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DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e) $2.99
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
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DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
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)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
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)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Robert R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/02/2018 02:35:40

has a good amount of RP mixed with one really hard fight depeneding on level. I liked it a lot especially as a new DM.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Drew J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/27/2018 14:51:00

A fun one, part murder mystery, part rescue mission. Has a nice urgent feel to it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jon K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/25/2018 01:53:53

Great module in which almost every encounter can be solved with non-violent and/or peacful means. Awesome!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Mikaela R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/03/2018 00:54:57

Another favorite module of mine. This can tend to be very rp heavy with minimal combat, which is fun for both dm and players. It's a joy to run because of the colorful cast of characters in the module.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by William F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/27/2018 02:10:49

Lots of social interaction and a great "creepy" feel. My players loved the imp Pipyap and wanted to adopt him. This adventure introduces the iconic NPC Jenny Greenteeth. This adventure requires more DM prep than usual because of all the exposition and social interactions. My players still refer to how one of the characters "doomed Phlan" in some of his interactions with Jenny over the human soup. Depending on how the player do, this adventure could go long. You might need to cut some of the forrest stuff short to give yourself enough time for Jenny.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Frank v. d. Z. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/05/2018 08:24:29

Tales trees tell is a very nice adventure to run. I would advice to enhance the atmosphere using candles + music.

The disclaimer at the start really pays off, the creepy feel you can give to the adventure helps bringing it to life. Using a mixture of fey creatures is a really cool addition. Not all encounters have to be combat orientated (Pixie's).

It also features one of the iconic DnD creatures in the Displacer Beast. The iconic monstrosity which was fatal back then and will be fatal again in ToA as my groups Wizard is slowly dying.

The last encounter and the overall quest is also a lot of fun to sell to your group. It's not your basic, go there and kill the boss, there are alternatives which makes this a very good module.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jonathan E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/06/2018 20:23:21

Honestly I didn't enjoy this adventure much. Displacer beasts are ust frustrating bag of hard-to-hit-HP and the final interaction with JG felt very forced. I was disappointed considering the glowing reviews for it.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by JAMES T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/06/2018 20:06:52

This particular adventure was my favorite one (next to The Scroll Thief) for great social/rollplay time with the characters. Such a good rich story and some compelling characters. That being said, it has some issues. When Jenny is intended to be the BBEG and presented as an obvious threat to the characters, why doesn't she have any lair actions? If the PC's do make the absolutely insane choice to fall into combat with her, the way she's written now, she'd be blown away easier than the Displacer Beasts. I decided to play upon the unsettling nature of the Fey, their sense of innate magic and enchantment and use that to 'beguile' the player character's into believing she was much more dangeous than she was designed.

I thoroughly understand she's not in a coven, but this character signed the original Fey pact. She's been around for centuries. Two days ago she animated scarecrows and needle blights just to be vicious. If she's attacked in her home demesne, she should be doing at least that kind of summoning. Fighting her should seem much worse than taking on the 3 Displacer Beasts at least.

Other than that, I loved this one. It gave my player characters a chance to really work at their persuasion checks and social interactions.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Kevin H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/19/2018 21:01:15

I loved the story. It has a fun cast of characters making for a fun GMing experience. From the inn-keeper and his wife to the familiar to the main character at the conclusion, its a good mix of all the elements which make this game great.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Charles M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/02/2018 21:09:15

This adventure is great for the dm to get better at roleplaying. The encounter with Jenny at the end is a great way to experiment with putting terror into your party. Really good adventure.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Richard V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/12/2018 01:31:58

I enjoyed this mod, and used it as an introduction for the ghost 04-06, and bringing players into contact with Jenny G and her lovely little cottage. I think that it was one of the better season 1 modules and plan on using it many more times before 5th edition is over! 3/5



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/05/2018 11:51:04

An excellent story with some typo stumbling blocks.

“Tales Trees Tell” is a slightly misleading title, as D&D adventures go, since the trees involved are only those of the Quivering Wood, not too far from Phlan. The adventurers get involved in a crisis that has been developing over time, trying to figure out what’s going on and what can be done about it. There’s some detective work, followed by some potential negotiations, and, of course, a good dose of combat.

It’s worth noting that the players could potentially get through this adventure with only a single fight if their social skills are up to the task. It’s also worth noting that there is at least one investigative pitfall in the adventure, with the plot progression potentially coming to a halt in the event of a set of failed or mediocre Perception checks.

Like a lot of other AL adventures, this one rewards a good pre-reading because the typos can be confusing at first pass. Additionally, there is a magic item at the end whose description does not match the name of the magic item listed, so DM’s may want to consider how they’re going to resolve that.

Despite the issues, the narrative is really clever and feels very much like a D&D spin on a creepy fairy tale. The PCs get to involve themselves in some age-old politics, but not in a way that pulls the party away from the 5e tripod of exploration, interaction, and combat. My table had fun with this story, and I suspect yours will too.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jorge A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/22/2018 22:06:00

I absolutely love this mod, and I love running every chance I get at my local game store. I love the hijinx and shenanigans the pixies can get up to, and the final social encounter is one of my favorites.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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