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DDAL-DRW01 Breaking Umberlee's Resolve $4.99
Average Rating:4.0 / 5
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DDAL-DRW01 Breaking Umberlee's Resolve
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2019 16:43:13

Ran the series for Adventurer's League, and I've also been a player earlier this year.

TL;DR - This primarily an Exploration/RP Pillar adventure - If you and/or your group like freeform and evocative roleplay with memorable npcs, and you like to take your time describing moods and locations, this is the mod for you.

What went well: This is a highly evocative mod that works well for a freeform dm - Quite a lot of flavorful descriptions and backstory to pull from, and two extremely memorable locations.
The first part of the module is set up, with light detail around a portside town, and then heading into the ocean on a freshly built ship. You get to participate in a ritual to christen the ship and name it, and of course things go horribly wrong.

The second half of the module is exploration on a corrupted island with a dr. moreau-like theme - something strange is going on and the trail end in the blood-soaked lair of a very unique villain.

What doesn't work as well: As noted from some of the other reviews, you'll need to take some creative license to ramp the difficulty of encounters if you have a highly optimized tier 2 party. The final battle can be over very quickly if players abuse initiative or nova builds, and I strongly advise running legendary resistance for common "game over" finishers like stun-lock, polymorph, banish, hold monster etc.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-DRW01 Breaking Umberlee's Resolve
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by lowell s. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/16/2019 13:05:20

Of the 3 DRW this was the best. The plot wasn't that bad. The first bonus mission really is just a coninuation of the main plot and the second bonus mission seemed like it was just added in and didn't add much to the main story



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-DRW01 Breaking Umberlee's Resolve
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Michał D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/21/2019 16:53:05

Ran the adventure as a Slot 0 with 3 DMs.

It is okay, although it leaves a lot for the DM to improvise in the means of worldbuilding. NPCs are well-summarized and interesting, the plotline is really cool although generic and allows for some interesting roleplaying opportunities in the first half, but the second half was deemed boring and railroad-ish by our group, one of our players also didn't enjoy the body horror elements in the adventure which I was building upon. He said it is boring and not scary for him, but the rest seemed to enjoy it somewhat.

Side objectives could feature more interesting non-combat encounters or traps instead of fights.

I think it's decent but requires some work on the DM's part. It's hard to pick it up and play as you go and expect it to go excellently well, at the same time it features cool atmosphere of seafaring in the first half.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-DRW01 Breaking Umberlee's Resolve
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Zac G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/06/2019 10:46:31

I had the opportunity to run this module several times at a recent convention. Each table had 6-7 players and was ran for 3.5-4 hours. With only minor modifications this module fit well into those slots and my players all had a great time. From my experience, this is one of the more straight-forward AL adventures you can hope to run since the start of Season 8. Your party should never be confused about what's going on or what they need to do next. The themes (pirates, dark experimentation) play out in a satisfying way, and this works very well as a 1-shot. My only true criticism is that it is too easy as written for APL 8+, large-sized parties. For the final encounter, I had to more than double the suggested list of creatures for the party to fight. Running it as is could be a 1-round, lackluster encounter for the average party. 4/5 stars, with the one star removed for lack of combat sophistication and strength.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-DRW01 Breaking Umberlee's Resolve
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by jeremy c. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/02/2019 12:00:24

This is a heavy Roleplay and Exploration module. I personally loved it, sailor superstitions and the whole man-vs-nature of nautical themed adventures are all present in the first half of the module, a theme I think deserves more attention. The second section of the module is a mysterious and definitely hostile island environment, and contains most of the encounters.

The module does not quite feel like a 4+2 hour module, but this is probably because the author is generous with the time assigned to pure roleplaying sections. Bonus Objective A, for example, is more or less purely a roleplaying section with no real mechanical impact, but it has a powerful effect on the tone of the module. The call to action, too, is overly detailed, perfect for a slow-paced party, and perhaps not quite meant for the adventurers league.

The main issue with this module is the encounters. Every encounter in this module is simply too easy for an average party. I maximized all the monsters' hit points and it was still too easy for an average party. I recommend adding in more monsters as there are major action economy issues, with three single-enemy encounters. (Granted, two of these encounters can summon, but taking turns off to do this means they're half dead before then). You're going to have to do some work to make the encounters challenging. The final boss needs to be in a room with mostly water but with some above-ground sections (elements of the room are described as being above-water), this is to make sure enough of the players' actions are spent dealing with the environment and the various abilities of the final enemy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-DRW01 Breaking Umberlee's Resolve
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Antoine R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/21/2019 23:45:56

Spoilers inside! DMed this for a party of 3 players. Very weak party

  • JC played Hattori, level 6 half orc samurai
  • Andrea played Nedeal, level 5 human assassin
  • Étienne played Steve, level 5 tortle shadow monk

This was a good introduction to this new trilogy and I'm stoked for the two other parts. The hook was great. I really liked the coastal city of Ayakar and how detailed it was. I would have liked some more things to do in the bazaar, maybe a small encounter there or some more social and roleplay stuff. I loved Mezhar as this mysterious quest giver, I hope he plays a role later on! There's a good amount of details and fluff and it really helps the immersion in the Sea of Fallen Stars area that we had yet to explore in AL (at least to my knowledge). The crew of the boat was detailed and interesting but some of the highly detailed things were just... details and weren't super important in the grand scheme of things.

