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DDEX1-02 Secrets of Sokol Keep (5e)
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/26/2017 21:50:59

Just ran this module tonight. While the module suffers a little from the way some of the parts are worded, it is a decent adventure overall. The initial encounter with the Animated Armors was a little interesting. It was definitely a small challenge for the players, though I had a full table. Having the ghost interact with the characters added an interesting roleplaying element to the module.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-02 Secrets of Sokol Keep (5e)
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DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
by Alexander C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2017 19:50:39

I really enjoyed these modules, especially as a relatively new DM!

My favorite mini module was the first cache, it wasn't confusing to the players, it had quite a bit of humor in it, and it had a unique reward for one of the players.

My least favorite sections were the third module. In the third module, the final encounter is a little confusing in terms of how to describe/roleplay the curse at the end, and the story reward is referred to by two different names, and isn't clear how it is to be applied. I'm assuming that it only comes into play during initiave order, does it have any effect out of combat?

With the fourth module, it was hard to find a fun way to describe the correct steps to disable the rune.

It was also a little confusing to understand why the storm giant in the fifth module would let people leave with the golden tablets while at the same time, warning them of the consequences. It also doesn't really cover what you should do if only some characters take a tablet.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
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DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
by Alexander C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2017 19:40:24

Good module, with just enough interesting things and encounters to do in a two-hour slot. One relatively quick encounter sets the players up to be led into a mini-dungeon crawl in some kobold warrens that conveniently lead into an area in the first floor of the Forge of Fury.

Pros:

  • Kobolds
  • Commoners actually being a nuisance to the party
  • A unique mundane item that is pretty fun
  • Actually runs in two hours, but can be expanded to include roleplay in the town of Blasingdell if being used as the hook into the Forge of Fury

Cons:

  • The final encounter can easily result in a TPK if the party isn't rested or higher level, since the boss mob can cast heightened fireball
  • The unique mundane item should be guaranteed an appearance
  • It would be nice if there was more background information on the relationship between the kobolds and Nightscale


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
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DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
by Zach J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2017 00:57:46

My players had a lot of fun with this one. Prep and running felt quite easy which made DMing that much more enjoyable. Overall the group did find the module fairly easy in terms of combat difficulty (granted 7 players and average level 3) so i recommend further tuning by prospective DMs of largee tables to create a bigger challenge.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-06 The Scroll Thief (5e)
by Zachary J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2017 00:48:46

As both a player and DM of this module i wholeheartedly recommend it as an opportunity to engage in pillars OTHER than strictly combat. Make no mistake - there is combat. But the memorable and unique personalities in this story give ample opportunity for a really fun and complex game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-06 The Scroll Thief (5e)
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DDAL05-19 Eye of Xxiphu (5e)
by David H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2017 12:22:27

In my review of DDAL05-19’s predecessor, DDAL05-18 “The Mysterious Isle,” I wrote that “Mysterious Isle” can be viewed as a trap, luring the players with a false sense of confidence and then crushing them in the follow up. “Eye of Xxiphu” is the tier 4 adventure you were waiting for. It has a little bit of everything, especially for players who want a good scrap. There are a few missteps, but forgivable ones, which a DM can easily work through or work around. SPOILERS AHEAD, OF COURSE.

Part 1.

The adventure does a good job of looping in players who may not have played in DDAL05-18. You get dropped right back in, and our old friend SEER gives a concise update on what the players need to do: “Recover the Eye of Xxiphu.” Boom. Go for it.

Part 2.

A. Honestly, as a DM, this was my favorite part of the adventure — and there shouldn’t be a single initiative roll during this part, just some fun roleplaying. Have fun with the rooms and the oddities contained within. With the “Red as Blood” room, I really went into how perfect this apple was. Over the top: In hindsight about how other apples have just disappointed you and how so few things in this world are perfect, BUT THIS APPLE! And so on. For “Tooth of the Damned,” the players had fun establishing a telepathic connection with Black Dougal in diamond. I made him a glum, Eeyore-type character, resigned to his fate. Don’t deny your players these interactions. Feel free to give them enough information (with the right rolls) to engage and have fun. The “Mad Dancers” were also entertaining. (I made one of the merfolk a little sad to have stopped dancing.) You don’t have to hit every room, but I’d make sure they don’t plow through this section. Also, “White as Snow,” the module text gives the players every indication that this apple is not right. (“There is something very unsettling about its lack of color.”) Don’t be a jerk. Give the players proper hints that this apple shouldn’t be consumed. It’s death without a save. That’s not fun for anyone.

B. I don’t like the corridor. Visually, it’s cool — and the ultimate effect is interesting. But reading the last paragraph of the section introduction is not entirely clear. The section about “if all characters resist or are freed…” I need this information clarified upfront and highlighted.

B1. The “fighting as golems” mechanic is interesting. I’m glad there’s a handout to give the players. However, it can make the overall adventure maybe a little too busy.

Encounter time: 1 hour? Um… no. Twice that, at least. The eight waves of cloud giants, merrows, scrags, and then Lord Dworkin is a beast encounter to run. It took up 80% of the adventure time, and I think my players were a little exhausted after a while, which is a shame because “Battle in the Sky” is really fun. By the time you get to it, you and the players are ready to call it a day. I would seriously suggest condensing this encounter or finding ways to speed it up, just a bit. Read the room.

