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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e) $3.99
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Rudy T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/24/2017 11:08:43

Very fun starter missions for new players or for those who want a taste of the death curse and meatgrinder mode.Also a nice introduction to Chult



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Remington A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/24/2017 09:14:12

Much like DDAL05-01, this module is a fantastic way to introduce new players to D&D. It's also packed with a ton of fun for experienced players. The story provides a great starter for Tomb of Annihilation, welcoming the characters to Chult and giving them a taste of new things they'll have to deal with on this strange continent. I especially like part 2 of this module; it's a great new bit of fun that I haven't seen from Adventurer's League before, and my players loved it.

My critique comes to the timing. These are supposed to run as 1 hour mini-adventures, but can be very difficult to run in that time-frame without making some changes to speed things up. This doesn't take away from the fun of the module, it just requires some expectation management for how quickly you want to complete this for players.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Kyle M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/23/2017 20:08:58

The first DDAL module for Season 7, "A City on the Edge" attempts t o provide a pathway to the Tomb of Annihilation storyline at tier 1. It starts off a bit rough, though. The module as a whole more or less presumes that the adventurers belong to one of the five factions. It does provide a hook for unaligned characters, but even that mostly consists of "go help the factions, oh and there's a Death Curse". It then moves into a brief, if vivid, prologue with the characters arriving in the port by ship and heading to (where else) a local tavern after being directed to visit the faction contacts. Each contact then has a mission for them.

As usual, this review contains SPOILERS, so the TL;DR version is "not bad".

What I liked

The scenarios (missions) themselves are, for the most part, pretty good. You have a tiny dungeon crawl, a FREAKING DINOSAUR RACE (followed by gladiatorial arena combat), a jungle fight, and another pair of tiny dungeon crawls. 

The dinosaur race stands out for the obvious reason that WE'RE RACING DINOSAURS, Y'ALL! I don't know what else you want. It has a slightly abstracted race mechanic that might take the players a bit to understand. Good DMs should still allow them to improvise additional actions and try to use the four listed as guides. The fight that follows the race felt like an afterthought, and I skipped it for time reasons on one of the occasions I ran this module.

Also, the editing and quality control in this document far exceeds most of the prior seasons. While not perfect, it more or less matches what we saw in Season 6 content. Hopefully this will continue to improve.

What I didn't like

The introduction does not really provide much of a motivation. DMs have to invent ways to get the party moving, and while we definitely can do that, the whole point of a module is to give us what we need. 

The dungeons themselves don't suck for the most part, but one of them has a puzzle in a series of rooms that I found really useless. It mostly consists of "roll to continue" even when the players and their characters have figured out how it works. DMs can fix this by interpreting the rolls, not as whether the adventurers figure out the same exact puzzle four times in a row, but as whether they can do it without setting off traps. (This might have been the intention; however, the text doesn't say that.)

The maps have improved from previous seasons (spoiler alert: the tier 2 companion to this module has the same bad maps as before). This really matters to groups that play on Roll20 or another virtual tabletop. Instead, I paid a little extra to get the map set here on DMs Guild produced by Gail D using assets from Mike Schley. A number of groups commented on how much they liked these maps. I did create an abstract grid for the dinosaur race based on what the module shows, as I have seen other groups get confused by the layout in Gail D's map on this one.

Tips and conclusion

Spend some time in advance thinking about how to get the party moving. Make sure you understand how the various traps and puzzles work; some of them might get jumbled if you read them for the first time right when the game is about to start. If you play at an actual table, the map quality will probably be okay for you, but if you use a VTT, spend some extra time or money to make sure your players see something a little nicer..

The whole module provides a maximum of 500 XP, so once players get through this, they will either need to play something else (including potentially the actual ToA book) or wait until November when the rest of the Tier 1 modules for this season come out.

Either way, it's not the worst introduction to a season I've seen, and the race alone makes it worthwhile in my mind.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
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!]
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
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!]
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
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!]
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by David E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/16/2017 08:35:55

There are a few problems with this adventure. I have played this as a PC and DM. Each part is supposed to be one hour. It took 2 hours for each part. I don't know how you run it in less than that. This is a lot of time for an introductory module. Also the players are supposed to find pieces of an artifact, but we never learn what it does or why they are looking for it. My players were frustrated by that.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Aaron T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/15/2017 22:56:43

A City on the Edge is very much like a Faction choose your own adventure. Each one hour adventure easily takes 1 1/2 hours and is Background rich. All in all a very enjoyable adventure to introduce your PC's to Port Nyanzaru.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by A G. F. Y. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/15/2017 09:52:09

Loved the adventures. I ran them a few nights ago for a friend and I liked them so much that I bought them my self. The one down side I have is they do tend to run long. Id say they are Five 90min adventures. I loved number 2 especially but I am bias tword that faction.

