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CCC-BMG-17 ELM 1-2 The Lost Sanctum $4.99
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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CCC-BMG-17 ELM 1-2 The Lost Sanctum
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CCC-BMG-17 ELM 1-2 The Lost Sanctum
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Merlin E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/02/2019 23:02:22

I DMed the previous adventure last week with basically the same group and found this adventure a bit over-stuffed. As others have mentioned, that first encounter really doesn't do a whole lot, and neither of the necromancer encounters propel the story forward beyond saying that other groups are interested in the area--which is totally fine. But all three encounters are pretty hefty and ate up a lot of time. Even with only light role-playing at the beginning and basically blasting through the puzzle and VIMM scenes, we were almost at 7 hours. That first necromancer encounter could easily have been combined or subsumed by the second and it would have accomplished the same goal--you're not alone on the forest. While everyone enjoyed the encounters, they did feel less on task. And by the time we actually made it to the sanctum, the players were exhausted at the table. And especially since the module emphasizes how important it is to roleplay with VIMM, we needed to get there faster with fewer distractions so my players still even wanted to roleplay.

Also, unlike other BMG modules, I found this adventure to be poorly copy-edited. The first four scenes were clearly written/created by another team/maker than the last two as simple things such as bolding the enemies or indenting narrative paragraphs were completely different to the point of distraction. I know that sounds petty, but I had a really hard time making sure I knew exactly how many enemies were in those first two encounters as it wasn't clearly listed. The maps too were also a bit sprawling and sometimes weren't correctly to scale. Like several official modules, this one suffered from a lack of consistency in style that that made it feel hobbled together.

On the plus side, though, the tension in the sanctum fight was really great. And after all of the invisible spellcasters, the PCs were sure something came through other last two portals and used up several resources in making sure there wasn't anything else lurking. So that was fun to watch. The puzzle was also a lot of fun, I just wish we had gotten there earlier in the session.

All in all, the adventure was good, but by the end of it, everyone was ready to get back to the real story to the point that most of this adventure felt like filler.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-17 ELM 1-2 The Lost Sanctum
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Richard P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/21/2019 07:33:37

The first encounter is basically just filler--although in the game I ran, the players could have sure used it to shake the dust off as it had been nearly four months since the previous adventure! It only serves to tip the players off that there may be other people in the area, possibly with their own agendas. Which is an interesting setting detail, but does not further the story at all, and neither does the follow-up encounter it sets up. It's just for filling up run time.

The keystone combat encounter proved to be very challenging to my party--including one (albeit temporary) fatality and lots of yo-yo-ing by the tank. I really liked the way the monsters in that fight interacted, and it was definitely the high point of the adventure. The theme in this combat was really good as well, and served to reinforce the connection to the source material this trilogy is referencing.

Then all that theme gets cashed in when the party solved the final puzzle, only to get the stupid password that makes no sense as an in-setting reference, but rather an out-of-universe reference. The puzzle itself is both very interesting and fairly challenging. It definitely hits that sweet spot where it's challenging enough to engage the group, but not so challenging as to bog down the game.

All in all, an enjoyable adventure, but could just as well have trimmed to be the beginning of the final adventure.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-17 ELM 1-2 The Lost Sanctum
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Aaron N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/05/2019 13:56:32

Part 2 of the first Elmwood trilogy continues the investigation begun in the first adventure. The adventurers plunge into the forest in search of answers, only to find opposing adventurers, some portals run amok and a puzzle. I personally did not enjoy the puzzle. My party was not interested in solving the puzzle, so I had to fly through that portion. Another combat heavy adventure.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-17 ELM 1-2 The Lost Sanctum
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Ian W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/27/2018 02:02:49

A very awesome story overall. Works as a great one off module or continuation of the story. The amount of DM support and resources is definitely helpful for setting up this stuff. My players enjoyed the challenges involved in all of the fights and the logical needs as well, specially that there was a real reward for that. Great work and cant wait to try more of your stuff.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-17 ELM 1-2 The Lost Sanctum
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Chase L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/07/2018 17:33:32

Another great module in a fantastic trilogy. While it's entirely possible to run these in the 4 hour allocated timeslot, you have to leave out/speed through a lot of the RP and story elements. If you have the time to really sit down and enjoy these modules with your players, I highly recommend them. I do think this is the "red-headed step child" of the 3, but that doesn't make it bad, necessarily. It feels somewhat out of place in terms of the sanctum and necromancy encounters, but it does still fit the overall storyline. The combats are well balanced, and everything is easy to follow as a DM. Great puzzle too - a real head scratcher for the players, but not impossible for them to solve with some tiny nudges in the right direction.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-17 ELM 1-2 The Lost Sanctum
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Matthew P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/10/2017 07:53:34

I ran this recently as part of my scenario scheduling.

