An infiltration designed to titilate and raise curiosity - one of a few Adventure League titles that doesn't devolve into "hit with stick until complete."
I have to say, firstly, that it's been two years since I've bought and ran and Adventurer's League title. The only reason I broke down and purchased this one was the amazing potential there was having Ashley Warren involved in any capacity.
Not an average adventure. This piece is designed from the first mission statement to the end of the document to assure you that it is not your traditional A.L. affair. Most rely on exploration and combat, sometimes a hand-full of NPCs to keep pushing the adventurers along.
Where A Holy Visit shines is bucking that trend for an incursion into infiltration. To quote the adventure, it is "a heist for the most powerful weapon in war: information."
Clipped design. The thing I love about Ashley's work is her focus on small details to bring about inspiration for a scene. This adventure is not flooded with unrequired details on distances or manufacture, the "read aloud" text is kept to a minimum in all respects, but short blurbs on lighting in a dusty chamber full of rotted boxes and dried, forgotten mortar pales gives you exactly what you need to flesh out the location on your own, saving you valuable real estate in the document.
Easily Expandable. I look at these as a coloring book - how can I use this to create something new. The adventure structure is broken up into three parts, each break between parts feels like a break in an hour long television show, promoting that feeling of advancement.
At each of the breaks, it's easy to inject new NPCs, short quests, interesting scenes, or character moments into the developing adventure. I'm a bit verbose when it comes to running my personal games, but I believe I could get 2 or three full four-hour sessions out of this one module.
Tacked onto the adventure, for all you homebrew fans, is a well established and interesting tavern setting that's expounded on here in the adventure - including two side-quests that could be positioned before the party even begins the third leg of the quest.
Interrogation is tricky. someone has information you need in D&D? Chances are good they will be missing a few pieces if they don't talk immediately - if they aren't murdered first.
This is a warning for anyone who is sensitive to undue bodily harm.
If you do not enjoy the prospect of watching your PCs peel the fingernails off of someone begging for the pain to stop - I'd come into this adventure with a mind to alter it, slightly, to disallow said actions.
Solo Adventure: Good set-up, great execution, very weak pay-off. What is here is very solid - solid enough I'd enjoy running it. The goals are overstated in the beginning and middle to make sure the DM has a quick snippet to default to in times of need. The only weakness of this adventure is a disheartening lack of pay-off for the adventurer's efforts.
Without spoiling too much, the adventurers track down much needed information and uncover an incredibly cool plot in the works. Since the antagonist is deemed a necessity to another published adventure, there is an exceedingly minimal "showdown" to the final scene of the adventure, particularly if a band of NPCs aid the companions. This is no fault at all of the writing/author - it's deisgned to sell the next installment, and I believe it will ceratinly do that.
For Homebrew people, I suggest you find a mechanical monstrosity - a clockwork creature from MtoF, perhaps - and have it be a silent guardian to the final scene of this adventure to give your players something to sink their teeth into and warn of danger to come in the future instalments.
Overall: 5/5 I love the writing - so consice and consistent to be commendable. The layout is page-heavy but promotes a separation between legs of the adventure, which prevents pages from bleeding together into a hard-to-sort mess. I only read it and found myself very interested on what comes next, so overall - it does everything it set out to accomplish. Well done.