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The NPC Cookbook-Instant NPCs; Just Add Dice
by Eric B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 20:40:49

This NPC "cookbook" is a terrific supplement for any DM who is in need of some fresh NPCs, & wants to streamline the process of creating them. It offers a number of well organized & thought out tables that contain loads of details, allowing a DM to add as much depth to a character as they might desire. The culinary flare with which it's written, & the option to randomly roll up a large number of NPCs on the fly, make this supplement fun, fast, & highly useful. Also, the condensed character sheets & notecards are a nice touch. I'll definitely be putting this to good use!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The NPC Cookbook-Instant NPCs; Just Add Dice
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Durnan's Guide to Tavernkeeping
by A G. F. Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 16:14:52

Of all the A.L. updates I have purchased for Season 8 this is by far my very favorite. I have ran it multiple times. The mechanics really help with the money issue from season 8 AL. They take a large investment but it does pay off. There is some very cool things in this such as recipes, drink labels and spotify channel. I have never seen AL content like this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Durnan's Guide to Tavernkeeping
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Create-An-Oath: A Paladin Oath Creation Guide
by Huntsman L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 15:14:20

This is great. I've written a half dozen Paladin Oaths of my own, and at the moment I'm taking each one through the process detailed herein as a balancing process. I will be watching to see if a similar source becomes available for the other classes!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Create-An-Oath: A Paladin Oath Creation Guide
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Classic Modules Today: X1 The Isle of Dread 5e
by Cedric H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 14:18:28

The main probleme with the products is the monsters challenge rating is completely wrong. (Adult Black Dragon is not CR 7 in 5e) The rest of the module is well translate like the traps, new monsters and spells. Do not rely completely on this PDF. Page 16 is almost completly usless just because the information is wrong. (It does indicated the page No. to find the 5e version in the MM.) I just want to warn other buyers that it's not as good as it sounds. PLEASE FIX THE CR TO THE RECENT 5E RULES!!! (The DM refrences at the end are quite handy)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Classic Modules Today: X1 The Isle of Dread 5e
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CCC-MIND01-01 Lost in Thought
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 13:37:45

I was looking for a level 13/14 module to run for my home campaign and this one caught my eye. I ran it twice for the two groups I DM for regularly. It was a hit for both groups. I think that Jay did an excellent job with the plot and the NPC descriptions. There are enough starter ideas for each that dialogue (there will be lots in this module as it is more role playing heavy) was easy to run.

The fights at the end were appropriately tough and pushed both parties hard.

The master villains are iconic, but they are not in your face and obvious to start, both my groups had to work hard to unravel the mystery.

There are no maps included, but none are really needed. I used some generic maps for the combats (I played via Fantasy Grounds so it was easier than pure theatre of the mind), but that will vary by play group.

Highly recommended and I hope that you enjoy my Fantasy Grounds conversion. I was not paid to do the conversion, I originally did it just to run the module and provided the file so that others could more easily run the module as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-MIND01-01 Lost in Thought
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The NPC Cookbook-Instant NPCs; Just Add Dice
by Lara R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 12:47:30

The NPC Cookbook helps me to keep my creative thoughts flowing rather than getting stumped whether I've delved back into writing my character's backstory, creating new campaigns or just hobby writing.  Easy to use and perfect for a less experienced DM like me.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The NPC Cookbook-Instant NPCs; Just Add Dice
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DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
by Steve S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 12:18:08

I purchased this product for a play-by-post campaign and ran it with seven players over the course of two months. This module was unique in that it has three different options and villains that you can use and allowed some creativity in coming up with who the actual villain would be with some input from your players on what they were looking over.

The Positive: It's a well thought out module and all the players appeared to enjoy the adventure. In addition it's a great introduction to the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist module and introduces the players to several of the supporting cast and villains of that campaign. As I move into DMing for Dragon Heist, I'm beginning to see all the connections it has and that portion of the adventure is well thought out.

Additionally, since there are three different options and villains for the module I can re-use this adventure multiple times with completely different adventures and outcomes. If I get repeat players with different characters, I can switch things around so they never know what might be coming at them.

The Negative: Not much actually. If I had to nitpick I would say that that the beginning and ending of the module can be a little disjointed from the three options the story can take. The hook at the start of the story is a friendly NPC with a MacGuffin. However the three options the story takes completely ignores said MacGuffin and the hook seems to get overlooked at the end. A little DM creativity and modification fixes the issue but you need to make sure to read ahead and plan carefully.

