Keep on the Shadowfell

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Keep on the Shadowfell
H1 Keep on the Shadowfell cover.jpg
Code H1
Rules required 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons
Character levels 1-3
Campaign setting Points of Light
Authors Bruce R. Cordell, Mike Mearls
First published 2008
Linked modules
H1 H2 H3

Keep on the Shadowfell is the first official product from the 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons line.[1] It is part one of a three-part series of adventures. It introduces a series of 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons settings called the Points of Light, a loosely connected and open-ended series of settings designed to allow modules' and Dungeon Masters' created materials to be seamlessly integrated into either a single, largely un-mapped fantasy world or a Dungeon Master custom-made setting. The adventure, written by Mike Mearls and Bruce R. Cordell, was published in 2008 by Wizards of the Coast. It is followed by the sequels Thunderspire Labyrinth and Pyramid of Shadows. The adventure is designed for characters of levels 1-3. Its module code, "H", stands for Heroic Tier.[1] This module is set in a region of the world called the Nentir Vale, details of which are given in the 4th edition Dungeon Master's Guide.


  • 16-page 4th Edition quick-start rules booklet, including five ready-to-play characters
  • 80-page adventure booklet
  • 3 large size, double-sided, full-color battle maps
  • 1 light cardboard portfolio


Kobold raiders are menacing the Nentir Vale village of Winterhaven. The player characters are ambushed by these kobolds when travelling to Winterhaven. When the player characters arrive at Winterhaven, they are asked to clean out the kobold nest. The player characters soon discover the kobolds are pawns of Kalarel, a priest of Orcus, Demon Prince of Undeath. Kalarel has a lair at a local ruined keep which contains a long-sealed rift to the Shadowfell, a plane of shadow and undeath. Kalarel plans to open this rift to connect the material world to Orcus' temple in the Shadowfell. This will unleash an army of undead upon the unsuspecting region. The player characters journey to the keep and descend through its crypts, resulting in a final climactic confrontation with Kalarel.


In April 2009, Wizards of the Coast released an updated PDF version of Keep on the Shadowfell. This updated version fixed many of the typographical errors throughout the module, revised the way that many encounters were presented and formatted, and re-tuned the difficulty of certain key sections by adding or subtracting monsters.[2] This PDF was made available to the public free of charge through Wizards' D&D Test Drive program.[3]

Publication history[edit]

The adventure was designed by Bruce R. Cordell and Mike Mearls and was first published in May 2008. Cover art was by William O'Connor, and interior art by Miguel Coimbra and Eric Deschamps.

Keep on the Shadowfell was the first adventure module for the "D&D" 4th Edition released to retail. It was released prior to the core 4th Edition rulebooks becoming available, and includes pre-generated characters and a condensed version of many of the game rules. For early adopters, Keep on the Shadowfell was the first opportunity to play an official D&D 4th Edition product.


The reviewer from the gaming magazine, Pyramid, commented: "This is the first scenario for the new edition, the first part of a campaign that will take the player characters from 1st through to 30th level, and the first product released for it. This makes it quite a significant item, but then its significance does not end there, for H1, Keep on the Shadowfell also includes the rules needed to play the scenario."[4]



  1. ^ a b "Keep on the Shadowfell Spotlight Interview". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  2. ^ "Eleven Foot Pole: Keep on the Shadowfell FREE". Greg Tannahill / Blogspot. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  3. ^ "D&D Test Drive". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  4. ^


External links[edit]