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Legacy of the Crystal Shard (Next) $14.99
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Bryon K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/02/2018 16:46:13

Legacy of the Crystal Shard takes what is probably my favorite Forgotten Realms setting - Icewind Dale - and gives it a full update for the latest edition. It creates an incredibly deep and lived-in world, and can give an experienced Dungeon Master the tools they need to create a really long-running campaign. That said, this is certainly not a simple or straight forward adventure, so be prepared to really put in some homework.

The Good:

  • Multiple branching plotlines, giving the PCs a feeling of freedom as they explore Icewind Dale.
  • Lots of references to the R.A. Salvatore novels for fans of the Crystal Shard.
  • Not one but three compelling villains, all of whom are out to ruin your day!
  • There's a really good blend of combat, role-playing and some investigation to keep every member of your player group engaged.

The Bad:

  • There is a lot of complexity here, and it's going to take even practiced DMs a lot of work to sort out what happens and when. Look for resources online, and be prepared to have them at the table. This is definitely not a sit down and run it kind of adventure, despite the small size of the book.
  • The encounter descriptions are referenced in the book, but you need the encounter tables on the DM's screen to roll for them. Given that it's in .PDF format, this means a lot of paging back-and-forth or extra printing.
  • While there are a lot of optional paths for players to take, it's still very likely a group could go totally off-the-rails and the adventure doesn't have much support for this.
  • The stat blocks used don't include any options for scaling this adventure up for higher level groups, and are based on the older D&D Next rules rather than full 5th edition rules. This means a DM is going to have work ahead of them to get everything up-to-date.

The Best Moment:

  • For me it's everything related to the Ice Witch. She gets some really amazing set piece encounters, and each time the PCs think they've finally beaten her, she comes back twice as fierce.

Legacy is a really fantastic game, and is worth picking up if you like Icewind Dale as a setting. Its remote and really gives the PCs the sense that they are exploring the frontier on the edge of civilization.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Legacy of the Crystal Shard (Next)
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