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CCC-TAROT-02-05 Hollow Hopes
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Andrea C. C D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/22/2019 21:18:30

The Good

  • Interesting Boss Fight mechanics
  • Main storyline is really starting to ramp up
  • Bonus objectives are always welcomed

The Bad

  • That ending is such a downer. Not a good module to run for players with PCs not fully invested in Thentia's fate.
  • Some players felt there were too many puzzles
  • One of the bonus objectives needs a more creative mind than mine to organically weave it into the storyline. Players felt like the roundabout nature was unnecessary

The Confusing (Spoilers) Is the cure really the cure or not? The pcs were arguing that since they got the cure, NPC shouldn't have to be quarantined. Heck, a PC Dimension Door'd immediately to the NPC so the cure could be administered and I didn't have a good answer whether or not it worked. It felt like I robbed the pcs even after all they did. Game night ended with a downer mood.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-TAROT-02-05 Hollow Hopes
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Creator Reply:
Hi! Thank you for playing Hollow Hopes - I'm glad that you had the opportunity to run it for your dedicated group! I love that they and you enjoyed the main storyline ramping up and the other good parts of the adventure!! At this point in the entire storyline, it is supposed to have that low point (which is why it felt like such a downer). I will be updating the adventure to clarify the Confusing - and if you want to reach out to me on social media to talk more, I would love to talk more in depth with you!! Thank you again!
CCC-TAROT01-07 The Seat of the Ruler
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Andrea C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/01/2018 18:31:03

Tarot parts 1-6 could all be played as "stand alone" modules. While Part 7 can be played as a stand alone, it has a much stronger impact on players if played as the finale. And what a finale! It is appropriate to be the ending module for T1, giving answers to just enough questions to be satisfying but still giving players reasons to play the future ones.

Maybe I was just lucky that both times I've run this module, majority of (if not ALL) my players were heavily invested in the story and the NPCs (practically everyone was pro Edea, so when they found THAT clue they looked so betrayed. Getting to listen to both players and CHARACTERS theory crafting was worth its weight in gold).

Similar to Part 4, the replayability of this module makes it great for both DM and players. And if I were only allowed to, I would have let the players to go through all 4 tasks (because the story is SO GOOD). A minor nitpick would be that the final encounter can be complicated in terms of book-keeping for the DM. A sort of cheat-sheet for fairly new DMs (like myself) would have helped with the flow but overall I LOVE running Part 7 even if we end up going over the suggested 4-hour play time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-TAROT01-07 The Seat of the Ruler
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DDEX1-07 Drums in the Marsh (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Andrea C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/28/2018 13:24:55

The good:

  • Challenging Combat Encounters - even when I was "pulling my punches," the players were on the edge of their seats during the combat. It made their victory feel hard-fought and gives players who are very keen on combat that thrill/risk of death that a lot of players complain they don't feel any more.
  • Investigation and RP - the earlier portion of the module gives players who are more in it for the story than the fighting a great time to shine but may cause players who are more interesting in killing things to feel bored.

The bad:

  • There doesn't seem to be a good in-story way to have the players discover the module's "backstory" unless they scour every single nook and cranny of the island. Most of the players might just want to bypass that portion and go straight for the final encounter
  • It is a long module. Four hours does not seem like enough for this module especially if you have roleplay-centric players and some of the encounters feel like they should give more EXP than what the module can grant.

Overall: A pretty solid module but might take several re-reads for the DM to anticipate the branching paths and means of getting the party back on track because of how open-ended it is.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-07 Drums in the Marsh (5e)
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CCC-TAROT01-02 By the Light of the Moon
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Andrea C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/23/2018 17:55:49

This module has a great balance of traps and combat and RP opportunities. It also has great replayability (for the players, not the characters obviously) given the multiple possible endings in the module. Though whether the party is more likely to go with path A over path B would depend on how certain NPCs have endeared themselves to the characters (or players), which Part 1 should have really addressed (because who doesn't love watching players make hard choices?)

