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Uncaged | Volume I
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/12/2019 21:47:34

Easily one of the best products I have ever purchased. There are no qualms about what the product is, and that's good. We need products that make creative use of monsters like this and also show how it's OK to subvert stereotypes. Very well put-together encounters, excellent cartography, and evocative art. I especially love the added touch of "author's note" - this is something I wish more products had. It helps to know the inspiration behind a certain piece of writing so that there is less ambiguity about what is trying to conveyed. It can really help a DM present the encounters more compellingly. Perhaps it doesn't work for all products, but certainly does for this one.

My heartiest congratulations to every single contributor who has not only worked hard, but also taken a very brave step in trying to advance the culture of our hobby. This is clearly a work of passion, but also ingenious creativity, and deserves every possible accolade.

From one male PoC to all other minorities who've been systematically excluded before, thank you profoundly. It really warms my heart to see this title succeed. Keep making these brave strides, and don't let the hate bog you down. You guys have contributed something that will help to make this hobby a safer place for everyone, and future generations of D&D will look back fondly on the Uncaged series as a giant leap towards inclusive play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Uncaged | Volume I
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Creator Reply:
Thank you so much for your thoughtful review. It means so much to our entire creator community. We're so glad our project resonated with you and so appreciative of your support! <3
Mirt's Undermountain Survival Guide
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/08/2019 17:30:04

A very conveninient supplement for both players and dungeon masters. This title contains material with an undermountain theme but can easily be used beyond that as well.

I especially love the simple approach to designing most of the races and subclasses, where it feels like they didn't go to reinvent the wheel on anything. Rather, they kept loyal to what we know of the creatures and made the right twists to make them usable for players. There is certainly an element of risk in the case of the trapsmith rogue, for example, but it's been handled well.

My favorite (and possibly the most overlooked) part of this book is the small tid-bit on "moving around undermountain." The product offers a light rules-expension for handling (and pacing) ability checks, which is something all DMs can benefit from taking a look at. It is clearly informed by lots of feedback from a healthy social media community, and has not been over-done.

I love the new terrian hazards as well, and already have plans to use some of them. I would have loved if the book also provided ideas for where these hazards might be best placed in Undermountain (lots of emptiness in that book to choose from! Would love to have heard the author's take on that). However, as a player-facing supplement, perhaps that may have not been ideal.

There is also a nice little selection of NPCs that can provide color to any campaign.

If you're a player, grab this book and ask your Dungeon Master to play a Giff Ranger (Wayfarer) named Commodore Warrington Munt of the Saucy Fusiliers regiment!

If you're a Dungeon Master, you're getting a lot of professionally-designed material here that is not simply another race/subclass/spell compendium. Every piece of content here serves a good purpose. The authors have done a lot of due-diligence and homework on this one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mirt's Undermountain Survival Guide
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DMs Guild Creator Resource - Style Guide Resources
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/08/2019 09:31:04

This is an EXCELLENT source for all DMsGuild authors. Plenty of tid-bits here, especially when it comes to writing style that you don't think about much when you write your first product. Highly recommend a read.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DMs Guild Creator Resource - Style Guide Resources
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Encyclopaedia Formulae Arcana - A Taste of Bs
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/07/2019 17:37:14

A lovely teaser which whets the appetite for the full version.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand the some of the other current ratings for a FREE preview product that offers a great expansion to a pre-existing spell, as well as a fun new one. What's not to love here?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Encyclopaedia Formulae Arcana - A Taste of Bs
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Ancestral Weapons
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/06/2019 14:28:11

This is an incredibly well thought-out supplement that would be ideal to use in games where you don't want to bother with standard magic items, and instead give players a signature weapon that carries significance to their characters. There is potential here for players to bond so much with their weapon that DMs won't even need to worry about other magic item rewards.

