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DDAL07-10 Fire, Ash, and Ruin (5e)
by Jonathan E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2018 17:05:45

So I ran the adventure after the update was done and while we had fun there are still serious issues with the module. Mostly that there are so many layers piled onto the area. First there's forbiddance which is used to prevent someone else from casting it in the area, of course they can still dispell the forbiddance and it an be recast. Then there's the perpetual darkness, doors of fire that aren't explained at all, wild magic surges, so on and so forth.

Keep things simple, you shouldn't try to challenge players by overcomplicating the map.

Sadly I probably won't run this one again unless it's requested, there's just not a good enoug reason to.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-10 Fire, Ash, and Ruin (5e)
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DDAL07-10 Fire, Ash, and Ruin (5e)
by Thomas H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2018 15:52:14

Overall, this is an interesting module. It's a bit different than "Run out of Port Nyanzaru and come back." that I've seen this season. However, the beginning part of the module doesn't give a lot of reason behind the players going to their destination other than the Lord's Alliance and Order of the Guantlet having a missions to complete there... because reasons? Also, it was really hard to convince the players not to kill the dragon, but thankfully one charmed it and then had it take them to the location; which made it easier to explain the story;Outside of those portions of the modue, I liked the lore, the ideas, and the overall story.

The technical part of the module, such as the fights, were very interesting. I will definitely be borrowing from some of the flavoring of the fights. One thing, though... If you really want players to weaken the end boss, then don't put a DC on the door. A player walked up to it, rolled a natural 20, and they fought the boss. They took a ton of damage from its abilities, and a couple died, but they did do it. If it hadn't been for the cert item and experience, they wouldn't have gone through the rest of the dungeon.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
by Michael N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/23/2018 23:22:02

Theme and background: The concept of a new kind of race, the Na N’buso’s Haka in this case is a great set up for an adventure! It is very simple to build an atmosphere of excitement and a hint of mystery to get your players involved in the race.

Part 1, Talk Derby to Me: Mowbula Utakulu makes a fantastic NPC for building the tone of the race! She can impress upon the party how the details of the race are unknown as this is the first of its kind and she can also talk about the strang deaths of prize winning dinosaurs of late. If the players start asking questions that get them off track her limited common can be put into action, She looks at the party confused and attempts to restate the core points again, thus building in what they are to do and keeping the story on track. The gambling hall/ privite race viewing area is the best opportunity for role playing in the adventure so it should be run with that in mind. The main function is for the players to find out rumors to grow the mystery and to try out the racing gambling mechanics but let the players explore and find some hijinks if they are looking for it.

Part 2, Haka Kuh-kah!: Building the team mascots is a great way to give this secton a high energy start! My players rolled up orange Flail Snail so when they entered the arena they all flailed their arms as thought they were eye stocks! I would recomend trying to get your players to act as their creature as they enter and granting insperation to those who comply. The first leg of the race does what it says on the tin, you ride your mount with the intention of being the fastest, the goal should be to sell the players on how fast and exciting the scene is, trying to get the players to act as fast as possible tends to get them into it I find. The second leg of the race gives the DM a great opportunity to describe Port Nyanzaru as the players will be above it and able to view it as a whole. The third leg of the race continues the pattern of changing scenery much to my players delight and even gave them a puzzle which was a fantastic suprise (although my players did solve it in about 4 seconds). The final leg of the race is when things can get really exciting, if the other teams have been left in the dust (as was the case at my table) you are to make another team make a suprise return and give the party a neck and neck race! This really brought it home for them and was a highlight of the adventure!

Part 3, Satchel Special: The players have little to to appreciate where they came in the race as undead dinosaurs crash the party! Be warned the Ankylosaur Zombie is no joke, it outright killed one of my players on a lucky crit! After once the party had a chance to investigate they were eager to figure out what the Yuan-ti were up to!

Rewards: The players weren't very excited with any of the rewards, they weren't upset but nothing really captured their imagination in this department.

Final Thoughts: Fun modual, just keep the excitement up and your players will love this one!

