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DDAL07-05 Whispers in the Dark (5e)
by Luke R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/20/2017 16:09:12

Whispers in the Dark is a really interesting and dangerous module that throws challenges at both the DM and players.

My only real critique is that this is a module needs some smart prep to keep it under 2 hours. Between the complications that occur during the puzzle solving and the potentially brutal fight in the fane below, I spent almost 3 hours on this mod. I did not want to cut it short because it was my favorite in The Jungle has Fangs Trilogy and the fights were really interesting.

I would suggest that if you're DMing this mod, to think about the way you balance the amount of zombies that flood out from the city toward the obelisk: Too much will mire your party in combat dragging out the puzzle solving and subsequently your total play time, too little and your players will keep trying to fight their way out. This fight became deadly for my group and they used up quite a bit of their utility upstairs before the big fight. They ended up begging for a short rest after getting into the Fane. I would recomend 1 or 2 zombies from a random side of the map per round. They have a considerable health pool so they are almost unkillable in a single round for tier 1 players. 1 or 2 should be enough to give the players impetus to solve the puzzle without over encumbering them.

The Fane of the Fang is an amazing setting for the final battle. The Queen is an imposing challenge and the most interesting boss I've had the chance to run as a DM which could account for the foundation for my excitement. DMs should get to know her spells befor running, some are pretty neat and rarely seen. Also the majority are concentration so watch your overlap. She also has legendary actions so get brushed up on how they work if you don't know already. I would advise throwing in a second enemy just to take some of the inital blows even if its a very low CR Yuan-ti. You may want to be prepared to force some of the Queen's dialogue. Think about it like a villain in a Bond movie that tells 007 their whole evil plot right before they inevitably escape. Will add some drama and roleplay to an otherwise combat heavy and intense module.

Really loved the trilogy and this module in particular. My players enjoyed the puzzle/combat and the challenge of the fight with the Queen. As a DM it was a blast to run.

P.S. I am ignoring completely the rediculous and uncharacteristic "betrayal" that was written for Wadumu. Writing Wadumu as some kind of cunning trickster is utterly pointless. Not to mention his motives for "tricking" the players are mostly altruistic. He just wants to save his people from being murdered by Yuan-ti! I suggest instead, having Wadumu show the characters the exit in the snakes mouth at the end of the encounter and allowing for a heart felt goodbye. It will make so much more sense to your players. Alternatively, you could have him just bolt during the fight through the snake's mouth and cast him as a coward which makes a bit more sense then the way it was written.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-05 Whispers in the Dark (5e)
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DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
by Luke R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/20/2017 14:22:24

A Walk in the Park is mostly a filler module for the trilogy, The Jungle has Fangs, it's plagued by little issues that amount to a generally forgettable experience, but can be saved through a bit of preparation by the DM.

My first issue with this mod as it introduces the emerald enclave to the party rather than continuing with Soggy Wren and the Harpers as A Day at the Races leaves you. It is unclear why Screaming Wind shows up out of no where. As a DM, you may want to stitch this connection by bringing in the co-operation between the factions in 07-01, A City on the Edge and say she was sent by Wren. In addition, you may also want to add hooks for Lords Alliance and Zhentarim while the characters are in the city too, that way they aren't blindsided by their involvement in Whispers in the Dark.

The fishing kids adds a fun mechanic, although losing 1-10g may not be enough to motivate the players to chase orphans through the street. If you're DMing and aren't constrained for time, have them actually steal more money or a critical item to inspire the players to chase (which leads them to the encounter with the thugs)

I found that the Satchel Shop will almost always devolve into a violent interogation as it's hard to believe that the shop's owner isn't involved in the illicit trade. Seperating the shop owner from the production of the goods and/or bringing Wadumu in sooner can help difuse any confrontations for you.

During the next part of the adventure I would add two additional dialogues with Wadumu. Maybe split up his story over the course of three nights, add to the build up/investment of the characters to help free this guy's village. Maybe even some grewsome details about how the Wanderlust is made could add some much needed hooks for the player. Wadumu will most likely be beloved and trusted implicitly because his cute frogginess and the gift of a magic item in the first 30 seconds of meeting him. However, the PCs will want to know more about him and it will help to add some more heart to the mostly mundane adventure.

