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DDAL08-11 Poisoned Words
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/11/2019 15:01:25

This adventure is well laid out, and it plays on the work already done in the Waterdeep book, continuing the adventure in Skullport. It, and it's companion adventures are much better laid out, and paced than previous entries, and 8-10/11/12 are a real return to excellent adventures for AL.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-11 Poisoned Words
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DDAL08-10 The Skull Square Murders
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/09/2019 18:08:11

This is a return to awesome for AL. An excellent choice in Skullport to run a series of games, and this is a great start. Well written, well layed out, and good magic item.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-10 The Skull Square Murders
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D&D Adventurers League Player & DM Pack
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/12/2018 14:03:30

For the most part, there is a great deal of good intentions in the S8 rules, and the kernel of some great ideas. The Simplifacation of Experience rules is actually a blessing, and once folks get used to the Fast/Slow options and format change, it should be fine.

The switch out to Treasure points for magic items, based on different tiers of magic items, and the requirement for unlocking is less elegant, and basically adds back in the complexity that was taken out due to experience points, and magnifies it a bit. However, in public play, being able to manage that effectively and on a broad scale is critical. With time, this will be fine.

My main concern with the Treasure Tables is that they reflect a Developers Idea for what items belong on what table, and the agenda of that developer. It does not relfect the playstyle of the players who use the game, and the desire to have AL reflect the developers playstyle is a poor choice.

Finally, the move to dramatically reduce gold by the use of automatic gold alotments on leveling is....well, frankly, Stalinesque. It smacks of Central State Planning, and at the same time takes folks out of the game. It commits the cardinal sin of breaking the fantasy of the game itself - "I will be well rewarded" and removes some of the cool, non-magical items one could get via the use of that gold, from the Dragon headed stick pin to the silver walking cane.

The real problem of the game was players being able to keep 500 points of healing in their portable hole- a move that was necessitated by Mod writers putting constant pressure to not have Short or Long Rests in a mod (Sense of Urgency, desire to waste resources) as an attempt to deal with the ever escalating power creep OP will introduce. So, while AL did remove many of the problematic items, it also simultaniously reduced gold, availablity of plate, and made trading of items based on Rarity and Table location.

Turns out, that level of dramatic change caused a great deal of discontent in Organized Play, and not just from the typical power gamer. Fewer changes, more gradual, over time, would have given them a similar result, and frankly a chance to not commit the "Sin against Gold" which has been the biggest problem with the S8 rules.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
D&D Adventurers League Player & DM Pack
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CCC-SFBAY-04-03 The Ashen Scar
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/28/2018 19:10:15

One of the best features of William and Iam's adventures is the amount of detail and craft which goes into the work.

Premiering at Kubla Con, The Ashen Scar continues that tradition. Each of the players can make real contributions to the success of the mission, and it gives plenty of chances for folks to shine and innovate.

This is a great mod to run, and play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-SFBAY-04-03 The Ashen Scar
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DDEX1-02 Secrets of Sokol Keep (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/26/2018 19:11:40

My players enjoy this mod. It sets a creepy tone, and gets folks directly into some of the history of Phlan. I find that it gets a better reaction when running it as part of an overall campaign set in Phlan, than as a one off.

The main challenge I have found comes at the end, as most folks are underwealmed by the end reward. Yes, players are motivated by loot...who knew? (ahem.)

I would suggest an update to the mod which allows for additional story based rewards impacting the actual narative (showing how your actions in this mod impact every other Phlan mod.) - the potential is there for the lamplighters....



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-02 Secrets of Sokol Keep (5e)
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DDEX2-11 Oubliette of Fort Iron (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/26/2018 19:04:28

I have played this mod many times and run it many times as a DM. I enjoy it for the texture of the story, and the innovative challenges it gives players, and let's the DM have a fun playland...from the bottom to the top (ahem.)

There are clever ways to defeat the obsticals, the end combat can be challenging without being overwealming and it gives folks lots to talk about.

