Sunday, 30 November 2014

Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Master's Guide Early Review


  • At 320 pages, it is a big book.
  • There is a lot of art including fully illustrated maps.
  • Lots of magic items
  • Lots of optional rules
  • Lots of tables to generate loot and evil things by rolling


  • Some purposed rules have strange side effects or require interpretation.
  • No PDF*

* Denotes nitpicking

Cover of the 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide
Front cover of the Dungeon Master's Guide.


Scheduled for a December 9th, 2014 release date, the Dungeon Master's Guide is meant to help a Dungeon Master create and run games of the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Overall I think it is a well put together book with great production values and generally well written rules, but it is held back from being perfect thanks to a few optional rules that I find kind of strange. For more detail, read the long version below and for a list of things that keep in from being perfect in my eyes, skip down to the “Other Notes” section (where I also throw up some quick solutions). In general though, since the “Other Notes” section basically lists all my problems with the book (localized to a few pages out of the 320 page monster), I have to say it was a great Dungeon Master's Guide, even when compared to previous editions. For those on the fence, take a look at the table of contents and other preview material

The Content

The content of the book covers a lot of material. There is material on how to handle interactions with factions and gaining reputation with them. There is a section talking about currencies and how it can be more complicated than the copper, silver, etc. system presented in the basic rules. Different aspects of campaign creation are covered (along with how to create villains) as well as rules for creating new monsters and magic items. In general there is a lot of material here and to see just how much there is, you can just take a look at the table of contents.

In terms of layout and the content provided, this Dungeon Master's Guide is a return to the older model. In this book there is no adventure and there are no grid pages at the end (like in 4th edition) but there are fully coloured maps to get the creative juices flowing. The overall focus is on providing the Dungeon Master tables, ideas (there is significant effort put into fluff and world building), optional rules and magical items to use in adventures. It also tries to define the rules clearly and concisely while still having its fair share of nicely written fluff (entire chapter dedicated to creating a multiverse).

A large number of optional rules are provided. Some are the kind of thing I thought of while reading the basic rules, but newer players might appreciate them being written down. For example, there are multiple different systems of healing purposed as well as changes to the duration of short and long rests (they even have a rule for those 4th edition players who liked second wind). There were also some optional rules I never thought of, and I have to say are very good.

There are a lot of tables. There are tables for treasure generation. There are tables for giving weapons characteristics and personalities as well as selecting particular types of gems (instead of a gem of value 10 gold pieces). For those Dungeon Masters who love tables, they have you covered.

However, the Dungeon Master's Guide is not perfect. There are a few optional rules that seem to interact weirdly with each other and need to be ruled by the Dungeon Master (see my list of “Other Notes” at the bottom) in my opinion. Keep in mind the list contains all of my gripes big and small in the rules so viewed in context, I have to say the book did a very good job and is well written. If you are a more veteran D&D player with older Dungeon Master's Guide(s) and weren't interested before, it may be hard to come up with reasons for getting this one besides the production values and optional rules. Luckily, Wizards of the Coast released a significant amount of preview material that should help these veteran players make the right choice for them.
Dungeon Master's Guide Image
One of the pages that is located before the start of a chapter. This one in particular is one of my favourite pieces of art in the entire book and helps highlight how good some of the art really is. 

The Art and Book Build Quality

The quality of the book is in line with the rest of the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons and is laid out similarly. The fake torn corners of the Monster Manual are gone but fake paint running effects are still present on the pictures and add to the overall aesthetic of the book. For a Dungeon Master's Guide, there are a lot of pictures. Out of the 64 pages of magic items (not including sentient items or artifacts), only 6 pages didn't have an illustrated item while most pages had multiple items illustrated per page. Just about every chapter has a full page picture (my favourite is above). The art style is also very similar to the other books with the same painting like quality, further emphasized by the fake paint run effects. However, the fantasy style used for some of the weapons wasn't my favourite as I tend to prefer simpler, more historically accurate depictions. I would not call them badly done at all, and if you like this kind of fantasy style, you will probably be very happy. There is also some very nice artwork in here that appeals more to my tastes (look at that beauty above). The pages are decent thickness and the book itself feels high quality. If you liked the other books in this edition, you will probably like this one too. 

The font is the same as the other books. I don't really have much more to say on this point, though if you still aren't sure, you can look at a preview page from the Wizards of the Coast website.

