An adventure for first time players

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I just garnered some interest from three friends of mine who have never played D&D before.  We sat around the table with my 3.5 manuals and I guided them through the process of rolling up characters.  We ended up with a Dwarf Barbarian, a Gnome Rogue, and an Elf Wizard.  Now I'm puzzling over how to make their first adventure both simple-enough to teach them core game mechanics, but also interesting enough to keep them coming back for a second adventure.  What sort of adventures have you guys run for first time players?
Well, my players' first adventure (and my first time DMing) was to convert the 4e adventure HS1 The Slaying Stone into a 3.5e adventure. I really got no direct answers in my search for solid 3.5e beginner adventures, but got loads of 4e ones, The Slaying Stone being the most commonly suggested. It was simple enough for my players to learn the rules from scratch, but also dense enough to keep us occupied for several (five? six? I actually don't remember how many) sessions. Someone else may be able to suggest a 3.5e adventure, but I would easily re-use the Slaying Stone if I got the chance. I could probably upload a bunch of my notes and converted statblocks since I had three players as well and had to rebalance the encounters for their size (rather than the four to five recommended by the module. Look up review summaries of HS1, and if you're interested I can try to help. If it's not your cup of tea, the people on this forum are amazing and can provide you with an alternative.
Currently DMing a 3.5e AoW game one night a week. Players are almost through Three Faces of Evil. If you are considering beginning this campaign using this edition, I can help.
I haven't taken a look at that precreated adventure (I usually dont) but what sort of things did it do to keep the party intrigued and teach them how to play? What sort of pacing did it make? Did it assume that the DM had a tactic for bringing the party together or did it do that for you?
Well you've already started what seems to be the one resounding piece of advice dictated by these forums in having at least one , maybe even two, Session Zero(s) before you start playing where you roll up character sheets and go over the campaign in earnest. For HS1, the party of adventurers will be faced with the simple enough goal of going into an unfriendly Goblin-controlled city to recover an artifact that the goblins don't know is there. Along the way the party will face the challenge of finding a way into the city, deciding whether to use skills or swords in their dealings with the denizens of the city, and the biggest question of all, what to do with the artifact once they get their hands on it. While this is going on, a seperate team of orc mercenaries has been contracted to find the artifact, providing opportunities for the players to roleplay some serious encounters while also keeping it well paced.

The nonlinear structure of HS1 (the party isn't in a dungeon so they basically have free reign on what they do each session) can be a bit of a struggle, but it also allowed the players to choose their own pace. On tonights session, do they want to re-enter the goblin city and risk exposing their presence, or take the day to watch their movements or explore the outskirts of town? It gives the players many choices, while not feeling like an overflow.

And for the tactic of bringing the party together, HS1, like many of the people on this forum, suggests that you let the players decide how they met, as the very first scene is that the party blunders out of a storm looking for shelter.  Our first session we took like four hours just to make character sheets: just explaining each piece of the sheet was usually enough for them to understand basic rules involving combat, skill checks, equipment, etc.

*edited for spelling errors
Currently DMing a 3.5e AoW game one night a week. Players are almost through Three Faces of Evil. If you are considering beginning this campaign using this edition, I can help.
I agree, allowing the players to choose how they have ended up together is usually the best method, and this certainly seems like an interesting first adventure.  The problem that I have faced in the past is that other friends of mine usually have more combat-heavy first-times, whereas this one would probably introduce a lot more role-playing, giving them at least a taste of both worlds and leading to some very good playing habits for the future!  I will probably roll with the basic idea of this adventure, but wont download it (I like making them myself :-)) Thank you very much!
Has anyone else tackled the issue of first-time players and wants to share how they handled it? 
Sunless citadel is a great one to have the characters go through. It has traps both passive (hidden) and active basic baddies. A chance to have monster character allies (kobolds) plus back in the day I played the game we picked up Meepo in sunless and he eventually became a full party member who challanged Tiamat for control of all chromatic dragons and brought peace to all dragon kind. he did start out as a NPC   hostage in sunless and because the party liked that he helped swing the kobold queen over to our side we kept him on. so yeah great way to start a campaign.
I don't actually have the entire thing written yet but the stats and such don't matter much. I'm also starting a DnD group and while I'm new to the game I'm an experienced game master (as we say in everything not DnD   )  Basically


On their way to a new town [insert reason here] the heroes are ambushed by a force of kobolds lying by the wayside of the road.  Upon reaching the town, they are greeted suspiciously (spelling?)  and find out that the town has been under  constant raids by a kobold force for several weeks now. The guard forces are being stretched thin, and the lord mayor barely has enough men to defend the town. He will pay the heroes [insert amount here] each if they will investigate where the attacks are coming from. They find out that kobolds under the direction of a young [insert color] dragon are attacking the town to gather wealth, as the town has a reputation as a  very prosperous village. They fight their way through a kobold dungeon in the forest and defeat a wyrmpriest, but as they advance on the dragon it flies off through a false ceiling. Then, next adventure they have to track it.


Obviously it has to be refined but that is the rough outline. I've added a few side missions (
 tracking down a corrupt guard and retreiving a holy object from the village priest that was lost in an early kobold battle) but you can  tailor it to your needs if you want to run somrthing like this.     
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I would also go with Sunless Citadel. It's for 3E, rather than 3.5E, but there's nothing you really need to change. It's a great little dungeon which you can follow with the (possibly even better) Forge of Fury.

I'm personally a huge fan of two Forgotten Realms adventures for 3E and 3.5E respectively - Raiders of Galath's Roost from Dungeon magazine and Sons of Gruumsh which was published as a normal softbound adventure.

It's easy enough to adapt the FR-specific stuff to another setting - even homebrew - but they're both really good adventures for starting a campaign.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
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