[RPG] a good first heroic campaign for D&D 4e, levels 1-5


I'm a very experienced AD&D GM, and have run levels 1-5 in 4e: Red Box + Reavers of Harkenwold.
I want to start a new mixed-experience group (some 4e, some 3.5/Pathfinder, and no experience at all) group through levels 1-5 in 4e so that I have a large enough pool of players I know and trust to merge the groups to continue on a shared path through paragon.

So – I'd really prefer to used prepared content for this adventure, but not run the same modules I did for the other group, given that the parties will be mixing afterward and the last thing I want to hear is "Did you find the XXX? What? No? You got gipped!"

What is the best 1-5 Level adventure(s) you've run out there? I don't care if it is download, free, $$$, PDF, or purchasable online or at your FLGS. All I care about is did your group (which included newbies) have a good time and it didn't require more than an hour prep on your part per session.

*Feel free to suggest multi-module chains. I'm comfortable finding a way to glue good stuff together. Also, one of the reasons for the short prep requirements is I'm likely to build paper terrain for this adventure, so something with interesting visual elements is a big plus.

What is the best first adventure to run in D&D 4e? does not contain an answer to this question.

Best Answer

I think you'll want to go with the Chaos Scar series. This is a DDI set of adventures for low level characters that should get you through levels 1-5. It's not a campaign per se, more of a sandbox, but should be no problem to string together if you're an experienced DM. I ran some of it with my newbie group, before that group ended, I had planned to run all of it.

I started with the D&D Encounters Keep on the Borderlands adventure; however, the adventure as written is just combat encounter after combat encounter, so I stretched it out and chopped it up a bit. You may have to find it on ebay if you want a print copy, I ran mine from a PDF.

Interspersed in that adventure I ran other side adventures from the Chaos Scar series, of which there are 15 for levels 1-4, which you can find here (DDI Subscription Required): Chaos Scar

1A  Stick in the Mud  
1B  Den of the Slave-Takers  
1C  The Brothers Gray  
1D  Death in the Pincers  
1E  The Tainted Spiral  
1F  The Lost Library  
1G  A Chance Encounter  
1H  Eyes in the Forest  
1I  Elves of the Valley  
2A  Sliver's Call  
2B  The Shrine of Glass-Spire Forest  
2C  Dead by Dawn  
2D  The Hammer Falls  
3A  The Crawling Fane  
3B  The Splintered Spring  
4A  Glowstone Caverns

The characters were based out of Restwell Keep, which is detailed here (DDI Subscription Required)

The map of the Chaos Scar is great and can be found here (Free, as a .jpg)

There are two good resources for Chaos Scar info, both D&D Groups are old and outdated, but good info is here and here (Free)

I really liked the background of all the adventures that I ran and those that I read. I was hoping to use more of them but we stopped after 2 levels unfortunately. If I ever run another newb group I would probably use this series again.

After what's listed in the first link there are the following adventures:

 LVL Dungeon# Name 
- 4     178   The Crawling Fane      Chaos Scar   
- 4     180   The Pillar Of Eyes     Chaos Scar
- 4     182   Vanguard Tower         Chaos Scar
- 5     181   The Slaver's Stone     Chaos Scar
- 5-7   192   Scarred for Life       Chaos Scar
- 6     183   The Radiant Morn       Chaos Scar
- 6-8   193   Rumble in the Valley   Chaos Scar
- 7     184   Head in the Clouds     Chaos Scar
- 7     196   Reflections of Ruin    Chaos Scar
- 7-9   189   Scarblade              Chaos Scar
- 8-10  186   The Runecutter's Ruin  Chaos Scar
- 8-10  190   Pit of Delirium        Chaos Scar
- 8-10  197   Heart of the Scar      Chaos Scar

I hope this helps!