The copy of the book I reviewed had a case of “ripple pages” (when looking from the side, even with the book closed, the pages seemed to be wavy). If this is something that really bothers you, do make sure to check the book by looking at the pages. Over the few days I had the book the rippling seemed to get better and now is barely noticeable. The other slight variation I noticed was slight rise of some of the paper on the inside hard cover (I have seen this in other hard cover books before). I've checked and heard that this has been present on some earlier D&D 5th edition books but haven't seen it or noticed it until now. It could be just the luck of the draw on my end or the process of shipping and it doesn't seem to affect the sturdiness of the book.

There is no PDF copy. They never said there would be, none of the other books so far had PDF copies but I still feel this is important to note.


The book isn't out yet but the suggested price from Wizards of the Coast is $49.95 in the United States or $57.00 in Canada. When I looked for prices from the stores themselves I was able to find the book for about $30 in the United States and about $37 in Canada (Amazon and Chapters were the best places I could find, though some local stores might be even better).

What I felt was Missing

In general, I don't really feel anything was missing in terms of important sections of a Dungeon Master's Guide. However, there were those few rules listed that still seem somewhat odd to me (see “Other Notes” section).

For those players who are used to 4th edition D&D, there is no adventure included in this Dungeon Master's Guide and there are no grid pages either. The players who have this book can just use those grids for the new system. However, having a PDF grid sheet on the website would help newer players who wanted to use a grid.


In general, I liked this book quite a bit (though the Monster Manual is probably my favourite of the 5th edition releases). If you are a veteran player, it may be harder to think of reasons to buy this book but newer players should expect to learn a lot from it. If you are still unsure, look at the preview material like the table of contents or some of the item descriptions. The basic rules are still enough to play the game but at 320 pages long with a lot of art, the Dungeon Master's Guide adds a lot of content (and tables, can't forget tables). Out of all the Dungeon Master's Guides released so far, this has to be my favourite. Feel free to comment and I look forward to everyone else's opinion when the Dungeon Master's Guide is released.

Other Notes

  1. The mechanics of selling a magic item by the purposed rules have a few strange implications as written. They state that the highest bidder is “shady”. This seems strange to me. Why can't it just be a collector who really values the item and wants it now? What if the buyer really needs that item and time is of the essence (a healing potion for a family member). These aren't shady but would also account for the price difference. The shady word can easily be ignored but still, this seems odd to me.
  2. Reading the rules for crafting magic items exactly as written created some strange results in my opinion. A wizard without proficiency in smith's tools can still make a magical sword (fine, maybe the cost of hiring a skilled laborer is included) but a wizard with a proficiency in smith's tools doesn't get a discount or advantage for making a magical sword (this counters the previous point). This is easy enough to fix (wizard's proficient in a tool needed to make an item or those that have a proficient party member helping get a 2 gold discount).
  3. Running a business is presented in “Down Time Activities” but is quite simple. Running a farm? Running a smithy? Running a high end perfume shop? An Inn? The rules presented don't care and don't even mention adding in a multiplier from the Dungeon Master based on the profitability of the business. The way it is written, the business needs you to maintain it to make money. This means that while you are away, you lose money and while you are attending your business, your odds are better at making money (even if you are the worst business owner ever. In fact, ability scores don't affect it at all). I don't consider the part where you always have an advantage if you are attending your business a problem (though those who prefer a simulation style of play won't. For these guys, adding some kind of bonus for the skills deemed important should be enough). Your business loosing money when you aren't around is strange but easy to fix. Just roll like normal in that rule but without your bonus for being there.
  4. Building a stronghold is quite a nice idea and in general is defined quite nicely and compactly (click here for preview). However, the last sentence as written seems to say that if construction continues when your character is a way, it will make things worse. It seems to me that it should be interpreted as each day of construction costs 3 days when your character isn't present instead.
  5. The rules for creating magic items don't take into account some of the rules given for magic items in another section. Specifically, it says that consumable items are worth half price of their rarity but the rules for creating magic items don't adjust for this. As written, the rules for crafting magic items also don't scale with changes to the value of magic items, though the chapter on magic items give suggested ranges for the price. Just apply modifiers as you deem appropriate for your game or run as intended. This one really isn't a big deal. 
  6. Repairing some ships will cost more than buying a new one. Using the full value of the ship in calculations avoids this issue.