Also, the mudslide encounter could use some time to prep and envision. The event lacks the kind of description of the scene and encounter mechanics that can leave the players confused.

The biggest missed opportunity is the lack of an antagonist. The blame rests solely on the faceless Yuan-ti threat. Having a named villian with some kind of personality and hooks to the direction of the Queen in Whispers in the Dark would help to tie the adventures together.

Over all, the adventure suffers from a few issues, but nothing damning. Mostly they are muddled plot points and missed opportunities that can be easily changed/enhanced by a DM that has more than 2 hours to run this mod. Wamumu really makes this adventure fun, try to capitolize on his energy and your players will walk away happy.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
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DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
by Luke R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/20/2017 12:56:47

Really love the Trilogy! As a starting adventure for tier 1 play A Day at the Races delivers an interesting and different experience for players, but will require a creative and prepared DM to ensure a high caliber experience.

I like the diversity of the experience, the betting, the race and the battle; however, each could use a bit more flavor. The experience of this adventure is almost completely in the hands of the DM. Without the DM adding flair to the races--having to fill in mechanical flaws, describing a short series of checks to add drama and coming up with more detail to add to the extremely general winning conditions--this adventure will most often fall flat for the players.

I would suggest any DMs prepping this adventure to reuse or reference mechanics from 07-01's race to fill in the gaps, especially with the final stretch of the race.

I also prepped some bookie/betting tickets to add some flair to the first part. If I had more time to prep I would have maybe made some ribbon tokens to give to each player in the second leg, as they have a gold value, and some scrabble type pieces to represent the bricks they fetch from the harbor to make the experience more tactile for the players.

In the final fight I maxed the encounter challenge as the players had no prerequisite combat. It also adds a more satisfying crunch to the finale with a better XP award for their mostly roleplay experience.

This is neatly wrapped in a 2 hour session. The timing for the module never really feels rushed as the DM holds all the sway on the pacing.

The Trilogy, The Jungle Has Fangs is great as a whole, a well paced hook to get new players invested in season 7.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
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DDAL07-05 Whispers in the Dark (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2017 22:25:17

I DMd this module for 3 groups at Philly PAX Unplugged and we had a great time. The module has two main set pieces: the first part is a really well-integrated puzzle and battle. There is a real sense of suspense and increasing panic as the group realizes that fighting the enemy is futile. One group was very clever and made excellent use of the 20 ft monster movement to dash around towards the key puzzle components. The second part is a climatic battle with a legendary monster (for 3rd level).

Some tips:

  • To really heighten the sense of dread in the players, I spent a little more roleplaying time up front with Wudumu and the merchant prince to foreshadow the final battle. This is a great opportunity to use the relevant monster section in the Volo's guide to add really fine details to the coming encounters. Have the merchant prince describe the enemy, to his knowledge, especially 'snakes'. Let the party ask questions about the nature of their enemy. New players will enjoy the Yuan-ti mythology. On the way to the temple, have Wudumu tell the players a myth about Dendar the night serpent devouring the sun. Later on, when the players enter the temple, you can describe an waterfall image of Dendar being seeing devouring the sun for special effect!
  • The nightmare speaker has a wonderful special fear ability. I wrote down on an index card 'What is your greatest fear' and gave it to one of my players, unseen by the other players. One player, a cleric, wrote that his greatest fear was an absent and uncaring god. The nightmare played out perfectly: An image of Lathandar beckoning the player and then turning his back on him. Player rolled for insanity!
  • For stuck players, Wudumu should help with the puzzle. Don't let this part drag on. Add zombies to the map each round - at least 100 ft away for weak parties. This should make it explicitly clear to the 'fight everything' players that they need to solve the puzzle quickly.

