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Acererak's Guide to Lichdom
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/07/2019 13:23:08

I was excited to download Acererak's Guide to Lichdom, and it did not disappoint. Liches are great villains, but Monster Manual alone cannot prepare a DM to turn the plain ol' lich into an evil mastermind that can challenge your adventuring party. The additions from this guide are the crucial missing ingredient. My favorite part of the guide is Chapter 3 "Liches as Big Villains." You'll enjoy these creative takes on the lich archtype.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Acererak's Guide to Lichdom
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DDAL00-11 Pipyap's Guide to All of the Nine Hells
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/07/2019 13:08:03

I really, really, really enjoyed Pipyap's Guide to All of the Nine Hells. Kudos to AL team that put this amazing, robust document together. The information is helpful and easy to process. The adventures look like a ton of fun. (I'm planning to DM a few of them.) And the guidance on creating your own CCC adventures in the Nine Hells is HUGE for Adventurers League. This guide is one of the best things I've downloaded from DMsGuild. It's been a joy to read through.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-11 Pipyap's Guide to All of the Nine Hells
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CCC-MMT 02-01: The Stuff of Memories
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/07/2019 12:11:11

Sean Carpentier and Chris "Waffles" Wathen have written one of my favorite tier 2 adventures! It's set in the southern Moonsea region in the mysterious, quiet community of Elua's Lighthouse. It has a great opening scene and presents a fascinating puzzle to be solved without it feeling forced. (Sometimes, in D&D, puzzles get tossed around without being connected to the story in a meaningful way.) The authors do a good job of presenting the information in a way that will be easy for DMs to follow and run with.

The confrontation in episode 3 will have your players on the edge of their seat. Challenging, but not impossible.

The folks at Monkey Mind Tales are producing more "Lighthouse" adventures. They will all connect and intertwine, so DMs can run them together as an AL legal mini-campaign. I'm excited to see what's next!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-MMT 02-01: The Stuff of Memories
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CCC-MMT 01-01: Secrets of Imaginary Friends
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/07/2019 11:52:53

If you're looking for a great tier 1 AL legal adventure for your convention, game store, or home game... this is it! Curtis Glenn tells a fascinating story based in the southern region of the Moonsea (Elua's Lighthouse). He does a masterful job setting the scene of a quiet, mysterious town—episode 2 introduces you to some of the key locations and NPCs. I also like how appendix 1 "Locations & NPCs" features original illustrations of each NPC. A lot of hard work went into this module and it shows. Well worth downloading and enjoying!

Perhaps my favorite thing about this adventure is how it feels challenging without overwhelming a low-level party. It balances pillars of play in a way that feels natural. It's a good introduction to D&D and tabletop RPGs. Combine this with the other Lighthouse adventures that are coming out, and you have a nice mini-campaign!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-MMT 01-01: Secrets of Imaginary Friends
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DDAL08-02 Beneath the City of the Dead
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/20/2019 15:50:22

Currently, I'm running some neighborhood kids (ages 14 and under) through the tier one Waterdeep adventures. We started with Once in Waterdeep and have worked our way through Dock Ward Double Cross. Only one of the kids (my daughter) has played D&D before. I was very happy with Beneath the City of the Dead. This was the adventure where they really "got it." It can be tricky to find that perfect adventure that introduces the tabletop RPG concept to a new player. But sometimes? A tiny dungeon crawl is exactly what is needed. This is a dungeon that can be easily run in two hours. The encounters and traps were interesting enough that the players were enthusiastic about the whole process. The encounters were well balanced. It won't destroy a tier one party, with or without a short rest. The decision making was easy enough that they weren't staring at me dumbfounded. ("Do you want to go during the day or wait until night?") That was sufficient to get them talking and figuring out what was best to do.

This adventure doesn't really work without also playing 08-03 soon after. It ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. However, the two adventures fit together nicely. I'll admit DDAL08-00 and DDAL08-01 don't feel as essential. If you have to choose, I'd just start with this one. And it saves time because the end of 02 is essentially the call to adventure for 03.

One of my players had lost a grandparent the day before, so I reworked it as Beneath the "City Garden," instead of it being a cemetery. I ran it as if it were more akin to Central Park—which worked fine. If you have young players who are sensitive to death, to me, this was an easy switch.

