Pages 20-38 of the Essentials Starter DM’s book describe a pretty big dungeoncrawl adventure, similar in scope, perhaps, to the group dungeoncrawl in the 1983 Mentzer Red Box DM’s Book. (By the way, the Mentzer adventure, like the modern one, also starts on page 4.)
So I have a question: let’s say that my friends and I create characters by using the Essentials choose-your-own-adventure. Which of us was really on the wagon with the dwarf, and which are just lackeys hired in town?
If only one character in the group completed the solo adventure and gained these quests, that’s all right: That character sought other adventurers to help complete the quests, and they all get to share in the reward. If all the characters went through the solo adventure, explain to the players that they were all on Traevus’s wagon, fighting the goblins separately, but they’ve come together to brave the goblin lair as a team.
Nicely done. I was thinking that it strained credibility that a team of adventurers came together in Nentir Vale, all driven in wagons by separate dwarves named Traevus, and all were attacked by goblins. In fact, though, the adventurers were all on the same wagon and just didn’t notice each other. PCs are notoriously self-centered.
If that still seems implausible to you, consider this: Aren’t you, in some ways, on Traevus’s wagon yourself, thinking you’re on a solo adventure but really surrounded by allies? Aren’t we all?
What? Is my Essentials commentary TOO PROFOUND for you?