Red Hand of Doom 4.0


First Post
Any play update?

I'm a fairly new DM and am thinking of running this in 4E myself, but like an earlier poster think the campaign would nicely cover the Heroic tier, starting out at L1 with a bit of foreshadowing to give the PCs and players ties to NPCs and locations, so they have an actual reason to stand in front of an invasion.
The main storywould probably start at 3rd or 4th level, winning the campaign would take you up to Paragon tier. It just seems the sort of epic story arc endpoint the Tiers are set up for. Thoughts?

So, that said, I like the PDFs so far, and hoping for some post-play revisions perhaps?

Good work.

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First Post
Vraath Keep can be a lot trickier in 4e than in 3e - combats take more rounds and your resources are more encounter-based so pulling down multiple encounters is easy and more dangerous in that situation.

If I ran it again, I think I'd spread things out a bit and add an effective second floor to divide things up.


First Post
Hmm, that's a good point. The Manticore doesn't join unless provoked- did your PCs attack it? It could be off hunting, comes back with a bloody bullock in its claws (and drops it on the PCs...) Koth could show more of an inclination to save his own hide? Stick the Worg stables in another building?


First Post
Hey guys, just an update on my play so far.

My party is now in the Lower Fane of Tiamat, and should be finishing the module next week.

Some notes on how things went:

My party had 6-7 players for most sessions during this part. They had fun during the initial hobgoblin ambush, although it was perhaps too similar to the kobold ambushes in Keep on the Shadowfell, which we had played recently. The woods and Vraath Keep weren't too much of a problem. The manticore never joined the combat, but just the threat of it enhanced the situation. The party failed to negotiate anything with Old Wracklegnaw, and then stormed the bridge at Skull Gorge. That was a tough fight, but they made it. They scouted the size of the army and really seemed to be enjoying the idea of fighting against an army.

Part 2 went fairly well. The party meta-gamed their assault on the Ruins of Rhest, insisting on fighting lizardmen until they had hit level 8. When they got to the ruins, some things went well and some things... went poorly. The individual encounters went well enough, but the party triggered too many of them at once. Then they took a short rest and triggered too many again. They fled back to Starsong Hill before they could finish off Wyrmlord Saarvith or Regiatrix. That night, the Dragon terrorized the village. When they were returning to confront him, I had Saarvith and Regiatrix confront them in the middle of the swamp, as the party was on skiffs. The PCs killed off Saarvith, but the encounter ended in essentially a TPK. To keep the adventure going, I had to say that Killiar Arrowswift pulled them out of the swamp, and that the elves performed a Raise Dead ritual on them.

In part 3, I was down to 4 players, as two had gone back to college. The players defeated Varinthian, and then mostly avoided Stormcaller and her crew, sneaking through the Ghostlord's lair and confronting him directly. Despite some argument, the party capitulated and gave over the phylactery. In return, the Ghostlord wiped out most of the hobgoblins and handed over Stormcaller. The party tried to interrogate her, and she lied her little head off. They decided to turn her over to the lord in Brindol.

In part 4, cautious of further TPKs on my 4-player party, I scaled some of the encounters back a touch. The party really enjoyed themselves, negotiating the battle plans, taking out the red dragon, and defending the Dawn Way. The confronted Scather, and fought for a little bit until he tried to escape, which they foiled in a chase sequence skill challenge. For the climactic battle against General Kharn, I had Stormcaller join in, escaped from jail. Despite the difficultly, the battle was extremely fun, and probably a high point for the module.

For part 4, I used a few of the maps from the "City of Peril" map pack, which I think the players enjoyed.

So far, part 5 has been a bit patchy. It's been hard to top the end of part 4, and the players are feeling their motivations lagging as it becomes clear that they're just in a large dungeon crawl. Tyragun at the beginning was extremely tough, so I didn't dare toss in the escaped Regiatrix. The fight against Laryssa, the hag became overly grueling, as she first locked two of the PCs into the pantry and summoned some guards. Then, later, as the guards went down, she landed her Wave of Sleep and Dream Haunting powers against the rogue. I see this is being debated in the rules forum, but that combination basically looks like a slow death with no chance of reprieve. That struck me as a little harsh, so I allowed one of the other characters to wake the rogue up with a Heal check.

I'm eager to see how the fight against the High Wyrmlord and Aspect of Tiamat turns out. I'll update the PDF with some errors I've noticed and a few tweak soon.