Thanks for this excellent mod!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-05 Whispers in the Dark (5e)
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ALQ3 A Dozen and One Adventures (2e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2017 22:19:27

Overall, I believe that this set has some potential for campaign use in an existing D&D campaign (or for conversion into another setting). While the information about the city of Muluk was not as fleshed out as I would have liked, the real gem are the "Dozen and One" adventures that are provided. These are loosely linked together and take characters from starting levels to higher (9th-12th). What I really liked about them were that they were a blend of traditional and non-traditional adventures that I think would provide some entrainment to the right kind of group that really gets into the role-playing aspect of the game- the "Boasting Game" was one of my favorites.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ALQ3 A Dozen and One Adventures (2e)
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H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (4e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2017 22:15:46

This is the adventure I was playing when my foray into D&D 4th Ed. petered out. I don't think it was the system (I had fond memories of the games I played) but my group just started getting sidetracked with life and most of us weren't friends enough to keep the group going once the game started becoming less of a priority. I was a player in that game and we stopped about halfway through the duegar stronghold.

Currently, I am running this game (converted as a 5th Ed. adventure) and the group is having a blast. At the time of this review they have finished their battle with Chief Krand (it was a nail-biter of a battle that had everyone caught up in the suspense of the moment as they achieved victory from the brink of a TPK).

SPOILER: The only gripe I really have with this adventure is that it does not really give a good hook to get the party to attack the duegar stronghold (other than they are evil) even though it's a fourth of the adventure content. The main adventure seems to be the initial Bloodreaver assault and then focusing on the alliance between the gnolls and Paldemar. I'm not even sure if my PCs are even going to attack the duegar because it would seem to go against the wishes and laws of the Mages of Sarunn and their laws enforcing safe commerce for all in the Seven-Pillared Hall.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (4e)
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DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
by Bradley D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2017 20:41:55

This is the first AL module I have heavily disliked DM'ing and would never run again.

Act 1- Doesnt really deal with why Screaming Wind now has the satchel and is reaching out to the characters vs Wren. Nor does the bridge encounter do anything to add to the story line. My players had the satchel tucked away there was no chance of that going missing, the odd random item "fished" from the characters were laughed off to kids being dumb. They enjoyed buying satchels more then anything found in the rest of the act.

Act 2 - Possibly shortest Act ive seen. Mud.. then done.

Act 3 - A very weak and uninteresting fight.

Not the bridge I was hoping for in the first trilogy of modules released for this season.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
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DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
by Bradley D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2017 20:30:28

While the idea of the race is interesting, the mechanics feel clunky and could have done with more detail similar to the last part of the race. I had to also just handwave as to why the little girl was in the pen to begin with holding a magical staff.

Would probably still run it again as all players so far seem to enjoy taking part of races of any kind.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
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Tortle Package (5e)
by Daniel R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2017 19:34:48

This is perfect, not only is it a good cause but it is great fun. I am enjoying my Tortle (Tippan) druid every game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tortle Package (5e)
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DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
by Tim K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2017 11:16:52

I ran this for my Sunday Night group at a store. This review will contain spoilers! Over all 4 stars, was fun for the group, the fight at the end was fun and players enjoyed a risk to get more gold for themselves in AL play! Spoilers below.

The betting was a bit confusing, I got lucky and all my players bet on the same 2 dino's, so I just ran two races, did some racing announcer voices, and made an open roll on win or lose.

The race event with the players was well done, I was able to have them describe actions and make good choices, but some bad die rolling on the final leg lead to a 2nd place finish for my players, I loved it! good to see a place where the players can "fail" without ruining the story....

The reason for only 4 stars, the final part, was real confusing on setting up the fight, where is the little girl? where do the undead start? How did she get into danger? and separated from her parents? That caused me a bit too much "hand waving" at the table. The investigation at the end was a bit forced, as the "big bad" was dead.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
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N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God (1e)
by Aryana D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2017 19:57:28

We are just about finished this adventure and my players and I love it. I looked at the 5e conversion offered here on the DMs guild, some of which I kept but a lot of it I did my own modifications. Explicitus is going to be a recurring villain so I've made her a bit tougher, and we she comes back she will be stronger and have a vendetta. I am looking forward to having her appear again! I've also planted seeds that the cult has spread to Hookhill and possibly Hochoch.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God (1e)
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DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2017 15:23:53

Fun module to run. Combat-heavy, and that first major encounter is a doozy. Definitely NOT for level 1 characters, especially with the way the last encounter goes. Overall, it had good pacing, though it has the potential to run faster than the 4 hours.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
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Land of Intrigue (2e)
by Karl H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2017 11:36:57

I made this purchase to help flesh out the backstory and potential plot hooks for a character I created who hailed from Tethyr, the first of the three kingdoms detailed in this collection. And there's plenty of information to be found therein. As the content is 2e, the information is set over a hundred years prior to 5e goings ons. But it's still a great rescource for getting details on locations, history, and notable families. On that front, the product met my expectations.

