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Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2016 12:09:37

A neuronphaser.com review.


Content (4/5)

The Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (A.K.A. EEPC) is a short book with only two chapters: one covering 4 new races for players to choose from for their characters, and the second covering 43 new spells that get spread among the Bard, Druid, Ranger, Sorcerer, Warlock and Wizard spell lists.


Races
The following races appear in the Elemental Evil Player’s Companion: Aarakocra, Deep Gnome (A.K.A. Svirneblin), Genasi, and Goliath.


Aarakocra
The aarakocra are an interesting race, as they have the ability to fly right off the bat, something most PCs don’t get until they pick up a 3rd level spell like fly (which would be at 5th level for a wizard) or luck upon multiple magic items that grant flying to the entire party, such as a carpet of flying (a very rare item), a few spell scrolls of fly (an uncommon item for 3rd level spells), or several potions of flying (also very rare). Because of this ability, they’ve already been declared illegal for Adventurer’s League play. What’s worse is that the descriptive text makes it hard to frame aarakocra as typical adventurers: they hate dungeons, are not motivated by treasure (though they like “shiny things” regardless of value), and they don’t understand the concept of ownership (which may not help with deciding on what’s party loot and what’s not).


Aside from those issues, the aarokocra are a pretty cool race, and it’s nice to see something so outside-the-box included early in 5th Edition’s life. These guys are slow walkers (25 feet), but fast flyers (50 feet)…if they don’t wear medium or heavy armor. Their talons form a natural attack that deals 1d4 slashing damage, which when combined with the armor restriction suggest they might be awesome Monks, Rogues, or highly mobile Rangers.


There’s a sidebar covering the geographic origins of the aarakocra in the Forgotten Realms setting, which is a great tool for helping players come up with their backstory. A quick search on the Forgotten Realms Wiki and you’ve got a dozen hooks to build an aarakocra character, which is a nice touch, especially for such an abnormal player race. Additionally, there’s a quick blurb on what Backgrounds from the Player’s Handbook are particularly well-suited to these birdmen.


Deep Gnome (Svirfneblin)
Although the deep gnomes also appear in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, it’s clearly not a direct copy-paste job, though the end result is (mechanically) the same; reprinted here among the deep gnome traits are the standard gnome traits, as well. The Elemental Evil Player’s Companion version does feature more text, fleshing out some deep gnomish psychology and attitudes, but not much, and certainly not in a specifically Realmsian way. No sidebars address their favored backgrounds or any Faerun-specific origins for the svirfneblin.


The Svirfneblin Magic feat is the first feat printed outside of the PHB (not counting some Unearthed Arcana articles, maybe) and is race-specific, granting the ability to cast nondetection at will, plus each of blindness/deafness, blur, and disguise self once before regenerating the castings after a long rest.


Genasi
Genasi are the only race that comes with a full listing of racial traits plus subraces, in this case mirroring the major elements: air, earth, fire, and water. Fire and water genasi get 1-2 more traits to play with than air and earth, but power levels don’t really seem affected by this, given what those traits are: fire genasi get fire resistance and darkvision, water genasi get the amphibious trait and a swim speed of 30 feet. Each race also gets an innate magical ability as well:



  • Air genasi can cast levitate once per long rest (a 2nd-level spell).

  • Earth genasi can pass without trace once per long rest (a 2nd-level spell).

  • Fire genasi gain produce flame (with no frequency listed), and then at 3rd level also gain burning hands as a 1st level caster, once per long rest.

  • Water genasi can shape water (no frequency listed), and then at 3rd level can cast create/destroy water as a 2nd level caster, once per long rest.


Genasi also get a sidebar explaining their place in the world of Dark Sun’s Athas, which essentially amounts to them being seen as beings whose birth and presence brings with it great omens and fortunes. Another sidebar on Backgrounds rounds out the genasi as it did the aarakocra, but there’s nothing suggesting Forgotten Realms-specific lore here.