Early review copy was provided by Wizards of the Coast. Images and preview pages are also courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Dungeon Master: Using External Games

Previously, I mentioned a list of different methods that can be employed to help immerse players (I will focus primarily on D&D 5th edition, though the same logic applies to any system). One of the examples was the use of small games to help set the mood. For example, in the event of getting information from a gambler, the players may try to talk to the gambler while gambling. The process of playing the game can be simulated by ability checks with the D20 can or we can drop the D20 and instead opt to play a modified version of the game. I also sometimes use this to give the players some time to talk about plans while in the inn and keep people who don't care entertained (as they might win gold). As with most things, the validity of this tactic depends on your group, but I will outline one such way I have used before.

Basic Ship, Captain, and Crew Rules

To begin, I think it is best to start by a specific example of a game. I often end up using Ship, Captain, and Crew for such interactions. In general, when picking a game, I find it best if it is simple enough that the focus can be kept on role-playing but complex enough that they can feel drawn into the situation. It is also important that a character may have proficiency with a game set, and to account for such a situation in the game itself (typically players don't like not getting a bonus they invested). The basic rules I use are as follows:
  • The goal is to get a 6 (ship), a 5 (captain), a 4 (crew) and the highest number with the remaining dice
  • Your score is the total of the two remaining dice (for 6-5-4-1-1, my score is 2). If you do not have a 6, 5 and 4, you have no score
  • The person with the highest current score is called the point (though I sometimes use leader)
  • When rolling, the number 6 must be achieved before a 5 can be taken (e.g if I roll and get 5-4-4-3-2, I have nothing since I don't have a 6 and have to re-roll all the dice). A 5 must be rolled before a 4 can be taken (if on my first roll I got 6-4-4-4-4, I roll the 4 dice that isn't 6. If I get 4-4-4-4, I can't take the 4 since I need a 5 first)
  • There is a maximum of 3 rolls, though you can choose to take fewer (If I roll a 6-5-4-6-6, why would I roll again?)
  • If there is a tie for the leading roll, the player who just rolled becomes the current point/leader
  • Once everyone playing has their turn, leader wins
  • If fewer than three rolls are taken to become the point/leader, everyone else who hasn't had their turn is restricted to the number used (so if you roll a 6-5-4-1-1 on your first roll, you may choose to keep it in hopes that no-one else will get a 6-5-4 in one roll)
However, once the basic rules are out of the way there is still the problem that every person has the same chance to win (despite my Cleric of Chance having proficiency with dice). In order to fix this issue, I add the following rule to the basic game:
  • A player with proficiency in with dice can choose to have an extra roll (this even applies if fewer than three rolls were used by the leader. If one roll was used, I have two)

Handling Proficiency

In general, since Ship, Captain, and Crew follows different rules than D&D, the bonus that is given to the player needs to be significant enough that they feel the proficiency was a good choice, while still not making it impossible for those without it. It is also important to note that my above system means that as a character levels, they don't get better at Ship, Captain, and Crew, despite the proficiency (and in D&D 5th edition, proficiency scales with level). I haven't really considered this as a problem (especially since ability bonuses are strange to apply anyway), but I have also occasionally used the following rule instead.
  • A player with proficiency in with dice can choose to re-roll a total number of dice equal to their proficiency bonus – 1 in a turn
The above role does allow scaling and still provides a benefit in the first place (though significantly less powerful compared to the previous rule). However, at higher levels this rule provides more benefit.

When to Use Ability Checks

Regardless of which of the two ways proficiency is handled (or a method of your own devising), the proficiency and ability scores can still be applied outside of the game to influence the NPC player. For example, if it was a card game, maybe I could bluff my opponent to folding or throw a few games to make them warm up to me (and use my proficiency to make it look like I lost fairly). When playing the above game, maybe I can use my proficiency to tempt the gambler to playing with my group for high stakes (and in a party of 4 people, the chances of a party member winning are much greater). The above rules govern playing the game itself, and the normal role-playing system can be used to handle the external factors like influencing the opponent.

Other Considerations

The separation between the game and the game system itself also means that if I roll my Ship, Captain, and Crew dice, it is easy to see I am playing the game, where if I roll my D20 I am trying to influence or detect something (as a result, there is no confusion). However, the time needed to explain the game will be greater than simply using ability checks. In order to avoid this some creativity can be used, such as having the players watch the gambler play a round while the DM also explains the rules (that the dice proficient character obviously knows) or to give out the rules as homework.


