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Adventurers League Reference Sheet (Season 8)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Ken S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2019 21:38:46

I love this reference sheet. I keep a copy as the DM, but was a player it's incredibly useful when the DM asks 'Is there anything you want to purchase before you go on this mission to do this thing'. Especially now that scrolls and potions are available for purchase. Not to mention the renown rewards at the start of missions. Love the layout and all the information. Couldn't be happier with it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurers League Reference Sheet (Season 8)
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Creator Reply:
I'm really glad you're finding it useful!
DDEX1-09 Outlaws of the Iron Route (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Ken S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/02/2017 23:24:34

This is a wonderful module for an experienced DM to run. I say that because there is a lot going on in the second half of the module and it takes a lot to remember and convey to the players what is going on and who the 'players' are in the political struggle that's going on. The first time I played this module I thought the DM wasn't prepared, the first time I ran this module I understood the feeling too well, there's a lot going on here and keeping all the moving pieces alive and moving logically and in a way that supports the game is difficult.

The module offers the players the chance to end a riot(I skipped this part due to time concerns), meet up with Phlan nobility and flesh out the Phlan area of the Moonsea specifically the Grimshackle Jail. An interrogation, a jailbreak, and a hostage situation later the party is working their way through a cop movie when they're presented with the very open-ended task of ending the raids on the Iron Route. The best part of this mission is that this taks is extemely open ended and each group will infiltrate the camp differently based on party make-up and the ideas they come up with. This is extremely rare for AL mods in my experience and is to be celebrated ad players have a chance to use all sorts of abilities to lay traps, infiltrate, disguise, or just plain assualt the camp. Another reason this module is best run by a seasoned DM is for time's sake. Getting in and out of the Iron Route camp can easily take 2.5+ hours if the DM is letting the playes come up with their own plans and execute them. I took a tally of the factions, made sure the players were able to accomplish their respective objectives if they chose to and then moved on to the next portion of the adventure when time required it.

Also, the magic item is probably going to be one that someone in the group wants to have, there's always a ranger or ranged fighter in the group. The only reason I don't give this 5/5 stars is the problem I have with a lot of the early modules, I have yet to see a DM run a 4hr module with anything but veteran players in 4 hours or less which creates problems when running on a schedule.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-09 Outlaws of the Iron Route (5e)
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DDAL05-17 Hartkiller's Horn (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/25/2017 16:18:34

I really wanted this to be a 5/5 module, this season has been filled with fantastic modules and after running the Tier 1 season finale I had high hopes but after reading through this module and listening to other DMs who have run it and recorded their games it is obvious that the module fails in several areas. Thankfully, I haven't run it yet, and I plan on making modifications to fix the obvious issues I've found so far to the extent that Adventure’s League allows me to.

SPOILERS: The players are confronted with their Kobiashi Maru situation, they cannot possibly defeat Jarl Ryndolg who has come to destroy/enslave the Hartsvale and instead the players find themselves investigating a beast that Ryndolg has summoned which turns out to be Hartkiller himself(ancient good-aligned giant who still wishes to see giants take control of worldly affairs through force if necessary), the players are ambushed along the way but the combat should be relatively easy at this point and aside from some environmental factors all the monsters have likely been faced before. The players have some interesting role-playing choices at this point which help shape the world of Toril depending on what they do with Hartkiller and whether they survive the side-quest he gives them. From here the module splits off into several paths and there is no easy way to list/review them all here without copy/pasting the module itself.

PROS: 1) Role-Playing: this module features roleplaying opportunities that allow the players to feel like they have truly arrived as the king and SEER basically beg them to help save the town. Always nice to prop the players up a little just before...

2) Surprise Boss Battle: there is an optional boss battle in this module (although I figure most players will probably choose to fight it rather than not) that is not expected and it's placement in the module makes it extremely difficult because veteran players will be trying to conserve their resources for what they believe will be an epic battle and one or two of them could outright die before the party realizes they need to ‘fire everything’.

CONS: 1) The Final Battle has a 50/50 chance of being mainly box test: You still get a final battle; it’s just with a frost giant lieutenant and a hobgoblin devastator who haven’t been mentioned in the season story arc so far as I can recall which feels like a very cheap way to cap off a season compared with the tier 1 season finale which involved players facing waves and waves of giant themed enemies including a giant knight riding a mammoth. It is true that if you make certain role-playing choices you could end up fighting an epic final battle to finish the season off BUT, it is nowhere as difficult as fighting the Beast of Talos from earlier in the module, and doesn’t involve any special mechanics, environmental factors, or strategy that the players haven’t encountered before which feels very anticlimactic.

