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.