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5E SKT: Bryn Shander, Goldenfields, or Triboar?

Jack Hooligan

Explorer
I'm going to be running SKT for two groups (one doing 1-5 in LMoP, the other via SKT) and the two will join up in Chapter 2. Looking over the three, I'm leaning toward Triboar and Bryn Shander, but I'm curious what experience others have had with this chapter of the campaign.

Which town had the best Giant encounter?
Which was the most interesting for role-playing opportunities?
Which is the easier one to run?
Which lead to the best adventures for Chapter 3?

It may be that not one of these is the best for all areas, so a recommendation based on an overall summary is fine.
 

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Bitbrain

Black Lives Matter
Personally, I think Triboar.

For best results though, insert the goblin-flinging ballista-ogres into the Fire Giant’s ranks. Those guys were hilarious.
 

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
To some degree, I think the answer depends on how you want to play SKT.

In my version, I made the following changes: 1) I replaced Imryth with the Zhentarim 2) I cut the fetch-quest with the barbarian mounds 3) I played though ALL the giant lairs. With that in mind, this is what I suggest:

Goldenfields.

In no particular order, here's why I recommend Goldenfields:
  • It's a farm-fortress the size of Manhattan, which is just plain cool.
  • Whether you're transitioning from LMoP or kicking off with Nightstone, Goldenfields is the closest geographically, so your players won't be asking "why are we doing this again?"
  • It's near Waterdeep, so players can take a detour that allows you to dial up the factions and politics in play throughout the North.
  • If it's threatened, the food supply of Waterdeep is threatened, making the stakes of the adventure immediately clear.
  • It's close to Grudd Haug, so players who defend Goldenfields can then immediately go on the offensive against the hill giants.
Once the players defeat the hill giants, they can be directed to Waterdeep to claim their reward. In Waterdeep, they learn that other types of giants are also on the rampage. From there, you can guide them to whatever giant lairs you wish.
 
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Eltab

Hero
Whichever group of giants is following their "metal detector" offers a way to "Critical Hit" the encounter: if you steal their gadget, the giants will stop trashing the town and chase you (to get it back).
This can lead to a monologue scene by the boss, trying to assert authority over the pesky little folk, to give the PCs a clue to the real nature of the problem.

Mix these together to get more than just a knock-down-drag-out fight at the city wall with Round Two when the impromptu "Dig Here" bell rings.
 

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