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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
by Julia B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2016 13:24:54

My only problem with it is there were a couple of typos that made it hard to figure out what it meant at times. Also, I think some of the scaling options might be switched around? Like I when it gives you options to scale it for your party, I think weak/very weak were switched around in one of the sidebars. Otherwise, great product.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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DDEX3-06 No Foolish Matter (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2016 23:04:53

I'm a newer DM, so take this with a grain of salt. The setting (creepy carnival) is undeniably fun, and ripe for all kinds of roleplaying. And it was appropriate and enjoyable for a group of mostly newer players. But as the other review for this mentions, what drags it down is the dialogue in the tavern (too many NPCs with too little important info to share). My PCs felt like they were missing something, when in fact there just wasn't much there. Then exploring the fair, while more fun than the tavern, can suffer from creating too much downtime before the first combat encounter. The tavern is more at fault than the fair, though I think it's reasonable to say that whatever dialogue is spread throughout numerous tavern/fair NPCs and locations could easily be streamlined into 1-2 discussions or stops. If I were to run this again, I'd have them arrive at the tavern at night with one NPC (Aelia) awake to fill them in and push them off far more quickly, and would consider some tighter "rails" at the fair itself.

Once my PCs got into the mirror maze, this was a blast. I improvved a mirror teleportation puzzle that they solved with some rope and spellcasting, and the final encounter with the cool mirror-based lair abilities was satisfying.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-06 No Foolish Matter (5e)
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Lost Crown of Neverwinter (4e)
by Philip M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2016 05:28:25

DESCRIPTION MAKES IT SEEM LIKE YOU WILL GET THE GAMEDAY ADVENTURE AND BONUS MODULE. BUT YOU DONT. YOU GET FIVE BUCKS WORTH OF 4E.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Lost Crown of Neverwinter (4e)
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DDEX2-01 City of Danger (5e)
by Chris K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2016 09:23:23

"City of Danger" is an introductory adventure consisting of 5 separate 1-2 hour adventures for 1-2 level characters. The mini-adventures are intended to introduce players to the major themes of Adventures League season two and, as such, each focuses on a different elemental theme.

Many of the adventures showcase two different aspects of adventure design. First, they use the idea that a failure on a skill check or saving throw doesn't have to disrupt the adventure, but can and should have consequences later. In some cases, the players (or at least the DM) will actually have more fun if someone has failed a saving throw. The other design element, using an "against the clock" mechanism to inject a sense of urgency, is tried in most of the adventures. Sometimes this works well, but in other cases is less successful because the players either don't know they need to hurry or else don't care if they finish in time.

The editing could use some improvement. In most places, the errors are just minor irritants, but in at least one case an editing oversight could lead to confusion at the table (The handout for "Fathomless Water" has the two sets of glyphs swapped, so question one lines up with answer two and vice versa).

My only real disappointment with these adventures in general is the weakness of the hooks. In a con setting, where everyone understands they have two hours and just need to swallow the hook, the motivations may be enough to get the adventure started. Even in that setting, the use of "bait and switch" storylines, where the adventurers sign up for one mission only to find that that premise was false and the adventure really wants to go in a different direction, can lead to problems. This happens in two of the five adventures and leaves the players wondering if they should stick with the original plan or take a sharp turn to a new plot direction.

The first four adventures were quite fun. The fifth, however, was really below the bar set by the others. It is an unsatisfying mash up of overused tropes (see the Discussion), the skill challenge relied on PCs taking actions that probably didn't make sense, and NPCs acted out of character. If you only need to run some of the mini-adventures, give the fifth (Fear Like Dark Oblivion) a miss. If you do run it, in the Discussion, I give some suggestions for how to polish it up.

The adventures could be used as side quests in a larger campaign, especially if run as part of Princes of the Apocalypse.

Chris Krieger @SquareKnotRPG



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-01 City of Danger (5e)
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DDA4 The Dymrak Dread (Basic)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2016 05:42:52

Without the overall dungeon map this product is essentially useless.



