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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
by Colin P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2017 08:56:24

Overall, these five mini-adventures are pretty good for what they are: an opporunity to introduce players to Port Nyanzaru and give them a small taste of what lies ahead. The overarching scenario connecting them all is good fodder for low level players and introduces some of the groups of foes they will encounter throughout the season. The second adventure especially stands out for the race mechanic - very well-done! My only hard criticism is the character level rating. Some have applauded it being for levels 1-4, but from experience it's pretty boring if you are playing a level 3 or 4 character. This was written with level 1-2 characters in mind, so as a DM I would strongly discourage running this for (very) strong parties. The challenge level just doesn't scale well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
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DDEX2-02 Embers of Elmwood (5e)
by Jasmine L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2017 01:58:04

Spoiler warning! Players, do not read!

I really love the amount of agency players have in this module. The High House of Suffering gives you a straightforward objective and a ton of leeway in how to accomplish it, giving the players an opportunity to show off their creativity and problem-solving skills. Culkin Manor presents a difficult problem where multiple encounters can occur simultaneously in different sections of the building (potentially splitting the party), and the players have to think about what their objectives and priorities are. It can also be a very interesting battle if you use a grid for it, as enemies can move between rooms to reinforce each other, and parts of the building may be set on fire to create an environmental hazard. The Chapterhouse of the Eternal Flame brings it back to a simpler, more linear track, but it's a decent mini-dungeon.

Some notes from running it:

  • The High House of Suffering is meant to be a relatively short section. If the players are spending a lot of time on it, don't be afraid to have one of the guards walk up to them while they're planning and be like, "Oy, what are you lot doin' loitering around 'ere?" and, in the course of conversation, nudge them towards the bribery option to move it along.
  • When the players are bringing the girl back to Culkin Manor, consider calling for skill checks to transport her discreetly. It doesn't actually affect the outcome, of course, but if they roll well, you can nod approvingly, and if they roll poorly, you can say, "Hmm, ouch, that may have some consequences later in the mod..." and they'll probably assume that's why the manor gets attacked.
  • I haven't figured out a good way to ask the players where their characters are going to be sleeping without telegraphing that they're going to be attacked in the night (because why else would I need to know that?). Experienced players will know something's up. It's no big deal, but, y'know.
  • The module suggests having players spend two rounds to move between rooms in Culkin Manor. This option works well for theater of the mind; however, if you're using maps, simply moving from room to room on the grid will likely be more satisfying for players.
  • If you're short on time, you can run fewer encounters in Culkin Manor to expedite the section, or replace a combat encounter with a skill challenge (e.g. "A room is on fire and you need to rescue someone or something from out of it").
  • Why the heck are cultists shoving a dude into flaming armor, and why does he turn into an azer afterwards? Well, it's explained in a sidebar, but players don't get to see that, and they'll probably have no idea what's going on. I suggest allowing them an appropriate skill check to deduce the information in the sidebar, because it makes noooo sense otherwise.

Overall, the module is great and I like it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-02 Embers of Elmwood (5e)
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Tortle Package (5e)
by Jacob O T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2017 21:18:47

What a great supplement! I am thoroughly enjoying my new Tortle Ranger BobRoss and hiserstwhile Ape companion Harambe. Social Justice Warriors determined to make a new and better Chult for all! Seriously though, it is a densely packed 28 pages of goodness, and the money goes to a great cause. What more could you ask for?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
by Paul W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2017 15:46:12

This is a fantastic introductory module for both new players and for new DMs to run. It is well organized and well balanced. The flowchart provides a clear overview of what happens depending on party decisions. Moreover, the desert environment provides a different challenge than is typically seen. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
by Jonathan J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2017 14:30:31

Overall, the adventures were interesting. They fit well as intros to the factions and Chult. I am glad that these were made for 1-4 instead of 1-2, like others of the 1 hour intro sets have been.

However, with the exception of #2 and #3, the adventures are nigh impossible to run in 1 hour, allowing for any actual role-playing.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
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DDEX03-14 Death on the Wall (5e)
by Kyle M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2017 12:05:32

The second part of the mini-storyline by Greg Marks felt slightly weaker than the first part. The adventurers receive a sudden, unexpected opportunity to destroy the entire leadership of Hillsfar in the hopes that this will end the oppressive tyranny. (SPOILERS BELOW)

What I liked

The opening scene primarily consists of roleplaying and the players can really get into character for a few minutes, although time constraints might prevent them from spending a long time on this.

Other than the "hook" after the opening scene, the party has pretty wide freedom in how to approach their quest. When they reach the site, they can survey all the different locations within it. They should be given time to decide on a plan (possibly with some initial forays to gather more intelligence). Characters with backgrounds and hooks specifically tied to this storyline may get serious payoffs if they pay attention and work those angles.

What I didn't like

At the risk of repeating myself from quite a few other reviews of this season, the map was terrible. While not to scale, it looks like somebody spent about 10 minutes scribbling on graph paper. I built my own in Roll20; while far from professional quality, I feel like it added quite a bit of flavor. Some lack of coordination with the previous module means that the text indicates it's snowing a few days after midsummer. DMs should note that and adjust accordingly.

Tips and Conclusion

DMs will almost certainly need to improvise, as the players will likely concoct some scheme that doesn't align with the ideas in the module. That's great! They should feel free to come up with something new. As a DM, I control the monsters and opposition to the characters, but I am not the players' adversary. If anything, the DM should be their biggest fan! Give them a chance to shine here. That doesn't mean that a heroic sacrifice or two might not occur - courage implies risk - but even that should serve the larger narrative.