It was an easy adventure to run (always a plus for a busy DM). I was able to sufficiently prep in only 30 minutes. The players had a good time with it. What's not to love?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-02 Beneath the City of the Dead
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Left Black and Blue: A Red War Story
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/03/2019 09:57:23

Left Black and Blue is an absolutely wonderful addition to the Red War series of CCC adventures. Plus, the money goes to an amazing cause (JaspersGameDay.com), and it was written by an up-and-coming star in the D&D community, Fenway Jones!

Things I really like about this adventure:

  1. Easy to follow and prepare as a DM (ideal for a convention).
  2. A nice callback to the Elemental Evil season.
  3. Wonderfully distinct from the other Red War adventures.
  4. Challenging for tier 3 play. Exciting combat encounters!
  5. And if I must be honest... the magic item is definitely something that certain characters will want.

For convention organizers, the Red War epic—in addition to these exciting Red War modules (some tier 1 content is coming in 2019), all avaliable on DMsGuild— makes for a wonderfully thematic D&D gaming weekend. I know that Left Black and Blue will be a memorable adventure for your higher tier players.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Left Black and Blue: A Red War Story
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DDAL08-01 The Map with No Names
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/28/2018 22:52:56

I've been running these Waterdeep tier 1 adventurers for some kids in the neighborhood and my daughter (all under 14 years old). It's been interesting. With the exception of my daughter—who has been raised on this stuff by the virtue of having me for her father—this is everyone's first experience with D&D and AL. I'm running the adventure, explaining to them all the things their characters can do, explaining the basics of the game, and specifics of AL play. I'm thankful for these two hour games, because (a) it takes an hour just to get started, and (b) the younger kids get restless. At the same time, DDAL08-00 and DDAL08-01 haven't been the easiest "first experience" modules. There's A LOT going on.

They are REALLY excited about the idea of a massive treasure somewhere in Waterdeep that is there for the taking. I'm cringing though because they are still confused about how gold/treasure is handled with the new seaons 8 rules, which makes this massive treasure unlikely. ("Why do I get 75 gp when I level up? Where did I find this gold? Do I also get the gold pieces I found earlier in the adventure?" "So, we found a wand of secrets. But I can't use it because I don't have enough treasure points? Why can't I use it?") They totally get the immersion of D&D, and this conflicted with it.

However, once we got past all that, the adventure itself was fun for them. The puzzle was sufficiently solvable for younger kids. I had a map of Waterdeep, and they enjoyed asking about the different parts of the city. (It's a good idea for DMs to do some research on the city beforehand. I'd recommend reading Volo's Waterdeep Enchiridion, also available on DMsGuild. You'll especially want to know a bit more about the Walking Statues because these players are curious, and we can't BS everything on the fly!) The adventure itself was incredibly easy to prepare. Thank you! I read through it once, and I had a good enough understanding to run it without being confused. Always a plus for me. I didn't mind the new format.

The Code Legal was a bit of a challenge for some of my players who just wanted to turn D&D into "Grand Theft Auto."

They were a bit disappointed that the adventure seemed to end abruptly. Without spoiling anything, the adventure ends before the map does. I explained to them that we'll continue next time, but it wasn't a very satisfying stopping point for them. I guess it's a good problem to have? I think we need a bit more of a teaser.

All in all, it was an entertaining treasure hunt sans the treasure. Each player had a moment to shine, which is what every DM wants from an adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-01 The Map with No Names
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DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/15/2018 13:20:21

DDAL08-00 "Once in Waterdeep" is a difficult module to review. No doubt most of the reviews will come down to a matter of preference on some of the more peculiar elements (i.e., the players creating a villain, person of interest, and a challenge, the random roll of a MacGuffin, the three opinions for the role of the person of interest, and most importanly, the three opinions for the type of villain). I have to give kudos to the author for trying something truly unique—and I hope the mixed reactions doesn't discourage AL writers from future attempts. I like the idea of a module where the players can contribute ideas that get used in the story. I DM'd a group of kids (all 14 and younger), and they created some truly disturbing villains, which we voted on. (The winner: Our mastermind villain was an orange-skinned mime who pantomimed people's worst fears.)

However, these elements needed to be reigned in... a lot. The "challenge" idea ended up being completely abandoned, and didn't do much except get in the way of the roleplaying we were already doing. I had spent a lot of time preparing the adventure, and I still got lost flipping through to see which parts were relevant to our path and which ones weren't. The MacGuffins were interesting as discrete objects, but some of these objects begged questions without an easy answer—most importantly: WHY again does the villain want it (specifically) and who sent whom where to get it? You'd think this information would be obvious, but we got tripped up.

