Keep on the Shadowfell Review

38 posts / 0 new
Last post
I was able to get a sneak peek at Keep on the Shadowfell today at a nearby gaming store. I'm not sure if I was supposed to or not, but I did anyway. A few things I noticed:

Packaged in a nice, double-binder-style portfolio.

Includes the adventure, quick-play premade characters, and a few different miniature maps, as well as player handouts and a DM reference sheet.

Some of the premade characters are a Dragonborn Paladin, Human Warlock, Halfling Rogue, and a few others I can't recall.

The adventure itself had a pretty basic layout if you're used to premade adventures. It had all your basic elements: traps, riddles, NPCs, monsters, etc. At the end, it had a summary of XP breakdown, treasure dispersal, magic item descriptions, and so on.

At the end of the adventure, it states "Now go out and buy the PHB, DMG, and MM to advance to 4th level and REALLY start playing". That kind of bothered me a bit. What other options do we really have? Of course we'll buy the core set... I only had a couple of minutes to look it over, but it looks like a good break-in to 4E, with a nice cross-section of characters (which all came with individual stat sheets), and a good "dungeon-crawl" feel to it reminiscent of previous editions. It was nice...but I think I'll save my $29.95 and wait another few weeks. At least that way, I'm not pigeonholed into premade characters and only enough info to play just that one adventure. After all, after it's been played once, chances are good that it won't get used again for some time.
I pre-ordered it because I won a $20.00 gift certificate to Amazon, so that about made it free for me
But I too got to see it at my FLGS and I was very impressed by the "book" itself... seriously, it was beautiful. The layout was terrific, and it looked like a million bucks.
it get's 4 out of 5 gold for looks alone. I really didn't read much of the insides, but it was worth my no money.
I pre-ordered it because I won a $20.00 gift certificate to Amazon, so that about made it free for me
But I too got to see it at my FLGS and I was very impressed by the "book" itself... seriously, it was beautiful. The layout was terrific, and it looked like a million bucks.
it get's 4 out of 5 gold for looks alone. I really didn't read much of the insides, but it was worth my no money.

Lucky! I've already dropped $56 for the core set and $19.95 for KotS...but what a beautiful money-dump it is....
Lucky! I've already dropped $56 for the core set and $19.95 for KotS...but what a beautiful money-dump it is....

I wanted to, but I'm a huge advocate of the support your FLGS, so I'm pretty bound to pay full price for them... in other words I have already bought and paid for my pre-order (granted, with a gift certificate). But I can't go around screaming for people to keep gaming stores around, and then go and buy on line just because it saves me some scratch. I would have loved to though, and it has taught me that, "the less one makes declarative statements, one is less likely to look foolish in retrospect." -Mallrats
...It was nice...but I think I'll save my $29.95 and wait another few weeks. At least that way, I'm not pigeonholed into premade characters and only enough info to play just that one adventure. After all, after it's been played once, chances are good that it won't get used again for some time.

I preordered it because I got a discount on the preorder, but I agree on waiting to actually play it until the core rules get here. I think my players will have more fun with it if they can make and run their own characters from scratch instead of using pregenerated ones.
I ordered it from my local FLGS, and plan on picking it up for our game the friday after may 20. We are sick of waiting.
...whatever
More on the Review side:
Last night I went to my local gaming store for my usual evening of Saturday night gaming. One of my friends who works at the store, had a copy of this module, Keep on the Shadowfel. He passed out the pregenerated characters. ...

Not completly complimentry, but had a good time.
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
I wanted to, but I'm a huge advocate of the support your FLGS, so I'm pretty bound to pay full price for them... in other words I have already bought and paid for my pre-order (granted, with a gift certificate). But I can't go around screaming for people to keep gaming stores around, and then go and buy on line just because it saves me some scratch. I would have loved to though, and it has taught me that, "the less one makes declarative statements, one is less likely to look foolish in retrospect." -Mallrats

I think the days of the local game stores are gonna go the way of the dinosaur. There are virtually no game stores in my area (RI) and with the accessibility of online stores, auctions, etc., there really is no point to them either, unless you absolutely MUST have an item TODAY. At worst, if I ever REALLY need an item, my local Borders has most stuff and I get coupons for 25-30% off all the time, so it's almost like ordering online.
I think the days of the local game stores are gonna go the way of the dinosaur. There are virtually no game stores in my area (RI) and with the accessibility of online stores, auctions, etc., there really is no point to them either, unless you absolutely MUST have an item TODAY. At worst, if I ever REALLY need an item, my local Borders has most stuff and I get coupons for 25-30% off all the time, so it's almost like ordering online.

