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DDIA05 Storm King's Thunder: A Great Upheaveal (5e)
by Joseph F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2017 19:32:07

This book was awesome it was all there and everything for that part of the book. Yes it was just the frist quest! but Fun and great to start not players off. Play and enjoy an good leveling exp! Peace



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDIA05 Storm King's Thunder: A Great Upheaveal (5e)
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DDEX3-06 No Foolish Matter (5e)
by Jonathan F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2017 11:48:23

I ran this Two-Hour level 3 module with no prep time, so take that into consideration.

The theme is fun. But as someone that had to run last minute, I think I would have benefited from a block that said, "List the attractions, give the PCs time to explore [2 or 3] of them. Then have the Fools interaction."

There is one single combat that had to make the XP requirements, and it went with the (usually recommended) fewer more durable enemies, which can make things hairy for lower level PCs. I recommend other DMs use this calculus when deciding what strength to run it at:

  • Tak counts as 2 attacks
  • Thugs count as 1 each
  • Rats count as 1

If you have 3 PCs, even if they are over-leveled (so level 4), I would remove one thug so it is 4 to their 3 instead of 5 to their 3. Or reduce the Thug HP to 25 and Tak to 40.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-06 No Foolish Matter (5e)
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DDEX2-11 Oubliette of Fort Iron (5e)
by Jonathan F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2017 11:35:14

Very fun module to run.

I ran this module (along with DDEX3-06) on the fly because a table needed a module so I had zero prep, but it was very easy to fly through without planning.

I love Elisande and her goat. Two PCs had met her before, but one forgot due to raise dead related memory loss while the other was juggling panic and curiosity.

I appreciated the lighter combat nature of it (made things run a bit faster), but I identified a small flaw with the last encounter: the NPCs all have low hit point totals.

SPOILERS

. . . .

The sorcerer in the group had initiative and was able to catch the entire enemy group with a single lucky shatter (22 off of 3d8) before they could fully enter the chamber. But even if it was been an average roll (13.5), it would still have reduced the encounter to just one enemy with just a few hit points left.

If I ran this again, I would probably remove one of the Troggs from the encounter and instead give the main bad guy a strong NPC block (I think the acolyte who was the weakest enemy but also this group's leader).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-11 Oubliette of Fort Iron (5e)
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DDIA05 Storm King's Thunder: A Great Upheaveal (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2017 10:23:28

Very solid introductory adventure, even better than Death House in Season 4, which is saying something. Is clearly written. pacing is good, and the encounters are the right side of challenging, while keeping a lot of player agency - in Sections 2, 3 and 4, there are clear choices between fight or negotiate, and clear consequence to those decisions.

Completion times will vary - for us, it was about 6 hours, but I've seen 12 in other tables, with Section 3 of the adventure the most variable - it can be 15-minute negotiation, or a 6 hour dungeon crawl, depending on the PC choices.

Only minor unsatisfying thing is Zephyros initial appearance. A slightly better hook for him (like him coming to investigate the Nightstone, and then doing Commune with Other Plane to decide what to do next to make atonement with the small folk), would make the segway to Section 4 a little smoother and Zephyros feel less like an Uber/Lyft ride. Other thing is that if your players have played Lost Mines, the Goblin Caves here have some similar plot beats as the Cragmaw goblin caves in LMoP (e.g. traitorous goblin lieutenant).

Would have been nice if some of the store-run-game only certs (particularly for the Tressym familiar) were available as a separate purchase for home games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDIA05 Storm King's Thunder: A Great Upheaveal (5e)
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DDEX3-07 Herald of the Moon (5e)
by Adam G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2017 09:19:05

Herald of the Moon was really fun. I wish more 'time sensitive' mods would utilize features like the checklist on this mod. That was an easy 'time' element to keep track of. One issue I have with the older mods is that when they say 4 hour mod, its usually longer. There were parts that I had to rush the party through, as we were under a strict 4 hour time constraint. Other than that, the combat was fun, there was alot of roleplay opportunities, and it includes secret missions, which my party really wanted. It was a lot of fun to run, even though it was rushed towards the end.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-07 Herald of the Moon (5e)
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DDEX2-14 The Sword of Selfaril (5e)
by vasilie c. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/27/2017 11:27:32

This adventure is great. The players truly get a feeling they are changing the world around them by the end. I must say, though, that this adventure plays best if run immediately after "Mayhem in the Earthspur Mines". The two go perfectly together.

The NPCs the players must deal with are very interesting, the story is unique and feels epic, and the encounter in the middle of the sewers is really cool.

