4e adventures Greatest Hits: Heroic Tier Edition

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Howdy:

I am trying to plan a campaign using only prepublished adventures.  My prep as DM (apart from learning the adventures) will be to tie adventures together to create a coherent overarching campaign plot, but the building blocks will be pre-published because like many of you I just don't have time to design homebrew adventures anymore (much to my chagrin).  To that effect, I am trying to comb through all the published 4e adventures I can get my eyes on to pick ones that are cool.  I am confident that in almost any case I can modify the story of a given module to suit my needs.  Here's what I'm planning on using so far:

  • The Slaying Stone (standalone published)

  • Reavers of Harkenwold (DM's Kit)

  • Orcs of Stonefang Pass (standalone published)

  • Dead by Dawn (Dungeon 176)

  • Remains of the Empire/The Tyrant's Oath/Force of Nature (the Elkridge trilogy: Dungeon 165, 178, and 190, respectively)

  • Battle of Witchlight Hermitage (Dungeon 191; coupled with Sunken Tower of the Marsh Mystic from Dungeon 186 and that cool Sea Demon's Shrine workbook from Dungeon 181)

  • Lord of the White Field (Dungeon 184)

  • That Which Never Sleeps (Dungeon 195)

  • Cairn of the Winter King (Monster Vault)

  • Madness at Gardmore Abbey (standalone boxed adventure)

  • Bark at the Moon (Dungeon 185)

  • Blood Money (Dungeon 200)

  • Reign of Despair (Dungeon 191)


So, my question to you all is: what else should I look at?  Any 4e adventure is fair game, but for now let's just heroic (or low paragon) tier.  Any LFR adventures I should consider?  Any Dungeon adventures or published adventures I'm overlooking? Thanks!  If there's a pathfinder/3.5./earlier edition adventure/path that's really really good (read: worth doing all the conversion work for) I'm certainly open-minded.  Hopefully this can be a resource for other DMs as well.

Sidebar: if you've played one of the above adventures and it didn't work as well at the table as it looks on paper, feel free to (constructively) offer that opinion and suggest specific issues.
My gaming group enjoyed Toll Station this past weekend. This three-encounter level 6 adventure is from Goodman Games' From Here to There supplement. Although this is intended as an interim side trek, I was easily able to make it the kick-off of the next major story arc in my campaign. (I also recommend this entire supplement for both its intended purpose [side treks] and campaign integration pieces!)
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Thanks for the tip, Seeker!  And also for the reminder that 3pp 4e adventures are welcome, too!
There is also the Scales of War Adventure Path. Published in Dungeon 156 - 175.
You'll have to update the monsters to the current standard.

I'm planning to run it as my next campaign as most of it looks quite good
H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth is always fun and there's a lot of space to take the adventure on interesting side treks if you wish. The adventure contains plenty of story, plot hooks, and NPC's to run as written, but the "labyrinth" dungeon can be easily expanded/modified to fit in anything you want. I've run it twice and had a blast both times. The players like having the underground city to use as their home base.

I personally consider H2 and Gardmore Abbey to be my favorite of the in-print 4e adventures.

Of the Dungeon magazine adventures, I highly recommend "Last Breath of Ashenport" which has a wonderful H.P. Lovecraft horror theme. "Lord of the Whitefield" is also fantastic and one of my favorites.
A lot of my recommendations are already on your list, but I want to say Slaying Stone was one of my favorite adventures I've run so far. Lord of the White Field also seems really good, though my players decided to get away from town as soon as they helped the family in the early part get away.

I disagree with kueryd about Scales of War at least for the heroic tier. The general plot is pretty good, but most of the individual aventures don't work very well. We just finished the 5th adventure (or 6 heroic tier adventures) and it was the first I didn't end up almost completely redoing. Though the Heroic tier ender (Temple Between in Dungeon 161) looks really good. From my read through Scales of War seems to hit it's groove through Paragon tier.

For third party stuff I've been really impressed by the Zeitgeist adventure path from ENworld. If I were to start a campaign now I'd probably choose that over Scales of War. It does a good job of giving an interesing plot while still keeping things open about how to let players accomplish goals. I also think it does a good job of developing interesting NPCs, some of whom I'm probably going to try to port into my own setting. If you didn't want to run the whole path it could also probably  be adapted into individual adventures as well.
Just popping in to second (third? fourth?) Lord of the White Field. It's been one of the most brilliant adventures I've ever ran. 
Just popping in to second (third? fourth?) Lord of the White Field. It's been one of the most brilliant adventures I've ever ran. 

