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DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e) $2.99 $1.79
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
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DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Ken F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/28/2020 18:43:27

Played this as a follow up from Secrets of Sokol Keep for my band of three 3rd-level characters (they leveled up after Sokol Keep...)

Like Sokol Keep, we took our time with this adventure, and played it over two separate sessions. The NPC interactions were fun, and the players were taking notes on everything said and done.... result: not much was overlooked when the players began to piece things together to their advantage. I like taking our time with these adventures so the players don't feel railroaded in any way.

I introduced the players to the concept of factions in this adventure, and I thought the adventure hooks for getting the players to join the factions and accomplish faction missions were well thought out. I printed out separate materials for the players to understand what being in a faction means for their character's advantage.

As a DM, I went full-on creepy with the atmosphere and residents of the island, and the journey across the island to visit the cave was thick with fear and uncertainty. Also, we must have spent at least an hour talking about how to prepare the islanders for an attack... the traps, protective walls, weapons, etc... one of the characters (a soldier in his backstory) even spent some time training the islanders in martial tactics. Watching the preparations unfold was so much fun for a DM. Of course, the battle went to hell at first dice roll... but it mimicked combat in real life. No plan survives first contact, so modern war fighters say...

On the ships... pure genius the rolls at the end of each turn to determine how the fight went with the rest of the crews. I put in pure theatrics when the ghost ship collided with the other ship, and capitalized on all the challenges of fighting on sinking, burning ships. My players loved the tension and drama, and I'll admit: I threw in a little Pirates of the Caribbean drama just for visual fun.

Finally, at the end of the adventure, the characters "adopted" Elisande... then at the very end, the players were chagrined to find that Elisande stole their gold and fled in the night. A fun, surprising twist for the players to smack their heads over.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by G. B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/21/2019 05:55:09

This is probably the worst module in the first season of AL. The reason for that is almost entirely due to the fact that there is basically no way for a party to figure out what is going on.

What's with the demons? The islander's motivations prevent them from ever disclosing any information

What's with the demon pirates? The only way to find out about them is going somewhere that there's no reason to go

Why are there two ships? Apparently there are two threats, but nobody will tell the PCs that.

The worst part, though, is that nobody will tell you anything even after the module is over. Regardless of what the players do, they will earn the ire of everyone on the little island who could provide any answers ensuring that none will come. It makes the whole thing exceedingly unsatisfying.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Taylor K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/02/2019 21:17:11

Adventure for Theatre of the mind groups only. Enjoyable story



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by RICHARD H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/29/2019 07:30:05

This adventure provides an exciting and entertaining Tier 1 adventure for Adventurer's League. Hailing back to 2014 when 5e was being brought into the world (thank you Mike Mearls), this PDF has some quirks such as referring to the Players Handbook instead of the Dungeon Master's Guide. Season 1 remains a strong favourite in the Adventurer's League back catalogue, and I highly reccommend that you take the opportunity to introduce these adventures into your game schedule.

On the plus side, the variety of encounters and challenges gives each of your players a chance to shine. On the negative side, the run of the adventure is very difficult to complete within a four hour timeslot. You'll need every trick up your DM sleeves to complete it on time. Consider the option of allowing more time for your game group to fully engage with the content.

It would be useful to have a guide to playing this particular adventure within Season 8 of Adventurer's League, and even more so a guide to the entire run of modules. I suggest purchase the bundle for the entire set of adventurers in this series. It's an important point to note because there are very strong themes in the storyline which relate to the wider story arc of these adventures, and have little bearing on the specifics of this adventure on its own.

Those players who think they can easily talk their way through the NPCs should be in a surprise in Part 1. None of them are going to tolerate any nonsense, and in particular the Black Fist are a harsh master. Drop hints about the strangeness of the location that the players arrive at in Part 3.

In Part 2, I also omitted the encounter as a time saving device. The final NPC is where I introduced my first strong accent which brings about the feeling of arrival in a strange place. Make this character as odd as possible to set the scene for the rest of the story.

In Part 3 is where the potential for the most play time to be consumed. The party were most interested in the landing and the village, and enjoyed their interactions with the young girl. I didn't use any accent for the girl, her character as the child is sufficient enough to give meaning to her role. It was at this point that the players challenged each other to question their own values and morality. It was a very powerful moment which made the preparation for this adventure worthwhile. Well done to the writers of this adventure!

Use Part 4 as a build up of excitement, and the real adventure hook. Make this as short as possible, as it leads the players into the action of Part 5.

