Roll20 Review – Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage

Undermountain features an absolutely gigantic mega-dungeon and some of the best dungeon designs I’ve ever seen.

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A press review copy of the module was provided. Read more Roll20 Reviews and watch the video reviews on my YouTube channel.

Support my video work via Patreon.

It wouldn’t be a proper Dungeons & Dragons adventure without at least one dungeon crawl. Different published adventures have leaned more heavily into the dungeon theme than others, but Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage definitely wins the Most Dungeon award I just made up.

Welcome to Undermountain, the 23-level mega-dungeon!

MAJOR SPOILERS – DM’s only!

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Roll20 Review – Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

The urban adventure takes place entirely within Waterdeep, and features four different villainous paths and a disappointing new map style.

A press review copy of the module was provided. Find more Roll20 Reviews on my website and YouTube channel. Support my reviews via Patreon.

roll20 reviewIt’s been a full year since the last Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition campaign book. I had high praise for Tomb of Annihilation, and it’s been a long time since D&D fans have had any official new content to savor.

The urban adventure of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist is far removed from the more exotic locales of Ravenloft, Chult, and the Underdark. Waterdeep is the largest city on the Sword Coast with plenty of content to offer, but it’s more about warehouses and gang wars than, well, dungeons and dragons.

Unfortunately the minimalist blank ink on graph paper map style is exacerbated in a digital format like Roll20. Combined with the fact that it’s solely a Tier 1 adventure for levels 1-5 with the price tag of a full campaign book and Waterdeep: Dragon Heist has the dubious honor of being one of the weakest – if not the weakest – fifth edition adventure yet.

MAJOR SPOILERS – DM’s only!

Continue reading “Roll20 Review – Waterdeep: Dragon Heist”

Roll20 Review: Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (Rrakkma)

Mordenkainen adds a host of exotic, alien, and demonic creatures, while Rrakkma provides a sample dungeon crawl in the Plane of Madness.

A press review copy of the module was provided. Find more Roll20 Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes is the third official bestiary released for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, following the original Monster Manual (2014) and Volo’s Guide to Monsters (2016). At this point we’ve cataloged all of the creatures we’d find in a typical fantasy setting. The Tome of Foes provides much more exotic fare. If you love your cosmic horror and demons, Mordenkainen is here for you.

In the interest of reviewing a bestiary for Roll20, I’ll be focusing this review on the free Adventurer’s League tie-in adventure, “Rrakkma.”

Note that “Rrakkma” is only available to Roll20 Pro subscribers.

Continue reading “Roll20 Review: Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (Rrakkma)”

RogueWatson Reviews – Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate

My next RogueWatson Reviews video covers last year’s D&D re-theming of Betrayal at House on the Hill: Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate, published by Avalon Hill Games and Wizards of the Coast.

Roll20 Review: Tomb of Annihilation

Welcome to another Roll20 Review, my written and video series in which I review the paid modules available for sale at Roll20. A review copy of the module was provided.

The Tomb of Horrors is one of the most infamous and difficult dungeons Gary Gygax ever designed. It was famous enough for a major plot point in Ready Player One, easily the best part of a novel I otherwise loathed. It recently appeared with a D&D Fifth Edition conversion in Tales from the Yawning Portal earlier this year (Roll20 Review coming soon!).

I was a bit surprised, though certainly not disappointed, that Acererak’s infamous dungeon would be the inspiration for Dungeon & Dragon‘s next major story campaign, Tomb of Annihilation.

The Roll20 Tomb of Annihilation module is the best work Roll20 has ever done. Tomb of Annihilation is already a very virtual tabletop-friendly campaign, and Roll20 went even further with interactive maps for puzzles and rooms, a token-filled page of random encounters, and all the written and visual content you’ll need to send your players into the dangerous jungles of Chult.

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Roll20 Review: Lost Mine of Phandelver

Welcome to another Roll20 Review, my written and video series in which I review the paid modules available for sale at Roll20. A review copy of the module was provided.

Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition does a lot of things really well. The easiest to highlight is the Starter Kit intro adventure, “Lost Mine of Phandelver,” first published in 2014.

LMoP does an excellent job introducing newcomers to D&D while still providing a memorable and fun adventure full of exotic creatures, locations, and twists. It’s correctly hailed as one of Wizard of the Coasts’ best ever starter adventures.

When Roll20 acquired the license to create official D&D 5E modules, adapting the “Lost Mine of Phandelver” was a no-brainer. The adventure includes some annoying challenges to overcome, particularly as it was originally released before basic 5E content we now take for granted, such as the Player’s Handbook and Monster Manual.

The Roll20 module fixes most of these issues while providing as streamlined a process as possible to jumping into your first D&D adventure with a virtual tabletop.

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Roll20 Review: Curse of Strahd

Welcome to the first Roll20 Review! This is a new series in which I review the paid modules available for sale in Roll20. First up – Curse of Strahd.

Roll20 has been my group’s go-to resource and website for online role-playing for the last two years. We’ve been enjoying Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition for most of that time, finding it a wonderful system of intuitive mechanics and flexible role-playing. Roll20’s built-in Fifth Edition character sheets help make rolling and stat-tracking a breeze.

Roll20 is free to use (with optional paid subscription for added goodies) with the caveat that it can be a lot of work to put together virtual maps and tactical battlefields.

When I ran both Lost Mine of Phandelver and Princes of the Apocalypse, I purchased the battle maps from the artists, then converted them into Roll20. I created tokens and placed them throughout each map, and built every monster and character sheet from scratch. Roll20 is amazing at giving you the canvas and tools, but you still have to put in the work.

About a year ago Roll20 began releasing the official D&D 5E campaigns as paid modules, beginning with The Lost Mine of Phandelver, followed shortly by Storm King’s Thunder. Since then Roll20 has released paid content for the Monster Manual, and additional published modules in Tales of the Yawning Portal, and, most recently, Curse of Strahd. Continue reading “Roll20 Review: Curse of Strahd”