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The Executioner's Daughter
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Troy W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/12/2018 22:37:45

Oh, I wish this were longer story!

This is a great little solo adventure. It introduces you to a city with a peculiar tradition of human sacrifice as it chooses its next offering. The descripion of the setting, the moods of the people, are all richly described. I could almost feel the tension in the air. Then a story that seemed to be following the plot of "Dragonslayer" sudden takes a twist, and a turn, and I ended up in a completely different situation than I first imagined.

The story took maybe two hours to play through. I wish it was much longer, as I really enjoyed Ashley Warren's storytelling. I would have enjoyed more decision points (to accompany a longer story), but for what it is, and how it's priced, this is a total steal!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Executioner's Daughter
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50 Ways to Introduce a New Character
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Troy W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/27/2018 13:12:09

Eighteen ways to introduce any type of new character. The remainder are class specific introductions, with at least three options per character class. There are a few somewhat repetitive entries (take my apprentice cleric vs take my apprentice druid), but you can't beat the price.

I see these suggestions as working as seamless introductions into campaigns where the PC's typically treat NPC's as potential allies and not as certain adversaries, obstacles or targets.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
50 Ways to Introduce a New Character
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Dark Sorceries - A 5E Solo Adventure
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Troy W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/07/2018 09:01:10

I really enjoyed Abel Trotter's "Dark Sorceries" adventure and would recommend it to anyone seeking a solo game should it go on sale.

What I absolutely love about this adventure is how it places your character in a community, as part of the community! This is something I try to do with my character as a PC in any campaign (who are my friends? What do we talk about?), so I really enjoyed seeing that in the game. The "Attitude" system, to track NPC's disposition towards your character, sounded very interesting, but in my playthrough, I only saw one alteration of attitude...I suspect other choices might have made other changes. I look forward to seeing greater use of this system in the future.

Of special note for solo players, at one point, you end up controlling an entire party of heroes against a balanced group of foes. The nice thing about it is that if you are playing a squishy character, you have other party members to help keep you out of melee. The down side for me was that I wasn't really expecting to run three other characters with class and levels while also running the badguys.

Fortunately, these NPC allies were of normal races and classes, and had statlines that keep them from outshining the PC without making them liabilities.

An interesting add-on to the NPC allies is that they each had a rechargeable "Bonded Ally" power that gave them a unique way to help out the PC. Only one NPC's "Bonded Ally" power would be available in the combat (based on the NPC's Attitude scores).

I think that the next time I GM a regular campaign, I will incorporate the Attitude and Bonded Ally ideas if my players pick up any NPC henchmen or allies.

I also like how, even though one's character is 2nd level and starts with basic first level gear, an explanation is worked into the storyline, as is the opportunity to pick up extra equipment that reflects the character's past experience.

Having played four other solo 5e titles over the last two weeks, I think this one is middle of the pack after balancing cost, story and variety of options. The writing was immersive. The story was interesting. The combat is nicely balanced, but it is a very linear adventure. I didn't get the impression that I had missed any signficant content in my playthrough (only clues or possible adjustments to ally Attitudes).

While I eagerly await the next installment of this campaign, I feel this first installment was too short of an adventure for the current $9.99 price. Still, compared to the price of a movie ticket, this was solid entertainment, and I can always run it again in a few months with a squishy character who would be less likely to surive the other solo adventures I've seen.

Thanks for the game! It's a good one!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Sorceries - A 5E Solo Adventure
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D&D Solo Adventure: Tyrant of Zhentil Keep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Troy W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/06/2018 21:51:09

With this adventure, Paul Bimler blew my socks off!

After completing the "Death Knight's Squire", I started "Tyrant of Zhentil Keep".

It opens with a travel montage that brings your character to the the land of the Zhentirim. After learning a bit of general information about the region, your character arrives at the City of Zhentil Keep. The rest of the adventure consists of the character exploring the city, meeting NPC's, learning about the poltical situation and some of the powerplayers, and discovering various adventure hooks while stumbling into occasional random encounters.

The character's total time in the city seems to be about 36 hours. On the evening one arrives, one gets to witness some of the tensions in the city, decide whether or not to get immediately involved in things, and then has the opportunity to learn more about what is going on by interacting with a number of NPC's. The second day is spent exploring the city itself, visiting different areas of the city, discovering adventure hooks, purchasing equipment, dealing with set encounters at some of the locations visited, and random encounters while travelling. The second evening one may spend following up on one of the adventure hooks discovered so far. My character had three leads to choose from, and I followed up on an adventure that pitted and NPC ally and I against a small group of scoundrels that I was eager to vanquish. The morning of the third day gets the character started on the path to the sequel of this book (at least, that's how it turned out in my first playthrough).