P.S. If you have your party run through the Taban side quest in the Tomb of Annihilation HC having Mowbula Utakulu be the bookie who gives them the quest makes a fantastic callback!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
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DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
by Christopher S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/22/2018 10:19:10

The Adventure was quite interesting with fun combat encounters. My players generally love fighting against Giants. Though the players enjoyed playing it I felt that the story could have been paced a little better as it tends to drag on some areas.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
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DDEX2-05 Flames of Kythorn (5e)
by JD N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/22/2018 00:14:28

This module has its flaws (story hook, villain behind it all, end battle), but I've run it twice and both groups had a great time. Once players are on board with wandering into the tavern, a roleplay-focused group will get to shine. Players enjoyed getting to interact with NPCs and start figuring out something was awry even before the conflict began, and tracking down the culprit gave good opportunities for players to explore and puzzle out the mystery. This isn't an adventure for combat-focused parties, though. The combat encounters are dull.

Pro

  • Roleplay opportunities
  • Exploration and clue-gathering
  • Thematic components and connections to other season 2 modules

Con

  • Weak combat encounters
  • DMs may need to come up with a better hook to get players into the tavern in the first place


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-05 Flames of Kythorn (5e)
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DDAL06-03 Crypt of the Death Giants (5e)
by Mikaela R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2018 22:01:06

Definitely not a two hour module, especially with the complications in the battle. Regardless, it's a worthy challenge for the treasure you get.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL06-03 Crypt of the Death Giants (5e)
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DDEX2-10 Cloaks and Shadows (5e)
by JD N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2018 19:10:35

My players and I had a great time with this adventure. The mystery solving and sneaking through town is a nice change of pace if you usually run combat-heavy adventures. Players liked that they had opportunities to pull out many of the non-combat skills they don't often get a chance to use.

Pro

  • Lots of exploration and chances for stealthy characters to shine
  • Good mystery with enough (but not too many) clues for the characters to pick up
  • Replayability from the different encounters available

Con

  • Can be a lot to prep, since players have several directions to choose from


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-10 Cloaks and Shadows (5e)
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DDAL04-12 The Raven (5e)
by Gael L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2018 13:14:20

As always, quite happy of the roleplay perspectives of this adventure. I had ran DDAL04-08 right before this one, so the story link was that orcs had food so needed by the villagers of Orasnou, and were ready to share in exchange of a service. Not always easy to find a story link between two non-consecutive adventures, but here, it made sense. The wolf part was pweetty scary, considering that one of the character was an hour behind the rest due to wanting to walk when everyone else was running (I made him arrive at the group's camp, wolves at his tail -- a nice way to start a battle !). Considering that the Barovian orcs are not as blatantly evil as the Faerunian ones (the Baroviorcs only wanting to escape this wretched place!), the Rookscrag orcs in my adventure were not completely closed off to good arguments from the players, and it paid off : the rogue shaman realized his mistake right before Larga arrived so that they could have a very (wo)manly handshake. I recommend the purchase of this adventure.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-12 The Raven (5e)
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DDAL04-08 The Broken One (5e)
by Gael L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2018 12:59:52

My favourite character of that adventure is, without hesitation, Luca the simpleton. I used to play a quite similar character in a LARP, so it was nice to DM him. The beginning scene with Eugene's eating was quite fun to narrate -- finishing many of my sentences with a "and Eugene tears a chicken leg" or similar. Nasty, nasty Eugene ! The angry mob concept is always fun to apply, especially to see how characters will manage them (discussion? intimidation? killing?). My group managed to make Luca invisible and convince the crowd that the lad had gone elsewhere -- clever ! The end fight against Eugene was very gloomy -- especially when he ate Luca's face but then Luca raised back as a very angry revenant ! But the group managed to convice Luca that they were still his friend, allowing him to go away in peace... Touching ending. I recommend the purchase of this adventure.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-08 The Broken One (5e)
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DDEX03-15 Szith Morcane Unbound (5e)
by Gael L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2018 12:50:15

This adventure has great replay value, because the previous Season 3 Tier 2 adventures that the players have gone through before it influence the kind of experience they will have, and all of the options make it so that you can run it twice and it'll be like you have ran two different adventures. It's like purhcasing several adventures in one, very nice ! The writers have put a good effort in roleplay perspectives -- the corrupted dragon, the imperfect galeb duhr, the overly-perfectionist stone giants. As I always say, it's not rolling dice that'll make for memorable experiences, but the unusual stuff like this that'll make you, several months later, remember the adventure in your heart. It's not the easiest adventure to prepare, but gives a very nice satisfaction to the players when they've assembled a nice army against Evil, making the end fight almost like a movie scene. I recommend the purchase of this adventure.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX03-15 Szith Morcane Unbound (5e)
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DDEX3-09 The Waydown (5e)
by Gael L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2018 12:25:10

