4E A good adventure to follow up Madness at Gardmore Abbey
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  1. #1

    A good adventure to follow up Madness at Gardmore Abbey

    Hope this is the correct forum for this...

    I'm preparing my next campaign Nentir Vale, and the idea is to play from lv.1 to 30. Of course Gardmore Abbey is one of the adventures I'm planning to play. However, now struggling to find a good paragon tier adventure (or set of adventures) to adapt to my campaign.

    So, if anyone can help me with recommendations, I'll really appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Sadly, I don't really know any "good out-the-box" paragon adventures... On the other hand, with some work, many heroic tier adventures can fit the bill very nicely.

    Suggestions
    The "Giant Series" - I'm not a fan... but it's by Chris, it covers the right levels, and... well those are the basis of this recommendation.

    Touch of Madness + Depths of Madness + Brink of Madness - dramatic changes are required to make this anything other than a prime example of how "not to use 4e". It is grindy as all-get-out. But if you convert good portions of the encounters into a skill challenge, or if you make the whole of the "strongholds" into one or two encounters (instead of 5+), then the story can be pretty cool. For this adventure to work, you really need to set up the story, and have the PCs interact with the NPCs before all the bad stuff happens.

    While these adventures are, IMO, the best examples of the bad presentation and focus of published 4e modules, there's a very cool adventure hidden in there. If you find yourself looking at these, I'd be more than happy to workshop it on the forums!

    Remains of the Empire - not only does it give an appropriate reward for paragon tier characters (flying "dragon" mounts!), it works beautifully when you add-in a relation with Dythan's Legion.

    There's a whole lot that can be built from this adventure (plus, I really like it on it's own!).

    I know this is an Heroic tier adventure, but upleveling is so easy...

    Lord of the White Field - This is a great module. Uplevel it to taste, and BAM! An awesome evening (or two) is in the works.

    The Dark Heart of Mithrendain - Requires a bit of work, but with 5-6 post-its worth of notes, should work well. If you're looking to bring-in Feywild elements, this one serves a very good "connector".

    Winter of the Witch - strong ties with the Nentir Vale built-in, will probably require some fiddling around with replacing some encounters with skill challenges, or combining encounters (as with, most published 4e modules...), as well as down-leveling. Has a "Paragon" feel in my eyes.

    Works awesome with some setup : a lot of place build with relations of the "winter faction", Prince of Frost, the witches in the northen Nentir Vale, the Raven Queen (and thus Orcus). Could make some awesome links with Crown of the Winter King, Mithrendain, Lord of the White Field, and even KotSF... !
    XP Zeromaru X gave XP for this post

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoutonRustique View Post
    Sadly, I don't really know any "good out-the-box" paragon adventures... On the other hand, with some work, many heroic tier adventures can fit the bill very nicely.

    Suggestions
    The "Giant Series" - I'm not a fan... but it's by Chris, it covers the right levels, and... well those are the basis of this recommendation.

    Touch of Madness + Depths of Madness + Brink of Madness - dramatic changes are required to make this anything other than a prime example of how "not to use 4e". It is grindy as all-get-out. But if you convert good portions of the encounters into a skill challenge, or if you make the whole of the "strongholds" into one or two encounters (instead of 5+), then the story can be pretty cool. For this adventure to work, you really need to set up the story, and have the PCs interact with the NPCs before all the bad stuff happens.

    While these adventures are, IMO, the best examples of the bad presentation and focus of published 4e modules, there's a very cool adventure hidden in there. If you find yourself looking at these, I'd be more than happy to workshop it on the forums!

    Remains of the Empire - not only does it give an appropriate reward for paragon tier characters (flying "dragon" mounts!), it works beautifully when you add-in a relation with Dythan's Legion.

    There's a whole lot that can be built from this adventure (plus, I really like it on it's own!).

    I know this is an Heroic tier adventure, but upleveling is so easy...

    Lord of the White Field - This is a great module. Uplevel it to taste, and BAM! An awesome evening (or two) is in the works.

    The Dark Heart of Mithrendain - Requires a bit of work, but with 5-6 post-its worth of notes, should work well. If you're looking to bring-in Feywild elements, this one serves a very good "connector".

    Winter of the Witch - strong ties with the Nentir Vale built-in, will probably require some fiddling around with replacing some encounters with skill challenges, or combining encounters (as with, most published 4e modules...), as well as down-leveling. Has a "Paragon" feel in my eyes.

