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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
by Gaetan V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/27/2017 01:27:23

Good content, nice setup for the future.

Major Pros:

  • Multiple points in the adventure with good player decisions.
  • Memorable NPCs.
  • Some difficult fights with reasonable rewards.
  • Extensive handouts. For those wondering why it's 45 pages, that's because of the handouts.

The handouts are worthy of extra mention here. There is

  • Adventure Flowchart
  • Maps for each of the three combats. Two of those combats have a real vertical component with a separate "side-view".
  • 6 "Adventure Hook" player handouts. One for each faction + a generic one.
  • A rough map from the Moonsea to Parnast.
  • A banner of a Major NPC for these side adventures.
  • A possible message the PCs can intercept.

For $3, this is solid AL content.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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DDAL05-14 Reeducation (5e)
by Earl B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/27/2017 00:35:25

This module is absolute trash. A competent mid tier two party could handle the module as written, let alone a tier three. There's absolutely no challenge, and even if the DM reskins Strahd as the final boss it would be too easy.

If I had not recieved a free copy thanks to a playtest, these might have been the first mainline AL adventures that our store would have skipped. The sole reason to purchase and run these are for the Season 5 DM quests. Unless you're dead set on an aarakocra, stay far, far away.



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[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-14 Reeducation (5e)
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World Builder's Guidebook (2e)
by James J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/26/2017 23:24:07

This is a very nice, very clean complete scan of the 2e AD&D WBG, By Rich Baker. I have physically owned this about 3 times, it is my go to for designing campaigns for any system, except modern, or wild west. THere are some areas in the text that need erratta'd calculating kingdom sizes, but it is overall, one of the best products in gaming ever made for the campaign designing homebrew referee.

You can use this book to start top down, bottom up, or somewhere in the middle, with chapters that focus on each stqage of continent, region, province and city.

I started using this to design my own Birthright world. And these days use it with Pathfinder's Complete Campaign.

This is not a ready made campaign, this is a book of charts, tableas and ideas to completely do it yourself. If you like Drawing campaign worlds and making maps and detailing a setting, especially a fantasy setting, this is the book you need. It also works for doing worlds for games like Traveller, but you'd need to convery over the icosahedral world displays, or just use this system. It does not have charts for generating or detailing races, it assumes you are using AD&D races and monsters.

But this is my go to bible ffor world generation. I often loaned this to other GMS as the printed book, and didn't get it back.

Thanks for putting this up here, all my physical copies the covers have long ago worn off, lost the maps, never returned from bowwed out, etc.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL05-15 Reclamation (5e)
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2017 17:44:55

There are some real concerns with the mod, but all of those for me can be adjusted by simply using DM's perogative to upgrade, or give tactical advantages to the NPCs. As it is currently designed, most compentent parties are going to death stomp these encounters pretty quickly. The only time folks were even a bit squeemish was during a possible threat by an actually very low HP creature. I agree with another commentor's idea that the boss villain from the past mod should return here to launch a surprise attack.

The positives: I liked the extra dimentional setting, and thought the mod was competently arranged. I liked the continued involvement with the University, and would want to see that expanded to additional encounters and story flavor. It was clear to understand the path of the adventure, even when it included a puzzle (I am not a puzzle fan, but my fellow players are, and they loved it.)

Extra-Dimentional Room for Improvement:

1) It's a magic school. Offering professoral positions to folks as the school rebuilds is a fun way to bring folks back. 2) Having a story reward invovling an extra dimentional library would be useful here, perhaps allowing folks to gain access to "research" a spell they did not know. 3) Having a few minor magic items, much like Cloaks and Shadows did, may be more valuable to high level characters who have all their attunement slots filled, and just want a nice rememberance of the adventure.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-15 Reclamation (5e)
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DDAL05-14 Reeducation (5e)
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2017 13:16:41

There are good things about this mod which make it worth buying, and the things wrong with it could be easily fixed for the most part.

As other reviewers have said, the combats are way, way, too easy. This is more of a Tier 2 challenge than a tier 3 fight. I fixed it by simply having a grand melee where ALL of the monsters attacked them in waves until the entire place was empty. That actually made the characters pant a bit, but the boss was still not even as tough as "The Dark Lords" end boss, so that fight was over quickly.

Note: This could be a West Coast specific thing, and other players in regions with fewer "optimized" characters might find it a challenge.

What I liked:

The Story was fun, I enjoy Hsing and interactions with him, the history of the school, and the NPC who ran it are all interesting and well thought out. I think this is a well written mod, but the challenge rating will have to be scaled to your party more enthusiastically than the typical charts for most folks.

What I would have liked to have seen:

A few more interesting ideas in the lab, a stronger story reward. Note, I don't say magic item, because you get items which are mostly "from the book" and are fairly unimpressive at tier 3, so I would have liked to have seen an option where the characters could have earned a post on "The Board of Regents" for the new school (once you finish the second mission) or something which tied folks back to the setting as a whole- because I think the author got the setting and the ideas about it entirely correct.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-14 Reeducation (5e)
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The Goblin's Lair (Basic)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/22/2017 03:15:48

I had this box set, along with the rest, when it was first published. It is a great play, but until they fix the problems, the missing adventure "Red Hand Trail" and the chopped Minies its just not worth getting.



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[1 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL05-15 Reclamation (5e)
by Jasmine L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/21/2017 00:37:51

Spoilers.

PDF File: Thumbs down. The PDF has no bookmarks, and is locked so I cannot add my own. Which is lame.

