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DDAL05-04 In Dire Need (5e)
by Siu K. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2017 02:17:24

Despite the 5-star rating, I'd give due warning first: the adventure is most enjoyable if you're willing to let go of the 2-hours that it's supposed to be run for. The craziness of sending 3-7 adventurers to rescue 20+ dwarves from 30+ ogres aside, there are incredible potential in this module, allowing PCs to employ plenty of creativity. Do push them for the Set Piece finale, the players would really thank you for it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-04 In Dire Need (5e)
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
by Siu K. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2017 02:12:55

An adventure that brings plenty of excitement into what would otherwise be a trope - caravan guarding. The sandstorm encounter is especially well-written, allowing players to employ their creativity and use whatever limited resources they have. Thinking out of the box is highly encouraged here, and I do recommend a liberal attitude when it comes to rewarding players for good roleplay and creativity.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
by Siu K. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2017 02:10:44

A lovely adventure to introduce new players and to show them the potential of good role-playing. Playing out all the wonderful NPCs of Parnast really adds flavour to the story and gets the players (who you hope are mostly neutral aligned) to be invested in rescuing them and their plight. While it starts off a little goofy (the lack of game and good meat sounds like a problem that's not really a problem), the greenhorn heroes actually could end up feeling heroic for the friendship they can potentially forge, and not just in the village, of course.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
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DDEX03-13 Writhing in the Dark (5e)
by Siu K. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2017 02:03:17

A flavourful module of the Underdark, featuring some of adventurers' worst nightmares. You can tell an excellent story with adventurers through their encounters in the den and it should keep them on their toes and leave them some lasting memories. However, there remain some undesirable portions, such as trying to figure the motivation of the final boss, and wondering why he would not be any more intelligent given his species.

To really draw out the story potential, the DM would have to spend some time to research the lore of the mind flayers and be creative with how to run the final boss encounter. Assuming you're not there to totally murder the adventurers, try to prevent save-or-die scenarios and give the adventurers a real chance to save themselves.

(One point to note - a consumed brain would mean adventurers need access to Resurrection or Reincarnation to continue playing their characters, both options not likely available at their levels).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX03-13 Writhing in the Dark (5e)
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DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
by Mark C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2017 16:58:12

Excellent adventure with a bevy of great NPCs and lots of incentive to roleplay. Outstanding.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
by Mark C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2017 16:55:08

Fun module with very creative encounters. Because some of the encounters were so different, some parts weren't as intuitve but are worth investing time in to get right.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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DDAL07-02 Over the Edge (5e)
by Colin P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2017 13:40:45

I've run this once, and I have mixed feelings about this module.

Like many AL mods, there are numerous errors (e.g., misspellings, extraneous words leftover from old edits, maps without labels, etc.). Equally frustrating, there are a number of instances where some boxed text description of the scene would be helpfu. Instead, you are given information you, as the DM, will have to cobble together into a coherent narrative; not ideal for one-hour adventures, which really should give the DM all the help they can get. So, be warned: you will really need to do your homework to sort through errors, missing info, typos to craft a coherent narrative for the players.

Looking at the actual story and game play, this one falls squarely into the typical introductory adventure mod. This is a series of vignettes loosely tied together (errands for your faction bosses), so if you didn't like 7-01 or any of the past season "01's", you probably won't be a fan.

All in all, I liked half of the content, which is par for the intro-mod-course for me.

Mild Spoilers

  • The first adventure is focused around a simple puzzle, which I feel could have used some better description in places. Honestly, it ended up being a throw-away adventure of two quick combats and the puzzle. I will say, the temple of doom-ish aesthetic was cool - a few "ughs" and sour faces from the players.

  • The second adventure is a diplomacy and combat-focused jaunt, and on the whole liked. The players have a chance to really get into trouble if they murder-hobo their way through it, but otherwise have a nice chance for some roleplay. The battle is actually a solid challenge, and my players had fun with it. There are elements regarding the journey to the fortress that are rough (so like I said, do your homework to clean it up), but all-in-all can be a highlight.

  • The third adventure is a big roleplay opportunity, and it might be my favorite of them all if it wasn't limited to an hour. I won't spoil anything, but it was a ball for me and my players. Again, it was really only mired by time constraints, which forced me to skip a lot of content. I wish they'd allowed this one to be a two-hour mod and cut one of the weaker ones.

