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DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e) $4.99
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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DDAL00-05 Winter\'s Splendor (5e)
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DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Tim L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/13/2019 23:49:22

Ran this for a group of n00bs (2nd ever AL game, 1st was DDAL00-04) and they had fun with it. None of them being Bard/caster types didn't help any. Bonus A turned out to be more Roll-play than roleplay (because of un-balanced party build). Bonus B required some hand-holding (because they're n00bs), as did the leap from Part 2 to Part 3 (i.e. why would we do this?). I may end up running DH for this group, so if we go with Summer this mod is a nice intro to the larger campaign (and a much better one than DDAL8-00)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Eric J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/17/2019 12:32:53

This a very fun adventure. My home group wanted to go to a ball in Waterdeep and participate in Waterdeep "high society". This was a fun way to introduce the Cassalanters to my party (and provided a nice reason for the Cassalanters to loan my PCs some funds to finish fixing up Trollskull Manor). I highly suggest it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Sean R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/15/2019 23:46:32

Winter's Splendor is a fun little module for the holiday season that has the advantage and disadvantage of being a holiday module and therefore feeling a bit out of place at any other time. However, it is a fun module and one with a few really standout moments, but also some issues that are a bit more difficult and perplexing to deal with.

First, let's talk about the good stuff. The setup has a wonderful mix of playful and sinister that works well together and the 'little child tricked by the devil' plot line is a classic story trope that players can easily lean into. It has great synergy with one season of Dragon Heist, really allowing you to get the players emotionally invested in some highly important NPCs, enough so that I'd be tempted to somehow integrate it into a play through of any Dragon Heist run I did with that season.

The tone here is great. Everything is a mix of creepy and cute, exemplified by the image of an imp in a Nutcracker outfit. Better yet, it builds well. The opening scene is pure holiday cheer. The performance is lovely until it isn't. The children's room is a scene of cuteness mixed with horrifying wrongness. (You can really do a lot with the imps going invisible here; have them manipulate toys and play it like a horror movie.) And then the graveyard scene is pure horror film aesthetic with no holiday spirit at all. Everything is placed well.

Bonus objective 1 is mostly a positive as well. It's a really fun, inventive scenario and certainly original. There is a drawback as well, though, which I'll get to later.

Finally, the puzzles are mostly very clear and well designed.

However, there are enough drawbacks here to cost it a star.

First, while not a huge deal, the first bonus objective is very dependent on a confident and performative DM. Are you prepared to sing at the table? Because while it's great, it only really comes alive if someone is prepared to sing. It can be a player or a DM, but it's really something you want to have happen, and not every table will have that. Bonus objective 2 doesn't have this problem but also feels very much like just a sequence of ability checks.

More of a problem is the ending. The shift to the location for the finale is somewhat poorly telegraphed and can easily slip by a party, requiring a fair amount of nudging from the DM. (Two groups I ran this for both came to the same wrong conclusion of where to go.) And the item required in the ending puzzle isn't in the adventure anywhere, meaning the DM needs to improvise a solution at the end. There's a few ways this could be done (make it easier by creating a quick location to purchase it, or make it hard by forcing the players into multiple fights as the time stretches on) with neither being wrong but both being sub-optimal.

Overall, I really like this module, but can't deny the ending lets it down a lot.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Erick R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/05/2019 00:55:38

Great adventure. my people had tons of fun and i did too dming it



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Michaela F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/30/2018 20:29:12

This was my first time DMing, and this was my first module ever! It was well-written and the information flowed very nicely to where even me, a first-timer, had no trouble finding what I needed. It ran a little shorter time-wise than I would have liked, but my players kept rolling 18s and 20s on their perception/insight/invesigation checks, so I suppose that's just luck of the dice.

My only major fault with this module is that the provided map is not labeled. They tell you instead to refer to W:DH, which has been sold out in my store for a while. I had to borrow another DM's copy to quickly scribble the rooms down before my session.

The combat is very, very easy and light. I had a party of 7 with an APL of 2, but with two level 4 paladins, I made the decision to up it to a "hard" encounter instead of the reccommended average. They still got through the battle in one round, taking no damage. This adventure was obviously meant to be more social/investigative in nature, so that's not a major fault for me.

I went out to the dollar store to pick up some props for creating the summoning circle, which was a hit for my players. They enjoyed being able to assemble the circle as their characters would. Because of the shortened time, I offered them Aria's extra objective at the end as she was thanking the characters. Most of the table got very into trying to finish the song, especially when you dangle that extra treasure checkpoint over their heads.

