Good news, folks! WOTC made a surprise move by offering the Keep on the Shadowfell and the quick-start rules that came with it for free. That’s right, free! Our group just played through the module and we had a grand ole’ time. That’s not to say the adventure is something spectacular, but it certainly isn’t boring. Expect classic D&D from top to bottom. They’ve even gone through and updated numerous encounters based on the year or so of feedback they’ve received from fans. Good on them!
While the setup isn’t anything new, the encounters are fun, including an early one where you face what will be looked upon in coming years as the Hogger of D&D. The biggest problem we had was that we could tell the design was done before the rules were finalized. Several encounters were less than challenging and seemed to follow a more 3E philosophy than 4E. That’s a really small criticism though, especially for what’s now a free product.
Our group spent around 8 session playing through the module, so if you’re looking for a short-term game that will give you a feel for the new D&D there’s no reason not to check it out. We had enough fun that everyone wanted to continue playing which has led to the homebrew campaign I’m running now. The group posted a lot about it while we were playing so if you’d like to compare your play experience to ours, just head over to the Spooky Outhouse forums. Warning, minor spoilers within that thread.
If the Keep leaves you frothing at the mouth, there’s plenty more free adventures over at the WOTC site. Dungeon magazine issues 155-158 are available for free in this archive. Use the quick-start rules and the pre-generated characters that came with the Keep or download the free Character Builder and make a character of any class from PHB I or PHB II up to level 3.
Seriously, with the free quick-start rules and the Character Builder you can have months worth of low-level D&D fun.
Man, between this and all the press that WOTC is getting from Penny Arcade, we might just see a brand new D&D renaissance! They should have done this months ago when the Penny Arcade podcasts were documenting their adventures within.
What are you waiting for? Go play!
If you liked what Lucias had to say, head on over to The Podge Cast where you can hear him jabberjaw about all manner of geeky things on a weekly basis.