Thanks svendj - any advice on how to really make it pop?
Instead of repeating myself, I think you'd best check out my report of the adventure in the original thread. Lots of tips there!
Instead of repeating myself, I think you'd best check out my report of the adventure in the original thread. Lots of tips there!

Went back and read it - awesome write-up!  Thanks! 
Big thumbs up on Reign of Despair. My group had a lot of fun with that one.
Trial of the Underkeep (standalone published) has gotten really good reviews.
I've seen Trial of the Underkeep in stores.  Have you played through it?

Any other cool adventures I should be looking at, anyone?

Aoi
I am doing something similar here www.rpol.net/game.cgi?gi=50058&date=1334.... My campaign will be The Slaying Stone (HS1) (lvl 1) -> Reavers of Harkenwold (DM's Kit) (lvls 2-4) -> Cairn of the Winter King (Monster Vault) (lvl 4) -> Orcs of Stonefang Pass (HS2) (lvl 5)-> Madness at Gardmore Abbey (lvls 6-8).

My advice would be not to get bogged down trying to tie in all of the adventures at the very beginning, otherwise your first few sessions will get bogged down with history and plot hooks. Instead, just tie in each module with the following one. We are half way through the slaying stone now, and I have been tying it in with Reaver of Harknewold - you can see how I did it by following the link and reading the very first post in the campagain, and the part near the beginning where the PCs enter Treona's tower (I made her Baron Stockmer's daughter). It seems to be working well so far.
I am doing something similar here www.rpol.net/game.cgi?gi=50058&date=1334.... My campaign will be The Slaying Stone (HS1) (lvl 1) -> Reavers of Harkenwold (DM's Kit) (lvls 2-4) -> Cairn of the Winter King (Monster Vault) (lvl 4) -> Orcs of Stonefang Pass (HS2) (lvl 5)-> Madness at Gardmore Abbey (lvls 6-8).

My advice would be not to get bogged down trying to tie in all of the adventures at the very beginning, otherwise your first few sessions will get bogged down with history and plot hooks. Instead, just tie in each module with the following one. We are half way through the slaying stone now, and I have been tying it in with Reaver of Harknewold - you can see how I did it by following the link and reading the very first post in the campagain, and the part near the beginning where the PCs enter Treona's tower (I made her Baron Stockmer's daughter). It seems to be working well so far.

Thanks for the post Jacktannery!  It's funny because that's pretty much exactly what I was planning to run my group through.  Also, thanks for the link to your game.  I like how you've tied Slaying Stone and Reavers of Harkenwold together.  Do you think that each of these adventures will have enough XP to level up a party all by itself?

Aoi 
Do you think that each of these adventures will have enough XP to level up a party all by itself?

Yes.  If your players manage to avoid half the encounters in every module and complete the adventure before reaching the required XP, then just level them up automatically when they finish one adventure and start the next. 
There is also the Scales of War Adventure Path. Published in Dungeon 156 - 175.
You'll have to update the monsters to the current standard.

I'm planning to run it as my next campaign as most of it looks quite good



I would respectfully disagree. A lot of the Scales of War adventure path seemed to highlight both the piss-poor adventure design skills of WotC and also the worst parts of the 4E ruleset. Considering the amount of nerdrage expended against this so-called adventure path across the internet I definitely wouldn't be including it on a list of greatest hits (greatest misses, hell yeah!). Don't forget, a lot of Scales of War was written without an outline of where the adventure path was going. Oh, and grabbing random level-appropriate creatures and throwing them into an encounter and then stringing many of these encounters together is not the best way to create the feel of an adventure path (nor a good way to design adventures).

I think the OP's list pretty much nails it. I also really like Monuments of the Ancients but it might lose some votes, as it were, for being set in the Forgotten Realms (which is a shame because it is one of the best of the DDi adventures and the first one I read that inspired an entire campaign). 
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
Slaying Stone is definitely one of the best WotC 4e adventures.  I like Keep on the Shadowfell, but maybe that's because I ran it with a feeling similar to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (And who hasn't noticed the similarities between Kalarel and Mola Ram?  Loved haming that villain up!).

I agree that Scales of War is not a great adventure path.  I liked the first three adventures, Rescue at Rivenroar, Siege of Bordrin's Watch, and The Shadowrift at Umbraforge, but after that it just started to feel to strained to play.

