dd2Good 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.

2 thoughts on “The Wizard Sleeve: Try 4E For Free!

  1. I agree. Should’ve been done months ago. 🙂

    I suspect this move is totally unrelated to their ‘other’ PDF moves of late.

    All that said, check out this adventure, and if you like, it, pick up a copy from your FLGS – there are a number of poster maps and such that are worth having for certain battles.

    I’m *really* hoping to do a Return To Northmoor-style treatment of this during our season break. Here’s to hoping I have time!!!


  2. You may have noticed that they have improved the module from the original published version.

    Minor Spoiler ahead:

    One of the more obvious changes is the addition of a spectral version of the the main bad dude, earlier in the story, to give the players a taste of what who is the big bad guy.

    Also I have heard that the treasure has been improved, and a few encounters have been tweaked.

    All in all pretty dang good for free. Too bad I have already DM’ed my group through it.


    Oh and Tim, I can’t wait for a more Northmoor!

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