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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)
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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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DDAL04-04 The Marionette (5e)
by Zingbob C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2016 09:58:37

A very solid adventure, my players were considerably freaked out by the girl in the dream scene as well as feeling the action when the town was on fire. The dungeon crawl was also pretty good and interesting. Overall, could use a little bit of editing work (like making sure the creature stats are acurate), but other than that it's great!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-04 The Marionette (5e)
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FR14 The Great Glacier (2e)
by Alastair M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/17/2016 06:22:25

With a scanned product, there can be technical issues over its legibility. However, with this product, the problem seems primarily to have been with the original printed version, not how it was scanned. Dark grey print on a mottled grey background was probably never easy to read in a hard-copy book. It hasn't been improved by its electronic recreation here!


The text does though remain generally legible, barring a few places where you may have to guess, both on-screen and in printout forms, and the information in the book, including its colour maps, is essentially unique for this heavily ice-covered, frozen part of the D&D "Forgotten Realms" world. The setting is perhaps overly human-centric, with few new creatures presented, and just humans and arctic dwarves as races in this isolated region (so no orcs, a little odd, given how they thrive in hordes across much of the less-icy northern Forgotten Realm lands elsewhere).


Possibly too remote and cold a location for many gamers (maybe why the region seems never to have been revisited by subsequent editions of D&D), the excellent level and quantity of unique information in "The Great Glacier" easily warrants a 5-star rating. However, the difficulties in reading it because of its muddy original printing promote merely a 1-star view. Hence I've opted, in true D&D 5e form, for the mean in rating it here.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
FR14 The Great Glacier (2e)
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The Scarlet Brotherhood (2e)
by Drew G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2016 13:17:26

MISSING MAP, BADLY CROPPED, AND NOT SEARCHABLE AS HAS BEEN POORLY SCANNED.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Scarlet Brotherhood (2e)
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Magic of Eberron (3.5)
by Elad G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/14/2016 06:02:20

This book focuses mostly on the lore of magic in Eberron. It includes detailed information on all major industries the have to do with magic, which is a huge part of the Eberron setting. Dragonshards, dragonmarked houses, elemental binding, magical items etc - more than simply presenting a catalog of new options, the book expands the lore behind all these and offers adventure ideas for all of them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Magic of Eberron (3.5)
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Hollow World Campaign Setting (Basic)
by joshua e. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/13/2016 23:05:32

I'm going to give this most of the 5 stars it should have gotten since they only released most of the box set. As several others have pointed out it is missing all of the poster maps that came in the box.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Hollow World Campaign Setting (Basic)
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DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/13/2016 12:45:06

DDAL04-03 THE EXECUTIONER is the third installment in this year's Curse of Strahd story line, and like 4-1 is not very good. Like 4-2 the actual writing (sentence struction, actual use of verbs and adjectives) and presentation are slightly better, but unlike 4-2 this adventure doesn't know what it wants to be from a plot standpoint. More than once I was completely lost as to where the author was going with things. Perhaps it would be better if there was some sort of a "Story so far ..." for the DM to read so they understand the path of this and the other AL events, as it seems like the authors are just making things up as they go along to build a plot that is extremely difficult to run as a DM.


For example, (I'll leave things out so as not to spoil the plot) in 4-2 you learn that winter is coming early to Barovia (a good plot device), and in 4-3 there is suddenly a magic item that is rumored to be causing this by NPCs you never meet? Awful. From there the path the author sends you on it both downhill and confusing. If a DM has to read through things more than three times because they can't follow what's being written, then there is a problem. I know I'll be scribbling notes all over this adventure just to make it playable for my group. I also feel for convention organizers who have to deal with these confusing scenarios.


Also, like in 4-2 the experience awards are questionable and unbalanced. In one encounter each PC gets 25XP (so for a six-person table that's 150XP total) for not killing oppenents in an encounter (non-combat alternative, great idea), but if they do kill them (3-5 opponents) they get 100XP per kill (for up to 500xp). Then in another section of text they list the same non-combat reward as 50XP for not killing, but the end Rewards lists it as 25XP. One thing I take from this is PCs using skills, quick thinking, and role-playing are rewarded less than players that put everything to the sword. If that's the case then why even have role-playing options in the event? Just line up three encounters and let the party hack their way out.