I've run this module multiple times and each party approached the encounters differently (though they all seem to love a certain little old lady, which I heavily leaned on when these same characters played Part 4, the look on the player's faces was priceless.) though they all seem to forego the city path in favor of the crypt path.

All in all, characters who didn't play Part 1 can still be hooked into the adventure with minor difficulty, though the less charitable characters might take a bit more to get into the adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-TAROT01-02 By the Light of the Moon
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DDEX1-01 Defiance in Phlan (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Andrea C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/23/2018 17:12:13

I ran this for a full table of newbies and it was enjoyable both from a DMing standpoint and a narrative standpoint. That there are five different "mini-adventures" gave the players a taste of the different aspects of playing D&D (investigation, planning out attacks, urban adventures, foresty adventures etc.) It is simple enough to pick up and play without needing to encumber the new players with info overload.

However, it is not for more experienced players who might be looking for more of a challenge. (Or maybe I just roll really low 99% of the time.)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-01 Defiance in Phlan (5e)
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CCC-TAROT01-04 Tangled Woods
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Andrea C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/23/2018 17:07:12

The Tarot series has a really great narrative going for it. Characters who played in any of the previous modules have an easy "hook" to pull them back into Part 4 (though to the series' credit I have five players who decided to "lock in" their characters into Tarot until all 7 parts are played before they'll play them in other modules). For characters who have not, the hook is just as viable for the "money-centric" characters as well as the "bleeding hearts" type so it's not very difficult to get character buy ins.

The product description DOES NOT DO THE MODULE'S STORY JUSTICE. And I wish I could elaborate more but that would be spoiling the story and that would be a disservice.

I wish I could better express myself beyond incoherent squealing and strings of ALL CAPS and emoticons on how much I enjoyed running this for my players. While the module's guidance on how to run the game is great, DMs are empowered to put their own "spin" to it (provided you work with AL's guidelines etc.) I found that having the players actually go through the event as opposed to merely narrating that it happened made all the difference (provided you're not pressed for time) between having pleasantly confused players to those who looked like they had their minds blown.

This module is so good I cannot recommend it enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-TAROT01-04 Tangled Woods
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DDAL05-13 Jarl Rising (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Andrea C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/19/2018 15:27:11

Like many of the other reviews said, the story hook is weak and the players (especially those who play characters who can scry or use commune) might feel off-put if their spells/suggestions/questions can't be immediately answered. But the actual encounters are indeed a great deal of fun and can be challenging for the players as much as their characters (though that might be dependent on their builds as some were really combat-oriented and struggled with the non-combat encounters).

If you can get a player buy-in to just go with the adventure, they're in for an enjoyable (if surprisingly long) adventure.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-13 Jarl Rising (5e)
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DDAL05-05 A Dish Best Served Cold (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Andrea C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/19/2018 15:20:30

Depending on how RP-inclined your party is, this module will run much longer than the 2 hours according to the module. I've both run and DM'd this, and even the most RP-averse group still spent at least 3 hours playing (though that might be due to having really poor rolls to hit the enemies and the DMs own rolls, which is hilarious looking back).

The story of the module itself is really good but is not immediately obvious to a DM on how you can present the information so the players get the whole story. It takes a bit of DMing experience/know-how to seamlessly reveal the backstories and frustrations of the NPCs to the party without it being a massive exposition dump (and it admittedly is something I am still struggling with for a lot of modules in general).

But overall, this is a great module to run and play.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-05 A Dish Best Served Cold (5e)
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DDEX1-05 The Courting of Fire (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Andrea C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/17/2018 17:20:08

I ran this module online via discord with little problem. There was enough RP avenues for the DM to provide the party clues and hints on where to go next. Though there is an exploration aspect, the layout of the dungeon was simple enough that it can be described without requiring visual aids. Even the traps and puzzles could be figured out with just the description in the module itself without needing to giveaway or be super obvious with the clues.

