5E Adventure Review: Secrets of Sokol Keep

DDEX1-02 Secrets of Sokol Keep
is a 4-hour adventure written by Pieter Sleijpen for the D&D Adventurers League program. As it has just become widely available through the Dungeon Masters Guild site, I thought now would be a good idea to post my thoughts on the adventure. I have run it several times (and played once) as part of the D&D Adventurers League.

The adventure, like all of the Season 1 adventures, is set in Phlan as part of the Tyranny of Dragons storyline. The adventurers are asked to discover what has happened to the heir to the Sokol family; he’s disappeared while at the Keep and lighthouse they administer.

The adventure has a small, fairly minor investigation component before turning into a dungeon delve.

The biggest problem I had when running and playing this adventure is the lack of a map of the upper level of the keep. Although there’s a moderate amount of description of what’s there, I work a lot better when I have a map to help me visualize the area. The old map I found in Ruins of Adventure didn’t help that much, as a few things have changed since them.

Sokol Keep doesn’t look like that anymore!

The best part of the adventure is the dungeon, which has a few very nice traps and puzzles and some interesting combats. There’s a good plot behind the adventure, although the players are likely going to have to talk to people to figure it out. (This means more than one group has never worked out what is going on!) The dungeon does have a map – not of the highest quality, but at least you have an idea of its layout. The adventure works well as an introduction to some of the features of Phlan, and doesn’t connect to the main plot involving the Cult of the Dragon; as a result, it could work very well when run as a stand-alone adventure.

Overall, Secrets of Sokol Keep is a diverting adventure, but the layout and lack of a map of the keep made it a little more challenging to run than I’d like. Some excellent ideas, though. For me, the adventure evokes memories of playing Pool of Radiance, and that’s not a bad thing. The adventure is also available as part of the Tyranny of Dragons Expeditions bundle.

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