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DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
by Kenneth B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2016 13:03:18

An interesting dungeon crawl, but the story is a complete side trek from the season's narrative. "Ohmagerd our town's just been invaded and taken over by evil cultists! Quick, let's go explore this random ancient pyramid and take all the stuff!"



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
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DDAL04-05 The Seer (5e)
by Kenneth B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2016 12:57:29

Great flavor, interesting story, and a cool villain. Slightly unpolished, but all the pieces work just fine.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-05 The Seer (5e)
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The Rogues Gallery (1e)
by Samuel K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2016 12:42:13

Great stuff! I had this as a kid, and bought the PDF from Paizo years ago. This PDF is a MUCH cleaner scan - everything looks really good. Very useful for your OSR game of choice, and the writeups of the old D&D writers' characters are still very entertaining. Recommended!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Rogues Gallery (1e)
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The Ghosts of Aniel (3.0)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/03/2016 09:30:38

It all started out with the best of intentions, I'm sure, but now the population of the elf village of Aniel is deserted and haunted... and it's up to the party to find out what's going on and how (if?) it can be sorted out. The background for the DM explains just what went awry and who was behind it, and there are a few basic hooks to get the party involved.


If you have the party travelling to Aniel through the forest (called Celadon, but any suitable forest in your own campaign world will suffice), remember that it's wild and dangerous, and to that end there's a table of random encounters that you can use; while there are four main encounters to run once they reach Aniel. That's it - the party will have to use their wits and what they can glean from their interactions with the ghostly inhabitants of Aniel to figure out what needs to be done to restore a state of normality. If the party has a way to make contact with the ghosts, they can explain the situation (as given in the background) so one of the main challenges is establishing meaningful contact.


There's little in the way of resources. You'll have to come up with your own plan of the village and one for the local wizard's house and anywhere else the party decides to explore. The main antagonist's details are provided (including full stat block and notes on how he will act), but that's about it.


The situation and backstory are interesting and have considerable potential, but this one feels more like an adventure seed than a full-blown scenario. You will need to put some preparatory work in to run it at its full potential. When it was a free download on the Wizards of the Coast website, that was fine, but you may wonder if even 99 cents ought to get you more - as it does with many of the other adventures in this series!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Ghosts of Aniel (3.0)
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DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
by Kenneth B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2016 08:33:41

This is an adventure with a great concept and a very flawed execution. It is rife with errors (including experience minimum and maximum), it has continuity errors with the previous adventure, and the basic concept of the adventure is not support by the components within it. If this adventure received an extensive rewrite, it could be quite good. As is, even with excessive guideance and preparation, it is not a lot of fun.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
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DDAL04-02 The Beast (5e)
by Heath B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/02/2016 12:02:04

Excellent adventure for Organized Play. A table of random players can easily complete this adventure in two hours. Optional encounters let a DM tailor the event to the group at hand, maximizes its replayability, and each works to enhance the tone of the season. My only quibble is the hazy motivations and actions of the central NPC couple, which as written seem chaotic and plot-driven rather than character-driven.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-02 The Beast (5e)
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DDAL4-01 Suits of the Mists (5e)
by Heath B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/02/2016 11:52:32

Bite-sized missions whose target audience is new-to-D&D players, this adventure succeeds in being different from what has come before. The theme, while present, encourages DM input and isn't as heavy-handed as Season 1's introductory adventure, for example. There are gaps in the connective tissue between missions, that a DM can fill in satisfyingly if they know the whole piece. The timeline raises questions, as it sounds like four inciting incidents have already happened when the players arrive though the players can only take on one at a time, but that doesn't bring down the flavor and spirit of a game for Level 1 PCs.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL4-01 Suits of the Mists (5e)
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The Alchemist's Eyrie (3.0)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/02/2016 10:25:01

This is a brief adventure that ought to last but a single session. It's basically a delve, even if it involves a tower rather than an underground complex. The DM is provided with plenty of background as well as a synopsis and several potent hooks to get the party involved - if you are using this as part of a campaign, read it well before you intend to use it as there are several suggestions for foreshadowing, thus making it seem integral to your plot rather than a side-trip. However it will serve just fine as a side-trip or a one-off if that's what you need.


Although the background does give some indication of the tower's location, the adventure proper starts with the party approaching it. This should make it relatively easy to find an appropriate place in your campaign world to situate it. As well as the current residents and assorted traps left by the original alchemist, one difficulty many characters may find is that the tower was built with dwarves in mind and there's not much headroom - unless of course you are a dwarf or a member of another short race.


It's a neat compact adventure with enough variety, what with the traps and the nature of the opposition, to lift it above a pure dungeon brawl and provide an entertaining session for you and your group.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Alchemist's Eyrie (3.0)
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DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
by Bryce L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/02/2016 06:24:40

This is one of the worst adventures written.