The fights were interesting and it was fun to take the time to build a Lego boat just for the first fight. I liked the d20 thing you could do during the encounter but it could had been better integrated, maybe as Lair Actions on initiative 20. The fight with the Corpseflower was challenging, I only managed to play one turn with it since the monk kept stunning it but I almost killed a player when I did. Malady, the mongrelfolk tiefling could have a larger role than she did though, she's a cool NPC.

I liked the magma mephit encounter, unfortunately no players could claim as a familiar but this was well thought out and I liked the link with Mezhar as well. It was odd to find though, there's no real connection with the rest of the adventure except the elemental link through Mezhar.

The final fight, while created to be challenging, was way too hard for that group of characters and I had to downplay the very weak adjustments. The Morkoth is a great monster but its immunity to non magical damage meant that my players couldn't do anything to it. Season 8 rules for magical items are rough and no one had magic weapons... I made the monster resistant and I had to restrain myself a bit or else it would had been a TPK and not one I would have liked. The rogue decided to free Zehira so I gave her a +1 magic club (as mentionned in the encounter). I want to reDM the module with a larger party, this has the potential to be an incredible fight. The fighter was at 1 HP (after his half orc feature) and the monk at like 2-3 HPs so this was rough and I barely used any of his spells except a 4th level Lighting Bolt. The Darkness lair action plus his 3 attacks were enough. DEADLY fight for sure.

I would have liked a map for the final cavern, sure the description and the size are mentionned but it's always nice to have a quick physical support for when you DM on the fly or for the more visual players. Like the previous review says, there's no water and it's a mistake for a creature who dwells under water and has a swim speed.

While I personally like the Iron Bands of Billaro magic item, I think it's a really bad choice given the season 8 rules. I actually like to give items that the players would actually unlock and no one and I mean no one would unlock an item that can be destroyed on a DC 20 STR saving throw from a monster. It doesn't help to ease the frustration many players have with the s08 treasure rules.

I did 1 of the 2 bonus objectives and the adventure didn't take more than 5 hours but with 3 players, especially 3 veterans, it goes faster. 6 hours with the 2 bonus objectives seems like a reasonable length.

Cool adventure, stoked to DM it again and excited to run the two other modules from the trilogy. Some game mecanics that could have been tighter here and there but this was fun to run. To me, it seems that some details were rushed and I'm not too sure why. At times, it presents really cool things (Mezhar, Captain Lazlo and his crew etc) without really exploring them in a meaningful and totally rewarding way. Still, awesome adventure.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-DRW01 Breaking Umberlee's Resolve
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Eric B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/21/2019 23:36:15

The many strong and flavorful nautical adventure elements come together to produce a pretty good adventure overall.

However, it falls short in several ways that motivated rating it four stars out of five.

The narrative through line is a bit muddled. The characters are dropped into Ayakar and we are presented with a picturesque fishing town by the sea for them to explore. That is a peculiarly whimsical motive for a ragtag band of deadly adventurers to assemble. Assuming we get them engaged with the quaint shops of the bazaar, we immediately sink Mezhar's adventure hook in and cast them onto the waters to carry them away from the entire setting we just built up in their minds as there is no further development of people or locations in Ayakar. There is no obvious reason why a creature as high powered as Mezhar needs to hire anyone to do this. We lack any further information regarding the mystery behind his involvement, so once he sets the adventure hook we have to be prescient enough to yank him out of sight before the players notice there is a giant pile of unanswerable questions surrounding him.

The main storyline works fairly well once the hook is set, optional objective A flows naturally. Objective B is not well motivated. Its a little underpowered and the module doesn't provide any story award documentation for Mipik.

The sea encounter is pretty flimsy if optional objective A is not being pursued. The benefits accrued of bonding to the ship are good, but once you get them, you don't need them, because the story carries you off the ship you bonded to for the rest of the adventure.

The island and its creepy atmosphere are exceptional. A+ for that. Very evocative. This part is firing on all cylinders.

It would be nice to know exacly how stealthy the Corpse Flower is for the purposes of opposed checks. It would also be nice to have some encounter scaling guidance. I found two of them worked ok as a barely adequate fight at very strong.

The final fight has sufficient mechanics based on the monster itself, but the adventure fails to showcase it properly from a combat design perspective. The lair has no map. All we have to go on for the pinnacle encounter is three lines describing a very simple cave. There is no underwater component. Which is simply bizarre considering that the monster stat block itself indicates that its lair should be mostly underwater and Axar would be a far more dangerous foe if the party had to cope with him in his element.

None of these defects are that hard to workaround, but the extra work required of the DM is the difference between four and five stars.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-DRW01 Breaking Umberlee's Resolve
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Mark H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/18/2019 03:20:27

Excellent story and theme. There is ample opportunities for both roleplaying and combat with the final encounter being a creature that is unusual and interesting. The theme starts off feeling like high seas adventure but actually has horror elements to it that were quite enjoyable.

Organization was good and the monster stats covered all but one potential enemy type. This was because a monster had a summons that wasn't included. One encounter was a little vague on it's setup (an attack on the ship during a storm), it lists the main attackers in one section and then also mentions accompanying monsters but no tactics for both groups and how they work together. It also only lists the combat difficulty of the main group but there is no mention of the second groups adjustment. Even so you can piece together what to do during the encounter.

Overall I recommend it and you should have a solid adventure with only minor prep work (assuming you at least read it before running it).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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