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Deluxe Digital Map Pack: DDAL05-13 Jarl Rising
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Donald P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/25/2017 17:06:27

Does not include maps for all possible encounters; however, you could repurpose one of them for a couple of others. Would liked to have seen a map for dragon encounter.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deluxe Digital Map Pack: DDAL05-13 Jarl Rising
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DDAL05-13 Jarl Rising (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Boat L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/21/2017 12:20:47

Not as bad as I was expecting given some of the extremely negative reviews.

Yes, there are some technical issues. Not sure if these have been updated or addressed since I downloaded and printed, however, it was a little confusing to see this balanced for a party of level 10 characters. Someone else has already said this, but how can you balance up for that in a tier 2 game? How can you have a Very Strong party if an average party is at the top of the tier? Don't sweat it. My tier 2 table was APL 7 or 8 and creamed the adventure as written. Start at average, and turn up the gas when the table starts flexing.

Yes, there is some copying and pasting from previous modules.

My favorite thing about this module is the ability for the DM to really decide the course of events. The first and last encounters are pre-defined, but the whole middle of the adventure is up to you as a DM to decide what happens. If you were really nice, and actually cared about not railroading your players, you could probably work out a way that gives them a choice about how to proceed through the random encounters presented. The random encounters were well thought out and enjoyable.

Treasure drop is meh - seen a lot of these trying to get passed around the FB trade groups.

This adventure is combat intensive, but the combats are really good. I purchased the map pack and printed them in large form to serve as battle maps as I didn't feel like drawing for that session. The maps are great! I was able to repurpose one of the maps for a different random encounter that I wanted to run, and no one but me at the table was any the wiser.

I suppose the end is a little offputting, as you are within sight of the big bad and his army but can't do anything about it. However, this serves to build tension for the next adventure in the Tier 2 series.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-13 Jarl Rising (5e)
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Boat L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/21/2017 12:05:18

Really good little module here. I have run it many times, mostly for players entirely new to the game. It works really well as an intro adventure for a couple of reasons:

  • It's short - around 2 hours of runtime keeps new players from losing focus, and forces the action to keep moving
  • Good mix of roleplaying and combat encounters - This one presents a really challenging roleplaying moment as you have to decide what resources you have to sacrifice. The combats are fun and engaging
  • Player choice - player decisions have a VERY real impact on how the story and events unfold

Overall, a great module. It has a unique atmosphere in relation to the rest of season 5 given its desert setting, and transitions players in a great way from the Moonsea setting of previous seasons and CCC into the Sword Coast. This will continue to be my go-to for new players, even over DDIA or 5 episode modules.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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DDEX1-09 Outlaws of the Iron Route (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Boat L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/21/2017 11:54:18

Ooh, this one is good.

As a DM, you are going to need to be flexible however, as the options presented to the characters leaves it wide open to how they approach the situation. You could probably run this a dozen times and never have it shake out the same way twice.

Keep an eye on the clock however, and be ready to advance from Sections 3 to 4 if the action is slowed. I would recommend abbreviating the introductory section, and keeping things moving through Grimshackle jail as well. You could easily spend the whole session exploring the content in Section 3.

This adventure will allow players to feel empowered, as their tactical decisions have a real impact on how things play out. It is refreshing to see content for ALL of the factions presented.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-09 Outlaws of the Iron Route (5e)
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DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Boat L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/21/2017 11:45:10

This adventure offers up a variety of challenges to the players - and not just in combat.

This one will test the player's ability to be diplomatic iff they so choose and also test the luck of their dice a fair bit too. I enjoyed running the investigation sequences, and the adventure offers a great deal of flexibility to the players in this regard. Certainly one of the less railroad-y adventures in season 1.

A creepy big bad will make the players ask themselves how willing they are to be cordial with the dark fey. A must play to introduce players to the spellcasting services available to them in season 4.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
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DDEX1-06 The Scroll Thief (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Boat L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/21/2017 11:37:29

This is the one that has it all - dungeons AND dragons.

This module has really well fleshed out and interesting NPCs. The social interaction and investigation is engaging. Running this the first time is definitely in my top 5 memorable D&D moments of all time. Players still talk about this one - remember to never stand in a line when charging a black dragon!

Builds extremely well off of the setup of the previous adventure, and it contributes to a vibrant understanding of Phlan as a city. Could be worth picking up and running just for being able to add the treasure as part of your DM rewards, but is an outstanding example of what great adventure writing can look like as well. Great pacing - gradual buildup leads to an explosive climax.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-06 The Scroll Thief (5e)
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DDEX1-01 Defiance in Phlan (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Donald P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/21/2017 11:10:23

This is my second favorite intoductory season module, behind Season 5's, though I think that this module does a better job balancing roleplay and combat scenarios.

Good mix of types of adventures to be found. Several of the scenarios will force new players to get out of their comfort zones and roleplay a bit. There are a couple of classic dungeon crawly, hack-n-slash scenarios for balance as well.

This is a really good type of module to run when time is questionable. Having each scenario break down to ~1hr really lets DMs and players be flexible. You will have to push a bit to complete them all in a normal 4 hour con timeslot.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-01 Defiance in Phlan (5e)
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DDEX1-05 The Courting of Fire (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Donald P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/20/2017 13:21:18

Really enjoyed the first combat of this adventure, but other encounters fall kind of flat. There are some interesting traps involved, but nothing that packs enough teeth to be a major detriment to the party.

This adventure does have a good introduction to Podol's Plaza, the library, and some NPCs that it ay be helpful to develop for later adventurers. However, if you were to only choose one "find missing book/scroll" quest in the first season, my vote has to be for The Scroll Thief.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-05 The Courting of Fire (5e)
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DDEX1-04 Dues for the Dead (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Donald P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/20/2017 13:06:58

So you want a dungeon crawl huh?

This is the most dugeon-crawly one of the first season of organized play. Enjoyable setting, fun NPC tagalong characters and encounters, and throwbacks to early videogames/novels.

There is a diving-off point early in the dungeon that can throw a DM through a loop if you aren't prepared for your group to go off script. Thake a look at that necropolis...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-04 Dues for the Dead (5e)
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DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Donald P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/20/2017 12:58:58

LOVE THIS ONE

Players frequently reminice to me about "That Scooby-Doo Mystery." There is some really fun investigation to be had. Really colorful NPCs to roleplay - the ferryman, the crones, everyone on the island is great.

There is a great twist at the end, just when you think you've got it figured out. and a couple of very memorable combat scenes.

Rewards may not be tier appropriate...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
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DDEX1-02 Secrets of Sokol Keep (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Donald P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/20/2017 12:55:05

For me this will always be the definitive Adventurer's League module. It was my first taste of 5e and so I am full of nostaligia when I think about it. I wouldn't hesitiate to run it as an introductory module for new players either.

The first part of the adventure is roleplay intensive, and the second is a linear dungeon crawl, so there is a good balance for all types of players. Good introduction to Phlan and a good starting point for the rest of the ToD modules.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-02 Secrets of Sokol Keep (5e)
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CCC-BMG-04 CORE 2-1 Tales of Good & Evil
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Donald P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/30/2017 12:44:40

Really enjoyable NPCs, a couple of fun comabts, and plenty of opportunity for hysterical roleplaying. Consists of 6 mini-quests that are interconnected, making for a good introduction to Melvaunt for those who have not been there before.

There may not be as much tie-in to the CORE 1 trilogy as one would like, but this is the stand out adventure of the CORE 2 series.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CCC-BMG-04 CORE 2-1 Tales of Good & Evil
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