Ring Side Report-RPG Review of EB-03 Where the Dead Wait

Product– EB-03 Where the Dead Wait

System-DnD 5e

Producer– DMs Guild

Price– $4.99 here https://www.dmsguild.com/product/302373/EB03-Where-the-Dead-Wait?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR– Solid semi-side episode of an awesome campaign. 95%

Basics– Time for Dawn of the Dead in Eberron?  You’ve escaped from the Warforged with a magic talking box, but now the dead hunger for you in the Mournland.  Can you get out, keep the box, and stop the dead from eating you?

Mechanics or Crunch–  The crunch here is strong!  It’s a fun adventure. Mechanically it works well.  It might be a bit much for some players if they don’t think straight and want to do a smack down outside with an army of undead and don’t keep track of what’s happening with the NPCs.  Overall solid, but sometimes the hint stick may be needed to help if the players just can’t keep themselves from killing themselves.  4.5/5

Theme or Fluff-Combine Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead 2, and From Dusk till Dawn, and you have this adventure.  It’s fun.  It’s mostly a side adventure, but it doesn have a major plot tie in.  Even the filler episodes of this campaign are fun.  5/5

Execution–  PDF?  YEP!  Hyperlinked?  No… I like these adventures.  They are a blast to run as they read quick and I feel I can tie the player into the story.  Reads quick, layout is nice, art makes me feel like it’s the 1920s between the wars period, and the additional newspapers are a great touch.  Just give me my hyperlinking to move easily through the materials, and it would be perfect.  4.75/5

Summary-Oricle of War keeps delivering.  This isn’t the main plot for the most part, but honestly you won’t care.  Solid plot, decent mechanics, and a good execution make this an adventure to play if you want to get deeper into this campaign.  95%

Blurbs from the Booth- Being offensive

Last weekend, I was running games at U-Con.  It’s a fun local convention near Ann Arbor, MI.  Last slot of the con and all things are going well.  I get a few people to sit at my table, and a few more people enter the room, and I wave them over gregariously yelling “There’s always room for one more!”  I start my game the standard way by asking everybody to talk about themselves.  One person asks “About my character or myself?”  I say “sure!” And my player tells the group he’s a motivational speaker for Autistic people as he’s playing a crazy Halfling rogue.  Great, we have a fun character at the table, so I’m looking forward to this game.  The game goes well.  I’m loopy from lack of sleep, so my table and I are a little slap happy and having a blast.  Until, we hear something from another table.  Another GM is talking about some NPC’s and mentioned that they were jumping around like a bunch of “spastic, autistic kids.”  I watched as my motivational speaker instantly went from having fun to pissed as he grabbed his phone to text somebody.   Whatever what said with that text can only be good things!  Right? We finished the game and had fun, but I know he was more than a little hurt by what happened.

Honestly, had I not known someone was in the room with me who would be offended, I might have said the same thing if presented with describing the same characters.  But that doesn’t really excuse that kind of offense.  We live in a pretty small world nowadays.  Not only are characters diverse, but the player base is pretty open as well.  The base rules alone mention all the different types of people you can play.  But, they don’t mention all the different types of people WHO play.  Gamers are not just white guys any more (despite what #gamergate is up to).  We’re diverse, and that diversity has some pitfalls.

What do I want you to get from all of this?  Well, keep in mind you represent.  If you’re running an RPG for the KKK (what the hell would that be?) you don’t really have to worry about who you offend.  But, in an open game at a store or a con, words can really hurt.  I know more than a few words that will get my blog destroyed by commenters (hurray traffic!), but using those words in an open game is equally as bad.  If you’re running a game for Wizards of the Coast, they want that game as open and inclusive as possible.  And saying some hurtful things will not only make you look like an ass, it will also make WotC look like an ass.  Also, keep in mind you represent you.  I’m a big, self-deprecating guy.  I make fat jokes at my own expense, but sometimes, that’s not funny to other people in the room.  Common sense and reading your audience will make your games that much better.  Not just because common sense is good to have, but because you will be as open to as many gamers as possible.  And as we become more diverse, the better we all are.

Good luck and good gaming,

Ed

Blurbs from the Booth-What I want in the DnD Adventure League

First off, I love the Dungeons and Dragons Adventure League.  I’ve run a crap load of games and loved every minute of it.  I think I’m at least a decent GM who knows a ton of Forgotten Realms lore.  But, I need some help.  Here are I few things I think would make the Adventure League better:

 

1) Small change to the format of the adventures I know its space, but I would really love it you could give me an itemized list of the major stuff in the room/location at the top of each location right after the name and place on the map.  Like this:

Genera Features:

Mossy Cave full of gold

Traps:

None

Monsters:

1-Party one- 6 Kobolds

1 Wizard

2-Party two- Giant Dragon of death

Items:

Awesome sword of Awesomeness

All the gold ever

Why?  Well I read my adventures before every game, but when you’re going through the adventures and you have limited time like the 3.5 hours at GenCon, it’s hard to remember all the stuff that’s in a place or you have to take time and skim read the entire passage.  All the adventures WotC has put out including the Hoard of the Dragon Queen have all the important information buried in the text.  I hate having to reread a half page of text and explain to my players everything in the room that I just read and make it interesting.  Again, this isn’t hard, but a small change will really help me make sure I hit all the high notes in every adventures.

 

2) NPC mentors  My players are getting high enough to get mentors.  It might be time to consider providing NPCs who can mentor the players either through letters or items.  I don’t think these should be anywhere near as cool as real, honest to Amaunator PC mentors, but if my players don’t have one, then they won’t know how awesome one can be.  And, most likely won’t mentor other PCs in the future.

 

3) Starting above 1st level  Let’s start something really controversial!  I’d like the option to start above 1st level.  I’d like generic PCs to give players at 1st, 5th, 10th, and 15th level with items and such that they could/world have gotten had they played the previous adventures but not the awesome renowned points.  The first level five and up adventures are going to roll out soon, and new players are going to come to the store and be turned away as the two groups I have at my store won’t be able to keep a level one wizard alive during a CR eight encounter.  Giving me pregens for several levels will really help.  Pathfinder does that, and it’s amazingly helpful!

 

4)World Guide Even more controversy!  Everybody I know wants a world guide.  What the heck is up with the Realms?  Who’s still a god?  Who isn’t?  Who’s pretending?  What the hell is a Phlan?  Right now, we have the old 3.5/4e stuff.  But, there was a whole Sundering book series that people didn’t read that told them about the new 5e realms.  But, none of those books really talked about Phlan.  Heck the Sword Coast got a book, but only tangentially.  My players don’t really know the state of things.  Things are up to 110 years out of date, so imagine using a 110 year old map to understand European politics today!  Don’t give me hints.  Right now my players need firm answers to what the heck is going on.  And I think most GMs do too.

 

Those are my ideas.  I love the game, but give me the proper tools and layouts and I can make my games even better!

Daily Punch 9-24-14 Renown feat for DnD Fifth Edition

How about something that is specific for the Adventure league

 

 

Renown

You’ve figured out how to move among your group.  You might not be the smartest, fastest, or the wisest, but you are the best connected!

Benefit: Gain the following benefits:

  • Gain a +1 to charisma to a maximum of 20.
  • When you gain a point of renowned, make a charisma saving throw DC = 15 + half current level.  If you succeed, gain an additional point of renown.

 

Thoughts?