I'm sorry to say that 4-3 strikes me as an adventure that played out OK in the author's head, and without outside development, insight, or editing was keyed into a computer and formatted to look like an AL event. I'm also three adventures into this season, and I still have no sense of consistancy, development, or continuity with Season Four events as a player or DM.


Lastly, for those that spend the money from these DMs Guild purchases -- in addition to the two-hour event being a terrible idea, now I'm supposed to pay $2.99 each for two 2-hour events that most conventions are running as a single event? At least make these shorter events $1.99, or better yet make them worth $2.99. The sad thing is I'm sure with some direction this author could have done better, but sadly I don't see that with this adventure or the overall Season Four plot.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
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Base of Operations (3.0)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/13/2016 11:11:10

Set near a 'frontier' town, this adventure is perfect if you have a low level party (say around 5th-level) who have begun muttering that maybe they ought to establish a home base for themselves. You see, said local town knows of a keep nearby that they are willing to give to a party if only they'd just clear out the unsavoury folks who are squatting there!


There's a fair bit of background, some of which the party might be able to find out in advance... and one item they won't discover until long afterwards but which ought to put a smile on their faces! The adventure itself falls into three phases: the township, the road to the keep and the keep itself.


A few hooks are supplied to get the party involved, and there are some basic details about the town. You might want to flesh this out a bit if the party does decide to settle in the neighbourhood. The road is dealt with briefly, but if you want to throw in any enounters along the way you will need to come up with them for yourself.


Finally the keep itself, which is built part-way up a cliff into which a mine has been dug. There's a basic plan of the place and descriptions, along with notes about who is where and what they'll do when their home is invaded by the party. It's likely that most of the inhabitants will want to fight (and, for that matter, that the sight of them will make the party want to fight too), but they are quite an interesting and varied bunch and the fights should prove entertaining. In the event of party success, a couple of follow-on options are provided.


It makes for an interesting if straightforward adventure, with the possibility of providing the party with a new home. What's not to like?



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Base of Operations (3.0)
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An Eye for an Eye (3.0)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/13/2016 10:34:23

This is a neat little adventure to throw into your campaign some time after your party has thwarted the evil plots of someone who managed to get away from them, or just have proven themselves a bit of a nusiance to someone... and what party doesn't manage to put backs up at least somewhere that they go in your campaign world? For this adventure concerns vengeance, vengeance wreaked against the party when they have managed to irritate the wrong people once too often.


The first part of the product describes the members of the Council of Wrath, a bunch of mercenaries who specialise in vengeance. You pay them, they'll deal with whoever has annoyed you. They are a well-developed bunch of ruffians, with varied and complimentary skills honed to their preferred line of business.


A few running notes are supplied to aid the DM, particularly in the opening phase, when the Council runs a surveillance operation on the party to determine exactly what they will be up against prior to determining the best opportunity to attack. Very paranoid parties might pick up on this, but it's unlikely - these guys are good at what they do. They also make sure they have an escape plan ready during the final stages of their investigation, when they attempt to engage the party in conversation, often asking about past exploits - it all sounds like casual conversation in a bar to the unwary.


In the next phase, they really show their professionalism, convincing some other group to take the party on just so they can watch them in action. You can draft in whoever you feel are appropriate, but some additional NPCs are provided in case you do not have suitable ones of your own. Their next move is just as impressive - they kidnap someone the party is known to value as an insurance policy... or to use as bait. And only then do they mount their attack, generally trying to draw the party into an ambush, possibly as they try to rescue whoever got kidnapped.


Should the party survive, it's likely they will want to know what was going on, and ways for them to accomplish this are also provided.


This is a neat idea, impressively presented. Keep it handy for when the need to take the party down a peg or two arises...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
An Eye for an Eye (3.0)
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