Goliath
The goliath first showed up (to my knowledge) back in the latter days of 3.5 Edition D&D (2004’s Races of Stone), in a time when it felt like every book had to have oodles of New Mechanical Stuff for Players™! I’m not against that sort of thing, but the sheer volume of all that new crunch caused me to miss what was so special about goliaths, and when they showed up early in 4th Edition’s life in Player’s Handbook 2, I was surprised to see such a “second-rate” race show up so quickly. Now we have them in 5th Edition, and quite honestly, I was wrong about them: goliaths are pretty cool.


Framed as hardy, strong mountain men with a connection to elemental earth, goliaths could end up being slightly reckless PCs, but that’s pretty much par for the course in my D&D campaigns, so I’d say these guys are a welcome addition to the roster. Their truly special stats include a once per rest — short or long — damage reduction roll, which is a nice way of beefing them up without necessarily breaking the game’s internal logic around temporary or maximum hit points or healing surge-style mechanics that you might see with the fighter (Second Wind, for instance).


Unfortunately, unlike the aarakocra and the genasi, there’s literally no setting lore on the goliaths: no indication of Backgrounds that work best for them, or where they might have settlements of any kind (even nomadic) within the boundaries of the Forgotten Realms. This unfortunately reinforces their “second-rate” race status, making them look like a random add-on in this product just because they have a (very loose) connection to the element of earth. That’s not exactly award-winning writing and editing right there. Still, they are a fun race, but it’d be even more interesting if they got tied to Uthgardt tribes or other wilderness folk that crop up in Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide.


Spells
The 43 new spells covered in this book are (and their level):


Abi-Dalzim’s Horrid Wilting (8), Absorb Elements (1), Aganazzar’s Scorcher (2), Beast Bond (1), Bones of the Earth (6), Catapult (1), Create Bonfire (cantrip), Control Flames (cantrip), Control Winds (5), Dust Devil (2), Earthbind (2), Earth Tremor (1), Elemental Bane (4), Erupting Earth (3), Flame Arrows (3), Frost Bite (cantrip), Gust (cantrip), Ice Knife (1), Immolation (5), Investiture of Flame (6), Investiture of Ice (6), Investiture of Stone (6), Investiture of Wind (6), Malestrom (5), Magic Stone (cantrip), Maximilian’s Earthen Grasp (2), Melf’s Minute Meteors (3), Mold Earth (cantrip), Primordial Ward (6), Pyrotechnics (2), Shape Water (cantrip), Skywrite (2), Snilloc’s Snowball Swarm (2), Storm Sphere (4), Thunderclap (cantrip), Tidal Wave (3), Transmute Rock (5), Vitriolic Sphere (4), Wall of Sand (3), Wall of Water (3), Warding Wind (2), Watery Sphere (4), Whirlwind (7)


And now, for my random thoughts on them! I won’t cover every spell, just the ones that had weird balance issues, seemed especially awesome, or otherwise seemed to require some sort of commentary.


Abi-Dalzim’s Horrid Wilting: Creates an instantaneous 10d8 necrotic damage to a 30-foot cube. Roughly similar to incendiary cloud (which is a persistent area of 10d8 fire, which happens to be the most common damage resistance/immunity) but it is clearly weaker than sunburst (12d8 radiant plus blinded to a 60-foot area). As a sidenote, Abi-Dalzim doesn’t crop up anywhere I could find as a character, but there's a post by dongul at Canonfire! about his background and there are some 3.5 edition stats you can find with a quick web search.


Aganazzar’s Scorcher: Basically burning hands, but a die size better and it affects a line instead of a cone.


Beast Bond: Kinda combines speak with animals and animal friendship, but better. It does require animals to be friendly or charmed before you cast it, however.


Earth Tremor: 1d6 bludgeoning plus knock prone everyone within 10 feet (Dex save negates). This is a great battlefield control spell at level 1!


