Keep on Shadowfell

78 posts / 0 new
Last post
Now that we know what Shadowfell is the adventure starts to sound much more interesting.

The Shadowfell is the land of the dead, where the spirits of the deceased linger for a time in a dark reflection of their previous lives before silently fading beyond all ken. Some undead creatures are born in the Shadowfell, and other undead are bound to it, but some living beings dwell in this benighted realm.

Like the Feywild, the Shadowfell also reflects the mortal world imperfectly. Towns, castles, roads, and other objects built by mortal kind exist in the Shadowfell about where they should be, but they are twisted, ruined caricatures.

Indeed, my mind immediately conjures up images of a large, dark castle filled with twisted, old corridors, where strange things move in the shadows...
Indeed, my mind immediately conjures up images of a large, dark castle filled with twisted, old corridors, where strange things move in the shadows...

Sounds like Gormenghast Castle.

Bel
Originally Posted by WotC_RichBaker In related news, I'm afraid I'm going to have to confiscate your 3.5 rulebooks, and force you to convert to the new edition. Where do you live?
The Githyanki lich spins around in place, looking directly at you. You feel a probing in the back of your head, and cannot help but let your thoughts flow freely from your mind. You're vision blurs for a moment, the crumbling black corridor seems to vanish for a split second and then you regain your full awareness. The lich speaks, answering the question in your head. "I... am in Shadowfell the same reason you are my young Gith... to escape the Tyranny of our Homeland on the Great Ocean."

In other words, keep Shadowfell, I feel Inspired.(Damn Quori!)


I'm getting goose bumps just thinking about this. Some of this material is inspiring me like crazy.
My only question is this: A first level starter adventure set on another plane? Specifically the plane of death?

When I heard "Keep on the Shadowfell" my initial thought was "4th Edition reinterpretation of the classic Keep on the Borderlands" module.

Apparently, I was mistaken.

Not that the new planar cosmology isn't really interesting, but the Shadowfell just doesn't seem like the place for a starter adventure. Perhaps unless you start exploring the keep in the material plane (or is it called the natural world now?) and end up towards the end traveling to the Shadowfell for the conclusion.

Interesting, nonetheless.
It is more likely that the adventure is tied to the Shadowfell. Perhaps the keep in questions sits on a planar boundry and the goal is to keep that junction closed. That could be quite interesting. Low level undead. Cultists. Various evil clerics and wizards and their minions working to open the rift to plunge the material plane into the Shadowfell once and for all.

Shadow Network DM

My only question is this: A first level starter adventure set on another plane? Specifically the plane of death?

When I heard "Keep on the Shadowfell" my initial thought was "4th Edition reinterpretation of the classic Keep on the Borderlands" module.

Apparently, I was mistaken.

Not that the new planar cosmology isn't really interesting, but the Shadowfell just doesn't seem like the place for a starter adventure. Perhaps unless you start exploring the keep in the material plane (or is it called the natural world now?) and end up towards the end traveling to the Shadowfell for the conclusion.

Interesting, nonetheless.

It is Keep ON the Shadowfell not IN. I think we are going to see some bleed over from Shadowfell into a keep in the PoL Prime.
A long abandoned Keep has always been a camp for bandits or humanoid tribes but recently a taint has crept into the area around the Keep. The land has grayed, as if death hovers over the land. You can have hobgoblins training poison spitting spiders and undead in the keep. Weird effects of hearing the voices of the recently deceased and strange corruptions to the local wildlife.
Or I could not be an idiot and post the blurb from Amazon.

The town of Winterhaven stands watch over a ruined keep that was once a bastion of good in the realm. This keep overlooks the Shadow Rift, a dark scar in the world that was once a gateway to the Shadowfell but has been dormant for many years. Now, an evil cleric of Orcus, Demon Lord of the Undead, seeks to re-open the gate, and the only thing standing in his way is a small yet determined band of heroes from Winterhaven.

Keep on the Shadowfell is an exciting Dungeons & Dragons adventure designed for characters of levels 1-3. It includes three double-sided poster maps suitable for use with D&D miniatures, as well as information on the town of Winterhaven and environs.
Or I could not be an idiot and post the blurb from Amazon.

The town of Winterhaven stands watch over a ruined keep that was once a bastion of good in the realm. This keep overlooks the Shadow Rift, a dark scar in the world that was once a gateway to the Shadowfell but has been dormant for many years. Now, an evil cleric of Orcus, Demon Lord of the Undead, seeks to re-open the gate, and the only thing standing in his way is a small yet determined band of heroes from Winterhaven.

