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PHBR5 The Complete Psionics Handbook (2e)
by David V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2017 15:22:58

I would have given this 5 stars, but the scan is of the 1st edition of the handbook which contains mistakes. There are errata published and discussed in 'The Will and the Way' Dark Sun rulebook.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
PHBR5 The Complete Psionics Handbook (2e)
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DDIA05 Storm King's Thunder: A Great Upheaveal (5e)
by Jasmine L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/31/2016 03:19:12

This review contains spoilers. Players, do not read.

I was very pleased with this introductory adventure. While it has a clear linear progression, I love how much agency it gives the players. There are meaningful decisions for them to make that have direct and immediate impact on the adventure. Almost all of the encounter can be approached in multiple ways. If your players want to kick in the door and roll initiative, they can do that. If your players want to be diplomatic and talk out the conflict, they can do that (mostly). If your players want to use stealth, guile, and/or trickery to accomplish their objectives, that's possible too.

The milestone xp takes you neatly to level 5, although treasure might be a bit sparse, especially given that some of it is skippable. It should last for several sessions; I did it in four parts.

The whole thing segues cleanly into Storm King's Thunder, if you're running the hardcover adventure, but if you're not, it's very easy to tweak it to segue into just about anything else, since it ends by dropping the players off at whatever the next plot-relevant destination happens to be. Just fiddle a bit with the exposition, change the destination of the journey, and poof! Adapted.

Some tips for running it (here be the spoilers):

  • During the orc siege, remember that only half of the orcs need to be slain for the rest of them to flee. If the players start to get overwhelmed, you can bring in the elves, but if you're using a battle map instead of theater of the mind, it can get a bit awkward if the elves come in from the north while the orcs are attacking from the south and it takes multiple rounds for them to engage after they show up.
  • In the "Unfriendly Skies" section, there's a particularly juicy uncommon wondrous item that's very easy for the players to miss, so make sure to draw attention to it and drop hints that it's valuable. Obtaining it requires taking on some risk, but you should give them enough clues so that they know the risk has a potential reward.
  • The worgs in the first section can really pack a punch. A couple unlucky rolls could imperil the players right off the bat. I consider this a good thing, because it sets the initial excitement level high.
  • Watch out for the Blob. It's a doozy. An unprepared party is going to have a really tough time with it, and it can ambush them in a way that makes it difficult to run away.
  • The final part of the adventure is designed to transition into the next part of a longer campaign. If you want to run it as a self-contained story, you can leave out Zephyros and his tower and stop after rescuing the villagers.

Anyway, I enjoyed it and so did my table. Thumbs up from me.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDIA05 Storm King's Thunder: A Great Upheaveal (5e)
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DDAL05-05 A Dish Best Served Cold (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/30/2016 14:09:51

I am relatively new DM, and this was my first Adventurer's League DM experience, so you may want to take some of my comments with a grain of salt. Spoliers adead

I ran this module for 3 PCs that were 7th (sharpshooting crossbow fighter), 8th (trickery cleric) and 9th level (bladelock). I had a weak to very weak party according to the module, but they showed that the "very weak" party strength table adjustments were too easy, so I modded it up to "weak." It took me about 3 hours to run the adventure, but it was probably because I had a slow start on account of my inexperience.

It has a lot of potential for social interactions, investigation and mystery solving or the PCs can march straight in and go murder-hobo on it. The stakes felt real and the PCs seemed to be invested. They just came off of a Storm Kings Thunder fight against frost giants, and this is about preventing a war between a frost giant tribe and a human settlement. So if your PCs are in SKT, they will likely immediately feel immersed in the world and it could be used as we used it, as an aside adventure while our regular GM couldnt make it or to play non SKT main storyline if some players are missing.

The social interaction path to victory (negotiating with Scarn- the leader of the antagonistic militia - to release the giant) that the adventure plays out is really reliant on the PCs doing multiple dice checks in a row, and those succeeding are reliant on how well they investigated some scenes coming up to the main encounter. The way that the adventure is written, its not entirely clear that the people are supposed to be looking for anything other than the giant, and that gathering more info will help them down the road. One of the locations that the PC find themselves has some clues, but the clues wouldnt be found unless the random encounter at the location comes up a certain way and the NPCs there direct the PCs to the clue. So, I think that the social encounter at the end would be difficult unless a lot of things fall the right way. The module suggests that the players need to win 3/5 arguements with Cathica (the real bad guy in the adventure) in order to convince Scarn in order to succede. These arguments are made with advantage if evidence is presented with each arguement. It could be a very difficult situation to succede in, so perhaps if you know your PCs are likely to negotiate to victory, you may want to give them a hint at the beginning that it is a mystery why the Blood Rider militia didn't kill the frost giant outright, and that finding that out may help you resolve the problem, inviting the PCs to understand that info is their friend here.

