Review: Lost Mine of Phandelver on Fantasy Grounds Classic

DM Greg here with another Dungeons and Dragons adventure review for use on Fantasy Grounds Classic.

The Lost Mine of Phandelver (LMoP) was the first game module I ran on Fantasy Grounds back in November 2019. As a matter of fact I still have the module loaded as my party, at the time of this writing, is still adventuring in the same area utilizing the same maps and continuing to interact with the NPC’s they met from their early interactions. If anyone is familiar with the physical copy of the module it includes pre-generated characters, fold out maps, an adventure campaign and setting, as well as some dice and quick start rules. The digital copy faithfully incorporates all of that into Fantasy Grounds (when counting the free 5e SRD rules and dice in the application).

The Campaign Setting

The setting for LMoP is a small mining town of Phandalin nestled on the Sword Coast between Neverwinter Woods and the Kryptgarden Forest along the Triboar Trail. The party has been hired by Gundren Rockseeker to escort a caravan of supplies from Neverwinter to Phandalin. Obviously thing don’t go as planned but the details and maps of the area really lays the groundwork for my ongoing campaign. The Sword Coast and Phandalin maps are excellent, nothing was lost in their resolution when loaded into Fantasy Grounds.

The Adventure

*Spoilers*

The adventure has 3 main parts. First, an intro escort mission that turns into a rescue mission that took us one session to complete. Next, the exploration of Phandalin and introduction to a handful of NPC’s along with a bunch of side quests that took us 4 sessions. And finally, the investigation and subsequent dungeon crawl of Wave Echo Cave, again 2 more game sessions.

The encounters formatted for Fantasy Ground is pretty much the standard I hold all other module to. The enemy tokens are pre-placed on the map and combat is logical and properly loaded every time.

Going Forward

After completing the module my players PC’s were all at level 5. Since then I have been adding to the intro adventure by running adventures found within Tales From the Yawning Portal and modules that Wizards released as add ons to Dragons of Icespire Peak. The world building has been very rewarding to me as a DM as again, LMoP laid excellent groundwork for my ongoing campaign.

Cheers,

DM Greg

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Review: CCC-DRUID-01 The Scourge Unseen

Dungeon Master Greg here, after logging about 100 hours as an Adventurers League Dungeon Master on Fantasy Grounds I wanted to go back and review past modules that I have run. There have been a lot of great adventures and moments but I wanted to start with one of my favorites.

Back in April I ran the Adventurers League Community Created Content Module CCC-DRUID-01 The Scourge Unseen by Jay Africa. It is a 3 part module for Tier 2 players. The first 2 parts blew me away. The fact that Jay encouraged players to use their real life knowledge of Forgotten Realms history and lore made for some amazing puzzles to solve.

There was no Fantasy Grounds .mod file with the purchase of the PDF. Depending on how comfortable your are importing a module from PDF to Fantasy Grounds may limit how much you get out of running this as a DM. The images of the maps and player handouts are a must for your players to enjoy the adventure. Preloading the excellent encounters is also highly recommended. The text can be read out loud to your group and is not really required, in my opinion, when creating the adventure in Fantasy Grounds. You can get away with sharing text in chat utilizing copy and paste.

I would say this adventure is the benchmark I hold other Tier 2 modules to. It has a good mix of puzzle/problem solving and encounters. It is a little light on NPC roleplaying/interaction but a good group with puzzle solving skills more than make up for that.

I look forward to running more of Jay Africa’s adventures in the future.

Cheers,

DM Greg

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DDEX1-10 Tyranny in Phlan

Last night my Adventurers League group deviated from the season 5 story arc to visit a Tier 2 module from season 1. The biggest driver was that there was not enough content published in season 5 to get everyone into Tier 3 unless they made every session AND used dowtime to level up. So we agreed to run a two sequencing modules out of season 1 in order to get everyone the ability to hit Tier 3.

Virtual Kobold Con 2020 DDHC-TYP The Sunless Citadel 05/01/20-05/03/20

Ever consider running the adventure The Sunless Citadel in an Adventurers League format? I had the opportunity to DM it on Fantasy Grounds as a three part session over the course of May 1st through the 3rd at Virtual Kobold Con.

First off, Virtual Kobold Con was the result of a regional convention having to cancel their whole event and go online due to COVID-19. They were recruiting GM’s to run games over any virtual tabletop (VTT) to include; Fantasy Grounds, Roll 20, Tabletop Simulator, and even Zoom.

I saw a recruitment post on the Fantasy Grounds Adventurers League Forum looking for DM’s for the event. I felt this was exciting as I would be able to run multiple AL games over the course of one weekend. Then the light bulb came on. Why not run one of the D&D campaigns as an AL legal DDHC over the the three days?

After weighing some of the pro’s and con’s I decided to go with The Sunless Citadel out of Tales From the Yawning Portal (TYP). My rational is as follows:

  • First, I only wanted to run the adventure over three sessions. A full campaign book would have had me at my computer non-stop all weekend.
  • Second, The Sunless Citadel’s adventure kept the entire party in the same Tier if I required them to start at level 1.

After skimming through the adventure I felt if my table had 7 Tier 1 players there would be no problem getting through all the content. As it turned out our Friday and Saturday session took 4 hours a piece. Sunday was wrapped up in about 2 hours, but there was a little content in the dungeon the party decided to skip. I think 6 party members would have used up the entire 12 hours I blocked out.

It was a great decision to run the the module over 3 sessions. It was an even better decision to host a game at Virtual Kobold Con as the players at my table were phenomenal. There was the risk of not keeping all 7 through all 3 days the party was able to stick together all three days. It would not have been as much fun for me without them!

I look forward to playing at this event again next year!

Cheers,

DM Greg