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The Rise of Tiamat (D&D Adventure) Hardcover – November 4, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
The level of detail in which the campaign is described varies throughout the book. Some dungeon areas are described in great detail with flavor text while others are just quick overviews. Some encounter locations have great maps and room-by-room descriptions, while other seemingly important locations lack maps and are only described in a few paragraphs of text, notably the village at Oyaviggaton. The council events also seem to be lacking in detail, despite the council having a large significance in the later parts of the campaign.
The introduction tries to sell this book as a standalone campaign, but without the background story and context from Hoard of the Dragon Queen and having had the characters complete various events in Hoard of the Dragon Queen which heavily influence the outcome of the first council meeting, the players would end up at a severe disadvantage late in the campaign. Additionally, without the Player's Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons), only a small number of races and classes are available to characters, so I can't realistically imagine running this module without both Hoard of the Dragon Queen and the current Player's Handbook.
There is a downloadable supplement which details items, monsters, and spells used in the campaign. Unfortunately it's just organized like the alphabetical listings found elsewhere in the 5th edition books. Running combat smoothly requires a lot of prep work or doing a lot of quick lookups of stats across multiple sources. If you're going to provide an online supplement, why not organize it in a way that reflects how it will be used: by combat encounters? Perhaps the DungeonScape software was imagined to fill this gap, but now that Wizards is no longer working with Trapdoor Technologies, that seems unlikely.
Overall, the story is great, but this adventure requires a lot of effort to run, as the presentation is not very dungeon master friendly.
Cons: The way the book was written makes it very, very hard to DM without reading the book completely and taking copious notes just to get organized for each individual game session. The encounter layout has you going through the books 'episodes' several time to run each session. This book continues the problem from HotDQ with the required information and still relies heavy on the online supplements for information, unless you have the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster Manual. Lastly, the final encounter is almost impossible, unless you... sorry, I won't talk spoilers. lol
Conclusion: Overall, it's a great story and a fitting end to the Tyranny of Dragons story and Adventure League season 1. However, not only will it end the story, it will probably end your interest in being a Dungeon Master and kill your group for further play with you as the DM. Well, unless your group has long term players that realize that total party kills are part of the game or can metagame and see the importance of the tasks, as given. I would not recommend fudging the final battle though, you are fighting a goddess after all, well... maybe.