For a first adventure, it was a lot to disgest. Add into the mix a turf war between the Xanathar Guild and the Zhentarim, and also several factions showing up—all wanting different things (veteran AL players know what the factions are, but every tier 1 adventure could be someone's FIRST adventure), mention of the dragon vault, don't forget the stray cat, all in a crowded tavern with several other NPCs and NPC performers walking around—a first-time player is gonna shut down.

I appreciate the ambitions of this adventure. But I feel like some of these ideas could have been spread out of a few modules. Maybe this one is just "creat a villain and an interesting character;" the next adventure can be "decide which type of villain it is, which impacts how the game is played;" and the one after that is "randomly roll for the MacGuffin?" (Also, a MacGuffin is a term familiar to writers and storytellers. It may not be familiar to DMs and players.)

I applaud the originality. But this bite is a lot to swallow for a tier 1 player... especially if this is their introduction to AL or D&D.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
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CCC-OCC-01 Red War: Housekeeping
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/12/2018 09:59:32

Garrett Colón is a gifted writer and designer. Red War: Housekeeping really showcases his talents. In this module, he presents a unique adventure, which DMs will find easy to understand, prepare, and run (always important) and adventurers will find to be thoroughly engaging. I especially love some of these monsters, which I haven't normally encountered in an AL adventure. One of my favorite parts was the bonus objective, The Quiet Thayan, and the roleplaying potential there. Housekeeping fits perfectly in the Red War AL storyline, and gives a good prelude for the madness to follow. I highly recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-OCC-01 Red War: Housekeeping
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CCC-ST2-1 Red War: Embassy of Evil
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/12/2018 09:26:09

K. Jasmine Vernon has written an amazing adventure with Red War: Embassy of Evil. It works well as a standalone module or as part of the Red War storyline—or even in connection to some other exciting storylines in the AL continuity (but I don't want to spoil anything). For people who geek about about Forgotten Realms' lore, this will be especially statisfying. It's a challenging adventure for tier 2 with great NPC characters, great encounters, and great puzzles. It also has one of my favorite story awards. I highly recommend this one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-ST2-1 Red War: Embassy of Evil
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CCC-GEL-01 Bedlam at the Benefit
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/28/2018 22:51:23

I REALLY love "Bedlam at the Benefit." It's an incredibly fun module that dives into all aspects of the roleplaying experience, especially the social interaction. The author found a clever way to make those interactions entertaining while leveraging meaningful skill checks and clever game mechanics. It's easy for DMs to run and your players will be talking about this one for awhile.

For AL players interested in the "Red War" storyline, CCC-GEL-01 (loosely) ties into/mentions the events and related developments in the Moonsea region. Yes, there's an easter egg for people paying attention.

This adventure is perfect for any group running an Extra Life charity event, since the adventure itself is supporting a childrens' hospital. Plus, all proceeds from the sale of this adventure will also be donated to the Extra Life charity.

Full disclosure: I helped edit this module. You have to respect the care that Waffles (Chris Wathen) put into this adventure. He made sure it was well tested and peer evaluated with additional feedback. All AL content should aspire to this level of excellence.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-GEL-01 Bedlam at the Benefit
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DDAL05-19 Eye of Xxiphu (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/24/2017 12:22:27

In my review of DDAL05-19’s predecessor, DDAL05-18 “The Mysterious Isle,” I wrote that “Mysterious Isle” can be viewed as a trap, luring the players with a false sense of confidence and then crushing them in the follow up. “Eye of Xxiphu” is the tier 4 adventure you were waiting for. It has a little bit of everything, especially for players who want a good scrap. There are a few missteps, but forgivable ones, which a DM can easily work through or work around. SPOILERS AHEAD, OF COURSE.

Part 1.

The adventure does a good job of looping in players who may not have played in DDAL05-18. You get dropped right back in, and our old friend SEER gives a concise update on what the players need to do: “Recover the Eye of Xxiphu.” Boom. Go for it.

Part 2.

A. Honestly, as a DM, this was my favorite part of the adventure — and there shouldn’t be a single initiative roll during this part, just some fun roleplaying. Have fun with the rooms and the oddities contained within. With the “Red as Blood” room, I really went into how perfect this apple was. Over the top: In hindsight about how other apples have just disappointed you and how so few things in this world are perfect, BUT THIS APPLE! And so on. For “Tooth of the Damned,” the players had fun establishing a telepathic connection with Black Dougal in diamond. I made him a glum, Eeyore-type character, resigned to his fate. Don’t deny your players these interactions. Feel free to give them enough information (with the right rolls) to engage and have fun. The “Mad Dancers” were also entertaining. (I made one of the merfolk a little sad to have stopped dancing.) You don’t have to hit every room, but I’d make sure they don’t plow through this section. Also, “White as Snow,” the module text gives the players every indication that this apple is not right. (“There is something very unsettling about its lack of color.”) Don’t be a jerk. Give the players proper hints that this apple shouldn’t be consumed. It’s death without a save. That’s not fun for anyone.

