New Dm - New to 4th Edition - Pre-Made Adventures?

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So I'm a new dm that has played 4th edition only once before, but our group used to play 3.5 and believe it's time to change. I was nominated to lead this conquest, but I feel like I would have troubles just starting from scratch. Are there any free 4th edition 1st-level campaigns that anyone knows about? I don't really want to pay up for something like 'keep on the shadowfell'. Any suggestions?
www.wizards.com/dnd/TryDnD.aspx

All the free stuff you will need!
http://pandamanslair.blogspot.com/
Keep on the Shadowfell is free if you follow the link in the previous post.

I should warn you that the general consensus on all the D&D messageboards I frequent is that WotC has dropped the ball when it comes to the adventures that they have published (with anything by Rich Baker as an honourable exception because he really is good).

Notwithstanding that, grab a one month subscription to DDi and download all the Dungeon e-magazines that have been published plus the Monster Builder and you should be right for at least a year's worth of gaming. (Personally, I think a DDi subscription is one of the best values in gaming but YMMV and I know it is de rigueur on messageboards to simply whinge, bitch and moan about the cost.)
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
Alright, I'll think about try to get the dungeon magazines, what is the most useful as to making adventures? Like how are the scales of war adventure paths?
The Scales of War AP is on the whole better than the free stuff. But.. it isn't free. A months sub to the game for mags might well be worth it. To me, as a DM, having a continual subscription is well worth it.
Scales of War has a good reputation overall, but the first couple are regarded as rather rough around the edges. The same was true of the early print adventures (H1: Keep on the Shadowfell, etc). They also assume that you'll tailor the content to fit your party rather than using them 100% as-is. This shouldn't be too difficult, but it's something you need to be aware of and plan for before you begin.

There are other options: if you would rather run one-shots with little connecting plot, which might be useful until people have the hang of the system, then Dungeon has a wide array of those, and there is a Delve book in print that has a collection of them for all levels.
Scales of War has a good reputation overall... (snip)



Seriously?

Please don't take this as an attack but I have yet to read anything that really says positive things about the Scales of War adventure path, or even that it meets the definition of an adventure path. I would welcome an opportunity to read some positive reviews if you can point me to them.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
I'll probably end up using the one in the back of the DMG, although the adventure is quite short.
You can also use a tool like Masterplan to create adventures - it's particularly handy for creating delves.

www.habitualindolence.net/masterplan/
I'll probably end up using the one in the back of the DMG, although the adventure is quite short.

It is a bit short, but it's actually a pretty good intro into the game.  Once you play though it though, and get a feel for how 4e works, i suggest letting everyone re-do their characters.

Also the character builder has a demo for lvl's 1-3, i recommend it.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Sadly a lot of the pre-made adventures are a bit lame, especially the early ones so get them maybe, REALLY read them then make an adventure yourself based around them using the encounters and some of the aspects of the adventures.

The one bit of advice I would give you being a new DM to 4th ed, make sure your players have their Power on Power cards or on a sheet of paper, clearly showing the powers for the players.

I tried to run my first 4th ed game making characters up on the fly and it was a disaster.

Really learned my lesson, 4th ed has been slated as being simplistic by some but I personally think the characters are more involved than 3rd ed ones now and new players will struggle with the game if they've not got their powers shown clearly.

I've been running the game now for 8 or 9 months and the party is 13th level.

Just some advice from experience.
Honestly Keep on the Shadowfell I think is a very good entry into D&D. It has a simple classic plot, and give lots of combat to familiarize players with their characters. It is not an overly complex story, which for experienced gamers can get boring, but it serves its purpose for new gamers.

When I played through it I was an experienced DM but not a player, and I had the luck of a very good DM. But with a few minor tweaks it can be a great time. Sometimes simple is good and many gamers tend to forget that.
I'll nth shadowfell.

For the same reason as above.  It's simple.

