Every year we have a bit of a reunion. Most of our gaming group met at university back in the early nineties. Since then we’ve spread out across the country and obviously we can’t all get together every week. So instead we try to have a full weekend of gaming every now and then, once or twice a year. Usually we meet up at Pete’s and we must be on about our 14th or 15th mini Con by now. This year we were down on numbers, and we played at Julio’s for once, so we tried something new. Usually we play 4 or 5 different games over the weekend, plus board games etc, and have rotating GMs. This time we devoted the whole of Saturday to D&D 4e.
I promised to put together and run the game a couple of weeks ago and I’d been really looking forward to it. Pete and Gary were coming down specially and Julio and Dan are stalwarts of my weekly 4e game down south. We’d have all day to play so could experiment a bit with the encounter structure and hopefully tell a complete storyin a day. Recently I’ve picked up Eberron and the lads had shown interest in it (in fact Dan has started up his own, very excellent, Eberron game). All I had to do was find a scenario that I could run from start to finish in a single day. Easier said than done! I asked the internet for help and took a few suggestions from Dungeon. It’s incredible that WotC don’t have an adventure search function, I wouldn’t have thought it too hard and I know others find it just as frustrating as me. Anyway my needs were specific enough that there weren’t a huge amount of contenders. I needed between 8 and 10 encounters (not all combat either). I didn’t mind doing abit of reskinning where necessary so background wasn’t an issue. I’d asked the guys to prep characters for level 7 as it’s a level I’m comfortable running for and it wouldn’t overwhelm the players with options.
Turns out there’s only been one adventure for 4e Eberron in Dungeon, and it’s level 7, but it’s twice as long as I wanted at 17 encounters. I think cutting half the encounters would have stripped the story to pieces, so I needed something else. I was recommended Havoc at Fort Dolor, a Dungeon adventure with 6 encounters and plenty of non combat opportunity to boot. It’s vaguely military in theme and the background doesn’t get in the way. A bonus (for me) was that it’s written by Shawn Merwin, an author I respect for his contributions to Dungeon Delve. Right then, decision made.
Two days before the Con and I have a change of mind. in the intervening time I’d been trawling Amazon for second hand copies of some of the 3e Eberron books, purely for research you understand. In amongst those I snapped up a couple of the adventures. It’s been a while since I’ve read any 3e adventures and to be honest I’d forgotten how much I like the format of them. They’re certainly more interesting read than the official 4e adventures, and as I read on I thought I would try my hand at converting them to the 4e rules. How hard could it be? I went with Whispers of the Vampires Blade by David Noonan, it looked like a great way to introduce the world to Eberron newbies.
So I had 48 hours to take a 3e adventure, in a setting designed for 3e, and turn it into a one day adventure for 4e with nothing more than a netbook and a handful of minis.