Recomended buy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-11 Oubliette of Fort Iron (5e)
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DDAL07-18 Turn Back the Endless Night
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/26/2018 18:58:02

This is overall a solid mod, presented in a logical fashion, with plenty of interesting challenges.

Yes, you should buy this mod.

That being said, I have two major problems with this mod and a few minor ones.

1) The possiblity of poor DMing, or angry DMing could wipe out your character and perma ban them from AL play. -- I honestly do not believe this should be a general, or open option. There are some great DMs in AL, and some really stinky ones....and I would hate to play this with one of the stinky ones.

2) There is an option inside the mod where ASI's and magic items can be perma removed from characters- while the average player could figure their way out of it in the end, I do not think this should have been included in a mod designed for public play. It can expedite bullying and aggressive behavior on the part of the players and should be dramatically modified by DM fiat when ran.

Minor issues. - The 3rd level spell Tongues does not grant, anywhere in it's description, someone polymorphed the ability to use their spells.

4th level polymorph does not allow folks to still use their spells. It does lower the persons IQ to the creature Int however, so even if it did, the DR would drop dramtatically.

There are several other poor rules interpretations justified in the mod which just bug me. I tend to favor "Be exact, or be magical"- the DM can do what they like, but do not try to make exact excuses/reasons to every single challenge the DM is going to present- it won't work. - It is best to do that when you want players to have a chance to up-end the magic, and if the reasons are not then exact, it will cause them to yell foul.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-18 Turn Back the Endless Night
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DDAL07-16 Pools of Cerulean
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/12/2018 13:38:15

Each of the four mods deals with the rather plastic conciete that someone is contacting Tier 4 players in their dreams, and having them act as an improptu murder squad. About 100 Hollywood movies do this already, as a sub genre of the mysterious mission quest, so the trope is familar.

You are then sent on a very liner walk through the jungles of Chult (so, about the 16th time that has been done this season), set up a challenge based on the armor folks are wearing (or exhaustion...perhaps the players least favorite game mechanic which AL uses to distraction), when most of these characters can either fly, teleport, windwalk, or bring their own atmospheric conditions around with them. - Naturally...not all can...but tier 4 needs to dispense with most minor challenges and spark something else in the hero(es).

For example, add in guides, or companions who are having a hard time, and have the heroes use their resouces on them. As for the "yet another walk though the jungle"- couldn't have this one been set in Port N? A danger because of proximity? High end politics with the Merchant Princes?

In any case, the mod itself is clear, and has some innovative concepts with the monsters it uses. At their listed strength, they are more tier 3 than 4, but that is fine in the case of filler. I think many of the druids/priests in parties are going to want to have a challenge to "clean" the corruption from some of the beasts, so not having that as an option not only excluded resources spent by the party, but it also stopped what could have been an emotional part of the story- and even a thank you from the nativie species of Chult.

The boss fight is underwhelming. It is designed with a tier 2 powerset in mind, and almost always results in the quick destruction of the enemy. I have run, played in, or observed multiple runs of this mod, and it rarely goes beyond two rounds. For an advanced Tier 4 party, I would recommend that the Archmage simply surrender, or ask the party for help with the shard. The off chance that the Death Knight might lop the head off of someone is amusing, but simply having everyone Death Warded stops that from being any real risk.

The Magic Item is great. The adventure is not hard to run. Yes, you should buy this mod...but add plenty of your own spice to it.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-16 Pools of Cerulean
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DDAL07-15 Streams of Crimson
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/05/2018 17:43:44

An extremely fun and well thought out module. Our group has many tier 4's and we were able to play this with several very distinct resolutions (From running away to a full out fight and options in between.)

