Ring Side Report- RPG Review of What’s Past is Prologue
Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!
Product- DDAL-ELW00-What’s Past is Prologue
System- DnD 5e
Producer- DMs Guild
Price- $4.99 here https://www.dmsguild-
TL; DR-I can get my DCC RPG in DnD now! 92%%
Basics-A get rich quick job in Eberron? That CAN’T FAIL! The players take the roll of level zero characters as they attempt to earn a ton of money on a simple pick up and deliver job. Along they way they get a ton of thing to sell for millions of GP, but how will they do it?
Theme or Fluff-The story of What’s Past is Prologue is a pretty simple one, but it’s done well. The players get pregenerated characters that they will meet later in the Eberron adventurers league adventures. This story tells how the characters got together, how they get a ship, and how they are amazing wealthy. That part of the story is fun and really tells a great Eberron based story while giving me the GM a jumping on point to dump the Eberron goodness on my Forgotten Realms/old school fantasy only players. The only real problem with a prologue based story, is players always do things they are not supposed to do! The adventure gives some guidelines for this, but honestly, my players could not ditch the skyship fast enough! It might have been easier to instead of having a Sharn based section where the players can go off the script have some other story of how the characters fix their newly acquired ship. It’s not game ending, but be ready for this eventuality! 4.5 /5
Mechanics or Crunch-This adventure features something new in DnD-level zero characters! I love level zero character in Shadow of the Demon Lord and DCC/MCCRPG, so this was great for me! My players had to adjust to this, but they dealt well. Aside from that, the encounters are balanced with the limited power of the players. Running DCC style funnels in DnD 5e is a valid way to build characters now! 5/5
Execution-This is a solid modules that is spaces nice, reads quick, and provides most of what I want in an adventure. Its a PDF, so that makes me happy! But, it doesn’t have hyperlinks between the parts so I can quick navigate. Also, this modules again doesn’t have much if any box text. BOX TEXT IS SUPER IMPORTANT! It lays the scene for the GM to get in the right headspace on the fly as well as making sure the author lays out what information the PC have right away without the GM having to take notes on what’s in the scene. The first paragraph of each section is like box text, but I as a GM have to read that, chop out my parts, and give a good scene starter to the players. Another issue is the number of pregens. You can have seven characters at a DnD Al table, but this adventure only comes with six. If you want to run seven, you have two of the same character, and that’s not as much fun. Aside from those issues, the book is laid out gorgeously. The layout uses lots of old Eberron artwork. For a non-WOTC product on the DMs Guild, this is the exact reason the Guild was made-get non-WOTC people to make great product using art assets that usually only WOTC could reprint. This book has some obvious flaws, but it's still a solidly produced book. 4.25 /5
Summary-The best and worst part of a DnD story are the players. In a homebrew game, where the players can completely 180 degree their characters because they want to, free choice is amazing. In a prologue adventure, that freedom hurts the story a bit as the PCs behave in ways the regular characters would not. That said, the story here is a great one and I can’t wait for the next part of the story and how players own characters will interact with their prologue selves. The new mechanics here work well, are simple to implement, and easy to understand. That’s the trifecta of new bits on an RPG system, so good job! The execution is a bit off, but not in a way the will destroy the product. GIVE ME HYPERLINKS AND BOX TEXT! We’re exploring a ship, so having a ready to go box text will rapid fire my players through the exploration and get me in the rooms mood. But, the book look AMAZING! I love the layout, text, spacing, and all the wordy bits that some modules forget are an important part of the human reading process. If you want to jump on the Eberron Adventurers League season, then this is an excellent way to start. 92%
[5 of 5 Stars!]