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CCC-GHC-BK1-07 The Peculiar Case of the Selptan Felines
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by GOH K. W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2019 23:02:04

Very fun and flavorful module.

It was quite amusing how my players got wary of the "mind controlling" cats and started chasing them away; this came back to haunt them later when there weren't enough cats willing to bond them anymore to go around. Only a few players got to leave with the cat miniatures I printed out of cardstock (so sad).

If anything falls short in this module, it would be that the two castles (the Bonus Objective castle and the "final boss" castle) were relatively empty of anything of note for their size. In addition, the Bonus Objective for the bandits seems to just be there to foreshadow future developments in the Border Kingdoms (with the Call to Action at the start being a somewhat ham-fisted attempt to get the players invested in said Objective). I would recommend combining the two castles together, with the boss having taken control of the bandits to do their own bidding and better defend their base. If some of the bandits (maybe the leader and/or the priestess) have managed to avoid said control, this also opens the possibility of them forming a grudging alliance with the players to take down the more obvious, mind controlling evil.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-GHC-BK1-07 The Peculiar Case of the Selptan Felines
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CCC-GHC-BK1-08 The Hunt for Cutter Jack
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by GOH K. W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2019 07:12:19

The "Call to Action" section at the start feels rather truncated; it feels like it could be merged into the next section ("The Brawl") with little impact to the module. Unlike with Into the Border Kingdoms, only the motivations of the client and the goons they're trying to arrest in the tavern are given in this section, and even then it's purely in the context of the module - everyone else in the Swollen Goat are pretty much background characters. This does (and might have been intended to) speed things into action quickly, which helps save time for the final section ("Subterranean Blues"), where we finally get to hunt down Cutter Jack. And you might very well need the extra time, if the players or DM lack experience.

The ruined keep that is Cutter Jack's base is a nasty place, especially with its new residents. It is entirely possible for things to degrade into a mass melee between the party, Cutter Jack's gang and the slavering pack of ghouls (who simply want to have everybody for dinner), which will drag things out (this is why we need the extra time).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-GHC-BK1-08 The Hunt for Cutter Jack
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CCC-GHC-BK1-01 Into the Border Kingdoms
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by GOH K. W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2019 02:31:59

This is a module intended for both new players and DMs, and it shows.

The module's flow is quite basic, but one shouldn't expect much variation in a module that you'd want to keep within two hours, and it isn't too hard to hide the rails. Enough detail is given for the characters to bring them (and Hawker's Cleaver) to life, without swamping the players (and DM) with too much information. Fittingly for a starter module, the villian is petty and venial, while still hinting at more sinister forces that might be using them for their purposes.

The enemies are simple and recognizable, with no confusing gimmicks^ that might bog down combat. The maps included with the module look gorgeous and are easily printable for quick use, while still being simple enough to be copied onto a reusable gaming mat if you wish to save paper. One thing that wasn't really worked out (and might have to be improvised) are lighting conditions for the last fight - the villian (and possibly the players) lacks darkvision, and this may change up their tactics if the encounter takes place at night.

Overall, a good way to ease your table into the Border Kingdoms.

^: Certain monsters refusing to die when they are killed aside. But those are always funny.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-GHC-BK1-01 Into the Border Kingdoms
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CCC-SFBAY-04-02 Under Earth & Stone
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by GOH K. W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/11/2018 11:45:29

A very flavorful CCC module, which (sadly) is gutted by the transition to Season 8 AL rules due to the loss of mundane treasure rewards. Run as-is, the players would have little incentive to explore the Duindelve complex (especially if there is time pressure), since most hints point towards the mines and mundane loot is no longer a thing.

My takeaways, and suggestions for DMs who wish to run this module [SPOILERS AHEAD]:

  • Don't be afraid to alter the map of the complex, especially if you have to stick to a 2 hour time limit in your FLGS and need to simplify things. Moving the mine entrance to "behind" the complex could be a quick (if lazy) way of getting the players to poke around a bit.

  • One possibility would be to have Ani Kuleimatt follow the party in search of her brother (and to act as Ms. Exposition). This could work for smaller groups or for parties where no one has any means of speaking or reading Dwarvish.

  • My players honestly thought there was some evil drow bard lurking around when I described the spidery "harp" music within the mines. An actual drow hunting party wising to (re-)claim the tame spiders for themselves is one way to spice things up...especially if they run afoul of the Duindelve's defenses.

  • Try to make the various "treasure" around the Duindelve useful in the context of the module. The gems in the dorm could be required for repairing the looms or (if you're going with the hunting party idea above) for potential bribes. And the stone tablet could hint at how to retrieve the Traveler's Heart safely (or perhaps the lantern could be used for that purpose...?).

A fun module, but it could do with a fair bit of prep work and tweaking beforehand (especially for AL tables).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-SFBAY-04-02 Under Earth & Stone
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DDAL05-05 A Dish Best Served Cold (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by GOH K. W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/09/2018 01:21:40

A great module to run, with a decent mix of combat, diplomacy and investigation (although throwing out diplomacy for more combat is possible [if dangerous] if your players are strong enough to handle it).

Much shenanigans were had at the river, especially since I chose to run the most...amorous encounter from the ones available.

Suggestion for people who plan to DM this module - try to give out the faction quest in secret (if you know your players will appreciate it). It's funnier that way.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-05 A Dish Best Served Cold (5e)
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DDAL05-04 In Dire Need (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by GOH K. W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/20/2018 10:08:09

Just finished running this module a couple of hours ago. The players were at first flabbergasted, and then delighted when they realized what was the "easiest" solution to get the dwarves and their cargo to safety. :D

If there's an issue I have with the module, it'd be that the open-endedness of the latter segment can bog things down for inexperienced DMs, especially if you have large numbers of players around. (Double especially if said players have summons.) The time constraints on the journey to the Birthright Stones makes that part snappy, but once the players actually get there, things can get confusing really fast. (And draggy. This 2 hour mod took us 3 and a half.)

That said, I find that this module does its job of portraying an epic rescue mission, and does it well. And "Tombstone Joyride" sounds like a kickass band name.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-04 In Dire Need (5e)
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