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DDAL05-07 Chelimber's Descent (5e)
by Mark C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/11/2017 14:16:21

There's some good ideas in this module, but it is very poorly presented. I kind of find it hard to believe that this adventure was ever reviewed by an editor. There are references to outdated mechanisms (resistance is presented in 4e style rather than 5e), there are encounters with vague information and others with references to information that was never presented in the first place.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-07 Chelimber's Descent (5e)
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
by Phillip N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2017 21:15:02

A nice way to introduce players to both AL and Chult. It is easy for these modules to last over an hour, though.

The overwhelmingly favorite module is the dinosaur races, which is nice and light hearted enough, and it helps ease players into the action.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
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DDAL07-01 A City on the Edge (5e)
by Adam G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2017 12:27:34

City on the Edge serves as a good introduction to Port Nyanzaru, a key location in Season 7 and Tomb of Annihilation. There is good variety, althought some of the encounters were pretty plain. I both played this and DM'd it in 4-hour slots (even though it is officially 5 hours of play), and it took significant planning to make the timing work.

What I liked

  • The overall framing and some of the mini-adventures had good flavor. Players really get the feel of being in a large, steamy city on the edge of the jungle that has a wide variety of factions and political interests. I especially liked the flavor of mission 2 and mission 3, which were just different from the usual.
  • Lots of variety in locales and encounters. The party travels to different parts of the city and outside of the city. and encounters actually occur in diverse settings.
  • Some good roleplaying opportunity, especially with the faction heads.

What I didn't like

  • The dinosaur race was confusing and got old quickly. I love the flavor of the race, but the mechanics were a bit hard to follow. When I played as a PC, the DM misread the instructions and the race took over an hour. I made some changes when I DM'd that moved things faster, and I think the players enjoyed it more.
  • The combat encounters were not very tactically interesting and tended to feel like a slog. I probably could have made them more interesting, but that would have made the mini-adventures run longer than an hour each.

DM tip: If you are running this is a limited time slot, make a plan ahead for pacing and what you'll drop. There is no way you can cover all the content in a 4-hour time slot!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-06 Breath of the Yellow Rose (5e)
by Adam G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2017 12:02:41

Breath of the Yellow Rose has great story content, an investigation, and lots of roleplay opportunities, but may be less interesting for players who prefer combat. It requires a reasonable amount of DM prep to keep track of the story and NPC threads, and the DM should plan ahead if time is limited. This can be a lot of fun with the right players and sufficient DM preparation.

What I liked -

  • This adventure has exceptional roleplay opportunity. There is a good variety of NPCs, many that PCs need to get information out of. The author did a good job with gray boxes containing tips about roleplaying each of the NPCs. After running this adventure, I got super motivated to create my own PC hailing from Mulmaster.
  • The story and campaign tie-ins are strong. The adventure dives deep into politics and personalities in Mulmaster, and ties well in with other season 2 adventures. The cult that is the center of the adventure is both funny and sad, and most players should have context from media portrayal of cults to enjoy it.
  • The investigation was a good chase for the party. I've run other adventures where investigation felt either too linear or where players could easily get stuck if they missed a clue. This was not that -- the party hit lots of dead ends, but they always had other options and didn't require much nudging from me.

What was OK -

  • Part 4 (everything after the investigation) was OK. I felt like there was an illusion of choice, but the party was going to have to fight several key NPCs no matter what they chose. After completing the investigation part, I actually think my players were tired of sandbox and would have preferred something more obviously linear in Part 4.
  • Pacing required some forethought. I opted to let my players enjoy the investigation, but we had to move pretty fast through the last two combat areas because we had a limited time slot (4 hours).
  • The gala. I'm just not a big fan of running parties. While there was a lot of great material provided, some of it did not contribute to the party's mission and I chose to skip it for the sake of time.

What I didn't like -

  • I thought the combat was less interesting. There is a small encounter during the investigation that felt like it was thrown in to break things up, but it wasn't especially interesting and felt random. In the main encounter area (Part 4), there were several opportunities for combat, but they didn't require much tactical thinking.