Keep on the Shadowfell is an exciting Dungeons & Dragons adventure designed for characters of levels 1-3. It includes three double-sided poster maps suitable for use with D&D miniatures, as well as information on the town of Winterhaven and environs.

That's pretty epic for a first level adventure. Honestly, I dig it.
Or I could not be an idiot and post the blurb from Amazon.

The town of Winterhaven stands watch over a ruined keep that was once a bastion of good in the realm. This keep overlooks the Shadow Rift, a dark scar in the world that was once a gateway to the Shadowfell but has been dormant for many years. Now, an evil cleric of Orcus, Demon Lord of the Undead, seeks to re-open the gate, and the only thing standing in his way is a small yet determined band of heroes from Winterhaven.

Keep on the Shadowfell is an exciting Dungeons & Dragons adventure designed for characters of levels 1-3. It includes three double-sided poster maps suitable for use with D&D miniatures, as well as information on the town of Winterhaven and environs.

Well, we know Orcus' stats are in the MM, so maybe the PC's will fight him at the end. Which would be freaky-swwet-amazing. And there will probably be lots of classic undead and evil-cultist killing, which allows every character to show his/her abilities!
Somehow I am thinking that while killing priests and cultists is one thing, fighting the demon lord of the undead is a little beyond the scope of a level 1-3 adventure lol. But I admit it would be interesting. Of course then what would you do for level 5?
Somehow I am thinking that while killing priests and cultists is one thing, fighting the demon lord of the undead is a little beyond the scope of a level 1-3 adventure lol. But I admit it would be interesting. Of course then what would you do for level 5?

I meant it more as a "they try to summon him and only part of Orcus' essence comes through the gate and you battle it" thing.
I meant it more as a "they try to summon him and only part of Orcus' essence comes through the gate and you battle it" thing.

Freakin’ Sweet!
There's another adventure coming out after H1: Keep on the Shadowfell, called H2: Labyrinth of Lost Souls.

Presumably this will be a whole chain of adventures that lead into one another (Heroic: H1, H2, H3; Paragon: P1, P2, P3; Epic: E1, E2, E3), starting at level 1 in H1: Keep on the Shadowfell, and ultimately continuing on until the grand confrontation with [Gargantuan] Orcus at level 29 or 30, in adventure E3. I can't wait to run my players against this bad mother...!

Players love adventure paths! Devs know this. We can only benefit! :D
I remember when Ravenloft came out, I heard the same types of things as from this campaign.

I hate undead, kill them whenever I can.

Does sound fun though!!!!
*bump!*

Has anyone seen any updates, through blogs, posts, whatever, about H1 or H2? I saw that we had a name change on H2. It is now Thunderspire Labyrinth instead of the Keep of Lost Souls. Also, I hear that it deals with duergar (see Rich Bakers 10/26 blog). Anyone else seen anything new?
It includes three double-sided poster maps suitable for use with D&D miniatures

I like that addition. Battle mats are nice, but its harder to do interesting terrain with a battlemat, as you don't want to worry about drawing every little tree and hill to run a combat. And dwarven forge or hirst arts stuff is nice, but can take forever to put down. I hope maps like the fantastic location ones show up in several of the published adventures.
I like that addition. Battle mats are nice, but its harder to do interesting terrain with a battlemat, as you don't want to worry about drawing every little tree and hill to run a combat. And dwarven forge or hirst arts stuff is nice, but can take forever to put down. I hope maps like the fantastic location ones show up in several of the published adventures.

Could you give a link? I can't find such note on Amazon.com
Could you give a link? I can't find such note on Amazon.com

Well, I was just quoting the poster upthread quoting amazon. That said, linky. Its in the editorial reviews section.
So, the adventure sounds interesting, and it will have the Fast-Play rules...

But *why* is this being published as a $30 hardcover?!? For 96 pages of material? (Of which, the last three or so will be ads). This should be a softcover release for at *most* $15.

I thought the point of releasing a product like this before the ruleset was to stir up interest in the upcoming books, not to gouge the people that either are completists and feel they need every book, or that are too impatient and excited to wait the additional two weeks for the release of the core rulebooks...

I really dislike this 'hardcover only' trend that WotC has taken over the last few years. I've bought fewer and fewer new books as the prices have gone up and the pagecounts have gone down. Yes, hardcovers are nicer than softcovers, but unfortunately, I only have a limited budget for gaming materials. I'd *much* rather be able to buy 3-4 softcover supplements than 1-2 hardcovers. And I don't mind paying more for hardcover versions of books I'm going to use all the time, like the core rulebooks and the FRCS. Things like that. Adventures? No.

