Thursday, January 31, 2013, 7:52 PM
Thanks to everyone who came to Winter Fantasy 2013. We had a great time and we hope that you enjoyed our seven premiere adventures (five "tiered" adventures, one Epic Campaign adventure, and the new Battle Interactive).
Five of these new adventures are now available for public and private events and may be downloaded from livingforgottenrealms.com right now. They are:
CORE5-1 Churning Shadows
by Buddy Arnold and Mickey Tan
The city is overrun by a plague of shadow creatures. You are tasked with rescuing the Cormyrean Ambassador from legions of undead. Will you be able to save innocent lives without becoming one of the living dead yourself? A Living Forgotten Realms adventure set in Urmlaspyr for characters of the Heroic tier (levels 1-10). This adventure concludes the Trouble in Urmlaspyr Major Quest, and is also the conclusion to Chapter 1 of the Desolation series. The first four adventures in Chapter 1 are SPEC4-5, CORE4-3, CORE4-4, and CORE4-5. You can play the Chapter 1 adventures in any order, but we recommend that you play them all with the same character, and we recommend that you play the first four adventures before you play CORE5-1.
CORE5-2 A Radiance Faded
by Chris Sniezak and Shawn Merwin
Many fear that a Thayan plague is killing livestock in Thesk as a precursor to a full-scale invasion. The true cause may be much simpler but much more deadly. A Living Forgotten Realms adventure set in Thesk and Rashemen for characters of the Paragon tier (levels 11-20). This adventure is an epilogue to the Radiance Against Thay series, which included CORE1-2 Radiant Vessel of Thesk, CORE1-6 Incident at the Gorge of Gauros, and CORE1-14 What Storms May Come.
SPEC5-1 Morthac's Mansion
by Dan Anderson
A typical mission briefing is interrupted with urgent intelligence about a tactical advantage that could be gained by the resistance against the occupying forces in Elturel. Can you secure a location vital to the resistance? A Living Forgotten Realms adventure set in Elturgard for characters of the Heroic tier (levels 1-10). This adventure is a sequel to ELTU4-4 The Fall of Elturgard and leads into the events of ADCP5-1 Home's Last Light. This is a combat-intensive adventure.
SPEC5-2 Closer to the Heart
by Bill Buchalter and Michael Pearman
Restoring the Companion is a crucial step in the effort to retake control of Elturel. Someone must journey into the depths of the Astral Sea to recover a ritual component known as the Heart of Light. To find the Heart requires more than just skill. Only the Trinity can lead the way. A Living Forgotten Realms adventure set across the planes for characters of the Paragon tier (levels 11-20). This adventure takes place after the events of ELTU4-4 The Fall of Elturgard and leads into the events of ADCP5-1 Home's Last Light. More than most LFR adventures, this adventure benefits from significant advance preparations by the DM.
EPIC5-1 Plaguewrought Prism
by Dan Anderson, Lori Anderson, and Keith Richmond
When faced with a threat that even the gods fear, the powers of Faerûn turn to you. Unfortunately, there is far too much to do in what little time remains. You have only split seconds to prevent the coming apocalypse. A three-round continuous-play Living Forgotten Realms Epic Campaign adventure for 27th-level characters. This adventure is a direct sequel to EPIC4-3 Dark Hearts of Madness.
We are preparing the other two Winter Fantasy premiere adventures (CORE5-3 Lost Refuge
, set in Baldur's Gate, and ADCP5-1 Home's Last Light
, the newest Battle Interactive) for general release and will post them shortly. As with all of our previous Adventuring Company (ADCP) events, ADCP5-1 will only be available to public events and must be requested directly from the campaign staff using our online form, a link to which is available on the campaign website
We had a busy January and expect to release another large batch of new adventures in February. Thanks, as always, for your support of Living Forgotten Realms!
Thursday, November 1, 2012, 6:08 PM
Huge thanks to everyone who visited livingforgottenrealms.com during October to download some or all of the 13 adventures that we released last month. It was one of the best months that we've ever had in terms of getting new content into your hands (and in terms of you hitting the website to get that new content). We very much want to keep the momentum going, not just this month, but all the way through 2013 and beyond. The download numbers that we saw last month were staggering -- there's no doubt that a huge audience still exists for 4th Edition even with the development of D&D Next in full swing, and we are honored and humbled that LFR continues to be played and enjoyed by so many people around the world.
