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CCC-CIC-02 The Clockwork Laboratory
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/23/2017 21:00:38

True to expectations, this is a very good and very different module. What this series has done has been missing from AL games: It makes players pay attention and take interest. Not only in the deatil, but this brings a sense of wonder that is often missing. There are traps, puzzles and most importantly there is serious time pressure and some good battles along the way. This is no cliched dungeon crawl. It is one step away from being Vincenzo Natali's 1997 movie "The Cube"

Now, you can't just grab the module and run it; it does take more prep work than usual. You need to read and reread the module, but it is worth it.

You can also replay it as many random things happen.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-CIC-02 The Clockwork Laboratory
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DDAL05-08 Durlag's Tower (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2017 20:27:41

This was the first four hour tier 3 module. The previous ones really tested the resources of characters while also providing role polay opportunities, but cutting down to four hours meant something has to give. In this case the only sacrifice was the logic of the quest (don't ask why we're going back to report if we're in a race to the goal) Its a very good module for the tier with players having flexibility in what order they do things in. The Dm has a lot of flexibility too which allows a lot more fun as the encounters can happen at any time. (I like to punish players that rest unnecessarily) Then there is a great final battle. As far as the plot goes, it has similarities to the Chelimber modules. Part 1 is find and secure the tower, while part two is a dungeon crawl. My issue was time is limited as agiant lord wants the tomb too, so why would we secure the first level, defeat its defenders and then leave it unproected to report back.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-08 Durlag's Tower (5e)
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DDAL05-09 Durlag's Tomb (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2017 20:21:26

Its a dungeon crawl, but quite a good one. One of the issues of splitting the teir 3 modules in two is that some modules feel like they are missing things. This one has very little hook as it is part 2, and very little role play, but it does have a good suite of traps, puzzled and monsters, all of which are what you want in a dungeon crawl. My only concern was that one of the traps was easily countered by magic items rather than roguish skills when it would have been more fun the other way.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-09 Durlag's Tomb (5e)
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DDAL05-15 Reclamation (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2017 19:52:26

This is a general observation that the 3rd tier modules this season are mostly simple dungeon crawls. This pair is very much that way: simple. Even if paired with its predecesor, this one is quite simple. There is little or no role play, as if the designers have left that for low tier adventures letting the tougher characters just focus on combat: The problem with that is that the combats are not that tough. A DM really needs to look at ways of beefing up the encounters which can be done legally. I strongly recommend capping tables to 4 players, simply to stop the other 3 getting bored.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-15 Reclamation (5e)
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DDAL05-14 Reeducation (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2017 19:44:36

I had two issues with the module:

First the hook was uninspiring. I have found the character of SEER to be uninteresting, and effectively forced into stories as a cheap hook. Several DMs have voiced her and all of them have given her no personality which really speaks for how empty she is as a character. The hook in this module is that she has gone missing and needs to be rescued. I say "so?" because I don't care if she's missing. I really dont.

My Second issue was the difficulty. The DM must be aware this is targetter at the very low end of third tier. There is nothing wrong with that, but the very strong setting does not trouble a party at the higher end of the tier. My advice to DM, is limit the table size to four or make some big modifications. When I played it, the DM got bored and replaced a zombie beholder with TWO Death Tyrants! And a glorious battle it was! This was the highlight of the module. Sadly the written plot was not the highlight.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-14 Reeducation (5e)
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2017 01:06:51

This makes a good introduction module for new players and a big breath of fresh air if you've been playing the previous season. You can see the sun and lots of it!

There is no back story, everything is new and simple. The party is recruited to guard a caravan across a desert: Basic soudning adventure, and it is pretty simple to play. Like any road trip, you travel and have an encounter, then travel and repeat. There are enough battels to challenge any party and some good role playing opportunities as well.

The only danger I found with the module, was that my group all paid more attention to their faction mission than to the job they were hired to do, it led to some characters getting a little crazy, though in the end it all worked out fine.