    Works awesome with some setup : a lot of place build with relations of the "winter faction", Prince of Frost, the witches in the northen Nentir Vale, the Raven Queen (and thus Orcus). Could make some awesome links with Crown of the Winter King, Mithrendain, Lord of the White Field, and even KotSF... !
    I ran updated Giant series from Dragon after Gardmore - the players seemed to like it. That being said, it's loaded with non-minion giants, so you may be looking at some serious combat bloat to the campaign. I eventually ended up ad hoc handwaving encounters, as long as the players approached with clever tactics.
    XP MoutonRustique gave XP for this post

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by MoutonRustique View Post
    Sadly, I don't really know any "good out-the-box" paragon adventures... On the other hand, with some work, many heroic tier adventures can fit the bill very nicely.

    Suggestions
    The "Giant Series" - I'm not a fan... but it's by Chris, it covers the right levels, and... well those are the basis of this recommendation.

    Touch of Madness + Depths of Madness + Brink of Madness - dramatic changes are required to make this anything other than a prime example of how "not to use 4e". It is grindy as all-get-out. But if you convert good portions of the encounters into a skill challenge, or if you make the whole of the "strongholds" into one or two encounters (instead of 5+), then the story can be pretty cool. For this adventure to work, you really need to set up the story, and have the PCs interact with the NPCs before all the bad stuff happens.

    While these adventures are, IMO, the best examples of the bad presentation and focus of published 4e modules, there's a very cool adventure hidden in there. If you find yourself looking at these, I'd be more than happy to workshop it on the forums!

    Remains of the Empire - not only does it give an appropriate reward for paragon tier characters (flying "dragon" mounts!), it works beautifully when you add-in a relation with Dythan's Legion.

    There's a whole lot that can be built from this adventure (plus, I really like it on it's own!).

    I know this is an Heroic tier adventure, but upleveling is so easy...

    Lord of the White Field - This is a great module. Uplevel it to taste, and BAM! An awesome evening (or two) is in the works.

    The Dark Heart of Mithrendain - Requires a bit of work, but with 5-6 post-its worth of notes, should work well. If you're looking to bring-in Feywild elements, this one serves a very good "connector".

    Winter of the Witch - strong ties with the Nentir Vale built-in, will probably require some fiddling around with replacing some encounters with skill challenges, or combining encounters (as with, most published 4e modules...), as well as down-leveling. Has a "Paragon" feel in my eyes.

    Works awesome with some setup : a lot of place build with relations of the "winter faction", Prince of Frost, the witches in the northen Nentir Vale, the Raven Queen (and thus Orcus). Could make some awesome links with Crown of the Winter King, Mithrendain, Lord of the White Field, and even KotSF... !
    I'm searching for a more story-focused campaign, so stuff like Shadows of the Empire is really good (thanks for this suggestion!).

    I started the campaign with a combination of the Kobold Hall, Bad Day (that adventure that came with the comic) and tied the shadowplague stuff with the plot of Keep on the Shadowfell (a modified, less grindy version). By the end of KotS, my players were level 3 (halfway to 4).

    Then, I followed up with a up-leveled Reavers of Harkenwold and added stuff from the Inverness Castle Encounters adventure (mostly, the Abyssal Plague stuff and some background—ie. in my campaign the dwarf tried to establish the village and was killed by the Phantom Brigade and that stuff). I hope characters reach lv. 6 when we finish, so to start MaGA at the right levels. My idea is to follow the story in the Abyssal Plague plot, so the focus will be the guy that has the Voidharrow (the players are going to Gardmore to search for him). If the reach lv. 7, then maybe I have to level up the adventure a bit...

    So, I'm searching for ideas to follow up this type of campaign (fighting with the Voidharrow minions). Lord of the White Field seems to be a good idea if I relate the undead with the Plague.

    Are the Giant series related to Revenge of the Giants? And, talking about this, do you recommend RotG?

    I'm going to check the other adventures, btw!
    Last edited by Zeromaru X; Tuesday, 7th August, 2018 at 02:42 PM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeromaru X View Post
    I'm searching for a more story-focused campaign, so stuff like Shadows of the Empire is really good (thanks for this suggestion!).
    [...]

    So, I'm searching for ideas to follow up this type of campaign (fighting with the Voidharrow minions). Lord of the White Field seems to be a good idea if I relate the undead with the Plague.
    Going with the Voidharrow angle :

    The Elder Elemental Eye (dun 214) - obvious link is obvious. The theme fits if your looking for an outbreak of the Plague and/or want to use it as a form of red-herring with regards to who has control of the Plague at the moment.