I'm sad to say I agree. Seriously, I loved my FLGS but look at the price for example, Amazon is selling the Gift-set of the 4E core set. I just can't justify paying that much difference...

Curse Amazon.ca and other big box stores. This is one of the fw detrimental effects of the net...
I'd be really interested to hear if someone plays through it without using the play aids, battle mats etc, and how it went.
I still think they should have released a preview adventure for free. Hell they had one ready to go for D&D xp. I think its silly to pay 30 bucks for a dead end module with premade characters a week or two before release. If WotC really wanted to pump the hype they would have done this preview for free. This falls very much in the lines of races and monsters crap. That stuff is all advertising for thier product. I have not ever, nor do I intend to start a habit of paying money to be advertised to. WotC failed thier save vs. reality on this one and the 2 "design" books IMO. Bought my 4e books already and ill be playing this summer (Eagerly awaiting it in fact), but let me reiterate: I wont be paying money for promotional material. If WotC wants to advertise to me or promote thier material to me, than they can foot the bill like every other company that wants to show me thier stuff, in hopes of making me a customer. This and the dsign releases are whats referred to as a trash release. They have no real value once the core books are released. Its all good though, suppose they gotta make thier bread monies somewhere.
Why is the adventure a "dead end" to you, malkav666? It's the first in a series and can be played with characters other than the pregens if you wait a few weeks. It's no more of a "trash release" than any other module.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

I still think they should have released a preview adventure for free. Hell they had one ready to go for D&D xp. I think its silly to pay 30 bucks for a dead end module with premade characters a week or two before release. If WotC really wanted to pump the hype they would have done this preview for free. This falls very much in the lines of races and monsters crap. That stuff is all advertising for thier product. I have not ever, nor do I intend to start a habit of paying money to be advertised to.

Yeah honestly, they should have just released keep on the Shadowfell as a web Enhancement or something that people can download to try to advertise the game.
WotC is the only company that makes you pay to read advertisements for their game.

Most companies would just be satisfied to advertise their product and get the word out, but apparently not WotC.
My only complaint is that we went from softback folio dungeons costing 20 to 30 in one step, and I've not heard a good reason why the price increase. I'm really not comfortable paying 30 for what others are making for 15 or less, even if it is an offical product.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/0a90721d221e50e5755af156c179fe51.jpg?v=90000)
I still think they should have released a preview adventure for free. Hell they had one ready to go for D&D xp. I think its silly to pay 30 bucks for a dead end module with premade characters a week or two before release. If WotC really wanted to pump the hype they would have done this preview for free. This falls very much in the lines of races and monsters crap. That stuff is all advertising for thier product. I have not ever, nor do I intend to start a habit of paying money to be advertised to. WotC failed thier save vs. reality on this one and the 2 "design" books IMO. Bought my 4e books already and ill be playing this summer (Eagerly awaiting it in fact), but let me reiterate: I wont be paying money for promotional material. If WotC wants to advertise to me or promote thier material to me, than they can foot the bill like every other company that wants to show me thier stuff, in hopes of making me a customer. This and the dsign releases are whats referred to as a trash release. They have no real value once the core books are released. Its all good though, suppose they gotta make thier bread monies somewhere.

See, I actually found the two preview books to have great value - as discussions of game design philosophy from some of the best designers in the industry. Mike Mearls and Rich Baker wrote some exceptionally good stuff in it, and it's stuff that's helped me with my own design work - both for 4e and for the system that I've been tinkering away at.
I'd be really interested to hear if someone plays through it without using the play aids, battle mats etc, and how it went.

My group and i played through the up to the first level of the Dungeon...and I'm Impressed with game thus far....I was playing the Dwarf Fighter and I enjoyed cracking skulls with a maul and not mention Brute Strike was a beast especially since I rolled a crit when I used that power...

The mats made things easier for placement of encounters , and the layouts were great...but hat was only our first night playing it so I can't wait for next week so we can do further and i get to take great pleasure in beating the crap out things...

but I have on compliant....I want the Core Books now!!! this adventure great but I would love to read more the mechanics of the game, and to see what bonuses are given...