  • The fourth adventure is a puzzle and combat-heavier adventure. It's solid. The puzzle actually challenged my players a little (and punished them for their struggles). The combats were fairly cut-and-paste, but provided some challenge if the DM is clever. Sadly, the final battle just did not work as the author intended. Environmental hazzards just didn't come into play as the players ended it all very quickly.

  • The fifth adventure is one I want to like, but it has some issues. The first half is rough - it hinges on not getting into it with the shrine's inhabitants and trusting a disembodied voice of a god they may know nothing about. Again, as the DM, you'll have to really be on your toes to make it all work. The final battle was pretty good though - a real challenge if run right. Again, the environmental goodies just didn't factor in. But the players enjoyed it.

A couple of final recommendations:

  • Adhere strongly to the average party level (and size written for: 5 players). The power scaling just doesn't really work very well, especially with larger parties. I think that may just be the challenge inherrent in one-hour adventures.
  • Although the players have a chance to pick which adventures they do when, I recommend leaving the last two for last. Otherwise, the progression will feel anti-climatic if you are running all five at once.


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-02 Over the Edge (5e)
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DDEX1-06 The Scroll Thief (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2017 12:16:08

The Scroll Thief was… Okay. Straight forward for the most part. You talk to NPCs, you gather clues, you follow the clues, you ended up finding the big bad, you kill/capture/free him, the end. It’s not bad by any means, it’s just that nothing in particular stood out to me either.

Rewarding players with XP for the “secret” interaction with the NPCs is a nice touch, serves as an incentive for players to RP more. But the conversations could become drawn out and stagnant at some point, especially if your players aren’t the biggest fan of RP-ing. Being able to meet a dragon (albeit only a baby) was nice too, as this game is called Dungeons & “DRAGONS” after all. Headband of Intellect in a Tier 1 is also a good boon for the players (especially for those who like to min-max their characters and can use to headband to their advantage).

Overall, this module gave me quite a similar vibe with DDEX1-5 The Courting of Fire. Both modules are relatively linear and straight forward, but DDEX1-6 The Scroll Thief had a better execution.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-06 The Scroll Thief (5e)
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DDEX1-09 Outlaws of the Iron Route (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2017 12:07:09

Nitpick: WHY DOES THE KING’S PYRE HAVE FOURTEEN POSSIBLE ENCOUNTERS AND I HAVE TO PREP FOR ALL OF THEM AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Ahem. Pardon my manners.

A different kind of “RP”, where the focus is not interacting with NPCs, but interacting with the environment around you. The first half of the module was decent. Resolving the robbery at the riot make for some creative RP opportunities, the prison break requires creative solutions (especially when they cannot foresee the chaos that’s about to breakout). Both encounters were fun, just not the most standout encounters. The only critique I have is that the characters were kind of rushed to investigate on King’s Pyre, and could have used a better hook to connect them to check out the meeting between the two “baddies” groups.

Oh King’s Pyre, with a possible FOURTEEN encounters, takes forever to prepare for all of them, and your table will never have enough time to explore everything, thus some of your prep work is guaranteed to “go to waste”.

But it was totally, totally worth it. Giving the players the freedom to choose their course of action as they explore more of the camp is the perfect catalyst for the players to engage in discussion and conversations among themselves, which doesn’t happen in every module and I think it should happen more. As they learn about more of the site during exploration, and depending on how injured the party is, their objectives of the adventure may shift overtime. Are we still healthy enough? Do we want to wipe out both gangs head on? Do we want to stealth and assassinate the leaders? Do we want to use the Elf’s bow to shoot an arrow at the Dragonborn and stir up lots of mistrust between the two cults? So many ways this adventures could have gone differently. Very, very differently.

My table only explored about one third of King’s Pyre, so I can definitely see myself re-running this module, so that the reminder of the site could be explored someday. But all-in-all, it was a great module.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-09 Outlaws of the Iron Route (5e)
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DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2017 11:53:56

Honestly, this module grew on me. I ran this module twice, and I ended up having a lot more fun running this than I've expected.