It didnt matter to my PCs that they blew past most of the clues, because they came up with a clever and nigh siuicidal way to get the giant out and run away. They split their own party entirely but managed to confuse the Blood Riders into spliting up as well to chase them all down. Then, a good 45 minutes of shenanigans later they'd evaded the riders and resuced the giant.

All in all a fun adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-05 A Dish Best Served Cold (5e)
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Player's Handbook, Revised (2e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/24/2016 16:54:16

I absolutely love this book. Granted, I have never even seen the older versions of 2e and therefore have no previous book to which I can compare it. However, I really like the mechanics of the game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Handbook, Revised (2e)
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Player's Option - Combat & Tactics (2e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2016 16:06:30

Completely worth it in my opinion, has the most ridiculous rules you've ever seen, so make lots of notes wether through screenshots or through stickit notes.

Theres a whole section on wrestling, slamming people into the ground, running over smaller creatures, tackling people, throwing people, guarding with your sword against sword, detailed critical hit charts for losing limbs and body parts - it has it all.

I went and made an abridged word document for this and it took up 10-15 pages and handed them out.

If you play tabletop AD&D try to automate it through macros if you're a technical person because otherwise you'll be there forever.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Option - Combat & Tactics (2e)
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Mines of Madness (Next)
by Chris L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/22/2016 10:03:40

I had a great time running it for my party and they had a great time also.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mines of Madness (Next)
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DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
by Colin P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/21/2016 10:34:48

Great balance of combat and role playing. One of the better AL mods I've seen thus far, and I think it's my favorite of the season to-date.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
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DDAL05-07 Chelimber's Descent (5e)
by Colin P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/21/2016 10:31:39

I agree with all of the complaints/constructive criticisms posted already. If the errors/inconsistencies are cleaned up, it's a passable mod. I agree that the battle feels tacked on - I half expected to find a Lich based on the tower's backstory. I think I would have gone with a battle using elemental-type opponents or constructs. The undead just didn't feel quite like the right fit for this dungeon.

All that said, the dungeon has some interesting features - it just needs to be tighened up.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-07 Chelimber's Descent (5e)
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DDAL05-04 In Dire Need (5e)
by Jeremy F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/20/2016 11:43:10

Short but open-ended-- great as a 2 hour mod (though it requires a firm hand on the wheel as a DM), but if you have time, you should let yourself run this as a 3 or 4 hour mod, and take advantage of the agency it gives to the players. What a great mod!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-04 In Dire Need (5e)
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DDAL05-07 Chelimber's Descent (5e)
by Curtis G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/19/2016 20:55:24

So I see that the previous reviewer called out several of fthe items that I was going to call out so I won't rehash those...but I will reiterate that while I love the concept of this module it seems to have been very poorly executed. I also DMed this module as a playtest and I was glad to see some of the issues fixed, but there are still way to many problems with this one to encourage me to run it again.

Here are some of my comments:

  • Page 8 - Description of the Landing (as compared to the map). Statest that if the players do not solve the time puzzle then a 3' wide rock at the TOP of the stairs comes rolling down the stairs and hits the area NEXT to the puzzle locked door. But later is says that the rock busts open the door after two fails. Several problems here....the puzzle locked door is on the opposite end of the landing....so the rock will never hit the door or the wall NEXT to the door but the wall at the opposite end of the hall.
  • Page 12 - Text box for The Shrieof Oghma says "The walls of this room show various was of .... " typo....was should be ways
  • Page 14 - Alters are referred to as Alter A, B, C, and D...this should be reflected on the map.
  • Starting on page 16 - The rooms in the text need to be numbered and those numbers need to be added to the Map...there are several random rooms that don't seem to have any purpose other than to take up negative space. Very frustrating.
  • Starting on page 14 - you are given clues such as "Songs of our Ally may be treated gently" ... is this compared to the color wall (element) or the room you are in? It seem to change. This caused real frustration when I ran it. For example....first wall is obviously FIRE and says SING PRAISES...so you read the FIRE phrase....but once you are in the fire room the next wall is obviously AIR (White/Gray) and says ALLY...so you would thing it would be the ALLY of air which is FIRE...but you have to read AIR. While in the Earth room the wall is BLUE/GREEN which is WATER and syas ALLY....but once again rather than doing EART which is the ALLY of WATER you actually read the WATER statement ---- So....the first wall you pass you have to read based on the wall you are in front of but the others is seems to be based on the room you are in....which there are not very many clues about what the room is.
  • Page 17 - I don't even know where to start in the AIR SUMMONING CHAMBER....first of all it says "See descriptio fhte Air wall abover" and I think it should actually read "Earth Wall"....but the clue is impossible. I have shared it with several DMs in the store and not a single one of them could make head or tails of it. If the DM can't figure it out....how is the player supposed to.
  • Page 21 - The Faction Copyist says something different than it does in the conclusion on page 19. On page 21 it says that they can use 10 DT days to copy content....they can then copy a spell from EE spell book. But on Page 19 it says that it is 5 DT Days to copy content then they can choose to use an additional 5 days to copy one spell.....That is two VERY different processes.