If there is anything wrong with the outline of the game or something I missed, please comment. When done properly and for the right group, these kinds of games can be a lot of fun.

Example Rounds

First Roll: 6-4-3-2-1
Second Roll: 5-4-5-3 (Have kept 6 from first roll, giving me a score of 8)
(Stop to force everyone else to beat me in two rolls)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Dungeon Master: Player Notes and Handouts

There are a wide range of techniques a Dungeon Master can employ in a tabletop RPG like D&D. Other than the usual elements of a session, props and other enhancements can be added to sessions to try to make it more immersive for players. I will talk about ways I've seen these kinds of enhancements used with an emphasis on the technique of giving small notes to players during the course of a game.

When going beyond drawings of areas or copies of documents, it can be difficult to balance the time spent on enhancements with the other elements of the game. As such, I want to start by saying that knowing your group's tastes is incredibly important. They may actually prefer to spend more time reading documents and receiving notes as it allows them to have more control and react independently. Sometimes putting in the extra effort can really help the imagination run wild, especially for newer players. It is also important to try to minimize downtime as much as possible, meaning preparation should be made before hand to make the enhancements as seamless as possible.

The most common types of handouts from my experience are:
  • Drawings of an area (often included in pre-made adventures, especially older ones)
  • Documents (for example, a letter from the Arch Mage)
  • Isolated information
In general, drawings of an area and documents are straight forward to use though they can be supplemented by grid maps (if you use them). Sometime though, there will be information that only a subset of party members will know. The typical way to handle this is to just say it to the people who need to know the information in front of everyone and to make the other players pretend they didn't hear it. You could of course also just grab the members aside and tell them separately, but from my experience this usually takes too long. Instead, a quick note given to the affected party members typically works smoother for me. Used sparingly it gives the players a chance to role-play knowing obscure lore, for example (doing it too often can make the game grind to a halt. Also, if the players would prefer you to tell the group I generally found it better not to force it). It also helps if the information the players are given gives them a choice of how to act (even the possibility of backstabbing, perhaps) instead of just forcing them to repeat it back to the party and the information given has significance (notice something important in a room while sneaking, but can't speak or will alert people in the room), even if it is wrong.

Troubleshooting the Technique

When using these kinds of notes, eventually it becomes a signal of something bad. As a result I've seen the Dungeon Master that liked this technique add a rule that a player cannot show their note to anyone not approved by Dungeon Master. The Dungeon Master also started to have a bunch of random notes (stomach rumbles, etc.) to make it less obvious. The places chosen for the notes as well were usually planned out in advance and important to the adventure (party member secretly charmed) but the notes themselves were written before hand to prevent the awkward pause of writing a note (though I'm pretty sure some were written during the pause of a player thinking).

There a bunch more techniques I didn't cover, but I'll list a few just for the sake of it.
  • Small items
  • Actual small games with special perks for those with proficiency
  • Mood music (for example, folk music when in an inn)
  • Sound effects for an area
  • Prerecorded and processed lines for big villains (takes a lot of work, but when done well can really set the scene, even if it is only one line and your imagination applies the voice for the rest of the Dungeon Master's lines)

I'll probably talk about some of the other techniques later. If I missed something about the use of small notes or I didn't mention a favourite technique, feel free to comment.  

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Dungeon Master: Crafting Magic Items

Giving out better items is part of the D&D experience. As players risk their lives they expect some kind of return on their investment. However, there is more than one way to reward a player and likewise many different ways to include magic items. I list some of the most common and some of my favourite methods to design magic items below.

