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DDEX3-04 It's All in the Blood (5e) $4.99
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DDEX3-04 It\'s All in the Blood (5e)
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DDEX3-04 It's All in the Blood (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Sebastian H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/13/2017 09:06:25

DDEX3-04 It's All in the Blood is an module set in the third season of adventures written for organized play through the Adventure League system of place. It immerses characters in the same world as the hardcover Out of the Abyss but sees players follow a slightly different story arc. In this adventure, players will particiapte in an "extraction" mission. It differes from what one might expect because instead of attempting to save someone, the players are tasked with being the kidnappers and their target is a Fire Giant. No ordinary Fire Giant will do though, players need to capture one that is tainted with the blood of demons and if that was not intimidating enough, they have to infiltrate a city of these giants and there also happen to actual demons, drow followers, and more awaiting them.

One of the first things to take note of is the suggested length of time the adventure has: eight hours. If there is anything we have learned about Adventure League modules it is that the suggested running time is usually a "best-case" scenario. You are likely to go over and with all this adventure has to offer, that is more a guarentee than anything else. The adventure suffers greatly from this because it certainly will begin to take a toll on players and the DM as they begin to tire after having played for such a long time. By the time they get to the final encounter, instead of a something vivid and memorable, people at the table may tend to simply go through the motions.

To be fair, this was one of the first adventures written for the third tier of play and there were going to bumps in the road. Length of the module was one of those bumps. When you have players at higher levels play, it comes with all the tricks their classes have as well as all the effects their various trinkets and equipment have as well. If you happen to have a couple players who DM as well, they will have even more tricks up their sleeves. This tends to extend the time combat requires as you find yourself being checking references to make sure a said item can do what it does or if a certain effect does actually apply in the scenario being used.

As far as combat goes, this adventure is loaded with it. There are multiple scenarios where players can take one foes and to be honest, some of them are particularly nasty. One might be tempted to take it easy on players at this Tier because players have usually invested a great deal of time and effort in their characters by this point. Doing so robs your players of the true experience of the module though. They are making deals with literal demons from the abyss at one point. The mission has them trying to sneak into a Drow city that was invaded by demons and demon-blooded Fire Giants. It is supposed to be hard. A character dieing is not something that should be surprising. Also, at this level of play, if the player does not have the resources to purchase a "Raise Dead" spell, the table more than likely can pool the resources together to do so. Be ready to make combat quick and efficient though. There is plenty of it in this adventure and if you want to finish in a reasonable amount of time, you need to keep yourself and the players moving.

Role-play does exist in the adventure but it is rather limited. There is a great opportunity for it at the beginning of the adventure but the situation can easily devolve into a combat scenario. Once players enter the city, creative roleplay can be used to avoid a series of random encounters and reward players for creative attempts to do so. It will give them a breather from rolling dice and will allow you to keep the adventure moving.

There is some exploration in the underdark but once in the city, players have a clear objective: get in, get giant, get out. If players wish to explore around the city and linger, play up the danger of being discovered and having an entire descend upon them. If they continue to linger, unleash the masses.

Overall, the adventure is fun and offers challenge and excitement for players and the DM. The length of time can be daunting and it might even be a good idea to cut it into two sessions if you are able too so you can avoid player and DM exhaustion. You will certainly want to do your homework and prepare for this one, but in doing so, you and the players will be amply rewarded with a great game experience.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-04 It's All in the Blood (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Joshua N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/19/2017 15:13:05

Recommend Purchase: Yes. XP Range: 17,250-23,000 Note: When originally release during Season 3 it had printed certificates, including a +3 Greatsword. That Greatsword is missing entirely from the module. WotC/DDAL doesn't do ANY cleanup or editing, even when blatant errors are pointed out.

