Reviews for Waterdeep Dragon Heist
Daxxers chapter 6 . 3/3
Yugh. Mind-flayers. Creepy.

About half way thru the chapter you have a line: "Having one double in size as he bore down on you was...?" - missing a word here.

Agreed, the hair salon chit-chat would have disturbed the flow. Maybe that is a talk she can have with Floon? :)
Makareth chapter 5 . 2/28
Totally not having heebeegeebees over the sewer description... XD

Love the conversation about Sky's current lack of weapons; and the presence of the (baby?) Beholder definitely has me more curious about what the heck is going on here!

Yes. Writing is most certainly difficult. *Glares intensely at current chapter of my own fic* Anyway, great chapter!
Lumen del Mari chapter 5 . 2/24
Faced with the prospect of facing Demogorgon again or Lady Abalea, the choice, for the aasimar at least, was obvious.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned...especially when it deals with her son. I wouldn't want to face Lady Abalea either.

But at least the Underdark had smelled better and, though they’d been filthy, it had only been with layers of dirt and dried sweat rather than the sewage of a city.

Except in Neverlight. Plenty of filth there.

...a small spherical creature, around the same size as her moonstone orb, with a bulging central eye and four stumpy eyestalks, floated in front of it.

Hmmm. Sounds too small to be a spectator. Perhaps another aberrant cousin.

The flumph was friendly, the mind flayer was an iounitarian, and something similar will happen this time.

He does have a good track record so far!

The sphere lazily swiveled, and the central eye widened as it caught sight of Kuhl. It seemed dazed for a moment, then hissed and bared a row of needle-sharp teeth.

Nope! Honestly, reminds me of a very angry cat LOL

But their target was far away, small, and
agile. The sphere-like creature bobbed and weaved, and fire and beam found only stone.

There's some strange spacing in that sentence. I think part of it broke off into a separate paragraph.

The little monster...

LOL

He was more than that. He was part of an adopted family she couldn’t imagine losing or even risking breaking up. She’d already broken the heart of her former fiancé and didn’t want to do something similar again. Especially knowing Mialee had already hurt the half-elf like that once before.

It's a good point and of course, I understand her hesitance. Still doesn't keep me from rooting for them though in the long haul LOL feelings can change.

“You actually never said any of it,” the half-elf said. “You have to say the apology first, then you can take it all back.”

Hahaha...that bit gave me a good laugh. :D

“I wasn’t really listening during that part of the conversation.”

Oh, dear Sky. I love her. Also, I love that her natural response was to throw a rock at it. I wouldn't discredit that method by any means. It's favored by hobbits, after all ;)

“Oh, a boot knife,”

In our game, Fargas got one that actually shot out of his boot LOL I don't really know precisely how something like that would fuction. But I always thought it was cool.

I do like how you've managed to tie in their Underdark background in every once and a while. It's a good reminder of where they've come from...and also foreshadowing where they will be forced to return.

"I am going to feel really stupid if I use the spell and no one is even there.”

That's the price of being a warlock, Jhelnae ;)

“Are you a plumberer or a cellar?” the voice repeated, this time more menacing.
“Maybe?” Kuhl said.
“Maybe? We shoot on maybe?” the voice asked.

First of all, I still haven't worked out what the voice was trying to say. Maybe we're not supposed to. Secondly, "we shoot on maybe?" LOL :D

I think you've been doing a fine job with putting the characters in a situation that they are more than equipped to handle. Such as balancing out the fact that Kuhl doesn't have his armor or shield, Sky doesn't have her armor or weapons, etc. It evens out the playing field. These characters could actually get hurt from a simple arrow attack when they've handled much worse.

Writing definitely isn't easy. Especially consistently. And sometimes I personally have to remind myself that there are more important things I need to be doing other than sitting in front of my computer writing my story...LOL. But I think the fact that you've stuck with it this long and have come so far speaks for itself. :D As always, I look forward to the next!
GerryWright chapter 5 . 2/24
So...they finally got into the sewer! And it was dank and dreary! and there were bad guys! I hope they survive all the meanies being thrown at them. I have grown fond of the characters by now and certainly don't want them to die!
Makareth chapter 4 . 2/16
Very cool! I wonder what all else is going on here...

Great chapter!
Lumen del Mari chapter 4 . 2/16
Glad to see you posting! I actually read this chapter on one of my lunch breaks the other day but haven't had the chance to review until now. As for your question about being similarly inspired by the new episodes of Vox, absolutely! Hope you've been enjoying it as much as we have. We just watched the latest thing last night and WOW... anyways, back to your story! I enjoyed seeing the group investigate a creepy abandoned warehouse.

