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DDAL05-10 Giant Diplomacy (5e)
by Catullus C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/21/2018 01:56:09

Have played this module, but not Dm'd it. It's a good mod, although the puzzles in the middle lack theme with the rest. Some Fey riddles would have been more thematic than Tangram puzzles.

However, the feast and skill battle is truly great, and will become part of the PCs backstories.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-10 Giant Diplomacy (5e)
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DDAL05-10 Giant Diplomacy (5e)
by HUI J. T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2018 09:06:51

WARNING: Potential Spoilers ahead.

Now that I have both played and run this module I can safely say this one of my favorite T1s around.

Excellent roleplay opportunities and a bit of puzzle solving, plus the challenges themselves were enjoyed immensely by my players. Be sure to make a fanfare of it! Clap, laugh, use your announcer voice like a wrestle match. Gralm was great to roleplay. The adventure does not offer much guidance on how to handle the roleplay though, so prepare some lines/demmands in advance.

I would add that the tanagram can be very time consuming and a bit of a letdown to slog through all three. If time looks like an issue (and it likely will be), just give them one of the shapes (the house) and leave it at that.

Fights wise, the Hobgoblin has nearly murdered a PC in one hit both times I've seen this mod, especially if you bump him to captain. Be careful not to accidentally kill someone 15mins into the module. Final fight is cool, but I would swap out the halfling wizard's spell list to make him more threatening. Just mirror image makes him difficult to deal with - add magic missiles and blindness/deafness as debuffs and the party will see him as a real threat. For added fluff, I had it seem like he was animating the animals that were attacking them (mechanically, they were as in the stat-block, but this was a circus after all, and all these dolls are lying around...)

The only thing I dislike about the module was the incoherence of the plot/npcs. Oblivilish's motivations felt weak, as did the presence of the wizard. Make up your own reasons or try to tie it together better - for me, I made the halfling wizard an agent of Fruul looking to disrupt Gralm and pressure him into joining. The pixies were bribed with candy.

Ratings:

  • Combat: 6.5/10 (hobgoblin cap can accidentally murder a low-level T1, final fight against wizard can use some spicing up but has a lot of potential to be made interesting)
  • Puzzles: 7/10 (fey crossings and puzzles are interesting but can waste a lot of time)
  • Social: 9/10 (Gralm is a treat to play, the competition using strength and cons means even non-charisma characters feel valuable in negotiations)
  • Explore: 5/10 (Pretty linear approach, but feels quite organic anyway)


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-07 Chelimber's Descent (5e)
by HUI J. T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2018 09:04:16

WARNING: Potential Spoilers ahead.

I really wanted to like this module. The concept itself is grand - an ancient wizard's tower for researching the elements. Shrines to various gods with mini trials and rewards. Puzzles and riddles! All thematic.

The actual layout and execution was troublesome and a little frustrating. The maps were difficult to follow, even in the updated version, and it took me several readings to get the gist of what each floor was trying to do.

I made several modifications to it in what I hoped would help with coherence, especially with S8 rules:

  • Since few players will be faction aligned now, it might be expident to just give them the bag of holding at the start.
  • Instead of gold, I had SEER promise to sponsor food for Parnast during the winter in exchange for the books.
  • Nix the secret doors that let the players bypass the floor puzzles. They are kinda anticlimatic if found, and don't do anything if not.
  • For the shrines of the gods, try to project a sense of reverance. Else, your players are liable to be suspicious of them at best, and ignore them utterly at worst. Also be careful to seperate (narratively) the elemental shrine room from the gods of magic. My players ended up thinking they were all linked together and tried to take stuff from one shrine to burn at the other (not a bad idea, just does not seem to be the intent)
  • Since S8 means all the treasure traps don't tempt anyone anymore, I did some substitutions. The topaz gem for Azuth's staff now contains a key. This key allows a player to open the secret treasure room downstairs - however both acquiring the key -and- using the key trigger the shocking grasp trap. I reasoned it as a sort of plant by the Wizard of the Crags: thieves would take the key and try to use it since it looks like it works (and does!) but doing so triggers his tower's security.
  • The shrines don't reward anything -unless- the players are respectful. This means active respect, not simply ignoring the ink bottle (prayers, offerings...etc).
  • This includes the elemental gods. My players tried to brute force guess the earth shrine's material without even bothering to empty the bowl or make supplications, so they did not get the resistance. (I interpreted the resistance as just resistance to damage by the corresponding screen instead of the out-dated description)
  • Oghmas room was really confusing for my party, you might need better prompts for right/wrong answers. I had the book glow to indicate success. A counter/timer might have been helpful. I also changed it so the room shocks anyone who writes nonsense in the book, or tries to force their way through (everyone writing something in the book was the only way to get past. Conveniently, the rewarded tongues scroll is helpful for the gargoyles in the next room)
  • The riddles are -extremely- confusing as a number of posters here have noticed. I wasted a lot of time here and players got frustrated. Suggest adjustments to make it clearer. As compensation, make the players actually sing (IRL) to go through, or roll a performance check :P
  • The magmin trap was substituted with the griffin halloween encounter.
  • Speaking of the librarian, it seems odd that he does not have any spellcasting ability (even if he has sworn off it). I had planned on substituting him with a deathlock wight from Tome of Foes that would not cast magic unless pushed into a corner.
  • The wand of webs is just...there. I removed it and fluffed the TP/unlock as them finding valuable arcane schematics for a wand of webs. Alternatively, put it with the librarian.

Ratings:

  • Combat: 6/10 (very little combat until the end)
  • Puzzles: 7/10 (potential is there, but execution needs work)
  • Social: 5/10 (the gargoyles can be diplo'd but have no tension)
  • Explore: 6/10 (pretty linear rooms, some traps but needs work to make them relevant)


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-07 Chelimber's Descent (5e)
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DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
by HUI J. T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2018 08:32:45

WARNING: Potential Spoilers ahead.

The strength of this module is really in its NPCs. My players enjoyed talking with Sylas and Wallace, they spent a really long time gathering information and going around the town. If you are running the other modules leading up to Parnast under Siege, you should let them! This is one of the few modules where the party can explore the town and get a feel for Parnast in its default state. Once they are invested in the people and their plight, the hooks for the subsequent modules are a lot easier, gold or not.

I strongly suggest not letting the party split up to explore the forest, which is what mine did. This resulted in one group finding the stag and triggering everything while the other party was camping away, so half the group was a little bored while the bard talked things over with the fey prince. What worked well was playing up the danger and mysteriousness of the fey - I had the stag not leave tracks, the trees move omniously, critters staring at the party. Really helps establish the mood when they talk to Thornacius.

The final fight can be really fun but also confusing - I suggest a clean battle map and clearly marked obstacles as its really easy to lose track of where everyone is. I did not bother placing townsfolk on the map and just designated the entire region around the table as difficult terrain for 3-4 rounds (this also completely messed up the wizard and bard's sleep spells). Thankfully, my players went full "big damn heroes" and saved everyone, but a more selfish party might need a reminder by Ragnar or Wallace to protect the townsfolk. Foreshadowing this by discussing how Parnast has been losing people and how any further loss would be devastating helps as well. Other than the complications, the rest of the fight was pretty vanilla. Cinematic storytelling might help to keep players engaged.

Combat: 6/10 Puzzles: 5/10 Social: 9/10 Explore: 8/10



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
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REF4 The Book of Lairs II (1e)
by Sean K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2018 17:45:40

Several of the pages have the tops cut off: for example, page 5 features Berserkers, apparently, but I had to check the table of contents to confirm this. The section heading and the first few lines of the page are missing. This happens several times throughout the document.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
REF4 The Book of Lairs II (1e)
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DDEX3-05 Bane of the Tradeways (5e)
by Akamai O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2018 10:23:32

Fun with the multiple path options in the beginning. allows for very unique perspectives and varied storylines. Still have reservations for the modules of this season as the APL of the modules seem very low for the encounters listed. If not for a juducious application of "DM descretion", I would have continously had multiple TPKs on my hand.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-05 Bane of the Tradeways (5e)
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DDEX3-06 No Foolish Matter (5e)
by Akamai O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2018 10:20:09