The final battle feels a bit anti-climactic to me (there is no big bad boss), and the villains the PCs have to face in the end are literally introduced just seconds brefore the fight. This means the PCs feel like they are just battling random enemies. I would have liked a more fleshed-out villain or truly epic fight (see "Hartkiller's Horn") to make for a more satisfying ending.

Overall, I would highly recommend this adventure. If you change the battle at the end I think your players will be much happier.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-14 The Sword of Selfaril (5e)
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DDEX2-04 Mayhem in the Earthspur Mines (5e)
by vasilie c. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/27/2017 11:19:36

This is in my top 5 favorite adventures for Adventure League. It feels epic, and if run properly has some amazing potential for really fun roleplaying in addition to the fun encounters. The only drawback I can think of is that it tends to run longer than the advertised 4 hours, taking up about 5 hours on average, or 6 if you really spend time fleshing out the NPCs.

* Spoilers **

The story takes the players from meeting with the city's head of clandestyne operations, to a grimy inn that hosts colliseum-style fights (to the death). From there, the PCs meet some of the city's underground players, a slimy and cocky fighter, and a cool dwarf gladiator. The gladitorial fights are really cool.

The story then expands into something of epic proportions, where the players have to brave a blizzard on their long journey into the mines, and they can stop at an inn, see gryphons flying, survive an avalanche, get attacked by Yetis, and confronting an army of dwarves.

The meeting of a dying dwarven king, getting involved in dwarven family affairs, and assisting a clan of dwarves in reclaiming their mine all expand the story and it leads to an awesome dungeon with truly interesting visuals and combats (the Boulette chase is phenomenal).

Pro tip: Run this, followed by "Sword of Selfaril" for an even more epic quest that will end with the player truly feeling heroic and as if they made an impact in the world around them.

Finally, the magic item (dwarven belt), is a fantastic item that help any character.

TLDR; This adventure is what D&D is all about.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-04 Mayhem in the Earthspur Mines (5e)
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A0-A4: Against the Slave Lords (1e)
by Alvin B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2017 17:29:57

What a surprise! I have been preparing to run thi series for my campaign. I had already acquired original A1 and A2 copies when I saw this had become available. I just received it today and am really impressed. The added 2013 forwards from the original authors are a nice touch. Included are fan illustrations based on their adventures in the A series. I hope to see more complete 1ed modules presented this way in a single volume, please!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A0-A4: Against the Slave Lords (1e)
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DDEX1-04 Dues for the Dead (5e)
by Jonathan F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2017 12:26:44

Great module. 5/5 would run again.

The Good:

  • Straight forward plot.
  • Fun NPC tagalong.
  • Lots of Phlan lore. ("How is a 'funerary cult' different from a 'death cult'?" "One is obsessed with funerals, the other with death?")

The Bad:

  • Parties without access to radiant damage are going to have a bad time.
  • Big map, I had to shrink a few hallways and rooms to fit it on my big battlemat.


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-04 Dues for the Dead (5e)
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DDAL05-17 Hartkiller's Horn (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2017 16:18:34

I really wanted this to be a 5/5 module, this season has been filled with fantastic modules and after running the Tier 1 season finale I had high hopes but after reading through this module and listening to other DMs who have run it and recorded their games it is obvious that the module fails in several areas. Thankfully, I haven't run it yet, and I plan on making modifications to fix the obvious issues I've found so far to the extent that Adventure’s League allows me to.

SPOILERS: The players are confronted with their Kobiashi Maru situation, they cannot possibly defeat Jarl Ryndolg who has come to destroy/enslave the Hartsvale and instead the players find themselves investigating a beast that Ryndolg has summoned which turns out to be Hartkiller himself(ancient good-aligned giant who still wishes to see giants take control of worldly affairs through force if necessary), the players are ambushed along the way but the combat should be relatively easy at this point and aside from some environmental factors all the monsters have likely been faced before. The players have some interesting role-playing choices at this point which help shape the world of Toril depending on what they do with Hartkiller and whether they survive the side-quest he gives them. From here the module splits off into several paths and there is no easy way to list/review them all here without copy/pasting the module itself.

PROS: 1) Role-Playing: this module features roleplaying opportunities that allow the players to feel like they have truly arrived as the king and SEER basically beg them to help save the town. Always nice to prop the players up a little just before...

2) Surprise Boss Battle: there is an optional boss battle in this module (although I figure most players will probably choose to fight it rather than not) that is not expected and it's placement in the module makes it extremely difficult because veteran players will be trying to conserve their resources for what they believe will be an epic battle and one or two of them could outright die before the party realizes they need to ‘fire everything’.