I'd really like to see "Keep on the Shadowfell" released as an affordable softcover book. There's no question in my mind that I would snap it up immediately. But as it stands, I'll pass on it and save my money to pick up the three core rulebooks two weeks later.
*snirk* Oh, keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side -- keep on the sunny side of life!
I PMed a question to Mike Mearls this morning and got this response a few min ago;

Hey!

Yes, H1 will come with a party of five pre-generated characters. There will be enough rules in the adventure to go up to level 3. It's meant as an intro product for people who already play D&D.

- Mike


Quote:
Originally Posted by eleran
I know you are all really busy. I was just wondering if H1, Keep on the Shadowfell, will come with pregen characters or will players make their own characters?

Thanx for all your hard work. Cant wait to see what 4e has in store for us.

__________________
---
Mike Mearls
Lead Developer, Dungeons & Dragons R&D
Friend to norkers, ally to qullans, champion of Fiend Folio 1e
"Mike Mearls = Gary Gygax on steroids...those poor hapless and unsuspecting players..." - nastynate, CO Boards
If you read Dave Noonan's blog, he hints that there are some good elements of foreshadowing and campaign hooks in the adventure.

http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=910060&page=2 (Daily Work, beginning with post 44)

I'm unsure if he's referring to this adventure, or one of the later adventures. I'm guessing he at least helped Mike Mearls along since they do the Podcast together.


Edit: The more I read, the more I want to play again. I just travel too much to make organizing a gaming group even a possibility. Hopefully the local gaming shop will have something set up for its release (or at least the Core books).
I just wish it would come out sooner, Ian.
Indeed, my mind immediately conjures up images of a large, dark castle filled with twisted, old corridors, where strange things move in the shadows...

ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!
It is more likely that the adventure is tied to the Shadowfell. Perhaps the keep in questions sits on a planar boundry and the goal is to keep that junction closed. That could be quite interesting. Low level undead. Cultists. Various evil clerics and wizards and their minions working to open the rift to plunge the material plane into the Shadowfell once and for all.

I am planning on running all three of the modules with the hope that they will be designed so that I can transform them into a campaign.
Will it be possible to create characters with the rules supplied in H1 (i.e. before the PHB is out)? Or options to tweak the pregen characters?
Hey!

Yes, H1 will come with a party of five pre-generated characters. There will be enough rules in the adventure to go up to level 3. It's meant as an intro product for people who already play D&D.

- Mike

Thanks Eleran,

This is exactly what I was wondering. Now our group will be able to try out 4e without spending $65 on the core set. Of course that would just be a preview session since we're well into a campaign that won't likely finish until well into 2009. I suppose I could update the module to 4e. Or for that matter there will probably be someone who will since it's Red Hand of Doom
Will it be possible to create characters with the rules supplied in H1 (i.e. before the PHB is out)? Or options to tweak the pregen characters?

I'm dying to know the answer to this. From everything I've heard so far it looks like we'd be stuck with just the pre-gen characters.
I'm dying to know the answer to this. From everything I've heard so far it looks like we'd be stuck with just the pre-gen characters.

We originally wanted to include some options for leveling up, but we ended up running out of space.

OTOH, you have about 3 weeks of H1 before the core books come out. I'd suggest running H1, and when you get the PH re-building the characters while keeping your XP total and treasure.

- Mike

-------------------------------

Answers to rules questions are meant to be helpful advice or insights, not canonical R&D dictates. Treat them as unofficial, but (hopefully) useful.

We originally wanted to include some options for leveling up, but we ended up running out of space.

OTOH, you have about 3 weeks of H1 before the core books come out. I'd suggest running H1, and when you get the PH re-building the characters while keeping your XP total and treasure.

- Mike

Can you tell use what characters (Race/Class) will be supplied with the adventure? Oh and will they all be first level or a mix of 1st to 3rd?
GAMMA WORLD Wuv D&D: Beyond the RPG - Transcript This is a complete transcript. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/22329697?sdb=1&pg=last#390668593 The audio file is in this News Archive http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4news/DNDXP 2010 D&D Product Overview (47 minutes into the Audio) http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/22329697?sdb=1&pg=last#390928045
Ack no leveling! Well based on the fact that a 1-3 level difference is (by all acounts) a vastly smaller "power ratio" in 4e than 3.5 I bet we will see them all statted as 1st level PC's, and the overall adventure toned down a bit towards the end to accommodate less power gain. I doubt they would include Pregen PC's of differing levels in the same party, that would just be silly.

So I guess if everyone wants to stick with the included PC's on the adventure arc they'll just have to "double level" them once we get the Core Books.

Please please please let there be a Dragonborn PC! I am prepared and willing to kill to see their racial features.
Ack no leveling!Please please please let there be a Dragonborn PC! I am prepared and willing to kill to see their racial features.