B. I don’t like the corridor. Visually, it’s cool — and the ultimate effect is interesting. But reading the last paragraph of the section introduction is not entirely clear. The section about “if all characters resist or are freed…” I need this information clarified upfront and highlighted.

B1. The “fighting as golems” mechanic is interesting. I’m glad there’s a handout to give the players. However, it can make the overall adventure maybe a little too busy.

Encounter time: 1 hour? Um… no. Twice that, at least. The eight waves of cloud giants, merrows, scrags, and then Lord Dworkin is a beast encounter to run. It took up 80% of the adventure time, and I think my players were a little exhausted after a while, which is a shame because “Battle in the Sky” is really fun. By the time you get to it, you and the players are ready to call it a day. I would seriously suggest condensing this encounter or finding ways to speed it up, just a bit. Read the room.

C. Always fun when the players think they have beaten the “big bad,” and burn through all their reliable power moves — only for there to be much, much more left to contend with.

For the hidden treasure, remember that a Passive Investigation (of 13 or higher) will suffice if the active Investigation check is low.

Other side note: Keeping track of the golem rules, the magic disruption rules, the underwater combat rules AND all the quirks of tier 4 players can be overwhelming. I’d keep it all on a one-sheet near you for reference.

D. Battle in the Sky

Who doesn’t love airships, dragon mounts, and cloud castles? Fun! To me, the misstep of this adventure is allowing the players to fight Dworkin in B1 when you could have all this craziness in section D. Tier 4 players will see the railroading from a mile away, if you try too hard to force failure in B1.

Conclusion

I played this adventure once. I DM’d this adventure once. In both situations, the Eye went to the Lord’s Alliance. I don’t think the players realized they could insist on keeping it, which is a shame. It seems like an interesting item, which could lead to other Far Realm twists in the future.

Treasure: Lots of XP and lots of treasure. Life is good for the tier 4 adventurers. Another Staff of Power? There should be a rule that if you’re handing these things out in an epic (Reclamation of Phlan) you should retire the item for a while. I see so many casters with the staff of power. It’s a bit of an in-joke at this point. And yes, another Tome of Understanding. For players who also got a Tome of Understanding in PHLAN 1-2 “Enemy of My Enemy” and/or in Curse of Strahd — I’m pretty sure the Tome of Understanding doesn’t stack. Check your DMG to verify.

Overall, this adventure is fun, but keep your notes handy, plan for it to take much longer — and take several breaks to prevent Restless DM syndrome.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-19 Eye of Xxiphu (5e)
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DDAL05-18 The Mysterious Isle (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/30/2017 00:05:00

Game design is an art onto itself, which means, game designers will sometimes make creative decisions that run counter to the conventional wisdom. This adventure is one of them. Let me explain.

Remember back when you DM'd level 1 characters? They were fighting goblins and kobolds, kobolds and goblins, on and on — and as the PCs advanced in levels, the goblins disappeared. Where did all the goblins go? Now they're fighting demons and dragons. Everything scales, so that everything is just the right amount of hard. The problem, of course, is that the characters never truly get to feel like badasses at the higher levels. (I mean, can you imagine Lost Mines of Phandelver for a level 17 character?) For most 5e players, this module will be their first taste of tier 4, and the game designer made a creative decision. Let's treat the players like the world-beaters they are. Yes, other reviewers will say DDAL05-18 is a cake walk, and they aren't wrong. But where they may see as a flaw, I see as a creative decision. In context of the MUCH HARDER DDAL05-19 "Eye of Xxiphu" that accompanies the "Mysterious Isle," it can almost be seen as a clever trap. Lure the players with a false sence of confidence, and then crush them. SPOILERS AHEAD, OF COURSE.

Part 1. Oh SEER, you minx, so good to see you again and again and again. As DMs, I know we play that tedious game in the first chapter where the players must ask the "right questions" to get the various bulleted information. But some of the stuff simply shouldn't be skipped. Of course, SEER will explain Xxiphu to them. Don't leave your players in the dark.