    It would require some intense up-leveling (which may, or may not be an issue - this really depends on how you want your game to feel : does level 11+ really incur a shift or change, or is more continuous with what came before ? Either works, but they tend to need different things.)

    ... I can't say I have a great idea as to what to suggest. Most of the published modules I'm familiar with tend to be of the : "PCs are here, they are attacked, they go there, kill everything that moves, they won." variety...

    Perhaps you'd be better off deciding the kind of activity you want the party to engage in : defending a spot, escorting a someone, taking control of a spot, questing for information, obtain a mcguffin, ??? .

    From there, it's usually pretty easy to place actors, build a few challenges and encounters and then let the players loose to wreck all your plans to shreds!

    Are the Giant series related to Revenge of the Giants? And, talking about this, do you recommend RotG?
    I think they are related. I'm not 100%, but I think Revenge of the Giants is a compilation of these adventures - but I'm really not sure.

    If you can work in the Plague angle, having corrupted elementals, giants and such would fit very well with the Voidharrow angle - so yeah! If you can use them and wrap your story around and into them, that would probably work. (And save you boat-loads of work! )

    For instance, you could have the Voidharrow be a catalyst used to "bring back the giants" in a sense - which explains why they're being a pain now.

    If the Plague worked a bit differently on elemental creatures, you could use that to have an all new set of plague demons - with the boss giant having been corrupted in a manner similar to Vestapalk (as in the novels).

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by MoutonRustique View Post
    Perhaps you'd be better off deciding the kind of activity you want the party to engage in : defending a spot, escorting a someone, taking control of a spot, questing for information, obtain a mcguffin, ??? .
    Well, I'm not that good making my own adventures, that's why I rely on premade stuff. I'm good in twisting that premade stuff to my own ends, though. So, usually my campaigns tend to be different from the published materials. So, I really appreciate your suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoutonRustique View Post
    ... I can't say I have a great idea as to what to suggest. Most of the published modules I'm familiar with tend to be of the : "PCs are here, they are attacked, they go there, kill everything that moves, they won." variety...
    Yeah. Those kind of adventures are the ones I'm trying to avoid.

    Nentir Vale has really good material, but most of the released materials were made for the Heroic tier, with little to no support for Paragon or Epic tiers, and that's when I really got stuck. For instante, for me all the adventure hooks in Hammerfast are more suited for the Paragon tier (high-end Paragon by the time Calastryx is released), but the book is for the Heroic tier... what a waste.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoutonRustique View Post
    Going with the Voidharrow angle :

    The Elder Elemental Eye (dun 214) - obvious link is obvious. The theme fits if your looking for an outbreak of the Plague and/or want to use it as a form of red-herring with regards to who has control of the Plague at the moment.

    If the Plague worked a bit differently on elemental creatures, you could use that to have an all new set of plague demons - with the boss giant having been corrupted in a manner similar to Vestapalk (as in the novels).
    This is a really good idea! I can change the FR city for Fallcrest (I was struggling to find a way to incorporate Fallcrest in the campaign). Perhaps this adventure can happen immediately after Gardmore... or even, before Gardmore; Cartwright can be the true leader of the cult (so, I can up-level Gardmore to make the characters reach level 10 or even Paragon Tier).

    Mmmm now that I think about it, Vestapalk is featured in Threats to the Nentir Vale, and is in the Paragon tier. I think I can focus on him as the main villain for this tier (I will have to level up him a little bit). I can even make a relationship between the Greenscale tribe and the kobolds working for Kalarel in KotS.

  7. #7
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    You could also try the module Courts of the Shadow Fey. It was written mainly by Wolfgang Bauer. Its an Open Design module, so it was at least somewhat collaboratively developed. Its a level 12-15 adventure, and being rather an early 4e effort it probably could use being approached with a revisionist eye. I would say that the people who wrote it didn't ENTIRELY 'get' 4e they were still pretty clever and the story itself is quite solid.

    It could serve as an entree to either the Feywild or the Shadowfell (its a bit ambiguous as to which place the thing is actually set in, I don't think anyone was particularly trying to be canonical on that point). It would certainly serve as a way to establish and flesh out a version of the 'shadow court', even if you didn't stick strictly to the plot.

    It also introduces its own slightly oddball but useful 'social standing' system (IE your standing in the eyes of a group of VERY jaded and esoteric beings of semi-immortal stature, lets just say they have their own tastes).

    I'm not sure how hard this module is to find these days. It was available to supporters of the project at the time.
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