Nearly all the streetlamps had been smashed and the only light that pierced the darkness was a faint flickering from down the lane, like a distant candle.
“Well, this isn’t ominous,” Aleina whispered. “Let me guess, Candle Lane?”

The name is ominous and the description here appropriately creepy for the set up

“Actually,” the half-elf said. “I have my own escape as well. I could always step into the mists.”
“Oh, that’s right,” Sky said. “I forgot about that."

I did too, Sky. Misty step is such a nifty spell.

“Wait,” the tabaxi said. “Kuhl, you cast some sort of magic like that on me once before. When we met the mind flayer, remember? Can you cast it again?”

I actually don't remember the magical warding at all. Is that also mage armor or some sort of paladin ability? I know not everything in a story has to transpose from RAW game mechanics/rules but I am curious... :D

“I just had a thought,” Aleina said, voice low. “This isn’t like Blingdenstone, where we were working with the Diggermattocks. Or even Gracklstugh, where we were working for Blackskull. We go in there - we’re breaking the law.”
Kuhl realized she was right. “And no matter our intentions,” he said. “If we break the law, we could get arrested.”

Every DnD party has to get arrested AT LEAST once in a campaign...it didn't take our group very long LOL I'm surprised this group has made it this far without a mishap with the law!

“We can’t go to the Watch,” she hissed. “What are we supposed to say? A man in a floppy hat hired us to find his friend? So we talked to a deep gnome who loves purple and has extra eyes painted on his face because he thinks he is a beholder and he told us, under a charm spell, that this friend was probably kidnapped?

I mean...when you put it like that...

A symbol was painted there - a black winged snake.

Very important detail. Which...since this group hasn't made it to Gauntlgrym yet, they wouldn't know the significance. But I think that's a very clever move on your part (though I'm assuming the setup is part of the Waterdeep module?) Introducing the faction now, even indirectly, will make things very interesting at the Council.

“I should have kept borrowing Ilvara’s hairpin,” Sky mumbled, as she pulled out her lockpicks and started working on the door. “I’d gotten so used to them.”

Yes Sky, it was a poignant gesture to return them but you really should have just kept them LOL

The half-elf glanced back over the yard, making sure no one had noticed them, and realized they’d forgotten to close the gate. Maybe he should run back and shut it? A snick from the lock made him decide against it. They’d be inside soon anyway.

As soon as I read that line, I sighed. Always follow your gut Kuhl!

“Does a bunch of dead people count as something suspicious?” she asked.

LOL

“Ow! Ow! Ow! Stop mommy! St-o-o-o-p!”

That's not a red flag or anything...
I really enjoyed the kenkus entrance here, and I think you did a good job at describing them and their mimicry.

“Renaer Neverember,” the man said, shaking his head.

I started giggling here...nothing to do with this story specifically but I was part of a homebrew campaign last year in which our party was investigating a cult that wanted to bring the Underdark to the surface (long story and completely unrelated to OOTA). But in one of our sessions, we infiltrated a social gathering in Waterdeep that had several nobles in attendance who were rumored to be a part of this cult or at least supporting it monetarily. Renaer Neverember was one of the NPCs we encountered. We followed him to a secret room where he and other nobles of the cult were having a secret meeting. And in typical murder hobo fashion, our party killed pretty much all of them including Renaer and the Open Lord of Waterdeep, Laeral Silverhand. We weren't like...major fugitives of the law or anything...
Anyway, I digress.

“Not ransom.” Renaer nodded towards Jhelnae. “As she said, my father was someone very important. Is someone important - the Lord Protector of Neverwinter. But before that, he was Open Lord of Waterdeep. And those thugs, and apparently also the ones who killed them, think he embezzled a large amount of gold and think I might know something about it. But my father and I haven’t spoken in years.”

Interesting...

“Follow the yellow signs in the sewers,” the kenku said in the thin, nasally voice it had used before.

Sometimes it pays to show kindness to the enemy. Sometimes.

The man-sized door they’d left ajar when they entered suddenly burst open and soldiers wearing tall steel helmets and green-and-goldenrod doublets streamed in, screaming instructions.

This is why you should've gone back for the gate, Kuhl!

I found this very challenging. We've got a lot of transition and data dumping going on here.

I thought it all worked fine and didn't feel like a date dump at all. But sometimes data dumps are a necessary evil. You shouldn't be afraid of them.

Besides...it always bothered me in Forgotten Realms novels when they refused to acknowledge that some parties were beyond the level of the threat they faced. I remember one where they fought something like a troll and then the next chapter the same two characters encounter a couple of goblin bandits and they are in this desperate battle to survive.

