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CCC-BLD 1-2 Bleeding Gate: Amalgamation $4.99
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Stephen L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/21/2018 01:15:59

Spoilers below.


  • As with Part 1, Charming scene setup and characters!
  • Solid spellcheck and grammar check (But maybe not proofreading for playtesting, see cons below)


  • Lack of consequence: At the beginning, the players are given a test to work for a secret organization. However, regardless of passing or failing the test, the result is exactly the same. There is no interesting variation here. It gets worse at the end; the players run into a confrontation with Arnfred and are very clearly given opportunities to talk him down. However in reality there is no difference at all whether they take the peaceful route or aggressive route! It still ends up in the same combat with no difference. It's like the author intended to do something more here but utterly forgot. Considering the emphasis on peace and diplomacy in this series, this omission and forced linearity is very disappointing.
  • Poor use of factions: Two factions are given missions; however there actually are no interesting things for them to do: Simply completing the main story grants them their reward. What was even the point? This feels like something thrown in and not completed.
  • Combat Balance: Unlike Part 1, the combat here has definitely become swingier and was not vetted. The Slithering Tracker is definitely interesting but at an average party of level 3 characters is has excessive kill potential for not being the final fight. The final fight itself is even worse. This is Tier 1. What possessed the author to throw a 11th level spellcaster with Winged Boots at the party? Even in weak adjustment Arnfred has access to such high level killer spells as Harm and Blight, things that shouldn't be thrown at even a Very Strong Tier 1 party. On top of this, he can effectively fly at will. If I got fed up with annoying players and decided to just kill everyone, this is the final boss I would write.
  • Time management: 3 mandatory combats in a 2 hour adventure is stretching it. Considering this is in the category of Con Created Content, this makes even less sense. CCC's should be extra sensitive about time.
  • Inappropriately timed and longwinded monologues: The first problem comes when the party hears Takwen shouting just before the Gibbering Mouther fight. It is way too long, with too many new names, and absolutely no segway. It's important yet the players instantly get turned off. The final 2 monologues at the end DO have a segway in, but are even longer at a point in the game where players do not care. Long monologues should not be the primary device for cramming in plot points. Either slim it down or divide it up over time to give players time to digest the information instead of being bombarded all at once and absorbing none of it.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you for your review, Stephen.

I do assure you that all my adventures are playtested A LOT with different DMs and players, and after multiple edits.

And you're absolutely correct about monologues; I was too long winded. That is something I've learned to cut down on since writing Bleeding Gate. And I've become more clear about reminding DMs that no combat is mandatory, giving examples of how characters can navigate encounters with other approaches. I'll keep your other cons in mind, next time I edit Amalgamation.

Thank you again!
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CCC-BLD 1-2 Bleeding Gate: Amalgamation
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