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CCC-BMG-18 ELM 1-3 The Battle of Elmwood $4.99
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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CCC-BMG-18 ELM 1-3 The Battle of Elmwood
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CCC-BMG-18 ELM 1-3 The Battle of Elmwood
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Merlin E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/10/2019 10:56:46

I ran the previous adventure last week and it went almost 8 hours! So I had an eagle eye out for places to trim and speed things along in this module. As others have said, this adventure feels like a fitting and exciting conclusion to the trilogy and there was great tension throughout. However, this module is, once again, too crammed with battle to in any way, shape, or form be run in 4 hours.

To begin, I knew my players have a bad habit of really agonizing over "choose your adventure" steps in modules. I, personally, love that there's an option and think it makes the adventure much more realistic. However, I knew that would bog down the game, so I just hand-picked which steps the PCs would handle according to what I think they would get the most out of. That worked out extremely well, I think, as all of it still felt organic and our big debater was like "Yes, Aliana! That's a great idea! Good luck!" So they still felt empowered, hahah!

I did end up, though, cutting one of the battles because A) the module was too crammed, and B) it was kinda boring :/ We skipped the Otyugh battle because it didn't have much effect on the story beyond "Oh shoot! All kinds of crap is happening!" which I think was accomplished elsewhere. Moreover, if the purpose of it is to expend resources, my PCs were pretty spooked early on when bodies started popping back up as Vine and Needle Blights, so they used a good bit in those previous fights, hahah! Three big beasties just before the PCs fight three more beasties (Strong party) and a caster, that would have gotten old. So we just skipped it and I think the adventure was better for it.

What I think this module does best is how it mucks with players' metagaming just a bit. First, there's no long rest! Our 9th level Bard blasted all of his top level spells in the first encounter and was like "Okay! Time for a long rest, right? That was a big fight." No sir! So that was a fun to watch him realize the consequences of trying to read the flow of the module. Also, those cultists! When they died and I just left them on the battlefield, my players were like "Do we need to take them off the battle map?". Nah, let's leave them! Adds to the chaos! "Oh cool!" And then I twirl my mustache and wait. Suddenly, BOOM! They turn into monsters and attack! My PCs were super freaked out and hyper suspicious of anything else they killed for the rest of the night. Which was awesome when what they killed didn't turn into something else. Hahah! Definitely made for some memorable scenes and tension.

All in all, this module and trilogy is really good and I had a blast DMing them. The extras that the creators added in here throughout the module are exceptional and do much for the DM's and PC's quality of life in terms of running the adventure. But I wish the adventures were just trimmed down a bit, especially for bigger battles. Both this one and the last one benefited from cutting one of them and there was no consequence in terms of lost story or atmosphere. And even with cutting the third battle in this module (because there are 4!!), we still were at 6 hours. Not awful, but still long, hahah! So my advice for DMs is to be aware of what can go and don't let the module get bogged down--it's too good and deserves everyone's full attention! :)

(PS - some bad typos in this adventure too, which is rare for BMG modules. Definitely could have used another round of edits.)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-18 ELM 1-3 The Battle of Elmwood
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Richard P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/21/2019 07:46:25

This adventure starts off with a pretty solid connection to the previous module, with the decisions and actions taken therein impacting this adventure, but with minimum bookkeeping. Speaking of minimum bookkeeping, the starting errand is well set-up to get characters right into the flow of things quickly. The only criticism I would make of that errand is that if the player characters discover a councilor's secret but don't engage with it, there doesn't appear to be a consequence.

The adventure does a good job giving meaningful character choice--although one of those big choices is essentially negated if the players went through the previous adventure. I would have much preferred removing that choice point if the characters have done so, because there's literally no reason that a group of characters risked their lives (note that one of my group's PCs died in the previous adventure) to get the secret at the end of the previous adventure only to hand it off to NPCs they hurriedly fed the information they literally took 8 hours to learn.

Too many of the combats in this adventure center around large numbers of single-digit-HP enemies. A single Spirit Guardians almost singlehandedly won one of the encounters when I ran this module. A slight design flaw, but definitely helped the cleric to fell influential.

Then the climactic battle was very anticlimactic. Centering a tier-2 fight on a single caster is a significant design flaw. Said caster almost didn't get to act in this combat at all.

The game was certainly fun, and provided a mostly-satisfying conclusion to this trilogy, but could have used another revision or two to iron out some kinks.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-18 ELM 1-3 The Battle of Elmwood
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Dee A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/03/2019 23:10:52

This was a really fun module. The descriptions were rich, there was a lot of info that made the town and the festival seem alive. Its combat heavy, but the battles are varied and the monsters have their own surprises. The authors put a lot of thought into the details and it made for a great experience.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-18 ELM 1-3 The Battle of Elmwood
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Benedict W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/21/2018 17:51:01

This module was fun to run and my players had a blast trying to keep things under control. Having the choices available made my players stop and think about what they felt was best. As a DM I enjoyed how far the players started for the final battle and throwing rocks and using the spells to watch them squirm is always good to up the ante. My players are really excited to play other modules that help them build on the reward given to them at the end of this scenario.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-18 ELM 1-3 The Battle of Elmwood
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Chase L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/07/2018 17:36:51

Possibly my favorite of the trilogy, though it's a tough choice between it and the first. This module has lots of roleplay opportunities, and quite a few combat encounters to go through. The flow of the module works suprisingly well given how complex it seems at first glance, and I had a lot less trouble running it than I initially expected it. It was a blast, and the players seemed to have a great time as well. Combats were, once again, very well balanced and thematically cohesive. The biggest thing I appreciated with this module is that the encounters weren't just there for the sake of it. Each of them had an overarching goal or purpose, and there was quite a bit of creativity involved in some of the more unorthodox encounters (such as Nimbledigit's inn).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-18 ELM 1-3 The Battle of Elmwood
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Allen S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/26/2017 12:53:49

This story arc was a blast. This culminating module wrapped up the story nicely and felt rather epic. Running around the city was really cool as it gave the characters a view of the chaos that was happening. The fights ended up being a bit easy for the players, but they still had fun. The final battle has some neat elements and is easy to adjust for party strength.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-18 ELM 1-3 The Battle of Elmwood
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/25/2017 21:18:48

This module has helped me so much. Well written, and well layed out. My players had a blast.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-18 ELM 1-3 The Battle of Elmwood
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Anthony O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/14/2017 20:52:49

I really ejoyed the flowchart at the end of the module. it helped me visualize the options the players had during the adventue.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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