That having been said, if you've been following this blog, you know that we actually had a more ambitious goal for last month than what we achieved. The goal was to release new versions of the campaign rules documents in addition to clearing the adventure backlog. We ended up releasing 13 adventures: 9 adventures from the backlog along with 4 brand-new adventures that had not previously been announced (CORE4-3, CORE4-4, ELTU4-1, and ELTU4-2). We still have 4 adventures from the backlog to go, along with the updated Campaign Guide and Meta-Org Guide, and we're working to get those out the door as early in November as we possibly can. We've announced INTRO4-2 for November already, and it's also very likely that we will pick up one or two more new adventure releases this month as we have a number of new adventures that are nearly ready along with some more Dungeon adaptations to unleash.
I can't honestly say that I am disappointed by a month in which we managed to get 13 adventures out the door, but at the same time, we didn't do everything that we said we were going to do last month, and for that I apologize. It's very important to the LFR Global Admins to get back on track with the community of players, DMs, and event organizers in terms of us being able to publish a release schedule and then hit the dates that we say we're going to hit. I sincerely hope that we have made some progress in that direction with what we accomplished in October -- but we didn't get it all done, and by no means are we slowing down or slacking off in our efforts.
We don't just want to get caught up and stay caught up; we want to get ahead and stay ahead. When adventure release dates sit on the home page and get pushed back month after month, everybody suffers. Authors get demoralized, convention organizers can't plan their schedules effectively, and the community loses faith and trust in the campaign staff. We are acutely aware of this and we have made (and continue to make) behind-the-scenes changes to remove bottlenecks in our planning, development, and release processes. Clearly we're not all the way there yet, but the fact that we moved 4 brand-new adventures through the process last month while at the same time clearing 9 adventures from the backlog I hope is at least a data point that things are moving in the right direction.
Over the next week we will release the remaining 4 adventures from the backlog (I have something special planned to accompany the release of AGLA2-4, whose authors have put up with delays far beyond what anyone should have to endure) along with the updated campaign rules, including, yes, the new meta-organization guide. You may wonder why we didn't prioritize the campaign rules (which haven't been updated in over a year) ahead of some of the adventures from the backlog. That prioritization certainly can be (and has been) debated. Ultimately, if you have adventures, you can always play, even if the rules are a bit out of date or there are meta-org references that don't have supporting details written, but the converse is not true. You can't play if you have rules and meta-orgs but there aren't any adventures. Getting the backlog cleared (and making sure that the new adventures that were ready to release last month, got released within a few days of the final turnover, instead of increasing the size of the backlog) was the most important thing. I know that folks have been waiting patiently for the new meta-org document in particular. Nothing can make up for lost time, but I think you will be happy with the new version.
Please continue to let us know your thoughts on the Community Forum and we in turn will continue to keep you updated on the state of the campaign and what's coming out when. In the near future we should be ready to announce the full slate of adventures for Winter Fantasy 2013, along with a preview of our overall plans, some hints about the major story arcs, and the general shape of the release schedule for next year. More details to follow!
Thank you, as always, for your support of Living Forgotten Realms. Without you there is no campaign.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 8:13 PM
We're very pleased to announce that CORE4-3 Running Amok, by LFR Global Admin Pieter Sleijpen, is now available for download from livingforgottenrealms.com.
We also recently released the second adventure in the Year 4 Elturgard trilogy: ELTU4-2 The Iriaebor Gambit by Amanda Holdridge. This adventure follows the events of ELTU4-1, which was released earlier this month.
Both of these adventures are for characters of the Heroic tier. Here's some more information about them:
CORE4-3 Running Amok
by Pieter Sleijpen
For years the tenuous peace between Netheril and Cormyr held. For years the city of Urmlaspyr, last remnant of free Sembia, lay in between. Now something stirs in the darkest places of the city. Citizens run amok without apparent cause, wielding shadow powers they did not have before. What could cause these otherwise peaceful people to go into a murderous frenzy? A Living Forgotten Realms adventure set in Urmlaspyr for characters of the Heroic tier (levels 1-10).
This adventure is part of Chapter 1 of the Desolation series. Chapter 1 includes four Heroic tier adventures that can be played in any order, leading up to the chapter's conclusion in CORE5-1. The other three parts are SPEC4-5, CORE4-4, and CORE4-5. You can play the first four adventures in any order, but you should try to play them with the same character, and you should try to play all four parts before you play CORE5-1. The Desolation series also includes Paragon tier adventures (starting with SPEC4-6). It is not expected that a player can follow both tracks with the same PC.