It is a very cool concept, but I must admit that I have tried a similar version of this in my own games before and it back-fired. Players started to expect too much too quickly, and were not sufficiently patient for the upgrades. It incentivizes a certain type of game-play that I'm not comfortable with ("Hey, DM, pretty heroic deed wasn't it? Who else needs saving? No rest, no downtime, must get spirit points!! arghh!! Why are you guys sitting around?!?! we need to level up!"). This is kind of my beef with the Inspiration system as well, where I've experienced many players saying "Hey, I just roleplayed my flaw, where's my inspiration? Oh you want jokes? I got jokes...I can go all day long!" You might be thinking "but it's the DM's call"...sure, but when a player READS that there IS a process to something, there's only so many times you can remind them whose in charge before they start to not be as invested in it.

Which brings me to points 2: I'm not confident in presenting the full set of upgrades to my players as not all of them have gone through sufficient balance checks (a longer discussion, but irrelevant right now). While there is the option for the DM to choose what upgrades players receive, this could just whittle away player enthusiasm/patience for ancestral weapons upgrades relative to normal magic items (which are available in a core book). So it's a double-edged sword (no pun intended).

I will still give it a shot with other groups I play with. I also stand by the 5-star rating because I think it IS a good supplement for a socioemotionally competent Dungeons and Dragons group, or one with an experienced, respected, and highly competent DM.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ancestral Weapons
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DotMM Companion 2: The Arcane Chambers
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/04/2019 14:45:44

Most excellent supplement! The idea for a Family Feud is pretty ingenious. I modified it and used three questions (two others from the real show itself, allowing players to answer based as their real world selves, which provided a good break from immersion). This was the highlight of my game that day, and I have this product to thank for inspiring the idea.

One suggestion is I don't quite understand how the hobgoblins make their way to level 2? Don't they need to cross drow territory? Maybe I overlooked the explanation. I haven't used that plot point yet either, as I'm thinking my players will just ask to be accompany the hobgoblins down to level 3, which would negate the entire challenge. Perhaps the hobgoblins would be much fewer in number; escaped prisoners of the drow? This might be a better justification for how they got to level 2 (and surviving the monsters in the southern parts to wrestle their way north to area 1). Might be worth updating the book for that, if I'm not neglecting another explanation.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DotMM Companion 2: The Arcane Chambers
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Guide to ESL in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/03/2019 18:08:14

This product useful not only for DMs with ESL players, but even those who need quick, basic dialogue to improvise roleplay scenarios on the fly. Tons of good inspiration here to build speech for NPCs. There are nuggets buried in here that would enhance the verbal repertoire of all kinds of DMs.

Many props to the author for making this. One suggestion from me is to post preview pages (as either screenshots or imgur files) so that people can see the work you put in to addressing some basics. It's definitely worth the price, and I hope this product gets enough sales so you can include even more content.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Guide to ESL in Waterdeep
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for your review. I will get that preview working. I must have clicked it off accidentally in the set up.
Minions of Vulkoor
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/01/2019 15:26:15

THESE are the types of supplements that DMsGuild needs more of. Outstanding take on a different Drow culture. I love how Travis manages to keep it in-depth and sufficiently concise at the same time. All new mechanical options included here actually have meaning. It's not just a spam of content for the sake of advertising and boosting sales.

Tha must-have for any DM. I've never run Ebberon before, but I don't need to. The material here can be easily integrated into any world (including the Forgotten Realms).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Minions of Vulkoor
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Creator Reply:
Thank you so very much for your kind words! Deeply appreciated! Travis!
Books & Libraries
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/26/2019 10:40:58

This is the kind of product you never knew how much you really needed. Am already beginning to populate some of my empty arcane dungeon rooms with it. Awesome work!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Books & Libraries
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Hunted!
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/16/2019 18:33:10

A compelling and well put together adventure. Tony never really minces words; he's an innate entertainer and evokes emotion from what could be even the most mundane boxed text. Simply outstanding!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hunted!
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Reflectionist Class
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/02/2019 02:27:13

Outstanding work from two relatively new authors! Brave attempt at developing a new class. The best thing about it is the in-depth story rationale for its construction as a unique class, instead of as a subclass. This is usually pretty rare.