C. Always fun when the players think they have beaten the “big bad,” and burn through all their reliable power moves — only for there to be much, much more left to contend with.

For the hidden treasure, remember that a Passive Investigation (of 13 or higher) will suffice if the active Investigation check is low.

Other side note: Keeping track of the golem rules, the magic disruption rules, the underwater combat rules AND all the quirks of tier 4 players can be overwhelming. I’d keep it all on a one-sheet near you for reference.

D. Battle in the Sky

Who doesn’t love airships, dragon mounts, and cloud castles? Fun! To me, the misstep of this adventure is allowing the players to fight Dworkin in B1 when you could have all this craziness in section D. Tier 4 players will see the railroading from a mile away, if you try too hard to force failure in B1.

Conclusion

I played this adventure once. I DM’d this adventure once. In both situations, the Eye went to the Lord’s Alliance. I don’t think the players realized they could insist on keeping it, which is a shame. It seems like an interesting item, which could lead to other Far Realm twists in the future.

Treasure: Lots of XP and lots of treasure. Life is good for the tier 4 adventurers. Another Staff of Power? There should be a rule that if you’re handing these things out in an epic (Reclamation of Phlan) you should retire the item for a while. I see so many casters with the staff of power. It’s a bit of an in-joke at this point. And yes, another Tome of Understanding. For players who also got a Tome of Understanding in PHLAN 1-2 “Enemy of My Enemy” and/or in Curse of Strahd — I’m pretty sure the Tome of Understanding doesn’t stack. Check your DMG to verify.

Overall, this adventure is fun, but keep your notes handy, plan for it to take much longer — and take several breaks to prevent Restless DM syndrome.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-19 Eye of Xxiphu (5e)
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DDEX2-08 Foulness Beneath Mulmaster (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2017 01:21:32

This adventure was very enjoyable for myself and my players. There were however a few moments that could be inproved upon.

At the beginning of the adventure, there wasn't a reward for the adventures. This tied in with the end where I (as the Sergant) told them there wasn't a reward for the job, offering only adventure and whatever they found. The first encounter with the other adventurers is a good RP moment that could be used to award inspiration if the characters are selfless. The sink hole in the first combat encounter is good to have as a surprise. The skull with the helmet could be changed to that of the lost dwarf to close the loop with the previous adventurers. Laal is a useful good informat to too trusting adventurers. Meeting with the cult provides the GM a chance to determine if the party needs a short rest or not. The betrayal of the cult after the troglydytes may be too much for a party, if they use all there resource or a few go down before then. An easy solution is Laal to suggest the cults untrustworthy when they first meet them and during combat with teh troglydytes. The fight with the water wierd is not difficult and has no adjust block to it. The room it was in could be a puzzle only and the water wierd could be in the pool of water in the inner vault. I tried this with the party and I asked them for feed back on this encounter, which they all agree it was more satisfying, especially to those who played this adventure before with different characters. With the last encounter being a potential underwater fight, it made my players want more of these types of fights. The magic item obviously for warlocks only, but unlocks warlock multiclassing RP for the character who get it. This could, however, also be disappointing if no characters are able to multiclass (e.g. less than 13 CHA) or have no intention to. Lastly, since magic isn't subject to Mulmaster's laws underground, casters a chance to shine within the city without risks. Overall this adventure was fun to run.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-08 Foulness Beneath Mulmaster (5e)
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DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
by Daniel F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2017 13:43:30

A great adventure that highlights the importance of social combat/interaction. The failure of good roleplaying or social skill can have lasting consequences in future adventures. The social aspect is also a component in some of the combat encounters. It is especially true for the final encounter. The player reward is not as prized and the story awards depend heavily on social consequences.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
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DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
by Daniel F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2017 13:30:04

They are great introduction adventures for this season. The combat encoun can be very deadly for unprepared adventurers so take care or go nuts depending on the DM style. The player and story awards are appropriate and fun with one exception that does specifically bear fruit, but can be applied retroactively. The adventure length is an hour a piece but can easily take up to 2 depending on player choice and experience.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
by Daniel F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2017 13:25:09

A simple adventure to run in theory. However, unprepared adventurer choices can be detrimental at the end. The initial combat encounter is good for testing character abilities safely. The following encounters test players with adaptability and quick decisions. The player and story awards are adequate. The adventure can easily take longer than the 2 hour run time.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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DDAL05-13 Jarl Rising (5e)
by Nicholas W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2017 00:06:15

Not a bad mod. Wonderful continuation and excellent way to get a decent magic item. Can't wait to run again!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-13 Jarl Rising (5e)
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DDAL05-04 In Dire Need (5e)
by Nicholas W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2017 00:04:28

Excellent mod that's easy to run with many different options. I like that i can just throw more encounters in if I need to make it longer.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-04 In Dire Need (5e)
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DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
by Nicholas W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2017 00:02:54

So glad this mod helps me with how to run it. It's always great and makes mods easier to run cold. Wonderful!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
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DDAL05-08 Durlag's Tower (5e)
by Nicholas W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2017 23:58:11

Not a bad mod. However, it has quite a few typos. Needs a little editing. Otherwise we had fun!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-08 Durlag's Tower (5e)
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DDAL05-09 Durlag's Tomb (5e)
by Nicholas W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2017 23:53:15

This was a really good mod that for some reason we finished in 2 and a half hours.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-09 Durlag's Tomb (5e)
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