So, what I’d like to hear from the community is what you think would make published adventures better. What areas are WotC adventures lacking in that could be improved? What makes a good adventure for you, and why are the published adventures so far not doing that for you?
If you want to just post some thoughts, that’s fine by me, and I’ll be eager to read them. However, if you REALLY want to be a superstar, when you talk about something that can be improved, give me an example of a WotCadventure that does that thing badly (or not at all), and an example of an adventure that does that well.
Unfortunately, I’ve not played any of the WotC-authored adventures for 4e, so I cannot cite chapter and verse as requested. That said, I doubt Mr. Thompson could go wrong by starting with a high-level review of how maps can be laid out and the flow of play that creates and allows.
If they really want to bring their A-game (and stealing Mr. Raggi’s brain isn’t an option) they can leap from that high-level of abstraction to a down-in-the-mud-and-the-blood-and-the-beer worm’s-eye-view of how mood and expectations are shaped from before a module is even purchased. It’s a bit long and content-rich, however, so I suggest you block off some time to follow all the links, have a nice cup of tea or an adult beverage of your choice handy, and read with an open mind ready and eager to have thoughts provoked.
From this point on, I can give vague suggestions based on what I’ve read. For instance, in H1: Keep on the Shadowfells, the game begins with a kobold ambush. There’s no thought given to how the players can avoid the ambush, ambush the ambushers, or the like, and it’s a nightmare for characters of the Defender role since it takes place in a wide-open field where the kobolds are free to move and “shift” all over the place. While I certainly won’t complain about challenging encounters, it’s usually not best to start things off with a frustrating encounter, and this one reads a bit like playing whack-a-mole while ants crawl up your leg, biting every inch of the way.
But again, I’ve not played it. Oddysey, wasn’t this the one you ran your crew through? Any thoughts?
Art by Francois Antoine Bossuet.