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DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
by Sean R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/15/2019 23:46:32

Winter's Splendor is a fun little module for the holiday season that has the advantage and disadvantage of being a holiday module and therefore feeling a bit out of place at any other time. However, it is a fun module and one with a few really standout moments, but also some issues that are a bit more difficult and perplexing to deal with.

First, let's talk about the good stuff. The setup has a wonderful mix of playful and sinister that works well together and the 'little child tricked by the devil' plot line is a classic story trope that players can easily lean into. It has great synergy with one season of Dragon Heist, really allowing you to get the players emotionally invested in some highly important NPCs, enough so that I'd be tempted to somehow integrate it into a play through of any Dragon Heist run I did with that season.

The tone here is great. Everything is a mix of creepy and cute, exemplified by the image of an imp in a Nutcracker outfit. Better yet, it builds well. The opening scene is pure holiday cheer. The performance is lovely until it isn't. The children's room is a scene of cuteness mixed with horrifying wrongness. (You can really do a lot with the imps going invisible here; have them manipulate toys and play it like a horror movie.) And then the graveyard scene is pure horror film aesthetic with no holiday spirit at all. Everything is placed well.

Bonus objective 1 is mostly a positive as well. It's a really fun, inventive scenario and certainly original. There is a drawback as well, though, which I'll get to later.

Finally, the puzzles are mostly very clear and well designed.

However, there are enough drawbacks here to cost it a star.

First, while not a huge deal, the first bonus objective is very dependent on a confident and performative DM. Are you prepared to sing at the table? Because while it's great, it only really comes alive if someone is prepared to sing. It can be a player or a DM, but it's really something you want to have happen, and not every table will have that. Bonus objective 2 doesn't have this problem but also feels very much like just a sequence of ability checks.

More of a problem is the ending. The shift to the location for the finale is somewhat poorly telegraphed and can easily slip by a party, requiring a fair amount of nudging from the DM. (Two groups I ran this for both came to the same wrong conclusion of where to go.) And the item required in the ending puzzle isn't in the adventure anywhere, meaning the DM needs to improvise a solution at the end. There's a few ways this could be done (make it easier by creating a quick location to purchase it, or make it hard by forcing the players into multiple fights as the time stretches on) with neither being wrong but both being sub-optimal.

Overall, I really like this module, but can't deny the ending lets it down a lot.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
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DDAL00-04 Winter's Flame (5e)
by Ethan Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2019 21:48:39

A heart-warming adventure that can serve as an introduction to the game of D&D with the right modifications. The festival games, while a great way to showcase skill challenges, can be a little dull and repetitive without introducing some NPCs that can inspire conflict. My players were especially fond of Smoll. This adventure is a great way to get into the Midwinter spirit.

For those who wish to run the adventure as an introducty one-shot, I've created some additional encounters: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/264097/Winters-Spark



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-04 Winter's Flame (5e)
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DDIA05 Storm King's Thunder: A Great Upheaveal (5e)
by Paweł M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2019 16:10:06

The adventure is a great alternative to those small modules that consume 2 hours each, and are usually played in a changing party throughout a few weeks. It gives a good understanding of what is going on in the realm, and introduces the players to the whole campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDIA05 Storm King's Thunder: A Great Upheaveal (5e)
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Plane Shift: Kaladesh
by Justin B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/13/2019 11:45:53

A great supplement for anyone wanting to run a game in the MTG Plane of Kaladesh.

The first chapter goes over the lore and places that make the plain unique. The second provides many new races that can be used for a campaign (or even brought over to a non MTG campaign) including; Aetherborn (Construct-Magic Humanids),and Vedalken (Alien Like beings) , as well as how the core races fit within the world. Chapter 3 rounds up the supplement with a Bestiary, including 3 new monsters and what type of creatures inhabit Kaladesh and how to incorporate the monster found in the Monster Manual inside the plane.

Overall I found this to be a solid product , invaluable for anyone running an adventure/ campaign in Kaladeh (or any MTG world) but also useful for those who are not.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Plane Shift: Kaladesh
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Magic Item Compendium (3.5)
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/12/2019 22:34:41

Being a soft cover it lacks the majesty but for 15 bucks as opposed to 100 on amazon an excellent bargain. Mine does not have the issues the other review for this has. Reccommended for anyone who wants to have access to a plethora of magic items.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Magic Item Compendium (3.5)
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Unearthed Arcana: The Mystic Class (5e)
by Anony M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/08/2019 21:32:04

The Mystic class is similar enough to other spellcasters to feel familiar, but different enough to be interesting. The fundamentals of psi points and psi limits are well balanced compared to other classes.

