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DDEX1-05 The Courting of Fire (5e)
by Heath B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2018 18:40:48

An interesting setup for a recurring villain. The investigation section, once I understood it as the DM, was easy to run and the players followed the clues correctly. The dungeon was also a fun crawl with some thrilling encounters and ways for the players to "outsmart" the tricky parts. A simple cantrip avoids some traps, which I think is fine. I felt there were some loose ends that interested players more than they should have; I had to do some quick thinking to divert what could have been hooks for an entire invented campaign back to a swift AL wrap-up. The villain is resourceful for a Tier 1 adventure and will be a joy to play again later in the season. I still need to get more efficient about run time; having prepped all the maps and monster hit points I still ran this four-hour module in seven hours of game time spread into two sessions. The final room is a bit crowded of a chamber for a Strong or Very Strong party. I suggest adding 5' in each direction as part of the adjustment.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-05 The Courting of Fire (5e)
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DDAL07-08 Putting the Dead to Rest (5e)
by Derrick C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2018 17:39:52

I found the final fight to be underwhelming. I ran with a group of 5,6,7,9,9,10. APL wise they were at average, but above in number. I ended up using Very Strong for the fights and the party smoked them. Rather anticimatic end to the trilogy



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-08 Putting the Dead to Rest (5e)
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DDAL07-07 Rotting Roots (5e)
by Derrick C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2018 17:38:06

Fun mod, and the descovery of being in a Trex is awesome



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-07 Rotting Roots (5e)
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DDAL07-06 Fester and Burn (5e)
by Derrick C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2018 17:34:40

Nice balance of Puzzle, RP, and Combat. The final fight can be tough for a low level party



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-06 Fester and Burn (5e)
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DDAL07-05 Whispers in the Dark (5e)
by Kyle D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2018 17:10:51

A decent mod, seemed to run long but probably because it is the conclusion to the trilogy. I felt like there was good direction for the DM in this mod. Would of appreciated the encounters being a bit more challenging for the players.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-05 Whispers in the Dark (5e)
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DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
by Kyle D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2018 16:38:47

My favorite part of ths mod was the "mudslide" encounter. I ended up using a similar situation in my ToA HC campaign. I like the fact that something outside of basic combat was included. The flavor of the goggles of night my players thought was pretty cool, Predator vision!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
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DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
by Kyle D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2018 16:36:09

An excellent concept executed poorly. I feel like the authors here were really trying to step outside the cookie cutter mold of how mods usually are but unfortunately ran out of time and just threw something togerther. There is not enough informaiton provided to the DM in this mod to accurately instruct them on how the race is suppose to work. I do not know if they meant for there to be about 30% of the race mechanics to be open-ended or if this was just a poor job on the descriptions. I unfortunately felt like I was "winging" it for most of this mod. The players seemed to have fun but really could of been better written.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
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DDAL07-02 Over the Edge (5e)
by Kyle D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2018 16:32:16

I ran this mod 3 times as part of the DM Quest this season. The concept behind this was interesting but I did not find that I was significantly able to challenge to players. A bit of a cake walk when it came to the encounters.

Also the mod talks about multi day journey through the jungle to each of the scouting location, but it is just breezed over as a simple stroll through Chult. Would of like to seen more involvement in the journey to each location.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-02 Over the Edge (5e)
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
by Kyle D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2018 16:28:50

I ran this mod 3 times as part of the DM quest this year. Each time the players seemed to easiily breeze throgh it, even on the Very Strong setting. I would of like to see more challenging encounters. Also, a bit more of a conclusion at the end of the 5th mission would of been good. We found this amulet now what???



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
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DDEX1-09 Outlaws of the Iron Route (5e)
by Dan Q. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2018 12:13:44

First time DM. This definitely required a lot of prep work, and we completed it in 5 hours. It was a lot of fun, but pretty challenging for a group of 6 Level 1 characters. Every one had a great time though.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-09 Outlaws of the Iron Route (5e)
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DDAL05-06 Beneath the Fetid Chelimber (5e)
by Timothy J. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/13/2018 21:25:05

This adventure is a solidly written combat romp. Most of the adventure hooks are pretty good, for a tier 1 party, especially if they're already invested in Parnast. The addition of Hsing is clumsy, but thats pretty common - using "SEER" (which is always stupidly written in all-caps) as a deus ex machina is boring. It's a strong reason for the lack of a fifth star.

The first fight is good. The descriptions are good, and the enemies are reasonable. For people who want to RP, there's a good encounter included but it is neither required nor forced upon the players. Befriending him is helpful, of course.

The second scene is a brief exploration bit, tapping on one of the other pillars of the D&D experience. It has some good advice for when things go wrong, when things go well, and how to incorporate some character backgrounds. The DCs are a little bit easy, but other than that, a good section of the module.

The third scene, another combat encounter is just as good as the first. The enemies have a solid explaination for why they're together in such an atypical grouping. The setting provides a couple of different ways to approach it, and is set up in a way that is very easy to scale (even on the fly).