Here. Have a magic item. (Your players are going to love this.) SEER is giving away magic items because "the situation is so dire," and the players can each pick one. I totally get the metagame reason. Some tier 4 players got the short end of the stick when it came to magic items during their earlier adventures. A rogue has a +1 great sword he/she can't do anything with. A wizard ended up with all the wands, and it's just not as fun as it sounds. The paladin would really love a +3 shield, but never found one. Welcome to tier 4. Membership has its privileges.

Typo warning: Listed as Horn of Valhalla (Iron) on page 6, and listed as Horn of Valhalla (Bronze) on page 17. I'm assume since everything else is "Very Rare" that the author meant to give out the bronze one. But his mistake is your player's gain if you're feeling generous.

Warning: Please, please, please try to disuade your characters from a scenario where they ALL grab a Horn of Valhalla. Can you imagine a boss battle with 20d4+20 berserkers running around? I can, and it sounds horrible.

Flying on dragons. Sharing stories of past deeds. Cute.

Part 2.

On page 8, "We'd be disintegrated before getting to the isle." This is D&D. Do not use the word "disintegrate" unless you LITERALLY mean disintegrate. Your players are going to get tripped up on the idiomatic expression.

Two giant sharks. Yawn.

Magic disruption with limited teleportation seems to be a theme at higher levels in D&D.

Players can pick their poison: underwater, surface, or air, each with their own random encounter table — but ultimately, everything leads to the underwater. And the underwater aspects of this campaign get tedious for both players and DMs.

Part 3.

Wonko the Magnificent, the visions and confusion, elemental portals, purple crystals formed by a manifestation of the Far Realm (?!)... it's all pretty cool — and can be potentially confusing to your players. Role with it.

The "Save the Princess" encounter is your big battle for this module — and it shouldn't be too difficult for tier 4 players who know how to manage a slug fest. I do love that the designer says to toss in a dragon turtle for an additional challenge.

Conclusion (not the alternative conclusion). This is easily my favorite part of the entire mission. I love it! The characters arrive to meet SEER a full tenday before they first met her. Time travel in D&D! Have fun with this. Of course, it segues nicely into "Eye of Xxiphu." Imagine these characters informing SEER about all the stuff that SEER later informs the characters about. Knowing that this will happen, the best DMs will find a nice way to call back the original meeting. ("Oh, that's why SEER said what she said.") It's fun to think that the characters will tell SEER to go find them for this mission. ("And can you find for us these magical items...?")

Treasure: An ivory knife worth 25,000 gp? (Typo: On page 14, it's a "platinum knife.") I don't even know how this is possible. But whatever, I will accept it and move on.

  • Design error on my pdf: Unlike the other DMs Guild downloads, the display of the titles on this one is all wonky on Preview (Mac).


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-18 The Mysterious Isle (5e)
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DDEX3-04 It's All in the Blood (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/29/2017 22:47:18

Let's start with the length of this adventure. There's a reason you don't see 8 hour adventures being released as often (or at all) through the Adventure's League. It puts a real burden on any local retailers that want to run these campaigns at the store. Something like DDEX3-04 can't be run on a weeknight in one sitting, and it leaves Saturday or Sunday — once again, if you want to run it in one sitting and not break it up. (Note: It can be easily broken into two rounds.) However, this adventure brings back warm memories of the all-night D&D sleep over adventures I once hosted in my youth. It's a wild ride, and it is a great lead up to DDEX03-16 "Assault on Maerimydra," which is quite possibly my favorite D&D module... ever? Yes, I'll go there. Ever. (And is another lenghty adventure. Apparently, I have a "type.") SPOILERS AHEAD, BE WARNED.

For adventure hooks, "message by squirrel" should be standard for all adventures. I think we can agree on this.

Round 1. Part 1. This sets up the adventure as a search and recover mission. The drow of Szith Morcane need Xaven Tanor'this needs to be rescued in order to have any hope reclaiming their home. The "faerzress" sets up a new standard for adventures, tier 3 and up: Do not even think about teleporting. Whether it's this one, or Durlag's Tower, or Eye of Xxiphu, teleportation spells get shut down. (Do the game designers worry that teleporting away will break the game? Surely we can have other motivations to keep players in their place.) If time is of the essence, you can blitz through this section quickly. But why?

Round 1. Part 2. Madness and navigating the tunnels adds some interesting flavor with in-game consequences. With the Howling Pit Encounters, four encounters can be quite a handful — but the randomization is nice. It create a dungeon crawl without the dungeon. For home brews, you could add or reduce as needed for time.

