D&D 4E Adapting Scales of War to the Nentir Vale

Zeromaru X

Arkhosian scholar and coffee lover
While debating on this post, @Jacob Lewis suggested an idea: "Scales of War set in the Nentir Vale. Updated for post-MM3/Essentials updates." And the idea sparked my creativity!

You would say: "But Zero, Scales of War is already set in the Nentir Vale", and that would be both, technically right and technically wrong. While the adventure path is indeed set in a setting compatible with that of the Nentir Vale's worldview, it is not set in the Nentir Vale region proper. So, yes, my plan is to adapt this adventure path for the Nentir Vale region.

While reading the Rules Compendium to remind me myself of the rules of 4e, I have been thinking about the adaptation of the story as well. I came to the conclusion that converting this adventure path to any campaign setting is going to require a good deal of work. At the very least, it is going to require a considerable amount of taking notes. I have found in beginning this conversion, including reading ahead in the adventures, that certain sacrifices have to be made and that not everything will fit neatly.

For instance, in Rescue at Rivenroar there is mention of the old Red Hand of Doom, however the Red Hand has no real impact or importance in the following adventures. There is also no huge invasion of goblins in the story of the Nentir Vale; instead, the great invasion that destroyed the Nentir Vale in the past was that of the Bloodspear orc horde.​

So, it's worth to maintain the references to the Red Hand of Doom in this conversion? Or adapt it by integrating the Bloodspear orcs, that make more sense in the setting? Any insight in this matter would be appreciated. As are any ideas you may want to contribute to this project.

Anyways, this is the first post of the project. Next step: Rescue at Rivenroar.
 
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Make the Red Hand actually relevant. Make the bad guys either remnants of the original RH , or neo-RH bent on finishing what was started.

Later it can turn out the RH are a cats paw for the ultimate Scales bad guy. But RH need to be more prominent early on, else the callback is pointless.
 

thullgrim

Adventurer
The call back doesn’t matter if you didn’t play RHoD. Scales of War suffers from not having the bad guys know. Early enough.

You need a bigger settlement than Fallcrest to sub in for Overlook. I think I’d probably use Hammerfast. It reverses the geography but will still work.
 


Zeromaru X

Arkhosian scholar and coffee lover
Make the Red Hand actually relevant. Make the bad guys either remnants of the original RH , or neo-RH bent on finishing what was started.

Later it can turn out the RH are a cats paw for the ultimate Scales bad guy. But RH need to be more prominent early on, else the callback is pointless.

My issue with the Red Hand of Doom, is that it really doesn't matter for the adventure path, and that there is no really an important goblin invasion of the Nentir Vale - unless you take into account the goblins invading Kiris Dahn, but they have no impact on the rest of the Nentir Vale, at least not on the same level as the Bloodspear orcs.

I do agree with you that the initial villains should have more representation in the initial adventurers (Heroic tier). If we go with the Bloodspear orcs, we can easily merge them with the orc horde in Siege of Bordrin's Watch.

The adventures also have a lot of enemies that make no sense (such as some gnomes in Rescue at Rivenroar, that make absolutely no sense with the story...).

You need a bigger settlement than Fallcrest to sub in for Overlook. I think I’d probably use Hammerfast. It reverses the geography but will still work.

Yeah, I was thinking the same.
 



Zeromaru X

Arkhosian scholar and coffee lover
Now that we are thinking far into the future (?), what to do about Nefelus? Leave it as it is (a far away island) or change it to some town far from the Nentir Vale? (for example, the city of Therund).
 

Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
Glad to see someone picked up on this!

I propose the following changes for "Rescue at Rivenroar":
  1. Use Fallcrest for the party's home base. We know that the AP will eventually move the group away from their home base anyway. But the location is central to all points in the Vale, and it is well established in various published materials.
  2. Use the Daggerburg goblins. They are close enough to be a threat, but having them attack Fallcrest directly is a bold and alarming move. This should indicate that something big is going on, but no one knows what exactly. It also avoids overusing the orcs which have a bigger role in the next chapter, and in a different region.
  3. Use Kalton Manor for Rivenroar. The faction of goblins making a name for themselves decide to move into the old ruins, which is conveniently close enough to Fallcrest. It also boasts as having dungeons with secrets, which have never been expanded upon (at least, not to my knowledge).
And that is all you really need for a new foundation of the first adventure. All of these changes are mostly cosmetic, and won't interfere with any future developments. But everything fits right in with the established setting, and the conceptually with the proposed Adventure Path. Just need to tweak a few details suited for taste. The bigger obstacle (i.e. the fun part) is updating the mechanics and balance.
 

Zeromaru X

Arkhosian scholar and coffee lover
Use Fallcrest for the party's home base

This is a must. I feel that 4e really failed the Nentir Vale at not setting an adventure in its main town. While Hammerfast will be there for all the dwarfish things, Fallcrest must be the primary settlement.

Use the Daggerburg goblins.

My issue with the Daggerburg goblins is the same that with the Gorizbad/Kiris Dahn goblins: they are not as relevant to the Nentir Vale as the Red Hand was for the Elsir Vale. While keeping goblins would make the adaptation easy, it makes no sense, at least to me.
Use Kalton Manor for Rivenroar.

This is an excellent idea.
 

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