In Part 5, the drama and adventure comes to a climax, and it's time for your players to get their hands dirty in an exciting and challenging scene. Prepare for this part by understanding the special rules that apply, and the actions and challenges for the players. Allow plenty of time to enjoy this section.

The magic item unlock is from table G, worth 20 Tier 2 TP, and so the players will need to be at least level 8 to be able to purchase it.

Be wary that there a lot of typos across the pages of this PDF, in particular a terribly confusing "The bones were ... gathered from random corpses they dug up"(top right of page 10) is extremely misleading.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Michael K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/07/2019 01:03:59

This is a very good tier 1 module to run. There's a lot of fun roleplay elements and it's all one big puzzle for the adventurers to figure out. When everything starts to click and make sense, the players have definitely enjoyed this as well. And it gives me an excuse to use clay boats.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Drew J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/27/2018 14:36:34

A great npc character and possible party guide makes this lovecraftian island mystery even more fun to run.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jody J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/26/2018 13:34:17

Mystery adventure with some interesting NPCs. The build up before the main location seemed to drag on and when keeping the action moving it began to feel like to railroad for some of the players. The overall flow is pretty linear and given the choice points on the island if they make a wrong choice a level 2 party will have a rough time of it. The scenes are nice thematically but I don't think I'd be excited about rerunning this. As an early Expeditions module this is also part of a season that over loads on the Level 2 adventures and all the adventures after the first are 4 hours or longer which isn't a good fit for mid-week store play. Looking back with hindsight over the many seasons since I think this may have been much stronger as a Tier 2 adventure with the fiendish elements.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Geoffrey M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/18/2018 18:06:01

Good module overall. Love the final fight at the end, and allows the players several options of how to engage with it. The middle part on the island is more problematic, I feel. It does not seem to flow well with the rest of the adventure and its connection with the finale is vague. Plus, it may be a bit too open ended with too many options for a module with a time limit. The plus of the island portion is the attack from the bandits and the potential use of defensive preparations that the party set up.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Mark E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/12/2018 19:29:07

The Good.

I love it when any adventure brings in good amount of social interaction. Getting to meet with various NPCs as part of the investigation portion of the adventure promoted good role playing and gave the players allows the players to feel invested in the world.

The Bad.

I had a hard time trying to get the backstory of the island to come into play. I would of liked more pre-written dialog to help guide the types of answers the locals would be willing to provide. The rail-roaded events played out as they needed to but it was forced and the sudden arrival of the final encounter didn't make sense thematically.

I'm sure if I ran this adventure again I would handle some of it differently, but there was so much to prepare for in the island locations. Not knowing which direction players were going you end up needing to throw out half of your preparation since they can't do it all before nightfall.

The Great.

Any adventure with kobolds is great in my book. They can be goofy or fierce as needed by the story. I only wish there was more variety of them in this session. The bone outfits were a nice touch.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Richard P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2018 20:15:49

DDEX 01-3: Shadows Over the Moonsea, PIRATES and ghost pirates to boot. A great module to get players to think about what do you do if you are not on land? Is using my fire spell / attack such a good idea on a ship? What about my movement? The standard land battle occurs but the boss fight in the end requires the players to choose spells wisely.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Mikaela R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/03/2018 00:10:56

I loved running this module and the twist at the end is hilarious. It does take a bit more than four hours to run, but it's still fun to run and play! I tend to embellish and add more detail to it, though, since it it a bit sparse in some areas.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Christopher O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/27/2018 16:54:40

I had a very moderate reaction to running this one. There's a ton of background that is easily missed, and without the background the end doesn't make a ton of sense. That said, it's a really neat setting, and a cinematic finish that are well worth the playthrough., especially if your group investigats things thoroughly.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Christopher B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/30/2018 20:23:31

A fun module. A really entertaining excursion out of Phlan, but keep your players moving or the exploration will take time.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by JAMES T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/06/2018 20:19:05

I've watched this one on Roll20Play, I've played in the adventure and I've DM'd it. I really enjoy this particular adventure, though it really pays to do a little preparation beforehand. Other than the 'finale' my characters were able to avoid combat throughout the entire span so were able to spend much more time being 'gumshoe' detectives. My table decided not to build any fortifications, so they really only had to deal with the ambush party and I hand-waved (like was suggested) that the boat and Elisande were carried off to the boats in the water. Again, most of this adventure works if you play up the creepiness factor and if you run the combat like the author suggests, throwing only the two 'leads' and the entire remainder of mobs into the 'roll for both, whoever wins remove a mob' style. Only engage the mobs directly with the players if the players engage. Combat was smooth when run in that style which is what the author suggested.

A great continuation of the story of Phlan.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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