Overall: The positive of the adventure far outweighs the negative. Good buy and will be replaying the module again soon with a different crew.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
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D&D Adventurers League Player & DM Pack
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 11:38:49

I started playing D&D a while ago, back in 1980-81, and played regularly until 3rd edition came out. Though I appreciated what WotC was doing, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I didn’t start playing again until 2015, when I started seeing some buzz about 5e. Curious, I downloaded the free rules and began reading them. Very much intrigued by these “new” rules, I decided to check out at my FLGS, and before long I was playing in Adventurer’s League at the store. Loved it! I now have so many good friends because of it! 5e feels refined and smart, and seems to capture the best elements of what D&D was back in the 80’s and 90’s.

That said, if Adventurer’s League Season 8 rules had been in effect at the time, I would have scoffed at them once I understood them and not even tried to sit down at an AL table. Specifically, the rules regarding gold and treasure from adventures. Wow. It seems that now our AL characters aren’t adventurers anymore; they are salaried employees of AL (a subsidiary of WotC, a subsidiary of Hasbro Inc.), receiving advancement-based pay. It’s “Papers and Paychecks” 2nd edition. (You old-timers will get that joke from the 1e DMG.)

I’ve spent a lot of money on D&D since 2015. Books (including the upcoming Hydro74 editions of the core books) minis, accessories... I paid hundreds to get my 5e rulebooks professionally bound in leather. I pre-ordered the Beadle and Grimm’s Platinum Edition of W:DH. I’ve got the collectors version of Art and Arcana. I love this game. And while I still play “homebrew,” I can’t bring myself to DM AL at my FLGS under these silly rules. I will not buy the mods on DM's Guild and therefore (despite my deep pockets) will not be supporting the work of some great folx who give so much to AL.

I know that certain rules must be maintained and some changes had to be made to ensure a level playing field for all participants around the world. The AL gold economy and magic item acquisition was clearly in need of change - and while the intent is great, the mechanisms put in place are far beyond clunky. They actually damage the gameplay, which damages the AL brand, and by extension, the D&D brand.

I heard a story recently on NPR wherein they reference “finding treasure,” which got me thinking about how that is such a classic human experience (whether wished for or actually achieved); one that exists outside D&D - it’s literally existed in human cultures for millennia. And Season 8 AL rules really eliminate that fun, excitement and wonder.

I hate to think of someone here in Dallas, Texas, watching the many streaming games, then trying to sit down and try D&D at an AL table and learning how silly some of these rules are, how they fall short of common sense expectations and ruin immersion. I then think of them NOT returning to play because the gameplay is not what they expected. They would miss out on many potential friendships and hours of fun, all because with AL, they would be seeing a stunted and nonsensically restrictive version of this otherwise wonderful game. (And when I tried to explain these new rules to a table of 8-year-old players, they were utterly bewildered - not because they didn’t understand the rules - but because they didn’t get such rules. I’d never seen such exasperated expressions on such young faces. But I digress.)

:::deep breath:::

I truly hope that the powers-that-be consider making changes when AL hits Season 9.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
D&D Adventurers League Player & DM Pack
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Additional Random Encounters for Curse of Strahd
by Giuseppe C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 11:25:16

Nice set of random encounters. I used them mainly to replace the random encounter table later on in the game, when the party had eliminated most of the creatures in the standard table. These encounter hit their mark: they spark your imagination, and allow your creativity to flow free.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Additional Random Encounters for Curse of Strahd
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DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
by John E. J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 10:27:39

A fun introduction to Eberron and Sharn. The format of going from place to place to gather clues and encounter complications is a good one, letting the players set the pace and determine their path through the story.

Others have commented on the difficulty of the final fight with Yeq and the bronze scout. Unless the party has more than one person capable of dealing damage magically, I'd swap out for the variant stat block; for a larger party, maybe increase its hit point total. I ended up allowing them to shove the scout onto the lightning rail tracks to finish it off.

The only complication I found was the bonus objective with Lobana. Unless the party is willing to sneak through the house, there are no clues in the conversation that lead them to discern her (false) connection with High Cardinal Krozen. Also, it's not clear that mystery isn't intended to be solved in this adventure. My players kept trying to fit her deceptions into the larger picture of the story they were involved in now.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
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DDAL08-04 A Wrinkle in the Weave
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 09:27:25

This adventure is a mess. Let's recap the plot line.

