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Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (3.5)
by Luciella S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2018 17:03:39

Don't buy this unless you're a cis het man. 1) it uses "he" instead of "they" when referring to DMs, players, monsters and NPCs, 2) pictures of female characters are highly sexualised, e.g. are naked, nearly naked or depicted with their clothes flying off in one case, and all have the same or similar body type, 3) nearly all female demons are variations of succubi and are described only as beautiful, slender, sexy, shapely or similar, with little attention to any personality traits, 4) it contains the following passages: "most of Graz'zt's priests, known as the Chosen, are female - as testament to his insatiable libido", 5) almost all of the named characters are male. The listing in the appendices has male demons as the default, with a small marker in brackets showing the rare exceptions.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (3.5)
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
by Stephen L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2018 23:32:05

The Good:

  • Packs a lot of action into a short amount of time, but nothing too long and tiresome.
  • Has lots of ways the players can go about doing things, replayability is high.
  • Plenty of flavor and high adventure.

The Bad:

  • Honestly, none that I can think of.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic)
by Patrick A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2018 09:26:00

Ah, my personal "Holy Grail" that I foolishly let slip away years ago is finally back in my hands (honestly don't remember how it all happened, but I believe a bad relationship was involved, ha)! ❤ True, it's a POD version and not the EXACT same as having an original, but it's new, affordable, and the feelings of completeness are wonderful. I tried getting by with just the PDF as well as the Dark Dungeons RPG (an OSR retro-clone of the RC...nice alternative and might be well worth it to some), but for me, it honestly just wasn't the same. Am MOST pleased to be reunited! ☺



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic)
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DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
by Scott M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2018 02:46:11

Definitely one of the better adventuresw I have played through. Always an enjoyable experience for the players with enough danger involved to keep them on their toes throughout. Everyone has so far tripped the first trap...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
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DDAL04-02 The Beast (5e)
by Scott M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2018 02:44:49

Run this quite a few times now. Was a good one for my son to start DMing at the local store. It's quite straight forward, but has some interesting elements to it that can throw the players in a loop.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-02 The Beast (5e)
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DDEX2-05 Flames of Kythorn (5e)
by Francis C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2018 15:55:01

This was one of the better Adventures for my style of play that I have seen in Adventure League. There is a large RP setting to start off and all the combats except the final one are optional based on RP and social skills. The adventure is more of an investigation than anything else with the players going from location to location looking for clues. The end goals are a little weak, but the major NPCs are fairly well described.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-05 Flames of Kythorn (5e)
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DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
by Chris E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2018 15:54:22

I really enjoyed DMing this adventure. It has a lot of branching out on it, creating alot of replayability. It made my players feel in control of the adventure even though it was an AL module. This adventure is even better with Season 8. I made the fights less challenging than it said by one level but this allowed more Roleplaying in this. My players enjoyed it. One even came up to me afterwards, (a more adventured player), and told me how much he liked the more roleplay aspect of the module.

Some Spoilers:
Since I was running the Parnast Series, I was trying to build the city up to play the others in the series (Bad Business in Parnast, Giant Diplomacy, and Parnast under Siege). Let them explore the town, let them talk to whoever however (we spent about 20 min roleplaying and figuring out about the town). I made Sylas a little more important in the module and put emphasis on him, and create the tie a little better with Weathercote. It also allowed my players to purchase the Wake Up Sauce. Which they all put their money together (since season 8 has less gold and they were level 1) and bought it and the blue potion. They figured out the potion through subtle hints. They saved the sauce for the future.

5/5 Would really recommend this for any type of players. Small town, descriptions of all the main people and buildings. Allows for RP, Skill checks, and fights. Allows for variety of types of players since it has many branching paths.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
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DDEX2-16 Boltsmelter's Book (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/11/2018 15:43:51

This is not for the murder hobo's. I would suggest a paladin, wizard and a cleric and a rogue for balance. People should enjoy the actually challenges here and work cooperatively if they want to finish it on time. With season 8 there needs some information about what goals are needed for Treasure points and Achievement points but a good DM will be able to make good guesstimates and run with it since none are in Season 8 CC Adventure Catalog. Watch the APL if there is the addition of a single 1st level character puts the APL numbers to a harsher difficulty depending on overall party level. Have fun running this with appropriate accents too !



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-16 Boltsmelter's Book (5e)
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DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
by Greg T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2018 00:36:34

The best that Adventurer's League Season 1 has to offer

Set almost exactly at the halfway point of Adventurer's League Season 1, "Tales Trees Tell" offers a very welcome departure from the formulaic outings up to this point. It finally breaks with the "investigate phase, dungeon phase" model to instead offer a well-executed excursion into atmospheric horror.

This adventure takes the party to the Quivering Forest, north of Phlan. The first half details a growing sense of menace in the town of Kabel's Hill, located on the edge of the forest, while the second half covers a journey into the cursed forest itself seeking out a terrifying and memorable fey...