Hopefully you will take this as constructive....but unless these issues are resolved I will not be recommending this one for any of the cons that I run.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-07 Chelimber's Descent (5e)
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Volo's Guide to Monsters: A D&D Adventurers League Reference (5e)
by Charles B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/19/2016 18:40:36

The introduction limits the usage of the new races and backstories. So limit your imagination like never before.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Volo's Guide to Monsters: A D&D Adventurers League Reference (5e)
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Pregen Characters: Dwarf Cleric (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/17/2016 20:07:39

This was a very solid product. It was exactly what it described itself. I have used a couple of the characters already to form some of the key NPCs in an adventure I'm in the middle of writting. The writing was well done, the formating solid and workman like.

One of the difficulties I had with this product was the download process via the drivethruRPG site. The download tool doesn't deal well with large groups of files, so I ended up having to download things in batches.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pregen Characters: Dwarf Cleric (5e)
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Chronomancer (2e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/16/2016 18:34:54

I had this Back when it came out the first time. Most of gamming Collection lost to Tornado and flooding in 2010. This will be a great addition to Pathfinder RPG, after I convert Spells.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Chronomancer (2e)
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L2 The Assassin's Knot (1e)
by Martin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2016 12:48:53

This adventure is unusual for adventure published in those years in the sense that it relies heavily on the players investigative skills. After the introduction, the adventure starts with a description of the events that trigger this adventure: the characters are hired to find out who murdered the Baron of Restenford. All investigation points to three characters living in the village of Garotten. After travelling there, through questioning and deductions, the characters can uncover a guild of assassins and possibly stop them from killing off the remaining ruling family (the baroness and her daughter).

Instead of following the usual format of set encounters, the adventure provides an overview of the events to come, provides a time table and offers a sample of events that may hinder or help the characters’ investigation based on what they do. The remainder of the adventure provides a description of the locales and major NPCs. An emphasis is placed on the three starting suspects and the areas in which they will likely be interrogated. The conclusion provides ideas on how the adventure can end once the characters figure out the truth.

What we have here is an excellent free-form adventure that progresses based on the characters actions. I like the fact that events will unfold unless the characters discover the truth and that nothing is set in stone, no railroading here! The resolution depends on the players’ wits, not on how lucky they are or on how they maximized their characters options. In fact, trying to attack and kill everyone is a sure way to fail to prevent anything! Great adventure!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
L2 The Assassin's Knot (1e)
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DDAL05-07 Chelimber's Descent (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/14/2016 19:16:03

This adventure looked like it may have been a neat dungeon crawl, but there are enough strange design choices and outright errors that it detracted from my group's enjoyment.

The four shrines in the Chapel don't seem to serve much of a purpose besides having an interesting presentation. If the party doesn't do anything, they're rewarded in all but one of the shrines. That's not fun. Likewise, the party can completely ignore the Gargoyle's Roost. The elemental prismatic walls didn't serve a purpose besides dealing damage and being pretty, and are entirely avoidable without risk by simply walking around them.

Speaking of the Elemental Chapel, on page 13 it reads that a character who gives an offering gains "3 resistance." What does "3 resistance" mean? This isn't explained anywhere, as far as I saw. Did I miss it? I ended up giving characters resistance to the appropriate damage type, and immunity if they made an offering of an aspect of that element, but that's something that should have been clear in the module itself.

The four elemental summoning chambers didn't have anything going on, either, besides a random Wand of Web. By this point of the adventure my players were handwaving through things because there was nothing to do, and we ended up skipping right over the wand.

The final encounter with the wight and skeletons felt tacked on since there weren't any foreshadowing encounters.

Gripes & Errors: The map isn't labeled, it doesn't have a compass rose, the rooms aren't numbered, there's a spelling error on page 18 ("wroth" instead of "worth"), the word engraved is written as "in graved" in the description of the Water Summoning Chamber on page 17, and there's mention of a door covered in green mold that doesn't appear on the map.

An adventure like this had a lot of potential for exploring through a wizard's tower in reverse - from the top to the bottom - but there wasn't enough to interact with in a meaningful way; just a lot of traps to avoid by walking away and phrases to repeat. This adventure was disappointing, and the lack of quality control was really bad, especially coming from Wizards of the Coast.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-07 Chelimber's Descent (5e)
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