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Hoard of the Dragon Queen (D&D Adventure) Hardcover – August 19, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
Production Value - The book is indisputably high quality. Full color printing, heavy duty binding and fantastic artwork makes the book a pleasure to use.
Layout - The layout is extremely clean, with nice use of color to delineate sidebars and "read-aloud" text.
Writing - The writing is well done, by some big name pros in the industry including Wolfgang Baur and Steve Winter. It's got enough flavor to paint a picture, but is short enough to not overwhelm.
Structure - The adventure is put together in an episodic format throughout the book and each episode has sub-missions that can, generally, be done in whatever order the GM / Players choose. This may not be true for each chapter, but is certainly true for the first.
Cons (I would not actually say there are any *real* cons to this product, but I would like to address some issues other users have mentioned):
Level Range Visibility - Some users have pointed out that it does not state the level range. It does, on the back cover of the book it states that it is from 1-7.
Monsters - There are certainly monsters mentioned that are not found in the book. The reason that this was done is up for debate but you DO NOT need to wait until the Monster Manual or the Dungeon Master's Guide come out. They state in the first pages of the book that there is a free online supplement that they have released that has all of that information (and then some). That info can be found simply by googling "Hoard of the Dragon Queen Free Supplement."
This is a great product that is extremely high quality and should make for the beginning of a very awesome campaign! You would do well to pick yourself up a copy.
The paper quality is thicker and the artwork above what I consider industry norm. You get a lot of descriptive substance for rather than a book full of stat blocks. While some reviewers have griped about not having monster blocks, this has allowed the writers to instead fill the book with more illustrative details of NPCs, encounters, and role-play notes. You can download monsters, magic items, and spells from the module for free along with the basic rules, allowing this module to be played without the Monster Manual or a Dungeon Master's Guide. The adventure starts gripping, immediately beginning with action with a town under attack and a series of forays that can occur to stave off the invaders. This leads to a linear progression of adventuring where the next step is to find out who and why, leading to deeper mysteries. Players expecting "sandbox" (go and do whatever you want) will not find such here. If the players fail to follow the adventure hooks, there isn't really anything else to do. The module has a lot of opportunity for combat if players wish, but just as much there are chances to use creativity in avoiding them.
The adventure starts strong, but the wheels fall off quickly. The adventure devolves into a series of "go fight this, then this and then this.Read more ›
On the other hand, the editing is TERRIBLE. It completely ruins the product. (Almost?) Every map has omissions, or lacks keys or descriptions. Monsters are listed as being in two different places at once. I really, really hope that for Rise of Tiamat, Kobold gets better editor. This was the worst editing job I've seen in an RPG product (sans hyperbole); definitely the worst I've seen in a physical RPG product. I don't know how this made it out to the printers.
It's also clear Kobold was working with a ruleset that was still solidifying. Skill checks are a little off with regards to passive checks, etc.; and some monster descriptions that don't match up with the monster stats in the supplement put out by Wizards.
Overall, a four-star product absolutely ruined by terrible editing.
The first 3-5 chapters are detailed and fun, but the rest of the book is a bit disorganized, suffers from glaring errors, contains boring mechanical magic items, is very linear and suffers from pacing issues.
Ok, I have waited a while to submit my review in order to give a fair assessment of this module. I will try to omit as many spoilers as I can. Let's discuss some of the nicer parts of this campaign book. It is a hardcover, and the artwork is nice. The first three-to-five chapters of the book are very good. Paths that the adventurers can take are covered in fairly good detail, meaning there is little scrambling the DM has to do.
However, the adventure quickly begins to fall apart once the "caravan" chapter comes into focus. We are introduced to a bunch of NPCs, many of which you may never use, and two semi-important NPCs that aren't fully detailed. Personally, I would like to know the description of the NPC, what their ultimate goals are, and what they are wanting in the immediate. This is not fully explained, but even more disappointing is that there are very few NPCs that "stick around" to be memorable.
Also, while I understand it is now "theater of the mind", could we at least get some player-friendly maps? The kind that don't reveal every treasure, secret and door? A page I can open to and show my players and say, "Before you stands this...". I digress.
The book also contains a litany of errors; some are minor, some are actually fairly major. There is a major name change/omission in a random encounters section, and there is one encounter that WILL kill your party if read-as-written.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great continuation of the campaign series! My players are enjoying it.Published 3 days ago by Mr. Harwood
A decent if flawed starting adventure. Of course that's because it's an early fifth edition product. It's definitely worth it at this price tho.Published 5 days ago by Fiend31
I bought these for my nephews. One is almost always the DM and he says this would be helpful. The other is trying to prepare to DM once in a while and said this was perfect to help... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Elaine Witkowski
Group has a great time playing through the module. Simply laid out and very straightforward which made running it very simple.Published 1 month ago by Kayuu
It's clearly written & easy to follow. I haven't had a chance to actually run it yet, but I'm looking forward to doing so. Most of the maps show what they're supposed to show. Read morePublished 2 months ago by The Bruce