CONS: 1) The Final Battle has a 50/50 chance of being mainly box test: You still get a final battle; it’s just with a frost giant lieutenant and a hobgoblin devastator who haven’t been mentioned in the season story arc so far as I can recall which feels like a very cheap way to cap off a season compared with the tier 1 season finale which involved players facing waves and waves of giant themed enemies including a giant knight riding a mammoth. It is true that if you make certain role-playing choices you could end up fighting an epic final battle to finish the season off BUT, it is nowhere as difficult as fighting the Beast of Talos from earlier in the module, and doesn’t involve any special mechanics, environmental factors, or strategy that the players haven’t encountered before which feels very anticlimactic.

2) Lack of real consequences/failure story award: Yes, if you fail there is a chance that a population of 10,000 could perish but almost all of these modules this season revolved around SEER, HSING, and possibly 2 other NPCs. So I don’t really get why the players should be invested in the 10,000 people that they haven’t heard from before. Also, if you fail and the 10,000 people do die, there is no lasting effect on your character except whatever you decide to add to their personality from witnessing this ‘horror’.

3) Poor Magic Item Choice: A dagger of venom? Really? It takes an action just to activate the thing, the only saving grace is that it doesn’t take up an attunement slot.

4) Typos: To be fair, I’m sure this review has typos in it, but I’m not asking someone to pay for this review or use it to provide entertainment to a group of gamers.

SUMMARY: This module is the Tier 2 Finale for Season 6, and I wish it weren’t. In any other season this would be a 4/5 for me but because it’s supposed to be representative of a finale and then there’s a very good chance the party will completely bypass the Jarl who they’ve been undermining the entire season, because the 10,000 villagers are just numbers and not faces or NPCs that the party has interacted with before or become interested in, and because the party hears all season about these legendary horns/axes and then gets a dagger of venom as an award the best I can give this module is a 3. A lot of that 3 is due to the surprise boss battle which reminds me of Forgotten Traditions and tests whether the players and their characters have advanced enough to combat truly difficult foes.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-17 Hartkiller's Horn (5e)
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DDAL05-09 Durlag's Tomb (5e)
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2017 16:03:16

There are some solid traps here, and quite deadly if the party is not ready for Tier3 level of play. This mod continues it's prequle's journey into the Dwarven Pantheon, but I almost fear it will not stick, as it focuses on four different gods.

The mission plays well until the end fight- which tends to be either too easy, or too nasty, depending on the compsition of the party. The addition of the EE secret mission seems nonsensical, as thought it was forced into the mod.

While the author attempted to add flavor to the magic item, it is of too little practical value to make much of a splash on the play for the item, and a better secondary ability should have been chosen to keep this item away from Fai Chen's a bit longer.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-09 Durlag's Tomb (5e)
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DDEX2-10 Cloaks and Shadows (5e)
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2017 15:57:06

I have run this adventure many times, and played it nearly as many. It remains one of my favorite, and a favorite of others in my area.

Not only does it have an exceptionally useful magic item, the mystery that surrounds the entire mod is fun, and it quickly draws you into the web being cast by Littlewing (the antagonist.)

There are so many paths, with so many different memorable NPCs, you rarely play the mod the same way twice. It helps a DM make Mulmaster real, and there is little better that a mod can do, but to help the DM make the world come alive.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-10 Cloaks and Shadows (5e)
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DDAL05-08 Durlag's Tower (5e)
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2017 15:51:43

The first part of the adventure places most of the action outside, I would say Durlag's Land would be a better title. It has an interesting set of varied puzzles to be able to open the tower, and the fights are mostly quick and not particularly lethal.

The mod does a nice job introducing some of the dwarven gods, and it continues on with the lessons in the next mod- as Dieties are so important in FR, I am almost surprised it took this long.

I find the alternate treasure at the end....not compelling or interesting, and it's restrictions overly punishing, considering there are actual items which do what you get with much less downside.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-08 Durlag's Tower (5e)
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DDEX2 Elemental Evil Complete Bundle [BUNDLE]
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2017 15:44:37

Without a doubt, the best season AL has offered. The stories are compelling and it builds nicely on season 1. An excellent addition to any campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2 Elemental Evil Complete Bundle [BUNDLE]
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DDEX2-04 Mayhem in the Earthspur Mines (5e)
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2017 15:41:08

I actually see this mod as Sword of Selfaril part 1. It sets up the next important link in the chain so well, it makes the adventures seem thematic and actually planned.

The setting starts once again in Mulmaster, but quickly takes you to a group of new allies, and very deadly enemies. The Mines themselves are an elemental haven of a type, and continued digging there may bring riches, but the cost will be too high if the party does not help in time.

The layout is innovative, and the storyline compelling. It gives you a sense of place- like folks actually worked at the mine, rather than as an afterthought.

You could develop an entire campaign based around Mayhem and Selfaril. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-04 Mayhem in the Earthspur Mines (5e)
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