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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)

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Caravans are having a difficult time getting through to Parnast via the Black Road.

Organized attacks by orcs and other monstrous humanoids working in concert with one another have folks baffled. Little do they know that an unusually intelligent hill giant, going by the name of Bad Fruul is to blame.

SEER has sent her emissary Hsing, to task your group to accompany a caravan with a very special cargo destined for the Shrine of Axes in Parnast, and to figure out who is responsible.

A Two Hour Adventure for 1st-4th Level Characters

 
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Reviews (68)
Discussions (19)
Customer avatar
CIRCOLO OVERLORD P October 14, 2017 7:38 pm UTC
PURCHASER
One of my preferite adventure.
Customer avatar
Thomas F September 03, 2017 2:14 am UTC
PURCHASER
Really enjoyed the tone and feel of this module. The only issue I had with it when I ran it was the players blew threw the hobgoblin toll, with extreme ease and they thought there was going to be more. When they then reached town they felt like it was a let down and too easy.
Customer avatar
Elliott F August 12, 2017 3:40 pm UTC
Good and straight forward adventure for lower level characters.
Customer avatar
Jon E July 10, 2017 1:25 am UTC
PURCHASER
I have played this and ran it, good early level adventure, has some roleplaying, skills challenges and combat.
Customer avatar
July 03, 2017 10:29 pm UTC
Rating 4/5

In this adventure you start the Parnast Story line. It is a good start as you join a caravan and must protect it in the dessert. PC's get to make major decisions that will impact the rest of the story. I highly suggest starting this and continuing down the Parnast story line as there is a must buy further down.
Customer avatar
Nace C June 29, 2017 9:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey, just wanted to compliment you on a great job with The Black Road. It was fun to DM here in the Knoxville TN AL. I posted a couple of adventures on DM's Guild based in the Parnast area. I used ARAM in the adventures. Thanks for a great NPC.
Customer avatar
Anthony O May 20, 2017 1:10 am UTC
This was a lot of fun and made the players think tactically. I enjoyed the pacing and it was just a ton of fun. Highly recommended
Customer avatar
JASON D April 07, 2017 3:55 am UTC
So, this is one of my favorite DDAL modules to date. The storyline is simple, the NPCs are few but richly done, and there's a great balance of RP, combat, pace, and strategy. I love desert settings in D&D and the challenges that this module brings to the players. It fits in well enough into a 2 hour session but can easily be stretched to 3 or 4 hours depending on how thoroughly you want to RP this event. Well done, WOTC! More modules like this, please!
Customer avatar
Paige L April 12, 2017 8:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you!
Customer avatar
Jonathan F April 04, 2017 5:34 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I played through this.

Ratings:
-- Target Level: 2nd level (paladin 3 or 4).
-- Story: 5/5.
-- Pacing: 5/5.
-- Combat Difficulty: 5/5.

Introduction: Clear faction based hook. The hook did seem to indicate it was a secret mission (it was not).

Exploration: Not so much exploration, but there is one scene that was basically a skill challenge. We were not much of a "skill group" (and some people decided to do things that others would have been better at).

Pacing: Pacing was great, things moved nicely.

Combat: The last combat was great. Featured multiple levels/terrain. Excellent. I just wish my paladin could high jump higher (*cough cough* wizards: prepare jump, kidding).

Roleplaying Opportunities: In the skill challenge there was some.

Overall: Great module. If I had the opportunity, I think I would like to play through the entire Parnast series in order on one PC (this is the only Parnast...See more
Customer avatar
Paige L April 12, 2017 8:06 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Author here. Thank you for the very kind words!
Customer avatar
Andrew K December 30, 2016 9:42 pm UTC
Dealing with hazards while protecting a desert caravan is a good idea for a module. I just wish the author had researched how desert caravans actually work. Still, I expect that most people would not notice its logical incoherence and enjoy the module just fine.
Customer avatar
Alan R M October 28, 2016 2:04 am UTC
PURCHASER
Sorry, this is my first time buying a product on DmsGuild... but my PDF isn't working. Can someone help me with what I am supposed to do? Thanks.
Customer avatar
Paige L October 28, 2016 8:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
This is probably the wrong place to ask for technical help. :-) You might want to try the "contact us" link in the footer. I can answer questions about the content, but I know absolutely nothing about the technical details of how DriveThru runs things.
Customer avatar
Alan R M October 29, 2016 5:54 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks, did it, and got it working! Sorry to clog up this discussion with tech questions! :)
Customer avatar
Daron F October 21, 2016 2:39 am UTC
PURCHASER
I am looking at "Adjusting the Encounter" on page 15. There may be a typo since Weak Party appears to be less challenging than Very Weak Party, and another for Very Strong. Can you provide some clarification?

Other than that I like the module and am excited to run it this weekend!
Customer avatar
Paige L October 25, 2016 2:55 pm UTC
PURCHASER
You are right and we were wrong. I've checked my notes. My XP math Excel workbook says to remove the bugbear, not the bugbear chief BUT the version we sent to WotC clearly says to remove the bugbear chief. I'm so sorry we didn't catch this. I'll check with them about uploading a revised version. That might take a while though. Thank you so much for catching this typo!

The box on p. 15 SHOULD read:
Very Weak Party: Remove the bugbear chief.
Weak Party: Remove the bugbear, remove the worg, add a goblin.

