The Setting

This post is for my players to reference easily.  I’m just setting up the location and so forth for our upcoming game.  As many readers might note, it’s just the starter setting suggested by the 4E Dungeon Master’s Guide, with a few variations made entirely to suit me.  (Anyone familiar with Keep on the Shadowfell, please don’t post any spoilers in the comments. It’s going to be new to them.)


The starting point for this adventure is Fallcrest.  Fallcrest is a town of about 500 people, counting outlying farms, situated on a bluff where trade goods on the river traffic have to be portaged, by hand or cart, up or down to avoid the waterfalls (see where they got the name?).  It’s also the crossroads of several major trade roads.  Woods, hills, fens, etc. are all within travel distance if you need them for character background.  The surrounding area is the Nentir Vale, named for the Nentir River that flows through.

About 200 years ago, the most recent human empire collapsed.  There followed about 100 years of chaos.  Since then, civilization has been making a slow comeback, though there is still no unifying empire or kingdom.  Fallcrest is positioned well for growth, due to the trade roads and major river, but civilization is only slowly returning at this point.  To the East is the Dwarven stronghold of Hammerfist (a slightly larger city, but mostly underground), to the Northwest is the small village of Winterhaven (where the first adventure will be).

The characters are going to start in Fallcrest.  The characters should all be about 16-20 years old, or their racial equivalent.  You probably grew up there, probably that’s how you know most of the other characters.  As children, the characters probably played together, since children tend to run with whoever is about their age, regardless of compatibility.  There was a guy there who would often tell stories of his travels in the tavern, filling the characters’ heads with tales of adventure (his name is Douven Staul).  Most of the characters probably would listen to him from time to time as children, whether they just went there, or had to sneak away to hear him, or whatever.  Notice I say “probably” in there a lot.  We can make exceptions to this for a character or two.

Since then, the characters have probably drifted apart somewhat, as the demands of low-civ society require able-bodied youths to start doing their occupation as soon as they are physically able.  The characters are not extraordinary – or at least don’t know it yet.  They are just youths in a semi-rural setting, mostly just beginning the occupations they will pursue for the rest of their lives (they think).  Adventure will be thrust upon them soon enough.


The following races are common to the area:  humans and halflings, some half-elves.  Dwarves from the East are present, Elves and Eladrin from the surrounding forest and fey lands also.  Tieflings are present but uncommon, and Dragonborn are very rare.  (That’s the core rulebook races taken care of).  Expanded rulebooks:  Gnomes, Goliath, Half-Orcs are acceptable.  I do not like Deva and Shifter.  Anything I haven’t mentioned is unacceptable (this is our starter game, we’re going as basic as possible).

Any classes from the PHB and PHB2 are acceptable.  I only like Monk from PHB3 (psionics gets a little more complex than I want for this first go-round).  No classes from other rulebooks will be accepted at this time.  The following are easy to fit into the scenario:  Paladin, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Ranger, Druid, Bard, Warden, Invoker.  I can think of ways to work in the following, off the top of my head: Barbarian, Shaman, Sorcerer, Warlock, Warlord, maybe Monk.  Anything else, we can probably work with.  My girlfriend has already decided on Cleric, so that one’s taken (she’s my girlfriend, like I’m going to tell her “no”…).


One Response to “The Setting”

  1. Kureigu Says:

    Sorcerers, especially wild sorcerers, are always easy to fit. “Holy Crap! I think I just made that frog explode!” Done. No explanation needed. If I play one, I might just use those 2 sentences as my entire sorcerous background. Of course, there will have to be some system in place to represent the learning curve of these new and unexplained powers, so…

    The wild sorcerer’s learnign curve:

    Level 1: All spells randomly cast using 1d20.
    1-7: At-Will 1 (Chaos Bolt, if known)
    8-12: At-Will 2
    13-17: At-Will 3
    18-19: Encounter 1 (if available)
    20: Daily 1 (if available)

    Level 2: Intended combat spell has a 50% chance of beng cast (Utility spell cast normally).
    Use above table if check fails

    Level 3: Intended combat spell has a 90% chance of being cast.
    1d20 if check fails:
    1-5: At-Will 1 (Chaos Bolt, if known)
    6-10: At-Will 2
    11-15: At-Will 3
    16-17: Encounter 1 (if available)
    18-19: Encounter 2 (if available)
    20: Daily 1 (if available)

    Level 4: Spells cast normally

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