There are definitely aspects that can be tweaked for balance. For example, I wouldn't grant a new class proficiency in two common saving throws (CON and WIS). I'd pick one of them and pair it with an ability like either STR, INT, or CHA. In addition, the wording of particular phrases could be made more consistent with the wordings from the PHB, at least when explaining a rule. Patches of this I'm sure will be corrected in future iterations.

I encourage everyone to give this a purchase and provide some constructive feedback to the authors, who have clearly taken their work here seriously.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Reflectionist Class
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Durnan's Guide to Tavernkeeping
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/24/2019 09:54:06

Although there's many other products out there on enhancing Trollskull manor, this one has to be the most well thought out. Every element of is easy to incorporate and functions independently from the other I've been using the upgrade tables from it for the last few months and my players love it! Cannot recommend this enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Durnan's Guide to Tavernkeeping
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Blue Alley
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/03/2018 12:54:47

Easily my favourite M.T. Black adventure (pending the map's release). Very well thought-through, and interesting use of the rules in very unique ways. Very little in the way of "new homebrew mechanic to learn." Several contingencies have been planned for, which is something new DMs would appreciate. This dungeon is a great funhouse adventure, and not a cheap "angry wizard death-trap" that we've gotten used to. It also does not rely too heavily on material from Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, which is a good thing. You don't want to be hurriedly flipping pages on two books.

I do wish there was some descriptive text to read aloud to players, because that is usually most helpful for new DMs (or DMs in a rush to do a one-shot). But I do appreciate that there is enough detail in each room to formulate an explanation of the room. I have had this difficulty with other products (including some WoTC releases), so I'm happy you didn't stray away from room details here.

Other than the lack of boxed text and a good map (so far), I only have some minor nit-picks that aren't worth getting into. They are more for clarification than anything else.

Overall, this dungeon feels very much alive, as there are plenty of elements to engage with. No room feels "pointless." Good work!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blue Alley
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DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/11/2018 12:46:56

TLDR; Despite my rating, there is still value for money here (especially in home games).

My bias is that I am a huge fan of most of Will Doyle's work. I have used tons of his material in my home games. So I can't really bring myself to give this product 1 star (and, to be frank, it doesn't deserve 1 star either).

I whipped up Act One of this module for a group of mixed experience, and not all of them knew each other beforehand. I was building it in tandem with WH-Dragonheist. However, as the players were getting acquainted, I felt that that process of...

a) Meeting new real life people b) Meeting IN CHARACTER c) Meeting an array of new PCs d) Be sufficiently alert for the voting process and taking notes after a long day at work

...can get VERY overwhelming. I agree with one of the reviewers below, this adventure is too populated, especially for an introductory adventure. It can give "new person" fatigue to even the most extroverted player.

I disagree with comments that "this can't work in AL." I believe it can, but in lighter doses. As a DM who is aware of the scarcity of roleplay in AL, I like to add depth to NPCs, but I also realize that I can just keep tossing them to people who have barely scratched the surface of working as a team.

This adventure has potential in home games, or in an AL setting with a group of veteran players, or simply a group where most people have known each other in some capacity and have a degree of socioemotional competence. And indeed, several of the people rating this 5-stars have indicate that they were fortunate to have veteran players or a group that knew each other (or a VERY experienced DM at the helm).

I will not hate on this format of adventure presentation, because I think it definitely CAN work, but this SPECIFIC one just did not cut the mustard. Given the restrictions in how much you are allowed to modify in AL, it takes even bigger hit. So I can certainly understand why people are lead to believe that this format won't work for AL. I disagree with that conclusion, but I empathize with the sentiment.

Another minor point (stated in a previous review) is that, yes, the scaling for APL is not well done. Perhaps in the effort to add more "story" and "roleplay" there was less attention paid to encounter design; I can excuse this in Tier 2 and beyond. But in Tier 1, you have a very thin margin for error (especially levels 1 and 2).

I will still use elements of this adventure for my home game. I am NOT asking for my money back at all. Good effort! Come back strong, like I know you will.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
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Waterdeep in tables
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/02/2018 14:03:34

So far so good! looking forward to the more updates from you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Waterdeep in tables
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Creator Reply:
I hope to update it in next weekend
Updated.
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