Over in Help! I am going to teach D&D4E to 7+ people
, I made a throw-away comment that I thought that H1 blows chunks. Before discussion about that eats johnzo's thread alive, I figured I'd start a new thread to discuss it. Disclaimer:
I only ran the encounters leading up to the waterfall, so I really can't say I've played this all the way through or anything.
So overall, H1 is a huge railroad, right? That's not even my main problem with it. My main issue is the presentation and organization of the book. I hate the way they separate the tactical encounters away from the encounter descriptions. I hate the way they separate places from the NPCs who are in those places.
When I was running it, I could not find anything. I had to flip constantly to figure out how a certain NPC should react to the PCs, then flip more to find out what the NPC's motives are, and so on. It's like they tried to be too clever and organized things in a really bizarre way.
The combat encounters themselves are fine. The town adventure left me cold. Why bother with a town and a town plot if you're just gonna railroad the PCs out of it as soon as possible? The whole thing felt superfluous. I suspect the town is supposed to be the PCs' "home base" but there's really not sufficient support for a new DM to make it so. Hell, even as a very experienced DM, I had a lot of trouble cobbling something useful out of the mess that is the description of that town.