So that gives you...
Very Weak Party: Bugbear and worg. (Total of 1.5 CR and 2 monsters.)
Weak Party: Bugbear chief and goblin. (Total of 3.25 CR and 2 monsters.)
Customer avatar
October 21, 2016 2:36 am UTC
So I just played through this in an AL game, and the magic item included was labeled as Bracers of Archery, but the description of them was something else entierly, I believe the Boots of the Winterlands, or some other item that effects resistance to temperature. I didn't personally purchase this so I don't know if it was just my DM's copy or something, but if any other purchasers can confirm this error, we should bring it to WotC's attention. Since it's adventurer's league stuff I feel it's pretty important this be corrected, either by changing the item label or description so that players can get the correct item.
Customer avatar
Daron F October 21, 2016 2:40 am UTC
PURCHASER
This confuses me as well.
Customer avatar
October 21, 2016 12:41 pm UTC
PURCHASER
It is correct. Like many magic items in previous seasons, this has properties in addition to those listed in the DMG. The cert repeats the information given in the module text.
Customer avatar
Ben H October 24, 2016 9:47 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The resistance to temperatures is a minor property we decided to give to the item. It functions as per the pbracers of archery plus the temperature resistance. Apologies for the confusion.
Customer avatar
Riccardo R October 14, 2016 5:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I have a question about the blackroad map and where Vuerthyl is in relation the rest of the quest. It really seems like a short span in the desert to get from Vuerthyl to Parnast and en extremely long and harrowing journey fron Zhentil to Vuerthyl.
Is this intended?
Customer avatar
Paige L October 15, 2016 3:49 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Yes, this is intended. It's about a tenday or so from Vuerthyl to Parnast. It's a journey of several tendays to get from Zhentil Keep to Vuerthyl. While there can be many adventures between Zhentil Keep and Vuerethyl, our little corner of the larger Storm King's Thunder plot (involving Bad Fruul) is really only relevant in the far western edge of the Anauroch Desert. Given that we wanted to keep the adventure to a two-hour run time, we chose to concentrate our efforts on the action in the area of the Anauroch Desert influenced most directly by Bad Fruul.

Plus, there was no guarantee that the player characters would be coming from Zhentil Keep or the Moonsea Area. If characters have only played 5-1 "Treasure of the Broken Hoard", they're more or less in the general area (and have no reason to travel from Zhentil Keep to Vuerethyl). The map showing Zhentil Keep and the Moonsea serves two main purposes. 1) It shows the length of this area of the Black Road and 2) it's a reference for the...See more
Customer avatar
October 16, 2016 3:05 am UTC
PURCHASER
One of my few nitpicks for this adventure is that timespan/distances for the adventure wheren't included on the the flowchart or anywhere else (that I found) for travel through the desert. When I ran it today: "2A" was second night, "2B" was third night, "2C" & "2D" ("D2" option) was fifth day and "3" was (as written) two days after that. All but one (1st level ranger) of my players were AL vets of the Moonsea area. Full review to come on that side, soon.
Customer avatar
Paige L October 17, 2016 1:53 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Ben and I went around and around about that, and eventually decided to leave it vague. We could have put a timeline in, but that might have felt too prescriptive (and reduced DM agency). That also takes a fair few words to describe, and we were right up against our 5,000 word recommended limit for a 2 hour adventure. (How many days? What is the land speed of a laden camel? Bactrian or dromedary? How heavy is the statue? How much water do you need for X many people and how much does it weigh? What if you have people with 25' movement? What if you have one ranger? Or two?)

In the end, we decided to trust the DMs, and let them make the best decisions about timeline for the table that they were running. I'm sure whatever you ran for your table was appropriate.
Customer avatar
October 14, 2016 2:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
P 3, Adjusting the Encounter: This adventure is optimized for a party of five <MID>-level characters.

The intro does say five 3rd-level.
Customer avatar
Paige L October 15, 2016 3:41 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The correct text is in the first paragraph of the adventure. "Welcome to The Black Road, a D&D Adventurers League™ adventure, part of the official D&D Adventurers League™ organized play system and the Storm King's Thunder™ storyline season. This adventure is designed for three to seven 1st-4th level characters, and is optimized for five 3rd level characters. Characters outside this level range cannot participate in this adventure. A player with an ineligible character can create a new 1st-level character or use a pregenerated character."
Customer avatar
RS R October 11, 2016 7:41 pm UTC
PURCHASER
P. 15, section Adjusting The Encounter: for the very strong it's add a bugbear chief, remove the worg. right?
Customer avatar
Paige L October 14, 2016 11:40 am UTC
PURCHASER
Yep - good catch. It should read: "Very Strong Party: Add a bugbear chief, remove the worg."
Customer avatar
Alex C October 16, 2016 4:35 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Speaking of this encounter (p15), I think the "weak" adjustment may have an error in it? As currently written (Remove the bugbear chief, remove the worg, add a goblin), it makes the encounter weaker than the "Very Weak Party". In order to make it more in-line with the "weak" hobgoblin encounter (and to make it the equivalent 750 XP), should "weak" on p15 be "remove the bugbear, remove the worg, add a goblin", making it so a bugbear chief and goblin are facing the party?
Customer avatar
Paige L October 25, 2016 3:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
You are right and we were wrong. I've checked my notes. My XP math Excel workbook says to remove the bugbear, not the bugbear chief BUT the version we sent to WotC clearly says to remove the bugbear chief. I'm so sorry we didn't catch this. I'll check with them about uploading a revised version. That might take a while though. Thank you so much for catching this typo!

The box on p. 15 SHOULD read:
Very Weak Party: Remove the bugbear chief.
Weak Party: Remove the bugbear, remove the worg, add a goblin.

So that gives you...
Very Weak Party: Bugbear and worg. (Total of 1.5 CR and 2 monsters.)
Weak Party: Bugbear chief and goblin. (Total of 3.25 CR and 2 monsters.)
Customer avatar
Alex C October 28, 2016 2:16 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for checking! It was a great adventure and we had a great time running it. Good to know for future runs about the bugbear encounter.
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This title was added to our catalog on October 04, 2016.