But I get the sense from this adventure that this is just a taste and I like it....
I've run the first half of it twice already and I enjoy it.
It gives you bare bones information about whats going on, which is enough to start the GM off on things.

I have one HUGE complaint here for the Module, and that's when you get into Winterhaven there's two shoppes to buy from.
I can't let my players buy from them at all because you need, a PHB.. I would have liked at least a small list of equipment/magic items to be able to sell my players. I can totally sell them the idea that Winterhaven doesnt have a lot of things to buy, but NOTHING? And all this gold they're grabbing doesn't mean a whole lot if they can't spend it on anything.

So for three whole levels they have to rely on Encounters for items. Kinda crap if you ask me.

The rest of the module is great, has a fun layout and the Encounters are _Very_ hard if you're running anything less than four people without a cleric. A five person group doesn't even remotely put the game on easy mode.
Yeah honestly, they should have just released keep on the Shadowfell as a web Enhancement or something that people can download to try to advertise the game.
WotC is the only company that makes you pay to read advertisements for their game.

Most companies would just be satisfied to advertise their product and get the word out, but apparently not WotC.

For starters, WotC would hardly be "the only company" to sell people products that do advertising this way. Every time you put on your Nike's, or your Tommy Hillfiger shirt, or drive your car with the dealership tag on the back, you are paying for a product that the company uses as advertising.

But, even so, H1 was not designed as an "advertisement". It is a stand alone product that is of exceptional quality. It isn't a "preview", although it does release before the PHB, it is an adventure. Sunless Citadel wasn't an advertisement, and neither is H1. And, to top it all off, the OP is talking about the store copy of H1 that he looked at, and the story copy was FREE. They didn't charge the store to have a copy to show to customers, it was FREE. This argument is ridiculous.
And, to top it all off, the OP is talking about the store copy of H1 that he looked at, and the store copy was FREE. They didn't charge the store to have a copy to show to customers, it was FREE. This argument is ridiculous.

Just another shining example of people willing to argue simply for the sake of arguing. Their points are invalid, their accusations are irresponsible, and their tone is one of pure antagonism. Better off, Falcon, to just leave them be. Let them rant to an absent audience, and eventually they will stop.
Ok ill respond once here,but before I start, let me just say, I wasn,t trying to ruffle any feathers. I am not anti 4e. I have already bought my books There are many things I dsilike about the marketing of 4e, and how they went about DDI. I think those two arenas of the project could have been handled much better than what we are currently experiencing.

@emwasick

I consider the keep module to be a trash release because It is a pregen preview mod. You cant make characters for it, and then when the PHB comes out your stuck with the pregens unless you want to break the story (which is entirely feasable mind you, just not very much fun IMO). My ire with this release is they haven't given us any preview materials. When D&D 3.0 came out, my local FLGS had pamphlets explaining the rules changes, and promoting the product, and the general flow of promotional information was just all around better. I had a good idea of how many things worked and I was excited. There has been no promotion whatsoever of 4e. The preview module was kept lock and key. And they try to sell this HARDBACK book at core book prices with preivew characters in it and lots of rules that are gonna be released IN FULL just a few weeks later.

Thats trash. Maybe not so much the module itself. But everything else in the book you will pay for a second time. There was absolutely no need to have a hardback preview release two weeks befor the $120 core release. I think they should have released the preview material from D&D xp for free, so folks who were interested could play and check the system out, then released the core books, and THEN released Keep on shadowfell as a folder softback stand alone at $15-20 bucks, depending on the size of the module itself. I dont want to buy a hardback full of preview content. That is trash. As customers we should have material previewed to us for free. That is afterall the reason you have a preview in the first place: to show your product to your potential customer base, in the hopes that they will like it and choose to invest in it.

Its not so much that I am trashing the idea of a module. its just that WOTC really hasnt previewed the product or promoted it in any way that has affected me as a customer. design books and preview books that have source price tags are garbage. I do not like them. I do not like them in a Box, or with a Fox.

@Trailfoot

I'd just lijke to clarify that the material int he books may not be neccessarily bad. But it is promotional material. We used to get all kinds of neat design articles for free on WotCs website. But we are expected to pay SOURCE prices for very tiny books. At 96 pages each (thats smaller than some issues of dungeon and dragon magazine) and a $20 dollar price tag, you get a bunch of advertisements and design philosphies that would have made GREAT promotional articles for their website, but make a very garbage print release.

