Short Module Review: Waste Not, Want Not (Eastman Dunn Press): 5 Stars
Your only spot of luck in this terrible week is that a journeyman plumber has his own problem that you are uniquely suited to resolve. His nephew has been accused of poisoning a pastry shop’s dough with sewage — a crime that he possibly couldn’t have committed. The plumber is willing to snake the tavern and clear up any misunderstanding with the magisters if you can break his nephew out of the Master Bakers’ Hall. In Waterdeep, they caution waste not, want not. Can you help the journeyman to avoid the exorbitant cost of repairs?
Waste Not, Want Not is the second heist option produced by Eastman Dunn Press, and in my opinion, even better executed than the first, One Hand Washes the Other. Though this module is short, it presents numerous options for a fun, flexible heist for low level parties that want to add a bit of variety to their Waterdeep campaign. Incorporating their Complication Point mechanic, Benjamin L. Eastman and Matthew Dunn show once again their expert understanding of heist crafting and the need to give tables numerous versatile options to complete interesting objectives.
The Heist. Everybody loves a good heist, and this one is done with near perfection. After presenting the “contract”, the module goes on to have sections for “Casing the Joint” (the baker’s guild), “Infiltration”, and “Escape.” Each option has multiple ways in which the characters can complete their objectives, and include both combat and roleplay options. Though it’s a heist module, there’s potential for every class to fulfill a purpose, and it’s not just focused on the Rogue’s skill set. To add even more fun, especially for the Dungeon Master, there’s always a way in which the heist goes “sideways.” As the authors state, “there is no perfect crime”. Of course your characters will succeed (it’s the nature of the module), but there will be “complications”…
The Complication Points. One of my favorite things about the Leverage series is their use of “complication points”, the idea that even when players “fail a roll” they still succeed…with a catch. As players fail rolls, they still technically (usually) succeed in their attempts, but the DM secretly marks down a complication point. Once the players infiltrate the bakery, the DM can cash in these points to make the heist harder–representative of an oversight that occurred while casing the joint or other activities. Possible complications include being surprised by a “sourdough ooze”, the guild being alerted to your presence, or getting poisoned by exploding flour. The DM can also cash in points after the heist is complete to represent longer-lasting effects of a successful heist. This is probably the most valuable mechanic in the module, and makes for flexible, engaging, and narrative play that can actually make a difference in your larger Waterdeep campaign.
The Encounters. The encounters, and especially the creatures/NPCs are fun and interesting. Whether it’s a “sourdough ooze”, a warlock that gives me the heebie-jeebies, or two surprisingly happy bakers that stumble out of a closet, this module is full of fun, creative, and potentially challenging encounters. Encompassing both roleplay and combat, there will be something for everyone. While there may be complications, and some of the combat may be somewhat difficult, it doesn’t seem as though the party is every actually at risk of failing. While this could be a detraction to some tables, I think this module works perfect for a fun, short side quest to lighten up the mood from Waterdeep.
Clarity. There is one particular point that I believe could be clearer: the effect of long-term complications. Some of options include 10% discounts from other guilds, or calling in a favor from the Harpers. While the intent is to imply that you make enemies with the enemies of those guilds, I think it could be much clearer in the description.
Artwork. While this module has excellent layout and never feels like a “wall of text”, I would love to see more artwork. There is an 8 page stretch in which no artwork appears, and one of the paintings in used twice. It isn’t a huge detraction from the module overall, but a personal preference and suggestion for a more enjoyable read through of the product. Other customers may appreciate that sparse artwork keeps down costs.
Waste Not, Want Not is an excellent addition to the Leverage series that gives players a near-perfect, quick, heist module for Waterdeep. We are giving it 5 Stars and making it Highly Recommended for tier 1 Waterdeep tables. If you appreciate these reviews and want to support us, click through the picture below if you want to pick it up: