both modules the PCs enter a dungeon and fight creatures.

I mean, let's look at the original claim in a little more detail:

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1. Arrive in port

Yes, 1 through 4 all take place in a different location. I'm not sure this is really a fault.

2. Get jumped by bad guys

Not even. In MINI 1-1, you get jumped by bad guys. In MINI 1-2, you open with an investigative skill challenge. In MINI 1-3, you get jumped... well, actually, you get jumped before you arrive in port. In MINI 1-4, you already know where the cult is hanging out and you jump them.

3. Go through a skill challenge to find out where the bad guys are hiding

Nope. In MINI 1-1, you're figuring out what's going on. In MINI 1-2, it's about finding out where the cult is, so sort of... but in MINI 1-3, an NPC tells you what's going on without a skill challenge.

4. Raid the bad guys' lair

Sort of. Again, I'm not sure it's really awful that D&D modules include raids on lairs as a general rule. And there's pretty huge variety in the lairs... in MINI 1-1 you're doing a pretty standard assault in which you learn a ton. In MINI 1-2, there's a big social scene in the middle of the lair. In MINI 1-3, the lair is much more the central focus of the whole module (which makes sense, since the port's a lot duller). In MINI 1-4, there's no lair to speak of -- rather, there are a number of combats throughout the city.

5. Chase escaping bad guys

Come to think of it, I don't even know what this means. There's not a lot of chasing. If it means "you don't get to beat up the main villain at the end of the module," well, that's true -- it is, after all, a series. But I think that's the next bullet point. You're moving from port to port following clues, not following escapees.

6. Find out that the real threat is elsewhere ("I'm sorry Mario, but the Princess is in another castle".)

Yes. It's a series, and you don't get to beat the big bad every module. I can't think of this as a fault.
 
I think the substance of the "find the real threat is elsewhere" complaint is not so much "we don't get to beat up the big bad guy" but rather that we always find some kind of letter or other indication that the guy we just beat up was merely a minion of another guy--or an associate of a larger cult--AND that said larger cult has otherwise been invisible to us throughout the mod. That's quite unlike, for instance, Red Hand of Doom where, while there are definite chapters, you have some idea that the other NPC villains are out there and of what they were doing. It's also unlike the Age of Worms adventure path where one mod may be exploring the tomb of NPCs who faced the evil thousands of years ago, the next mod might pit you against some cultists who are tools of the main villain now, and the mod after that pits you against a scheme the main cultists are putting together. In Red Hand of Doom, you have an idea of the bigger picture that you are struggling against. In Age of Worms, you have more variety in your level of interaction with the main plot.