I ran a similar game to what is being talked about here.  It went as follows:
The Slaying Stone + Sunderpeak Temple (lvl 1-2)-Placed the temple ruins in the town and hid the stone there behind the secret wall.
Reavers of Harkenwold: The Iron Circle (lvl 2-3)
Storm Tower (lvl 3)-Used for the abandoned tower in Harken.
Reavers of Harkenwold: The Die is Cast (lvl 3-4)
The Village of Hommlet (lvl 4-5)
Journey through the Silver Caves (lvl 5)-used villain that escaped the Moathouse in Hommlet instead of the Kobold wyrmpriest.

That's as far as we got.  Wer're currently on hiatus, though I have been planning on combining parts of Beneath the Lonely Tower with Madness at Gardmore Abbey and then adding whatever I like from the upcoming Free RPG Day adventure Dead in the Eye for an especially abberant adventure, thought it might not be the next one.  I set it all in a homebrew world and edited certain aspects, but the adventures remained overall the same.
There is also the Scales of War Adventure Path. Published in Dungeon 156 - 175.
You'll have to update the monsters to the current standard.

I'm planning to run it as my next campaign as most of it looks quite good



what is the current standard? what needs updating on the mobs?
There is also the Scales of War Adventure Path. Published in Dungeon 156 - 175.
You'll have to update the monsters to the current standard.

I'm planning to run it as my next campaign as most of it looks quite good



what is the current standard? what needs updating on the mobs?

Its in the UpdateDMG.pdf Page 7.

The stats for MM1 and MM2 Monsters got changed. Less HP more 'Umpf'Cool

As you have DDI you can just get the new stats from Compendium or Monster-Builder.
Generally speaking, you can also increase all monster damage by 1/2 their level as a short-hand.  There's also an argument for not worrying about it - just be advised that most monsters will be easier to defeat - for non-boss encounters though, I'm not sure that's a bad thing.  Rather than fiddling with the numbers (which is the "proper" way), I think it's more fun to allow the monsters to use their limited-use powers a little more often.  Accomplishes the same thing (higher damage to PCs) with a bit more pizzazz, but takes good DM judgement to pull off fairly and well.
I'm posting my Best of 4E because google search comes to this post and hopefully this may help the DM's out there desperately looking for good 4E stuff to run.












































































































































































Best 4E Adventures (any source)
TitleLevelSourceLength
1Tomb of Horrors DM Reward9DM Reward4
2Undermountain Boxed Set1print12
3Face of the Moon17DungeonMag5
4Blood Money8DungeonMag1-2
5Entire "Dungeon Delve" bookallprint1
6Encounters Season #7 Beyond Crystal Cave1store only, or DungMag#2114
7Bark at the Moon6DungeonMag3
8Lord of the White Field6DungeonMag3
9Steading of Hill Giant Chief12DungeonMag
10Encounters Season #2 Dark Sun1store only3
12The Slaying Stone1print3-4
13Dead for a Spell8DungeonMag4
14Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan7DungeonMag6
11Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl16DungeonMag6
15Madness at Gardmore Abbey6print12
16Five Deadly Shadows8DungeonMag2
17Red Box Adventure (Twisted Halls)1print2
18Some Assembly Required1DungeonMag3
22Keep on the Shadowfell1print9
19Starhaunt16DungeonMag4-5
20Winter of the Witch22DungeonMag4-5
21Trollhaunt Warrens11print9


I havent played the following, but look really good: Infernal Wrath - Dungeon Mag, Captain Slygo's Treasure, Prey for Smiley Bob, D&D Encounters #9 and #10, Beneath the Dust (Dark Sun), Heart of the Forbidden Forge. My touchie feely friends say "War of the Burning Sky" is the best ever written, but since it goes from level 1-30 it would take you years to play.

I absolutely hated: Everything in (H,P,E series) after "Keep on Shadowfell", except the "Trollhaunt" one. (Played them all to lvl 30)

"Revenge of the Giants" (huge book) was too long, "Orcs of Stonefang" sucked, "Scepter Tower of Spellguard" sucked

"Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut" is just too big, and not a good fit for 4E, it would better as D&D Next, The Village of Hommlet DM Reward would be awesome if I weren't a grognard angry at the missing Green Slime!!

I never finished "Reavers of Harkenwold" but it was fun and I was looking forward to storming the castle.

Notes:
"Last Breaths of Ashenport", worked better as a 3.5 edition it was originally published as. The combats sort-of sucked.

"Tear of Ioun" (Madness trilogy) has potential, but requires a lot of work on DMs part to bring the NPC's to life.