What made this module stand out is the details written in to quite clearly describe the surrounding atmosphere and environment, and the flexibility allowed for the players to interact with their surroundings in very creative ways. A creepy forest with occasional unexplainable noises (which I had fun voice acting), friendly tricks played on them by an invisible Pixie, hostile and xenophobic elves, and Jeny “the best grandmother ever”. All of which provided opportunities for the characters to RP in whatever ways they see fit. One table got horrified by the goreness of the body sent back to Kabel's Hill, whilst the other table just shrugged it off saying "eh we've seen worse"; one table approached Jeny with fear and respect and ended up convincing her to re-instate the pact, whilst the other were more on the rude side and ended up attacking Jeny once they found out they were eating human soup... the list goes on.

As a DM, I spent most of my effort in creating the atmosphere that I believe is appropriate for the module, and I think it paid off. RP-ing Jeny was an ocean of fun. This module is definitely worth you money and probably a few re-runs, because although the storyline was rather straightforward, your players will always find ways to make the experience different every time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
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DDAL07-02 Over the Edge (5e)
by Anthony V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2017 06:48:23

Its good to see AL trying new things. I think the idea is good but the execution could use improvement. Just that you have to hand wave travel times annoys me, feels like the adventure we made to connect to the HC without having seen the HC. I like having morw modules with just comsumables, in fact if 2 hour mods switched to this that would be cool too.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-02 Over the Edge (5e)
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
by Anthony V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2017 06:40:40

There are some cool mechanics in these adventures as well as some fun times. Like most of the into adventurex they are more roleplaying than any serious threat to the players but a good starting place for new players or DMs.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
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DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
by Brian M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2017 23:17:45

The players loved the references the Jeny Greenteeth and classic fairytale style addages with the returned villager. One was mildly annoyed that no one had advice on how to confront her (by story standard she had too great a reputation). One player had a plan about what to do with the scrying pin but never divulged what he wanted to do with it prior to the meeting with the ranger and the ensuing fight with the scarecrows. They enjoyed the pixies (during the night watch, one player saw a pinecone punted between a tieflings horns beside other pranks mentioned in the game) and dealt with the displacer beasts with fierce gusto. Dealing with the elves went well and the hag battle went surprisingly aggressive with everyone, including her pin in the killing blow. The version I played in previously had me realise the hag portrayal was similar to my aunt in similar ways. Eerie but funny. Worth playing again.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
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DDEX1-07 Drums in the Marsh (5e)
by Brian M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2017 22:57:09

Although a few of my players weren't involved early on because of little combat in the beginning investigation phase, many attempted to interact with the environment including Animal Speaking with the surviving bull and Mending doors and other broken objects around the farms besides looking for tracks and investigating what occured. Sadly the toads blew their stealth checks and couldn't attempt snagging players first. I tried to up the odds slightly after by adding a third into the encounter a few rounds later to have it easily dispatched as well. The Emerald Enclave mission option was heavily influenced by the players they managed to convince a captured lizardman and use him to guide them further into his clan territory and halt further bloodshed as they influenced others into trade options and tales of their recent battles. Sadly, I couldn't get the players to fight the Lizardfolk king due to the fact that they charmed him to comply with their requests. So I threw in a dwarven swineherdress refusing to leave until her breeding sow was recovered (aka classic pet owner jumping into the fire to rescue beloved pet). They helped her carry and load it onto a raft. Regardless, the players were highly imaginative, willing to offer options to overcome obstacles and deliver an effective force in battle when neccessary. Overall, a definite play-again.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-07 Drums in the Marsh (5e)
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
by Chris M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2017 15:55:18

Personally I liked the 5 parts to this adventure. It does a good job of introducing characters to the area and their factions. However, I felt that a lot of the time, the module was too easy for characters. The threats don't seem to be big enough to the characters, even adjusting with the other options provided. The puzzle part also seems a little tedious as it's the same skill check and no really description. Perhaps doing it the first time is ok, but replay value goes down in my opinion as DM. A good change maybe to increase the DC for the checks? Every time I've run it, the PCs pass without issue.

And a side from the many errors through out, it is an excellent module to tie into the hard cover for first level characters. It could also be used as part of chapter 1 of the hard cover.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
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