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DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)

DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)

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Shadows Over the Moonsea

Life on the Moonsea isn't easy. Bandits, pirates, and cruel lords dominate the land, threatening those who make an honest livind there. Now, a new scorge is prowling the waters: A ghost ship has been strikig small coastal villages, leaving its victims whispering about the "eye of the dracolich." Join the adventrue and learn the truth behind this threat!

An adventure for 1st-4th level characters.

DDEX1-3 5E

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Reviews (46)
Discussions (18)
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Dan D August 20, 2020 5:05 am UTC
Oddly, the bookmarks have on my PDF viewer weird symbols all through them (PDF-XChange Editor) - I have Acrobat and others, just haven't looked - figure mention it here in case others saw as well. Doesn't impact use.
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Dave R April 28, 2020 3:54 pm UTC
Wonderful story, wonderful atmosphere, wonderful characters, incredibly taxing on the DM. For those preparing to run this, especially the harder versions for a larger party like I foolishly did, you are in for a challenge!
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Geo D April 11, 2020 3:13 am UTC
im trying to download Secrets of Sokol Keep (from but the link is wrong. it keeps sending me to this page
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Charles W July 28, 2018 1:19 am UTC
One of my favorite modules. The island is wonderfully creepy with plenty to explore and memorable characters to interact with. It’s dark and gritty. The build up to the island is slow so get the players on the island as soon as possible.
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Jessica W July 11, 2018 10:05 pm UTC
I've seen people call Elisande's accent 'southern', or even Creole (which is a French and Southern American mashup). If you feel that reading her lines is racist then you're doing it all wrong. Elisande's accent is a southeast London accent, commonly referred to as Cockney. Keep in mind that an accent doesn't tell you about someone's intelligence; it tells you where they know how to blend in, make friends out of acquaintances, and survive with ease.
I have made Miss Elisande a potential follower. She's clearly Neutral, interested in adventure, and has no natural spell casting ability. She also has an uncanny emergency medical skill for a preteen on an island; with the wits to stay out of the way and pull people out of danger before administering to them. I think she would take well to an education along the lines of rogue, fighter, cleric (if she had the right mentor). Anything to sate her wanderlust and avoid spending too much time in creepy, demon infested, woods without a means by which to kill whatever...See more
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Ken M June 15, 2018 2:16 am UTC
I enjoyed running this adventure for my players. It brought out a lot of RP around the table.
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Samuel S April 11, 2018 3:18 am UTC
Agree with most reviewers, skip the dire wolf. The investigation portion and the island can take up a lot of time.

Choose a Southern drawl for the islanders, and you will be gold. Like other reviewers have said, the listed dialogue is wonky.

A lot of spelling errors in the version I have, from the original AL download site.

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Joshua S January 29, 2018 8:35 pm UTC
The first AL adventure I every played, and the first one I ever DMed.

I liked this quite a bit; there's a touch of mystery and creepiness, and the players were entertained by the taciturn ferryman. There are some noticeable flaws, but I think they can be worked-around if the DM is prepared:
* The timeline for the pre-adventure attacks is a bit wonky; I'm not sure that the people who investigated the previous attacks would have had time to hear about the attacks, travel there, investigate, and travel back in the time described.
* Either skip the weird dialect for Elisande, or make it something less (potentially) offensive.
* Play up the creepiness-factor on the island.
* The final battle can be a bit of a slog, with lots of NPCs jumping in. It's probably better to handwave those parts rather than rolling tons of dice for the NPCs while your players sit around waiting for their turn.

Overall, this can be a 4/5 stars adventure if the DM does it well.
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Casper K January 20, 2018 8:07 pm UTC
I also got this back when it was part of the AL resources, so not a verified review.

This adventure is a horribly long story of investigation, and a fairly swift, bloody finale. I decided to cut out the Dire Wolf scene to speed things up a bit, as running around Phlan simply did not fall in my players taste. They weren't interested in Elisande, which was fortunate as the danish version of the dialect ended up even more racist and demeaning than the english one.

The finale was quite fun, as the party split up and sent the rogue on a mission to knock out Ixas. Which was a good choice as it opens up for more story-play with both him and Vesta(?) at a later point in time.

I rate the adventure a low 3 out of 5. Too much investigation, too little fight. The most bit of fun, was the ravine-altar room part, which interconnects greatly to Tyranny of Dragons. Be warned, this is not an easy nor a fun adventure to run.
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Stephanie B November 16, 2017 4:30 pm UTC
I got this back when it was part of the AL-only resources, so can't post a verified review.


This module went down among my play groups as "that one with the goat." It did not go over well. Between the terrible dialect for Elisande (on a good day, it sounds Creole....on a bad day, it's downright offensive) and the murderous final encounter, halfway through the adventure, my players killed the goat, wanted Elisande to go away, and were just pretty much done with the Moonsea and everyone in it.

I suspect that running this at night, with candles, and setting a kind of Lovecraftian mood would have made it a much more welcome adventure, to be honest. It has all the elements of an Innsmouth game, but the execution (as written) is lacking. A good DM can save anything; this adventure would probably do well with some tweaks by a skilled DM.
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Denis C October 07, 2017 8:32 am UTC
Bought it on Dms guild login. I don't know how to merge them.

Stars: 5/5

It is known as the player killer in our german AL community, especially level 1 players will have a tough time staying afloat. Depending on if the group enjoys a challenge or not, I would adjust the encounter beyond what is advised in the adventure. If the group really doesn't like a deadly challenge, feel free to go 1 step below the normal adustments. Aside from that, like most DDEX1- adventures, i would always weave background information into conversations so that players feel like it is a deep story that is part of something bigger. That takes some more preperation but is definiatelly worth it.
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Alex C August 09, 2017 7:54 am UTC
So what is up with the reward for this story..

It says under a certain treasure section on a ship that there is 500SP, 500EP and 75GP in a coffer. Though when checking the final reward paragraph in the story it says the total in the coffer is (500SP, 500EP) totalling 55GP. Anyone knows how much to give?
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Wrich P July 07, 2017 6:38 pm UTC
A well done mod, and worth your coin to purchase.

1) It has great character/NPC interaction.
2) It has an interesting back story.
3) It moves the world forward with an introduction to an important NPC...and her friend!
4) It can be played many different ways, meaning player agency drives how things are done.
5) It has a solid magic item useful for all.

Your players will enjoy this mod, and it is well laid out for DMs to run.
Customer avatar
May 09, 2017 4:04 pm UTC
Ya the typo's are a distraction but still a nice change from the standard dungeon run.
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Noel M January 28, 2016 7:04 pm UTC
Might want to fix a couple of typos in the description. "livind", "scorge", "strikig", and "adventrue" should be living, scourge, striking, and adventure. ^_^ I don't know if anything in the PDF needs to be fixed though...
Customer avatar
Gregory M January 29, 2016 1:56 am UTC
Thanks Noel. The Admins are working on getting the raw files from WOTC so the older seasons of the Adventurers League can be updated. Once we do, you should get an email from OBS telling there is a new version!
Customer avatar
Greg T February 26, 2018 2:58 am UTC
More than 12 months later, these typos in the description are still there...
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Noel M March 01, 2018 1:08 am UTC
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John G January 18, 2016 5:04 pm UTC
I played this at a friend's house and loved it. Lots of rich NPC interaction and a great mix of Lovecraftian & classic D&D elements. Several surprising turns in the middle and a killer final battle. highly recommended!
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File Last Updated:
January 11, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on January 11, 2016.