The Good:

There is simply no other adventure in Season 1 of AL that does atmospheric horror as well as this. The season's last real excursion into horror, "Shadows Over the Moonsea", really didn't work (and had more than a little accidental racism), while "Dues For The Dead" had lots of undead but little horror. "Tales Trees Tell" hits all the bases - effective flavour text, genuinely horrifying scenarios, strong pacing and escalation, and meaningful ways for the players to interact with the horror rather than merely being mute witnesses to it. In fact, it's such an escalation in horror for the adventure path that it comes with a unique warning in the introduction that less robust groups may need some aspects softened.

The adventure has a flexible approach to combat. For talkative groups, almost all combats are avoidable, but those hankering to shed some blood will be treated to some unusual and interesting monsters (including the rarely seen Scarecrow) which is great news for those tired of killing yet another kobold or yet another zombie.

The adventure uses only a few named NPCs, and the module gives you a good grasp on their concerns and motivations and how to use them interestingly. The friendly NPCs are good enough, but both the core villain and a certain fiendish wildcard are season standouts.

The module as a whole is very flexible, filled with digressions that can be easily chopped off without feeling like the players are missing much, yet adding flavour where the GM or players want to invest. That should be standard for the limited-time AL format and yet in practice it's rare enough to be refreshing here.

For all of the above reasons, this is the adventure Season 1 really needed at this point. It's a great change of pace for a group playing through the entire season, but it's self-contained enough to be run as a one-off with few changes.

The Bad:

The module is not without flaws. None of them greatly impact by opinion of it.

At the outset, let me say that the title is misleading. No tales are told by trees. In fact, there are no talking trees at all. Minus ten points to Gryffindor.

Moving on: it has a lot of typos. Few of them cause problems, but it's always unfortunate in a commercial product. The author has never returned to fix them despite repeated notifications of them over the years.

Secondly, it's missing cartography. This isn't a big deal, and it's par for the course for Season 1, but a handout showing the relative positions of Phlan, the Quivering Forest, Kabel's Hill, Greenhall and Jeny's clearing would go a long way. (Especially as the players find exactly that map in the possessions of multiple NPCs during the module.) Arguably the lack of geographical detail adds to the fairy-tale feel of the plot, perhaps.

Thirdly - and now we get to more serious concerns - there are some motivational issues in the module. The players know that the first person who entered the forest was making a mistake. They know that the villagers following him in was a mistake. Why would they go in themselves? NPCs such as Serelis repeatedly tell them not to enter the forest, and it's hard to argue that they're not right. DMs will need to do work to pick up the slack here.

Further, the module wants the players to visit Greenhall to learn the way to Jeny's glade, but the whole Greenhall section is problematic. The body on its borders is a fairly reasonable warning the elves don't want visitors, and they're elves - players may feel disinclined to try and "beat the information out of them". Plus the whole encounter is a bit boring, and the perfectly healthy elven village undermines the menace of the forest a little. Depending on time and pacing, DMs should either have the players' guide (or map) lead them straight to Jeny, or replace Greenhall with other Quivering Forest spookiness.

Finally, despite attempts, the adventure doesn't tie particularly well into the larger campaign. In theory, it should be a core adventure - there's a magical pact protecting Phlan's safety, it's tied in with the history of the Lord Protectors, Kabel Hill is an important trading post and warning point, the Cult are involved. Yet the events of Tyranny In Phlan (DDEX1-10) will happen whether a pact is struck or not, which rather undercuts events. There's further problems in the idea that the players might fight her for the finale. As a one-off it's not a big deal, but her stats as-written don't exactly sell her as capable of killing an entire Netherese army (as she's said to have done), or of protecting Phlan if a new pact is struck. Also, she returns in future modules, requiring some fancy footwork to cover her resurrection if players have previously murdered her.

Summary:

If you're running AL Season 1, look forward to this one. It's not as epic as "Tyranny in Phlan", but it's a solid high point for module writing in this series, and should be applauded.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
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DDAL07-08 Putting the Dead to Rest (5e)
by Corey K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2018 01:23:02

a great ending to the trilogy and leaves the players wondering what will happen next.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-08 Putting the Dead to Rest (5e)
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DDAL07-07 Rotting Roots (5e)
by Corey K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2018 01:20:38

One of the best adventures of the set and filled with many options to chalenge your players.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-07 Rotting Roots (5e)
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DDAL07-06 Fester and Burn (5e)
by Corey K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2018 01:19:02

Great adventure my players chose to trust the obvious bad guy and were quite surprised when he turned on them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-06 Fester and Burn (5e)
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DDAL07-05 Whispers in the Dark (5e)
by Corey K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2018 01:16:17

Great adventure full of suprises for the plays but not for lower level players as its very deadly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-05 Whispers in the Dark (5e)
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DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
by Corey K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2018 01:14:38

Unlike the other two season 7 T1 adventures this one is a bit odd, very short and not a great combat experience.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
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DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
by Corey K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2018 01:12:44

Probably one of the best Starting adventures, full of skill checks that any T1 character can feel useful.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
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