Once or twice you might notice something like, "they forgot to put a duration on Darkness, hahaHAHAHA" and then your group brainstorms for a while and comes up with something. These should be interpreted as a heartwarming opportunity to bring your group closer together. Same with errata in other products like the Player's Handbook or whatever, so it's cool. :)

Free to download, so give it a look, maybe one of your group will feel drawn to try something new.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Unearthed Arcana: The Mystic Class (5e)
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Greyhawk Player's Guide (2e)
by Ron B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/08/2019 13:12:02

Horrible scanning. The the two page artistic map of Greyhawk on pages 32-32 is missing an inch out of the middle. This should be a beautiful Sam Wood illustration...



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Greyhawk Player's Guide (2e)
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DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
by Erick R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/05/2019 00:55:38

Great adventure. my people had tons of fun and i did too dming it



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
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DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
by Chris K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2019 18:32:29

A spoiler free review of a great adventure on my D&D blog!

https://www.wizardslaboratory.com/review-of-ddal06-01-a-thousand-tiny-deaths/

Looking forward to more adventurers from Travis Woodall!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
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DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
by Emma P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2019 14:37:46

First time running a session, extremely helpful layout. Best to read over it a few times to understand the storyline so if your PC's throw any curveballs at you, you have something that works in relation to the plot.

They loved the storyline but I used it as a one-shot and it worked out great!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
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Volo’s Waterdeep Enchiridion (5e)
by Jamey B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2019 20:49:37

A detailed review of the history, geography, culture, and politics of Waterdeep written as a tourist guide. Entertaining and well written. I purchased the reference to prepair for WINTERS SPLENDOR, and appreciated the descriptions of the SEA WARD and CITY IF THE DEAD for the added flavor.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Volo’s Waterdeep Enchiridion (5e)
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Pregen Characters: Drow Rogue (5e)
by Speed E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/01/2019 21:56:06

It was wonderful to not have to work up a complete character.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pregen Characters: Drow Rogue (5e)
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DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
by Jonathan E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/31/2018 11:56:59

This a great set of adventures to play with new players. Sadly the maor driving force for adventure has been lost in Season 8 however thee are still enough potions and story awards for it to be worthwhile.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
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DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
by Michaela F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/30/2018 20:29:12

This was my first time DMing, and this was my first module ever! It was well-written and the information flowed very nicely to where even me, a first-timer, had no trouble finding what I needed. It ran a little shorter time-wise than I would have liked, but my players kept rolling 18s and 20s on their perception/insight/invesigation checks, so I suppose that's just luck of the dice.

My only major fault with this module is that the provided map is not labeled. They tell you instead to refer to W:DH, which has been sold out in my store for a while. I had to borrow another DM's copy to quickly scribble the rooms down before my session.

The combat is very, very easy and light. I had a party of 7 with an APL of 2, but with two level 4 paladins, I made the decision to up it to a "hard" encounter instead of the reccommended average. They still got through the battle in one round, taking no damage. This adventure was obviously meant to be more social/investigative in nature, so that's not a major fault for me.

I went out to the dollar store to pick up some props for creating the summoning circle, which was a hit for my players. They enjoyed being able to assemble the circle as their characters would. Because of the shortened time, I offered them Aria's extra objective at the end as she was thanking the characters. Most of the table got very into trying to finish the song, especially when you dangle that extra treasure checkpoint over their heads.

All in all, easy-to-run, quick, and spirited holiday module that a DM with more experience than me could probably run without any preparation.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
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The City of Greyhawk (2e)
by Max T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/30/2018 17:50:56

This edition of the Greyhawk boxed set translates remarkably well to book form, was very well scanned, and if you are buying this out of any motivation from nostalgia to practical and accesible use for play today, this book will serve you well.

Further, if your're DnD historically minded, or design oriented, Greyhawk provides a fantastic glimpse into the late 1st/early second edition world of DnD. A lot of campaign designs and world building can easily be gleemed from its approach to a large city and surrounding hinterlands, and just as much can be gained in understanding the focus and interest of TSRs design philosophy and content motivations in this work.

Also, and perhaps most importantly, the series of 2 page stand alone adventure cards (which read perfectly in book form) hold up as strong examples of one session adventures that shift tone and challange across the range of early to mid character progression.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The City of Greyhawk (2e)
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