By Jerry LeNeave
WOTC
D&D 5E
Level 3


The locals are spreading rumors of the emergence of an age-old relic in a remote farming village. Surely you won’t be the only one to seek it, but can you afford to not be successful in this mission? And why haven’t they claimed it for themselves?


You know the drill. 31 pages, the first nine of which are (mostly) garbage and the last eleven are reference, leaving about eleven pages for two hours of adventure. Suck it you Adventurer’s League fools! Beg to pay for your weekly abuse from WOTC! Bwahahahahahahahaha!


Hmmm, a little harsh. There is a nice little adventure overview section and an NPC reference in the back reference material. Five of the Seven NPC’s presented are not present in the adventure, which means several of the NPC’s that ARE present in the adventure are not mentioned. The hook is either “you’re already in the village” (from the last adventure) or “mists transport you.” The first is fine while the second continues the long tradition of Not Even Trying. It’s ok, the summary looks like a railroad and the baddie, a wight, is running around town wearing a hat of disguise. Why? Please dear god, why? A wight in a hat of disguise. Why not just make him the archdevil asmodeus in a hat of disguise, or an atrophal or a black pudding in a hat of disguise? What do you want for $3? Spend $2 more and get Maze of the Blue Medusa? Ha! Not official WOTC!


The adventure is in three parts. Part one is to sit in the tavern and listen to rumors. The important points are in bullet form and generally summarized nicely, while the non-bullet information is generally useless and adds little to the adventure. One important point, a way to get the party out in tot he town, IS buried in the main text, and the rumors are not particularly interested. “Bob’s has been selling shit to Lazlo” is the form they are in. IE: all fact based. A little colour never hurt no one and a nice little colorful sentence could have replaced the fact, conveyed the same message, and been far more interesting. In the end the entire point of the adventure, the motivating force for he party, doesn’t actually come through. At all. There’s no real motivation provided.


Part two is to roam over town. Long and boring descriptions are the rule of the day, although to its credit at least one of the encounters allows for a nice bribe to avoid a combat. Oh, the wight in the hat, doing his shopping for the day. If attacked/defeated he gets to make a plot shield escape. “A patch of mist glides in and when it fades then he is gone.” That is a crap ass idea. Plot shields are crap ass to begin with but that one is worse than usual. Wait! Wait! It’s better! Check this shit out! “If at any point the characters begin spending too much time outside without taking direction, or they progressed quicker than anticipated feel free to roll on the random encounters table.” Ha! Just monster attack after monster attack there!


Part three is getting attacked by some undead: two zombies and two ghouls. It wants it to be a big torches & pitchforks and fire mob scene, with undead coming out of a burning house and forest to attack the mob and the party and wounded villagers paying about and so on. It fails miserably at this. There’s not much in this to inspire the DM to run a decent adventure … and four undead hardly match what text there is is trying to convey. Oh, then the mayor shows up and demands a strip search of the party and attacks them. Yeah. Great Adventure.


So, just to be clear: nothing in part one ties the adventure to part two. Nothing in part two leads to any other location in part two. Nothing in part two leads to part three and/or the mob. Nothing is strong, but the ties here are VERY tenuous. Basically, the DM MUST feed the party the adventure and lead them around by the nose, cause there ain’t no clues forthcoming and the adventure is not in a form in which the DM could run it in a looser manner.


It’s trying, especially with the bullet points and reference material. But the text is dull and not evocative and the reference material misses the point most of the time. Combine it all with the railroad nature and the UTTER lack of coherence when it comes to providing the DM information, so he can run it for the players, this wins one of my coveted Worst Adventures Of ALL Time awards.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
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The Vessel of Stars (3.0)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/01/2016 10:16:55

It's an escort job. Take this young queen where she needs to go, that's it. OK, so it's a rather strange place she's going and the opposition are even wierder, but surely it's not too difficult... or is it?


The background for the DM lays out what is happening concisely but clearly, with the observation that although the party won't start the adventure knowing all this, they might do by the end if they pay attention to what's going on around them. There is also a comprehensive synopsis which covers what ought to happen where - because this adventure manages to combine a flight scenario with a site-based one. Basically the party (plus young queen) get chased to her destination, which they can then explore.


Several adventure hooks are provided to get the party involved. Rather neatly, you can use more than one to really get them ensnared! It all starts in a reasonably-sized coastal township called Horvath (or you can substitute an equivalent settlement in your own campaign world if you prefer). Once you've got the party interested, they can ask around for useful information before they set out. It seems the place has been plagued by strange creatures (and lights) in some nearby hills for about ten years now. This is, of course, where the party has to go...


Several maps are supplied. There's one of the general area (which can help you find a suitable location on your own campaign world if you don't just want to run it straight), and several maps of locations encountered during the adventure. Horvath gets some description but no actual map, but there's sufficient in the description to give an idea of its layout and you shouldn't need more than that.


Although what needs to be done is pretty straightforward, there's quite a loose feel about it with plenty of scope to run the trip as you choose, yet plenty of resources - encounters, wandering monsters, etc. - supplied to support you. The end should prove exciting - provided that the little queen is still alive, that is - and there are notes on how to continue, whether she manages to escape or not.