Ovearall, I thought the adventure was well written with lots of flavor. It probably needs a 5-hour time slot to really do it justice.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX2-06 Breath of the Yellow Rose (5e)
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DDEX3-10 Quelling the Horde (5e)
by Adam G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2017 10:47:17

Quelling the Hordes has opportunity for light investigation, roleplaying, and a good variety of combat. It is fun if run well, but the adventure can easily turn into a slog-fest. The DM should make conscious choices about how to run it. I ran this in a four-hour slot and was nervous beforehand that the party would feel rushed, but that ended up not being the case.

It starts with a simple investigation that includes both combat and a small roleplay opportunity. There is no puzzle-solving, but the story pieces provide good flavor. If you have limited time, DMs should make sure the party keeps moving through the investigation because the meat of the adventure is after this.

The trail leads the party to a large set of caves where there are many encounter opportunities. There is good variety here where fighting head-on is often not the best approach -- so the players need to make decisions about how to proceed. This variety includes:

  • A CR 4 monster that can easily TPK a low-level party, but can be negotiated with.
  • A village, where the party can use stealth or other means to avoid being attacked by everyone at once.
  • Possibility of equipment destruction, which is especially worrisome for poor 1st level characters It is easily possible for the party to explore/encounter everything else before finding the boss. If time is limited, the DM may need to steer them.

When I first picked this up, I would have liked it if the adventure had more guidance for DMs running this in a standard four-hour slot. Fortunately, there is enough advice out there -- here on DMs Guild and out in the web -- for DMs who are preparing to run this.

(Note: In one place the text says that the adventure is optimized for 1st level, and in another place it says it is optimized for 3rd level. Reading around on the web, I settled on 1st level.)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-10 Quelling the Horde (5e)
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DDAL07-06 Fester and Burn (5e)
by David M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2017 01:18:31

This is a great adventure. One of the most fun I've run. Lots of room for humor and a fair amount of roleplay potential. I ran this in a game store on a Saturday afternoon when nobody had any time restraints, so I wasn't trying to keep to the 2-hour runtime. So, I ended up running it in 3 1/2 hours. I think it could pretty easily been a 2 1/2 hours or less if I was in railroad mode. But my table was having a blast, so I just let the adventure run its course. The geometry of the final battle could have made a pretty quick TPK if a couple of the more powerfull spells would have been cast in the first couple rounds of the combat (I'll leave it at that). My table was a "weak" table - I think I had 3 level 5s, a level 6 and a level 8. However, the players wanted it run as an "average" level party and it was a pretty fair fight. They could have even had a bit more of a challenge at the end. All in all, a very fun time and universally loved by the entire table. My highest recommendation.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-06 Fester and Burn (5e)
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In Volo's Wake (5e)
by Matt R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2017 23:24:16

I really liked being able to have my players interact with the high end monsters from Volo's guide, but I was annoyed by the lack of details inside the hag's cabin. When I initially prepared the adventure, I didn't notice that there was no description of any of the ten rooms, and I ended up having to make them up on the fly. A minor thing, for sure, but it would have been nice.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
In Volo's Wake (5e)
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DDAL05-04 In Dire Need (5e)
by Kevin H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2017 22:57:32

The story for this adventure develops well and gives the players challenges beyond combat, assunming they get the right random encounters. The set pieces offer a way around the potentially overwhelming combat of this module.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-04 In Dire Need (5e)
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DDAL07-06 Fester and Burn (5e)
by Anthony H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2017 12:03:55

Fun module. Well written. The cert needs to be fixed in the package.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-06 Fester and Burn (5e)
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DDAL05-05 A Dish Best Served Cold (5e)
by Remington A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2017 07:24:01

This is a good adventure, with a fair amount of role playing opportunities, a little bit of mystery, and a variety of options for combat and encounter solutions. This module tends to run over it's 2 hour design, unless you rush through things.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-05 A Dish Best Served Cold (5e)
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DDAL07-06 Fester and Burn (5e)
by Tom S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/08/2017 21:13:46

Good module, good story, appropriate difficulty. The only complaint is the length -- there's no way this is a 2 hour module. Not even with the suggested time reductions. Even the usual 50% overage is too low. Just a warning to others planning to run it on a time limited schedule.

