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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 (72)
Discussions (39)
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Adrian G September 23, 2020 2:19 am UTC
Any suggestions regarding a suitable owner for Marmaduke? I'm anticipating a party that will want to rescue him but may have reservations bringing him along and placing in harm's way during Dragon Heist's first chapter.
This is a non-AL campaign, so I'm considering delaying the reward until after the quest in Ch1, but I'd rather not take away from this module to do it. I'm just not having any clever ideas of my own regarding his owner.
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James S August 20, 2019 6:19 pm UTC
This module was ok - it requires a bit more prep than your average AL module due to the branching story, but part of that can be done with the players.

My issue is that the paths vary wildly in length and difficulty - without giving much away there is one combat-focused path where it's almost impossible to keep a key NPC alive if they roll poorly on initiative, resulting in him dying and the enemies running away the next round due to their success, and there's no note on what to do if he dies that I could see. The alternative paths are both longer but, if you have a decent rogue or bard, easier to complete successfully.
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Michael C May 20, 2019 11:47 pm UTC
I went into this module as a skeptic, thinking it would tough to run without having everything prepared in advance (villains, etc.). My group had a great time working together to pick villains, allies, etc. Turned out to be one of the group's favourite modules we've run this season, and I would happily run it again. I will say that it's better to run this with a smaller, experienced group. Trying to run with a group of "newbies", or a group of young people would likely result in chaos.
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RICHARD H February 20, 2019 11:08 am UTC
Question regarding the AL story awards in this module: am I correct in understanding that story awards can only be used during the adventure and also if the adventurer is playing the same module again? I wasn't clear from the description in the module as to how the story awards are handled.
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Mike B March 14, 2019 2:16 pm UTC
No, the story awards go to the characters as described. They have them from that point on. Marmaduke is currently in one of my player's rooms in Trollskull Tavern.
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RICHARD H March 17, 2019 10:03 am UTC
Thanks! I also had this confirmed by other AL DMs.
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Allan T February 08, 2019 6:30 am UTC
in the adventure, it says to use the Apprentice Mage stat block when there is no such block.
Urlon Vhrule on page 12 In the section headed: "Creatures/NPCs"

When I first purchased this adventure one of the documents seemed to be printer friendly, the versions now appear to both be non-printer friendly versions of the document.
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Mike B March 14, 2019 2:23 pm UTC
I think they mean the 'Apprentice Wizard' block.
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Erich B January 26, 2019 8:54 pm UTC
As a player, I think this module is insane. Our final encounter was 4 thugs and a 9th level wizard, plus a 6th person sneaking up behind us. We were assured this was correct and balanced... the big bad got away presumably by teleporting or something because we had the stairwell blocked. We had 5 players at 1st level and the initial encounter nearly killed us, due to being split up between accomplishing four tasks, confronting the two thugs, the fire, saving patrons, and fighting the brooms.

To be honest, there is no way we should have survived this. Maybe going against a 9th level caster at 1st level should feel heroic, but it didn't feel that way. It felt stupid.

I do not know that allowing players to choose between three options in a couple of categories makes us feel more involved in the story. It was confusing. To be honest, were I to prepare this I would just pick the path randomly and prep it one way instead of trying to manage so many variables on the fly.
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Marjorie E January 20, 2019 2:19 pm UTC
I ran this module 2 times and I can attest that it can be really fun for players. It gives a chance for people to build up on their backgrounds as well as allow them to build up on their character's personality. A problem arises, however, as the main villains have a challenge rating of up to 3. I feel as though the challenge rating should be more relative to the groups APL because some CR 3 enemies are capable of killing characters outright. That may be a downer for level one characters especially if the player is new to DnD.

In addition, the format of Once in Waterdeep is a bit strange. It consists of 3 parts however, the module itself only has rewards for 2 achievements. It sort of doesn't feel appropriate for a player to have gone through the whole module but get 2 ACP less because they did not reach the final encounter. This is especially if the final encounter ends up taking less time than the rest of the module.

(honest rating: 4/5)
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daniel R January 08, 2019 1:52 am UTC
This was an interesting first module to run for Season 8. I'll admit it is awesome that there's a lot of lore and gave the layout for The Yawning Portal. But at the same time it was pretty frustrating for me as the DM trying to figure out and adapt to the new system with literally a hundred different options depending on what the players responded and whatnot.
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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.
Customer avatar
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.
Customer avatar
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.
Customer avatar
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.
Customer avatar
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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File Last Updated:
October 05, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on August 27, 2018.
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