The Rise of Tiamat
The core of Dungeons and Dragons has always been three books, The first and most important is the Player’s Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons). The other two are the Dungeon Master’s Guide (D&D Core Rulebook) and the Monster Manual (D&D Core Rulebook) . For 5th Edition we have already seen the release of the Players Handbook and the Monster Manual but we are still waiting on the Dungeon Master’s Guide. We have also seen the release of the first installment of the Tyranny of Dragons, Hoard of the Dragon Queen. Though the book had some flaws, the story was sound and I truly enjoyed it. Now three months into 5th Edition we are seeing the second chapter of the first fantasy campaign for 5E.
I came home last week to discover a preview copy of The Rise of Tiamat (D&D Adventure). To say that I was surprised is an understatement. I was so excited that I tore into the book immediately. Once again we see Kobold Press take over with game design as they release The Rise of Tiamat. This segment picks up where the Hoard of the Dragon Queen left off. This means that you should have some hardy, seasoned adventurers ready to take on a newer and harder series of adventures. The Rise of Tiamat is set to take your characters from 7th level up through 15th level over a series of nights. The recommended progression being one level per chapter but you can do your own personalized XP and make this story fit into your own sandbox.
As we saw with the books released thus far, the quality is well worth the $29.95 price tag and if you have Amazon Prime you can get it as low as $18.94. Solid books seem to be the hallmark of 5th Edition. Once thing I really like is that they are not overwhelming us with artwork but rather giving us page after page of printed information. I love good artwork but I do think that many modern games use too much art and too little substance. With The Rise of Tiamat I feel they have recognized this problem and resolved it quite nicely. The book is packed full of information.
The Rise of Tiamat brings us an epic conclusion to the story that started in Hoard of the Dragon Queen. It is one of those adventures that will be spoken of for years to come by gamers of all ages. I equate it to the story of the slavers in A1-A4 or perhaps even the Temple of Elemental Evil. I know that this campaign will be well remembered by my players and it shall be one that I will convert to games like Seventh Sea and Savage World. One element of this Campaign is that it is not a straight Hack-n-Slash campaign but instead requires wile and wit to complete with any level of satisfaction. The choices made by the players will affect the entire world of Faerun and upon completion, the heroes will be household names throughout the Forgotten Realms.
The Rise of Tiamat is not without problems. The book relies on downloadable content that I found to be aggravating as I prefer tabletop games with no computer presence. On top of that the game makes references to magic items that have not yet been released and wont be seen until the Dungeon Master’s Guide is available. This oversight was annoying but not a deal breaker. Lastly, I felt that the story’s climatic conclusion was a bit of a railroad. I like a more sandbox oriented storyline. The book could have done better with some detailed maps and maybe some simple side notes to give more insight into the motivations of key players. Still, with these flaws, the campaign was phenomenal. I really have found a new home with 5th edition and the whole Tyranny of Dragons Campaign has sold me on this new home.
Priced to sell, The Rise of Tiamat (D&D Adventure) goes on sale on November 4th but you can pre-order on Amazon right now.
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