I'm not sure about 'no leveling'. If we take the two comments from staff together, it's that there will be rules for characters that will take you to level 3. What he said was that there were no options for leveling. I read that as: you will level up, but your new powers/abilities are predetermined, no options to choose from. That's why you would want to rebuild the characters after the PHB comes out. If they stayed level one, there would be no need to rebuild.

I also *really* hope there is a Dragonborn. I'm surprised to see there are just 5 pregen characters. So at least 3 races and at least 3 classes won't be represented. They could just be the same characters as at DDXP.

Since it's just two weeks before the PHB and is meant as a chance to try before the core books are out, it should be sufficient to meet its purpose. I'm looking forward to it
We originally wanted to include some options for leveling up, but we ended up running out of space.

OTOH, you have about 3 weeks of H1 before the core books come out. I'd suggest running H1, and when you get the PH re-building the characters while keeping your XP total and treasure.

- Mike

Hum, this just cancelled my chance of pre order.

Not saying I won't pick this up once the core is out, and I'll definately spend a morning with a Seattle's Best reading this at Borders like I do everything, but I'd rather my players be able to play *their* choice of characters through this.

∴ "Virtus junxit, mors non separabit." 

Hum, this just cancelled my chance of pre order.

Not saying I won't pick this up once the core is out, and I'll definately spend a morning with a Seattle's Best reading this at Borders like I do everything, but I'd rather my players be able to play *their* choice of characters through this.

With what's been pieced together so far you should be able to at least put together any race/class combo except the Dragonborn or the Warlord. Just use the fantastic fan based 4e PHB Lite which can be easily found circulating the Web.
There will be leveling in the adventure, you just don't have options as you go up. It isn't the best situation, but we had to work with the page count of the adventure.

I'm not sure of the race/class breakdown. I co-wrote the adventure, and then a second team created the characters and the fast play rules.

There are a few ways you can look at it:

1. If your group wants to play 4e but hasn't followed the boards or still has a 3e game to wrap up, this is a fast, easy way to start playing.

2. If you want to get a jump start on learning 4e before the core rulebooks come out, the module is a good "first run" of the game. You play KotS, learn the rules, get everyone up to speed, then start in on the full game.

3. If you just want an adventure and don't care about the fast play stuff, KotS goes from level 1 to 3. The quick start materials will be handy as a reference for players who don't yet have a PH. If you want the full options of the PH, you might want to wait for the PH or let the players re-do their characters.

4. If you're not crazy about published modules and you can wait for the PH, KotS isn't for you.

So, basically, how much do you want an adventure, and how long can you wait to see the 4e rules? Those two questions determine if H1 is going to make you happy.

-------------------------------

Answers to rules questions are meant to be helpful advice or insights, not canonical R&D dictates. Treat them as unofficial, but (hopefully) useful.

There will be leveling in the adventure, you just don't have options as you go up. It isn't the best situation, but we had to work with the page count of the adventure.

I'm not sure of the race/class breakdown. I co-wrote the adventure, and then a second team created the characters and the fast play rules.

1. If your group wants to play 4e but hasn't followed the boards or still has a 3e game to wrap up, this is a fast, easy way to start playing.
......
So, basically, how much do you want an adventure, and how long can you wait to see the 4e rules? Those two questions determine if H1 is going to make you happy.

Aah, ok that all looks good. I think I'll keep my pre-order for now... gotta reel in the rest of the gaming group into 4e somehow still

Thanks a lot for the info M.M.!
Thank you Mr. Mearls.
GAMMA WORLD Wuv D&D: Beyond the RPG - Transcript This is a complete transcript. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/22329697?sdb=1&pg=last#390668593 The audio file is in this News Archive http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4news/DNDXP 2010 D&D Product Overview (47 minutes into the Audio) http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/22329697?sdb=1&pg=last#390928045
So, the adventure sounds interesting, and it will have the Fast-Play rules...

But *why* is this being published as a $30 hardcover?!? For 96 pages of material? (Of which, the last three or so will be ads). This should be a softcover release for at *most* $15.

FYI

If you check out Amazon, it's $19.77 and you can get an additional 5% off if you pre-order it. That puts it down to about $18.78. So, it's close to your $15 mark and it's a hard cover.

Interesting, I checked WoTC's site and they list all the adventure books as TPB costing $24.95. So, I'm guessing that Amazon's price and description are old. Amazon does list H2 as a TPB and it's discounted to $16.47, also with an additional 5% discount for pre-order bringing it down to roughly $15.65. So, in the end, you may get your wish.

Cheers

Never argue with an idiot, they drag you down to their level and beat you with years of experience.

Sign In to post comments