The roleplaying opportunities in this module were great and with a bit of flair, players can easily become become sucked into the RP aspect that you don't necessarily get to do in many AL modules due to time constraints.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-06 No Foolish Matter (5e)
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DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
by Akamai O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2018 10:15:18

I really enjoyed the modules of this season, my only issue is that the APL of the modules seem very low for the encounters listed. If not for a juducious application of "DM descretion", I would have continously had multiple TPKs on my hand.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
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DDEX3-01 Harried in Hillsfar (5e)
by Akamai O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2018 10:13:46

A great intro module(s) for players getting into 5th edition/new to Adventurers league. The one-hour stories make it easy to move around as well as move characters into/out of the current storyline and opens up the "rebuild" option for new players working on fine tuning their characters.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-01 Harried in Hillsfar (5e)
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DDEX3-10 Quelling the Horde (5e)
by Akamai O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2018 10:06:17

I really enjoyed the modules of this season, my only issue is that the APL of the modules seem very low for the encounters listed. If not for a juducious application of "DM descretion", I would have continously had multiple TPKs on my hand.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-10 Quelling the Horde (5e)
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DDAL05-04 In Dire Need (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2018 23:35:09

The Season 5 Tier 2's,while not as exceptional as the Tier 1's, are still pretty solid.

This is a good, quick mod that can be easily slotted into a Storm King's Thunder hardcover campaign, given it's short length.

The initial infiltration can be a bit tricky, so drop hints to the party to ensure they don't try a head-on approach.

Prep a few personalities for the dwarven soldiers and NCO's so that any losses of or self- sacrifice by the dwarves are more meaningful.

The final encounter can be a satisfying final fight or an opportunity for some epic deceptive play against dumb opponents.

A solid mid, with a bit of extra prep can be very memorable.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-04 In Dire Need (5e)
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DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2018 23:23:36

One of the best introductory suites of mini-adventures. The first and second adventures are hilarious, with some great story awards. The third and fourth adventures can be quite deadly, go easy on the PCs for those ones. The fifth one is a good one for the murderhobos in your party.

I highly recommend this mod for players new to either AL or even D&D in general.

A great mod, as are most of the Season 5 Tier 1's.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2018 23:10:50

First AL mod I ever ran, and still one of my favorites. Has a good tactical mook combats, an optional RP encounter, a crisis needing quick thinking and skill checks, and two options for a final battle. Well structured, fun to run as well as play. The final battles can be very challenging if the party lacks AOE effects.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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DDEX2-02 Embers of Elmwood (5e)
by Summer Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2018 01:01:34

After having played through this once as a player and twice as a DM, I can honestly say this module is a crowd pleaser. I just ran it again tonight and the adventure went completely off the rails once the players decided to double cross the double crossers! Great fun was had by all each player got to use some of their strength. Make sure you read through this one very well! You want to be clear on what should be happening where during the main event. Rosealine Culkin's manor is massive and so is the Chapterhouse. Make sure you draw the maps beforehand, if possible.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-02 Embers of Elmwood (5e)
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DDAL05-16 Parnast Under Siege (5e)
by Chris E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/12/2018 16:46:59

I really liked even prepping for this. This is a great way to end the parnast series. My players really by the end of the series felt for the people and were really interested in coming up with solutions. They really worked together and actually split up alot of duties based on their strengths. I really had to limit time and gave them 2.5 hours to prep and about 2 hours for the second part. This really crunched the players to work fast. They were actually panicking a little about getting it done. This created the urgency to prep, collect their allies, prep the town and come together. The fights, as everyone said, are no joking matter. They are tough. I took what someone said and since my players were almost apathetic about letting Chandra leave and die, and they went to extra effort to get her back, I gave them some healing services from her. The last two waves are rough on the players if they are range low, but since my players convinced Thornacious to help, it made it a little easier. (7 players and 4 of them have high charisma, they were able to easily sway allies, and townsfolk).

Summary: Great Adventure, great finish but be prepared and know your players. No laughing joke for levels 3-4.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-16 Parnast Under Siege (5e)
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