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X MARKS THE SPOT A Plane Shift: Ixalan Adventure
by Chris S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/24/2020 07:54:35

Really helpful in sparking my own ideas for stories in the Ixalan setting.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
X MARKS THE SPOT A Plane Shift: Ixalan Adventure
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DDAL04-12 The Raven (5e)
by Marcello V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/21/2020 13:21:42

This adventure seems a bit different in terms of the plot premise. Doesn't have the intruigue that most of the other mods do. I didn't mind it though. I like that we potentially see Esselios (one of my favorite NPCs of this season BTW), I made some slight adjustment to the narrative. I just conveyed that the Bloodhand Orcs were brought across the mists and are looking for a way home and the prisoners may know, but were taken by the shaman Gagg.

Not much to this one as far as running it. I liked the winter wolf encounter more than the final one. It had enough to please my players, their monks were spot on with the stunning strikes and fury of blows. I did enjoy the rescuing of Terrorsong and Sybil. We used their rescue to get some RP out of the end of the adventure.

This isn't the best adventure out of this seasons offerings, but my players enjoyed it and it was written clearly.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-12 The Raven (5e)
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Hollow World Campaign Setting (Basic)
by Jonas M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2020 07:04:49

Content of this classic setting is excellent but scan quality is horrible and the print book looks really, really bad.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Hollow World Campaign Setting (Basic)
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DDEX1-01 Defiance in Phlan (5e)
by Floris P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2020 02:35:04

The first module I ever DMed and still a favourite to start campaigns off with and introduce people to DND. I DMed this for a bunch of first-timers and I saw their eyes light up during the first adventure involving the trade-off with the dragon egg. I think this was because it challenged their idea of what DND could be. Here they were expecting a fight with some goblins in a cave and instead they found themselves in a scene more reminiscent of a crime-thriller.

The format of five separate adventures has it's pro's and cons. It's a great idea for sessions with first-time players because if things take a little longer than you thought you can just choose to skip one or two of the adventures rather than abruptly end the session without any sense of closure. It does lack narrative cohesion though, and any first-time DM running this might want to read up a bit on the city of Phlan and it's history while doing prep.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-01 Defiance in Phlan (5e)
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Adventure with Muk (5e)
by Pedro F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2020 15:43:10

I played this with my little brother. I was worried that he would not be interested, but it ended in he asking me to play another adventure in the next week. If you want to play it with a small child, go for it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure with Muk (5e)
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S4: The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1e)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/18/2020 11:23:45

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2020/11/classic-adventures-revisited-s4-lost.html

One of my all-time favorite adventures is S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.

A solid two-level dungeon crawl, filled with new monsters, dangers, and the promise of great treasures. Additionally, there are rumors of an ancient witch/archmage and her battles with demons and even the threat that some of those demons are still around. There is plenty of wilderness area as well. A wide expanse with a gnome community nearby and a raging blue dragon.

With its "Booklet 2" filled with new spells, magic circles, and demons it made me think that a witch class with ritual magic could be something that would work for D&D.

There is so much great stuff in and around this adventure it is hard to know where to begin. So let's start with the adventure itself.

S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth The adventure, S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, was published back in 1982 by TSR. It was written by none other than Gary Gygax himself. It is listed as "S4" and was the last of the labeled "S series" or Special modules. This includes some of the most popular adventures ever written; S1 Tomb of Horrors, S2 White Plume Mountain, and S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.

The adventure itself is comprised of two 32 page booklets. The first book is the adventure itself, which I will get into detail in a bit. The second booklet covers all sorts of new magic, monsters, and more.

Book 1: The Adventure

The adventure is of the classic sort; the rumor of treasure and a vague threat coming from an area of the map known as Iggwilv's Horn. The adventure is designed for characters level 6 to 10. I have found over the last 40 years that it can be adapted to a variety of levels, though higher levels are better. Though the original tournament adventure featured slightly lower levels. Likely due to the addition of the wilderness adventure.