Overall, my enthusiasm for the module has waxed and waned. Some parts of it have an extremely 3e feel and I wish I had done more to break it out of that mold. I still feel that the Ruins of Rhest, and to a lesser degree, Vraath Keep are problematic in the 4e paradigm, as joining two battles together with no rest in between seems to raise the difficultly much higher in 4e than 3e.

I also feel that some of the battles, particularly in part 3 and 5, the most "dungeon"-y parts, are a little lacking in focus. There's not much of an objective, other than "fight these guys because they're here". If I was committing a lot more time into a conversion, I would work to make more of the battles have other objective than just killing your enemies. I would also try to make sure that in the battles that do explicitly have such objectives, like Skull Gorge Bridge or the Streets of Blood, that the objectives are more prominent and clearly worth devoting time in battle to.

Anyhow, thanks for the complements and feedback, and like I said, I'll post a revised PDF sometime next week.


That sounds awesome. I'm running Lost City of Barakus and then Red Hand of Doom for my 3.5 group, and they are right at the tail end of LCoB. I'm going back to school, so my prep time is down, but I've loved 4E, so I'm going back and forth on whether or not to go to 4E. This thread makes it so I only have to worry about the story changes ;-)

I read one of the designer sites where they flopped Part 5 with Part 4 but having the Tiamat aspect escape and join up with the destruction at the end of Part 4, and your playtest report shows (even more) evidence to do so. Working out the little story kinks that you mentioned could give other parts the focus it needs to be awesome.

Thanks very much, and I look forward to the update, hopefully for when I convince my players to switch to 4e!


First Post
Ooh, swapping part 4 and 5 sounds interesting.

My group hasn't played much - they're about to hit the bridge. I've been pretty free with mixing things up. I hit a bit of a snag at Vraath Keep because they were really pulling encounters down on themselves and I'd set them up to not fight everything at once.

So with that in mind I've been splitting fights up a little more easily.

I have swapped part 4 & 5. Next session, my players will encounter Azaar Kul, I'm sure.

It has worked like a charm and I'm extremely happy about switching the order. The only thing I'm overly concerned about s that the party might defeat the Aspect before the climatic showdown in Brindol.

You know, there's a couple of old threads on RHoD where people are discussing switching part 4 & 5. Morrus did so, with great succes.

If there's any interest, I dig it up. Also, If there's interest, I can tell a bit about how I have done things.


First Post
i have large amounts of interest, in addition to the fact that this is an amazing thread and deserves to stay alive.

EDIT: And I wouldn't really let the PCs really have a say in the matter tbh. I mean its the end of the campaign, I wouldn't ever want to make something so cinematic and memorable become a cakewalk. I know some people would say the game is based around the PCs and they oughta to be able to do anything, but throwing a tiny deus ex machina in the near-climax wouldn't hurt. Just attack them for the first two rounds with both action points, completely nuking them, and then have the aspect realize what it needs to do and fly off :v

Then they'll be sufficiently scared when the time comes.
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Great Stuff

Was looking at converting this mod but this looks excellent. Being a stickler for continuity I am insistent on running this before Scales of War comes along to thanks to the OP for doing all this great work.


First Post
In commemoration of how awesome this thread is, I decided to share the RHoD campaign maps I've recently started on. So far I've only completed Skull Gorge, but I did just start on Friday. ;) Next up I'm going to do a two-story Vraath Keep since people seem to want to split up the encounters there for 4E. Eventually I'll also make counters for all the creatures/characters outlined in Beni's pdf, along with a lot of the battle maps for RHoD. Maybe then we'll have a complete super campaign anyone can drag and drop into their own game with little required effort.

EDIT: Tokens for this encounter are now attached at the bottom. And yes I did change Ozyrrendion into a wyvern because I made destroying the bridge into a combat skill challenge.

Anyway, here's Skull Gorge, made in dundjinni with some postwork & stylizing done in photoshop.

Full size Version on Megaupload

Preview (About half-size):



  • tokens - skull gorge.rar
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  • hobgoblin commander copy.jpg
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This is the thread where Eric Noah talks about switching part 4 & 5. It a great read.

The Adventure Log by Eric Noah isn't working for me either.

I will get back with a recap of my own campaign, where I've switched 4 & 5. It's working really well.
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the Jester

I'm in the middle of a RHoD campaign, but it's kind of disintegrating due to one player moving and another suddenly having a baby on the way. I was considering converting it over myself, but the party had contained a gnome illusionist, a druid and a monk... about the worst possible combination for conversion to 4e... :rolleyes:

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