What use do they serve? I like the Mearls' and Bakers' work. When they post an article on WotCs website I read them. But asking me to pay 20 bucks a pop to get those articles, especially when they are of a promotional nature, for a product they are expecting me to sink hundreds if not thousands of dollars into, is irresponsible and rude.

Our group almost decided to skip 4e, not because of any rules or design issues. We define the "feel" and "flavor" of D&D, so all those anti issues mean very little to us. No we almost skipped because of the the way WotC marketing is being handled. Promotional and Advertising content IS NOT source content. WotC is trying to sell it as source,and at source prices, and that is a very very poor marketing model IMO. A promo release sold at 20 bucks a pop is trash, no matter how good the articles may be.

But those ar ejust my thoughts. Maybe im just not the target audience for such products, as many of you seem to be excited about them. there is always that chance
Initial Reaction: Holy Bloodbath! Sputter? TPK?.....

Received it at our shop last week, ran through it over the weekend with experienced GM and players (will attempt a repeat this Thursday night).

Whoever put this together as a first level adventure needs to have their head examined. This is far, far out of whack for a group of first level characters. I would not even try to introduce someone to the game with this meat-grinder, nor take anything but a pre-gen into. GM told us that if we were to survive he would have had to NERF the encounters big time.

There are a lot of things we are STILL shaking our heads at with regards to the abbreviated rules that came packaged with the adventure, there appear to be several broken things right off, but I will try another run at it Thursday and see if maybe it was just the newness of the shift or surge rules that threw us. I will post more Friday morning after we have another go at it.
Initial Reaction: Holy Bloodbath! Sputter? TPK?.....

Received it at our shop last week, ran through it over the weekend with experienced GM and players (will attempt a repeat this Thursday night).

Whoever put this together as a first level adventure needs to have their head examined. This is far, far out of whack for a group of first level characters. I would not even try to introduce someone to the game with this meat-grinder, nor take anything but a pre-gen into. GM told us that if we were to survive he would have had to NERF the encounters big time.

There are a lot of things we are STILL shaking our heads at with regards to the abbreviated rules that came packaged with the adventure, there appear to be several broken things right off, but I will try another run at it Thursday and see if maybe it was just the newness of the shift or surge rules that threw us. I will post more Friday morning after we have another go at it.

I finally got the chance to play throught the adventure Sunday night. I found it not only easy to understand, but I picked up the 4E changes quickly. The DM, as well as the four players (myself included) had a blast. I played the dragonborn paladin, and found it, surprisingly, easy to run. How you arrived at the adventure being a "meatgrinder" is beyond me. It IS challenging, but it was nothing that a truly experienced DM and players couldn't handle. I have a feeling that there will be more difficulty in old-edition players rethinking D&D than new players grasping the concepts. Being a 20+ year DM, I reviewed all the materials prior to playing, and found them not only to be fair, but an excellent adventure to start new and experienced players with. Please explain what you considered "far out of whack" about it, if you will. My DM and myself both read this post and we shook our head. Neither one of us could come up with an explanation as to your description of the difficulty of the adventure or the rules.
I consider the keep module to be a trash release because It is a pregen preview mod. You cant make characters for it, and then when the PHB comes out your stuck with the pregens unless you want to break the story (which is entirely feasable mind you, just not very much fun IMO).

That is untrue. It is true if you want to start the adventure before June 6th, but I am going to be running H1 (then H2, H3...) as a campaign starting on the 6th, and the first night of the campaign is going to be character creation with the PHB. So no, you do not HAVE to use the pregen characters to play H1. You do if you want to play before the PHB comes out, but in that case it is a BONUS. If you want to use the adventure as a glorified playtest then you can. I am using it as a full campaign, and the PCs will be player made. So, just because people are using H1 as a playtest doesn't mean thats all it is. In my case (and I'm sure I'm hardly the only person doing this) it is just as good a product as every other D&D adventure I've ever bought (if not more so, we'll have to wait and see).
Yeah honestly, they should have just released keep on the Shadowfell as a web Enhancement or something that people can download to try to advertise the game.
WotC is the only company that makes you pay to read advertisements for their game.

Most companies would just be satisfied to advertise their product and get the word out, but apparently not WotC.

