keep on the shadowfell advice for a dm

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 I will be starting a new game soon and i decided to run some premade games first. starting with of course "keep on the shadowfell" i Have personally never run a premade before. i've always been a homebrew boy. so what advice would other dm's lend me to make it enjoyable for the players?
Feel free to alter it however you like. Might take a bit more work but it will result in it feeling a bit more fluid. That is about all I can think of.... well maybe take a quick look at the encounters and characters beforehand to see if your players will be able to handle what is thrown at them.
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Personally, if you're a homebrew guy I'd recommend HS1 The Slaying Stone.  Keep on the Shadowfell will need a lot of work to make it even passable.  IMO it has too many fights, little in the way of role-playing incentives and some terribly implemented traps. The dungeon ecology makes little sense also, so a lot of explaining/handwaving will be required.  Avoid!
Saber is correct. I had to rewrite Keep of the Shadowfell. The dungeon ecology did not make sense (for example: where did all the sacrifices come from?) and the plot was disconnected from the setting.

However, I liked the general idea of introducing Orcus as the big bad, and the fact that there was a fallen paladin waiting for redemption in the basement.

If you want to re-write the thing to make sense, then I would say go for it. If you want something with a better design, I also suggest HS1 The Standing Stone.
Saber is correct. I had to rewrite Keep of the Shadowfell. The dungeon ecology did not make sense (for example: where did all the sacrifices come from?) and the plot was disconnected from the setting.

However, I liked the general idea of introducing Orcus as the big bad, and the fact that there was a fallen paladin waiting for redemption in the basement.

If you want to re-write the thing to make sense, then I would say go for it. If you want something with a better design, I also suggest HS1 The Standing Stone.



I found the revised version was better, not sure if it exists online anymore or not.
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I found the revised version was better, not sure if it exists online anymore or not.


It was still up a couple weeks ago.
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Personally, if you're a homebrew guy I'd recommend HS1 The Slaying Stone.  Keep on the Shadowfell will need a lot of work to make it even passable.  IMO it has too many fights, little in the way of role-playing incentives and some terribly implemented traps. The dungeon ecology makes little sense also, so a lot of explaining/handwaving will be required.  Avoid!



I second that.  Slaying Stones is written in a more open format, considerably less linear and goes beyond the typical "lets get these guys through 1st level quickly" format.  Well written, well organized with challenging fights.

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i played through the first 10 encounters of KoTS and it was awful, i highly suggest that you avoid it and rework a paizo adventure or pick something better from wotc.
I remember it being a little rough, but some of that was the module and some of that was a group of players in their first half dozen games with a brand new rule system.  It was possible to get bogged down in some of the fights - and I thought of the whole H-P-E series this module was one of the most grindy ones, right up there with the poor trolls - so don't be afraid to take a few monsters out of the encounters until you get a handle on difficulty, especially if you update the monsters to the new statblocks.  Be careful of fights in close proximity, too, if 1 encounter becomes 2 encounters you might be making new characters pretty often.  

I'm glad we took the time in the beginning to learn the rules and the campaign benefitted from us getting it right to start out with at the cost of speed and flow, but I'm not going to lie and claim that the 2 hour fights didn't test everyone's endurance.

Make sure to comb through and add in treasure.  Even for a 4 person party, the module doesn't have enough parcels in it, and if you're new players it is easy to miss and even easier to not realize your PCs are lacking the tools you need to compete.

There are a few skill challenges, try to allow other skills if at all possible.  At the time, with just the PHB1 out, it was difficult to get the skill-poor classes involved in a lot of them.

Other than that it was a decent dungeon crawl.  Not spectacular, although there are some really nice encounters scattered in it, but an acceptable introductory module that touches on pretty much every rule in the core 3 books.  With a few years of experience in 4E under our belts, I couldn't see my group playing this module now, but going into it barely knowing if we built our characters right and still trying to unlearn 3.5 rules, it was alright.


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