The wilderness adventure is actually well put together and not the older crazy random monster encounters. The encounters make sense for the area. Among the encounters are the Hermit, and I could not help make this the same hermit from Keep on the Borderlands (also a Gygax creation) and the Blue Dragon. The Blue Dragon, in particular, became so much a hit the first time I ran this that in future runnings of this I changed the dragon to Korbundar from CM2 Death's Ride to have a reoccurring villain. A lot of adventure is packed into 12 pages.

The second part of the adventure covers the Lost Caverns themselves, which includes the Lesser and Greater caverns. This features a large variety of new monsters, some living here, some just wandering around. Even encounters such as "The Garden of One Thousand Earthly Delights" have a good (enough) reason to be there.

The final encounter is in the center of the Greater Caverns and it is not for Iggwilv's Treasure, but rather against Iggwilv's Treasure; the vampire Drelnza. She is a bit more powerful than your average vampire and she has magic to help her out. Eventually, she will succumb to heroes and the treasure will be found including the infamous Demonomicon of Iggwilv, Daoud's Wonderous Lanthorn, and the Prison of Zagig.

Book 2: Monsters and Magic

This second booklet, as I have mentioned, grabbed my attention as much as the first, if not more. Listed inside were new monsters, only some appeared in the adventure, including new demons and demon lords. There were the mysterious Xag-ya and Xeg-yi, the Derro and the awkwardly named (for the early 80s) Valley Elf. All these creatures would later be reprinted in the Monster Manual II for 1st Edition. This is fitting since the original tournament adventure introduced monsters that would become part of the first Monster Manual. There are some magic items including some wonderful artifacts mentioned above. Of these The Demonomicon of Iggwilv capture not just my imagination, but that of hundreds of others. The Demonomicon became a feature in Dragon Magazine and even a 4e book of the same name. Iggwilv went from a "long-dead archmage" to "The Mother of Witches" and the premiere demonologist in D&D. This little booklet also contains plenty of new spells.

This was classic AD&D at the end of it's 1st Golden Age.

The adventure is extremely playable and I have adapted it over the years for AD&D 2nd ed, D&D 3rd, and 5th Editions as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
S4: The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1e)
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Dead Gods (2e)
by Pekka L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/06/2020 19:11:59

The scan and print are honestly pretty terrible. Several pages are very light and faded, with black text appearing blueish and yellow text being so light it's almost unreadable. Everything is also quite blurry and not clear. The art also almost never reaches the bleed area, making presentation really suffer.

While the content of the original book is excellent, this really is one of the worse 2nd Edition PoD releases.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Dead Gods (2e)
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Planes of Law (2e)
by Pekka L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/06/2020 19:05:10

The content of the 2nd edition Planescape books themself is ecellent, so this review will be purely about how the reproduced books look, both in print and PDF.

Honestly, if the other two Planescape setting books had been of similar quality to this one, I'd be completely happy. The text is darker making it easier to read, and spacing on art and pages is clearly improved to previous two. There's still some stuff that's too light, but it's very much in minority and something I'd be willing to chalk up to this being a standard print rather than premium one. Similarly, some of the images don't quite reach to edge of the page, but even that seems like a minority this time around, and it's quite a bit easier to ignore here.

I guess you could improve this by releveling some of the pages to make them easier to read, but everything is fine enough here, aside from Monstrous Supplement. Also, unlike other books which have feature cover art of the box itself as front cover, and back of the box detailing the contents as back cover, here... Covers are for Player's Guide to Law. Not really breaking, but it's something that'd be nice to get fixed to keep these uniform. While I would rebuy the other two in Premium if bunch of errors from them was fixed, this I'd gladly buy again in Premium just to have a good book in better format. Would be cool if this'd be hardcover too.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Planes of Law (2e)
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Planes of Chaos (2e)
by Pekka L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/06/2020 18:50:43

The content of the 2nd edition Planescape books themself is ecellent, so this review will be purely about how the reproduced books look, both in print and PDF. I first reviewed Planes of Conflict books, so I'll refer to those at points.

Compared to Planes of Conflict, the scan and print are both darker this time around, so all included books are much easier to read. But there are still parts where text and dark bits get pretty light, making for hard reading. Thankfully those bits are in minority this time around.

But again, art/page spacing could be better. White borders on full page pictures are common, and images that should start from bleed area of each page just start a bit from the edge.

