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DDAL07-05 Whispers in the Dark (5e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2017 22:25:17

I DMd this module for 3 groups at Philly PAX Unplugged and we had a great time. The module has two main set pieces: the first part is a really well-integrated puzzle and battle. There is a real sense of suspense and increasing panic as the group realizes that fighting the enemy is futile. One group was very clever and made excellent use of the 20 ft monster movement to dash around towards the key puzzle components. The second part is a climatic battle with a legendary monster (for 3rd level).

Some tips:

  • To really heighten the sense of dread in the players, I spent a little more roleplaying time up front with Wudumu and the merchant prince to foreshadow the final battle. This is a great opportunity to use the relevant monster section in the Volo's guide to add really fine details to the coming encounters. Have the merchant prince describe the enemy, to his knowledge, especially 'snakes'. Let the party ask questions about the nature of their enemy. New players will enjoy the Yuan-ti mythology. On the way to the temple, have Wudumu tell the players a myth about Dendar the night serpent devouring the sun. Later on, when the players enter the temple, you can describe an waterfall image of Dendar being seeing devouring the sun for special effect!
  • The nightmare speaker has a wonderful special fear ability. I wrote down on an index card 'What is your greatest fear' and gave it to one of my players, unseen by the other players. One player, a cleric, wrote that his greatest fear was an absent and uncaring god. The nightmare played out perfectly: An image of Lathandar beckoning the player and then turning his back on him. Player rolled for insanity!
  • For stuck players, Wudumu should help with the puzzle. Don't let this part drag on. Add zombies to the map each round - at least 100 ft away for weak parties. This should make it explicitly clear to the 'fight everything' players that they need to solve the puzzle quickly.

Thanks for this excellent mod!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-05 Whispers in the Dark (5e)
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ALQ3 A Dozen and One Adventures (2e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2017 22:19:27

Overall, I believe that this set has some potential for campaign use in an existing D&D campaign (or for conversion into another setting). While the information about the city of Muluk was not as fleshed out as I would have liked, the real gem are the "Dozen and One" adventures that are provided. These are loosely linked together and take characters from starting levels to higher (9th-12th). What I really liked about them were that they were a blend of traditional and non-traditional adventures that I think would provide some entrainment to the right kind of group that really gets into the role-playing aspect of the game- the "Boasting Game" was one of my favorites.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ALQ3 A Dozen and One Adventures (2e)
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H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (4e)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2017 22:15:46

This is the adventure I was playing when my foray into D&D 4th Ed. petered out. I don't think it was the system (I had fond memories of the games I played) but my group just started getting sidetracked with life and most of us weren't friends enough to keep the group going once the game started becoming less of a priority. I was a player in that game and we stopped about halfway through the duegar stronghold.

Currently, I am running this game (converted as a 5th Ed. adventure) and the group is having a blast. At the time of this review they have finished their battle with Chief Krand (it was a nail-biter of a battle that had everyone caught up in the suspense of the moment as they achieved victory from the brink of a TPK).

SPOILER: The only gripe I really have with this adventure is that it does not really give a good hook to get the party to attack the duegar stronghold (other than they are evil) even though it's a fourth of the adventure content. The main adventure seems to be the initial Bloodreaver assault and then focusing on the alliance between the gnolls and Paldemar. I'm not even sure if my PCs are even going to attack the duegar because it would seem to go against the wishes and laws of the Mages of Sarunn and their laws enforcing safe commerce for all in the Seven-Pillared Hall.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (4e)
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DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
by Bradley D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2017 20:41:55

This is the first AL module I have heavily disliked DM'ing and would never run again.

Act 1- Doesnt really deal with why Screaming Wind now has the satchel and is reaching out to the characters vs Wren. Nor does the bridge encounter do anything to add to the story line. My players had the satchel tucked away there was no chance of that going missing, the odd random item "fished" from the characters were laughed off to kids being dumb. They enjoyed buying satchels more then anything found in the rest of the act.

Act 2 - Possibly shortest Act ive seen. Mud.. then done.

Act 3 - A very weak and uninteresting fight.

Not the bridge I was hoping for in the first trilogy of modules released for this season.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
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DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
by Bradley D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2017 20:30:28

While the idea of the race is interesting, the mechanics feel clunky and could have done with more detail similar to the last part of the race. I had to also just handwave as to why the little girl was in the pen to begin with holding a magical staff.

