I had the chance to run a game last night using the new Essentials Red Box adventure. I ran the game over Gametable with some fine folks from the twitter #dnd community, and we used the pregens that Wizards of the Coast had made available for their Essentials Game Day.
The adventure is fairly easy to run (as should be for a starter set), and is made up of 7 encounters. Beware if you plan to run this though, as there is a way to avoid going through all the encounters and reaching the final boss, Kalare–oops, his cousin Malareth or something like that… and that’s the path that my players took.
They beat the adventure after just 3 encounters, which worked out nicely for me, since I was running it fairly late at night and was tired, but I wonder about the design of the adventure and leaving all those other encounters open to never having to be faced.
There were some goofy moments, like a white dragon inside a small room in the dungeon… the zombie hulk who instead of protecting the final necromancer dropped by way of a critical in the first round… but we had fun.
I did feel that the players breezed their way through the encounters, but overall everyone had a good time. I guess I can take the tokens out and put the box away, I can’t foresee when I’ll run it again, as the adventure is a little on the boring side (but fine for an intro I guess).
This isn’t a review of the box, I did that already. This is just to say that yes, I ran it, and yes it was fun for what it was.