Story: Thumbs down. All the story happened in the previous module. This one is just a dungeon crawl with some combat encounters and a puzzle. No roleplaying to speak of, and not much plot. It's not even an interesting dungeon.

Encounter design: Thumbs down. The encounters are basically all low-CR enemies that T3 characters will easily steamroll. They're a joke. Way too easy. The hardest encounter is the first one, and while there are a few nasty effects that the enemies there can dish out if you fail your save, they still have to get lucky to even have a shot. After that, everything just gets steamrolled. The only challenge is keeping the NPC alive when the nagas hit him with a series of lightning bolts, or whatever—and that's not exactly very compelling.

Player agency: Thumbs down. The plot is entirely on rails. Proceed through each room in sequence. Kill the enemies. Get MacGuffin. The end. There aren't any opportunities written in for the players to come up with creative solutions for anything. Every enemy is there to kill you and cannot be bargained or reasoned with, even the humans (they are apparently so afraid of Baron Rajiram that they fight to the death rather than risk his displeasure). There is only one solution to the Sudoku puzzle room. The ending is so railroaded that there isn't even any mention of what to do if the NPC mage dies. Stay there stuck forever, I guess?

So basically this module is a series of combat encounters with no real roleplaying or story. And they're not even good combat encounters. The whole thing is a poorly-designed smashfest, and it is my #1 worst module of this season. I mean, I heaped a lot of the same criticisms on Jarl Rising, but at least it had a couple interesting, challenging encounters in it. The encounters here are just boring. Swashbucklers? Really?



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[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-15 Reclamation (5e)
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DDAL05-14 Reeducation (5e)
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/20/2017 21:40:30

Too easy, too linear, silly copy protection on the pdf making conversion to Fantasy Grounds a chore.



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DDAL05-14 Reeducation (5e)
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DDAL05-15 Reclamation (5e)
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/20/2017 21:26:21

I wish I had anything positive to say about this module. Only seven pages of actual adventure write up, a boring linear dungeon full of monsters more appropriate to a Tier 2 module and a recycled magic item. This adventure is woefully undertuned for a Tier 3 party in terms of monster difficulty and doesn't so anything to challenge the miriad of ways a party at this level can interact with the world. This and it's sister module 05-14 are the most disappointing additions to Adventurers League.



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DDAL05-15 Reclamation (5e)
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DDAL05-15 Reclamation (5e)
by Peter W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/20/2017 16:59:31

Very similar encounter design problems as DDAL5-14 Reeducation. Lots of relatively low CR monsters that can't meaningfully affect PCs and get steamrolled. Again, I did quite a few thematic substitutions to up the challenge. Additionally, I feel like the changing demiplane used in most of the adventure could have been better utilized to create interesting environmental factors or traps in the encounters, but everything was just bare stone rooms - boooooorrinnnng.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-14 Reeducation (5e)
by Peter W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/20/2017 16:53:55

Most of the encounters involve lots of monsters with CR that are too low in comparison to the target APL. PCs walk all over the monsters because of this. I went through extensive thematic substitutions to really bring a challenge to my players (ended up with 5 level 16 PCs on my version of very strong). They said they felt challenged and a little scared, with one person dying at one point.

I also think the map size is not ideal in some respects. The hallways should be at least 10 ft wide to help avoid excessive bottleneck tactics and the Lab room should probably be 10-15ft more in each dimension because of the number of combatants.



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[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-14 Reeducation (5e)
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DDAL05-08 Durlag's Tower (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/19/2017 22:03:12

I, too, ran with 7 players with an APL of 12. Seeing another reviwer had the same, I also set the adventure to Very Strong and the players rolled through it pretty easily, though my three level 11s were weakened immensely. Almost the entire adventure's difficulty was negated because of one party member's ability to see invisible creatures.



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[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-08 Durlag's Tower (5e)
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DDAL05-15 Reclamation (5e)
by Curtis G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/09/2017 12:36:37

I want so badly to give AL modules a high rating because I know that these are written for the AL community...but I just can not until we get the editorial issues resolved.

This one has many glaring issues that would only take a few minutes to fix if someone would just go through the process of doing an editorial review.

Currently the Cert page has 3 copies of the cert listed. Unfortunately each one is different and only the top one is usable...therefore I have to print out a whole page and then shred 2/3rd of the page once I cut out the one that I need.....for each table that I am running at the store.

When we were told that things were going to be sold on DMsGuild it was with the understanding that QUALITY would improve....this has not been the case. On top of that...the price is now more per module that we were originally told....I don't have a problem paying $4 for a module that is high quality....I have a real issue paying $4 when a document doesn't even look like it has been through a review.

PLEASE AT LEAST FIX THE CERTS!!!!



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[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-15 Reclamation (5e)
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DDAL05-16 Parnast Under Siege (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/08/2017 02:49:16

Thank god for this. This is an awesome finale to Season 5's Tier 1 adventures, in my opinion the best storyline and adventures in Season 5.

We did a "mini EPIC" with this and all 5 tables including a couple of new players really enjoyed this.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-16 Parnast Under Siege (5e)
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DDAL05-15 Reclamation (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/08/2017 02:48:18

Playtested this and submitted the review that the mod was way too easy... sure there was a slight change and improvement but no where near sufficient... still way too easy for a Tier 3

The Tier 3 and Tier 4 mods in Season 5 have been so disappointing.

*Amazing cert files by the way... 3 same item... 3 different rarities.



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