2) Lack of real consequences/failure story award: Yes, if you fail there is a chance that a population of 10,000 could perish but almost all of these modules this season revolved around SEER, HSING, and possibly 2 other NPCs. So I don’t really get why the players should be invested in the 10,000 people that they haven’t heard from before. Also, if you fail and the 10,000 people do die, there is no lasting effect on your character except whatever you decide to add to their personality from witnessing this ‘horror’.

3) Poor Magic Item Choice: A dagger of venom? Really? It takes an action just to activate the thing, the only saving grace is that it doesn’t take up an attunement slot.

4) Typos: To be fair, I’m sure this review has typos in it, but I’m not asking someone to pay for this review or use it to provide entertainment to a group of gamers.

SUMMARY: This module is the Tier 2 Finale for Season 6, and I wish it weren’t. In any other season this would be a 4/5 for me but because it’s supposed to be representative of a finale and then there’s a very good chance the party will completely bypass the Jarl who they’ve been undermining the entire season, because the 10,000 villagers are just numbers and not faces or NPCs that the party has interacted with before or become interested in, and because the party hears all season about these legendary horns/axes and then gets a dagger of venom as an award the best I can give this module is a 3. A lot of that 3 is due to the surprise boss battle which reminds me of Forgotten Traditions and tests whether the players and their characters have advanced enough to combat truly difficult foes.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-17 Hartkiller's Horn (5e)
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DDEX1-06 The Scroll Thief (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/07/2017 11:49:29

SUMMARY(SPOILERS): This is one of my all-time favorite modules for DnD Adventure's League. The players spend the first half of the module investigating the disappearance of several important but seemingly un-connected scrolls and tomes. There's a lot of role-playing involved in the first half of the module which allows players to get to know the city of Phlan, several recurring and important NPCs, and just have a good experience for players who are looking for something other than a hack and slash game.

The second half is a lot more combat as the players pursue the thief now turned murderer. They descend into a library's vaults which haven't been explored in quite a long time. After leaving the library via the sewer system the players get a chance to fight their first iconic enemy and to measure themselves against a true TPK encounter.

PROS: Lots of role-playing in the first half, good amount of memorable combat with creatures which have affects or must be handled in a specific way rather than just hacked down in the second half, memorable NPCs, the city of Phlan becomes real, and the magic item is sure to be wanted by someone in every party.

CONS: Time. As a DM I don't want to shorten this module at all or to railroad the party but without a bit of railroading this module could easily be stretched to 6 or 8 hours if you want to fully play out the role-playing encounters or allow players to explore the thefts themselves.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-06 The Scroll Thief (5e)
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DDEX1-05 The Courting of Fire (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2017 20:20:42

SPOILERS

Sumamry: This module takes the players on a trip around Phlan as they are sent on an investigatory quest that later leads to combat and the confrontation of an undead creature most of them will want to run away from. The real strength of this module is it's ability to tie in places and people that have already been introduced in this season to make Phlan seem like a real city and keep the players interested in remembering NPC names and professions. The module also sets up the next module 1-6 splendidly and the two should almost always be played in back-to-back sessions so players can maintain that familiarity with the NPCs and places around Phlan. Many of the locations and NPCs from this mission continue to pop-up later in the season so if you're planning on running season 1 at all, 1-5 and 1-6 are not modules to miss. Timing is again something that needs to be watched in this module as there are so many people to talk to and DMs who like to give their NPCs life could easily find themselves adding 1.5 to 2 hours of gametime onto the end of the module. At times the DM may have to rail-road players to keep to the alloted adventure time.

Pros: Recurring characters, fleshes out Phlan, and sets up the next module beautifully.

Cons: Time, Time, Time. This module makes it very easy to go overboard on your timeslot. DM may have to cut some of the fun out to keep the players moving.



Rating:
[4 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 A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2017 20:09:51

SPOILERS:

Summary: This module is one of the first true dungeon delves that players experience in 5e with almost the entire module taking place in a crypt and the players bumbling around looking for their goal. There are traps, monsters, and environmental factors that introduce the party to what the 'Dungeon' in D&D means, thankfully no dragons at T1. The item in the module is very useful if you're willing to give up an attunement slot for darkvision(there are times it is that necessary especially if you're the only one without it and don't want the become the monster's primary target). The one thing that always puzzled me is what happens to the figure who teleports out of the dungeon never to return? I don't believe he reappears in this adventure which is unfortunate as recurring characters across an adventure line just makes common sense if youre trying to reel in players. Role-playing is kept to a minimum as the players only have a handful of meaningful role-play decisions to make in this module and the rest of the time will be spent fighiting undead and detecting traps(if you have a rogue and know what you're doing). Like most of the season 1 modules, this can very easily become a 5.5 or 6 hour module if the DM isn't time keeping or pushing the narrative along or if you have new players.