Round 1. Part 3. Like so many adventures, there is some great background here. ("Maram il Vass was approached directly by agents of Graz'zt shortly after the demon lord was exiled to the Underdark" and so on.) It's a shame that there's virtually no way for the players to figure this stuff out. #CoolStoryBro

"Grabber Forth is a big fan of using counterspell to annoy enemey spellcasters." Who isn't? Players don't normally get to tier 3 murdering everything in sight. It should be fairly easy to get past this section without a fight. Also, if YOU had one 9th level spell, would you take Time Stop? Probably not. But it's just too cruel to go with Wish, Meteor Swarm, or Power Word Kill. Agreed?

Maram il Vass is a ultroloth. But your players might get through the whole adventure without ever finding out. The negotiations can be very entertaining.

Round 1. Part 4. The setting of the Hanging Gardens is delightfully creepy. Kudos to the writing team.

Possible typo: "Hanging Gardens" and "Blood Needs" are both labelled as part 4.

Round 2. Part 5. Black Ember Outpost can be a real fun challenge — getting past the walls and into the outpost should be a pain.

Round 2. Part 6. Everyone's favorite imp PIPYAP makes a return (originally appeared in DDEX1-8). I gave this module an extra star just for including Pipyap, and will continue to give all Pipyap appearances an extra star. The "Deal with a Devil" story reward is kind of hilarious. A warlock can have Pipyap as... no, not his familiar, but as his/her patron. Bow down.

In this section, moving around Maerimydra is the real challenge. If overwhelmed, don't kill the players — have them take prisoner where they can fight in the Bloddy Coliseum.

Round 2. Part 7. Another typo? The overview has a part 7. The actual adventure doesn't. Part 6 is 7? Don't worry about it too much. It all works out in the end. Players need to bring a live fire giant back with them, which can be an interesting problem for them to work out.

Rewards and treasures. In my opinion, the Ioun Stone of Regeneration isn't too great as a legendary item — but players don't get too many opportunities for a legendary item, for obvious reasons. So enjoy. It wouldn't have be my first choice. And Pipyap coughs it up rather easily. If it were truly "legendary," you hope for a more epic intro than Pipyap simply handing it over. That's a small quibble on my part.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-04 It's All in the Blood (5e)
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DDAL05-09 Durlag's Tomb (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by David H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/02/2017 17:46:28

Durlag's Tomb, in sharp contrast to its predecessor "Durlag's Tower," is an absolutely amazing adventure. It is quite possibly a top 5 favorite of mine for D&D 5e AL-legal adventures. (Others include: Assault on Maerimydra, Reclamation of Phlan — season 4 epic, Curse of the Fire Witch — a chapter from Princes of the Apocalypse, and Flames of Kythorn.) Durlag's Tomb surprised me. I'm not normally a fan of trap-and-trick dungeon crawls. In most cases, give me something with hit points that I can hack and slash. But this one absolutely worked. And it posed enough peril to keep even the most savvy tier 3 players on their toes. SPOILERS AHEAD, YOU KNOW THE DRILL

Whereas with "Durlag's Tower," it was often unclear what we needed to do with our time. This adventure had pretty straightforward goal: Get to the bottom level and survive.

Part 1. The Grand Foyer. Not a huge fan of the shorn/hunter/delver/crafter puzzle, but consider that more last module than this module. However...

Sublevel 1. ...I really like the dwarven mythos being incorporated here. Now it all makes sense.

Sublevel 2. I cannot stress this enough: You really need to mention "smells and sounds" part of this level. Otherwise, your players will just be confused about what's going on here — and they need to know what they are dealing with. If the alcohol combusts, we're talking 18d10 fire damage. Gah! It's good to see (or not see, as the case may be) some gelatinous cubes. Always a fun monster.

Sublevel 3. This level is exciting, especially if your characters can't simply fly across the magma. The moving wall creates some urgency. 5 feet every 6 seconds is not slow. (The "Fun & Deathtraps" note is greatly appreciated.)

"No rest here. Keep going." It's a good challenge to deny the players a chance for a short rest. Some will push back against this, but it increases the tension of being trapped in the tomb.

Sublevel 4. Also, very fun. Characters that enjoy roleplaying (and not just rollplaying) will take to the avarice very well.

Sublevel 5. The massive tablet posed an interesting problem, which leads to a satisfying final battle.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-09 Durlag's Tomb (5e)
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