The combat might have been too easy for the party (despite going with the suggested APL difficulty) but that might be because party composition wasn't taken into consideration. Still, a good and fairly easy "pick up and run" type of module to run that's great for newbie DMs like me.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-05 The Courting of Fire (5e)
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DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Andrea C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/17/2018 17:10:07

This is not a module where a DM can just give a quick-read and then wing the rest. It requires several re-reads along with a sort of trial run for new DMs to be able to do the module justice. And you want to be able to do this module justice because it is incredible fun!

There are interesting enough plot-hooks to get if not the character then the player to join the adventure and the NPCs (if portrayed to the liking of your players) can endear themselves to the party (to the point I had two PCs arguing who gets to be said NPC's mentor/guardian, and the players themselves decided to make a new PC inspired by said NPC).

The downside is, the lack of the island's geography. Not everyone is a gifted cartographer and while an accurately scaled map is not necessary, a visual "suggestion" of how the island looks would have been appreciated. That said, it's not a total detraction because the module still gives enough description to give the players an idea of the layout but I have a LOT of players who are "visual" and I was floundering on how to draw the island itself.

Still, I wholly recommend this module (even if the amount of EXP gained feels a little low for all the things my players ended up doing).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
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DDEX1-02 Secrets of Sokol Keep (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Andrea C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/08/2018 18:07:22

In terms of combat, RP, and exploration, this mod has a great balance between the three. The story/plot is simple enough that it can be run even with limited prep time. It's also open enough that you can add your own twist without straying too far from what was provided but still engaging enough that running things as-is can still be fun.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-02 Secrets of Sokol Keep (5e)
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CCC-TAROT01-01 Awakening of Fates
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Andrea C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/07/2018 19:02:35

I've run this module multiple times, to the point the Tarot series is gradually becoming my "signature" module among our AL groups. It's simple to run, simple to play, and has opportunities for both RP and combat. My players loved Mitzy (or at least the way I play her) so much that a player wants to make a goblin character inspired/based on her.

There are ways to make the combat more challenging for the experienced players while running it as-written is still a challenge for the new players.

It's easy to pick up, straight forward to run, and has a managable number of interesting NPCs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-TAROT01-01 Awakening of Fates
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CCC-TAROT01-03 A Martyred Heart
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Andrea C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/07/2018 18:13:42

From a story stand point, it was difficult to convince characters who were playing this module for the first time. The characters who had less-than-noble personalities had little reason to take on the task as they never got to meet the key NPCs prior.

The combat encounters were interesting and fun, the terrain providing nice opportunities for creative thinking. Although the optional combat encounter seems entirely unnecessary even if the players aren't pressed for time.

As a continuation of a series it's got a great story. As a stand-alone, it needs better hooks. Still enjoyed running it, and can't wait for the 4th part to come out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-TAROT01-03 A Martyred Heart
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DDEX1-04 Dues for the Dead (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Andrea C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/06/2018 18:05:27

As someone who doesn't enjoy dungeon-crawling type of modules, this was surprisingly fun to run. The encounters were interesting enough without it the traps/consequences being too obvious. Although it was somewhat difficult to convinces certain types of player characters to assist the NPCs, especially if this was that character's first time to encounter the Doom Guides.

The scale of the maps could have been better defined, as I needed to make a new grid to 'lay over' the ones provided in the module to have a better sense of how big each section was. But overall, this was a fun module to run and play.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-04 Dues for the Dead (5e)
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DDAL05-17 Hartkiller's Horn (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Andrea C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/06/2018 17:58:08

Depending on the party level, composition, and PC personalities, this can be a challenging module and it can be a deadly module. It's suprisingly simple to pick up as a DM, though the difficulty of certain encounters in the middle of the module can make the end-fight feel a little lackluster depending on what the players decide on.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-17 Hartkiller's Horn (5e)
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