I have a game group of myself (DM + a support cleric (N)PC), my wife and 2 boys. The kids are very young for dnd (10 and 6) but they are getting right into it and we're having a really good time ... but we're running out of content, the Starter Pack is almost done!

I'm looking for a 4e essentials adventure to fit the following requirements:

  • Suitable for a party of 4 adventurers who successfully navigated the starter set adventure.
  • Free or available to download with a DDI subscription.
  • Probably best to be set in Nentir Vale as I've mentioned Fallcrest etc a few times and it would be odd to suddenly jump off to Waterdeep! Happy to slot something from another campaign in if its a good fit.
  • Accessible to little kids. No significant adult themes please.
  • Campaign religion downplayed. While I am personally an atheist, we're downplaying the fictional religiosity of DnD, as the kids go to a Catholic school and I don't have the energy to deal with questions if the boys ever asked where Asmodean fit into the whole thing. For now we're keeping it nice and simple so adventures with heavily game-theistic themes are out. If I can easily redo the odd encounter that's fine, but an adventure whose major plot lines revolved around the pantheon is out for now.
  • Looking for a traditional dungeon setting. I bought basically everything 3D dungeon tiles make so if I can print a map and prop some generic dungeon walls onto it that would be great.
  • Some non-combat challenges and encounters would be great, the highlights of the game so far have been the dialogue with the young white dragon and the chess challenge. They need the standard combat encounters as the baseline but keen on including some RP or puzzle encounters too.

The Dungeon of the Ghost Tower - Dungeon 182

First and foremost kudos to WaxEagle for his answer which gave me the published adventures list accessible through D&D Insider w/ such info for level, setting, and html links. enter image description here The Dungeon of the Ghost Tower is an adventure for 5 2nd lvl heroes that will take them up to lvl 3 by the end of it.

Meeting your Requirements

  • The adventure is set in the Nentir Vale
  • The adventure contains skill challenges and puzzles for the party to solve.
  • The themes of the adventure could be adapted to be more kid friendly. I feel that zombies have acheieved such a cultural saturation that if played for laughs/handled in a they are just monsters manner that your sons could handle them.
  • While undead monsters mean that Divine power source PCs are more useful (Turn undead, etc.) they are not a requirement for beating the adventure nor do the ins-and-outs of the D&D pantheon play a major part of the story.
  • The encounter can reasonably be made to work for your party. (see below)

D&D encounters are all written for a 5 PC party, but yours is 4. Managing this number difference is fairly easy if you use the XP Budget Table. Simply subtract monsters until the XP budget for an encounter matches the appropriate amount for the party (and level of challenge you intend).

XP Budget Table

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you actually run this adventure @Joshua? If so, please add any description of how it actually played... \$\endgroup\$ – F. Randall Farmer Dec 23 '13 at 4:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ +100 Looking at this adventure, it uses tiles and lots of great old tropes. \$\endgroup\$ – F. Randall Farmer Dec 25 '13 at 9:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Excellent answer, in particular for directly addressing the stated requirements. We'll be using this recommendation. Thank you and well done :) \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Dec 29 '13 at 9:34

May I recommend the adventure "Prey for Smiley Bob"

enter image description here

It's first level, but add +1 to hit +1 armor class and +5 HP to the non-minion monsters and you're good to go for mechanics.

You might want to tone down the threat (goblins eating Halfling stew) but the main theme of rescuing a child-Halfling from goblins (that trained a formerly friendly) bear to capture them is a good fit. Bonus points if they rescue the bear as well!

I posted a play-through with photos from my 3D terrain one-shot over at WotC.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ That looks really quite good! Also you have excellent production values :) \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Dec 16 '13 at 0:25

You might also want to look at Some Assembly Required from Dungeon magazine #208 and available with your DDI subscription. It is a level 1-3 adventure set in Nentir Vale about a clan of kobolds under the control of a dragon brain in a jar. The brain is commanding the kobolds to construct a new body for it. There is one gruesome aspect at the start where a boy's murdered body is found in the town square, but you could tone that down by saying he was beaten up or changing the victim to an adult. The kobolds can be played as fairly comical, especially as they have trained giant weasels as pets and mounts, which is a wonderful image. There is also a fantastic combat encounter with the party and the kobolds in mine carts rolling down the tracks (a la Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom).

A fun one-off adventure is Owlbear Run from Dungeon #211. It is for levels 4-6. The adventurers enter a race through a forest where all the teams drive carts pulled by a trained owlbear.

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