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DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway $4.99
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
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DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
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DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by MATT R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/17/2020 12:44:31

One of my players said that this was the best session 1 he'd ever had. The action happened at a quick pace; they were never bored. Went a little long - probably because I took some time to have the characters introduce themselves at the start, and they also stumbled upon one of the bonus objectives. The final fight wasn't quite as satisfying as I'd hoped it would be - the way that the bronze scout worked left the tank feeling a little unsatisfied. But we had a lot of fun, and it's an auspicious start for the series.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by William S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/12/2020 10:31:32

This is a great adventure that is easily the best noir Sharn adventure I've run or played in. Solid adventure that gives players freedom while also accounting for a lot of possible scenarios so that things don't go two off the rails. My only criticism of the adventure is one of the Bonus objectives feels a bit tacked on, but otherwise its a solid adventure that I would still absolutely reccommend to people, even with the ELW no longer supported and based off UA mechanics.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Jasmine L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/20/2020 19:09:37

I found the other adventures in this series to be disappointing, but this one here is the gem of the collection. It's a very good introductory Eberron adventure that does a fine job setting the tone for a Sharn-based campaign. Well-written, well-plotted, with plenty for the players to do. And I appreciate the homage to the Forgotten Forge, the very first Eberron adventure. If you're not running the whole Embers of the Last War, you should be able to change the letter to some other MacGuffin that's more relevant for you. If you are running Embers of the Last War, skip the prequel adventure and start here.

What holds it back from 5 stars is the editing and formatting. The adventure layout is kinda confusing, and you'll be flipping back and forth a lot. Information about characters and locations is split up between the appendices and the scenes they appear in, and the scenes aren't presented in chronological order. There's also a dearth of box text, which means you have to improvise descriptions. These sorts of inconveniences all add up to make the adventure more difficult to run. Expect to spend more prep time than usual making up for the shortcomings.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by William T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/19/2019 16:44:03

It was pretty fun! I ran it as part of a longer campaign for my home eberron game and it was a nice introduction to the themes of the game. That bronze scout was a blast, burrowing through marble tiles and watching the house orien staff freak out at the destruction.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by James D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/25/2019 10:57:11

Having both played and DM'ed this adventure, it’s a solid introduction to Eberron and an entertain low level adventure for new as well as experienced players.

The module formatting was excellent, i really like the lack of read aloud text and think it makes for a more genuine table experience. From a player’s perspective, I did dislike the final encounter. I think there were too many assumptions on party composition and that the creature punches way above its CR. I do not want to spoil anything so I will not get into specifics.

When I ran the adventure, I had a very small group, so I used the suggested adjustment for very weak parties and the above issue was not a concern.

I think the extra objectives could be a little more integrated into the story as a whole, but with a little gentle nudging, I was able to direct my players to accomplish all of the goals.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Scott M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/06/2018 08:03:22

The characters found this a good introduction for the players to Sharn, and provided them with plenty to do. The optional objectives are too easy to miss in this one. My party did just because they went in one direction of enquiry and not another, and once they started there wasn't a reason for them to go the other way. And looking through the adventure again what they did makes complete sense and going in the other direction doesn't really add up, so I wouldn't expect many people to get the bonus objective unless the DM really pushed them for it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2018 18:21:47

As a DM, this adventure was a lot of fun to run. It was a great way to introduce new players to Eberron and the City of Towers. A lot of exploration and roleplaying opportunities are packed in here

The new format in which the adventure is presented makes preparation much easier. The adventure presents the information necessary needed. It allows the narrative to form organically based on players decisions. Encounters can be fun and interesting in some locations.

Overall I felt this was a solid adventure in the world of Eberron. My only complaint is in the stat block section. They list main antagonist and a surprise, but there many other NPCs that as a player might get into a fight with. Previous Adventurers League adventures included stat blocks for almost all enemies encountered. This way you wouldn't have to refer another book as DM. Table space behind the screen is at a premium and having one less thing behind there would be great.

Other than that, if you're a DM who loves Eberron and wants to get new players hooked on it, I would highly recommend this adventure as a great starting point.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/21/2018 07:50:57

I had played this before deciding to run it, which certainly helped when it came time to run. I should also add that as a player I thought trying this "Eberron thing" would be a one time event, but the combined efforts of a skilled GM and this mod convinced me to explore more play opportunities in this setting. So thats definitely in the mods favour. The good thing about this mod is that it has a lot of different avenues of investigation so the players have some freedom to decide how they investigate. The different scenarios of interview, examining a scene etc etc provided for a good mix of player experience. The scenes themselves are also quite straightforward and easy to run, so from a preparation perspective the mod works well. The scenes also state very clearly the location for ease of reference as the characters wander around Sharn. GM tips: However, the bonus objectives are not as easy to incorporate as they first appear. Bonus Objective B is a bit off track and can be easily ignored by players, and it requires a bit of pre planning from the GM as to how that particular investigation could occur. The timing of Bonus Objective A can be awkward – in short, make sure you throw it at the players before they go to Scene "E" (not described further to avoid spoilers). Even if they’ve just had a very similar encounter, if it happens after E it just makes the storyline confusing, but both when I played and ran it happened after because its very easy for the players to end up at E without having had time to squeeze in the bonus objectives. Also, if I ran it again I’d probably spend more time going over the intended timing and what is realistic. The mod suggests that if the players spend more than 7 hours scene time investigating then they don’t get as much time to prepare for the final encounter. But its too easy to exceed that time based on the stated scene times and the minimum amount needed to find the final encounter, so I’d suggest a better rule of thumb is to adjust the time such that if they’ve exceeded the time they still can fit in a short rest if they havent had one. The lack of rest ended up being tough for my group.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by John E. J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/16/2018 10:27:39