I also agree it can be a bit dull for the more experenced player, but overall, it's not bad.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

One point with KotS: Get the free download version and use that, since it has updated stats and some encounter changes to make it flow more smoothly. Dungeon or Dragon (I think Dungeon) also had a small expansion consisting of a number of encounters that can be inserted into the adventure to give it more variety (and the PCs a few more resources to work with).

Two other sticking points remain: you'll still need to retailor the treasure finds to the group (KotS generally has too little for a 5-person group and any given set of characters will probably want a few things that the adventure doesn't include, especially if you're using classes from PHB2+), and be careful with the Irontooth encounter in the kobold caves. You can search out a lot of threads about this one, along with various ways to make it a little less overwhelming if things go badly.
Keep on the Shadowfell is fun.  Probably not as fun as Scales of War but it's free.

No matter which you run, you'll need to tailor to fit your group's tastes.

Personally, I really enjoyed running Keep on the Shadowfell.  I think it's part of the 4th ed experience to run into other DMs are the hobby shop and share experience with that module.
The reason the Irontooth encounter sucks is three fold

1) It most likely happens the same encounter as the previous fight
2) It probably has reinforcements and has prepared for the characters due to the previous fight
3) The first print edition of the adventure didn't have Irontooth as a level 3 elite brute, but instead, a level 8 brute.  I was dropping a character a round with him once he got bloodied.  Yeaaah. 

Don't be afraid to tweak the encounters.  I ran H1-H3, and although H3 had some serious issues, once I decided to start tweaking the encounters heavily just for monsters, it was a blast.  H2 went well (and had the most memorable characters).  I always run one pre-gen campaign and one homebrew campaign if I have more then one game going at once. 

I'll probably go for keep on the shadowfell though; however, this could be an issue seeing as how ive already run the adventure in the back of the dmg with them. Is it okay to enter shadowfell as level 2 characters, if my players are pretty noobish, or should I have them make different characters or something? The plan as I see it right now is to just let them keep the loot they got, and no xp.

They shouldn't be level 2 from Kobold Hall alone. It's 2575 XP if they beat the dragon and only 1725 if they don't - either way that's divided between all of the characters who participated, so unless it was a 2-character group that took down the dragon (not likely) they won't be anywhere near second.

(It may be that you're making one of the most common mistakes - XP for an encounter is divided between all of the characters who took part, not given in full to each one.)

Either way, it shouldn't be a problem to enter KotS at 2nd. It'll make things easier early on, but not enough so that it will ruin anything.
I've read through many of the published adventures and, to be honest, like many here have mentioned, I find them lacking. I have a mixed group of players in my campaign, some who've come over to 4E from 3.5, others who are new to D&D all together, and to a tee, we all found the kobold hall adventure in the DMG to be lacking. Some creative ideas for encounters (such as the Skull-Skull room), but just, well... not exciting enough. 
As somebody else mentioned, have all your power cards out for your players for them to reference, and picking up the game shouldn't be too difficult. If you DO do KotS, do what I did and tweak it alot. I'll borrow stuff from the published adventures and add them in to my own campaign, but I rarely run one of them as is, 'out of the box' so to speak. 
When I first started DM'ing my first 4th ed. campaign with a group of 4th ed. virgins a friend of mine gave me some advice:

1.  Start your players at level 1.

2.  Subscribe to D&D insider for the monster builder and online compendium

3.  Have everyone use the character builder and bring their power sheets every night.

4.  Start your players at level 1.


In hindsight, he was totally right. The monster builder software is invaluable. Need a level 8 orc? 5 seconds and you've got one. You hit print and you've got a hardcopy that you can write on. In fact, now I only use my monster manuals to browse the night before to get ideas of what to throw at them. Custom monsters are a breeze.

Starting at level 1 was key as well. I think a lot of people try to jump into 4th edition at level 10 or higher because they want the paragon paths, but it can take several levels to learn the benefits of each of your powers. Trying to learn them all at once is chaos and battles take far too long to play out.