There's quite a lot packed into a few pages here, and it ought to give your group a good session or two adventuring... and includes a neat potential moral dilemma for those parties who like to think about the consequences of what they are doing.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Vessel of Stars (3.0)
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Murder in Baldur's Gate (5e)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/29/2016 08:08:07

This is a quite fascinating adventure, as it is far more of a sandbox than many although there's plenty going on to keep the characters busy - indeed they are likely to get swamped and prioritise what needs to be dealt with right now, and what can be done later if at all. You can run it with any Dungeons and Dragons ruleset from 3e to 5e, but it is designed with the aim of introducing - in character - the changes that transferring to D&D 5e would entail, being released prior to the launch of that ruleset.


You get a 32-page adventure guide, a 64-page setting book and a DM screen. The PDF version also includes additional material that was made available as free downloads to purchasers of the 'dead tree' version.


The Campaign Guide consists of a comprehensive gazetteer to the city of Baldur's Gate. Although the settlement has been mentioned in Forgotten Realms material for ages, here is the real low-down on the place, a good chance to really get to know it. With plentiful maps and illustrations and details on everything from municipal leaders to the best inns to frequent, its usefulness will last far beyond this adventure to anytime the party is in town. There are places to go, things to see and lots to do... and reading through it spawns plenty of ideas for adventure, particularly if your taste turns to urban plotliness (as mine does). Most of it is system-neutral so no matter which version of D&D you want to play, it will be a useful book to have to hand.


Turning attention to the adventure itself, Murder in Baldur's Gate, this teeming and prosperous city we have just read about is on the brink of breakdown. Part of this is due to inequality - the city is extremely stratified with the rich separated from the middle classes and them from those in real poverty - who are still expected to pay taxes although they don't get any of the services that the taxes are levied to fund! This is exacerbated by a spate of murders that herald attempts by the deity of assassins, Bhaal himself, to be resurrected with three villains competing to become his Chosen... and they do not care what happens to the city in the process. The delightful sting in the tail is that if the party chooses to solve the problem by removing those three rivals permanently, one of them will find Bhaal tapping on their shoulder instead!


Event piles upon event in dizzying complexity. The party won't see or be involved in everything, but it's likely that they will hear about the ones they don't witness - although how credible the reports are is open to question. The DM should study the material thoroughly in advance, after all it won't do for them to get swamped, that's the party's fate. Everything is laid out quite clearly, though, and there's a lot of flexibility to allow the DM to respond to the party's actions yet keep everything on track.


This adventure provides plenty of scope for interaction and intrigue, but violence is never far away so those looking for combat will not be disappointed. It's exciting and engrossing and gives low-level characters an unprecidented opportunity to be involved in momentous events. It all ends in buckets of blood, riots and possibly a big explosion: memorable in the extreme. For me it works well, I love urban intrigue and investigation - but it may be more of a struggle for those players who prefer a good dungeon crawl and conduct interactions at sword-point without the distraction of conversation!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Murder in Baldur's Gate (5e)
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Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (5e)
by Gaetan V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2016 00:51:47

It's the extra PC content that players have been looking for.


You get four races. Note that only one of these was actually included in the Elemental Evil book.



  • Aarakocra

  • Deep Gnome (Svirfneblin)

  • Genasi

  • Goliath


You also get a dozen pages of spells, 43 in total.


And it's all free! That stated, the $8 print version is also completely worth it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (5e)
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DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/24/2016 17:35:56

[Minor spoilers below]


This one is in rather raw state at the moment:



  • Player's motivation is not well defined. Threat of being kicked out from the village due to food shortage and early winter worked for my players, but wasn't very convincing.

  • There's a scenario when players avoid all combat (without outstanding roleplay), achieve pretty much nothing, and adventure ends. Not a very good experience.

  • Combat encounters scaling doesn't account for very good party preparedness for particular monsters in adventure. In other words there's no big bad monster which will be a challenge for party of 7 melee fighters with 2 paladins and a cleric.

  • Monetary output from adventure is rather low, especially if players bribe guards and have to cure lycanthropy.


I managed to squeeze few moments of excitement from my players, but I'd say it was to my credit, not the adventure.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
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DDAL04-02 The Beast (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/24/2016 17:00:07

Perfect material for AL. Drammatic plot, well defined environment, decent combat enounters, easy to time-manage, good humor here and there, magic item players actually liked.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-02 The Beast (5e)
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PHBR12 The Complete Paladin's Handbook (2e)
by Yunqi G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2016 22:55:45

对于圣武士角色扮演的绝佳指南书。令人失-
望的是在AD&D2E之后的版本都没有如此详尽-
扮演指南。我想,不管是哪个版本的玩家,-
应该阅读本书——尤其是考虑到中国大陆玩-
的当前状况。



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
PHBR12 The Complete Paladin's Handbook (2e)
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