But if you have extra time, this module is a blast! Looking forward to running the remainder of the series.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-06 Fester and Burn (5e)
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DDAL04-14 The Darklord (5e)
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/07/2017 14:45:13

This module was very interesting to run, particularly with the opening roleplay. It took a little DM creativity to fit it into a one-shot adventure, rather than running the CoS modules in series. The notes on adjusting the encounters were greatly appreciated, as the group I had was a couple levels low for the adventure. Overall, I really liked running the adventure, and my players enjoyed it as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-14 The Darklord (5e)
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DDAL07-06 Fester and Burn (5e)
by Remington A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/07/2017 13:33:38

This module is one of my favorite tier 2 modules in AL. It's incredibly dynamic for a two hour module, with a lot of different ways that each encounter can go. How much time the players take, whether they choose to fight or role play, win or lose, the list goes on. I feel like every time I run this in the future, something different will happen.

A great mix of combat and roleplaying. The NPC's, particularly Crackle, are super fun to play. The module provides a lot of options for combat, so you can tailor the fight to challenge whatever sort of group of players you have.

My one recommendation is to be wary of low-level parties in the final fight. Even on very weak, the final fight could easily wipe a small party of lower level players, which wouldn't be fun for anyone.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-06 Fester and Burn (5e)
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DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
by Rachel S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/07/2017 01:43:24

The race itself was fun. I blew up the map and printed it across several pieces of paper and made a sort-of board game out of it. I have very visual players so they enjoyed haveing that sort of set up. I did a little altering here and there in order to keep everyone moving (the players rolled high, and I kept rolling low) and the other teams cheated via portal jumps to end up back on their heels. The combat at the end was fun, too. Anytime I can pull out that catagory of mob I enjoy it. :)

Semi-Spoilers This module was very confusing to me as I preread it. It took me a while to understand certain parts of it. The adventure hook had very little to do with what actually happened. Then we had sort of a Sixth Sense spoiler at the begining where someone pretty much called the end scene. I still don't know how yaun-ti subplot was supposed to effect the race itself unless I chose to ad lib it. (I don't know how/what I would have ad libed as there were no suggestions as to how that would affect the race in any way.).

All in all, it was a fun module; good variety from the norm. It's just clunky and needs to be pulled together better.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL07-03 A Day at the Races (5e)
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DDEX3-11 The Quest for Sporedome (5e)
by Rachel S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/07/2017 01:15:54

I ran this for my group when our DM called in sick. We were running SKT but we've run out of 2-hour teir 2 modules so they asked me to run other seasons. Let me tell you that this was a very weird one to jump too! Add to that the fact that I had only 20 minutes of concentration to read before game time. lol. It was fun though.

Anything in the Underdark is going to be weird so I knew that going in. The culture that was expressed by the "people" there was very enjoyable. The scenes are beautifully pictureesque and the battles are intense.

The most difficult and frustrating part was the lack of editing. It seems to be a common problem in mods, but this is the worst I've seen yet. The loot in the back of the adventure wasn't awarded in the story! So I had to decipher where it went and amend it later to my players, which takes away from the ambiance of the story. Seriously, AL guys: raise the price by 10c if you have to but hire an editor!

Note, if your group has gained access to flying mounts come up with a reasonable reason for them to stay behind for this one. It put a large ambiance danger on easy mode. : /

SPOILER . . . . . . The absolute best part was the surprise flinging of gore all over the dandy in our group... twice! Haha! He rolled maddness of continuious cleaning himself with Prestidigitation for 100 hours. (Get it off! Get it off!).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX3-11 The Quest for Sporedome (5e)
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