I quite enjoyed DM'ing this adventure. For most of the session, I was watched by a friend who had to write a report on a certain activity (he had chosen D&D, and I had invited him to watch my game), so I made very good use of the interesting roleplay parts of this adventure to give everyone a good time. My favourite part was probably to find a performer role for all characters present. For example, a paladin with a Belt of Fire Giant Strength was Da Strong Russian Man ! They were certainly a nice attraction for the Red Plumes. It was quite fun, during the sneak-around part, to have that one particular Red Plume just following them around like a true groupie. Going down the river was perhaps trivialized by a Water Walk casting, but still interesting with the mystieries of finding the lost faction agent's tracks. I was happy that my characters took time to discuss with the big frog, so that they would have an ally in the end fight. Said fight ended when the big frog crushed the succubuses under his fat belly, then started eating them. Overall, a nice adventure, with nice roleplay incensitves.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-09 The Waydown (5e)
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DDEX3-03 The Occupation of Szith Morcane (5e)
by Gael L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2018 12:09:12

I have quite appreciated DMing this adventure. The introductory part with the "drows are infesting the surface" theme was pretty intriguing, but the best part of it was the show-me-that-you're-worth-it brawl against the half-orc. I made it especially funny when the guy stripped naked and oiled himself up, something that the brawling player soon copied. A memorable experience for sure. It was nice to see a more human side of the Red Plumes with Yestral (I made it so that a Red Plume initially made nasty comments against the party, but soon had his ear pinced by Yestral before going to his momma in tears). I combined the derro (who were all screaming "DERRO, DERRO !") & kuo-toa fights to increase the tension and give an initial "oh darn" to the players. The roleplay passage with Huum was a nice addition - pretty funny to roleplay a mind flayer. I didn't think it was really appropriate for the final fight to have drows against the players, so I instead put some previously liberated drows with the players against a few combined encounters at once. Hard to manage, but rewarding for the players ! Overall, a quite enjoyable adventure, in my opinion.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-03 The Occupation of Szith Morcane (5e)
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DDAL05-11 Forgotten Traditions (5e)
by JD N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/20/2018 22:33:49

I love this module. It's a great dungeon crawl with neat traps and encounters and a fantastic challenge at the end battle. I also like that the choices between encounters means that players and DMs both can have completely different experiences when playing or running the module a second time.

Pro

  • Good options for traps and encounters that will challenge your particular party.
  • Opportunities for players proficient with History to use the skill for an actual purpose.
  • Interesting roleplaying with the ghost, and two cool story awards.
  • The players liked the overall atmosphere, including the history/religion and the magic items.
  • Null-magic and wild-magic zones throw extra challenges at complacent spellcasters!

Con

  • Required more prep than a lot of other modules because of all the history flavor text and the options for traps/encounters.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-11 Forgotten Traditions (5e)
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DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
by JD N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/20/2018 22:08:55

I ran this at a convention directly after The Beast, and I was unfortunately given the original version of the module, rather than the revision. (I didn't know there was a revision until I purchased the season pack yesterday.) The original version has some ISSUES, but I've read the revision and it looks smoother. Even so, it appears that it's up to the DM to railroad the players into talking / fighting / breaking their way into the Burgomaster's home, which isn't ideal. However, the revision looks like it'll fix the issue I had with players never actually figuring out who Arik is, so maybe next time I run this, it will go better. The players and I liked that there's very little combat and a lot of roleplay.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-03 The Executioner (5e)
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DDAL04-02 The Beast (5e)
by JD N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/20/2018 21:00:31

I ran this at a convention and we had fun with it, although I definitely recommend running this when you aren't on a time crunch. I had to cut short the roleplay opportunities in Orașnou and with the elves, which was disappointing because RP is my favorite part of gameplay.

Pro

  • Having choices for the encounters in part 2 allows tailoring the module to the group you're running for and the time you have available.
  • Great atmosphere throughout. Players who were unfamiliar with Barovia got caught up in the ominous weather / unsettling landscape.
  • The adjustments for a very strong party in the final encounter work well. Having to save against exhaustion every round made the situation much more dire once half the party took a level or three. If you want to challenge your players, I suggest leaving Alina's stats alone and just inserting the creeping and exhausting fog.

Con

  • Module is difficult to run within a 2-hour time frame. It's doable, but it's tough.
  • Although the handwritten appearance of the player handout is nice, it's difficult to read.
  • Maps for the encounters in part 2 would have been helpful.


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-02 The Beast (5e)
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