I had an interesting time in walking through Sellwords for the first time.
My experience in DnD adventures is limited though I'm fairly well versed in the rules.
I'm not sure yet if it is good news or bad news but right off the bat I ran into lots of 'opportunities' for making decisions on the fly because of the inexperience, lack of rulings in 4.0 and less detail in the scenario.
So I wanted to share how the adventure starts off for someone with less experience.
1) A nice change which I actually laughed about was that I had not caught on that all of the WotC adventures so far had been done on maps with every nook and cranny done in square and rectangular areas. So it was a breath of fresh air to see some angles built into the Sellswords buildings and even the first alley is at a diagonal!
2) And what a change - this place IS cramped - Close Quarters are the rule. That will certainly provide some different challenges than I am used to.
- But, when I started walking through possibilities, I realized the rules challenge - It looks like it is single file walking through the alley. But what about all those half spaces that are open? I've had spaces with furniture covering half the space, small trees, etc. And you could always be in the square it just might be considered difficult terrain. In this case we actually have half of a square filled.
It seems that you could apply the squeeze rules to it, but that seems so strange when you have a full open square next to you. End story though it appears that this is simple single file walking which is a neat new concept to me as it strings everyone out.
- In area 1-2 with the Sentries on the ledge, the cramped quarters tossing a bit of a wrench at me again. There are 5 sentries but only 3 full squares for them to occupy. Well, there are 5 of those half squares there! Of course I can assume the extra guys are coming off the other roofs, or I can just assume they were keeping themselves squeezed in the half squares (avoiding the rain you know!).
- The following attack from the room got a bit switched up. The good news is that I had already read elsewhere that the ledge was 15' high. But, if I am reading the text correctly, the Sentries are supposed to attack anyone caught in the net with their Longspear from the ledge. But I believe wit the ledge at 15' that you can't reach anyone down below. So I ended up switching it to 10'.
- 4e kind of lumps falling and jumping down into the same rule, and so having the sentries jump down from 10-15' ends up causing them damage which seems a bit wacky. But I assumed that the Sentries, if their plan was to jump down, that they all would have some type of acrobatics training and be able to reduce that damage.
- Where to jump to? One wacky 4e rule of sorts that I had encountered previously but it was not such a challenge as it is here, is that you can't occupy the same space as an opponent. The example is that when you GRAb someone, you actually stay in your own space while the opponent stays in his. You never merge into one space.
So my previous experience was that I had someone jump down on top of an opponent. I had them deal damage like an attack, but then had him roll off into an adjacent space. So I figure I apply the same thing here, but it was fun to realize that due to the cramped space, that there may be no open spaces to jump into nor any open spaces to roll off into if they jump on top of the oppoenent.
In other words, as long as the good guys stay single file in the ally, the sentries may have no where to go.
End story, this was a very challenging start to an adventure (wish it had come later) and I'm glad I walked through it before rolling it out in a game.
The good news is that it is a fresh challenge where some of the players can't even take part in the early going because of the cramped area and being back down the ally when the fun starts.