There are some key differences between this scenario and it's predecessor particuarly in regards to how encounters are run. More on that further in.

ELM 1-1 set a good scene and story with the Moander cult on the move perhaps and the grain of the town of Elmwood being infected. Part 1 had the party investigate the grain issue, traveling into the elven forest and then meeting up with a sage (a call out to Curse of the Azure Bonds).

ELM1-2, sees the party return to Elmwood quickly (or not as the case may be) and then be asked to go into the forest again to find a Arcane location where a mage had his sanctum.

THe party is given the location of sorts and then needs to travel through the forest to find this location.

Now one thing the previous scenario got very right was to make sure the creatures/monsters used were thematically appropriate to the scenario. We had a Shambling Mound, Vine Blights /variants, and Corpse FLower/Ropers as well as some other stuff.

This scenario decides to almost completely move away from that and have the party encounter the forces of a Necromancer Mage Lord who has an interest in the Sanctum and Netherese ruins. While in and of itself, this felt a bit like the start of a plot for a sequel series to the current one, the use of Zombies/Arcane casters and mercenaries feels a bit jarring. I fully expect the Forest now to offer up perhaps a Demonic encounter (considering how much is made that the demonic madness still exists). I expected perhaps more Plant based threats, considering the forces of Moander are very active.

Im not opposed per se to the variety in threat, but I think there could of been better monsters on offer.

As this point I should address the key figure in this scenario. Grypht the Saurial Ice Mage/Wizard who is also a Saurial. I love this. Curse of the Azure Bonds after Pool of Radiance was my first real experience with both AD&D and FR. This race , Lizardman like could not speak but instead released different smells to converse with others. Very awesome, but I must admit I did wonder how one could become a Mage if you couidnt speak the Arcane tongue.

After finally finding the Sanctum the party is exposed to a Combat Arena situation of sorts and then a pretty interesting Row /Column puzzle which at least in my game worked well. I didnt have to give too many hints :) . This was great and I love a good puzzle.

Sadly though, in the conclusion we have an issue with VIMM, who is a Very Intelligent Magic Mouth Spell which looks like a Hologram of a Lady. I had no issue with this. Grypht is gone and he wants something to .. look after his home base.

However normally at this point of the adventure, players can become restless. Its been some time since the game began and many people arnt as ... concentrating as much as they might be. VIMM provides some exposition and then that is it. Again with some rejigging I think the Sage from the first part could of had a different fate and this could of been him giving the party the information. Perhaps his soul had become trapped to the sanctum. I liked VIMM, I just felt that she/it was a little wasted here. Great Concept though.

THe party gets some information on Moanders intentions and then its back to Elmwood for Part 3. Part 3 is honestly the best part of the Series with again a return to thematically appropriate monsters, some interesting combat and skill encounters and a good resolvement to this series.

Now my final issue is with the way encounters are written within this scenario. We have an initial Mage/Zombie encounter, and a further Mage/Beholder zombie encounter/ The final encounter is within the combat arena setup and is well detailed. My issue is not with that encounter.

In this scenario , the Monster involed in the first two encounters for average /unchanged difficulty are not directly specified. That is those used to OGRE ZOMBIE behing in Bold or MAGE being in bold wont see that. Instead we get maps which show the location of where the average level monsters appear and what they are. Some of these maps are massive, and many dms will simply not have a battlemat big enough so changes will likely be made. THe appropriate box for tiering IS there and is definetly usuable but even with the 'refer to map' text to see where the monsters are for the average fight, they should be clearly written in bold into the encounter text.

I marked this as 2 Stars because of the issue with the encounter text and the monsters that didnt quite feel like they fit. In fact beyond the fact the adventure was set in the Forest where the last one was, this felt like it could of been placed in almost any other trilogy it felt that tangental to the main story.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-17 ELM 1-2 The Lost Sanctum
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Allen S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/26/2017 12:59:04

I really enjoyed the puzzles in this module more than anything. The ship puzzle blew my players away. The fact that there was a social interaction at the end instead of a fight was amazing. This reminded me of the meeting with Jenny Greenteeth back in season 1.

My one complaint about this mod was that it spent too much time trying to set up the next arc. The necromancers felt out of place in such a cool story. I wish the necromancers had been left for the 2nd arc and other neat encounters with crazy plants had been put in.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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