Elemental Bane: Negates resistance, but not immunity, which is an interesting conundrum for internal logic, but also begs for a thorough accounting of resistance vs. immunity for elemental damage types (acid, cold, fire, lightning, and thunder).


Flame Arrows: Compares well to lightning arrow (a 3rd level Ranger spell), and is a hair better than cordon of arrows.


Frostbite: When comparing with ray of frost, this spell shows us that “disadvantage on next attack” is much weightier than “speed is minus 10 feet.” Which is probably not surprising.


Immolation: Seems a bit weak for a level 5 spell as it deals less damage than fireball, only hits one target, and features a save ends on the continuous burning effect. Although, it does shed light out to 60 feet, so I guess that’s alright…?


Investiture spells (Flame, Ice, Stone Wind): These are all great, multipurpose spells providing damage immunities and resistances, special movement, and special attacks that makes it seem like your taking on a purely elemental form. Very cool.


Skywrite: This is the best version of the Warning Beacons of Gondor I’ve yet seen in spell form. A bit weak in the sense that it’s like a large-scale but one-off magic mouth or message spell, but still a great utility spell that could change how settlements communicate with one another, perhaps along the lines of magical semaphore. It’d be interesting to add this to some of the NPC spellcasters that represent village shamans and whatnot among regions like Ten Towns or in even tighter-knit communities.


Storm Sphere: This is an interesting take on a wizard/sorcerer version of call lightning, mixing constant bludgeoning, buffeting winds with a laser-like lightning bolt every round.


Thunderclap: Doesn’t seem like much, but thunderclap is actually a perfect alarm system for a party that is surprise attacked during a rest, as it damages anyone ganging up on the mage and blasts a call for help over 100 feet.


Watery Sphere: The manner in which a watery sphere moves with restrained creatures inside of it reminds me of the movie Bubble Boy (2001) with Jake Gyllenhaal.


Overall, that’s a pretty cool selection of spells, and the balance issues don’t swing way out of whack, so I’d say it’s a pretty successful bundle of new spells and/or updates to the 5th edition rules. There’s a goodly number that are combat oriented, which is to be expected, but the utility spells that show up are exciting and useful. While I’ve got some complaints with how spells are presented, I won’t repeat them here nor take off any points for that; if you don’t like 5th edition’s spells or the layout of spell stat blocks, this book isn’t going to change your mind, and it’s not really meant to.


What I will complain about is that the Spell Lists do their job…weirdly. The Player’s Handbook organizes the Spell Lists by class and then level within that. Makes sense, simple, and the only problem there is that there’s no page reference, though the spells are in alphabetical order, so I can shrug that off. The EEPC‘s Spell Lists do the same (again with no page reference), but randomly added the spell’s school as a parenthetical notation, like this: “Thunderclap (evocation).” Did we need this? Was there a big movement to add that in lieu of page references, or perhaps a more comprehensive table?


Dunno. Not a big deal, but it’s inexplicable to me.


Form (5/5)

I picked up the Softcover Color Book (Standard) version of the EEPC along with the PDF, and I’m quite pleased with it. It’s pretty pedestrian in terms of binding -- it won't lay flat without some stuff weight it down -- but the cover’s thick, the pages are thick, and the artwork and text didn’t bleed or darken in the process of printing it, so it gets my thumbs up.


The artwork and layout continues the tradition of Wizards of the Coast’s 5th Edition releases, which I’m very happy with. I’ll admit it’s maybe not for everyone — some people nitpick the images, some people don’t like that the text is left-aligned but not justified, leading to wavy right-hand margins — but none of that bothers me. It’s obvious that they put time and care into the packaging of these products, and for a free PDF and $8 book (I think it was like $12 total with shipping?), I feel like I’m getting both great content and a high-quality visual appeal for my buck. Can’t argue with that!