And of course, it's a good lead-in to the second part. If I could give half stars, I would only ding it the half for the inclusion of Hsing... but I can't. Only near perfection gets all five stars from me.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-06 Beneath the Fetid Chelimber (5e)
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DDAL07-05 Whispers in the Dark (5e)
by Timothy J. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/13/2018 20:51:29

This is the stongest of the three modules in the The Jungle Has Fangs Trilogy, but I still can't rate it five stars. The key NPC in the latter two modules is continually described as "tricky". He allegedly has plans to "betray" the characters, but never really does. His presence and usage alone is the reason for subtracting a star.

The first part is a pretty solidly blended puzzle and combat encounter. I strongly encourge DMs to make use of maps and minis for this module, and pay close attention to the action economy. The arrangement of the obelisks is very smartly done, but it requires paying close attention to the mechanical aspects.

The second part is good, too. The main antagonist has good reason to play with the characters, messing with thier heads and toying with them like food. That gives the GM a lot of leway to stretch out the encounter if needed, building in some roleplaying to a combat scene. DMs should not neglect to have her use the magic item she's carrying - it isn't just loot for the players to sweep up.

The closing part is weak, primarily because it involves the aforementioned NPC. One big part is that his description changes from one scene to the other. There's a good reason for the change, and the NPC could explain it a bit to give the players and characters information about his culture and species, but the opportunity was missed. This is also the point where he claims to have "fooled" the party, but the reality is that he helped them just fine the whole way. Sure, their goals aligned. If it had been handled more elegantly in the previous module, he could have been a reasonably storied ally, instead of some cackling villian.

TLDR: The best of the series, but might have been better as a standalone module.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-05 Whispers in the Dark (5e)
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DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
by Timothy J. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/13/2018 20:30:26

I find this module rather weak. Most of the encounters are ill-natured, designed to frustrate rather than excite. The first part doesn't really do a good job of giving the adventurer's a reason to take on the quest unless they already completed DDAL07-03. While I understand its part of a trilogy, there still should be good hooks for people who pick it up mid-stream.

The chase scenes - two different versions of it - seem forced. In addition, some of the DCs are artificially high for an APL3 group. Related to the chase, there's a passive Perception check that only a character proficient and with maximum starting Wisdom can make (or a variant human with a feat), and a suggestion that it should be five points higher most of the time. It follows with a combat encounter that is suggested only if you have extra time. Because AL play doesn't allow for XP on traps or RP, unless you have the extra time to run the combat, the chase scene does nothing but use up time. It's really just wastes time and serves as an opportunity to take items away from players.

The next scene involves a recalcitrant shopkeeper, with notes that indicate he absolutely will not buckle under interrogation no matter what the party do. Again, this is another pure RP scene that provides nothing to the characters and just takes up time. The plot only advances after this scene, in a deus ex machina kind of encounter. The characters bump into somebody who they have no reason to trust, but are forced to to advance the plot. In fact, players who've played the DDAL07-01 introductory modules will have good reason not to trust the plot-required character.

The next part is a travel scene. It involves a big pile of skill checks, with no guidance on how to make them interesting or fun. Experienced GMs will have no problem making this part interesting, while inexperienced or unskilled GMs will likely flounder. And once again, it mostly serves to use up time and deprive players of minor bits of equipment. As written, it is simply not fun or interesting.

The final fight is at least marginally interesting. However, it starts with another forced deus ex machina piece, almost a continuation of the first one. If you didn't trust the stranger that you have no reason to trust, there really isn't any way you should even get to it... and then the same NPC is required to advance the story. Not only that, but he turns around and tries to give the party orders - determining thier strategy for the coming encounter.

TLDR: Not the worst adventure ever written, but it requires a strong DM with good improvisation to make it even remotely entertaining.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
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DDAL06-03 Crypt of the Death Giants (5e)
by Scott M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/12/2018 21:06:11

Two hours for this adventure is definately not enough time. I did play it several times (with different characters) and ran it at least once as well. There are a few situations/traps in here that are particularly nasty and I got the impression some of them were there just to seriously mess up high-level characters whose players were pushing to try and get through this in a two-hour slot.

It is a sequal to the Against The Giants adveture in The Yawning Portal (although having gone through that adventure first is not a requirement) and a prequel to the AL Season 6 epic, DDEP06-03. If you do not have a chance to play DDEP06-03, there's a high likelihood of this module ending on a disappointing note, which is kind of a sad way to end a tier 4 module, especially if it's the one that gets you to level 20.

That all being said, it is an intersting romp through an old ruin and there are some potentialy cool Story Awards/Downtime Activities in here.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL06-03 Crypt of the Death Giants (5e)
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DDAL00-04 Winter's Flame (5e)
by Scott M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/12/2018 20:52:21

A very fun and relatively short adventure. Primarily role-playing with very little combat. Introduces some common magic items from XGE. Very holiday/seasonal themed. This could easily be run in a block longer than two hours, and I suggest it is done so; there is a lot of fun, non-combatty things to do!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-04 Winter's Flame (5e)
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