Neverwinter + Character Themes = Awesome Campaign Start

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Two days ago we began our new Neverwinter campaign largely based on the rather excellent Neverwinter Campaign Setting and my players love it.

The themes and the links between the Neverwinter-specific themes and locations on the map had them generating their own adventure hooks which they haven't done for years.

We played for about eight hours and more than a third of that was pure roleplaying - something that also hasn't happened for a long time.

We opened with an encounter involving an otyugh - a straight up combat against a 1st-level solo and a horde of rat minions simply to get everyone used to the characters - then followed with a homebrew adventure inspired by this video:


That mini-adventure, by the way, was fleshed out with details and hooks from 2E's FR5 The Savage Frontier. (Yes, Virginia, you can use stuff from older editions quite well in the post-Spellplague Realms.)

I am hoping to run Shards of Selûne (DDi) next with extra bits from The Lost Crown of Neverwinter (D&D Encounters - this really should be sold as a PDF) and That Which Never Sleeps (DDi). However, it will very much depend on the choices the players make.

I know the nattering nabobs of negativity will be along soon to say that their games are always like this but I just wanted to simply say that the Neverwinter Campaign Setting is a great product and Character Themes add an extra level of detail - that a DM would otherwise have to create (it's a timesaver!) - that really helps make the world come alive.

Good stuff.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
I wont lie, I've been itching to start over with new level 1's ever since the campaign setting came out.
My players love Neverwinter and my veterans abandoned their Nentir Vale campaign to focus entirely on this setting. And yes indeed, role-playing has been heavy with this one.

One of the two finest 4e products, the other one being Madness at Gardmore Abbey. Too bad Wizards betrayed 4e fans with the announce of 5e after delivering such good experiences as this one.
I wont lie, I've been itching to start over with new level 1's ever since the campaign setting came out.



Do it! :D

Seriously, I cannot believe how much I am enjoying this after 30 years of DMing. The Character Themes really add to the game. I mean, we have always used character backstories but, for some reason, the psychology is different with these themes because the players see them on their character sheets and in the character builder and as at least one mechanical benefit.

Also, I cannot speak highly enough of the DDi adventure Shards of Selûne. Its use of character themes to add to the different encounters provides, if you like, something of a blueprint for designing adventures set in Neverwinter plus it's a great adventure by itself. It's that near-perfect blend of a defined goal (or goals) and player choice.

My players love Neverwinter and my veterans abandoned their Nentir Vale campaign to focus entirely on this setting. And yes indeed, role-playing has been heavy with this one.

One of the two finest 4e products, the other one being Madness at Gardmore Abbey. Too bad Wizards betrayed 4e fans with the announce of 5e after delivering such good experiences as this one.



I hear you, Ocampo. 4E is now at the point where everything works well and there are some good support products floating around. If only WotC had published some good adventures in the beginning instead of rubbish like Keep on the Shadowfell and Pyramid of Shadows which seemed to be purposely designed to send D&D fans from 4E to Pathfinder. 

Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
Anyone playing via skype/maptools, or interested in doing so? Itching to play in Neverwinter again...
RIP George! 4-21-11 RIP Abie! 1-2-13
Funny Forum Quotes
[quote author=82733368 post=532127449]
58115148 wrote:
"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?" "I cast Fireball." "I run like hell!
63797881 wrote:
The standard d4 is somewhat (SOMEWHAT) rounded on the top, the older models are even flat. The Lego is shaped in such a way that in an emergency, you can use one as a makeshift surgical knife.
147742801 wrote:
57457938 wrote:
My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat. What do you think I said?
Wife: Do these pants make me look fat? RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.
63797881 wrote:
82733368 wrote:
28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
Anyone playing via skype/maptools, or interested in doing so? Itching to play in Neverwinter again...




Actually, this campaign is about to be converted to Skype plus Maptools some time next week as I am leaving Oz and heading back to my home thousands of kilometres away from my players. 
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
Well, I'd like to join in if you have room, or possibly start a game if that one ends up not happening. Check your pm.
RIP George! 4-21-11 RIP Abie! 1-2-13
Funny Forum Quotes
[quote author=82733368 post=532127449]
58115148 wrote:
"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?" "I cast Fireball." "I run like hell!
63797881 wrote:
The standard d4 is somewhat (SOMEWHAT) rounded on the top, the older models are even flat. The Lego is shaped in such a way that in an emergency, you can use one as a makeshift surgical knife.
147742801 wrote:
57457938 wrote:
My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat. What do you think I said?
Wife: Do these pants make me look fat? RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.
63797881 wrote:
82733368 wrote:
28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
I wont lie, I've been itching to start over with new level 1's ever since the campaign setting came out.



Do it! :D

Seriously, I cannot believe how much I am enjoying this after 30 years of DMing. The Character Themes really add to the game. I mean, we have always used character backstories but, for some reason, the psychology is different with these themes because the players see them on their character sheets and in the character builder and as at least one mechanical benefit.

Also, I cannot speak highly enough of the DDi adventure Shards of Selûne. Its use of character themes to add to the different encounters provides, if you like, something of a blueprint for designing adventures set in Neverwinter plus it's a great adventure by itself. It's that near-perfect blend of a defined goal (or goals) and player choice.

My players love Neverwinter and my veterans abandoned their Nentir Vale campaign to focus entirely on this setting. And yes indeed, role-playing has been heavy with this one.

One of the two finest 4e products, the other one being Madness at Gardmore Abbey. Too bad Wizards betrayed 4e fans with the announce of 5e after delivering such good experiences as this one.



I hear you, Ocampo. 4E is now at the point where everything works well and there are some good support products floating around. If only WotC had published some good adventures in the beginning instead of rubbish like Keep on the Shadowfell and Pyramid of Shadows which seemed to be purposely designed to send D&D fans from 4E to Pathfinder. 




I totally would do it if I could convince the other players that heroic levels are more fun then their paragon characters.  We have one die hard though that doesnt like to feel "weak" though, so...yeah.  It's pretty much not about me...just sayin if we TPK, I won't be too broken hearted unless they insist on starting over at our current level.
doesnt want to feel weak huh??


cant say I blame him there.

use the unweighted point by and it should offset feeling weak abit....    
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
It's definitely a great setting book.  I have run two campaigns there now, one made it all the way from 1 to 10th and taking over the city.  Great stuff.
I've tried to make the Heroic Tier feel a bit different in this campaign.

First thing I did was give the PCs 30 points for the point buy of their ability scores (in other words, use the Character Builder and stop when it says -10 for the available points) so that their ability scores were higher than normal. I am amazed at what a difference this had made with attack rolls and defences.

The second thing I did was re-level creatures to match their hit dice in earlier editions, more or less. My hill giants are 8th-level brutes and my illithids are 8th-level controllers, for example. This is giving me a much better mix of monsters to work with but it also means that the PCs are dealing with serious threats even in the low- to mid-Heroic Tier.

Also, if I have, for example, a 15th-level wizard - a 15th-level artillery or controller, I can use the same XP value to generate a (roughly) 7th-level solo or 11th-level elite. That lets me throw significant BBEGs at the PCs earlier without feeling like I have to pull my punches to make sure they survive but still make them feel like a significant threat. And, if the PCs encounter them at these different levels, their revised action economy, in particular, highlights that the PCs are advancing in power.

However, the most important thing I have done is built at least three different hooks into every single encounter or location. This campaign is all about PC choice... but also consequences. This gives it a very epic feel, IMO & IME.

 
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom