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DDAL05-19 Eye of Xxiphu (5e)
by David H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2017 12:22:27

In my review of DDAL05-19’s predecessor, DDAL05-18 “The Mysterious Isle,” I wrote that “Mysterious Isle” can be viewed as a trap, luring the players with a false sense of confidence and then crushing them in the follow up. “Eye of Xxiphu” is the tier 4 adventure you were waiting for. It has a little bit of everything, especially for players who want a good scrap. There are a few missteps, but forgivable ones, which a DM can easily work through or work around. SPOILERS AHEAD, OF COURSE.

Part 1.

The adventure does a good job of looping in players who may not have played in DDAL05-18. You get dropped right back in, and our old friend SEER gives a concise update on what the players need to do: “Recover the Eye of Xxiphu.” Boom. Go for it.

Part 2.

A. Honestly, as a DM, this was my favorite part of the adventure — and there shouldn’t be a single initiative roll during this part, just some fun roleplaying. Have fun with the rooms and the oddities contained within. With the “Red as Blood” room, I really went into how perfect this apple was. Over the top: In hindsight about how other apples have just disappointed you and how so few things in this world are perfect, BUT THIS APPLE! And so on. For “Tooth of the Damned,” the players had fun establishing a telepathic connection with Black Dougal in diamond. I made him a glum, Eeyore-type character, resigned to his fate. Don’t deny your players these interactions. Feel free to give them enough information (with the right rolls) to engage and have fun. The “Mad Dancers” were also entertaining. (I made one of the merfolk a little sad to have stopped dancing.) You don’t have to hit every room, but I’d make sure they don’t plow through this section. Also, “White as Snow,” the module text gives the players every indication that this apple is not right. (“There is something very unsettling about its lack of color.”) Don’t be a jerk. Give the players proper hints that this apple shouldn’t be consumed. It’s death without a save. That’s not fun for anyone.

B. I don’t like the corridor. Visually, it’s cool — and the ultimate effect is interesting. But reading the last paragraph of the section introduction is not entirely clear. The section about “if all characters resist or are freed…” I need this information clarified upfront and highlighted.

B1. The “fighting as golems” mechanic is interesting. I’m glad there’s a handout to give the players. However, it can make the overall adventure maybe a little too busy.

Encounter time: 1 hour? Um… no. Twice that, at least. The eight waves of cloud giants, merrows, scrags, and then Lord Dworkin is a beast encounter to run. It took up 80% of the adventure time, and I think my players were a little exhausted after a while, which is a shame because “Battle in the Sky” is really fun. By the time you get to it, you and the players are ready to call it a day. I would seriously suggest condensing this encounter or finding ways to speed it up, just a bit. Read the room.

C. Always fun when the players think they have beaten the “big bad,” and burn through all their reliable power moves — only for there to be much, much more left to contend with.

For the hidden treasure, remember that a Passive Investigation (of 13 or higher) will suffice if the active Investigation check is low.

Other side note: Keeping track of the golem rules, the magic disruption rules, the underwater combat rules AND all the quirks of tier 4 players can be overwhelming. I’d keep it all on a one-sheet near you for reference.

D. Battle in the Sky

Who doesn’t love airships, dragon mounts, and cloud castles? Fun! To me, the misstep of this adventure is allowing the players to fight Dworkin in B1 when you could have all this craziness in section D. Tier 4 players will see the railroading from a mile away, if you try too hard to force failure in B1.

Conclusion

I played this adventure once. I DM’d this adventure once. In both situations, the Eye went to the Lord’s Alliance. I don’t think the players realized they could insist on keeping it, which is a shame. It seems like an interesting item, which could lead to other Far Realm twists in the future.

Treasure: Lots of XP and lots of treasure. Life is good for the tier 4 adventurers. Another Staff of Power? There should be a rule that if you’re handing these things out in an epic (Reclamation of Phlan) you should retire the item for a while. I see so many casters with the staff of power. It’s a bit of an in-joke at this point. And yes, another Tome of Understanding. For players who also got a Tome of Understanding in PHLAN 1-2 “Enemy of My Enemy” and/or in Curse of Strahd — I’m pretty sure the Tome of Understanding doesn’t stack. Check your DMG to verify.

Overall, this adventure is fun, but keep your notes handy, plan for it to take much longer — and take several breaks to prevent Restless DM syndrome.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-19 Eye of Xxiphu (5e)
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DDEX2-08 Foulness Beneath Mulmaster (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2017 01:21:32

This adventure was very enjoyable for myself and my players. There were however a few moments that could be inproved upon.

