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DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep $4.99 $2.99
Average Rating:3.9 / 5
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DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
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DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/04/2021 14:13:44

This was my first module I ran as a DM. My players kind of struggled with the workshop aspect and I don't think enjoyed that part very much, but it does set up for the branching path which I thought was nice. One downside to the branching path is that it takes more prep work, which you will not use 2/3ds of unless you re-run the adventure later.

My players did enjoy the adventure though, and it was a fairly quick one. Some of the mosnters seemed overkill for the party, but there are plenty of bar patrons they can beat down if you want to slowly ramp it up. Few small nitpicky things like why Durnan would let all these nobodies trash his place, and a ton of side info which there's really no way for the players to find out (maybe relevant in a subsequent adventure?), but all that stuff can either be ignored or explained away pretty quickly as long as you identify it early.

4/5, some small issues. I would run this again, but would be more selective on the players due to the first part of this module.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Martine L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/06/2020 14:42:34

I find this module interesting, though quite challenging to run. It does not fit new DMs, however, experienced DMs and players have the freedom to have plenty of fun with it. It offers some new ways to be creative and different options, which raises the replayability, but also the difficulty for the DM.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Felix S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/13/2019 13:58:51

A fun szenario for a group of level 1 characters. I preselected the traitor villain because my players like roleplaying their characters a lot. My players loved the crash in szene 1 and I highly recommend describing it as colorful as you can! I tried to increase the surprise by interrupting a player mid-sentence during their conversation with the interesting character.

Scene 2 when smoothly and the players enjoyed the sometimes unfitting "Performance Hints". Each character had a lot of screen time because they were only 3.

In scene 3 the small party got destroyed by the enemies and I had to let NPCs from previous scenes interrupt their slaughter. The balancing for small groups of level 1s is a little rough and it would be nice to have some options presented in the adventure.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Jeremy E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/09/2019 14:21:49

The versatility and creativity of this module is appealing, but takes a willingness to freeform and a fair bit of effort! I pre-chose the villain type to streamline planning. The dynamic nature of the module is good, but may catch players off-guard when asked to contribute their ideas. Engaging the party with the MacGuffin may be a challenge and may require creative DM thinking to really hook them – as-is, there doesn’t seem to be much reason to care or connect with it. If I ran this again, I’d probably put more time into fully contextualizing the Faction Quest to make clear that this is not part of the same event as the main plot line; otherwise, it might be a bit disjointed or confusing. May require a bit of work to integrate into an existing Dragon Heist run without adding confusion or revealing information early. Ran the Brute path, for story tie-in reasons, but if I ran it again, I’d either plan for another or run it on the fly based on the party. For AL play, the one story award is very useful, and the other story award will definitely appeal to a certain type of player!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Daniel C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/03/2019 06:55:31

Its fun, but it reauires a huge amount of prep for the DM; basically requires prepping three different modules. My main criticism is that the macguffin should have a better drawcard...something that sets the tone of the season that players would desperately want to find and keep (some of the macguffins have led to my players ask "so? Why would we care?" requiring some on the spot creative fudging of the items importance).

However, the premise, the setting and the engagement with the players in creation of an NPC at the start of the adventure really makes this special.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Garam C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/30/2019 08:30:53

It's good module for the first time Play. my friends enjoyed this adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by G. B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/28/2019 02:02:26

The module's core "gimmick" is that it is (mostly) made up on the fly in collaboration with the players. It is an interesting experiment, but it require lots of effort on the DMs part and a fairly deep ability to improvise (as well as a firm understanding of what your options are vis-a-vis humanoid enemies for the "boss"). My players seemed to enjoy it, but I felt more exhausted after running it than perhaps after any other module that I've run. I probably won't run it again simply because of how draining it is to do.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Matthew C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/16/2019 21:26:41

I really enjoyed running this adventure. The positive and the negative are very similar as there were three branches that the players could choose which completely changed the main core of the adventure. The adventure was unique in that the players got to basically build their relationship and forge the story together at the beginning which allowed for bonding for 1st level characters that isn't normally easy to make happen.

The negative is the same thing in that the DM had to completely prepare three adventure engines KNOWING that two of them would never happen OR try to take it on the fly which would have been easier if this wasn't a first adventure leading to giant storylines in the future. Taking it on the fly is too complicated, but preparing knowing that you are for sure wasting 66% of your time on material you will never use doesn't seem like a good alternative.

In short, the story was cool. The scene was vivid. The character opportunities were varied and strong. But it was strange for DM preparation. As a player character, everyone had fun. As a DM, I'm not sure how to fix it, but something in design was a bit off for the aforementioned reasons.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Dan S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/02/2019 23:50:24

Let me lead by saying this was a really fun module. My players really enjoyed the concept. The only thing is that for the amount of time listed I ended up having to re-build this module on the fly to finish it. That's not a bad thing, I think. This whole season has been a lot of fun with the sandbox nature it has had, but we ended up just foregoing everything the players created and running the module as written with mods by me.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Joseph K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/27/2019 11:32:18

Great module, but needs a fair amount of prep so that the DM can be ready for the different adventure paths. I had a mix of experienced and new players, and they liked it a lot. A group who are currently in a Dragon Heist campaign particularly liked the various cross-over hooks, and one of them talked the party into heading out to Trollskull Manor to celebrate their victory.

My advice:

1) Have 4-6 stat blocks ready for the villians and a couple non-descript tokens and minis.

2) I recommend the Traitor path, which has a performance and some trickery as the middle of three adventures. We ran the Brute path, but that's basically 3 fights in the same room. The Mastermind path looks interesting, but it involves some bottleneck puzzles, so be ready to give your players a hint, or else they may well get stuck.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by James S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2019 23:40:16

I hated running this module. The 3 episode story outline and ties into Dragon Hiest were good. The layout and writing were not.

