This adventure is for beginning characters, with a bias toward fighters.
Player characters should start Deep in the Vale at 1st level with zero
experience points. As they complete each encounter, give them the
experience points they earned immediately instead of waiting until the
adventure is over. Ideally, characters should gain a level or two (and the
hit points and other benefits those levels add) before the characters wrap
up the adventure.
All of the player characters should have been raised in the Vale.
The pleasant valley is a peaceful place where few problems bother the
inhabitants. Twenty to thirty years ago, there were wars against orcs and
goblins; oldsters of the village still tell stories about those times. But
now, life is easy for the people of the Vale—or it was. That is about to
This adventure is not about acquiring gold and magical treasure. Deep
in the Vale presents many situations where fighting is the characters’ best
option, but there are many others where characters will be smart to do
some roleplaying before resorting to their weapons. At all times, reinforce
the idea that the characters’ decisions are affecting the story and that what
they do is affecting the lives of people in the Vale.
Events of Deep in the Vale should be spread across many days or even
weeks. The villains of this adventure aren’t launching an all-out offensive
against the Vale; they are raiding, seizing opportunities, and acting on
impulse rather than following some master plan.
Give players time to think about and discuss the situation between
encounters and to make plans for how they should meet the threat. Since
days may be passing between encounters, you don’t need to put time
pressure on players. Keep the game moving, but don’t push players to
make rapid decisions or rash judgments unless the immediate situation
calls for it. Between encounters, let players enjoy the usually idyllic life of
the Vale. The blacksmith is going to make horseshoes, shields, weapons,
and tools. Hunters are going to track deer in the woods to the north. The
rhythms of life should continue in the Vale, no matter what problems
come to the villagers.
At the end of all of these encounters, the Baron over this territory
could summon the characters to his castle (in the nearest large town,
about 20 miles away) to receive a reward and to be offered a new
quest dealing with a problem the Baron is having in another part of
This adventure doesn't have any pending change requests.