Even though they have been out for a while now, I wanted to give a bit of a wait before I wrote anything about these two adventures from Wizards of the Coast for the 5th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons. Firstly, I have had a few opportunities to run a fair amount of Hoard of the Dragon Queen, seen much of it being played and have a good grasp of how some of it works out in play. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen a lot of how Rise of Tiamat actually works in play, but it does have some truly great ideas even if you don’t intend to run it. The core of that adventure, the wonderfully thought out Factions system and how it ties into the players decisions, is actually being actively used in my current Dungeons and Dragons game, Curse of the Black Pearls.
When doing this review I debated if I would split the two books up into separate reviews alone or if I would simply consider it as one large “adventure”, then review the entire thing as a whole. Obviously from the title of this post, I decided that I would go with reviewing both adventures as one entity and give my overall opinion on the campaign it ultimately produces. The way this review will work is that I shall consider how both books stack up individually, talk about some of the individual strengths and weaknesses, then recommend if I feel it is worth running the entire campaign, or just going with one or the other.
In part one of this review, we’ll talk about Hoard of the Dragon Queen. In part two, we’ll consider the follow up adventure Rise of Tiamat. Finally in the final part I’ll give my overall judgement and then recommendation of what I feel is worth your hard earned gold.