Types of Magic Items

  • The most common type of magic item is the one that simply gives a flat bonus (+1 sword, anyone?). These kinds of items don't really have any drawbacks and in their simplest form also don't help outside of combat. However, when weapons have a special characteristic or reputation, these kinds of weapons start being useful even in non-combat encounters as NPC's recognize the weapons.
  • The cursed magic item goes hand in hand with the simple magic item. Of course, players can trigger some curses simply by equipping the item and are forced to try to find someone to remove the curse or go on a quest to do so. I was never really happy with these kinds of cursed items. As a result I ended up having the cursed item give an actual bonus and tempt them with some kind of process (ritual or attunement) to increase its power when really, the curse gets triggered instead. I also generally prefer that cursed items give some kind of benefit to the player but at a large enough cost that they start to question its worth. This kind of cursed item starts to get into the territory of the next type.
  • We have cursed items. We have regular magic items. Then there is what I call the “hybrid” magic item. These kinds of items have some kind of nice flat bonus that tempts players but at the same time some kind of drawback or unreliability. Maybe the sword plays with the wielders sanity, giving hints that seem to be correct sometimes and other times have them walking off cliffs. You could consider the kind of cursed item I talked about before being here as well, as you could have an item that is more cost than benefit, or greatly more benefit than cost. An example is an item called The Gauntlet of Chance. I ran across this item during my 2e days. When you try to put it on it causes a lot of damage, tries to kill you and causes you to lose use of your right hand for a day (due to burning. Even with healing, the burning sensation remains for a day, preventing use of the hand. Without healing, it seems to unnaturally quickly heal away), but in return it grants whatever you wished for before you donned it.
  • Then there is the “fake” magic item. These kinds of items aren't really magic and don't have any bonus in combat bonus (outside of morale effects), but their social or sentimental effects are real (for example, everyone thinks the sword is magic because it belonged to some famous warrior, but really he was just that good). One of my favourites types, it is sometimes nice to see a player carry two sword, a simple sword that they use for combat and their ceremonial sword that is really three older swords put together and that they don't dare risk in combat (and since it has no combat bonus, they have no need to unless their main sword is lost somehow).
  • All of the above are constant. You can also have limited use items. The obvious ones are things like potions or exploding arrows or something. However, you can be more creative if you try. The current staffs and wands in 5th edition D&D have a certain number of uses that can replenish after some time, with the possibility of the item itself being destroyed if it runs out. One of my favourite items I ever had as a player was a sword that seemed perfectly normal. It had a bonus to damage and attack, but every hit with it would cause it to get damaged (notches on the blade, etc.). It could, however, regenerate itself to pristine quality in a short time when not in use.

The above types can also be combined together. I'm on the lookout for other ways to make interesting magic items, both from a story and mechanics perspective. If there are any I missed, feel free to comment.  

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Dungeons & Dragons: The Rise of Tiamat Review


  • Production values are top notch.
  • Lots of room for the DM to add their touch.
  • Continues Hoard of the Dragon Queen (for those of you who liked it. If you didn't...this will probably be a con).
  • Some really awesome and epic set pieces and other parts of the adventure.
  • Multiple ways to handle situations and tons of room for house ruling.


  • If you expect to run the adventure after a quick read through, you will be disappointed. This one requires planning.
  • No grid maps for those of us who love miniatures, meaning you will need to make them yourself.
  • No PDF of adventure (most monsters are in the supplement).*

* Denotes nitpicking.

Dungeons and Dragons The Rise of Tiamat front cover.
The front cover of The Rise of Tiamat.


Scheduled for November 4th, 2014, The Rise of Tiamat continues the story started by Hoard of the Dragon Queen for the new version of Dungeons & Dragons. In general, I liked the adventure but can't deny it does require some work to get up and running. It is also quite a long adventure, despite the page count, covering 9 episodes. Those of you who liked the first part of the story will most likely like this one as well. For the rest, read below. I will keep this review spoiler free for those of you who may want to run through part of it in organized play. At the time of writing this, I have read over the adventure and run two of the episodes.

The Adventure

As mentioned above, the adventure is substantial in terms of length and takes an episodic approach. The stakes are high, with the threat of Tiamat herself hovering over the players heads as they play through it (with a name like “The Rise of Tiamat”, that isn't a spoiler). Starting at level 8 and ending at roughly level 15 (unless you go off track or add stuff of course), it is a higher level of play with all the implications that come with it. It also spans a large level range, meaning that The Rise of Tiamat and Hoard of the Dragon Queen really are a full campaign when put together.

I don't think you can really call the adventure easy to complete (again, Tiamat), and many parts of the story have multiple ways of playing out. However, due to the nature of the adventure, there is more restriction than some other adventures (what's that? You want to spend a week playing dice in the inns instead of focusing on the quest. comes Tiamat) since the players aren't dealing with an abandoned dungeon that waits for them. However, it is written to allow for extra additions by the Dungeon Master. In general, when combined with the way the adventure was written, it gave me a sense of urgency (the implication being that the adventure should be run in such a way as to make the players feel that sense of urgency and risk).

