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DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue $4.99
Average Rating:3.5 / 5
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DDAL-ELW00 What\'s Past is Prologue
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DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by MATT R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/19/2020 08:13:47

Ran this for my players last night, and this is a great introductory adventure. It's not too long and can be done in less than four hours - ideal when it's the first time using virtual tabletops for one or more of the group, as there is some necessary setup time. It plays well to all three of the pillars and there opportunities for everyone's styles to shine.

The first two segments of the adventure are well-done - a little bit of a railroad, but that's OK for an intro session. There is a lot of opportunity for things to go off-script in the third segment, and it definitely did for my group, once a bit more agency is given. The given or assumed "path" relies on the players being greedy and choosing a particular course of action - one that my players weren't keen on as their first option. This section could have used a few more hooks to explain things or give them an incentive to pick the "greed" option - another NPC, a mystery hook from one of the previous segments, something.

Failing that, a few notes on different ways the story could end, and some guidance on how to make that happen, would go a long way towards helping GMs navigate the third act. The end of this session is the end of the story of these characters, so there's no reason not to have several different options and endings - there's no follow-up required.

But - overall...a strong start, and I would recommend running it - especially if it's a new group and you're just getting your groove on.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by William T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/25/2019 11:50:04

I really enjoyed the style of this. It was the first adventure I had ever seen that had broken down the scene beats (never tried adventurer's league before) and I thought that was pretty neat. I often think about my own games in this fashion now.

The issue I have is the story direction. I'm not sure I enjoy the treatment of SPOILER (the main antagonist), but this is a personal issue in how I have placed this person in my own worlds over the years, so not fair to pin on the writer.

I noticed the adventures advertises being set in Sharn, but most of the gameplay is well outside of Sharn and less than half of the time is spent in the City of Towers.

The Deu ex Machina at the end in which the players watch their butts be saved by someone else also wasn't my favorite. I prefer to leave the heroics to the players. This combined with the relatively helpless starting point of the next adventure (cause corruption and paperwork or something, I dont know) sort of made me feel I am expected to make sure my players know they are going to have to earn feeling capable.

I took this adventure and used it as a blueprint for how I wanted to run my own Eberron game, though, and it has been pretty successful thus far. The rules for level 0 are a great way to introduce the game and a great way to introduce themes.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/17/2019 08:05:42

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of What’s Past is Prologue

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- DDAL-ELW00-What’s Past is Prologue System- DnD 5e Producer- DMs Guild Price- $4.99 here https://www.dmsguild.com/product/248589/DDALELW00-Whats-Past-is-Prologue?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR-I can get my DCC RPG in DnD now! 92%%

Basics-A get rich quick job in Eberron? That CAN’T FAIL! The players take the roll of level zero characters as they attempt to earn a ton of money on a simple pick up and deliver job. Along they way they get a ton of thing to sell for millions of GP, but how will they do it?

Theme or Fluff-The story of What’s Past is Prologue is a pretty simple one, but it’s done well. The players get pregenerated characters that they will meet later in the Eberron adventurers league adventures. This story tells how the characters got together, how they get a ship, and how they are amazing wealthy. That part of the story is fun and really tells a great Eberron based story while giving me the GM a jumping on point to dump the Eberron goodness on my Forgotten Realms/old school fantasy only players. The only real problem with a prologue based story, is players always do things they are not supposed to do! The adventure gives some guidelines for this, but honestly, my players could not ditch the skyship fast enough! It might have been easier to instead of having a Sharn based section where the players can go off the script have some other story of how the characters fix their newly acquired ship. It’s not game ending, but be ready for this eventuality! 4.5 /5

Mechanics or Crunch-This adventure features something new in DnD-level zero characters! I love level zero character in Shadow of the Demon Lord and DCC/MCCRPG, so this was great for me! My players had to adjust to this, but they dealt well. Aside from that, the encounters are balanced with the limited power of the players. Running DCC style funnels in DnD 5e is a valid way to build characters now! 5/5

Execution-This is a solid modules that is spaces nice, reads quick, and provides most of what I want in an adventure. Its a PDF, so that makes me happy! But, it doesn’t have hyperlinks between the parts so I can quick navigate. Also, this modules again doesn’t have much if any box text. BOX TEXT IS SUPER IMPORTANT! It lays the scene for the GM to get in the right headspace on the fly as well as making sure the author lays out what information the PC have right away without the GM having to take notes on what’s in the scene. The first paragraph of each section is like box text, but I as a GM have to read that, chop out my parts, and give a good scene starter to the players. Another issue is the number of pregens. You can have seven characters at a DnD Al table, but this adventure only comes with six. If you want to run seven, you have two of the same character, and that’s not as much fun. Aside from those issues, the book is laid out gorgeously. The layout uses lots of old Eberron artwork. For a non-WOTC product on the DMs Guild, this is the exact reason the Guild was made-get non-WOTC people to make great product using art assets that usually only WOTC could reprint. This book has some obvious flaws, but it's still a solidly produced book. 4.25 /5

