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DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e) $3.99
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
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DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
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DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Aaron N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/14/2017 11:44:00

This is a nasty adventure (subject matter wise), and it is a great intro to Season 3 - Hillsfar. If your players do not absolutely despise the Red Plumes by the end of the adventure, then you have not done your job. I played up the nastiness to set the tone for the rest of Season 3. A simple investigation turns into much more, and the final fight in the Hillsfar Arena is truly epic. The players think they've got it made from the start of the arena, but wait there's more! And then there's even more! Plus the NPCs set up the rest of Season 3 nicely.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Joshua N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/19/2017 15:09:48

Recommend Purchase: Yes. XP Range: 900-1200

I recommend downloading the State of Hillsfar document and reading that before running any Season 3 module.

Why is Hillsfar a relevant setting at this time? Walls and refugees. The Great Law of Humanity: Only humans are allowed within Hillsfar. The Great Law of Trade: Do not interfere with any legitimate trade.

Does Hilsfar have anything to do with the Season 3 Hardcover - Out of the Abyss? Not really.

+++++++++++++++++++ Note: No Season 1, 2, or 3 module has a digital certificate to print because WotC says they can't accept volunteer help for legal reasons and won't allow their paid employees to create the certificates even though they have the templates.

The DMSGUILD site segregates reviews between people who've purchased it here and everyone else. They do NOT have a robust rating system, relying instead on the 5-star model.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/20/2017 22:01:47

What starts out a light murder mystery quickly turns into a hard railroad into a intersting arean fight and a nice plus one weapon.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Kyle M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/11/2017 13:44:33

"Shackles of Blood" continues the theme of "The Deep Threat" in the Rage of Demons storyline. This is a more traditional adventure in which the characters investigate some missing halflings near Hillsfar and run into some complications from the local tyrant's enforcers. Spoilers follow, but the bottom line up front is that this adventure is worth the trouble.

This adventure offers a number of social encounters in the first half. From the super racist puppet show to the halfling farm area to the travel montage, players who enjoy RPing their characters will have lots to do. I threw in some hillbilly accents and changed the wrestling match to a gut-barging contest. 

After this, you'll have a fight. Others have noted the problem with the forced capture, but some planning from the DM can avoid this: either have Olisara suggest the possibility that the halflings have been taken away and thus raise the possibility of an infiltration, or perhaps have the guard captain tell his soldiers to be careful because more fodder is needed for the arena. 

And that set-piece arena fight provides such a payoff! Because we had to split the adventure into two sessions, I didn't have exactly the same players. Those who attended the second session but not the first came in as a "rescue force" led by the one character who'd escaped the earlier ambush. This scene has a lot of moving parts: ziplines, a crowd excitement mechanic, sinking towers, piranhas (which for reasons I can't understand are called "quippers" in D&D), and a second attack wave by the Big Bad Evil Guy. New DMs should spend lots of time understanding the mechanics and planning how to track the situation before running it. 

The module has some significant editing problems. I wish that it had had another solid review pass before release, both for copyediting and for adding more suggestions on how to deal with the forced capture. Had that happened, I'd probably give it a full five stars. Regardless, some work from the DM in advance can turn this into a very memorable, engaging experience.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Daniel E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/08/2017 21:32:14

Good as part of the Hillsfar arc, but this individual installment suffers from feeling like a super-straight line railroad. My party put out Herculean efforts and felt super betrayed when the pre-scripted ambush finally took them down. The Arena is unique and most players really enjoy it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/04/2017 21:19:47

Interesting and fun adventure for sure.

The first combat is a slug-fest. The enemies in this part aren't very stimulating (high HP/AC and don't do much) so the fight drags out, especially if you have an above average party that can put up a fight. My advice is to use the higher party-strength adjustments just to get this part over with in a timely manner.

The middle section (travel) could have done with a few more interactions, but it was a great aspect of the adventure.

The final encounter is quite busy, with a fair few extra things to keep track of. Prepare yourself thoroughly for this encounter; you won't regret it.

Overall, this is a well-made adventure, with a few minor inconveniences that are easy to adjust. 4/5



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Chester C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/12/2017 08:40:59

Shackles of Blood is an interesting adventure, some may be interested to play in it because of the introduction or summary that offers a bit of mystery. For me, this module is good because it introduces the characters to events that explain the situation in Hillsfar. The introduction hook is good because it lets the character get invested in solving the mystery. Has a bit of roleplay and investigating to keep up the mystery which is good, a lot of combat that will please anyone that is into action. However, a word of warning. There is a lot of combat in this adventure but the combat is deadly for low level characters or players that are new to the game. It's weird that this is one of the early adventures in the Rage of Demons story line but the combat included here is deadly for low levels and can actually lead to a character dying if they don't do the battle well. Overall, I would recommend this adventure to players whi are more experienced and familiar in Dungeons and Dragons.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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