The fifth adventure of the current D&D Adventurers League season is The Seer, a 2-hour adventure for 1st-4th level characters. It’s written assuming the party has five 4th-level characters, and contains the standard DDAL scaling notes. As always, DMs should treat the adventure with care and scale appropriately for their group. When writing adventures, it’s very hard to properly assess the strength of a group of players you’ve never seen!
The adventure revolves around two bands of Vistani, the travelling people of Barovia. In particular, it deals with a love triangle between members of the two bands and a mortu, one of the Vistani who has been exiled from their company. Exactly why the mortu in question was exiled is not stated, although a few possibilities are given.
I enjoyed running this adventure very much. It’s the first real chance in this series the players get to interact with the Vistani, and each of the two bands are described quite differently. It comes through mainly in how they act: one group are entertainers and are flamboyant and welcoming to the party, the others are tinkerers and craftsmen and are suspicious of the giorgios (outsiders). There are good role-playing opportunities with each group. The adventure length will greatly depend on how much your group interacts with the Vistani; for all three of our groups the adventure took about 80-90 minutes with a moderate amount of role-playing, but I can quite easily see this going shorter or longer depending on individual preferences.
The adventure gives a few nods towards being an investigative adventure, but that’s not properly its structure. It’s mostly linear in form, but that’s pretty much required for this length of Organised Play adventures. It flows pretty well, and it has some interesting encounters.
The chief flaw in the adventure – as in many others – is that the players may come out of it not properly comprehending what was occurring. I’d use interaction with the Vistani at the end of the adventure as an opportunity to clarify the story for players who haven’t picked up on some of the finer details.
The adventure has a few scars of hasty editing – it seems that an encounter with wolves has been deleted following its playtest, but there are still signs of wolves in the area, text that refers to events happening soon after the wolf attack, and a number of stat-blocks for Wolves Not Appearing in This Adventure. I’m expecting it was found that the adventure could run long; my group would have appreciated the extra challenge.
As part of the ongoing season, The Seer provides a chance for the characters to catch their breath; a pause after the initial run of adventures. It suffers from having a couple of plot elements similar to those in the earlier adventures, but distinguishes itself through its treatment of the Vistani. I expect that some DMs would want more details on the Vistani and how to role-play them than the adventure provides; I didn’t have any problems here, but I recognise I’ve DMed a lot more games than most people. The Seer uses the tropes of the Ravenloft setting to good effect, highlighting the tragedies that happen all-too-often in the land.
Ultimately, The Seer is a competent, enjoyable adventure, which provides an introduction to a culture and its characters that will be important in future stories.