Critical Droll
The critic in me really wants to complain about what this product could have been, or could have added. Frankly, I’d pay a good deal more money for an Elementalist arcane tradition for Wizards and a bit more in terms of Backgrounds or setting info to get players into the Elemental Evil storyline (see the Resources section, below). But the fact is that they pushed this thing out for free (in PDF form) with content that can be used across D&D’s campaign settings, it’s well-balanced, and doesn’t tie itself so strictly to the Elemental Evil story that it ends up being useless content for anyone avoiding published adventure modules. It’s strength is that it’s a much more universal release, and yet it’s focused solely on giving players solid options that aren’t broken or poorly designed, and all of it in a package that’s nice to look at.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (5e)
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DDAL04-07 The Innocent (5e)
by Merric B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2016 17:43:25

A fascinating adventure, although not without flaw. Full review on merricb.com



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-07 The Innocent (5e)
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The Treasure of the Black Veils (3.0)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/24/2016 07:19:31

Fancy a spot of treasure hunting? Most parties of adventurers find the lure of treasure hard to resist, and here is an opportunity to go after the loot of a long-dead bandit.


The opening section tells the story of the bandits and their fate. It's all the sort of 'common knowledge' stuff that the party ought to be able to pick up quite easily if they don't already know the story. There are notes on the ruins of the abbey that once was their lair, and what's there now, these the DM will want to keep to himself. It's said, however, that the place is haunted by the bandit leader, who was slain when the band was attacked by the local lordling's army - and this provides one of the hooks, not that you'll probably need much of an enticement...


The logical starting point is a small town on the edge of the fenland where the ruined abbey is situated. There's the usual stat block for it, and notes on what the party can find out there - a few more rumours, a chat with a helpful druid, as well as the full story of the rise and fall of the Black Veil Bandits. Oh, and apparently someone turned up recently saying that they'd found the treasure but needed a cart to haul it out... only they were never seen again.


There is a map of the ruins (you'll need to come up with your own fens and any encounters that happen on the way to the abbey) with detailed descriptions of each location therein and the encounters that will take place there. There are assorted monsters and an interesting Big Bad to defeat - none are interested in conversation - but if the party can find the loot it is well worth the having! Note that it is extremely well-hidden, you may need to guide the party a little in figuring out what they have to do.


A neat straightforward treasure hunt, an excellent side-adventure and a way to raise some party funds...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Treasure of the Black Veils (3.0)
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Test of the Demonweb (3.0)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/22/2016 07:01:31

More Drow fun for your party as they encounter some who wish to experiment with novel fighting techniques agaist surface-dwellers...


The background for the DM introduces Arda Pharn, a drow cleric with an experimental turn of mind, and explains what she's up to. The adventure can be a side-trek, with this being the party's sole encounter with her, or you may devise a whole plot arc around her. She's not after killing her test subjects - it does make data collection a bit difficult after all!


Several hooks are provided to get the party involved, and there is some information to be gathered (much of it misleading) mostly based around an adventuring group that has recently disappeared whilst out exploring. This adventure begins when they arrive at Arda's 'laboratory' complex, you will have to organise getting there and any adventures along the way.


This complex uses uses a modified version of the Queen's Dungeon map from the Map-a-Week feature on the Wizards of the Coast website, which is provided here (the original can still be downloaded from the link in the PDF at the time of writing). It makes for a good delve, especially for parties who enjoy the challenge of traps, puzzles, and a goodly array of monsters to fight.


Arda herself does not make an appearance, she's watching magically from afar. However, at least one creature encountered has some inkling of what is going on and may hint at it to the party if they stop to chat. Parties who cope with the challenges and escape will be likely to attract Arda's attention in the future if you fancy some follow-up adventures. If you want to know more about her, there's an article on the Wizards of the Coast website in the D&D 3.X archives (at the moment, anyway), Google her name to find it. If they don't do so well, Arda has an ongoing need for experimental subjects and, shall we say, the party will be hoping that you write an escape scenario real soon! A neat adventure presenting believeable Drow opposition, with the potential for continuing adventures.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Test of the Demonweb (3.0)
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D3 Vault of the Drow (1e)
by Dale W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/20/2016 14:35:01

