Thoughts on my 4E anniversary, E1 and Paragon levels


Eternal Optimist
I wonder how many others are working up to their one year anniversary? We'll hit a year on July 22 and can't wait.

My group was a bunch of old school players who hadn't played pen and paper in years(decades). It's been a great run and keeps getting better.

We're fast approaching paragon(this seems pretty standard, one year/tier)

How often do you play? We've been on a (mostly) fortnightly schedule with sessions of about 4 hours duration on average.

Recently, the Sunday campaign has begun meeting at midday (rather than 2 pm), and this has done wonders for how much actual gaming we get in a session: we normally waste 1-2 hours just chatting before the session starts, so that means that we're actually getting 4 hours of play before we have to break up to go home for our various dinners.


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First Post
I think we are right at our 1-year anniversary playing the H1-E3 series of adventures (set in Faerun) almost every Saturday night. My group is about to level to 13 (but I give group exp..makes tracking stuff easier for all and no one is way ahead or behind) in the middle of P1. I've had a real stable group of players (5 of the normal 6 players have been there from the start), and it seems they are having fun.

Highlights include:
H1: Pre-made PC's all killed by Irontooth(not at the caves--they wisely ran away, but did not go all the way back to town and the kobolds chased them down). So I ran the new PC's (same players) thru 'Escape from Sembia' to get them back to the action.
H2: I sprinkled the bodies of the defeated Pre-made characters throughout the module (as sacrifices/prisoners etc)..Only the halfling rogue survived (they did have to rescure him on the way in)
H3: Not getting the Dragon hoard because they negotiated..also, Kalarel returns as a lich (my addition). Towards the end of the module, I got a 32" LCD tv and started using it for maps (using maptools) as I got real tired of drawing maps out.
P1: Using some foreshadowing of the next mod, a red comet appears in the sky..when it 'explodes' I let the party rebuild their PC's (lots of new books out..tho only one player changed his character class...went from Warlord to Sorcerer).

I like 4th edition alot..It is easy to DM and to play. I've always tried to DM in previous editions, but always failed miserably in one way or another..this has been the longest I've DM'd a group ever..and we are having fun with it (and that is the main goal, isn't it?)

Jan van Leyden

We've not quite reached our anniversary, but as the first group to start will not have another session unteil that date, this might qualify. :)

Some players were irritated with the shift of in-combat bookkeping from the DM to them: "It feels like a game of accounting!"

Some players are irritated by the change in role for certain classes: "Why do the rogue and the ranger do so much more damage than my fighter?"

Some players were irritated by the emphasis on group tactics, one former player of mine still misses his freedom to do whatever he pleases, regardless of the group.

Some players were missing the short fights ("You see two kobolds"), but they now acknowledge that fights in 4e are more meaningful, dramatic and colourful.

Rituals are a complete miss with my players; I've yet to see one ritual performed.

The dying rule actually scares my players. After the first PC death I've handed them the Dragon article on death and dying, which really has changed things. When a character goes down, we enter a realy dramatic scene.

As DM I enjoy the more dynamic fights, the power of the DDI tools (CB and Compendium) and the easy on the fly scaling of encounters.

The lack of rules for roleplaying is actually a boon, IMHO. Gone are the days where a player's roleplaying just added a bonus to a skill role, the skill value being more important than the roleplaying. Now it's either just roleplaying or the roleplaying is part of a skill challenge, in which the player's acting can earn him a success regardless of dice rolls.

Ah, skill challenges! I wonder what this child will look like when it has grown up. I love how characters can avoid combat by tackling a skill challenge. I love how characters have to resort to combat anyway when they've blown a skill challenge. I'm sure that this subsystem will see a lot of development in the coming years.

Concerning the adventures published by WotC, I can hardly say anything as the group plaing the HPE-series is only close to the second level of the Keep of the Shadowfell. Just from reading the books I see that they way adventures are implemented ist still being devloped.

All in all: Happy Anniversary!


Today, it's been a year for us. We couldn't get the group together on the 6th, as I wanted, so we had to wait for the 9th :)

We had run the beta version collected here at ENworld for a couple of months, so there was already some familiarity with the system. Or rather with the parts of the system we knew.

Starting up 4e in June, I was already a big fan, and I had high expectations. My players were very positive as well.

Now, 12 months later it's much the same. I am still a huge fan, and so are most of my players. One of them is so-so; he feels it's a bit video-gamey at times, and the fact that everyone has spells annoys him (he plays the wizard). Oddly enough he was the same guy who quit our 3.x group towards the end, because he couldn't stand the game anymore, especially at higher level.

Anyway, 12 months later, and they are about to hit level 16. Lots of deaths in the campaign, although gaining access to Raise Dead at level 10 (I put it off for a while, didn't know if I wanted to allow it) has helped, so no new characters since then though.

It has definitely been (for me) the best campaign I have ever run. I have seen my players grow from egoists to real team players, and I have seen their characters grow from nobodies to nobles, to real mover and shakers that take a part in the big decisions made in the campaign world. The heroic-paragon-epic division and mentality has really helped me as a DM clarify their roles in the world for them. It's been nothing short of awesome.

ATM they are stuck in an ancient valley locked in a time-loop that resets every 6 hours. They are there to close a Far Realms rift that was threatening their lands and income (it was spilling out in one of their most profitable mines). But once they get out, they will be facing the growing army of the Aspect of Yeenoghu, which they incidentally released from his prison in the Shadowfell (in my version of KotS). So they will be in charge of a large part of the armies of their country/citystate, because after all, they are the Swords of Drahar, twice saviors of the city.

This war is of course nothing but a prelude to the epic levels, where they will realise that they have the opportunity to topple the current pantheon and reinstate the true gods (or perhaps one/some of themselves). For the first time ever, I feel highlevel play is manageable and the PP's and ED's are great for incorporating into the story of the world and of the players.

All in all, it's just great. Rituals are used a lot and everybody chips in for the casting of most rituals, and there is usually at least 1 skill challenge per session, and aside from very few misses, those have been great as well. As I said, this has been the most fun I have had DM'ing in a very very long time and according to our evaluations, my players have a lot of fun as well - Yes even the guy who isn't a rabid fanboy ;)

I am so looking forward to the next 12 months.

Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition Starter Box

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