A fun introduction to Eberron and Sharn. The format of going from place to place to gather clues and encounter complications is a good one, letting the players set the pace and determine their path through the story.

Others have commented on the difficulty of the final fight with Yeq and the bronze scout. Unless the party has more than one person capable of dealing damage magically, I'd swap out for the variant stat block; for a larger party, maybe increase its hit point total. I ended up allowing them to shove the scout onto the lightning rail tracks to finish it off.

The only complication I found was the bonus objective with Lobana. Unless the party is willing to sneak through the house, there are no clues in the conversation that lead them to discern her (false) connection with High Cardinal Krozen. Also, it's not clear that mystery isn't intended to be solved in this adventure. My players kept trying to fit her deceptions into the larger picture of the story they were involved in now.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Erich L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/23/2018 22:23:11

Murder in Skyway is a wonderful introduction to the City of Sharn in that it takes characters from all parts of the city, asks them why they were at a party in the uppermost district, and then tours them through the different strata on their quest to prove themselves innocent. There is plenty of opportunity here for those already familiar with Eberron to litter lore and flavour like confetti, and perhaps just enough written in to aid those who are running this as their first foray into Eberron.

My one concern with the module's structure is that the bonus experience points and scenes are written into the red herrings; clever and creative parties have more than enough opportunity to either skip those or to more incisively pick up the trail of the murderer without getting fooled by the sidequests. To lock advancement milestones in an adventure that tracks time behind red herrings is counter-intuitive design and fails to reward players for performing well.

Some notable things my party did to circumvent the issue:

  • The changeling took on the victim's face to gaslight sneeringly stoic Boromar gangsters into revealing their hand.
  • One of the characters had named a debt to the Boromar Clan as his reason for 200gp. To get information out of the head street enforcer, he willingly signed a (very good for the gangsters) deal with the Clan in exchange for information. Called in a House agent to notorise -- the roleplay was good and the Boromar became actively "helpful," so I replaced Bonus Object A's checkpoint with it.

The final scene has lots of opportunity for chaos and mayhem. My own party took down the Grin's lookout, thinking it was the Grin himself or that he was about to cast devastating magic (it was just Thaumaturgy to warn the Grin); the clockwork monster can be described to veterans of the Last War as a terrible meatgrinder weapon of the war -- and then be used to threaten civilians and a gaggle of school children in the same breath; the Grin can run into the stationary train and begin an iconic train-corridor chase scene in which booths and people all make excellent opportunities for bonus action Hides. Much can be done with the setting of that last scene, and it is a worthy climax with plenty to showcase about the world.

Excellent module. Looking forward to running and evaluating the rest.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Nathan B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/21/2018 23:07:18

Wonderful module with a really good story, very involving and interactive for the players but has a very brutal boss fight. Enjoyed being a dm for it very much.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Nicholas N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/14/2018 19:25:18

Great mod, are table had a great time with it and the time mechanic is really cool nd well used. I highly recommend this mod if your getting into eberron.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/13/2018 12:29:44

Overall, I like investigation-type adventures more than the hack and slash variety because they give an opportunity for characters that aren't min-maxed for combat to have their time in the spotlight. That said, they're also a lot more difficult to write, because you have to take into account the various investigative techniques of the characters, and so these modules generally require a lot of ad-libbing by the DM to cover for novel approaches that are not addressed in the module itself. For that, and other reasons, I found this to be a fairly middle-of-the-road module.

I think this module tries very hard to address my concerns above. They have the investigation broken out into multiple locations, and have multiple ways of getting to the locations. However, one of the bonus objectives basically assumes that the party is going to want to deliver a dead body to the offices of the dragonmarked house to which they belong... a body that, in all honesty, would be better kept by the watch and would be something that I think most characters (especially those already accused of murdering said person) would not want to be around. This bonus objective is also the only part of the module that has only one way to retrieve the information necessary to get to the next step, while others assume that you can run into the encounter in other areas, or gather the necessary information from two or three sources. I think that might be a good rule of thumb in the future... if there's essential information in the plot (whether to a bonus objective or the main objective) make sure more than one person, in more than one location, has that information.

