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DDEX1-02 Secrets of Sokol Keep (5e)Click to magnify

DDEX1-02 Secrets of Sokol Keep (5e)


Secrets of Sokol Keep

Decades have passed since Sokol Keep was reclaimed, and a small garrison placed there along with a beacon to help guide ships. Now, that beacon has gone dark, and the garrison has disappeared. In Phlan, rumors circulate that something ancient was discovered in the grounds beneath the keep, dating to before the clerics of Tyr built the small fortress. Uncover the secrets of Sokol Keep!

An adventure for the 1st-4th level characters.

DDEX1-2 5E

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Reviews (59)
Discussions (29)
Customer avatar
Jody F January 26, 2023 4:19 pm UTC
I think its a fine module. This was made in the early days of 5E and AL and works to educate the DMs and Players as to the various rules that can affect the players.

One of the more hilarious events is traveling to Thorn Island (where Sokol Keep is.) <i>
One of the options is Swimming.
"The island is three hundred feet from shore and will take a swimmer 2d4+2 *hours* to reach." DC 15 Athletics check and exhaustion on failure and side note that players could die from exhaustion.
minimum 4 hours to swim 300 feet? Just seems a bit drastic.</i>
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Marek J April 04, 2022 1:45 pm UTC
I ran this in AL, I received the adventure from the organiser.
It was a fun game to run in general with some minor issues.
There is no incentive for the party to take the quest, which is weird. I ended up offering them money and lowering the value of some loot later.
The foreshadowing with ghosts ships can be distracting and people can get expectations that will not be met at the table on the same evening.
The option for swimming to the island gets too much space, considering there is no need for it. It is also ridiculously difficult because the distance between land and the Sokol Islande is like three swimming pools. It also makes no sense for people letting the dangerous situation develop for several days when the island is so easy to reach. On that note, even though the beacon is magical, the logical solution is to make fire there (even as a short-term solution) so that the docks can keep functioning.
I really liked the ghost thing, that was fun to play, we have only...See more
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Marco S August 05, 2021 8:42 am UTC
There is also a video review available [Spoilers!]
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Craig D January 01, 2021 8:57 am UTC
Great guide for DMs running this adventure
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Ken F April 28, 2020 11:15 pm UTC
Adapted this adventure for the use of three 2nd level characters to play in. No time limit for us... I let the adventure unfold naturally, and let the characters roam around Phlan and the island / Sokol Keep at will. Excellent balance between combat, puzzles, and NPC interaction. My players are all "actor" type players who love NPC interaction, love solving mysteries and puzzles, and like a light touch of dungeon crawling. This adventure had it all. Especially nice was the character's interaction with Harae, the Spirit... and as DM, I really enjoyed how the players discovered, then interacted with her to gain insight. My advice? Don't rush this adventure or railroad your players with limited choices... let your players roam the area, gain information, get rumors, and interact in Phlan to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
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Paul W April 18, 2020 9:58 pm UTC
Is there a map of the island and layout somewhere I'm missing?
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Stephen S October 23, 2019 9:40 am UTC
This is a solid introductory adventure for a new D&D players. I ran this as a veteran DM with a group of completely new players earlier this year.

*This adventure is a good length for new players to try out D&D and see if they like it. It offers a fine balance of combat, social interaction, light puzzle solving, a mystery to solve and a brief dungeon crawl. In all, it showcases, at a basic level, the main components of what D&D has to offer, without overwhelming new players.
*The story is solid and can be easily tweaked to fit it into different settings or campaigns. I removed it from the Forgotten Realms context and inserted it into a homebrew world that I run. I also had the players find an artifact in the temple at the end that created a hook for further adventures.
*With very inexperienced players (and a good amount of table socializing) this adventure took us 6 hours (three two hour sessions). I expect somewhat more focused players could complete it in more...See more
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Steven P March 12, 2019 11:12 pm UTC
DM'd this for the AL at Patriot Games in Sheffield, with a copy from PG themselves, so cannot review officially, but if I could I'd give it 4 stars.

As others have said, it's an oddly-paced module, veering heavily into potential TPK territory at the end unless you pay attention to the weighting of the monsters in the last third. The investigative middle chunk is good fun, with enough background detail to give PCs several alternative routes through. They definitely don't need to explore every location to get a feel of what's going on.

I'd recommend a bard and a cleric in the party, as well as the inevitable muscle. :)
Customer avatar
Patrick B October 07, 2018 3:27 am UTC

Secrets of Sokol Keep

It starts out slow as the party learns some rumors of some missing Black fist guards then take a trip to Thorn Island. The party members investigate a haunted manor and discover a hidden shrine and discover the final fate of the missing people.

Pluses: The four hour run time is just right. There are some easy encounters sprinkled throughout with maybe two difficult ones. I must single out the ghouls at the bottom of the sinkhole. It has the potential of wiping out a low level group. The athletics dc for escape is simply too high.

Negatives: There needs to be a map of the island and a layout of the manor and the towers. There is not enough info on the manor’s servants or tips on how to portray them.

I did not like the magic beacon aspect. I realize the lack of a beacon makes for a treacherous water travel and would be of interest to the surrounding ports. Having the beacon not work because it was being tended...See more
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Charles W July 28, 2018 1:12 am UTC
Great module. Memorable characters and locations. My players enjoyed having a mystery to solve.
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Joshua L July 01, 2018 8:53 pm UTC
I had difficulty running this one within the 4-hour time limit. Nonetheless, my players really liked this one. I gave Karst the Ferryman an accent/speech pattern similar to Billy Bob Thornton's from "Sling Blade," and he became one of the most memorable NPCs I've ever run.
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Kenneth M June 15, 2018 2:17 am UTC
My table really enjoyed this adventure. The playful spirit made for some fun RP moments.
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Jeffery C May 28, 2018 4:14 am UTC
Nice adventure, but it can be rough on a lower level group without much healing. This is a good adventure to keep players careful of what they do, with just enough mystery to make it interesting and plenty of fighting for the dice rollers.
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Dawn A April 27, 2018 6:51 pm UTC
Bit dull at times but overall a decent T1 adventure
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Samuel S April 11, 2018 8:07 pm UTC
Season 1 modules are not as user friendly as later seasons, however, this module is atmospheric and has a good amount of creepiness to it. The final encounter is delightfully creepy.

I advise you expedite the investigation process, and allow PCs to make skill checks to figure out what clues you can give them instead of slowly drawing the mystery out, especially if you are pressed for time.

Customer avatar
David B March 27, 2018 4:53 am UTC
This was a fun module. I appreciated that it allowed the characters to do a bit of investigation. The combat was challenging, so pay careful attention to your players or they can be easily overwhelmed.
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This title was added to our catalog on January 11, 2016.