D&D 4E Long time 4e player DMing it for the first time (in Eberron obviously)

Bolares

Hero
So I've been playing a 4e campaign for some years now (currently a level 9 assault swordmage and loving my teleportation combos). My DM recently expressed that he would love to have the opportunity to play a 4e game, as he is stuck in the forever DM side of things in 4e. So I volunteered, with the condition of playing in Eberron (I am obssessed with the setting). I have a lot of experience DMing 5e, and some experience with pathfinder 2e (DMed 2 sessions of kingmaker).
My question is, are there any tips more seasoned 4e DMs have to someone with my experience levels? Wich books do you recommend for me to read? Are there any online tools that facilitate the DMs job in 4e? Did any of you have experiences playing 4e in Eberron that you'd like to share?(I'm going to use the lore from 5e because I like the small changes made and because it was the first Eberron book translated to Brazilian Portuguese, so my players can read it too). We will play it in person but I will have my tablet and laptop with my when playing.
 

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I'm currently running a 4e campaign in Eberron myself. There a couple Eberron adventures written for 4e that I've run before, the intro adventure in the campaign setting book and Seekers of the Ashen Crown, and I think both are pretty good if that's something you're looking for. The former in particular is a great intro to the setting and to the 4e system, should any new players be in this campaign. SotAC is on the linear end, but it has some really solid setpieces, and I had a lot of fun with it. In terms of making adjustments for 4e specifically, the one thing I want to make sure you're aware of is that by default, dragonmarks are feats that can be taken by any race. I would decide ahead of time whether you want to keep that, and if so, whether you want to adjust the setting for it or at least think about what it would mean socially if the pixie in your party suddenly has a Mark of Making on her face.

For other stuff, in case you weren't aware, they changed the math for monsters starting in the Dark Sun book and Monster Manual 3. If you've ever heard anyone complain that 4e fights just go on forever against damage sponge enemies that can heal themselves, those people were playing with the older math. It doesn't matter much at low levels, but the difference becomes more notable as the game goes on (both those published Eberron adventures are low level and use the old math, but I felt like it didn't slow things down enough to bother trying to update it). So one option is to only stick to newer monster books. The other is that if you want to use older monsters, update them to mm3 math, which actually isn't too hard because of one simple resource: MM3 on a Business card. That math also makes it super easy to level a monster up or down to suit your party.

The other thing I will say about adventure design is that 4e works best when fights are cool setpieces. Do not make a dungeon with a dozen rooms of goblins that don't really threaten the party. If you want them to have to deal with getting through easy to defeat mooks, use a skill challenge until they hit something that makes an interesting and challenging fight. Also don't be afraid to drop fights from published adventures for the sake of pacing. SotAC has several sections where it makes suggestions like "if you're players haven't reached level x, here's some fights with random muggers and the like that can get them that xp." I ran none of those and just leveled up the players when the adventure wanted them leveled. It worked much better.

I will also note that fans have preserved some digital tools, but as they use copywritten text, I probably can't link them here.
 

Bolares

Hero
I'm currently running a 4e campaign in Eberron myself. There a couple Eberron adventures written for 4e that I've run before, the intro adventure in the campaign setting book and Seekers of the Ashen Crown, and I think both are pretty good if that's something you're looking for. The former in particular is a great intro to the setting and to the 4e system, should any new players be in this campaign. SotAC is on the linear end, but it has some really solid setpieces, and I had a lot of fun with it. In terms of making adjustments for 4e specifically, the one thing I want to make sure you're aware of is that by default, dragonmarks are feats that can be taken by any race. I would decide ahead of time whether you want to keep that, and if so, whether you want to adjust the setting for it or at least think about what it would mean socially if the pixie in your party suddenly has a Mark of Making on her face.

For other stuff, in case you weren't aware, they changed the math for monsters starting in the Dark Sun book and Monster Manual 3. If you've ever heard anyone complain that 4e fights just go on forever against damage sponge enemies that can heal themselves, those people were playing with the older math. It doesn't matter much at low levels, but the difference becomes more notable as the game goes on (both those published Eberron adventures are low level and use the old math, but I felt like it didn't slow things down enough to bother trying to update it). So one option is to only stick to newer monster books. The other is that if you want to use older monsters, update them to mm3 math, which actually isn't too hard because of one simple resource: MM3 on a Business card. That math also makes it super easy to level a monster up or down to suit your party.

The other thing I will say about adventure design is that 4e works best when fights are cool setpieces. Do not make a dungeon with a dozen rooms of goblins that don't really threaten the party. If you want them to have to deal with getting through easy to defeat mooks, use a skill challenge until they hit something that makes an interesting and challenging fight. Also don't be afraid to drop fights from published adventures for the sake of pacing. SotAC has several sections where it makes suggestions like "if you're players haven't reached level x, here's some fights with random muggers and the like that can get them that xp." I ran none of those and just leveled up the players when the adventure wanted them leveled. It worked much better.

I will also note that fans have preserved some digital tools, but as they use copywritten text, I probably can't link them here.
Thanks!

I've already hear about the lack of pre-requisites for dragonmarks, yeah, that's not gonna fly at my table. The monster math thing seems super usefool.
 

Voadam

Legend
I will second using the later monsters with revised math, the Monster Vault is an essentials redo of the monster manual with better math and mechanics, I would use that as my core monster base.

The essentials descriptions of the rules are pretty good as well according to my memories, so going from Heroes of the Fallen Kingdoms or whatever the essentials PH books were is a good base.

For a quick primer on rules and such the free rules packet PDF that goes with Keep on the Shadowfell was great, it was my entry into 4e and worked well (at least it did once WotC got around to actually offering it as a PDF a couple years into 4e).
 

Voadam

Legend
Also don't be afraid to have some fights be against just a couple minions so there is some quick combat for pacing that actually uses the combat mechanics (something abstracting out combat to a skill challenge can leave unsatisfied).

4e baseline fights are designed to be big action movie fight scenes with things going back and forth and be rollicking and take time (Captain America elevator fight scene). Some fights though should be quick and done where the PCs can look bad ass and win with one shots. For the latter a few (not the baseline encounter budget of four or five per PC) minions is perfect.
 

I will second using the later monsters with revised math, the Monster Vault is an essentials redo of the monster manual with better math and mechanics, I would use that as my core monster base.

The essentials descriptions of the rules are pretty good as well according to my memories, so going from Heroes of the Fallen Kingdoms or whatever the essentials PH books were is a good base.

For a quick primer on rules and such the free rules packet PDF that goes with Keep on the Shadowfell was great, it was my entry into 4e and worked well (at least it did once WotC got around to actually offering it as a PDF a couple years into 4e).
Oh yeah, during the Essentials days, they published the Rules Compendium, which was just the final revised rules for the game. That's an essential reference. One thing I should note with that is that over the course of its life, 4e got a LOT of errata. Like there was a pdf they released of all errata for all books in the edition, and it's over 150 pages long. 27 of those pages are changes for the Player's Handbook. Not joking. So while things like how the action economy works, Keep on the Shadowfell is probably fine. For nitty gritty stuff, I'd check the Rules Compendium. I haven't looked at KotS in a while, but I do remember that the difficulty chart is gives is completely different from later sources (and I think even the original DMG if I recall correctly).

If you're using the Portable Compendium tool, that should have everything already updated for all errata.
 

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