To be blunt that really is nonsense on a number of levels. Firstly it is not advertising it is an adventure to play and have fun with. Secondly a large number of companies charge you to advertise their products. Games workshop for example charge for their catalogue and they are not alone. Also look at the clothes people wear with the brand plastered all over them.
I finally got the chance to play throught the adventure Sunday night. I found it not only easy to understand, but I picked up the 4E changes quickly. The DM, as well as the four players (myself included) had a blast. I played the dragonborn paladin, and found it, surprisingly, easy to run. How you arrived at the adventure being a "meatgrinder" is beyond me. It IS challenging, but it was nothing that a truly experienced DM and players couldn't handle. I have a feeling that there will be more difficulty in old-edition players rethinking D&D than new players grasping the concepts. Being a 20+ year DM, I reviewed all the materials prior to playing, and found them not only to be fair, but an excellent adventure to start new and experienced players with. Please explain what you considered "far out of whack" about it, if you will. My DM and myself both read this post and we shook our head. Neither one of us could come up with an explanation as to your description of the difficulty of the adventure or the rules.

To repeat:
I will try another run at it Thursday and see if maybe it was just the newness of the shift or surge rules that threw us. I will post more Friday morning after we have another go at it. I am not going to drop a spoiler here (for others) to prove a point, so you will have to wait until after I get another go at it - or PM me for the list of grudges I have started. (Just for the record 26+years in the hobby...)
I will post a couple points here:

I have played almost all the way through. We playtested it with characters we created. In the shops of Winterhaven we did not buy anything because we did not have a complete list of stuff to buy (we did not have a complete PHB at this point). My rogue is using basic daggers,a short sword, and an adventures kit. This has not posed a problem for me.

The module is tough and several times we have had one character close to dying but so far we are all still alive. It is a bit of a meat grinder at times but for those of you seeing it for the first time with out the full 4e context you are basing this perception on 3rd edition. The monster encounters look tough and many times I have thought "we are so screwed" but we always pull through because a) minions die easy and b) we can all heal ourselves to some extent.

This module is well written IMO and will be ton of fun with either pre-gens or playing with your own made characters if you wait until the PHB.

It will tie to H2 and H3 if you so choose and is more than just a "throw away" preview of 4e.

We will also provide extras on D&D Insider includes side quests, tying hooks for in between adventures, and other goodies.
We will also provide extras on D&D Insider includes side quests, tying hooks for in between adventures, and other goodies.

That's great to hear
I will post a couple points here:

I have played almost all the way through. We playtested it with characters we created. In the shops of Winterhaven we did not buy anything because we did not have a complete list of stuff to buy (we did not have a complete PHB at this point). My rogue is using basic daggers,a short sword, and an adventures kit. This has not posed a problem for me.

The module is tough and several times we have had one character close to dying but so far we are all still alive. It is a bit of a meat grinder at times but for those of you seeing it for the first time with out the full 4e context you are basing this perception on 3rd edition. The monster encounters look tough and many times I have thought "we are so screwed" but we always pull through because a) minions die easy and b) we can all heal ourselves to some extent.

This module is well written IMO and will be ton of fun with either pre-gens or playing with your own made characters if you wait until the PHB.

It will tie to H2 and H3 if you so choose and is more than just a "throw away" preview of 4e.

We will also provide extras on D&D Insider includes side quests, tying hooks for in between adventures, and other goodies.

Thanks for the reply Scott. it always makes me happy when I see the developers of a product interacting with the fans of that product. Very good mojo.

Quick question for you.

Are there any plans to do a digital release of the module as a stand alone on DDI? (in like say a PDF format) I would personally be much more interested in the module itself if I could get a soft back version of it, or a digital version of it sans the PHB light bits and premade characters.


thanks for your time,

malkav
Thanks for the reply Scott. it always makes me happy when I see the developers of a product interacting with the fans of that product. Very good mojo.

Quick question for you.

Are there any plans to do a digital release of the module as a stand alone on DDI? (in like say a PDF format) I would personally be much more interested in the module itself if I could get a soft back version of it, or a digital version of it sans the PHB light bits and premade characters.


thanks for your time,

malkav

Yes we plan on having both PDFs and a Game Table version of the Module with minis, maps, and NPCs that is meant to be plug and play.
To repeat:
I will try another run at it Thursday and see if maybe it was just the newness of the shift or surge rules that threw us. I will post more Friday morning after we have another go at it. I am not going to drop a spoiler here (for others) to prove a point, so you will have to wait until after I get another go at it - or PM me for the list of grudges I have started. (Just for the record 26+years in the hobby...)

