I don’t usually complain about formatting issues, but the style chosen here is crazy. Once they've got their plans together, the adventurers then travel north in disguise alongside the cultists. Not the players. Where the magic of D&D and your imagination? Then they fight their way back through the respawning kobolds on the drawbridge, return to the duke (who the adventure literally says waits for them in the same spot on the castle battlements), get their next quest, and then fight their way out again. In all of those cases the hoard is merely abstracted. There is not enough use of offsets and bullet lists and the like to allow the DM to reference important information quickly. You get glimpses every now and then that they are trying. Some treasure here! But just a generic list of monsters? Trophy rooms, human servants with some personality that you can learn things from, prisoners to free and a weird thing tor to to deal with. Other than the final chapter, you could shuffle the encounters together and hide the names and I’d have a hard time picking them out. If lizard man massacre breaks out then you can use it one way. You take a river journey to “catch up” with them in Baldur’s Gate and then join a massive wagon train/caravan, which happens to include the cult along with a lot of others non-cultists, on their way to the next major waypoint. No personality. Those are forced and generally suck. And … that’s it. The primary arc of Hoard of the Dragon Queen is disappointingly linear. In fact YOU ARE EXPLICITLY KEPT FROM INTERESTING The leaders tent is guarded by some guards who do not let ANYONE in. Very few rules are reproduced, so a copy of the full Player's Handbook or frequent references to the free basic rules will be needed. When running Masks of Nyarlathotep, the investigators’ abilities are unlikely to change enough to make repeated frontal assaults against cult strongholds particularly survivable. You put a solo PC up against a monster that they can’t possibly win against … and then if they actually manage to do so they are rewarded by the creature just reappearing later on. Hoard of the Dragon Queen Review – Part 1. Which makes the scenarios where this liberal and refreshing approach is supplanted by a rigid railroad all the more puzzling. share. hide. Nor the horrific editorial shortcomings. It’s written exactly one way. The Governor, wounded, trying to marshall a desperate defense … but it’s just a glimpse and then it’s gone. I appreciated the guard drake stats and some of the magic items. If you just walk in and poke around a bit you’ll face a couple of combat and then meet the lieutenant. RPG Adventurer Economics and Italian Lacemaking, Good Bad Flicks: Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God. Or any of a dozen other things that could have been added? There’s an actual open-ended encounter or two in this, such as The Golden Stag , that inspires the imagination, is not forced on the party, and is open-ended. I guess that’s an AP thing. There are a few great enemies that really give spice and have longevity - given their ability to escape most encounters with the PCs, but a DM who has particularly clever players can't rely on those enemies to survive without imposing some DM fiat or improvising changes to the adventure locations. It was noted how far you could hear in the caves and how the sound traveled in the main parts of the cave. DO you want to dig through the (conversational) text to figure out who is in that room? “Replace him with another 1/2 dragon warrior if the party manage to defeat him.” So …. The party is still on the “find out where the loot is going” mission, and thus they need to figure out where the is and where its going … and thus how its getting out of the roadhouse. This conversational style confusion tends to mix with some some poor choices for organization of text. The party sneaks in to the keep. Pursuing those leads might lead to a funnel like an “all-faction meeting” of the cult. Nor its occasional absurdities. This really only afflicts a couple of the scenarios, but unfortunately one of them is the first scenario and it’s laughably atrocious: There’s a lengthy sequence where the PCs are besieged in a castle (after getting railroaded into it, of course). But to do that you need to make some skill checks. Just reams of intentions and why’s and histories in an attempt to explain absolutely everything that is happening. Further, the bullet-list format makes it each to recognize and track down. Sure, as the DM you could tell them what to do. It’s magic. Unlink This Review from Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Archetypal Spell Compendium: Artificers & Arcanists. I don’t get it. I don’t get it. The book uses colored boxes to highlight text meant to be read aloud. Not all of them are blood-thirty fanatics?!? It’s also extremely frustrating in it’s ambiguity. Generic descriptions devoid of life and interesting content. What if we don’t favorable impress your NPC lackey? In some of the encounters it’s explicitly mentioned who shows up and what the reactions are. There are references to a cave with hatchlings in it … but no details. Having a bulkier initiating node to build up a few initial levels isn’t a bad way to go: So if you kept the same general idea of “siege on Greenest, followed by investigations at their camp” you’d then seed clues to three different nodes into the camp: Leads to wherever they’re transporting the stuff; perhaps an envoy from another faction of the cult; and maybe reports spying on a third faction of the cult that somehow threatens this faction’s interests. The NPC”s are great, the encounter suggestions are great … well …. “But that’s not the focus! Let’s say you snuck through camp in episode 2. But the monks text is all read-aloud. This sort of thing is maddening. No. First, there are SO many naked personalities in this episode that the lack of names/personalities for the cultists really stands out. But that’s how I feel as I sit here typing this, the book next to me. Here’s a good one! Because then you’ll not be in the north for the next set of episodes. Hoard of the Dragon Queen is the first adventure module for the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons, covering levels 1-8 for a party of adventurers and set in the Forgotten Realms' iconic sword coast region. “The Cult of the Dragon led by dKJSDFKHD KDFgwkDGF the high K:WDH:KE:H of K@WGKEGKE@ is …” Ug! Something bad. I would love to know some of your tricks and tips to … It’s technically sound, and that’s all I can say about it. Hoard of the Dragon Queen makes up for this, however, by designing most of the individual scenarios along its path in a delightfully non-linear fashion: Enemy strongholds are set up to reward frontal assaults, physical stealth, and clever infiltration. Any player can work with that and create some magical RPG moments. In other words, they are all on the right track but need just a little more to ground them in your imagination … which then allows your mind to run wild. It’s not clear to me that they WILL sneak in to the keep. I thought it was spot-on. (“The duke will evict Uncle Clem and his 20 illegitimate children from their hovel if the taxes aren’t paid by midnight!”) That might motivate the party to evade the beseiging army and get into the place…. New to find a D&D Group? Hoard of the Dragon Queen clocks in at 96 pages, which is about half of most of their typical adventure path releases (you’ll see why in a minute). 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