After owning this module for years and finding it had mysteriously disappeared after many movs, I was delighted to obtain it once again, at a very reasonable cost - the scaning was excellent, and the map and writing was impeccable. I was able to contact my local UPS Store to have them print and bind it into a very servicible module fit to fill my needs. Two thumbs up!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
D3 Vault of the Drow (1e)
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Tiger's Palace (3.0)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/20/2016 07:55:15

This adventure is best used either as a regular episode in an ongoing general adventuring game or as the climactic moment in a plotline that pits the party against Bhishana Bhaga - in which case, read this and understand her long before the party reaches the suggested level for this adventure (9th-10th) and weave her into earlier adventures of your own devising.


If this is the party's first encounter with Bhishana Bhaga, several hooks are provided to catch their attention - one delightful one has the party invited to 'have a go' by Bhaga herself, a sort of penetration testing. Notes are also provided about where to put the adventure in your campaign world - somewhere mountainous where gnomes mine if used 'as is', or you can vary it somewhat as to anywhere there is a mine with people (irrespective of race) mining it. She's likely to charm even evil miners, however.


The adventure itself is a straightforward delve. The mine itself is based on a modified version of the Old Mines map from the February 2002 Map-a-Week selection on the Wizards of the Coast website. At the time of writing, the link in the PDF still works if you want to see the original, but the modified version is printed here.


The notes on encounters in the mine are comprehensive, with a couple of good fights and some devious traps to overcome. There is also loads of information on what Bhaga will do, how she prepares herself and her likely responses to party actions. Negotiations are unlikely, come ready for a fight. Notes on wrapping up the adventure finish this module off, with the reminder that if they are successful the party's reputation is going to be increased substantially - something that will attract not only job offers but the attention of evil creatures as well!


A nicely put together if straightforward delve, with everything where it is for a reason.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tiger's Palace (3.0)
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Start at the End (3.0)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/18/2016 12:17:01

It appears to be a straightforward task, just the thing for some up-and-coming adventurers like the party. A rural village is being pestered by a young dragon that has taken up residence in nearby hills, and the locals would like him killed or driven off.


The background notes for the DM reveal what is really going on, and a map of the place the upstart dragon has chosen for his lair is provided (just as well, although it was in the Map-a-Week series on the Wizards of the Coast website, the link provided no longer works!). As a side-trek adventure it can be placed in any suitable spot in your campaign world, or you may wish to create a longer story arc in which the dragon, who is called Kyracolides, features... that's up to you.


Three hooks are provided to get the party into the right area - only one actually mentions a dragon, so if you don't want to give them any warning use one of the others. There's a brief note about the village (little more than its game stats), and one or two snippets of information, but then it's on to the lair itself with plenty of detail to support the 'dungeon delve' that is the meat of this adventure.


Shall we just say that Kyracolides doesn't live on his own? Someone left quite a few traps down there as well... and as for the Big Bad at the end... that should prove an interesting surprise for the party. There are suggestions for continuing the adventure, and that's it.


This is an adventure full of surprises and should provide quite a challenge for a party of the intended level (7th), but it's a challenge that will be enjoyed by anyone who likes a classic delve.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Start at the End (3.0)
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The Sea Witch (3.0)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/18/2016 07:55:31

Time to deal with a pirate... a notorious one (of course) called Black Molly whose crew of ogres and other neferious degenerates has a reputation for cruelty and who has now captured a pivotal lighthouse serving a populated and heavily-travelled coastline with the aim of extorting a large payment to keep the light lit so preventing seafarers from crashing onto the rocks!


Likely to make a good side-trek adventure (unless you have a particularly nautical twist to your campaign) three hooks are provided, any one of which ought to get the party involved. Further developments, if you require them, can be drawn from what Black Molly is really up to and investigations of underwater caverns and wrecks... provided the party doesn't object to getting wet.