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:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-04 It's All in the Blood (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/29/2017 22:47:18

Let's start with the length of this adventure. There's a reason you don't see 8 hour adventures being released as often (or at all) through the Adventure's League. It puts a real burden on any local retailers that want to run these campaigns at the store. Something like DDEX3-04 can't be run on a weeknight in one sitting, and it leaves Saturday or Sunday — once again, if you want to run it in one sitting and not break it up. (Note: It can be easily broken into two rounds.) However, this adventure brings back warm memories of the all-night D&D sleep over adventures I once hosted in my youth. It's a wild ride, and it is a great lead up to DDEX03-16 "Assault on Maerimydra," which is quite possibly my favorite D&D module... ever? Yes, I'll go there. Ever. (And is another lenghty adventure. Apparently, I have a "type.") SPOILERS AHEAD, BE WARNED.

For adventure hooks, "message by squirrel" should be standard for all adventures. I think we can agree on this.

Round 1. Part 1. This sets up the adventure as a search and recover mission. The drow of Szith Morcane need Xaven Tanor'this needs to be rescued in order to have any hope reclaiming their home. The "faerzress" sets up a new standard for adventures, tier 3 and up: Do not even think about teleporting. Whether it's this one, or Durlag's Tower, or Eye of Xxiphu, teleportation spells get shut down. (Do the game designers worry that teleporting away will break the game? Surely we can have other motivations to keep players in their place.) If time is of the essence, you can blitz through this section quickly. But why?

Round 1. Part 2. Madness and navigating the tunnels adds some interesting flavor with in-game consequences. With the Howling Pit Encounters, four encounters can be quite a handful — but the randomization is nice. It create a dungeon crawl without the dungeon. For home brews, you could add or reduce as needed for time.

Round 1. Part 3. Like so many adventures, there is some great background here. ("Maram il Vass was approached directly by agents of Graz'zt shortly after the demon lord was exiled to the Underdark" and so on.) It's a shame that there's virtually no way for the players to figure this stuff out. #CoolStoryBro

"Grabber Forth is a big fan of using counterspell to annoy enemey spellcasters." Who isn't? Players don't normally get to tier 3 murdering everything in sight. It should be fairly easy to get past this section without a fight. Also, if YOU had one 9th level spell, would you take Time Stop? Probably not. But it's just too cruel to go with Wish, Meteor Swarm, or Power Word Kill. Agreed?

Maram il Vass is a ultroloth. But your players might get through the whole adventure without ever finding out. The negotiations can be very entertaining.

Round 1. Part 4. The setting of the Hanging Gardens is delightfully creepy. Kudos to the writing team.

Possible typo: "Hanging Gardens" and "Blood Needs" are both labelled as part 4.

Round 2. Part 5. Black Ember Outpost can be a real fun challenge — getting past the walls and into the outpost should be a pain.

Round 2. Part 6. Everyone's favorite imp PIPYAP makes a return (originally appeared in DDEX1-8). I gave this module an extra star just for including Pipyap, and will continue to give all Pipyap appearances an extra star. The "Deal with a Devil" story reward is kind of hilarious. A warlock can have Pipyap as... no, not his familiar, but as his/her patron. Bow down.

In this section, moving around Maerimydra is the real challenge. If overwhelmed, don't kill the players — have them take prisoner where they can fight in the Bloddy Coliseum.

Round 2. Part 7. Another typo? The overview has a part 7. The actual adventure doesn't. Part 6 is 7? Don't worry about it too much. It all works out in the end. Players need to bring a live fire giant back with them, which can be an interesting problem for them to work out.

Rewards and treasures. In my opinion, the Ioun Stone of Regeneration isn't too great as a legendary item — but players don't get too many opportunities for a legendary item, for obvious reasons. So enjoy. It wouldn't have be my first choice. And Pipyap coughs it up rather easily. If it were truly "legendary," you hope for a more epic intro than Pipyap simply handing it over. That's a small quibble on my part.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-04 It's All in the Blood (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Chester C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/12/2017 08:17:54

A very long adventure and one of the few early tier 3 adventures that has been offered before. I find this adventure to be quite long and the time can even extend further than 8 hours. The first part has the introduction and sets the scene and story for the characters. Almost all of the parts that followed are mostly getting from one place to the next and combat. There is a bit of roleplay included in the different parts but the adventure itself is very combat heavy and overall it would take quite a bit of time to finish this adventure since it is 8 hours long so it may be divided into sessions.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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