The other gripe I had is about the final encounter. In it, there's a Bronze Scout which the players have no way of knowing about ahead of time (no clues that Yeq, the villain of the module, has such a thing, or that he keeps it locked in a locker in the train station, or anything like that). Bronze scouts are immune to non-magical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. Immune... not resistant. And this is a tier 1 module. Not many (indeed, since this is the first module in the series, not any) of the characters are going to have magic weapons at this point in their careers. Some of them, perhaps even most of them, probably have spells... except that it's also magically resistant. And last but not least, it has a (thankfully once per day) area-of-effect attack that can outright kill some level 2 characters. The guidance on the encounter says that it does not have that attack if a majority of the party is level 1, but honestly, it shouldn't have that attack unless a majority of the party is level 3... my party was level 2 with the exception of a single level 1, and the attack knocked 3 level 2's unconscious, killed the level 1 outright from full health, and left the remaining 3 characters on death's door. They did win eventually, but only because I was rolling single digit numbers for its attacks (and Yeq's attacks) for pretty much the rest of the fight. I enjoy having characters get knocked out but win close encounters anyway because it gives them a feeling of mortality, but I definitely don't enjoy killing characters... especially not full-health characters that haven't had a chance to act in combat yet. I'm pretty skeptical of the Bronze Scout's CR, but I think that if its immunity were reduced to resistance and it lost its lighting attack, that it would be tier appropriate. With immunity, however, it's absolutely not tier appropriate... I'm not even sure you can buy magical weapons in tier 1 using the season 8 treasure rules. So, head's up if you're running this... a downgrade is probably necessary if you don't want to wipe the party.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Ian F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/12/2018 10:13:04

I've added a star because I appreciate the revision, though on page 4 under the Objectives heading it still says "The goal of this scene is for the characters to gather basic information about information about the"

Could of used another proof read " gather basic information about information about the", " a criminal syndicate, watched the", "and claim the scroll tube", " Terminus station this today!", "The cause of dead is believed to be poison.".

Adventure seems fine. It's front loaded with investigation, Combat in the second half. There is an oppertunity to setup an ambush, or setoff on a chase. The flow chart is a nice idea but this and the "What's past is prologue" charts were to simple. I also expected to see a refrence to DDAL-ELW00.

The Appendix is very nice to have.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-ELW01 Murder in Skyway
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Designated D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/09/2018 23:35:16

An investigative adventure marred by poor editing and missed opportunities.

The premise of Murder in Skyway is a good one. The players are exposed to major thematic elements of Sharn and must race from the heights of the city to its lower depths. The clues are competently distributed and mesh together to provide a sensible picture of where to investigate next.

There are obvious flaws in the module, however. They're not showstopping in that a prepared DM may adjust and overcome them, but combined they drag the module down with their presence. Editing quality is the usual Adventurer's League fare - practically non-existant.

  • There's few spelling errors, but glaring grammatical errors such as "Bonus Objects" in the Appendix rather than "Bonus Objectives".
  • Box text was not included with any encounters, unnecessarily increasing prep-time. While I understand the stylistic choice to mirror official hardcovers, it is a bad choice for Adventurer's League modules. DMs often have less prep time for modules than hardcovers, and absolutely need more tools that expedite play.
  • An attempt was made to flow chart the adventure, but it does not include the inter-linking between the investigative scenes where it would be most useful.
  • Splitting the bonus objectives into an appendix article is awkward at best. If you're running on a tight schedule, you'll want to just pick the first scenes as the investigation chapter suggests, so why keep them at the back of the module?
  • It doesn't make much sense that we have a customized stat block for the main antagonist and their pet, but just a standard statblock for bonus A's antagonist.

Missed opportunities:

  • The final encounter section feels half-baked. Having the antagonist just hanging around in a corner if the party was quick is anticlimatic. Instead, this is a golden opportunity to lean into Eberron's Pulp Adventure nature. Let the antagonist quickly dash to board the train regardless of the party's timing, while his pet charges through the crowds to get to him. The party will want to split - half will need to keep the schoolchildren from being crushed by the antagonist's pet, the others pursue to get into a classic melee scene atop a moving train that's going across bridges and through tunnels.
  • Bonus objective A offers the party a bribe in gold pieces, which is ineffective under Adventurer's League rules. Offering consumables or discounted supply purchasing would be more effective.
  • Show, don't tell! The party's investigation takes them into a dangerous part of Sharn that only criminal elements, undead, and the insane live. While the party's weapons and rougher characters might repel pickpockets and unsavory elements as they head to Scene E, an encounter in Scene F would provide a great contrast. E might provide a 'bad feeling' as the local scum sizes them up, while in F the locals are crazy enough to attack them.
  • An NPC interrogation is included that obviously foreshadows other content in the series, but there's little explanation to the DM as how important this character's role may or may not be aside from the adventure's background section. What does their faction want? Who are they? The adventure provides a sidebar on House Orien, but nothing about bonus B's faction and why we should care.
  • No print-friendly version of the adventure.
  • The clues found in the initial investigation, or the subsequent scenes, would make for a good handout to keep the players' memory fresh. As part of my prep, I ended up sketching some quick art on a number of post-its, labelling each with 'Exhibit A: [Clue]'. In the game, the party was able to arrange them on the table and keep the clues in front of them, so they had a tacticle element to keep the clues from being forgotten.

Overall, it's not terrible, but it could have been amazing.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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