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DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep

DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep


Who knows why adventurers are drawn together? The lust for gold, a common foe, or the
whimsy of fate? Pull up a stool, stoke the hearth, and let YOUR story begin!
A Four-Hour Adventure for Tier 1 Characters. Optimized for APL 1.

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Reviews (53)
Discussions (31)
Customer avatar
Eran A October 25, 2018 6:39 am UTC
I like the modularity. You can change the configuration slightly and run it differently. The changes aren't much but you can lean into it and give a very different feel. The Ally didn't play a big role in my game but the villain choice can change a lot.
Secondly, clear some time out for this and be careful around 1st level PCs. It took me about 5 hours and I had to nerf a lot.
Also, it's a pretty big lore dump. If you want to go with a slow reveal of what the hell is going on in Waterdeep, skip this.
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Patrick B October 17, 2018 9:01 pm UTC

Once in Waterdeep

In this module, you collaborate with players in a workshop to create a villain and objectives for a story. The players can choose their own backstories, the type of villain (a traitor, brute or mastermind) opposing them and the MacGuffin they are all seeking. Events and NPC interactions unfold depending on which villains they choose. The backdrop of the module is the Yawning Portal Inn.

My players were flat footed when I pressed them for character background. They were clearly not expecting this. Most said they were “seeking adventure” or “had heard tales of treasure in to be found in Waterdeep”. I could not do much with the boilerplate responses but one pc had a Harper background that I expanded on.

Using the Harper angle, I introduced Mattrim “Three strings” Mereg. He tasked the Harper in the party with recovering the MacGuffin from the henchwoman of the villain that was in a dance troupe. Mattrim would arrange...See more
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Rudolf A October 14, 2018 11:02 am UTC
* I was handed this module by event organizer, and as it is not oficially *purchased* by my account I am not allowed to review it. I'm posting my thoughts in Discussions tab then. [2/5 stars]

* Choosing Villain, Person of Interest, MacGuffin and a Challenge seems like a nice gimmick, but not for AL play. I like however how it correspondes with the fact that in HC you choose one of the villains. Here - you have to prepare basically couple variants of the same adventure, and it makes you look unprofessional or unprepared when you check your notes and module constantly (what can happen if players choose unusual combination of above).

* Version I got handed did not have any stats for a Villain. "Pick something mechanically appropriate from one of the core books and reskin" kinda' defeats the purpose of portability. For me - this adventure is underdeveloped and unfinished - back on the drawing table, fix it.

* The plot is ridiculous. In a bad way. Too many distractions,...See more
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Noel M October 12, 2018 8:49 pm UTC
I just tried downloading v1.2 AND v1.2b and found that neither copy was printer-friendly.
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Justin K October 04, 2018 1:47 pm UTC
Loved the creative aspect of this module, allowing the PCs to have a unique influence on the story that everyone loved. I have never had the response to this module that I had when running it with my group, they loved it! I hope to see more modules like this. Also enjoyed the three pillars notes at the bottom of each section.
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LIAO C October 04, 2018 9:26 am UTC
DDAL08-00 is very bad, it told players many secrets about HC:(dragon heist)。
when I bought HC and DDAL08-00, I can't play DDAL08-00 and HC with same friends. MacGuffin list has 7 or 8 NPC same with HC:(dragon heist)。(angry)

If you will enjoy HC(dragon heist) , you should not buy DDAL08-00。
Customer avatar
Travis F October 03, 2018 2:43 pm UTC
I enjoy running this adventure at CharCon Bonus round. It really sets the tone for season 8 and the other modules to come for this season. I'm looking forward to running it again and seeing what villain will be chosen the second time around with a different group.
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Mike B October 02, 2018 4:25 pm UTC
I enjoyed running this module, but it is one that requires the DM to be quick on their feet. The create your own aspect at the beginning, can get the party off on a complete tangent. I had to work fairly quickly to keep the party focussed on issues in the Yawning Portal, otherwise I would have been making up Waterdeep since the party was completed focused on the early events from the create your own portion. Every time I would get them focused on the continuing events, they kept going back to the interesting item and wanting to head out into town to investigate.
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Roger M October 01, 2018 12:57 pm UTC
I have ran this twice so far. The force in Scene 3 is always the same. So I suggest you just add a Bandit Captain as the boss.
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Matt P September 29, 2018 3:33 am UTC
I’m assuming that our party got the “brute path” you’re talking about then because I came here to say that there’s A TON to like about this adventure as a player, but the authors ability to design combat encounters for level 1 parties is not on that list. We weren’t even all level 1 and it was extremely close to a TPK in encounter 1. Every encounter outnumbered us. I won’t elaborate on my specific issues because it would constitute spoilers, but from the other comments it looks like some DMs have spotted the problems.
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Brandon L September 28, 2018 3:52 pm UTC
So I really like this one, just ran it on Wed. The store I'm helping in London purchased it, but I thought I'd toss up some notes. There is a bunch of setup as you do have to come up with NPCs and what not for the Villian, but it isn't that bad. I made a bunch of Encounter Sheets that we could use at the store if someone wanted to run this one. It was easy to just pick an NPC from the encounter sheets to use and then run from there. If you get the prep done, the quest is other a lot of fun. It is neat that there are a few ways it can go, and our session did run a bit over 4 hours, but not too bad. The Brute path is very deadly for Level 1 characters, so I had to toss in a few slight changes, though we did have a few characters drop, but not deaths. All in all, fun but tons of prep work that needs to be done. You can easily run this one a few times.
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Daniel L September 28, 2018 2:47 pm UTC
This is a great adveture, was my first time DM and it was a lot of fun.
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Thad M September 28, 2018 2:19 pm UTC
Was given a print out of this adventure to run at my LFGS and had a blast with it. The brainstorm create your own adventure elements seemed to be enjoyed by all the players, and we ended up with a very entertaining villain for them to combat at the end. It was not entirely easy to DM, as the multiple paths and intentionally open ending can leave a lot to the DM to bring together. But very worthwhile, would (and probably will) run again.
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Tristan O September 27, 2018 10:55 pm UTC
It's rather chaotic on your first run of it. I enjoyed it, having split it into 2 sessions. The first session, I had a day or two to prepare. It was a combination of session zero for the season of Adventure League and running a module. Getting the first part done, we completed part two and three with little difficulty the next session.

Everyone seemed to have a good time with the brainstorming section in the start. Overall it's a well-written bit of fun, though tricky for newer DMs. I'd recommend it for the creative types. Those with less time / energy might consider a different adventure.
Customer avatar
Tj B September 18, 2018 4:27 am UTC
I just ran this on Monday night at our Game Night. To me, it seemed like a Module mixed with Homebrew and it was very difficult to understand at first, but once we got into the flow, it went nicely. I strongly suggest reading the module multiple times, and depending on your table, maybe pick the villain ahead of time, and that will help the adventure along.
Customer avatar
Thomas B September 18, 2018 12:46 am UTC
there's not actually an adventure here. you have to make up key NPCs, vital plot threads and there are 4 open ended and poorly sketched scenes connected by the barest thread of "bad thing, there, run!" style segues.

The DM is encouraged to do half the writing at the table in front of the players in the first scene. honestly this whole document is barely finished. it's filled with the most irrelevant details presented as vital revelations in some sections (that strangely don't lead anywhere) and then skips over whole massive segments of connective story tissue. the writing here smells more like authorial abdication then "enabling creativity".

DON'T BUY IT! just make something up on the fly, since this "adventure" basically requires you to do that anyways, but at least you won't be restricted to using one of the nine NPC sterotypes presented here.
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File Last Updated:
October 05, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on August 27, 2018.