Summary-The best and worst part of a DnD story are the players. In a homebrew game, where the players can completely 180 degree their characters because they want to, free choice is amazing. In a prologue adventure, that freedom hurts the story a bit as the PCs behave in ways the regular characters would not. That said, the story here is a great one and I can’t wait for the next part of the story and how players own characters will interact with their prologue selves. The new mechanics here work well, are simple to implement, and easy to understand. That’s the trifecta of new bits on an RPG system, so good job! The execution is a bit off, but not in a way the will destroy the product. GIVE ME HYPERLINKS AND BOX TEXT! We’re exploring a ship, so having a ready to go box text will rapid fire my players through the exploration and get me in the rooms mood. But, the book look AMAZING! I love the layout, text, spacing, and all the wordy bits that some modules forget are an important part of the human reading process. If you want to jump on the Eberron Adventurers League season, then this is an excellent way to start. 92%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Scott M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/06/2018 08:00:12

I didn't mind the adventure, and it ended in a really fun way. The differing style was a little to get used to, and some things didn't make a whole heap of sense to me, but we got through it, and finding out that it is referenced in future modules was pretty cool.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/21/2018 07:44:28

I wasn't sure what to think about a level 0 adventure, but ran it as the intended intro to an AL Eberron campaign. It was more fun than I expected (because I wasnt sure of how level 0 would go), and the sheer frailty and at times ineffectiveness of the level 0 characters was quite humourous in itself. I was grateful to commentary from people online who gave me advance warning that the fights would need scaling down to make it survivable, and found if I stuck to bandits it went ok, but don’t try a tougher foe unless they’ve made friends with a stronger NPC. In fact, keeping the mechanics light in general with easy DCs and more emphasis on the description of how is the better way to go. I'd also echo what other reviewers have suggested that the section on getting the ship back in shape was quite fun and a good challenge for level 0s since it didnt rely on lucky rolls or other things that were too overwhelming. GM tips: Perhaps the main drawback to the adventure is that it doesn’t give much guidance if the players aren’t keen on the linear track the adventure takes. The linearity makes it easy to run, unless your characters want to return their "acquisition" (trying to avoid spoilers) to the rightful owners or make a deal rather than fight at the end. These can be worked through but it’s a good idea for the former option in particular to think about how the characters might contact the house in question, what the reaction from the house might be etc etc. The mod doesn’t give a lot of background on this but I assumed the "acquisition" was an ‘off the books’ operation – although my players abandoned the plan of finding the owners anyway.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Tim L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/08/2018 05:55:05

Incredible prequel to the ELW storyline. Sets up some nice hooks, establishes characters, and sets the general tone and mood of the world. Normally I find plot heavy modules to be a bit too much Monty Cargo, but this one worked.

The only real issue is that lv 0 characters are very squishy, which is fine, but any hit either drops them, or nearly drops them. I can see why this is so, and it actually works for most of the module. However, on the gnome sidequest, throwing a CR 2 bandit captain with multi-attack and parry against a group of lv 0 is borderline TPK unless the gnome goes all Deus Ex with his firebolt cantrip.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Will R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/26/2018 10:33:49

I ran this a few weeks ago for 2 players in a couple of hours, one guy was an eberron fan and one was brand new.

The adventure went well for the people and time. I ran it cold (no prep time) and it ran fairly smooth.

I like the idea of 0th level characters presented here.

I would have liked some more combat oppurtunites, with maybe an easy or medium encounter on the ship to add some extra fight (maybe in the vein of the Alien movies?).

I ran this adventure with my guys at 1st level since there was only two, and for time purposes skipped the bonus objectives, but overall it was a fun time.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Klo U. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/18/2018 12:52:39

My players really enjoyed the mystery and the pre-generated characters.

However, it required tons of DM fiat to keep the characters from being killed in combat situations. With less than 10 hit points per character and not much in the way of offensive capabilities, Episode 1 could have easily ended in a TPK. Episode 3 gets even deadlier if they are doing Bonus Objective B and then try to face off against the last antagonist. For episode 3, I ran a chase scene to escape a patrol instead of fighting them. Even that was clunky though.

One other addition I made that I think elevated the adventure slightly was tweaking the ship's dialog: indicating Whitehearth in Cyre as its intended destination, the requirement of additional repairs, and the redirection to the closest port (Sharn) until repairs have been completed. Then before the automated harpoon fires: "Threat detected", clicking/loading sounds and movement, and then "Threat eliminated. Resuming course to Whitehearth."



