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.