I agree with this! After fighting something like a troll, goblins would be so easy. They have like...5HP. An average player could wipe one out with one arrow. There is no need to make it seem like the dramatic fight of the characters life.

I think I might have asked this last time...what are Fargas, Ront, and Shurash up to right now?
Makareth chapter 3 . 2/15
Oh dear... Well, I guess it worked...

Sky is a genius. XD
Daxxers chapter 4 . 2/13
Good chapter. The Kenku's habit of repeating things was in interesting way to deliver info to the reader.

The D&D player in me was so annoyed the party didn't get the chance to strip the bodies of goodies (if any). ;)
GerryWright chapter 4 . 2/13
Hmm..now the heroes are after both the Zhentarim and something called the Xanathar. I can't wait to see what they find in the sewer! ;)
Daxxers chapter 3 . 2/2
Yes, how do you roll a DC 13 persuasion roll? You can't. Boring as hell, if you do. "They were persuaded. The end."
This is the difference between playing the game and writing the game. And I think you are handling it well.

Sky is not quite the impulsive kitty cat you have lead us to believe she is.

I'll bet Chapter 4 has a lot of hung-over heroes?
Makareth chapter 2 . 1/31
I love the descriptions of the area, and as always, the dialogue is very entertaining!

Curious to see what is going on here...
Lumen del Mari chapter 2 . 1/30
For some reason, the Ao3 version of this is triple spaced between paragraphs? Not sure what is going on with the formatting there. seems to be okay.

I feel like we got a good idea of the city of Waterdeep in this chapter. Really enjoyed seeing Sky being so critical of the "urchin" children, as I assume that is probably what they were. Or "kittens" as Sky referred to them. So cute.

“Which makes me wonder,” Sky said, tail lashing as she made her way down the side walkway for pedestrians. “How many peacocks does it take to pull a two-wheeler like that? And do they fly when the passenger is in a hurry, or do they all run together really fast?”

Just...Sky. I love her.

“Of course it makes sense,” Sky said. “I say a lot of things that make sense. Like saying if you are staying in a place that features a big yawning portal, you should go down that portal and see what it is all about.”

Again, she is relentless! Eventually, the party is going to say "Okay, Sky"

“Blood in the streets,” Jhelnae said, as they made their way to the alley. “Are we in Menzoberranzan, or the so-called City of Splendors?”

She has a point.

“Ahh…not right now,” Kuhl said. “Maybe later.”
“Maybe later?” Aleina gave the half-elf a sidelong glance.
“Ummm….I mean not now, and not later,” Kuhl amended.

Yes, listen to your pillow-mate Kuhl!

“And how am I supposed to convince them this place is all that exotic,” Saryn said. “When it's a group with a catgirl, a drow, and…what are you anyway?”

Actually, that's a good point. I am surprised Jhelnae walks about so freely on the surface. Fraeya and Sarith were very...cautious...for good reason.

“That is Xoblob,” Saryn said. “A beholder. Go ahead and take a closer look. He’s stuffed. So, it doesn’t bite or shoot out eye rays or nothing like that.”

A taxidermied beholder!? That is amazing.

“Look at this!” Sky said. “Wouldn’t it be amazing to meet a live one?”
Sky was talking about the stuffed beholder in the window of the shop and Aleina had to strongly disagree that meeting a living one would be ‘amazing’ in the least. Terrifying, yes, nightmare inducing, yes, horrible, yes and deadly, yes, but most certainly not amazing.

You just might-one or two in fact, if you go back to the Underdark. ;)

Sky made a shushing motion back at her and her tail twitched in irritation.

I picture my cat every time I read a description of Sky's tail. I do love that you use that element so frequently. I would imagine it to be very tabaxi behavior.

“I was drawn to it,” Xoblob said. “I was down in Undermountain and a gas spore blew up on me. From then on I felt a little like a gnome and a little like something else.”

That last bit. Very intriguing.

I wrote a bunch of this up and I was quite proud of my descriptions of Waterdeep. Then I was reading through it and Aleina sounded off in my head and said, "Yeah, this looks like blocks and blocks of texts with none of us getting to interact with the environment. Basically, to my mind, it sucks."

Blocks of text are not a bad thing! And I put several exclamation points behind that because I mean it. In fact, I'm terribly guilty of it, and yet no one seems to complain? You just have to find a healthy balance between dialogue and descriptive text. Seriously, don't be scared of it. I find the paragraphs where you describe a place or a piece of lore to be very fascinating and well written. I miss Rhianne and her stories. :D
Lumen del Mari chapter 1 . 1/30
So. Read this over a week ago, just now getting around to leaving my review. Sorry, I've been terrible at them lately.