Spend some time assembling a real map, regardless of whether you play on a virtual tabletop (VTT) or in meatspace. This need not be elaborate, but it should give the players a sense of planning a covert assault on a high-value target.

If you invest a bit of time into this module, the payoff is fantastic. Your players will feel like they indeed have achieved something heroic and their characters should be wrapping up tier 1.

PS: This module can be easily followed up by the CCC-BMG-10, -11, and -12 trilogy, which explores the aftermath of what the heroes achieved. Not every happy ending is neat and tidy, nor should it be.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX03-14 Death on the Wall (5e)
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DDAL06-02 The Redemption of Kelvan (5e)
by Corey R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2017 09:50:11

DDAL06-02 The Redemption of Kelvan (5e) was a well thought out, and extremyl fun, adventure to play, as well as DM. It was nice to do something other than smash everything in sight. The puzzles were fun, the NPCs were well-versed, and the rewards were great. I would highly recommend this adventure; an awesome intro to an extremely fun campaign (White Plume Mountain).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL06-02 The Redemption of Kelvan (5e)
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
by Corey R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2017 09:46:55

DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e) is a fun intro with some great story line and some fun mechanics to introduce the PCs to the world of Chult. The adventures were a little more time-consuming than stated; even after running it a couple times, it's hard to make the time deadline without completely shutting down your players from the option of heavy RP. All-in-all it's a fun adventure that I love to DM; I just think that it may have been better as a secondary module; not the intro.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
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Tortle Package (5e)
by Corey R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2017 09:42:23

The Tortle Package (5e) is a fun addition to those looking for a different way of RPing with a a fun PC addition and an RP-heavy mini-adventure to tell the players more about the life and home of the Tortles. I'm looking forward to playing my new Tortle Cleric and running my players through the Snout of Oghma for a fun night of RP. I definitely didn't mind the $10 price tag; especially since it is going to a good cause.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
by Corey R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2017 09:35:16

DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e) is my favorite Tier 1 module to run at my LGS. The module is fun, well-paced, and provides new players an opportunity to learn some great lessons for future play. The end battle is epic and well thought out. The module gives a great challenge to new and old players alike.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
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D&D Companion Set (BECMI Ed.) (Basic)
by Luca R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2017 08:56:18

This is just a scan of the handbook, non the true pdf and the font is not clearly readable unless well zoomed. Good contents about castles and armies, usable in other D&D editions also.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
D&D Companion Set (BECMI Ed.) (Basic)
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DDEX1-06 The Scroll Thief (5e)
by Brian M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2017 23:30:04

My PCs enjoyed taking on the role of detective-adventurers as they grilled suspects and victims alike. Our Lords Alliance member offered a solution to keep the imposter in good standing in the faction by way of charity works along with hard work. The Order of the Gauntlet member gained some appreciation through his spar with the Fighting Arena owner's daughter. Everyone also enjoyed the chase and battles with the carrion crawler and the wormling at the end of the mod. Over all a good adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-06 The Scroll Thief (5e)
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DDEX1-05 The Courting of Fire (5e)
by Brian M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2017 23:17:34

This mod gave my characters some challenge in social interacting, the sparring and the later encounters in the temple. They didn't really bother questioning the wight as he was undead, evil and also a guardian. I normally have at least one or two players that want to battle often within a session, but I do push even them to roleplay and use their skills within the game so all are included and this mod offers much for all parties along with simple problem solving.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-05 The Courting of Fire (5e)
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DDEX1-09 Outlaws of the Iron Route (5e)
by Gregory V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2017 21:06:16

I'm not the most experienced DM in the world, so read these words with caution. This adventure was a lot of fun to read, prepare, and ultimately run. The only complaint I have is that it is so tightly packed with possibilities that to really give the players all the content, it takes more than 4 hours. This isn't a bad thing. The art was fun (reminded me of Gary Larsen's Far Side Cartoon!). The maps were good. I could see some people complaining that not EVERY nook and cranny was mapped out, however, there's enough description that I had no problem drawing my own maps for the encounters my players got into. The fun of this adventure was definately the role-playing possibilities, so many memorable characters! Drunken Halfling Jailors, Dangerous Minotaur Pirate, Slippery would-be Robin-Hood-Turned-Real Criminal. Do yourself a favor and reserve 6 hours to run this thing and don't skip out on any of it. VERY WELL WRITTEN! Fun and memorable. I'm an instant fan.

For those DM's who are more of the download and figure it out on the fly, this one probably isn't for you. I prepped this one extensively, and thus found it really rewarding. I can't say I'd have felt the same trying to improvise without the preparation.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-09 Outlaws of the Iron Route (5e)
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DDEX1-05 The Courting of Fire (5e)
by CHUNGMING Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2017 01:31:18

Standard, basic, middle of the pack, mediocre... A rather plain and blend adventure with very little to no stand-out moments.

A wanted poster lead to the investigation of the thief's belongings, which lead to the characters finding a map, which lead to a hidden underground temple, ending in the characters investigating the temple and confronting the thief. A mixture between in-town roleplay, combat in pursuit, investigatin and puzzle-solving in a dungeon. Fairly standard plot all together.

The biggest problem with the module is it's linearity. The in-town conversations, the exploration, and the puzzle-solving are all very straight forward, leaving very little room for creative roleplay for both the DM and the characters. Although there is some little wriggle room of whom to talk to first in Phlan, or which section of the temple should be explored first, but the module felt very linear at large.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-05 The Courting of Fire (5e)
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