There are four PDFs included, one for each kingdom, and one for a few maps. The maps-only PDF is ok. They're not super detailed, some are color and some are black and white. I don't think the maps included offer anything more than what is widely available on the web. The maps inside each of the kingdom PDFs are really disappointing. Specifically, the quality of the scans - which is what I assume they are - is like looking at a copy of a copy of a copy. They're still helpful in terms of getting an idea of the layout of a city and relative locations. But otherwise underwhelming.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Land of Intrigue (2e)
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DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
by Stephanie B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2017 10:31:36

Treasure of the Broken Hoard is the Adventurer's League "-01" introduction module for season 5 of D&D organized play, corresponding to Storm King's Thunder. It takes place after the events of Season 1, Tyranny of Dragons, which contained a major story arc involving Tiamat.

In Treasure of the Broken Hoard, there are hints at adventurers treasure-seeking for bits of Tiamat's now-scattered dragon hoard. As level 1 PCs, it can be very exciting to think "ooh, we're going to handle a dragon egg!" Unfortunately, the adventure is a little disappointing in that regard-- PCs do not interact with major pieces of the Realms like that in this introductory adventure.

However, if you step away from "big picture thinking" and get down to the personal level, the mini-adventures in this module can be very satisfying. I give it a 4 out of 5 because some of the mini-adventures just don't quite gel for me.

SPOILERS BELOW!

First, this is a very difficult adventure hook to bring PCs into the module. For starters, it occurs just outside the town of Parnast.... which is the destination for DDAL05-02, a road adventure where you end in Parnast. If you are running this with a continuing group, you will want to run 05-01 after 05-02 and 05-03. Second, the hook involves meeting up with a dead NPC. It's very hard to get players motivated to care about an NPC who is already dead. If you have the time, consider adding a role-playing encounter prior to the start of the adventure, to get the PCs to care a little bit about this would-be employer.

Additionally, if you recall previous -01 modules and their ties to the factions, be aware that 05-01 doesn't have any faction rewards whatsoever, including renown.

Mission 1: Beneath the Hills. This adventure gives the players a fairly straightforward tactical cave expedition with some comedic elements, like miniaturized goblin swarms and a tiny pet bear (yes, this is the module to run if your players want a pet!)

Mission 2: Upon the Stones. The badgers that make for the foes in this encounter don't make a whole lot of sense (I re-fluffed them as giant lizards to make them more menacing), but there is an excellent role-playing encounter with some living stones. Unfortunately, the most valuable treasure in this mini-adventure is typically destroyed when the PCs try to recover it.

Mission 3: Against the Frost. This mini-adventure features a PvP combat, and a curse. It works in some groups, especially ones where the players already know and trust each other, and are experienced players. Otherwise, I do not recommend it, as it sets a very negative tone for new players.

Mission 4: Through the Fires. This is a very straightforward kobold-fight with a lot of fire effects. It's a decent introduction to 5e combat, but can be a little boring if you already know 5th edition.

Mission 5: Above the Clouds. Starts with a surprise attack (typically; getting a 15 passive perception at level 1 is difficult if you aren't a Wisdom-based PC). They then go into a second fight which has a kind of "boss fight" element to it. Finally, they encounter an NPC that is too powerful to fight. Greedy adventurers (which is most PCs) will not do well in this adventure, and will feel railroaded-- assuming they don't attack and get murdered by the final NPC.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
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DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2017 09:10:52

So as a DM i am noticing since POA that the first adventure is extremely deadly. In this case a mage with the ability to cast Fireball. Now oridinaryly I wouldnt have an issue with it but when you are playing with new players to d&d it would make sense to give them an adventure that is not so deadly as an introduction to d&d



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
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