I wish you WOULD post your concerns -- that's part of the reason I read this thread! You can always throw up a big SPOILER ALERT for people who don't want the details of the adventure.
I wish you WOULD post your concerns -- that's part of the reason I read this thread! You can always throw up a big SPOILER ALERT for people who don't want the details of the adventure.

Or use spoiler blocks [noparse]
Show
like this
[/noparse]
Or use spoiler blocks [noparse]
Show
like this
[/noparse]

I was wondering how to do that! And noparse is handy, too.
I was wondering how to do that! And noparse is handy, too.

Sure is. I was over at the Forum FAQ the other day and picked up some nifty new tags. :D
Initial Reaction: Holy Bloodbath! Sputter? TPK?.....

Received it at our shop last week, ran through it over the weekend with experienced GM and players (will attempt a repeat this Thursday night).

Whoever put this together as a first level adventure needs to have their head examined. This is far, far out of whack for a group of first level characters. I would not even try to introduce someone to the game with this meat-grinder, nor take anything but a pre-gen into. GM told us that if we were to survive he would have had to NERF the encounters big time.

There are a lot of things we are STILL shaking our heads at with regards to the abbreviated rules that came packaged with the adventure, there appear to be several broken things right off, but I will try another run at it Thursday and see if maybe it was just the newness of the shift or surge rules that threw us. I will post more Friday morning after we have another go at it.

I played this with some friends over the weekend, and our group had a very similar reaction. This is with 5 players, 2 of whom are fairly new to RPGs, but both briefly played 3.5, the remaining 3 players and DM have been playing RPGs for over a decade and are no strangers to D&D.

Everything was going fine until the Irontooth encounter, which resulted in a TPK. It wasn't even close. After that happened, the experienced players were a little puzzled at why this was considered by someone to be a balanced encounter. We figured that our DM must have been reading the encounter incorrectly, but that turned out not to be the case; it's just far more difficult than I would expect in an introductory adventure.

Show
The PCs are expected to do roughly 300 hp of damage to the monsters, as well as downing 10 minions. This is approximately a 3:1 damage ratio for the PCs (not including minions, who die in one hit). In addition, the boss of the fight, Irontooth starts doing extra damage and gains regeneration when he is bloodied (half hp - he has 108 or so total). The NPCs do a significant amount of damage and Irontooth is a beating all by himself. Without serious DM fudging, I'm not sure how the PCs could survive this encounter.


I'm not really sure what to make of this, except to question the playtesting. I'm not even sure if we were to attempt this again knowing full well exactly what we were up against and the NPC stat blocks we would have better than a 50-50 shot. The NPCs are just too difficult to down, and by the odds they should inflict enough damage to kill several PCs. I would expect a DM to have to significantly fudge rolls or tactics in order to give the PCs a chance to survive.
I ran through it this evening, and did it without a single party death or drop. The spacing between waves is pretty nice; the party was almost done with the first wave when the second showed up, having only a skirmisher and the slinger left.

Irontooth is a pain. I think rangers and fighters work best against him.
There aren't any rangers in the quick start rules. To clarify, we were just using the quick start characters and did not have a copy of any of the 4th ed books yet.

(I have some quibbles with their feat allocations... I think. In particular, the paladin's feat seems very poor, although I don't know what other options would be available.)
I ran it using some characters that I built, and some of the quickstarts.

I'm not sure how it would go with just the quickstarts. Maybe they're not fully powered, or maybe I made some of my characters rather well.
Holy moly! After reading through KotS, I thought it was going to be a pretty good adventure. It reminded me a little bit too much of Sunless Citadel, but that's cool; SC was a good adventure.


Show
I was disappointed with the lack of item lists for the stores. Plus, when the PCs started picking up gear from dead enemies, I had to flip around to see exactly what kind of damage and AC numbers to use. Not cool. Give us the darn numbers, please!

The Irontooth encounter ended in a TPK. The party made it through the outer lair encounter so easily, I didn't think I would have to nerf the inner lair encounter. Boy was I wrong. The party was only able to knock off one skirmisher and about half the minions before the second wave hit. Then, it was a massacre. Shifty kobolds mean lots of combat advantage. The wyrmpriest's 5 HP boost played a big role in keeping the minions and skirmishers alive. I thought the party might have had a chance to live to fight another day until Irontooth got bloodied. Oh boy. That dude is one bad mofo.


I hope to play the module again some day. If I do, I'll definitely be making a few changes to increase the survivability of the PCs.