At the beginning players are asked to write a description of a villian, an NPC, and character developments. That play input is a good thing for expereinced role player. For new, young players it was useless.

It basically has 3 optional storylines. The DM must choose one storyline, but each of the 3 episodes are have all 3 storlines in each episode. Lots of flipping pages back and forth, no text boxes to help the DM introduce encounters, lots of lost time reading through the text to pull out descriptions, important information and details.

For an AL module this module requires lots of DM prep. It just could have been laid out better. It was very hard to follow. It had good ideas, but execution was piss poor.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/24/2019 20:46:47

Was a great module! Not only it's good to introduce the atmosphere for Season 8, It can even make a good introduction for WDH.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Thomas P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/14/2019 22:57:42

Surprisingly verstatile module! I was nervous about the more open-ended format, but found it game me enough flexibility to do what each group wanted while still re-using the parts that glued everything together. One particular benefit of this approach was that it makes the mod GREAT to run with new players and younger kids. While my main group wanted a hack-n-slash combat, my 8-year-old and other family loved the silly fun of the other options. I've run this 3 times now, and each has been its own awesome version of a different party's origin story. Excited to see more mods in this style!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by RICHARD H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2019 05:01:51

I ran this module last night as a first time DDAL DM, long-time DM. We had 7 players in our table with characters between levels 1 - 4 (a very strong party). I liked that the setting ties in well to the Dragon Heist storyline, and gives an introduction to Waterdeep, particularly one of its famous locations, and several notable characters. There are numerous tie ins to the hard cover plot line and also lore related to the city and the adventures of Season 8. If you ever wanted to run an adventure that is solely within a tavern, this is a good one to try.

This adventure will require some in depth understanding of the purpose that the writer is aiming to achieve for a variety of adventuring parties, and the options that are presented by the module. So you'll need to read it a few times, and then start to think about how it applies to your group. Start making notes about the structure that you intend to run. These notes can form your reference for running the adventure, rather than the module itself. Prepare a large map for the interior locations if you use miniatures, I wasn't able to print out the rooms at the sufficient scale necessary for use with miniatures. Print out as much as you can from the module so that you have handouts for your players to share around the table. The module provides the full stats for most of the opponents except for Bandits (Monster Manual p. 343).

The adventure provides the inspiration, structure and resources that the DM will need to create their ideal adventure. The characters provided in the story are richly documented and so you can springboard off this to get your character acting skills into action. The conflicts and challenges are fun and get the players involved as their characters end up in unexpected situations. Increase the intensity of dramatic moments so that your party feels the focus on these crucial story moments at the right time.

Be ready to balance the combat and add in extra opponents to balance out a strong party. And there are a range of options available to ease the party out of danger if necessary - the opponents can attack NPCs, the City Watch can arrive to intervene. The final battle requires some planning to maximise the effectiveness of the opponents so that you can present a serious challenge to the party.

For the running of this adventure, I focussed on the party providing an example interesting character for each PC. This adds some background to their character and lends interest through their career, and might help to develop their characters further. I chose the villain from this list to suit the intended run of the module that I had planned out, I selected the Apprentice Wizard stat block for them, but for a strong party, you should chose a higher CR rating option than this one. I used another of the interesting characters as the plot hook to get the adventure started. I used the letter from Dragon Heist Forgotten Tales as the item. The letter is generic enough that the party knows not to waste time investigating it, and it's fun to have as a prop. The party selected a role playing challenge which required a knock out blow to be delivered by a tankard. This ended up providing a lot of entertainment, as most of the party selected tankards instead of their weapons in combat. I selected the traitor plotline as the most appealing to me, it contains some entertaining situations in the second section, and a straightforward battle at the end.

There is one typo, in the box of Scene 2A-4 - replace [the interesting character] with Jarlaxle Baenre.

In summary, this is an excellent adventure packed full of entertainment and role playing opportunities. The DM will need to put in significant preparation time. The module is well presented and structured to aid the DM in preparation.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Nicholas N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/26/2019 09:52:38

I had been looking forward to running this module for sometime, but didn't see it as an appropriate adventure for my newer players. After some time playing through other season 8 material I finally decided it was time to slip this adventure in for a bit of filler content.

A lot of season 8 material leaves much to be desired, but this adventure really emphasizes player/dm creativity, to the point that there is even a degree of replayability available. I did not use the suggested method for building the villain, macguffin, and NPC with the players, but we did work together on the concept and all agree that it was an enjoyable form of adventure building. Though it needs not to become overused in later modules.

The only real negative that stood out to me, was how sketchy certain interactions had to be in order to force the characters certain directions. At some point Durnan requests the players to fetch water from the cellar, which is a distraction created by the traitor villain to ambush them. Would Durnan not wonder where they went when they fail to return quickly? Small issues in the storytelling like this could create combat complications, should Durnan join the fray below... the villain stands absolutely no chance! Had to rethink a few of these situations to better fit the situation, but thats just how dnd works.

In summation, when I look to modules like these for material to run, I like when the work is done for me especially considering the fact that I must PURCHASE the content... but this module stands as an exception because of how it tries to incorporate replayability and direct player involvement in regards to the adventure hooks. Also, it would be a LOT EASIER to flip through this module while running the game if each different villain path was laid out in its entirety altogether in the reading material. As opposed to how it goes "chapter 1 for brute" "chapter 1 for mastermind" "chapter 1 for traitor", and then the same for the other two chapters, all three chapters for each one should be grouped together.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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