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DDAL-DRW02 Blood in the Water
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2019 22:43:59

TLDR: If you liked the set up, story and flavor provided in Breaking Umberlee's Resolve, then this mod extends the fun. My party (Con Players) definitely enjoyed it!

Note: My true rating is a 4/5 but I feel like I need to give a 5 for people dinging the author over Teleportation Circle and the combat balancing (really people?)

What went well: Much like the first module in this series, we are given an interesting location to explore and several very imaginative and evocative scenes dripping with flavor. There's two major plots to follow up on (Zehira's quest to find the Librarian, and the more pressing concern of solving a murder) and both have interesting conclusions, particularly the one w the Librarian. Forget Silverbeard, I want to see waaaay more stories involving the Hall of Living Memory!

What didn't go so well: I think there's some general consensus on potential - we've got all the ingredients for this excellent layer cake but it doesn't feel quite baked.

Side Plots and Module Construction - There's legit criticism from other reviews that running two current plots is rough on the players, and neither of them is truly resolved in this module. There's a lot riding on the DM to effectively "shaba shaba" the NPC motivations and move the plot forward, especially when it comes to reconciling the fairly xenophobic attitude of the natives with what the group of random bungling PC's are consistently stumbling into ( trespassing, a potential bombing, potentional desecration of two holy sites, and an outright murder)

Here's a city map, good luck - there's a lot an enterprising DM can do with the city map, or provide more depth with the information given, but Adventurer's League generally limits us to the written description, not the intent. I'm happy to do improv but there feels like there could have been better construction - nodal design, 3 clue rule, or fetch quests across the city with the given encounters to solve the mystery.

For example - the murdered character is relatively important, which meant that the natural step for a serious investigative team would be to make a list of suspects and interview them, establish alibis, get involved w local politics, hear the POV from a Sauhagin or Malenti settler or ambassador, etc. We get none of that. We get do get a guy who got promoted to help out a few weeks ago, but he has no actual details or case file on the murder itself (which made him a suspect in my groups eyes!)

If I were running this out of AL, I would literally cut out the call to action and the second chapter and just start in the city and really give this wierd city a chance to breath, and tie the visit to the Librarian into the first murder somehow.

Not a good nor bad: Mythal - I hate to bring it up, but Window to the Past kind of sets the bar on what Mythal is supposed to do (mainly affect/cancel/enhance various spell castings) and I have a feeling we're going to get some detail retroactively when the epic hits, that may be useful to refer to when you run adventures in Myth Drannor in general. Advice for now - make it up, and use it to balance encounters.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL-DRW02 Blood in the Water
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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
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CCC-UK-3 The Tainted Grove
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/17/2019 23:31:14

Yet another solid tale in the UK series. The village of Moonfern Ford fits in best with the previous adventures but could also be a stop in the middle of AL00-02 Lost Tales of Myth Drannor. Like the previous UK mods, it's combat design will challenge players looking for "hard" encounters, but it's also filled with fairie lore, interesting NPCs, Evocative locations, and solid suggestions for the GM.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-UK-3 The Tainted Grove
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CCC-GLIP-01-01 Glip Dak
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/31/2019 04:01:58

This mod is DOPE. Instant classic, especially if you've got a "monstrous' humanoid or a charlatan, crook or smuggler or just want to, you know roleplay absurdly for a few hours. Two hour mod but stretchable.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-GLIP-01-01 Glip Dak
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CCC-UK-2 The Wayward Wives
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/26/2018 22:13:19

Wow, this mod. This mod takes the "solve the mystery" premise and just knocks it out of the park.

Similar in style to the more well known Cloaks and Shadows or The Scroll Thief, something strange is going on and you'll need to talk to the inhabitants of a small fishing hamlet to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Unlike the two modules above, there are multiple story hooks to the adventure that you can cater to different characters, which gives the story some surprising twists and turns. Despite a relatively straightforward structure, you can explore the village in any number of ways, and what you learn in one place can change how the story unfolds somewhere else, or who your characters may sympathise with. The choices to be made here are layered, and it's unlikely that any particular group is going to "5-star" the content and finish every possible goal.

As time slowly runs out and the story concludes, the module caps this all off with a unique, evocative finale that will have your players on the edge of their seats.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-UK-2 The Wayward Wives
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CCC-BMG-05 CORE 2-2 Songs of Law & Chaos
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/19/2017 20:00:12

Mixed bag. Core 1-1 through 1-3, while linear, are all pretty well paced and they all end with a bang. Core 2-1 feels like a 5 in 1 intro module, but the scenarios and roleplay are varied and memorable. 2-2? This is not what I expected, and not in a good way.

The good stuff: The story award is cool (the Author is good at this) and the core premise is cool, and the structure of the mod is logistically sound

The bad stuff: Editing issues (listed as APL 1 AND APL 3, incorrect treasure listed, the sigil handout, a reference to a slope that that doesn't exist on the map) Extremely disappointing rewards relative to the high potential lethality of the mission (a party of level 1's have a very low chance to walk away from the final encounter) , wonky pacing, and, frankly, I expected more than the "investigate the mine, 3 fights" formula from Oubliette of Iron. The best hook of the entire story (" The Faithful") is wayyyy too easy to miss, and doesn't effect the outcome at all - there could have been some good RP and and mechanics built around this. The illusion maze, which is basicallly flavor as written in the module (it takes 4 hours). Huge missed opportunity here for a puzzle scenario.