This time the maps and their backs don't have zoomed in versions included, making the book quite a bit smaller. Thankfully there's not as much text in the Chaos maps, and what there is is actually quite readable at the size the text is in.

Same improvements as Planes of Conflict apply here. Light levels of the pages should be re-leveled and sizing/art should be manually adjusted. If these are fixed, I'll gladly rebuy the book as Premium print. Yeah, I guess I'm a sucker.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Planes of Chaos (2e)
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Planes of Conflict (2e)
by Pekka L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/06/2020 18:39:00

The content of the 2nd edition Planescape books themself is ecellent, so this review will be purely about how the reproduced books look, both in print and PDF.

In short, this is passable, but there are pretty annoying problems. Most glaringly, print quality is very light. This makes some of the text very hard to read, given that Planescape books are filled with yellowish/brown extra text. Quotes from denizens of the planes, headers of each section... On some pages the ink gets so light that even the text that is supposed to be black turns blue/grey, and at those points the yellow extra text is almost invisible. Monstrous Supplement in particular has some bits that are very hard to read. At times this unreadablity is due to print problems, but at others it's due to scans simply being too lightened. The pages really could use re-leveling to make the text clearer, and darks darker.

Lesser problem is the bleeds. Often the art is supposed to cover the whole page has white borders around it, not reaching the edges of the print area. Of course this preferrable to text going over the edge of the print space way into the bleed, but it makes the presentation seem sloppy at points.

Others have already mentioned the maps at the end of the book, with the way they're being done is that you get both zoomed out picture of front and back of each poster, and then several zoomed in pictures that make the details easier to see and text actually readable. But personally I really don't see any more sensible way of handling them in this format, short of actually doing proper full-size prints of then. And at that point you might as well be asking for all the books in the box to be properly separated.

So how would I improve this release? The first obvious thing to do would be to relevel black and white in every page. It might seem like large task, but would tremendously improve the readability. To improve presentation, one would have to do some adjustment of the scans, both resizing them to uniformly fit the pages, are on same height (just by looking at page numbers you can see that there's signifigant shifting within each individual book included) and adjusting art elements so that they properly begin in the bleed area, so that there's no awkward white borders around the pages. If all of these are solved, I'll gladly buy the book again. If that happens, please make Premium Print an option. In hypothetical perfect world the package would have all of the five books seperated and the maps would be printed properly, but I doubt we'll ever get anything like that.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Planes of Conflict (2e)
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DDEX03-14 Death on the Wall (5e)
by Roger M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/05/2020 09:43:18

With the lost of the buying due to factions, this is module the DM will have to invent a reason for some pcs to play. I have DM this 2+ times. DMs will have to make it clear this is stealth mission in parts. But the total of RP, Social, Ablitity checks, and all the various factions getting their hand in is very enjoyable.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX03-14 Death on the Wall (5e)
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DDEX3-12 Hillsfar Reclaimed (5e)
by Roger M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/05/2020 09:36:53

I ahve run this 3 times. Each time with a different ending. It has a nice blend of combat, social, and ability checks. But dms will need to be on their toes if the pcs go off script. Attack when they should social etc.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-12 Hillsfar Reclaimed (5e)
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DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
by Roger M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/05/2020 09:27:32

Suffers from the railroad of being captured and bad maps. First time I DM this the players asked me if this was a rail road to capture. At least triple the number for Red Plumes in the capture encounter and make sure they are doing subdual damage. The arena map needs to have the distance from the center increased. One of my groups finished it in 3 rounds.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
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DDEX3-01 Harried in Hillsfar (5e)
by Roger M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/05/2020 09:12:14

A good collection of 1 hour modules. I do suggest you run them in order with a new group. And be willing to adjust the encounters on the fly. Especially Mission 2 can go south quickly if the monsters enlarge.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-01 Harried in Hillsfar (5e)
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DDEX3-03 The Occupation of Szith Morcane (5e)
by Roger M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/05/2020 08:59:21

This is a nice tour of what you will find in the Underdark. You can drop Part 1 if you are time limited. My two groups of players enjoyed the adventure.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-03 The Occupation of Szith Morcane (5e)
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