I’m not a huge fan of published adventures in general because I really enjoy the world-building aspect of DMing and making a campaign. That said, I’ve run some Kobold Press adventures before and enjoyed their focus on mission-based storytelling, rather than the classic dungeon crawl.
When the books in the Tyranny of Dragons adventure path (Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat) came to my door, I was excited to look them over, and to eventually run them.
The first thing I noticed, as I tend to do when flipping through RPG books, is the art. And wow, it’s really great in these books. Like the D&D books that came before it, the covers are absolutely gorgeous, and the art inside deftly treads the line between overbearingly realistic and overly cartoony.
The adventures in these books will advance your player’s characters from levels one to fifteen as they investigate an evil dragon cult that seeks to resurrect its terrible dragon-god.
For the most part, the adventures are well-written and easy to follow. I like the mission structures quite a bit, and as an experienced DM, they’re easy to understand and to run quickly without a whole lot of preparation.
The settings are pretty fantastic, and you will go through mountains, floating fortresses, frozen wastes, and just about everything in between. Good settings are essential for great campaigns and these venues are sure to stir excitement among your player characters.
In the appendices, you’ll find MOST of the information you’ll need for these adventures, including magic items and monsters. The offerings seem pretty sparse, though, from the D&D I’m used to. I kind of miss having an overabundance of magic items around. However, you’ll still need the free pdfs from the Dungeons and Dragons website to get the full experience of these products. Personally, I think that’s a bit of an oversight, but it’s probably a minor one. It’s easy enough to put a pdf on your iPad or Kindle.
All in all, I think the Tyranny of Dragons line of adventures are competently written and the art is beautiful. I would recommend them, but I think a moderately experienced DM is probably needed to run these adventures. I’m not sure if they are intuitive enough to run without having played before. Actually, I think I’m going to discuss just that in my next article.
The Tyranny of Dragons path is a strong start to the Wizards of the Coast’s adventures for the new edition of D&D. I’m excited to world-build, but I’ll definitely be running these adventures for my friends. Now, let’s go out there and slay some dragons!