View Full Version : (4e) need help running the slaying stone : )

2010-08-06, 10:56 PM
So I am new to DM'ing, fairly new to 4e, and the rest of my group have only played a few games of d&d ha.

I've decided to run some of the published 4e modules so that myself and the group can get a good feel for the basic/generic elements of the edition. I looked at Keep on the Shadowfell and it didn't suite my tastes. The Slaying Stone, however, seems much more flavorful.

That being said, it is not a very straight forward adventure, which is good. The only problem here is that I am having trouble wrapping my head around the sandbox feel of it. I am reading all of the different variants/paths/decisions/encounters/options and I just can't seem to piece everything together in my head.

I am reading through the module and taking notes on my computer so that things are nicely laid out for quick reference when I play, but I just never know when to put what where! haha.

So for those of you who ran it, could you give me some suggestions to make it a little more clear cut and straight forward? Thanks : )

2010-08-07, 05:15 AM
Forgive me for mentioning this, because it sounds like you had your heart set on it, but the Slaying Stone is not a good module for a first time GM.

The major reason you already mentioned.. its a sandbox. As the GM you'll have to develop many of the fights, of which is a learning experience in and of itself. Thats something your players might not appreciate trying to battle through on their first time. Such an experience could rather drastically effect how you and your crew view the ruleset.

I suggest the Scales of War campaign. Theres lots of reference material on it for you and its world is something that can grow with your party's (and your own) skill. As you get more use to GMing games, you can add in your own unique flare and deviate off the path of the story whenever. But until you do, its not recommended to attempt a shifting world like the slaying stone.

Just my 2 cents.

PS: love the Princess Mononoke avatar. :P

2010-08-07, 04:24 PM
I'm not familiar with the specific module you're mentioning in the OP, but I am familiar with sandbox type campaigns / adventures. In fact, I tend to prefer them.

The best way to run a sandbox world is to present a few different quest options to your characters, and run with whichever one they pick.

I often have a major quest, that significantly changes the world, and a few minor quests that have only minor effects in the short term.

Even if your characters pick a series of actions that aren't that important to major plot development, the rest of the world around them can still be changing. Various good and evil forces can, and should, still push their own agendas along.

Here's an example:

Let's say your characters choose to pick berries for an old lady :smalltongue:, instead of following up on rumors involving bandits on the local road close to town.

When they get back from their berry picking, they might find that the whole village is now clamoring for support from the local militia, which is run by an indecisive young man, who, you can decide, will ultimately choose not to send troops against the bandits.

At that point, seeing the villagers' concern, the players might choose to still ignore the issue, and go off on another random quest. Since you have the right to move the bandit story along, even without the players being involved, you could decide that a group of villagers have taken matters into their own hands, and ended up getting themselves killed... which leads to another event, and so on.

[Edit addition]

So in terms of technique, I tend to think through several different player options for a given quest. This takes a good bit of time and energy, of course.

Sandbox games don't tend to survive very well on spontaneous decision making on the DM's part, in my opinion.