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[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDA4 The Dymrak Dread (Basic)
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DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
by Timothy M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/20/2016 22:12:18

Ran this on fantasy grounds tonight, with 5 players. I thought this was a very well done module, and I liked how it connected with The Black Road. I think most people will have played 5-2 when they play this one, so thats a good choice, but it also has hooks if they haven't played 5-2. Just like the previous adventure, this one offers a few branching paths, with real choices for the characters which means that you could play through this one several times and it could be very different each time. It is well written, and I did not notice any typos or errors. The included fantasy grounds module is well done, and makes this module a superior value for those running online. Depending on how the party chooses, this could be a combat heavy mod or a roleplaying heavy mod, which I thought was pretty cool. So far the season 5 adventures have really impressed me, and I hope that the high quality continues.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2016 14:39:41

A very well put together mod, with just the right amount of danger and fun for the entire party. Fun NPC's, challenging environment and foes give you a real sense of "Movie" like expereince which will move your players.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2016 00:24:50

[Minor Vague Spoilers]

I loved the module, partly because of the respect for setting it engenders and partly because it is such a great follow-up to it's lead-in "The Black Road", which I also ran today. The mood of Parnast, of it's people and all the interactions there set a specific, sympathetic tone. These people need help. Fortunately, the party was as far from murderhobos as you could get. They even tolerated the red-shirt. They played Part Two perfectly with the best of all possible results and were almost perfect in Part Three (redshirt had to make a death save).

I lost players for this round (store-run scheduling) because the lead-in ran long. However this was just as egregiously off in the estimated running time. Total running time was three hours twenty minutes.

I'm grateful for how this adventure ties into Season One's first hardback. I wasn't sure it really did until I browsed through "Hoard of the Dragon Queen" in a bookstore. Having DM'd a player whose mind was completely blown in the STK hardbound campaign when the spirit of someone from Season One showed up and tied-up a loose story end, I really appreciate the kind of planning, follow-up and attention to detail this takes. Of course, I had to buy HOTDQ after seeing the Parnast map in there.

The party was WEAK with three PCs at APL 3.

Party was WAAAAAAY more excited about the Story Rewards than the magic item. What do you expect from elves?

Again, nothing but love for for the adventure. Especially as a double shot. If anything, add a little more meat to this and "The Black Road": THEN you can call both FOUR-HOUR ADVENTURES.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2016 23:31:02

[SPOILER ALERT]

That being said, I will avoid as many specific spoilers as possible.

I loved the module, partly because of the variety of challenges and partly because of the whole-realms feel. I ran it as a double-shot with "Uninvited Guests", today.

I have some nitpicks. I'll address them first. One, there were a few typos (the important one "Very Strong Party: Add a bugbear chief, remove the worg." was mentioned on Discussions Tab). Two, lack of time and distance details for desert travel, was something I determined (incorrectly, turns out) on the fly. Third, caravan leave in four hours => caravan leaves pre-dawn? That meant to me: the party met, were interviewed and were hired at midnight. Is that right? Like I said, they're nitpicks. I would have liked more details on the wagons up front. I missed that they were tied-down, canvas-covered until it was mentioned at the end. The party thought the adventure should have mentioned that a SHATTER spell effects used on certain adversaries in "2D" should be spelled out for the DM. I call that one to be my fault. Last nitpick is timing for "2C": "The characters have a turn..." Should that be " The characters have a round..."? I used the "save yourself and one of three choices" guideline for this regardless how long it might take based on movement and the number of actions required to accomplish the chosen task.

PCs made hard choices. I had the PCs make all those skill checks on page 10 between paragraphs two and three in the boxed text as well as having PCs who succeeded the DC 13 Survival check follow that up with the History check on page 11. In the beginning, I named the drivers and had them interact with the PCs to make them more valuable during crunch-time. I gave one PC an extra "save choice" based on a spell cast while helping an NPC. Therefore, only a wagon and 2 camels were lost on the journey. The party didn't avoid or pay the toll.

There were player complaints about not detecting something that had a DC 15 check, but I rolled all those checks myself behind the screen without saying why. I'm convinced one player already knew what was up because he invisibly walked up to stare for ten minutes at the subject. I rolled for him with advantage: 3 & 5. The party figured it out eventually and reached their destination ("D2 option"). In Parnast, there was much rejoicing.

