View Full Version : [4E] Need advice on KotS Encounter (Spoilers)

2010-08-30, 10:49 AM
I'm DMing the Keep on the Shadowfell adventure for a small group and I want to deviate from one portion of it, but I'm having difficulty introducing it with respect to timing / story flow.

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Background: I'm DMing (and have a DMPC) and the players are my brother and our respective better halves. 5 characters (bro is playing 2 characters). The wives are new to gaming (one is a WoW player, and the other is totally new to D&D), while my bro and I have been playing D&D since 2e came out. Generally, we like the hack-n-slash style and don't mind some railroading. We like a good story and some character development, so long as it doesn't take away from some good-ol' combat. Generally, we like opportunites for our characters to be heroic (not the tier) and having clear objectives is our preferred method of playing. We're using the FR conversion material.

Here's the set-up (spoiler-ed for length and module tidbits):

The party has generally followed the outline of the adventure (one session so far). Forgive me, I'm at work and don't remember some names / places. Anyway, they saved the acolyte in the tavern, went to Winterhaven (fought kobolds on road), learned some stuff in town, went to kobold lair and defeated all the kobolds, and have now returned to town. Will probably head to the dragon burial site next at the request of wife of missing husband (Douven?). This is where we've left off. I've not pointed them to the keep yet, but will do so quickly enough.

There is an encounter in the adventure with Ninaran in the graveyard which occurs when the party first returns from the keep but before the end of the adventure. Nothing special, but having Lord Padraig whine about it from the walls of the town was very damsel-in-distress-ish. That part just rubs me the wrong way, and I came up with (in my mind) a beautiful fix for that and other minor issues I had. Basically, Ninaran, though working for Kalarel, wants a little extra money on the side, so she teams up with the bloodreavers(?) from the Thunderspire Labyrinth (which I'll be running after KotS) to capture much of the townsfolk while the adventurers are gone. The characters come back to the town and have to fight through skeletons / hobgoblins inside the town walls to save the town. Seems reasonable as it's just two guards at the gates and 10 paid soldiers in the whole town. This fixes the "go there and get more experience" feel of the encounter as written while giving the group a solid transition to the next adventure as opposed to a comment on a letter which just seems weak.

Here's my problem: When / how do I introduce this in the adventure time line? Ninaran would set this up after the characters leave town sometime, but they need something to call them back if they are at the keep. I personally prefer that they be 2nd level (they are 1st level now, 600 exp each at the moment) when it happens, but higher level is fine. That seems to rule out doing it while they are gone to the burial site (which made a day's travel each way). I also wanted this to happen after Barawin is captured / killed (which will take place right after the burial site encounter with the gnome who'll snitch on him). I could easily do it while they are gone to the keep, but I'm afraid that they'll have no reason to travel back to town. My best idea is to have the priestess of Chauntea contact them via a sending-type ritual on the night after their first day at the keep asking for help. They arrive early the next morning and have to fight through waves of hobs and skeletons to get to the inner gate where Padraig and some others are making their final stand.

I'm willing and able to move things around on the main map if an encounter on a road somewhere would make a good hook. The bloodreavers will be coming from the west. I'm mostly settled on the encounters in the town itself, but I'll take suggestions to spice it up some.

Thanks in advance on the help.