Since I’ve run the Dungeons & Dragons adventure, “Menace of the Icy Spire,” more than any other single adventure (not counting adventures run at conventions), it’s one of those adventures I like to return to periodically to check my progress in advancing my understanding of the Fourth Edition rules set.

I’d been preparing to run the adventure for a friend of mine via Skype this evening to get him acquainted with the rules system, and I decided to give the monsters of the encounter a once-over to see what had changed. Originally, the adventure was designed with five 2nd-level characters in mind, but I don’t think I’ve ever run it that way. I first adapted the adventure for solo play, and scaled it down to 1st level.

I’ve actually run the adventure more times as a solo game than anything else, and so I’ve been tweaking most of the monster roles and powers to reflect that. Monsters that were previously soldiers, brutes, and lurkers have changed to become skirmishers, artillery, and controllers. I’ve found my game-master style has changed over the years. I prefer simpler enemies, albeit with interesting tactical possibilities.

I revised the goblins this time through, changing out the “cutter” minions out for more interesting skirmishers with some powers inspired by the Essentials thief. I tweaked the “artillery” goblins similarly, and I significantly altered the “hexer” goblin to have simpler and more versatile leader/controller powers. They’re also less likely to surprise the adventuring party with a TPK (Total Party Kill). They’ll see it coming, instead.