My only significant complaint: "The Black Road" IS NOT a two-hour adventure. I Cliff's-Noted "2B" (Persuasion check with advantage, because of 2nd PC help, for the information) because I felt it added flavor and valuable information. It couldn't have added ten minutes to the running time. It took three and a half total hours to run this adventure. The only way I COULD shorten the adventure would be to run it ALL as "theater of the mind" and NERF "2A" a little...but not down to two hours.

The party was STRONG with seven PCs at APL 3.

I love the adventure and will run it at least a couple more times in the next two months.

Oh! And we all loved the toenails! My compliments to the authors!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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Up Front Compilation Rulebook
by Timothy T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2016 15:22:01

I think it about time that all rules are put into one book. Easyer to play no matter what our area you are in. (Desert Europe, or even Pacific)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Up Front Compilation Rulebook
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Storm King's Thunder Harpers Faction Kit
by Keith H. J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/12/2016 17:05:08

While this is a good idea, I found the content lacking for the price. The table tent that is included is only paper. There is no spell sheet to go with the character sheet if you are a spell caster. The player handouts and the regional map are very well done. I believe this kit can be an incredible value if there was more content added to it for its price point. Maybe add in a few faction side quests in the kit that the player can be on the lookout for as well as some rumors or insight as to what the faction is currently up to. It would not take much more to make these kits into a must have for those interested in the factions.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Storm King's Thunder Harpers Faction Kit
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
by Bill P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/12/2016 16:19:02

Great introduction, lots of player choices and roleplay. Good mix of combat. We took way too long, 4 hours.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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DSR2 Dune Trader (2e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/07/2016 13:54:00

GREAT Dark Sun resource no matter what edition you have. Lots of flavor for the merchant houses of Athas and rules for the Trader class. The biggest plus is the lore for running none traditional economic focused campaigns. Great buy!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DSR2 Dune Trader (2e)
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Player's Handbook, Revised (2e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/07/2016 12:58:40

I've been picking up more and more pdfs from DriveThruRPG. This is a roughly 30 Mb file that has been well bookmarked. They not only sorted the spell book marks by level, but even bookmared each spell! Quite happy with this purchase, and it has made referencing my wizard's spells a breeze. Should also mention the file has text recognition so you can search for terms if you are not sure where to find an obscure rule.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Handbook, Revised (2e)
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B8 Journey to the Rock (Basic)
by Martin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/07/2016 12:10:31

This adventure is a very good low-level adventure. The characters are tasked with journeying to a place simply called The Rock, and bringing back its secret. The players can choose one of three paths to reach their destination, each path offering different challenges and different environments.

Once they finally reach their destination, the characters will have to face a Crone of Chaos before finding a way to enter The Rock. Once they get in, they will have to choose wisely if they wish to discover the secret hidden here.

I really liked this adventure because it offers encounters with a large variety of adversaries and not all of the encounters are resolved by combat. Several can be resolved with negotiations and wise choices. Each of the three trails also has two encounter tables, one for daytime and one for night time. This is something that is rarely seen in recent adventures, but something that makes a lot of sense and makes life easy for GMs. As for the encounters tied to the story, most of them are nice and fun. A few feel like filler or seem a bit strange, but they can be easily modified or replaced.

Interestingly, once the characters reach The Rock, the GM has two options on how to end the adventure based on how hard the ending should be for the characters. Once of them is a non-combat option which is nice to see since the fight with the Crone of Chaos could have been hard on the characters.

After the conclusion, there a great section on how to run additional adventures using the material found here and suggestions as to where to place the adventure in the context of the campaign world developed for D&D. The ending also provides a kind of lesson for the players that All that glitters is not gold. I have not seen this very often in roleplaying games.

While the encounters provided are interesting and that the adventure itself is well written, it is also pretty straightforward. Besides choosing one of three trails, the characters pretty much follow the trail and get to their destination. Advice is given should the players choose to travel without using the roads. At least, the encounters are varied and bring diversity to an otherwise pretty straightforward story.

If you like old school gaming, I believe that this adventure can be easily adapted to other rules set and even if not played as is, it has good material for scavenging.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
B8 Journey to the Rock (Basic)
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