john Whyte
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So I liked Tomb of Annihilation and I thought 'I should check out the tie in products'. (It shows Wizard's marketing plan must be working right? Upsell the customer) so I got this from the adventurers league. I have a vague understanding that the products are meant to tie in with the hardcover. So they seemed like a good place to look to see if their are 'expansion materials' for the book.
I will be reviewing this mostly with that mindset, hoping to answer the question 'Should I buy this if I am planning to run Tomb of Annihilation'? I believe the question of 'are these good for the Adventurer's League?' to be a different question.

This is a 50 page pdf. It is mostly black and white, and there were no pieces of art. (It does mean it will print easily on any printer). There are (simple) handouts. The maps included are also quite simple, which is a bonus as simple maps are so much easier to draw at the table.

The cover says that the pdf contains five four hour adventures but this is a misprint, this is five one hour adventures. This is quite a limitation on the adventure(s). There is only so much roleplaying you can do in an hour. They are five miniquests, the quest giver gives the quest, and then there are two encounters. It's pretty railroady.

The best encounter involves dino racing. And it's thoughtful enough to create a race that involves all of the PCs.

The adventures are linked in that the players collect four parts of an amulet and then discover a Yuan-Ti cult. So that's not a bad way to foreshadow the Yuan-Ti in the jungle. It also has the premise of trying to stop the Death Curse, so that is a pretty strong tie in. And it's set in Port Nyanzaru.

The adventure also deliberately sets out to introduce some of the core factions from the core book.

The best comment I have to make is that there are tips to role play the questgiving NPCs. They are all different, but the advice provided meant I could probably run one just by glancing at their quarter page of textual information.

I can see why one hour sessions are a good idea for the adventurer's league, but this constraint really lessens the use of this pdf for me. I feel that the scenarios don't allow the roleplaying game to shine. Player choices don't (really) matter. It's just a matter of passing the trap (or dying), or surviving the combat (or dying).
It makes it easy for the DM to run this, it has all the stats, it signposts what it wants the DM to do, and it gives good hints on making the NPCs stand out. But for D&D I crave more, I crave player freedom and difficult choices and there just isn't any of that here.

In conclusion after reading it I won't likely be using any of it if I run Tomb of Annihilation. Just because of the limitations of the scenarios. It's not to say that players won't have a blast (there is a long PBF of this here on the geek)
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Clark Timmins
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West Jordan
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This sounds much like DDIA-VOLO: In Volo's Wake, which I played through (some of) at a convention. For "home use" it's skint. For a short slot at the table, where there is no real campaign continuity, etc., it worked... OK.
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Dave Chua
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Yeah they're a good intro for both new players and DMs. I do think it's possible to make a very good 1 hour adventure. The first scenario in the first module of Season 1 is a classic in that regard.
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john Whyte
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gonecase wrote:
Yeah they're a good intro for both new players and DMs. I do think it's possible to make a very good 1 hour adventure. The first scenario in the first module of Season 1 is a classic in that regard.

I should check it out then.

The second pdf in this season has better 1 hour adventures.

Clarke's comments mirror my thoughts. If I just wanted to play D&D for an hour these would be OK.

But given that at some point in the future I may need to consider running a short 1 or 2 hour session I should check out the module you were mentioning.
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Roger
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I ran this at least twice. I have a love/hate relationship with mission 2 the dino race. It is great because it limits the combat options of the player. But obstacles can slow down the race. I changed the rules of race. Winner is which every group gets the majority of they team over the finish line. Also I allowed the player to roll for the obstacles of their opponent.
 
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