On Saturday, our adventuring party reached the second level of the Pyramid of Shadows. So far, we’ve collected two of three shards of an artifact and slain one of three manifestations of our only known antagonist in the pyramid. At least two of our characters are within a hair’s reach of eleventh level (and becoming paragon characters), so I’m feeling an urgent need to work on Escape From White Cliff.

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve trimmed down the encounters of the first area so that there are five, with the intent that the party hit either one or two milestones (depending on performance and necessity) before reaching their first short/extended rest. The first leg of the adventure is a combination of several skill challenges (obstacle course) and what amounts to an endurance test. They have no time to rest and heal between encounters.

I’ve also been working on the second leg of the adventure, which is another five or so encounters that pick up right after the characters get their first short/extended rest. As I’m starting to feel a greater need for urgency in designing this adventure, I’m starting to come up with more creative shortcuts I can take, and I’m also coming up with some interesting ideas for handling non-combat challenges. Ideas I hope to apply to other Fourth Edition games, particularly low-level and solo adventures.