Pros: Dunegon delving, decent item, undead(clerics/paladins will enjoy this module), and some traps.

Cons: Time, lack of meaningful role-playing opportunities, and what happens to the bad guy at the end of the module? Player's dont have a chance to meet up with him again?



Rating:
[3 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 A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2017 19:51:20

SPOILERS

Pros: Most everyone that I DM with or play with knows about this module. It starts off very simply with players being roped into an investigation that they need to conduct on an island out of town. One of the things I've always loved about this module is it does a good job of introducing new characters to the season(whether they are recurring or not) and allows players who remember NPC names/roles from prior missions are allowed to tap those new sources to gain some insight into what's going on in this module. By the time the players actually reach the island there fun really begins as they are pretty much open to going in whatever direction they want to and will still end up fighting in the most memorable of the module's encounters. Also, 'The eyes' is a good thing for a mad-man to say over and over to scare Tier 1 players into thinking they're going to be fighting something well beyond their character's ability to handle. The first game-store I went to ran this module almost every-other week as either a stand-by table or a regular table as it's simple enough that new players can jump right in and begin learning how to play DnD while still being able to keep up with the plot.

Cons: Time. I have never actually run this module in under 5 hours. Part of the reason is that I want to give players the choice to explore the island as they see fit and there is a lot to see there and a lot to investigate. Players can spend an hour role-playing in various parts of the island, learn almost nothing useful, and not advance the plot much without some DM prodding which can be good or bad depending on how you like your games. DM railroading may be necessary if you are on a strict timeline for this module.

Verdict: 9.5/10. It's memorable enough that even though it has always taken me longer than the alloted time slot it's nearly perfect for DnD. Would buy it again in a heartbeat.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-03 Shadows of the Moonsea (5e)
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DDEX1 Tyranny of Dragons Complete Bundle [BUNDLE]
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2017 19:50:10

SPOILERS

Pros: Most everyone that I DM with or play with knows about this module. It starts off very simply with players being roped into an investigation that they need to conduct on an island out of town. One of the things I've always loved about this module is it does a good job of introducing new characters to the season(whether they are recurring or not) and allows players who remember NPC names/roles from prior missions are allowed to tap those new sources to gain some insight into what's going on in this module. By the time the players actually reach the island there fun really begins as they are pretty much open to going in whatever direction they want to and will still end up fighting in the most memorable of the module's encounters. Also, 'The eyes' is a good thing for a mad-man to say over and over to scare Tier 1 players into thinking they're going to be fighting something well beyond their character's ability to handle. The first game-store I went to ran this module almost every-other week as either a stand-by table or a regular table as it's simple enough that new players can jump right in and begin learning how to play DnD while still being able to keep up with the plot.

Cons: Time. I have never actually run this module in under 5 hours. Part of the reason is that I want to give players the choice to explore the island as they see fit and there is a lot to see there and a lot to investigate. Players can spend an hour role-playing in various parts of the island, learn almost nothing useful, and not advance the plot much without some DM prodding which can be good or bad depending on how you like your games. DM railroading may be necessary if you are on a strict timeline for this module.

Verdict: 9.5/10. It's memorable enough that even though it has always taken me longer than the alloted time slot it's nearly perfect for DnD. Would buy it again in a heartbeat.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1 Tyranny of Dragons Complete Bundle [BUNDLE]
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DDEX1-02 Secrets of Sokol Keep (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2017 19:33:25

I've played/run this module enough that I could run it from memory except for the monster stat blocks. It provides some good investigatory work to Season 1 where players have to act like detectives instead of just kicking down doors and attacking everything in sight(although there are still some memorable combats). The number of times I've played it the DM has made all the difference which is usual for any module, but we still have fun each time and came away with a different play experience due to DM discretion/interpretation of various parts of the module.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-02 Secrets of Sokol Keep (5e)
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DDEX1-01 Defiance in Phlan (5e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2017 19:29:08

These are among the first DnD 5e games that I played in. They are extremely simple to run and provide opportunities for new players to get a grasp for the basics of the game. Their simplicity is what keeps them at a 3/5 for me as well as there is not a lot of replay value to them and they are easily forgotten adventures.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-01 Defiance in Phlan (5e)
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