Princes of the Apocalypse 精装 – 2015年4月7日
Abolish an Ancient Evil Threatening Devastation in this Adventure for the World’s Greatest Roleplaying Game
Called by the Elder Elemental Eye to serve, four corrupt prophets have risen from the depths of anonymity to claim mighty weapons with direct links to the power of the elemental princes. Each of these prophets has assembled a cadre of cultists and creatures to serve them in the construction of four elemental temples of lethal design. It is up to adventurers from heroic factions such as the Emerald Enclave and the Order of the Gauntlet to discover where the true power of each prophet lay, and dismantle it before it comes boiling up to obliterate the Realms.
• An epic adventure for characters levels 1 – 15, the Elemental Evil™ story arc, Princes of the Apocalypse provides everything a Dungeon Master needs to create an exciting and memorable play experience.
• Includes new elemental spells and the element-touched genasi as a new playable race.
• Fans of the Dungeons & Dragons® Roleplaying Game can get a sample of what this product has in store for them through the D&D Encounters™ in-store play program.
• Adventure design and development by Sasquatch Game Studio LLC.
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Some spoilers ahead for players.
I ran this through to completion with my group and I'd say it ran fairly well and we all enjoyed it. It's a sandbox so you have some frustrating jumping back and forth in the book for references but overall it is not terrible. The dungeons are fun and have some interesting encounters. However I found that some of the encounters required the cults to be unreasonably naive especially near the end of the campaign which required a little bit of adjustment,
As with any sandbox you need to either adjust dungeons to meet a party's level or forewarn them to run away or avoid things that are too strong for them. This does lead to interesting dungeon runs if your players are particularly stubborn though. The first fire temple dungeon will forever be known as hamburger hill in my heart.
One beef I have with the setting is that you can play through the entire campaign to level 15 which is not an insignificant time investment and you only fight 1 of the princes. Personally I leveled everyone up to 20 after they killed their prince and them had them fight it out in a battle royale against all 4 of the princes at the same time. Naturally the party got some cool magic items to help them out.
My last criticism is that the dungeon crawl can get a bit much. All the dungeons are interconnected so once you get underground there's really no driving reason to leave the dungeons especially if you are using the flag system. We decided to have a side quest day to switch it up a bit but really once you are in the dungeons it is just a huge dungeon filled with monsters without much to pull them out.
I recommend this campaign for people who prefer a good sandbox and dungeon crawl. I do not recommend this adventure to groups that want a ton of social interaction with NPCs in towns in between dungeons, or always want to fight level appropriate monsters. Naturally a good DM can fix any of those issues it just requires a bit more work.
This, the latest iteration of the "elemental evil" theme, is pretty good. Unlike the old 1e version, there is no silly demon lord of fungus (which never made sense to me). I've run this one a couple of times. Most recently I decided to run it from start to stop as is, but I've also run it more mix and match.
If you are gonna run it, I'd recommend you, as the DM read it from cover to cover first. Get a good grip on the overall structure of what the module provides. The next thing I'd do is prepare an outline for flowchart of the way you want them to go through this. Of course there are always going to be times when they go left, and you want them to go right. But at least you will have an idea of how the story should flow. Otherwise it can be overwhelming, as there is a TON of information in this module, and it is scattered all over the place.
Finally, remember to have fun. You are in control. Use what you want to use and ignore the rest. :)
It's definitely not a good choice for a novice or first-time DM, but in experienced hands there's a lot to work with in here and tons of opportunity to make it your own. It lends itself well to non-linear play, so if your players are fond of chasing rabbit trails or coming up with novel solutions to problems they'll have a ton of fun. At least until you get into the central conflict in the valley, at which point you'll be doing a bunch of straightforward dungeon crawls with elemental themes (as advertised). There are a wealth of optional side-treks if you need a breather from the dungeons, and enough space to bring in your own original work or one-off adventures available from other supplements, though you'll have to be careful about pacing and keeping the pressure on in order to remind players that the cults of Elemental Evil aren't idly awaiting their demise in their lairs.
If you want to get straight to the meat of the thing I'd recommend skipping all the optional content and giving a 3rd-4th level party a strong reason to head straight for the Haunted Keeps, but you'll miss out on some foreshadowing and local flavor.