An area map and plan of the lighthouse are both provided (originally published in the Map-a-Week series on the Wizards of the Coast website), and there's a detailed description of the lighthouse and what is to be found there. This of course includes members of Black Molly's crew and the pirate captain herself. It appears that the crew's sole reaction to intruders will be to fight them, and while no other option is explicitly given for Black Molly, given the detail provided on an item she is looking for coupled with the total absence of any clues for the party to find about it, you may wish to have her attempt to enter into conversation so you can at least have the party share a potentially interesting tale, particularly if you plan to develop the adventure further.


With a nicely-developed lighthouse, potential for further adventure and, well, PIRATES, what is there not to like?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sea Witch (3.0)
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The Crumbling Hall of the Frost Giant Jarl (3.0)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/18/2016 07:51:02

The basic premise of this adventure is that some frost giants - who normally eke out a precarious existance as bandits high in the mountains - are having ideas above their station, harking back to long-ago days when they were a force to be reckoned with in the area. There's a bit more detail regarding who's involved and their intentions in the background notes for the DM, of course, but the fact that they are getting a bit frisky is pretty much common knowledge.


A few hooks are provided to help you get the party interested, but it's left to you to decide where their lair - this crumbling hall - might be, with a suggestion that you might make finding it part of the adventure, involving research of old records as well as exploration in hostile conditions.


The actual contents of this module start with the crumbling hall itself. It's based on September 2001 offerings in the Map-a-Week feature on the Wizards of the Coast website, with the relevant portion being reproduced here (although the original link in the PDF still works at the time of writing). It's a pretty straight-forward delve with some nice touches, but just about every creature encountered is going to fight, no questions asked. There are a few surprises, though...


A chilly challenge with nice detail and one unique creature that could prove... interesting, especially if it gets loose.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Crumbling Hall of the Frost Giant Jarl (3.0)
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DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
by Julie Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2016 12:05:02

A solid dungeon crawl with opportunities for roleplay and surreal weirdness. Without going into spoilers, the final showdown has some particularly colorful and interesting elements. This adventure works very well as a stand-alone and can be dropped into a homebrew world fairly easily; it has some Forgotten Realms-specific antagonists, but they could be replaced by any factions who are interested in the secrets of the pyramid.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
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House of the Harpies (3.0)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/13/2016 08:08:48

This adventures involves a group of thieves who thought they were ever so smart in having a base outside of the city on which they prey - the city guards are not concerned about what happens outside the city walls, and the thieves do not trouble anyone other than city-dwellers so nobody around the amazing tree-house they've constructed is interested in them either. Only they have now been ousted by some harpies...


The obvious mission is to evict the harpies: whether or not the party is happy about the thieves moving back in depends on their outlook (or who is paying them!). The hooks provided to get them involved include, interestingly, a couple which are completely inaccurate but will get them to the right place, as well as more obvious things like the party rogue being approached for assistance.


The city is left unspecified so you can run this adventure anywhere you have a city with a forest nearby capable of supporting the tree house. The plan provided (again originally from the Map-a-Week feature on the Wizards of the Coast website) shows an evergreen tree, but it's not important to the structure of the tree house so if the most suitable forest is deciduous, a tree of appropriate size from there will do fine. (Or perhaps you are not enough of a botanist to care...) Be that as it may, the actual habitable portions of the tree house - and the mess the harpies have created - is well-described and should prove an entertaining 'inverted delve' for the party, with assorted harpies to fight as they, understandably, do not wish to be evicted.


Neatly, the harpies are not treated en mass, there is a defined leader with her own plans and tactics, as well as other mature harpies and even some young ones - who still can make themselves unpleasant to intruders. A few brief notes on how to follow up the adventure, depending both on why the party got involved in the first place and the outcome, are included.