What I find most fascinating is the way the city is presented for solo play. During the second day, one is given four "progress points" or time blocks to explore the city. It takes one progress point to explore two or three sites in a district, or two progress points to thoroughly explore the larger districts. With a total of six districts, a single play through does not reveal all of the possible encounters and opportunities that might be discovered!

Plus, the exploration is enlivened by the random encounters that might take place as one transitions from one district to another.

The only problem I have with this adventure series so far, and it is a minor quibble based entirely on my playing style, is that the loot is incredible! In Death Knight's Squire, my character ended up with more than 2,300 gold coins worth of loot at 3rd level...more than most of my characters usually see by 5th level! Tyrant of Zhentil Keep is similarly generous. Fortunately, there are shops that sell magical goods so the money can easily be put to good use. My character is now equipped in a way reminiscent of fifth and sixth level characters I had in prior editions of D&D...except for the lack of a magical weapon.

I eagerly await the next installment in this series!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
D&D Solo Adventure: Tyrant of Zhentil Keep
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Forest of Secrets
Publisher: Rising Phoenix Games
by Troy W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2018 21:30:28

After playing and enjoying "Death Queen and the Life Stone", I tried its sequel, "Forest of Secrets".

"Forest of Secrets" is not as linear as Death Queen. Aside from the first and last encounters, most of the adventure is determined by the route the hero chooses to move from one end of the forest to the other. The player is given 25 tiles representing the encounter sites (start tile, end tile, and 23 others). There are some duplicates (5 copies of one tile, 2 copies each of three other tiles, the other 12 are unique encounter sites). The player is instructed to randomly place, upside down, all but the first and last tile within a 5 tile by 5 tile grid. As your hero moves into a tile, the adjacent tiles are revealed so you can plan your next move provided you survive the current situation.

Tiles may indicate terrain based obstacles or site specific foes or challenges. There is also a chance for a random encounter on every tile using a four entry "wandering monster" list. The hero must navigate across the forest within a certain time limit (based on time it takes to traverse the tiles and specific obstacles on those tiles) before a competing party moving around the outside of the forest reaches the end square. If the competition gets there first, the situation for the final scene changes significantly.

The tile system, with their random layout, makes this module much more appealing than its predecessor for replay. Very little is fixed in place, and in my first run through the mission, I actually missed a lot of interesting scenes that would have provided additional challenge, deeper atmosphere, and some interesting clues about the mission.

The difficulty I had with this module is in understanding how I was supposed to use the tiles. What counts as "adjacent tiles" is not clearly explained. Do diagonal's count? I assumed yes, but maybe not. A visual example would have helped. A hex based tile system would have been clearer, but hex's are tedious to cut out (or snapshot and paste as images into a VTT).

The other issue I had was in knowing what resources were available for one specific fight scene. Since I was using my character from the previous adventure, I had the necessary tools to prevail. Had I simply generated a 2nd level Fighter for this adventure, I would not necessarily have come across the tools I needed for that fight. At least, not as the adventure is written. I suspect this might be due to an oversight rather than a deliberate hurdle the character is expected to face.

The randomness, replayability, and the inclusion of an interesting NPC are the things I like best about this module. The best way to improve on it would be to provide greater clarity about movement across tiles, and the reduction in the number of duplicate tiles/scenes in the set.

I really look forward to the next entry in this series!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Forest of Secrets
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Death Queen and the Life Stone
Publisher: Rising Phoenix Games
by Troy W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/25/2018 23:37:49

I enjoyed this adventure. I think it was very well written.

It was pretty short, good for a short evening's play (a couple of hours), but it really can't be much longer for a lone first level fighter/cleric type without providing rest spots or a supply of healing potions. The way it is written makes sense and forces the character to rely upon its own resources (Second Wind, Cure Wounds spells, and possibly a healing potion if one was purchased during character creation). While I wish it was longer, a first level character would be very unlikely to survive any more combat encounters than were presented here.

There are fifty entries/decision points, some of which are used multiple times (at least in my playthrough).

There seem to be two "mission was a success" endings. One of which provides a patron and hook for the "Forest of Secrets". A player/GM could just as easily use that ending, with modifications, to provide a patron and hook into any future adventure or serve as a kick off for a longer campaign.

My character died in the first run. In the second, I was able to make it all the way through after noticing in the intro that all healing effects are supposed to have maximum effect, and adjusting some of my combat tactics.

The book also provides some suggested varants for future replay which will modify the adventure to make it more challenging.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Death Queen and the Life Stone
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100 Roadside Encounter Ideas
Publisher: RoleplayingTips.com
by Troy W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/11/2016 21:30:14

I've been running a solo campaign using Mythic, and this set of 200 encounters came in real handy generating a response to "does something odd happen during today's travels?"



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
100 Roadside Encounter Ideas
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