The magic item is well thought out, has great flavor and is imersive/interesting for those who enjoy a bit of extra-plane rivalry.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-15 Streams of Crimson
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Shiny Bits Vol. 1: The General's General Store (FG)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2018 12:42:36

Great layout for a classical fantasy-general store, with an interesting side adventure. Really enjoyed the maps and the pace of the entire thing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shiny Bits Vol. 1: The General's General Store (FG)
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DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/06/2018 16:56:24

While I agree with some of the editing problems that others have pointed out, I actually enjoyed this mod, and made sure that my players did as well.

The concept of buying a varition of an item from the PHB was actually a bonus for AL play, as these kinds of items tend to be more restrictive. It was great for folks with Spy, Criminal or smuggler backgrounds, and it gave them a chance to shine in play.

I do think folks should buy the mod, but take time to add your own touches to it to fill in anything you feel is weak. (as you should do with any mod, actually).



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
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DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/06/2018 16:51:21

There are some good guidelines here for races and differrent types of Dinos. I would suggest that the DM take 10 to 15 min to revise their conditions for victory so the players can raise in confidence as they play, and at the same time, allow for creative thought and RP to lower the skill checks needed.

Remembering that the players are heroes is critical whilst running this mod.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
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DDAL00-04 Winter's Flame (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/06/2018 16:47:41

Solid Adventure, with a carnival setting. Good for any holiday, and not particularly overpowered.

A very good way to introduce some newer players to game concepts.

I am less enthusiastic about the common magic items as rewards for a mod as I find them particularly underwhelming for the most part. I think it is true to the Realms that they would exist, but it would seem that it would be better to let each fo the players who finish this choose from a list of them, than the specific ones offered.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-04 Winter's Flame (5e)
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DDAL07-09 Unusual Opposition (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/06/2018 16:39:32

I liked this mod quite a bit. There are quite a few good places for roleplay, and interesting characters.

The main difficulty I have with this mod is not the authors fault, but frankly the mod suffers from a hang up of AL rules.

You have the opportunity to sacrifice something of great value to get an object that you MUST have to advance the mission.

A creative DM may allow a lovely but low value in gp item to be sacrificed, and that is well and good, however as DMs are of various skill levels, there are some who are less flexible, and want their players to sacrifice magic items.

Sadly in AL as it is currently adjudicated (March 2018) that is a real detrement to a player- Not only do they lose the power of the item to advance the story, they also do not have this item removed from their magic item count- or face a scaring that they do not know is limited in duration.

In the name of fairness to players, I can't endorse this kind of exchange. Not all players will mind.

As a DM, I have players offer items and explain their value based on past adventures, and what the item means to them. The item must be attractive- but it could be as simple as a gem that the character has kept since first level.

Further, making the Zhentarim ask for another potion, and making that dependent for the completion of a secret mission with the same requirement is also of questionable value. I typically require that the Zhents drink the actual potion they are after, and role play the "Near-LSD" experience it gives.

I recommend this mission with a "Buy!"



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-09 Unusual Opposition (5e)
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DDAL07-10 Fire, Ash, and Ruin (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/06/2018 16:25:27

Not every adventure needs to be a huge challenge to every single party. Sometimes, the job of the adventure is to serve to advance the story, and it may be that the players kick it's butt. As D&D is not about players vs. DM in some kind of odd wargame. It's an RPG- a roleplaying game, not rocket propelled grenade.

This mission is thematic. It features interesting villains. It has a cool layout. Generally, the average party is going to kick the crap out of it, so my advice to DMs is to add to the RP parts of the adventure.

You get a chance to make an ally out of a known villain-and a dragon at that. At the end of the adventure, you are faced with a choice of great sadness, as it is shown that this dragon's wyrmling has been slain and eaten. My advice to the author would be to put in a story reward for parties equiped to raise that young dragon from the dead, who do so, and then gain a long term ally and peace for part of Chult.

Not every party will do so (as alignment is more important to some than others) but adding politics, and a feeling of a campaign would add wonders to not just this mod...but all AL mods.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-10 Fire, Ash, and Ruin (5e)
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