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For my first experience as a DM, I'm taking the Kobold Hall adventure included in the first DMG, and repurposing it. The overall idea is to turn it from a 5 encounter delve to a "Level 1 to Level 2 adventure" (8 to 10 encounters, as I've read), to make it a bit less linear, if possible, and to adapt it to the updates that monsters got with the following books. I can use the monsters from the Monster Vault and the Reavers of Harkenwold adventure.

One of the modifications I planned was a simple skill challenge either at the beginning or the end of the adventure (spoilered in case any of my players get here)

the players have something stolen from them in the Fallcrest Market, by a member of the River Rats gang, and they have to chase him. If they succeed, they get their belongings back. If they fail at the challenge, they get to fight some thieves.

I will vary the skill challenge level depending on the player's level, of course.

What else could I do? I was thinking that I might add some more encounters, perhaps before actually getting to kobold hall. I'm open to suggestions or links.

for example, a fight with spiders and other simple monsters in the forest outside the hall if the players try to cut through the woods.

Ideally, I'd like the other encounters to not be all about kobolds, but I didn't find a way to put, say, goblins inside Kobold Hall and still respect the idea that the dragon at the end is siding with one band of kobolds and hasn't eaten these new critters.

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5 Answers 5

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Some suggestions:

  • Skill challenges: first, you could include a skill challenge to find the actual entrance to the dungeon, respectively navigate the woods without running into some critters. If the PCs succeed they find the entrance, if they fail they run into a kobold ambush/wolves/spiders/something and then find the entrance. Inside the dungeon you could use the tried and true way of just adding some more traps that require skill challenges to disarm, or you could come up with something else. Perhaps the kobolds have devised a mechanism of wires/ropes running along the walls/ceiling allowing them to remote control traps or portcullises or to communicate for long distances within the dungeon. The PCs would need to disable this mechanism to remove the tactical advantage from the kobolds.

  • Other monsters: possible additions are other creatures sometimes related with dragons like drakes or lizardfolk. Perhaps one of the kobolds is some sort of "tamer" and keeps an array of drakes around, or a lizardfolk legation from a not-so-far-away tribe has come to the hall trying to ally themselves with the dragon. Another option would be to include some undead - perhaps the kobolds have disturbed a burial chamber and some undead guardians have risen, attacking any creatures that enter the room on sight. We all know that the players could never resist the temptation of a closed door with a handful of dead kobolds in front of it and a warning scribbled on it in draconic. ;)

  • Extended dungeon: Kobold Hall may be bigger than originally depicted. Perhaps the kobolds have excavated some more rooms or they split up to occupy another nearby ruin/dungeon. So to finish the adventure the PCs would need to clear out either a much larger or two seperate locations.

[Edit] However considering that this is (if I read your question correctly) your first attempt at DMing, I'd suggesting sticking with simply expanding the dungeon and adding some new/related monsters in there. This is the most "cost-effective" way of adding more value to the adventure without making things much more complicated. [/Edit]

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I really like the ideas of a tamer, of the walled undead, and the skill challenge to find the entrance to the dungeon. Thanks! –  Adriano Varoli Piazza Feb 6 '11 at 18:18
    
@Adriano: sure. Logical consistency is something I'm struggling with quite often, especially when DMing the Scales of War adventure path. ;) Another way to add for example some creatures that are not related to the dragon/kobolds builds on the "digging too deep" stereotype. Perhaps the kobolds wanted to dig a well and accidentally dug into some cavern containing some fungi/aberrant creatures. They closed off the entrance to the room containing the shaft, hoping the monsters wouldn't break through. –  user660 Feb 6 '11 at 18:22
    
Yes, your 'locked undead' idea sounds very promising. I'm working on where in the dungeon it'd be best to add this, and what the encounter should be like in monsters and features. –  Adriano Varoli Piazza Feb 6 '11 at 20:55
    
@Adriano: iirc the map of the Kobold Hall is quite linear, and you'd - imho - definitively want to locate such an additional "side-trek" encounter in a room that's a little off the main route through the dungeon so that the PCs don't have to run through it but still bring it on themselves due to their curiosity. –  user660 Feb 6 '11 at 21:05
    
yes, indeed. I was thinking more of "after which encounter should I add the extra corridor". –  Adriano Varoli Piazza Feb 6 '11 at 21:27
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There's always Tucker's Kobolds.

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You could leave a letter from the iron circle about trying to recruit the kobolds into them.leading right into the reavers of harkenwold adventure. Alternatively, if you want a whole campaign, you could have the PCs accidentally trigger a ritual which begins to free a primordial/aberrant being/ demon prince/ evil god/ other ridiculously powerful enemy. The PCs could fight their way through the minions and all the way up to the evil they've unleashed.

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Some things I'm modifying:

Believability:

If the place was really a hall, an abandoned manor, the two rooms with coffins and traps don't make sense. I repurposed them into wine casks, cellars and storage rooms. I also reskinned the traps in one room, and I'm currently redefining the room with the rolling ball. Maybe I read wrong, but is that thing supposed to roll indefinitely? Was this Escher's house? In general, I want to make it more believable: this was a family's house, some years ago, not a tomb.

Tactical fighting:

I'm designing a big fight against minions: I want to throw at least 20, in waves, in one big room that provides tactical opportunities for everybody. Should be fun. The ideas in this question are proving useful.

Details to the story:

I'm adding some corpses and blood to the flavor. If the kobolds have been capturing cargo and taking prisoners, I'm going to have some sacrifices to Tiamat, and perhaps some incarcerated people to save.

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I would use this time to introduce your characters to each other (when said lower levels must not have been adventuring together as a group long) and how they react when a comrade falls in combat.

Also introducing a reoccurring character you would like to have in you campaign for me always work best when they always seem to show up in places. Now could be the time that a member eludes to world changing events (could be a agent of good recruiting. Could even take a step forward and have a power character in you world intro himself here saying how he is observing as these adventures will be stuff of legend, things like that make me want to DM, and play more.

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I didn't fully understand your answer ("lower levels lower levels"?), nor how it relates to Kobold Hall. The bit about reoccurring characters is nice, but not really that useful to build up a simple delve to an adventure. –  Adriano Varoli Piazza Feb 6 '11 at 22:18
    
Tried formatting a little different for you. Just sounds like different DMing styles as I would say when something is not actually happening big a could time to bring reoccurring characters. Could also have a different villans or 2 create and escape to become challenges for players. –  IrqJD Feb 6 '11 at 23:50
    
no, I still don't fully understand your answer or your comment. If you speak italian, french or spanish, could you translate your answer? I'd retype the text then to make it more understandable. –  Adriano Varoli Piazza Feb 8 '11 at 17:44
    
and about "different DM styles", this is, as I said, the first campaign I've DMd. I don't have a style yet. –  Adriano Varoli Piazza Feb 8 '11 at 17:45
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