D&D 5E Phandelver starting to show up in the wild. NewbieDM looks to be the first!


log in or register to remove this ad

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
I haven't run either (yet), but on my read T1 seems better than B2, and cane first. And B1 seems promising. But I would take Lost Mines or even Dragon of Icespire Peak.
B1 is very odd to run because - as written - all the monsters are by the DM's choice, and you're unlikely to get the cohesive environment that you do in adventures like Sunless Citadel or Keep on the Borderlands, where similar monsters are placed together and have existing rivalries.

The environment, which is described, can be fascinating. And includes a lot of fun tricks for the players to discover (and the DM to delight in). But not having the monster ecology hurts it.

T1 has a great backstory, intriguing characters, and a rather deadly dungeon. (Oh, the characters that have died approaching the moathouse!) It relies a lot on the DM pulling it together, though. For a new DM, it's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff - and there's a lot of chaff in the description of Hommlet. It's more like a lay out of a lot of tasty ingredients amongst ingredients you'd never use, and lacking a recipe.

Cheers,
Merric
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm tossing up between The Sunless Citadel and Lost Mine of Phandelver for the best of these adventures. Lost Mine probably gets it, not because it's flawless, but because it has a greater range, both providing a directed experience while allowing the players agency.
Only familiar with reading the 5E version if Sunlwss Citadel, but I'd say where Loat Mines has an advantage is that Phandalin, Basic as it is, gets some real development, unlike Oakhurst.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
B1 is very odd to run because - as written - all the monsters are by the DM's choice, and you're unlikely to get the cohesive environment that you do in adventures like Sunless Citadel or Keep on the Borderlands, where similar monsters are placed together and have existing rivalries.

The environment, which is described, can be fascinating. And includes a lot of fun tricks for the players to discover (and the DM to delight in). But not having the monster ecology hurts it.
My impression is colored by only k owing B1 from the Goodman Games volume, which includes multiple coherent monster populations for the dungeon, including a set from the original author. And then the 5E rendition, which ties it in together with all the material for B2 and develops a lot of the hooks from both modules while connecring them, makes for a pretty compelling environment.
T1 has a great backstory, intriguing characters, and a rather deadly dungeon. (Oh, the characters that have died approaching the moathouse!) It relies a lot on the DM pulling it together, though. For a new DM, it's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff - and there's a lot of chaff in the description of Hommlet. It's more like a lay out of a lot of tasty ingredients amongst ingredients you'd never use, and lacking a recipe.
Sounds like a messier Loat Mines.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk enters early access in just over 24 hours. It's going to be the next campaign my Monday night crew play, starting in a week.

We finished Shadow of the Dragon Queen last week. Which gave us this Monday off. (Just as well, people were TIRED last night!)

I'm very curious to see how the new adventure plays. This particular group actually played through Lost Mine of Phandelver not all that long ago - err, a year or two ago? I did a mash-up of Lost MIne and Dragon of Icespire Peak which worked really well. And, as a result, my players are very confused as to which bits existed in which adventure.

NewbieDM noted that the horses were now alive in that initial encounter. I wonder what else has changed of the base experience?

I've never managed a TPK in the early stages of the adventure - which I've run four or five times as I recall. I've dropped a character - one unlucky crit doomed a cleric the first time I ran it - or two in that first encounter, which led to the characters entering Phandalin before going to the goblin cave.

It worked, either way.

I'm likely to blog about my experiences.

Cheers,
Merric
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
Hey, no love for Reavers of Harkenwold?!
I had to look it up.

Honestly, being in the Essentials line meant a LOT of people missed it.

I was even running a lot of D&D 4E at the time (two campaigns that went to 30th level and some organised play as well), but because I had those established campaigns and the D&D Encounters Program was giving us a lot of new material, there never came a spot for it.

How was it?

Cheers,
Merric
 


Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
I don't think it was a great adventure for new DMs even when it was released.

Is it an adventure I adore and have run many times? Yes. But a good adventure for new DMs? Not really.

Keep on the Borderlands has a fundamental flaw: The Keep, which isn't described in a way that someone new to DMing has anything to work with. And then it puts a massive barrier between the players and the fun bit (exploring the caves), because they don't know where the Caves of Chaos are.
When I ran it the first time (I was 12 or so) the Keep certainly never gave me any problems. The Caves might have been less interesting then they could potentially have been (due to my lack of experience) but they still worked.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
How was it?
As far as 4e modules go? Awesome.

Its pretty fun, nice little sandbox in the Point of Light setting. You start off by doing side quests to prepare a village against an attack from a band of mercenaries from an unknown city to the south. It's close to The Red Hand of Doom, where the more side quests you manage to complete in the allotted time, the better chance the village has to survive the assault.

Probably not the greatest module of all time, but it is quite fun and epic for a beginner adventure.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top