I see you have switched to omniscient view. I like the change! It really does give you so much more freedom to explore characters in the moment, and to reveal what you wish to the audience without the characters necessarily becoming privy to such knowledge.

I am very intrigued by this because I know nothing of Waterdeep.

their traveling companions of Arclath and Amarune gave them access to a series of teleportation circles that shortened the journey considerably.

I don't know the significance of Arclath and Amarune but I enjoyed their cameo. And it sure would have been nice to go teleportation circle hopping.

I'm so glad that Aleina sent money to her family, even though they seem like they're greedy and want more. I mean...the gold the companions collected was nothing to shy over.

Surash has received a sudden influx of coin from the investments of his partners. You all are looking at the owners of a new venture. Surash’s Enchanted Enhancement.

Glad to see he got the potion working LOL

The secret ingredient turns out to be the dried bigwig mushroom Sky brought back from the Underdark. While it loses its magical properties of growth soon after harvesting, some small efficacy remains. And when combined with other alchemical ingredients…

I-I'm dying over this. Who would have thought someone would turn bigwig into the Forgotten Realms version of Viagra.

Also...Ront's back. Love it! I know you'd kind of foreshadowed it at the end of the last series but should have known he wouldn't stay away long.

Ront had not been able to slip easily back into life with his clan and quickly decided to seek out the companions again.

There is a story here I'm sure and I'm curious.

“I kept paying for more sending spells, trying to get in the last word.”
“But…” Fargas said. “In a sending, the recipient always gets a reply. So, you never would be able to get the last word.”

LOL

“The solution to all these problems is right in front of us,” Sky said, presenting the well at the center of the common room with a gesture. “Aleina needs more treasure for her family and Jhelnae’s mom wants her to help with some temple thing called the Promenade. Which, according to what she told me earlier, is somewhere under the city. If we get ourselves lowered into Undermountain, we can do both!”
“No!”

Of course, Sky wants to go down the hole. And of course, they're going to go...probably due to the actions of Sky herself.

“But very sweetly and romantically said, so we forgive you,” Aleina added. “Some sitting at this table could learn a thing or two from Lord Delcastle.”
Kuhl opened his mouth to protest that neither he, nor any of his male companions, were romantically linked to the females of their group, and thus should be exempt from having to think up any sweet words. Then he thought better of it and shut his mouth.

Hm. Was this a pointed remark made towards you Kuhl? Is your pillow mate insinuating something?

The rest of the companions followed her lead. Even Ront.

Ront gave someone a hug?

“Ah…umm, I’m sure you are quite pretty to… someone,” she said, reaching out and giving him a patronizing pat on the head in consolation. “But you’re not really my type. That offer was for you.”

Oh, poor Kuhl. But lucky Ront ;) Guess he had a good night.

“Really liked her?” Kuhl thought, then understood. “This is about your wanting children for future potential bearers, isn't it?”
“Did you see the size of her?” the sword sent back. “And well put together. That one is going to be the mother of many great warriors.”

I don't think I mentioned it in the previous series but I love the "grand-bearers" bit. And the second comment LOL. I love Dawnbringer.

“Wearing almost nothing at all?” the halfling said. “Boost me up Kuhl.”

Now that is typical Fargas LOL

Kuhl thought of poor Jimjar, killed soon after their escape from Velkynvelve in the Underdark. If only the little deep gnome had survived and was with them now. He’d feel as if he had made it to one of the heavenly planes and be calling out bets like a madman.

Oh, poor Jimjar.

“Volothamp Geddarm, chronicler, wizard, and celebrity, at your service,” the man said. “Pleased to make your acquaintance.”

As in, Volo's Guide to Monsters?

I am supposed to just be editing the Out of the Abyss fic...but I couldn't help myself. Sad, I know.

Have you been editing? If so, let me know. I'd love to go back and read.

So. My only criticism and this is very, very minor. I noticed it when reading chapter two earlier, but going back to re-read this chapter for review...saw the same thing. In dialogue you describe the characters talking by saying so-and-so "said" and "asked". There is rarely deviation. I don't remember it being that way in the first series.
Daxxers chapter 2 . 1/27
It worked. Got a good sense of Waterdeep from the heroes walk thru the town.

I figured you were just making the Purple Palace more PG the it was. I'm sure the 'dancing' is followed by a nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

The mystery deepens.
GerryWright chapter 2 . 1/27
This sounds like it's getting dangerous!

Winged serpent tattoo, huh? Does that mean the Zhentarim are involved?
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