At the beginning of the adventure, there wasn't a reward for the adventures. This tied in with the end where I (as the Sergant) told them there wasn't a reward for the job, offering only adventure and whatever they found. The first encounter with the other adventurers is a good RP moment that could be used to award inspiration if the characters are selfless. The sink hole in the first combat encounter is good to have as a surprise. The skull with the helmet could be changed to that of the lost dwarf to close the loop with the previous adventurers. Laal is a useful good informat to too trusting adventurers. Meeting with the cult provides the GM a chance to determine if the party needs a short rest or not. The betrayal of the cult after the troglydytes may be too much for a party, if they use all there resource or a few go down before then. An easy solution is Laal to suggest the cults untrustworthy when they first meet them and during combat with teh troglydytes. The fight with the water wierd is not difficult and has no adjust block to it. The room it was in could be a puzzle only and the water wierd could be in the pool of water in the inner vault. I tried this with the party and I asked them for feed back on this encounter, which they all agree it was more satisfying, especially to those who played this adventure before with different characters. With the last encounter being a potential underwater fight, it made my players want more of these types of fights. The magic item obviously for warlocks only, but unlocks warlock multiclassing RP for the character who get it. This could, however, also be disappointing if no characters are able to multiclass (e.g. less than 13 CHA) or have no intention to. Lastly, since magic isn't subject to Mulmaster's laws underground, casters a chance to shine within the city without risks. Overall this adventure was fun to run.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-08 Foulness Beneath Mulmaster (5e)
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DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
by Daniel F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2017 13:43:30

A great adventure that highlights the importance of social combat/interaction. The failure of good roleplaying or social skill can have lasting consequences in future adventures. The social aspect is also a component in some of the combat encounters. It is especially true for the final encounter. The player reward is not as prized and the story awards depend heavily on social consequences.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-03 Uninvited Guests (5e)
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DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
by Daniel F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2017 13:30:04

They are great introduction adventures for this season. The combat encoun can be very deadly for unprepared adventurers so take care or go nuts depending on the DM style. The player and story awards are appropriate and fun with one exception that does specifically bear fruit, but can be applied retroactively. The adventure length is an hour a piece but can easily take up to 2 depending on player choice and experience.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
by Daniel F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2017 13:25:09

A simple adventure to run in theory. However, unprepared adventurer choices can be detrimental at the end. The initial combat encounter is good for testing character abilities safely. The following encounters test players with adaptability and quick decisions. The player and story awards are adequate. The adventure can easily take longer than the 2 hour run time.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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DDAL05-13 Jarl Rising (5e)
by Nicholas W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2017 00:06:15

Not a bad mod. Wonderful continuation and excellent way to get a decent magic item. Can't wait to run again!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-13 Jarl Rising (5e)
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DDAL05-04 In Dire Need (5e)
by Nicholas W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2017 00:04:28

Excellent mod that's easy to run with many different options. I like that i can just throw more encounters in if I need to make it longer.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-04 In Dire Need (5e)
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DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
by Nicholas W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2017 00:02:54

So glad this mod helps me with how to run it. It's always great and makes mods easier to run cold. Wonderful!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
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DDAL05-08 Durlag's Tower (5e)
by Nicholas W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2017 23:58:11

Not a bad mod. However, it has quite a few typos. Needs a little editing. Otherwise we had fun!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-08 Durlag's Tower (5e)
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DDAL05-09 Durlag's Tomb (5e)
by Nicholas W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2017 23:53:15

This was a really good mod that for some reason we finished in 2 and a half hours.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-09 Durlag's Tomb (5e)
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DDEX2-11 Oubliette of Fort Iron (5e)
by Andrew C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2017 17:32:05

Great 2 hour module. Simple and fun. I recommend really prepping for the last fight since Tier 1 characters can kind of curb stomp the finale if they are a strong or level 3 or 4 party.

Creepy setting and some puzzles.

Best part was running Elisande and her creepy bayou ways. She is always a hit.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-11 Oubliette of Fort Iron (5e)
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DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
by Andrew C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2017 17:28:59

I gotta say I really enjoyed this module. Classic kobolds: traps, and ambushes and pack tactics. The final fight was EPIC for this Tier of play. Even describing the magic item reward was fun to see the players faces sour at the description of a clearly useful items.

Great transistion from the kobolds in Sunless Citadel to the Forge of Fury.

Thumbs up for this fine 2 hour module!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
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Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (5e)
by Tim M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2017 14:57:01

Overall an excellent resource for 5e D&D, adding four new PC playable races with good background information and more than 40 new spells - all as official supplements to the adventure, Princes of the Apocalypse.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (5e)
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DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
by Ian C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2017 09:39:12

I really enjoyed this adventure. Everything was fairly balanced, the encounters were fun and challenging, and my rogue is now officially traumatized by commoners. One suggestion to people running a group that doesn't set the alarm off: Remember to roll for random encounters. I had 13 commoners just hanging around int eh final room because the party never encountered them in the dungeon itself. The adventure also provides a very interesting backdoor into Forge of Fury, which was very fun. All in all, this was a fantastic lead-in into The Forge of Fury.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
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DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/20/2017 22:11:20

A confusing sand box adventure in a haunted forrest with fun incounters and fine loot, but to poorly writen and hard to run.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-08 Tales Trees Tell (5e)
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