I was able to work it into our hard cover adventure (ToA) with out much work at all.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Ashley K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/14/2017 19:02:05

Of the "beginning" adventures I have run so-far, A City of the Edge has to be my favorite. It provides a little something for everyone - interesting NPCs with just enough story to spark a DMs imagination, combats, traps, fun and imaginative events, and more. I especially reccomend these adventures for first-time D&D players because it really does have EVERYTHING that you will encounter as a player in D&D at least once during the 5-hour run time. It is also a great way to introduce people and characters to Chult for Season 7.

Everything ran extremely smoothly in this adventure as it also does provide a lot of help for the DM concerning enemy tactics during the combats so that you're not left scratching your head on how to make a combat "good" if that's not your strong point as a DM. I personally had a LOT of fun with the faction NPCs and the Dinosaur Race in Mission 2 provided a lot of fun.

You will have so much fun with certain aspects of this adventure that it will more likely than not run long. I cut a couple of things a bit short and still needed about 6 hours to run this fully. But I was also running it as a Slot 0 for a group of fellow DMs who were going on run this adventure as well, so I did take some time to explain things and answer my fellow DMs questions on how to handle certain aspects of the adventure as we completed missions.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Derrick C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/12/2017 11:13:44

MAPS! So happy ot have maps for the 1 hour adventures. I am running this as the introduction to the HC, and the players are enjoying it, I am enjoying it, and it is all arround a good time. Downside is the length of the module (lots of paper to print) and the amount of DM prep. I have found that some can be run in 45 minutes, others can take up to 2 hours if the RP or combat drags on (like your players all being mind-controlled by grung and unable to make saves)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Wes R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/11/2017 13:55:23

DDAL 07-01 play report (spoiler free): So I ran the first four (of five) one hour adventures from 07-01 A City on the Edge, the introductory DDAL adventure for this season. I ran them twice, once on a Saturday and once on a Sunday, with a total of 46 out of 48 possible participants, and only one individual played more two sessions. A few thoughts below:

  1. Actual Play Time: There is no way that these sessions play as written in an hour. Even if you completely railroaded the entire party through every interaction, limited talking at the table to "Hi, my name is ..." and announcing roll scores, and removed any possible non-combat resolutions, these things are still at least 90 minutes each. And if you actually have a full table, like most of mine were, it's full-on impossible. If any of your players are new to Adventurer's League, let alone D&D or RPGs (the express point of providing the 1 hour introductory adventures in my mind being to invite new players in), you'll have no chance to cover everything in each one hour session. When hot-desking at a convention, it's incredibly frustrating to have to edit these on the fly to get them down to a real 60 minute play time.

  2. Accessibility: Faced with the truth of #1, which I could tell even before running the first one, it's incredibly difficult to cut these down to an actual 60 minute play time and not destroy the story elements. They are intricately complex within themselves and yet do very little to actually tie into each other, given the ostensible purpose of the adventure being to have all of them tied up with session #5. Making them work narratively for players was challenging and required significant amendment of the story structure just to make them flow more smoothly.

  3. Faction tie-in: There seems to be no real reason that any of these particular missions are tied to the factions named. None of the objectives tie in with the overall goals of the factions involved and players (even those who didn't know anything about DDAL) picked up on that quickly before I started inventing a reason that the particular faction would care about the stated objective.

  4. Novel mechanics, story elements, etc.: I greatly enjoyed some of the interesting twists on story. Spoiler free, mission 2 involves a race mechanic that went over exceptionally well with the tables that had that session. It also takes at least 30 minutes to run on its own and was clearly meant to be the shorter portion of mission 2's adventure - making it completely unfeasible to narrate and run the remaining elements. Mission 3 and 4 both add some interesting story beats that I highlighted above the overly complex elements throughout the rest of the narrative provided. This flattened out the villains, as there simply isn't enough time to run the mission with all of the complexity and still stick to a 60 minute time frame.

  5. Thematic tie-in: The connection to Chult was strong and I felt that Nyanzaru came through fairly well. the lack of any kind of city map (which I realize comes in ToA hardcover, but I didn't have my copy yet) makes it difficult to situate the missions in the overall city other than vague references to "Old City" or "Merchant's Quarter," which feel rather fantasy generic. But the vibrancy of NPCs, the diversity of races, species, and environments, and the excellent hook of the death curse all do a great job of setting a strong atmosphere for the adventure (and hopefully the campaign to come!).