Overall it is a nice straightforward adventure which can slot neatly into any campaign when the party is in an appropriate location - perhaps you want to get them more involved in urban life, or maybe they are just passing through - and level, with scope for being treated as a side-trek or incorporated more closely into your plots.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
House of the Harpies (3.0)
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Battlesystem Miniatures Rules (2e)
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2016 14:17:20

At the risk of repeating what everyone else has said, this product is excellent. The page quality is so crisp and sharp it looks like it's been generated from the original DTP files rather than scanned like most ex TSR PDFs. The game is an eminently playable fantasy wargame designed to mesh easily with 2nd edition AD&D, but it plays perfectly well on its own merit and should be easy to adapt to 3rd edition+. I used to use this for semi-historical games of Aztecs vs Conquistadors which the basic rules handled fine.


If the rulesystem has a drawback it's that it's a buckets-o-dice system that uses most of the polyhedral dice types, so you may find yourself having to buy a bigger dice bag.


I've been eagerly waiting for this game to emerge from the Wizards' vaults, and can highly recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battlesystem Miniatures Rules (2e)
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The Secret of the Windswept Wall (3.0)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/11/2016 11:53:19

Oh dear! This adventure involves a crew of workmen building a wizard his tower who have been trapped by a cave-in... as International Rescue doesn't cover your campaign world, perhaps the party might like to help?


The adventure uses two maps originally published in 2001 as part of the Map-a-Week feature on the Wizards of the Coast website, but don't fret if you cannot find them, they are reproduced here. A sea-side village called Poisson is quite a-buzz - home of the workmen, they were excited by the wizard Sionaas choosing to settle in nearby mountains and now they are concerned about the fate of those he hired to build his tower. Several hooks are provided to get the party involved, most of which are designed to put them in the right place to hear the plea for help. There's some information to be gathered if the party choose to ask around (or have a handy bard who can access his knowledge), and a fair bit of background about the area in general - perhaps they have already been exploring the area when the messenger arrives.


Further background is provided for the DM about Sionaas and what he's up to... something that leads to his rather odd request, when the party arrives, that they use no magic in attempting a rescue! So this adventure will involve a lot of digging!


There's an intriguing mystery to investigate and some new critters (stats provided) to defeat, but most interesting is the wizard himself, who IF he chooses to trust the party (he really does like his secrets) may have some interesting tasks for them in the future... but that, of course, will be up to you to design. Providing a whole area to explore and a potential patron, this provides a lot for a DM hoping to build up a campaign in a fairly remote area, a good framework on which to build your own ideas!



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Secret of the Windswept Wall (3.0)
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DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
by Kevin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2016 23:26:53

I wanted to give this 2 stars since at least the module is better after an update, but there are still plenty of typos and there are still confusing parts. Also, I feel this is insulting on WoTC's part to release modules for $3-$4 each (and now up to module 8 for the series). I'm simply too curious not to pay to read these, but honestly, these should be no more than $1 when you compare them to what else is on DMs Guild. At least the following module, DDAL04-04 is actually quite good.


This module, like the others so far, have the usual waste of 9 pages in the front with AL specific information (seriously, why is this repeated in every module?).


As for the adventure itself, maybe it's because I've read it through twice now, or maybe it's because of some additions/corrections (made between my first and second read) but it is not a bad premise for a module. At least now, there is a story that makes some more sense. It's actually amazing how a few lines added starts to connect this module with the others. But then, there are still parts that make me say "huhh??..". Example: how can anyone read the last 3 paragraphs of page 19 and not CLEARLY see that something is missing. It's like there are 2 or 3 key sentences simply left out. Now, for me, if I were to use this at all, it'd be at my home game so I could just make up anything. But why I find this so odd, is that these are supposed to be written for organized play. Isn't someone editing these things?



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
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DDAL04-02 The Beast (5e)
by Resh W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2016 00:40:10

This adventure starts okay with great motivations for the player characters, however the ending assumes that the players will just sit back and watch the shop.


Most my players didn't accept the ending.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-02 The Beast (5e)
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