I have been lurking the boards here at ENworld for a little while. I have found many valuable resources here for playing, DMing, and have enjoyed reading other groups experiences with this campaign in particular. I thought I would give back to the community by adding in my own experience with WotBS. I'll try and update this regularly as we have our sessions. One of my players makes things easy as he writes a session report and mails it out after each one so I will include it and add my own comments.

A little background of our group. Originally we started playing 4E with about 4 of us last year. 1 DM who was an experienced DM/player and two guys with experience in console/PC RPG/MMO but no table top experience. I have played table top games since I was a kid but nothing in 10 years. Immediately the two newbies fell in love and bought everything 4E related. We have an ample supply of source books, minis, dungeon tiles, and accessories. Later we added a few more players, some experienced some new. We played through the DM's "homebrew" on the fly campaign world which left much to be desired. Eventually the DM just couldn't provide enough "game" for us so I volunteered to take over and DM a campaign that would hopefully provide a little more that meets the players expectations.

I came across WotBS and read a few reviews and session reports and felt like this would do the game justice and bring some of what we were missing to the table. I felt I could add enough flair and excitement that would really grab the players attention and leave them wanting more.

Now mind you I haven't DMed anything in about 20 years, and my DM experience in the past was very limited and involved AD&D, Keep on the Borderlands and some Star Frontiers. I knew I would be rusty but I felt I could learn on the job! I began by prepping as best I could. I purchased the full War of the Burning Sky subscriptiion via this website. I downloaded all the available modules, encounter maps, visual aids, Players Guide and GM's Guide. I read through both guides and started getting familiar with the module. I ended up being a little rushed as we had just begun the Scales of War AP with our old DM after a 2 month hiatus, expecting him to be prepared for a new attempt and he fell flat on his face so the players were clamoring for more and I didn't want to lose the interest.

Immediately we scheduled to begin the campaign on the 27th of February. I had a week and a half to prep. I had everyone generate characters and forward them to me via their builder file. All in all I was going to DM a rather large group of 7 guys. However, history has proven that not all 7 can make every session so I figured on average I'd have 6 each week.

Kristov - Human Chaotic Wild Magic Sorceror -

Cheadle - Gnome Shaman -

Serasith - Dragonborn Warlord -

Erion - Human Wizard -

Trammorn - Dwarven Invoker -

Molokai - Goliath Warden -

Grull - Half Orc - Rogue -

I printed out the encounter maps and purchased a large foam poster board from Office Max. I prepped the first encounter or two by using push pins to secure the battle maps to the board which was placed in the center of our gaming table. I then covered sections of the map with black construction paper to act as a "fog of war". I prepicked all the minis I would use to represent the mobs in the encounters. I picked up the following items for the campaign:

Campaign Coins (a little expensive but awesome addition to the game)
1lb bag of acryllic gems (amazon) - I sorted in various shapes/colors to represent the types of gems and then made seperate bags to house the various values of gems the party could gain over the course of the adventure.
Paizo Weapon/Item/Treasure decks
little blue energy drink "mana potions"
I had a friend's wife make a dozen cloth draw string pouches.

With all this I prepared the treasure parcels by adding the appropriate coinage, generic items, and potions to a pouch with which I would use to hand out to the players to discover as they found them during the course of adventure. I wanted to get to the point where the players would use the campaign coins exclusively and not ever write down any coins/gems on their sheets. Anytime anything involved buying/selling/gaining/losing coins/gems we would have a physical exchange.

After prepping the encounters and treasure I came across a thread by another user where he created Monster Knowledge handouts. I printed all of them and have used them up to this point. I will address these later during the session reports.

To begin the adventure I decided to have each character receive a semi anonymous letter at their tavern/inn/home which requested their presence at the Poison Apple Pub. I wrote a similar letter to each character in MSWord using a fancy calligraphy font. I added a tid bit of something to each latter for each character to make it feel a little more personal. I printed each letter on copper parchment paper I picked up from OfficeMax. I then folded and sealed each letter using a Wax Seal. The seal was a symbol (Fluer De Lis) and then signed by "The Resistance". The letter stressed the importance of their participation and for them to be discrete. I then handed these out to each character to begin the campaign.

Next Post will be Session #1

I might come back and edit this post adding some pictures of the game table, coins, and things I have done.