  6. Convention suitability: As might be obvious from above, this module does not lend itself well to a time-constrained setting. Running it at a convention would be practically impossible (I've already been turned away from running it at another con because they only grant 4 hour time blocks for RPGs) and running the sessions as one hour introductions to DDAL/D&D, as I did this weekend, raises the problems in points 1-2. I would not recommend running these for a convention.

  7. Overall design: I'd give each of these a 3/5. They do a wonderful job of setting up the feeling of impending doom and exciting locale, while avoiding the "exotic savage" colonization narrative baggage. However, the lack of rigorous playtesting with an eye on actual session duration greatly hurts them. And they are simply unsuited for use in a convention setting as individual missions or anywhere that would require you to stick to a specific time-schedule without being forced to treat them as nothing but a railroaded story where the players role a few dice along the way.

Hope this helps and happy to answer any questions about my experience.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Caleb S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/10/2017 15:47:48

Be prepared: this adventure takes a lot of prep work for DM's. Lots of different NPC's to keep track of roleplaying.

The dinosaur race was hands down the most fun part of this adventure; fun for both the DM and the players. The arena battle was very entertaining as well. I hope more AL adventures include more mechanics like these. There are several traps laid out for the players so make sure to keep track of those ahead of time. The players told me that they didn't feel very challenged during the combat encounters. We had 6 1st level PC's, but they were still an "average" level party according to the math, so I didn't adjust the encounters. If you ask the players before the adventure starts if they would like a "strong" playthrough, I believe 6 1st level characters can handle it. The grung battle was the most difficult; I dropped 2 players, but nobody died. The threat of the death curse made the PC's play smarter and coordinate tactics more than I've seen in other adventures.

This adventure was my very first one run as a DM and I recommend practice DM'ing on the smaller 2-hour adventures until you get the hang of roleplaying NPC's.

Overall a great intro to season 7.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Sebastian H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/09/2017 14:14:39

DDAL07-01, A City on the Edge, heralds the beginning of adventures centered in the jungles of Chult. In Chult, players will face pirates, dinosaurs, undead, and even undead dinosaurs, as they work to unravel the mysteries of a curse that affects all the people of the world. The five miniature adventures included in this module mark the first steps heroes will take as they delve into this dangourous world full of mystery, danger, and excitement.

Overall, the adventures are fun and a joy to both play and run. Both sides of the table, DM and player, will find themselves enjoying what is presented within these pages. Combat certainly does seem to take focus over the course of these adventures, but opportunites for exploration and social interaction do present themselves, especially to players that have a creative mind.

One thing that certainly shines about these adventures is that are more strongly tied to one another than previous Adventure League season opening modules. Typically, they have followed a general theme or story but this time all five adventures fit more snugly together. In four of the adventures, players will come across trinkets and clues to a larger mystery that culminates in the fifth and final adventure. As they find these pieces, they will make contacts with representatives of the various factions and power players that will be present in Season 7's Tomb of Annihilation. In addition to this, the modules are tied more closely to the story present in the hardcover for the new storyline so that players who participate in both receive an added sense of immersion and story throughout the course of their play.

The writers appear to have also made sure that players will not be punished for not participating in both the hardcover and the modules presented here. The five modules are also written so that players can enjoy them out of order, instead of being forced to play them from 1-4 and then finish off with the fifth and final one.

A downside of the adventure is that with all the hype about the jungles of Chult and mysteries hidden deep withen them, the players are rather contained in the port city of Nyanzaru. They do get a small taste of the jungle in adventure and dinosaurs are rather prevalent in another, but overall it is a little underwhelming when you know there is so much more out there beyond the walls of the city. However, considering the breadth and scope of season 7, this containment in Nyanzaru will help build a stronger foundation for the players to see it as their home base of operations instead of just a named location where they buy spellcasting services and say where their character was located inbetween adventures.

These adventures are a great start for players and Dungeon Masters, both new and old. The run-time is a little longer than listed, especially if you or your players enjoy to roleplay, but that has more to do with wanting to enjoy every aspect of the adventure and not to cumbersome writing or cramming to much in one miniature adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Troy T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/09/2017 11:36:56

I just ran the first hour-long adventure "Snake in the Grass" for my two teenage boys. I'll let the youngest one's comment stand as the review. "That was pretty amazing!" They were overjoyed at the treasure at the end.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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