I replaced Parabald with Trushee, because there's no reason the guy hunted by the Cyric followers and nearly assassinated by a shadow demon is gonna go back and try to infiltrate their ranks.

DM's, do something with the maze, make it mean something.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-05 CORE 2-2 Songs of Law & Chaos
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DDAL05-12 Bad Business in Parnast (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/04/2017 21:34:06

A well detailed whodunit, this module can be a straightforward roleplaying adventure. However, I strongly recommend putting in some prep, so that you know the various NPCs, their motivations, and alibis. The module really benefits from using 3 x 5 cards to indicate locations, characters, and clues (as well as red herrings). There are a lot of possible scenarios, but the clock is ticking, so if the players don't keep up with the villains, the final encounter can be a bit hairy.

I agree with an earlier poster that this might not be for less experienced dm's, since players may decide it's in their best interest to split up, and this is a perfectly legitimate way to run the scenario.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-12 Bad Business in Parnast (5e)
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DDAL05-06 Beneath the Fetid Chelimber (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/03/2017 22:00:50

This module tasks a group of adventurers to enter a swamp in order to find a sunken tower and plunder the riches within. The module is servicable, however having played through and run the module, not only is there weak execution of the core pillars (combat & exploration), the module commits the cardinal sin of not actually delivering on the concept provided on the tin - that is, exploring the sunken tower itself, which must be purchased and run as a separate module.

The group is given the task of beating a group of villians to the tower, however they are immediately removed from contention by an unrelated event. If the players are lucky, they will meet and befriend an NPC who will give them signposting to the next major encounter.

The middle of the module is a short series of skill checks with little consequence to the plot itself, and there is a huge opportunity missed here where the author could have inserted experiential encounters - things that set the tone, forecast the next encounter, introduced an NPC, or a puzzle situation. Instead, failures either increase the "in game" time taken to reach the goal, or worst case scenario, lead to a simple encounter featuring the same type of foes as the previous encounters.

What is more likely to happen if the appropriate skill checks are made is that the entire middle of the module will be resolved in three skill rolls, which brings us to the finale.

The third scenario is the most flexible, with a couple of different ways to get to the end goal. The length of the final encounter depends on the level of the party, and could be over extremely quickly - part of the issue again is not having a flexible palette of monsters to work with.

Frankly, it's not a module I would recommend, not only because it's a lukewarm experience for the players but it teaches prospective DM's the wrong lessons.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-06 Beneath the Fetid Chelimber (5e)
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DDAL05-10 Giant Diplomacy (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/03/2017 21:39:46

A well rounded module that has memorable NPCs, a smattering of combat, puzzles, a fantastic roleplaying scenario, and an open ended finale with multiple possible endings. DMs or players who enjoy the storytelling aspect of dungeons and dragons will find a lot of fodder to work with here.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-10 Giant Diplomacy (5e)
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DDIA05 Storm King's Thunder: A Great Upheaveal (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/03/2017 21:35:39

This is four separate encounters in one module, and happens to be first chapter to the Storm King's Thunder hardcover. As mentioned, it can be run fairly quickly, and can be useful for both players new to the game and the rules, as well as a fast way for players to level up Adventurer's League. Players who complete the series can either move on to the AL06 series or continue adventures in the hardcover.

Taken as a whole, there's both standard adventuring tropes as well as a very memorable final encounter. There are some issues with the first scenario being a little too open ended, and the second scenario is a bit complicated to manage. The third and fourth scenarios are solid however and serve as a great introduction to the Forgotten Realms setting.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDIA05 Storm King's Thunder: A Great Upheaveal (5e)
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DDAL06-02 The Redemption of Kelvan (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/03/2017 10:47:13

This a very specific flavor of module - the party will be asked to venture into a death trap style dungeon, and the vast majority of the work will be figuring out puzzles. While most of the puzzles can be solved through trial and error, there as at least one which requires pretty critical thinking to figure out, and some players may find the lack of other kinds of interaction to be boring. I've done this module twice, once with a group of mostly roguish types, and then ran it with a second group of lunkhead "smash first, think lat.... no, smash it again." types. Both groups had a lot of fun.

My suggestion if your working with a group that's a little less thinky would be to let one of the NPCs go along in an advisory capacity (or create your own) - that way if the players are stumped, the NPC could provide a breadcrumb or two for the players to work with.

I appreciate this style of module, I think AL needs this sort of adventure. There is one thing that keeps it from being a 5 star module... No guidance is offered if the party decides not to complete the final tasking, which is a completely reasonable thing to try and do. The ending leads into the epic, so the events of the first module are locked in.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL06-02 The Redemption of Kelvan (5e)
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