All in all, easy-to-run, quick, and spirited holiday module that a DM with more experience than me could probably run without any preparation.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Matt D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/27/2018 16:25:28

I ran this short little 2 hour adventure as a flashback during my Dragon Heist campaign. I wanted to give it an even deeper holiday feel so I changed the final boss to Krampus. Everyone of my players loved the variety in this adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by David E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/23/2018 12:16:00

I highly recommend this adventure. It is a great holiday themed module with a dark twist. It is mostly social with some puzzles and a smattering of combat.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jay A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/19/2018 20:28:31

This is a well done, well crafted adventure. The NPCs worked well, the story flowed to the PCs well and the pacing appropriate. If I had any issues, the combats are just a little too easy at the end (4 person APL 3 table handled the unadjusted scaling with ease) and it was weird that the captain would be so quick to employ the adventurers as investigators given the situation (I made up an additional plot point that the party hosts distrusted the captain, so it would be better to have neutral investigators). Otherwise, great!

Many of the NPCs in this adventure are only introduced in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, so your group may connect with the NPCs better if they played (or are playing) that hardcover adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/18/2018 11:49:46

I played this module as an introduction to our Dragon Heist campaign and it fits wonderfully if you are going to run Dragon Heist! Whether you are going to have the setting placed in winter or if you are having your campaign focus on the Cassalanters, this module gave my players a great taste of what is to come and how to get a feel for the City of Splendors. My players were set a lvl 1 and there were a few spots in the module that were a challenge, but with enough creativity they got through the challenges. There are two side quest in this module that are a lot of fun! I highly recommend having your players really explore these side objectives.

At the end of this module is a guide to see what difficulty you should set the final fight at based on the level of your players. I started the fight at the lowest setting, but quickly had to pump up the final boss because even though my players were low leveled, they brought their A game and were going to demolish it. So I recommend maybe starting a difficulty higher depending on the build of your party (and their initiative)!

This is yet another fantastic piece by Ashley Warren and Co.

Keep up the great work, Ash!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Alex M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/16/2018 22:44:10

This adventure comes highly recommended to your D&D holiday party. It is well themed and adjustable with good roleplaying notes.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Red P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/14/2018 12:05:05
Overall:

I highly recommend this adventure. Absolutely loved the story and I didn't have any problems with story flow/game mechanics.

My Background:
  • I am a relatively new player & DM who started playing AL at the tail end of Season 6 and started DMing at the start of Season 7.
  • I DM and play almost exclusively on Roll20/FG so most of my views are based on those experiences.
  • I stream the games on Twitch for the Extra Life charity (http://extra-life.org/participant/red), so I spend a lot of time prepping my modules.
  • I use Discord to communicate via voice
What I liked:
  • So many fun NPCs that the DM can choose to flesh out and incorporate in future games/sessions/modules/adventures!
  • I loved the chance to interact with the Cassalanters in this setting so that players can get to know the family a bit and begin to develop their own ideas about them.
  • While there are puzzles which may stump players, there is guidance within the module to empower the DM to help them figure out the Why/How/Wheres of it all.
  • Even though I spent a lot of time roleplaying our group manage to run this within the specified time limit. Other DMs will easily be able to make this a shorter run.
  • The player rewards are very cool! I wish I would have gotten to play this with my main Season 8 character!
Things I'm not so sure about:
  • There are a few things where the module says something along the lines of, "Refer to Waterdeep: Dragon Heist for more info."
  • Why the "dousing touch" is bolded? I don't notice anything mentioned to explain it.
  • Could the Song the characters get be put under a Story Award instead of Magic Item? I think that might clarify some confusion people have
How I think the situations can be mitigated:
  • Regarding the module referencing WDH, I don't think it negatively impacts the gameplay too much but DMs might just need to stretch their own creativity.
  • I kind of just figured another entity like Orcus (not mentioned in the text, I made this bit up) is meddling.
Potential problems with mitigation actions:
  • It might require that the DM read this module ahead of time to help smooth out these bits in case players ask questions. Our friendly "Winger" DMs might not have that opportunity to figure out due to time constraints.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Mark D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/09/2018 21:07:33

A lot of fun, and a really enjoyable holiday-themed Tier 1 adventure!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jonathan E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/08/2018 15:48:37

A good adventure tha suffers from the new style of layout. Ran all the objectives including bonuses in 2.5 hours.

I really like the premise of this adventure and the content in general. What's stopping me from giving it five stars is the way the information has been organised within the text. I have to jump between page and page as I try to link all the details of the investigation together for the players. This leads to a lot of confusion. For example when the players get ahold of the page of the story they're going to want to immediately go to the City of the Dead without any of the things they might need to deal with the altar.

This could lead to a lot of back and forth with the players getting frustrated at the situation.

Also a general thing with these adventures - Please put the bonus content in the main text rather than the appendix, there's no need to leave it to the end of the document.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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