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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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Chronomancer (2e)
by Yunqi G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2016 22:44:08

对于非英语母语的读者来说本书有些艰涩难-
懂,但是不得不说本书给出了许多十分优秀的-
冒险创意,新的Chronomancy学派也非常有趣。总-
而言本书完全对得起这个价格。



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronomancer (2e)
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DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
by Afet b. T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2016 11:28:14

This short adventure has an decent underlying plot structure and I like the premise of discovering hidden elements. I like also that it follows on the previous adventure and links to the next one. But the hidden elements are...too hidden, and some things need to be clarified. If the PCs are to take action, they need sufficient information and, more importantly, they need emotional hooks to motivate them. They need a good reason to break into the Burgomaster's house, and they need a reason to go to Fillar's Shop. I have given a number of suggestions for fixes in the discussion area that focus on the setup of the adventure. With these fixes in place, my PCs had no trouble knowing what to do. They found the discovery elements and the Robin Hood aspect compelling.


But I can't imagine it would go well if you were to try to run the adventure "as is". Sadly, this product continues the trend of poor editing and revision that we've come to expect from the Adventurer's Leage adventures. AL is an important public face of the D&D brand, which is currently causing no small amount of frustration and anger...particularly since they are now charging money for these "half-baked" adventures. Wizards would do well to allocate funds for revision and proof-reading for official AL releases. As it is, the value of the brand is being diminished by the current trend.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
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DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2016 10:49:07

No reason for the PC's to do much or figure anything out in this one. The action happens around them regardless of their actions.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
by Malcolm W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2016 22:56:30

4-03 is a poorly put together adventure. There ia alot of good ideas but the connection between them is weak.
You start out with some rumors but one is about trying to find an unknown item in a village with 51 buildings that the author wants you to seach a specific one but does not really give you any reason to pick it over others. Also you are strangers in this village that is your sole means of survival during a winter blizzard so are you really going to piss of the village mob by ransacking the town? There is a slim window for you to confront the main bad guy before he leaves but again you lack proof...tons of suspicions but no proof unless you are a group that just tends to act before thinking.. Lastly the other semi bad guy maybe uncovered with a skill check but again you have no proof of what he is up to. If you run this as a DM you will need to put in some work so that a party can make these connections. This is an AL league adventure that is supposed to be edited and ready to run and I do not think it is and if there was a way I would like a refund or a fixed product because I do not think I got what I am supposedly paying for. Lastly let me say that I have been a D&D player for 40 plus years ....am a contributer in a publisher wizard product and have played previous Living campaigns for over a decade.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
by Heather V. D. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2016 15:09:50

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
After reading through this adventure several times, I have still have no idea how I'm going to run it - I'd switch it out but it's already been advertised as one of the events at convention. After hearing a bunch of rumors at the inn the players are supposed to be motivated to go searching all over town for an item that may exist and yet no one knows what it looks like? BTW - they don't find the item in this adventure. The adventure seems to think the players might be motivated to search in the absent Bergomaster's house - I don't know why, there isn't a clue as to what they're looking for or why it would be in his house. And then there's a shopkeeper that's really a wereraven, but he doesn't know that he has the item and it's out of his hands before we ever get there - and we still don't know what it looks like - so we should care why? But suddenly there should be a mob of angry villiagers going to attack the house of someone who is supposed to be dead, but has come back, but the only clues we have for that reanimation are that he smells funny and wears a wolf cap? This adventure needs a complete rewrite.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-04 The Marionette (5e)
by Anthony L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2016 15:16:22

A solid adventure that continues the story from the previous season modules. This one is well written and very playable, although you'd be hard pressed to play all of it in a single 4 hour session. Especially for AL play, i'd advise playing part 1-3 in the first session and part 4 in a second session. By FAR my favorite module of the season to DM.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-04 The Marionette (5e)
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DDAL04-04 The Marionette (5e)
by Jia J. T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/19/2016 22:31:06

This is a fairly fun adventure. Or it might just be because 4-1 and 4-3 were so horrible that my expectations has dropped significantly.


Nonetheless the hook to the adventure is so much better. The final boss fight is a little too easy in my opinion, and the manor shouldbe a little more deadly to bring the crippy and horror feeling.


I personally added a little twist to force the adventure forward after the first part because some parties I've DMed for aren't too bothered about what happened. [SPOILERS]


So the initial hooks is good enough. A simple missing person and someone offers you some gold to check out the path the missing person took. Things happen you meet Glovia the main healer of the village who you wll later find to be the main villain.


I've noticed some groups aren't bother by Glovia kidnapping Sorina to bring Isabella back to life.


There is two way I use to solve this. During their vision, make Isabella be friend one of the character (remove the spectacles) and give that character more information that Glovia is up to no good. However is has backfired before, the character not actually believes Isabella can come back to life and wants it to happen.


The other way is to make one of the character get love stuck by Sorina. So when she is kidnapped that adventure will convince everyone else to march towards the manor.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
by Jia J. T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/19/2016 22:21:55

DDAL 4-1 was horrible, even after the update. DDAL 4-2 was great but DDAL 4-3 is disappointing to say the least.


The adventure hook is terrible, is assume that just because the players see a bunny they will run after it. And if the players do not run after the bunny? You DM magic them towards the bunny. [You over hear a rumour and are expected to pursue that rumour all the way to Middle Earth and back. Its like Fordo going on a journey to Middle Earth because he heard someone was bringing something there so he went on the journey just to see if the rumours were true]


In order for you to run DDAL 4-3 properly, you will have to read at least DDAL 4-4 and DDAL 4-5. Otherwise things just do not make a lot of sense and you probably do not want to jump into conclusion yourself because the adventure for 4-4 and 4-5 is already released anyway.


Another aspect of this adventure that I really do not like is the fact that it does not encourage roleplaying at all. Not the DM and not the players. There is little to no roleplay encounters and little to no reward for roleplaying.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
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World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting (1e)
by Tim K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/19/2016 13:38:51

There are actually several revised version of this and gobs of 2nd Edition content for Greyhawk, but this the one I owned and I was very happy to get it back. The map scans are crisp and clean and the descriptions are descriptive, but not overly precise. Plenty of room to role play without needing to worry about the history of the setting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting (1e)
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DDAL04-02 The Beast (5e)
by Zingbob C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2016 14:18:07

A pretty good mod, sure there have been better but this is a great introduction to Barovia and Orasnou. There are a couple things that I do take issue with this mod though. I'll put them here so Alan can read my feedback: The ending is a slight bit rail-roady, a bit more than I'd like. I'd like it if there were suggestions on what to do if the Burgomaster is refused as I (as a DM) had literally just met him and how he was supposed to be roleplayed. As I've run more mods I've got a clearer idea, but it still stands that it's a bit unclear for DMs who would run this without knowing him. One more thing that I'd recommend is having the "we are not alone" encounter occur throughout the adventurer's travels through the wilderness. Another thing is that the Gregori notes that the adventurers should make haste as a storm is coming (hence why he's the only open place) so then why would the adventurers spend like an hour wandering around town? This does not seem like something that would happen. Other than that, great mod, super fun to run, my players enjoyed it. Good job Alan!



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