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by MICHAEL B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/16/2018 08:45:50

Good introduction to Eberron, but mechanicaly it was clunky. You can listen to my review here: https://metagamingmoments.podbean.com/e/metagaming-moments-xxxii-eberron-review-what-is-past-is-prologue/



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Richard P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/07/2018 13:28:24

This is a great introduction module for Eberron and Sharn. Not much opportunity to explore Sharn but I did give the characters a good introduction to the City of Towers, the three levels, and the interactions of some of the magics, which take place in Sharn. I explained some of the differences between Faerun play and Eberron most notably the aircraft of all shapes and sizes, the mechanical contraptions moving about, and some of the characters one could run into around Sharn. I did not provide a backgroud history to Sharn, not enough time to do that in a 2 -4 hour module.

For the actual play the characters and I were a little confused with the ariel assualt between the two ships specifically when they moved from one ship to the other they find that EVERYONE is dead, which was hard to explain, I mean just seconds ago you were fighting and then just the ZERO pre-gens survive, what?

I did have them encounter one patrol (bandit capt and three bandits) and every character went to 1 or 2 hp in the first round, that's after I downed the stats on the four bad guys. Luckily Xen the shipwright and Sivas the gnome intervened and helped the players escape if not they would all have died.

I enjoyed the ending, I opted for the automatic crossbow mount to intervene after the bad guy threatened the players on the ship.

Overall a good story, might need a little tweaking to give the DM a better explination on the ship to ship combat and results of the crew.

Cannot wait to run more Eberron story lines.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by John E. J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/02/2018 17:47:14

The rules for "level 0" characters are unique; you're weaker than a level 1 PC with class abilities, but not overwhelmingly so. When I ran this with a 4-person table, three PCs were able to defeat two CR 1/8 Bandits and a CR 1/4 Acolyte with a little luck.

Given the framework of the story as a prologue to the main storyline, I'm OK with it being somewhat railroad-y. The players get a bit of agency in how they deal with the initial combat, discovering how to fly the ship, and how to handle it when they get to Lower Dura. Sure, they can't leave until the ship is repaired—and my players seriously debated leaving the ship there and abandoning it—but having their names on wanted posters made for powerful motivation.

When it came to the bigger bad guys, I had Xen and Geryn help out. There is a note in the adventure that a particular Bandit Captain should be reduced to 35 hit points; I'd do that for every NPC unless you have a full table of 6 PCs and they're working really well together. I had Xen and Geryn help out as well. Even without prepared spells, Geryn's Fire Bolt is a good equalizer against big bad guys.

As an introduction to Eberron in 5th Edition, What's Past is Prologue is an interesting experiment, and one that I think worked.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Casper H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/02/2018 08:52:59

Had great fun preparing and playing this. It really felt like an interactive Hollywood production. I get the critisism, that it might have been a little .. non-interactive, and yes the level 0 pregens are really squeemish. Went one round with the Boromars and I had to break off the fight unless they would be killed all of them.

Great cinematic descriptions, screen-worthy action! Would love to see this script brought to the big screen!

From an RPG perspective, it was indeed more of a story-telling event. My players had fun, used Han Solo as a backdrop for Sebastian (intended? I think so!), and it was great fun. Unfortunately didn't get to get rid of the Professor in the described way - which I utterly love - but my players ended up getting away on the Platinum Egret and sailing off towards the .. wel .. you know :)

Definitely fun to play and an okay introduction to the Sharn setting.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Remington A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/01/2018 23:49:36

This module provides a fun story and introduction to the world of Eberron. The pregenerated characters are well fleshed out and players seem to enjoy using them. The variety of NPC's provide great opportunity for role play interaction. My players felt genuine nerves when they saw the wanted posters pop up.

The negatives come from some simple mistakes that I feel were the result of rushing this out. Personally, I'd love it if the max table size for Adventurers League was reduced to six players. But as long as the table maximum is seven, then there should be seven pregenerated characters provided for this module. C5 is also a confusing location to me. The door is completely sealed, requiring the players to solve a puzzle and dissolve the door rather than open it. Yet when they enter, the pilot has been stabbed in the back, and there's no sign of the killer. How did the killer get in? Where did the killer go?

All in all, a good adventure to start things off.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Thomas F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2018 16:44:54

This is not a bad module. But the writers could have done thier homework a little better. There are several instances where lore is just wrong. But I did enjoy running this game. My players also enjoyed the pre-mades (thou I ran ZERO combat because the pre-mades are so weak). The skyship was fun and my players enjoyed trying to repair the ship and getting it moving. Overall: Not bad, but I had hoped for more.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW00 What's Past is Prologue
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Jake K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/28/2018 05:22:40

It's not bad. A bit light on atmosphereic descreptions for my taste. This module could also work for a Spelljammer start point which is always a plus. I don't see any need for the pregens though. That would be more justified if each chapter had a single "spotlight" that only activates if the correct pregen is around. Like the goblin getting Divine Inspiration from the Bag O' Teeth if he were to enter a certain hold.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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