Due to the number of chapters and scope, combined with the 96 page count (less after taking out the introduction stuff), there is still more preparation than some will like from their published adventures (some combat encounters have to be literally put together by the Dungeon Master). You can easily break it up by chapter and plan week by week (though reading the whole thing first is definitely a big help, even if you don't flush out everything) instead of front loading the preparation if you play it as a massive gaming session. Some parts of the adventure give you options (I like options) but doing so means you need to take some time to make the decision and adapt to the unexpected. The specifics of how to account for a larger party are also not detailed, meaning the Dungeon Master will need to spend some time to do so. Prepare to be forced to prepare to run this adventure.

There are some parts of the adventures that look to me to be very easy to drop into other games. The adventure is also self-contained, so the Monster Manual is not required to run the adventure as the stats are present in the supplement posted on the Wizards of the Coast website.

The actual adventure itself has quite a varied feel to it. There is tons of opportunity for role-playing. There are tons of nice combat encounters. There is exploration. My players seemed to enjoy the flow of the narrative so far and the feeling of control and danger present. It really has the potential to be a memorable experience.

There are some problems however. I had a fun time understanding the bullet list of page 88 (read in the other section below for the interpretation) as well as a few other minor things. Otherwise, I generally found the book well written. Some sections, however, will require either some note taking or page flipping (small piece of paper as bookmarks to the rescue!) due to the scattered nature of the sections.
The Rise of Tiamat chapter title and illustration.
An example of the artwork given at the start of the episodes.

The Art and Book Build Quality

The quality of the book is in line with the rest of the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Just looking at the cover, you can tell there is a unified look to the books so far (also, I generally liked the cover image for this book the moment I saw it). The binding is solid and there is artwork throughout the adventure. I found the artwork to be decent, though I am not sure I liked it as much as the Monster Manual's art and there is definitely less of it. The focus here is really on the adventure itself.

The font itself is the same as the rest of the released material as is the contrast so reading these books is a breeze. There are fewer of the little details like fake water damage than the Monster Manual.

However, all of that said, there are not many handouts at all in this adventure, forcing you to use Theatre of Mind to convey the situation (depending who you are, this is a plus or a minus). It also contains no battle maps. In general, I think it would be hard to provide adequate battle maps for this adventure given its scope (I just counted the number of maps given. There are 6), but for those used to having them, this had to be said.


The book isn't out yet but the suggested price from Wizards of the Coast is $29.95 or $35.00 for Canadians. Still, looking around I can already see it in places like Amazon and Chapters for under $25.

What I felt was Missing

It is also important to note that the way the adventure is written, it assumes Theatre of Mind play. There are no battle maps or grids provided and as a result you will need to play Theatre of Mind or, as a Dungeon Master, spend more time preparing tiles for the combat encounters. I hope we will see more support for miniatures use with the Dungeon Master's Guide coming out in December, though I do like having the option of Theatre of Mind. It is also not too much of a concern for more seasoned Dungeon Masters (though it will increase the preparation time), but in my opinion it is easier for newer Dungeon Masters to simply run in Theatre of Mind. 

This adventure, like the rest of the releases so far, does not come with a PDF version. Yeah, it is to be expected, but I still feel it necessary to mention.


As far as adventures go, The Rise of Tiamat is a solid adventure that requires some effort from the Dungeon Master. It has a serious amount of content and provides nice set pieces, interesting settings and a real feeling of risk and danger. However, some assembly is required and if you love miniature and grid based combat, prepare to spend even more time preparing. If you liked the previous one or Kobold Press's work in general, you will probably like this. Those who like having more control over their adventures will like the style where as people who like their published adventures “ready to play” probably will not. In general, I think it is an enjoyable adventure. If you still want to see more, check out the supplement material.

Other Stuff

  • A significant part of helpful and necessary resources for the adventure are provided in the Rise of Tiamat Supplement on Wizards of the Coast website (for those of you curious about it, you can check the supplement out for a general idea of what you will face).
  • The way the adventure works, players gain levels after completing significant events (which translates to episodes). Enjoy not tracking XP.
  • On page 88, the correct interpretation is that if 3 things from bullet list one happen, the first three things from bullet list 2 happen.
  • Yes, Tiamat can make an appearance (Torm help you if she does).

Big thank you to Wizards of the Coast for the cover image and an early review copy. 

Post Finishing Notes: This adventure can really take a long time with the right group. The problems I mentioned with preparation time are still present and there are a few minor things I noticed in some of the descriptions that caused me to pause, but in general I had a lot of fun with this one. The big message is that like any adventure, this will be as fun as you make it.