ELTU4-2 The Iriaebor Gambit
by Amanda Holdridge
There is turmoil in Iriaebor and some faction in the city wants to ensure that it continues unabated. Merchants are being slaughtered, their bodies displayed in the streets. Would the Dusk Talons be willing to go that far to keep their city free from the gauntleted grip of Elturel's Order of Torm? A Living Forgotten Realms adventure set in Elturgard for characters of the Heroic tier (levels 1-10).
This adventure is the second part of a trilogy. We recommend playing ELTU4-1, ELTU4-2, and ELTU4-3 in order with the same character, if possible. (If you are planning to attend Winter Fantasy 2013 -- and we hope you are! -- then you will also want to try and play all three parts of the trilogy before that convention, for reasons that will soon become clear.)
A few more words about the Desolation series are probably in order, since the way we have described both the series as a whole and the individual adventures within the series has changed a bit over the past few months.
The Desolation series is a major, world-shaking plot arc for LFR that will include adventures in both 2012 and 2013. The series is organized into multiple Chapters, each of which may include multiple adventures within a single tier. Chapter 1 is for the Heroic tier; Chapter 2 is for the Paragon tier. These two Chapters are assumed to take place at roughly the same time in the campaign world, and we do not expect a player to be able to play both the Heroic tier Chapter 1 adventures and the Paragon tier Chapter 2 adventures with the same PC.
Chapter 1 includes a total of five Heroic tier adventures. The first four adventures can be played in any order; they explore individual events that are all important to the overall story, but that don't need to be experienced in any particular sequence. These four adventures are SPEC4-5 (which premiered at Gen Con), CORE4-3, CORE4-4, and CORE4-5. Chapter 1 concludes with the adventure CORE5-1, and we recommend that you try to play the first four parts before playing CORE5-1 if you can (but this is not required). CORE4-4 will be released soon after CORE4-3, in October. Our goal is to release CORE4-5 in November or December of 2012, and for CORE5-1 to premiere at Winter Fantasy 2013. There are (completely optional) bonus rewards that you can earn if you play three or more of the adventures in Chapter 1 with the same character.
Chapter 2 of the series is for Paragon tier characters. It begins with SPEC4-6 (which premiered at Gen Con). We aren't yet certain how many more adventures there will be in Chapter 2, but the next one won't be released until after Winter Fantasy 2013, so you can focus on playing the Chapter 1 adventures for now. (We'll have a lot more information about all our Winter Fantasy 2013 premiere adventures coming soon, and at Winter Fantasy we'll be announcing the first few months of our full-year 2013 release schedule. Rest assured that we are not scaling back LFR in any way despite the ongoing development of D&D Next -- the LFR plan for 2013 is full steam ahead!)
Hopefully that helps dispel any confusion about which adventures are part of the Desolation series and what the difference is between Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. Of course, as always, you can ask us any and all questions on the Community Forums. Thanks for your support of Living Forgotten Realms... and we hope you enjoy these new adventures!
Thursday, October 11, 2012, 2:47 AM
Two new adapted adventures are available for immediate download from livingforgottenrealms.com.
ADAP4-2 Stick in the Mud by Aeryn "Blackdirge" Rudel is the first chapter in the Chaos Scar Major Quest. This adventure appears in Dungeon issue 171. The LFR adaptations for the Chaos Scar adventures are located in Elturgard. The Scar was created by the cataclysmic events of the very first LFR Battle Interactive, ADCP2-1 The Paladins' Plague, in which the plagueland near the city of Elturel was transformed into a weapon of mass destruction. Thanks to the efforts of many heroes, the city was saved, but at great cost.
Adapted adventures set in the Chaos Scar can be played alongside the main Elturgard Story Area adventures (ELTU3-X and ELTU4-X) as the plots do not overlap. These adventures also contain special adventure hooks for characters who are members of one of the regional meta-organizations (the Order of Torm, the Dusk Talons, and the Lion's Den).
ADAP4-4 Warrens of the Stone Giant Thane by Christopher Perkins is the next chapter in the Paragon tier mega-series Against the Giants. (You'll need a copy of the published adventure from Dungeon issue 198.) This adaptation will put your Adventure Level 14 party to the test as you seek to fracture the alliance of evil giants threatening Waterdeep and the North.
