So we managed to finish KOTS today, and I must say, a good time was had by all. I’m also proud, because as a DM, I’ve finished my first module. Today we ran the last 3 encounters in the adventure, and I had a player die in the penultimate one. One of the berserkers walloped him with a crit that did a nasty 1d12+16 damage.
On to my thoughts about the module, from my NewbieDM © perspective.
We ran the module as a followup to the Kobold Hall adventure in the DMG, so we didn’t use the pregen characters that were included. My players and I are all fairly experienced D&D players anyways, so rolling up characters is essential for us.
As a DM, I felt the encounters were fairly easy to scale for more than 5 PC’s, and I feel that this is one of the strengths of 4th Ed. in general. I usually run 7-8 guys at the table, and it is a piece of cake to scale the encounters accounting for the added players. Also, the descriptions and tactics of each encounter were pretty well explained and designed, requiring minimal effort on my part to actually run it. I have issue with a few editing problems I found in the module, but those are easy to get around.
But with the good, comes the bad, and KOTS has plenty to criticize as well… The story is definitely not going to win any awards for its depth, and once you enter the Keep, the hack-n-slash fest takes over until the end. There are little roleplaying opportunities in this module for those players seeking an in depth RP’ing experience.
Also, the tie from KOTS to the next H series adventure is weak, and felt completely tacked on. Why bother? I don’t see what these adventures have anything to do with each other. H1-H3, a campaign it isn’t.
To summarize, as a DM, it was easy to run. As a player, I can see where all that fighting gets repetitive, but they did enjoy hitting 4th level there at the end…
Next for us comes a 4th Edition conversion of Mike Mearls’ ”Swords Through the Ice Gate”. I bought it years ago for 3.0 hoping to DM one day, but it never happened. It fits in perfectly with my Raven Queen vs. Orcus storyline campaign idea.
By the way, we play twice a month for 4 hours… That’s why we took so long finishing this thing…