Would probably still run it again as all players so far seem to enjoy taking part of races of any kind.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
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Tortle Package (5e)
by Daniel R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2017 19:34:48

This is perfect, not only is it a good cause but it is great fun. I am enjoying my Tortle (Tippan) druid every game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tortle Package (5e)
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DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
by Tim K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2017 11:16:52

I ran this for my Sunday Night group at a store. This review will contain spoilers! Over all 4 stars, was fun for the group, the fight at the end was fun and players enjoyed a risk to get more gold for themselves in AL play! Spoilers below.

The betting was a bit confusing, I got lucky and all my players bet on the same 2 dino's, so I just ran two races, did some racing announcer voices, and made an open roll on win or lose.

The race event with the players was well done, I was able to have them describe actions and make good choices, but some bad die rolling on the final leg lead to a 2nd place finish for my players, I loved it! good to see a place where the players can "fail" without ruining the story....

The reason for only 4 stars, the final part, was real confusing on setting up the fight, where is the little girl? where do the undead start? How did she get into danger? and separated from her parents? That caused me a bit too much "hand waving" at the table. The investigation at the end was a bit forced, as the "big bad" was dead.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
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N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God (1e)
by Aryana D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2017 19:57:28

We are just about finished this adventure and my players and I love it. I looked at the 5e conversion offered here on the DMs guild, some of which I kept but a lot of it I did my own modifications. Explicitus is going to be a recurring villain so I've made her a bit tougher, and we she comes back she will be stronger and have a vendetta. I am looking forward to having her appear again! I've also planted seeds that the cult has spread to Hookhill and possibly Hochoch.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God (1e)
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DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2017 15:23:53

Fun module to run. Combat-heavy, and that first major encounter is a doozy. Definitely NOT for level 1 characters, especially with the way the last encounter goes. Overall, it had good pacing, though it has the potential to run faster than the 4 hours.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood (5e)
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Land of Intrigue (2e)
by Karl H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2017 11:36:57

I made this purchase to help flesh out the backstory and potential plot hooks for a character I created who hailed from Tethyr, the first of the three kingdoms detailed in this collection. And there's plenty of information to be found therein. As the content is 2e, the information is set over a hundred years prior to 5e goings ons. But it's still a great rescource for getting details on locations, history, and notable families. On that front, the product met my expectations.

There are four PDFs included, one for each kingdom, and one for a few maps. The maps-only PDF is ok. They're not super detailed, some are color and some are black and white. I don't think the maps included offer anything more than what is widely available on the web. The maps inside each of the kingdom PDFs are really disappointing. Specifically, the quality of the scans - which is what I assume they are - is like looking at a copy of a copy of a copy. They're still helpful in terms of getting an idea of the layout of a city and relative locations. But otherwise underwhelming.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Land of Intrigue (2e)
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DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
by Stephanie B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2017 10:31:36

Treasure of the Broken Hoard is the Adventurer's League "-01" introduction module for season 5 of D&D organized play, corresponding to Storm King's Thunder. It takes place after the events of Season 1, Tyranny of Dragons, which contained a major story arc involving Tiamat.

In Treasure of the Broken Hoard, there are hints at adventurers treasure-seeking for bits of Tiamat's now-scattered dragon hoard. As level 1 PCs, it can be very exciting to think "ooh, we're going to handle a dragon egg!" Unfortunately, the adventure is a little disappointing in that regard-- PCs do not interact with major pieces of the Realms like that in this introductory adventure.

However, if you step away from "big picture thinking" and get down to the personal level, the mini-adventures in this module can be very satisfying. I give it a 4 out of 5 because some of the mini-adventures just don't quite gel for me.

SPOILERS BELOW!

First, this is a very difficult adventure hook to bring PCs into the module. For starters, it occurs just outside the town of Parnast.... which is the destination for DDAL05-02, a road adventure where you end in Parnast. If you are running this with a continuing group, you will want to run 05-01 after 05-02 and 05-03. Second, the hook involves meeting up with a dead NPC. It's very hard to get players motivated to care about an NPC who is already dead. If you have the time, consider adding a role-playing encounter prior to the start of the adventure, to get the PCs to care a little bit about this would-be employer.

Additionally, if you recall previous -01 modules and their ties to the factions, be aware that 05-01 doesn't have any faction rewards whatsoever, including renown.

Mission 1: Beneath the Hills. This adventure gives the players a fairly straightforward tactical cave expedition with some comedic elements, like miniaturized goblin swarms and a tiny pet bear (yes, this is the module to run if your players want a pet!)

Mission 2: Upon the Stones. The badgers that make for the foes in this encounter don't make a whole lot of sense (I re-fluffed them as giant lizards to make them more menacing), but there is an excellent role-playing encounter with some living stones. Unfortunately, the most valuable treasure in this mini-adventure is typically destroyed when the PCs try to recover it.

Mission 3: Against the Frost. This mini-adventure features a PvP combat, and a curse. It works in some groups, especially ones where the players already know and trust each other, and are experienced players. Otherwise, I do not recommend it, as it sets a very negative tone for new players.

Mission 4: Through the Fires. This is a very straightforward kobold-fight with a lot of fire effects. It's a decent introduction to 5e combat, but can be a little boring if you already know 5th edition.

Mission 5: Above the Clouds. Starts with a surprise attack (typically; getting a 15 passive perception at level 1 is difficult if you aren't a Wisdom-based PC). They then go into a second fight which has a kind of "boss fight" element to it. Finally, they encounter an NPC that is too powerful to fight. Greedy adventurers (which is most PCs) will not do well in this adventure, and will feel railroaded-- assuming they don't attack and get murdered by the final NPC.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-01 Treasure of the Broken Hoard (5e)
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DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2017 09:10:52

So as a DM i am noticing since POA that the first adventure is extremely deadly. In this case a mage with the ability to cast Fireball. Now oridinaryly I wouldnt have an issue with it but when you are playing with new players to d&d it would make sense to give them an adventure that is not so deadly as an introduction to d&d



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL06-01 A Thousand Tiny Deaths (5e)
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DDAL05-05 A Dish Best Served Cold (5e)
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2017 08:58:35

I enjoyed the adventure but i find the scene at the camp when you persuade the leader to turn on his second in command seems to be counter productive and drags the story.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-05 A Dish Best Served Cold (5e)
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DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
by Giorgio P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2017 07:58:48

Purtroppo modulo si merita solo la sufficenza. L'avventura di per se non è male e offre qualche buon spunto per il roleplaying; il problema è la gara che compone il corpo centrale del modulo che non è ottimale. Al tavolo è risultata faraginosa e dispersiva, la quantità esagerata di prove che devono sostenere sia i pg che i png spezza molto il ritmo del gioco e sembra essere stata concepità piu come riempitivo per far passare il tempo che vera competizione di abilità. Risistemata questa parte potrebbe diventare un bel modulo investigativo.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
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DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
by Ashley K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/17/2017 19:33:16

This adventure is easily in my Top 10 WORST Modules List. There is a joke that goes around the DDAL about how nothing is ever edited very well... I don't think this adventure saw an editor at all. The text is clunky and has numerous omissions of important information, the plot is paper-thin and barely exists, and there are a hundred redudancies that needed to be tightened up. Nothing makes sense, all of the encounters save for the final battle do anything to serve the story or advance the plot.

SPOILERS because I'm going to give you a complete breakdown of this trainwreck:

PART 1 Section A1 actually isn't that bad. It's the version you use if a majority of the table has played "A Day at the Races." However, there's little to no connection between this adventure and the previous one "A Day at the Races." There are numerous inconsistencies between the end of "A Day at the Races" and "A Walk in the Park." It almost feels like the two writers didn't share notes so that continuity between the two adventures could be established. I really don't like how Screaming Wind (Tabaxi NPC & Chult's Emerald Enclave contact) doesn't even mention Soggy Wren (Harper Contact in Chult) who is the person who had the Plot Framing DeviceTM - The Satchel & Poison - at the end of "A Day at the Races." There should at least be some sort of mention of a hand-off of the item to Screaming Wind or a reason why she has it instead of Soggy.

Also... why does Screaming Wind have a Tressym? A Sending Spell Scroll would have sufficed for the reason they need to send MowMow (yes, that is the name of a Tabaxi's Tressym I kid you not.) along with the players.... MowMow is not important and can kindly find their way out of the adventure. Thanks.

Section A2. This is the version you use if your players didn't participate in "A Day at the Races" and, honestly, where I started eyeballing my vodka bottle. YOU NEVER HAVE YOUR CONTACT RUN AWAY BEFORE GIVING IMPORTANING ADVENTURE-BEGINNING INFORMATION. NEVER. In the author's world it's okay for Screaming Wind, a leader in the Emerald Enclave and the point of contact to begin this entire adventure, to refuse to talk to non-EE player characters and effectively STOP THE INVESTIGATION FROM HAPPENING. Literally! There is written in the text a CHASE SCENE where Screaming Wind will actually RUN AWAY from the players if they can't make their Persuasion Check! Better make sure you have an Emerald Enclave player at your table! They then would have to chase her down and REPEAT THE PERSUASION CHECK. What... I...... Hold on kids, lemme get a drink....

