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DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e) $4.99 $4.24
Average Rating:4.0 / 5
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DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
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DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Greg T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2019 19:48:07

A confusing mess, best avoided

Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer's Isle has a good idea - revisiting the Pyramid of Yarash, previously featured in the Pool of Radiance videogame and novel. It's a semi-iconic location, and an Adventurer's League set in Phlan is a great time to do it. Unfortunately, almost every aspect of the actual module doesn't work.

(1) The adventure simply doesn't make sense given its placement in the Adventurer's League season. Phlan has just fallen, and in the immediate previous adventure (and in the season finale) getting out of the city is now hard, requiring an entire adventure to achieve. But players here are able to pop out and back for a leisurely jaunt upriver to check out something of marginal relevance to anyone in Phlan.

(2) The trip up the river is pointless busywork, best skipped.

(3) The lower level of the pyramid features an unmappable maze where players must face a certain number of random encounters to progress. This is lazy design, and is transparently frustrating to players. Some of these random encounters are interesting; most are not.

(4) The module theoretically features substantially different pathways depending on which entrance players make use of to the pyramid. In practice, these pathways are only marginally different but require double-printing many encounters. The reality is that there's a path that favours talking and a path that favours fighting, and a good GM should be orienting the adventure to their players' preference anyway.

(5) The adventure features (spoilers) Slaads, a rarely-used and interesting foe, but it doesn't use them terribly well. They're one faction in the pyramid, along with lizardfolk, Red Wizards and cultists, but the adventure is overly prone to fights featuring a single class of enemy, leaving them vulnerable to having their weaknesses exploited rather than demonstrating their strengths. (The wizards don't have any tanks, the slaads don't have any range, etc.)

(6) There's a weightless sense about the whole adventure, that none of it really matters or has consequences for anyone. Plus, there's just too much going on in the pyramid - too many factions, whose motives are too poorly explained, even in GM text, and moreso once you consider how to impart what information exists to the players.

In the end, this turned out to be the weakest adventure in Season 1 of Adventurer's League for our group, and one we were eager to hurry through and be done with. Not recommended.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Ian W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/13/2019 01:41:56

Overall, this is a very well put together adventure that brings out a lot of story elements and gets the players thinking. I dig the maze cause it definitely messed with my players along with the super darkness that messed with our warlock. My only odd note was the inclusion of the Cult at the lower level felt a little forced since you dont get as much interaction with them leading up to that level. At least that is what it felt like. However, this is a well put together dungeon crawl and I highly recommend it for anyone interested.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by bjarne b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/11/2018 02:39:54

Good dungeon crawl with some fights that could be deadly, i think the module are longer than the 8 hrs it says....... it took me and the players about 13 hrs to run...... but great fun

regards bjarne bremme (bager)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by William F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/30/2018 20:12:27

Part one of the module begins with a big cut scene with a lot of exposition. It is probably necessary but could be a pretty slow start with a lot of naration and hardly any opportunity for role play. The choice of going to the Pyramid from upstream or downstream has little effect and seemed unnecessary. The characters knock out the Zhentarim secret mission really early and it didn't seem that significant. Part 2 has several encounters that the DM gets to pick from based on APL. The first is always the maze which could just be frustrating. After doing the maze for a while, I just announced to the players that mapping was impossible and they would just have to do their 4 encounters to go on. My group encountered the cultists in Area 5 last in part 2. Even though the text said that the cultists fight to the death and are unwilling to compromise, My group was able to deceive them into believing that the characters were also cultists. This led to a great 3 way battle between the cultists, the lizard folk, the Red Wizards, and the party when their lies were found out in part 3. I found it amusing although it did drag out the fight with the Red Wizard's group. I felt later that it would have been cool for Rorreth to have a little speach in the middle of combat about why he betrayed the Dragon cult. I regret not doing that and you should think about it for your session. The final Boss fight in part 4 was difficult, but not as interesting as the fights with the cultists and Red Wizards because the Slaadi don't have spells and are just really difficult to kill. The leaking chaos stuff did make the encounter more memorable.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Brian M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/06/2018 23:19:55

I ended up running this adventure for no less than 12 hours. Part of the time was due to the initial traveling and combat prior to entering the pyramid and what they discovered while getting closer to their destination. Second came from encounters found within the pyramid. I rolled and chose from what their Adventure Level offered to give them random rooms including the zombie minators and the chimera. They actually parleyed effectively with the chimera to fight with them through the next two encounters including some cultists. The chimera charged ahead after defeating the fiercer foes to become deeper entangled in the labrynth. I had to scale down the dragon head by making it a black dragon for fear of it oblterating the majority of the party. I managed to have the red wizard escape and plan to use him as a stand-in NPC in further adventures.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jeffrey W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/10/2017 08:11:08

This adventure WILL run longer than the standard 4 hours. I've run three times and never once been able to get it under 6 hours. It is great fun, however, so running long isn't much of a problem, if you have the time.

While this module feels almost jarringly out of place in the season 1 storyline, it does also provide a break from the city of Phlan and its various intrigues and goings on. It may make some characters long for a return to Phlan, though, with the frustrations of a genuinely random maze, and the influences of the chaos matter.

This module also lends well to being injected into other storylines, with only minor changes to the starting point.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Randall A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/06/2017 20:05:59

As a few other commenters have mentioned, this is a great dungeon to play and a bit more difficult to DM due to the lack of instruction, but the story feels out of place from the rest of the storyline season.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by lowell s. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/05/2017 22:28:42

Good dungeon crawl with some fights that could be deadly depending on how the GM runs it and party composition.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Joshua N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/11/2017 17:08:34

DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e) PDF Printability: White background. Old-style wasted/boilerplate pages. Fantasy Grounds Module: No Recommended Factions: Zhentarim Magic Item Rarity: Rare Digital Certs: No (only physical certs existed; no longer in print) Spellbook: Yes



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/06/2016 17:54:28

I've done a lot of dungeons, and I felt like this could seriously use a few more maps to exemplify the descriptions in the maze. There is one map of a teleportation maze that can lead to a great many optional locations, yet there is no visual of the new rooms, nor indications on the map of how/where the teleportation squares exist that are described in the narrative. Found myself with pages scattered all over trying to make the basic map coordinate with the description.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Julie Y. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/14/2016 12:05:02

A solid dungeon crawl with opportunities for roleplay and surreal weirdness. Without going into spoilers, the final showdown has some particularly colorful and interesting elements. This adventure works very well as a stand-alone and can be dropped into a homebrew world fairly easily; it has some Forgotten Realms-specific antagonists, but they could be replaced by any factions who are interested in the secrets of the pyramid.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Kenneth B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/03/2016 13:03:18

An interesting dungeon crawl, but the story is a complete side trek from the season's narrative. "Ohmagerd our town's just been invaded and taken over by evil cultists! Quick, let's go explore this random ancient pyramid and take all the stuff!"



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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