  1. Your mind is transported back to the past to a Palace, doesn't tell you where it is or how you arrive in the palace, just that you're there. Are you wearing marks or clothing of the time? Who knows?

  2. The house guards are there to shuffle you back to a specific room, but the entire point of Episode 2 is to explore the palace. It's not a big palace, and there are a lot of guards!

  3. Your adventure hook is to find out the origin of a ring and its connection to Waterdeep that you are given. The guy who knows about the ring is vaguely described in 3 possible areas. The only thing he knows is he made it many years before.

  4. The map isn't labeled but you have 5 areas that they can explore (not to mention the roughly 8 rooms on the map and an upstairs area that isn't mentioned except it exists and one of the bonus objectives mentions it. That of course the party I ran for immediately wanted to go explore. Good thing they had ample guards available to block the path.

  5. There is no conclusion to the adventure, you survive.. hurray! But no information on how you return home. Do you wake up? Do you have to get to a certain point? There's not even a recap with the Blackstaff on what you've learned.

  6. And come on... what time traveling story line says it's fine to get involved in the affairs of the past because you won't affect the future? That's like rule number one of time travel.

Recommendations for future DMs. Outside of picking something else to run ... I would pick an empty room in the palace, the top left room on the map makes a good location. Call it the Weapon Check room or something. And they need to find a way to disquise their weapons.

Also, as another DM recommended in the reviews, role for reincarnation to get their apperance or as I would have preferred, just have them all take on human looks wearing clothes and carrying versions of their weapons of the time, but keep their bonuses for their original races similar to the Time Traveling Dungeons in World of Warcraft which I get the impression this was modeled after. Once the party talks to a few people, have the guards make an announcement and make it obvious that the Qysar is retiring for the evening. That gets him out of the area and can trigger bonus objective 2. This entire thing is going to rely on the DM to make it happen, far more then any other AL module I've ever read. Do not try to wing it with this adventure. You need time to prep and put together your story for it. And if you buy it, besure to leave a review so you at least get the DM quest out of it.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-04 A Wrinkle in the Weave
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Grimm Encounters
by Eric W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 08:02:40

Pros:

  • Each encounter is very well organized, explaining the Type, CR Tier, and Premise right from the start.
  • Uses highly recognizable fairy tale stories, such as Red Riding Hood, Three Little Pigs, Cinderella, and Snow White.
  • Extensive encounter scaling for most encounters

Cons:

  • CR Tiers are provided instead of specific levels.
  • Almost all of the encounters are simple, straightforward combat encounters.

THE VERDICT: “GRIMM ENCOUNTERS” PROVIDES A DOZEN SHORT, TWISTED ENCOUNTERS DRAWN FROM CLASSIC FAIRY TALE STORIES, THOUGH MOST ARE HEAVILY WEIGHTED TOWARDS COMBAT.

Full written review: https://roguewatson.com/2018/11/14/dms-guild-review-grimm-encounters/ Video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBiJL6osN40



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Grimm Encounters
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Adventurers League Logsheet (Season 8)
by Dennis L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 00:37:10

Purchased and I like the overall design compared to the standard Season 8 Player Log, especially with set sections for Magic Items unlocked that include Table / Tier / Cost as well as Story Awards sections. Would seem to make it easier to track Magic Item unlocks and Story Awards at a glance.

However, I decided I cannot use these sheets as is for the following reasons:

  • The space provided to write Date, Adventure Code, Adventure Name and DM and DCI # is too cramped up against the border so it is much smaller than I'd like to comfortably record info to it.
  • I print black and white for these sheets, and the grey background on the above sections make it even harder to read when recording in pencil.
  • There is nowhere labelled to write down Total Adventure Checkpoints which is important in tracking progress for character level. Instead there are 8 ACP check boxes which eventually make it very vague as to the character's level the more entries you accumulate past adventures at Levels 1 and 2.
  • Having a section to record character level at the end of a session would be nice.

If the above features could be modified / added in an updated version, I would gladly to start to use these in place of the standard AL Season 8 Logsheets. 3 Stars for now for a good initial effort.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurers League Logsheet (Season 8)
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(Not So) Legendary Actions
by Damion M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2018 22:39:09

This product is a great set of ideas for taking run of the mill encounters to the next level.

Super Job!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
(Not So) Legendary Actions
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Crafting Arrows
by Skyler B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2018 20:46:13

Great work, I've been looking for something like this for a while now, thanks!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crafting Arrows
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