Section B. If someone can explain a reason for the "Fisherlings" encounter other than just annoying the players and potentially triggering a SECOND Chase Sequence, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, this encounter needs to be trashed or fleshed out to actually have a plot-related consequence. If it WAS more about keeping the players from investigating then I would be okay with it. Otherwise it feel more like NaNoWriMo wordcount padding. There is a mention that the Fisherlings will target the Plot Framing DeviceTM Satchel, which I think SHOULD have been the point - grab the satchel and run so that the drug smuggling ring stays hidden because "oops... there goes the evidence!" But no... nope. Nothing of the sort is mentioned in the text. Yes, there is an "Extra Encounter" included where if the Fisherlings get away then you might run into some thugs that'll extort you to get your property back, but no mention that it could turn into a "Destroy the Evidence" type of scenario which would have been muuuuch more interesting!

Then there is... THE SATCHEL SHOP. Apparantly, this is the MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THIS MODULE OMG. Hey kids, want a fun drinking game for this module? Drink every time you see the word Satchel. Guarateed Alcohol Poisoning or your money back! I feel like I know everything there is to know about Satchels after this aventure. Also... is Abwale Capaning part of the smuggling ring? It's never made clear, impled... but never made clear. It would be more interesting if he was and all of his dialogue (that DOESN'T deal with trying to sell you a Satchel!) seems to imply he knows more than he's letting on.... but there's nothing given to the DM. So... story-wise The Satchel Shop is a dead-end for the most part. No new information is learned because... guess what... THE SATCHEL ISN'T THE IMPORTANT PART! THE! POISION! IS! Which makes the other NPC you meet Wadumu the more important part of this scene and he's just sort of... dumped onto the players.

Also, this Module recieves the Ashley Shadowheart Award for Fastest Magic Item Awarding. Wadumu shows up and voluntells the players he'll be their guide into the jungle because he knows about the Plot Framing DeviceTM Poision (thankfully the Satchel leaves the story) and he also just throws this adventure's magic item at the players. Honestly, I feel like magic items should be presented as a special reward not just a random piece of candy to entice the players into going where they're supposed to go in the story.

Honestly? The best fix where would me to remove the Fisherlings and let the players get to The Satchel Shop, get all of The Satchel Shop BS over with, THEN have the Thugs show up (hired men by Abwale to rough the players up and steal the evidence) and use that as Wadumu's entry into the story where he helps the players fight the thugs off. Better flow and every encounter does something to serve the story.

PART 2 "In the Jungle, the Chultan Jungle the PCs Sleep Tooooniiiight." No, really, that's the extent of Part 2. Apparantly Wadumu's such a BAMF that he gets the players through the Jungle without issues... until a Rain Storm hits. There's some skill challenges here to avoid being swept away in a flash flood, but otherwise this part is all padding without substance. Wadumu escorts the adventurers to a safe place to sleep and tells them a bedtime story that's secretly the story of his Tragic PastTM. Then it just... ends and we go on to Part 3.

Seriously... I got nothing. This part was so pointless it doesn't need to exist. Get rid of it. Wrap Wadumu's Tragic PastTM story into his introduction and toss Part 2 out.

Part 3. We just... ENTER THE GUARDED VILLAGE WITHOUT ISSUE. No... no... make 'em sneak in! And if they can't sneak in, then they get taken directly to the Yuan-Ti Pureblood that's running the show. Then have the big final fight. Part 3 just reads like a muddied mess and makes no sense. Does Wadamu sell the adventueres as slaves to the Yuan-ti and that's how the get in? He does have a converstaion with some of the human guards of the village, but we're not told what he says or what his game is. All we learn is that he CLAIMS to have told the Humans the Adventurers were here to save them, but the adventurers will have to wait for nightfall... why? They're already inside the village... they're being given a tour by the guards... seriously Adventure! What does the Guard REALLY think they're there for? You don't tell us!

And once they do fight the Yuan-ti the adventure just... ends. Yes, you get a plot hook about a "lost city" where the Yuan-ti have set up their main base, thus setting up the third part of the Trilogy. But it just feels... meh. Especially since it is Wadumu who learns about this city through an argument with some fellow grung and then tells the players. It would be far better for them to have to interrogate the Yuan-ti or maybe be told about it from the human slaves in the village. This Adventure commits a Cardinal Sin by making an NPC more vital to the story than the actions of the players, one my top Unforgiveable Sins.

So... my final thought? I need more vodka to deal with this adventure.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-04 A Walk in the Park (5e)
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