Note that if you have not yet played the AL 12 adaptation of Steading of the Hill Giant Chief (ADAP4-3) you should consider playing that adventure first. Although you can play the four parts of Against the Giants in any order from a plot perspective and still complete the Major Quest, once your character has leveled out of a particular Adventure Level, you can't go back and play the earlier adventures if you missed them.
Full details about both of these adventures, along with the downloads, can be found on the LFR website at livingforgottenrealms.com.
Thanks, as always, for your support of Living Forgotten Realms!
Saturday, October 6, 2012, 9:51 PM
Beneath the streets of Waterdeep, a sinister dungeon awaits adventurers brave enough to face its perils. Created ages ago by the wizard Halaster, the sprawling dungeon is a lair for terrible monsters and ruthless villains. In the dark chambers, they hunger for victims and plot the downfall of those who dwell on the streets above. Who will unravel the twisting labyrinth to reveal its secrets, claim its treasures, and stop the foul machinations of the dungeon's denizens?
The LFR adaptation of the Halls of Undermountain sourcebook is now available for download from the LFR download site at livingforgottenrealms.com! Special thanks to co-author (and former LFR Global Admin) Shawn Merwin for taking the time to adapt this mega-adventure for Living Forgotten Realms.
Because of the size of the dungeon, we have broken the LFR adaptation into three parts. The published adventure was designed to take a party from level 1 to level 5, but the DM has some leeway to adapt as needed for tables of varying levels (as long as the table is legal for Adventure Level 2). The adaptation documents do not present updated stat blocks for multiple tiers.
Each of the three parts stands on its own; We recommend that you play them in order, starting with a brand-new level 1 character, but you can play them out of order, and you can bring existing characters (there's even a special plot hook for characters coming from the D&D Encounters season The Elder Elemental Eye). PCs that successfully complete all three parts of Halls of Undermountain are eligible for a special Major Quest award from an upcoming adventure.
The design of Halls of Undermountain is more open-ended than has traditionally been the case in published 4th Edition products, leaving many of the details up to the DM. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that an LFR DM will need to invest more preparation time than usual in order to run these adventures, even using the LFR adaptation documents. As with all LFR adapted adventures, you must have a copy of the published adventure. The DM will also need a copy of Monster Vault (or access to the D&D Compendium) as the adventure does not reprint statistics for creatures from that book.
ADAP4-7 Halls of Undermountain 1: Zarr's Invincible Army
by Shawn Merwin and Matt Sernett
A noblewoman fears that her nephew is lost on a fool's errand into the dreaded Undermountain, and she turns to a group of adventurers to rescue him. The first step is to make the entrance safe. A Living Forgotten Realms adventure set in Waterdeep and Undermountain for Adventure Level 2 (supports characters levels 1-5). We recommend that you allow at least 16 hours of playing time to complete this adventure (the equivalent of three to four standard LFR rounds).
ADAP4-8 Halls of Undermountain 2: Tombs of Dayan
by Shawn Merwin and Matt Sernett
A noblewoman fears that her nephew is lost on a fool's errand into the dreaded Undermountain, and she turns to a group of adventurers to rescue him. A clue to his whereabouts might be located in a section of the dungeon once used as tombs. A Living Forgotten Realms adventure set in Waterdeep and Undermountain for Adventure Level 2 (supports characters levels 1-5). We recommend that you allow at least 16 hours of playing time to complete this adventure (the equivalent of three to four standard LFR rounds).
ADAP4-9 Halls of Undermountain 3: Scaly Doom
by Shawn Merwin and Matt Sernett
A noblewoman fears that her nephew is lost on a fool's errand into the dreaded Undermountain, and she turns to a group of adventurers to rescue him. Between the adventurers and the final step in their search stands nothing short of a full-scale lizardfolk invasion. A Living Forgotten Realms adventure set in Waterdeep and Undermountain for Adventure Level 2 (supports characters levels 1-5). We recommend that you allow at least 16 hours of playing time to complete this adventure (the equivalent of three to four standard LFR rounds).
For those of you keeping score at home, if you start a brand-new level 1 character and play through all three of these adaptations, you can earn enough XP for that character to be 4th level, about 1 adventure away from 5th level, by the time you finish. You'll also enjoy about 40-50 hours of gaming and explore a significant portion of one of the most legendary dungeons in all Faerûn. Pick up a copy of Halls of Undermountain from your friendly local game store, download the adaptation documents from livingforgottenrealms.com, and may Halaster's home treat you kindly.