D&D 4E Opinions on good 1st level 4e adventure

JeffB

Legend
Going to be running a game again soon for the "kids" group (16-17 yo), and there will be 1 or 2 new players, along with 2 experienced players. I will likely give the newbies a pc power level equivalent to a "companion character" ala dmg2 so as to not overwhelm them with choices at first.

The experienced players have been through KOTS, the first few acts of The Reavers, the FRCG adventure, as well as some of the GG4e adventures. Any recco's from WOTC proper? Print or Dungeon Mag? Not looking for any adventure paths, something self contained, and basic.

Using Essentials (HotFL only) and my own spin on The Nentir Vale, if that matters, but not worried about other setting specific adventures.
 

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Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition for Dummies had a short adventure set in Nentir Vale. You do some Investigation in town then find a farmhouse where Boss Du Jour has holed up. The big secret (and tough monster) is in the basement. I haven't played it through, but enjoyed the concept enough to make a copy of the chapter.
 
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Pobman

Explorer
How many sessions will you guys be playing for? I ran a one off session of 4E for about 4.5 hours using The Radiant Vessel of Thesk by Shawn Merwin, which can be found at the Living Forgotten Realms Archive. I used monster stats from Threats to the Nentir Vale as replacements for the monsters in the adventure as the adventure was released very early on in 4E's life.

The group are taksed with going to Thesk to find a vessel of great power. We roleplayed for about 2 hours with the players gradually uncovering what had been going on and finding where they needed to go. then the last 2 hours were the three fights in the dungeon to get the object. They all had a LOT of fun and keep asking me when we are going to paly again, which - given 2 of them have only played 1E, one was brand new to D&D in general and the other two were my wife who has lots of 4E experience and another person who seemed to have some experience with different editions of D&D - was not the reaction I was expecting.
 

Dungeon of the Ghost Tower (Dungeon # 182, September 2010) -- which is the follow-up to the Essential Red Box 'choose your own adventure' character generation. It's a nice little self-contained dungeon with some puzzles, some (fairly easy) combat, and a suitable boss monster. Probably too much to get through in one session, but easy enough to cut some content by walling off certain areas.

I can recommend a variety of Living Forgotten Realms (LFR) adventures; The Radiant Vessel of Thesk which was just recommended is indeed a good one. All of these are designed to be completed in one session (4-5 hours). Obviously, they all take place in the Realms but most of them could be plopped down wherever.

[sblock=LFR level 1 recommendations]
CORE1-3 Sense of Wonder - PCs are literally summoned by a cleric of Gond (gnomish god of crafts / artifice) to investigate a lost temple that has surfaced. Has a pretty fun puzzle, if you like that sort of thing.

CORE1-13 The Fate of Camp 13 - Not one, not two, but three different factions the PCs can ally with or oppose re: the titular camp. Could be some lessons here for younger players on hearing all sides of a story before jumping to conclusions.

CORM1-1 The Black Knight of Arabel -- Combats are *way* too easy and skill challenge is ultra cheesy, but the overall tone of this adventure is superb. Good Guy knight is in disguise as Bad Guy (so, again, younger players could learn to do some investigation before the bashing) for... reasons. Can easily swap in updated monsters from Essentials to make the combats more interesting.

(Hmm, years 3-4 were kind of a wasteland, nothing I'd recommend there.)

SPEC5-1 Morthac's Mansion -- Officially a 'special' which is more difficult (i.e. higher XP budget used to build combats), so you will have to judge how this will play with your group. Not really tied to anything critical so you can reflavor the reason the PCs are on the mission to the mansion. Bonus (or drawback), all takes place on the same map, from one of the poster map packs. Features some exploration / puzzle elements which I enjoyed.

SPEC5-3 What Distant Skies -- See above re: 'special' designation. This one actually is pretty difficult. Tied into a convoluted storyline involving sky pirates, so you'll have to do some work to extract out the relevant parts. Full disclosure: I am listed a co-author on this (although Chad Brown did 90% of the work).[/sblock]
 


Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
If your group is not trying for DPR King candidate status, LFR module AGLA1-1 (forgot the title) features one encounter where some pixies come out of the woodland and challenge the PCs: "Tell us a story!" See how your players react !
 

JeffB

Legend
Excellent suggestions folks. Please keep them coming if you have any ideas.

As for sessions...Im thinking 2 maybe 3 four-ish hour sessions. Hopefully the newcomers will get hooked with a quick and exciting first adventure success (assuming they do succeed).
 

If you're looking for something that can get them hooked and leave room for long term play, I highly recommend Reavers of Harkenwold, the adventure that comes with the DM's Kit. You won't be able to complete it in 2-3 sessions but you will get to see how good it is.
 

JeffB

Legend
If you're looking for something that can get them hooked and leave room for long term play, I highly recommend Reavers of Harkenwold, the adventure that comes with the DM's Kit. You won't be able to complete it in 2-3 sessions but you will get to see how good it is.

I ran a big part of Reavers previously with 2 of the players. Otherwise I would go with that.
 

I ran a big part of Reavers previously with 2 of the players. Otherwise I would go with that.

Run the parts you didn't run yet. :)

The cleanup operation at the end was some of the most fun my group had. They particularly enjoyed being attacked by the tiefling assassin.

Ah, masochistic players, gotta love 'em.
 


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