The module finishes by arriving in Parnast, which will be the base of operations for the season and this modules gives a few hooks leading inbto those adventures.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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CCC-CIC-01 The Vault of the Devourer
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/07/2017 19:14:15

Although this is a dungeon crawl, it brings flair and entertainment to the table. As DM I knew I was running a dungeon crawl and the players knew it too, so there was a subdued feeling at the table as we all expected to go through the motions of traps and encounters followed by a boss. These are all there, but the magic comes in the very first battle when the monsters are given character and lots of it. The initial ambush is genius as it fits the race responsible perfectly and causes the players to wake up right away. This is unexpected and once it happens the players know to stand ready for whatever else is coming. No spoiler, just believe me it is fun and that single encounter sets up the whole session. I loved DMing it. The players loved it. Also it is well written, the maps are good and everything you need is there. We look forward to the next two parts.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-CIC-01 The Vault of the Devourer
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The Centre of the Universe - Special Edition
Publisher: Better Mousetrap Games
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2016 23:07:12

The game is quite simple and not particularly well balanced, but it is chock full of idea, concepts and inspiration for any kind of SF - pulp fiction - fantasy - mash up in the core of the universe game. You can just step back, let the play happen and have fun.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Centre of the Universe - Special Edition
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Into the Blue
Publisher: Bastion Press
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2016 23:04:29

This contains some good ideas and if you are looking to play some underwtaer adventures you'll need them. Its en environment you need to do some thinking and planning for. This is a good starting point.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Into the Blue
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Blood of the Dragon
Publisher: Monolith Graphics
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2016 23:03:05

This isn't the soundtrack to a Conan movie, but it may as well be. It has a great epic fantasy vibe to it and makes great background music either for a game, or just while you need something in the background.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood of the Dragon
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5E Compatibility Logo (Free)
Publisher: Dias Ex Machina Games
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2016 21:24:33

There are a couple of alternative logos out there. I like this one and I'm using it for my publications.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
5E Compatibility Logo (Free)
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How to Create Great Fantasy Maps (Even if You Can't Draw)
Publisher: Draken Games
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2016 21:21:10

I am a big fan of this sort of guide. It isn't a polished professional product. It is a source of inspiration and ideas. This is a step by step guide showing how anyone can draw a good map. My kids both read it, followed the directions and produced their own maps that looked pretty good. Now we can build new maps anytime.

In fact, I have followed these directions to produce my own maps that I have published myself.

It is simple instructions from a hobbiest, sharing what they have learned. There should be more like this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
How to Create Great Fantasy Maps (Even if You Can't Draw)
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Hobomancer
Publisher: Hex Games
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2016 21:16:35

Without question or doubt, this is the best RP suppliment ever written. It does what no other suppliment does: I inspires the imagination with a whole new realm to role play in. The idea of 1930s hobos secretly being magical defenders of the realm is innovative but the idea that players would want to have a hobo for a character is totally unique. What I see in reading this, is that the author knows role players and understands them well enough to craft a world that you wouldn't even think is worth playing it. I actually took the world ideas and played them using D20 modern, but there is nothing wrong with the system the game comes with. When I urchase a product, I am usually looking for idea, in this book, I found them and the game that followed was fun for everyone.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hobomancer
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BASH! Sci-Fi Edition
Publisher: Basic Action Games
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2016 21:12:10

BASH is a great, simple system. The rules are clear. Characters are easy to build. Essentially BASH is designed for super heroes, but the powers translate well enough into the SF realm. There is alwsys a scaling problem when a super system is used for other genres but SF fits in pretty well with the armour and weapons. This hasn't been updated to match the latest edition of BASH, so keep that in mind. I do recommend this. The system is simple and fun to play. Character gen is pretty quick.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Sci-Fi Edition
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Phantoms of the High Seas
Publisher: Monolith Graphics
by Guy D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2016 20:58:44

A great set of pirate music that draws on traditional seas shanties and classic haunted ship themes. You get a dramatic opening monologue followed by music that sits really well in the background of a sea faring game. It can just as easily be used in any situation as simple a sound track mix. I used this at a party on "Speak like a pirate day"



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Phantoms of the High Seas
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