Next week fans of Dungeons & Dragons will see the re-release of two Forgotten Realms adventures that started off the 5th Edition renaissance of D&D back in 2014. Both the thinner adventure modules Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat have been combined and repackaged into one volume, Tyranny of Dragons. This extra-thick compilation book, the first like it in the 5th Edition, is available in a single exclusive edition with artwork by artist Hydro74–featuring what may be his best cover design yet. The release is part of Wizards of the Coast’s celebration of five years of 5th Edition adventures.
In addition to the Forgotten Realms module Hoard of the Dragon Queen, the Tyranny of Dragons storyline has pulled in at least fifteen D&D Adventurer’s League “Expedition” tie-in adventures since 2014, when players first encountered the Cult of the Dragon and its plans to free Tiamat, the goddess of chromatic dragons, from the Nine Hells. The storyline was continued in The Rise of Tiamat module later that year. Don’t look for a specific errata section in this new edition–Wizards of the Coast says it has updated the adventure within by incorporating feedback to “smooth out the curve” for new players. The two campaigns are fused into 17 chapters (as many fans wanted in the beginning), and a new appendix provides some never-before-published concept artwork.
The biggest feature is that all-new appendix containing 32-pages of double-page poster-worthy art showcasing scenes from the storyline, plus concept artwork, including sketches and trial pieces. These were not previously included in prior fifth edition volumes.
The first half of the book, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, takes players to the 8th level, and players can move on to reach the 15th level in The Rise of Tiamat section (although advance marketing states a 16th level is attainable, I’m not seeing it stated in the book, but it might be implied by achieving a successful last step of gameplay in the last chapter). The appendices have also been combined. For those new to these campaigns altogether, look for 22 new monsters in Tyranny of Dragons not found in the Monster Manual.
The campaigns have been slighted by some for “railroading” players, or sending them off on a goose chase or dead end, and recommended for play only with advanced Dungeon Masters because it often left next steps to the Dungeon Master with little guidance. It also left more opportunities than the typical adventure to kill off characters.
Don’t look for the standard cover for this release–you won’t find one. This is for anyone who missed the original release of Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat in 2014 who want a challenging game and have an expert Dungeon Master. And anyone collecting the limited edition Hydro74 covers. Tyranny of Dragons arrives next week. Pre-order it now here at Amazon. Those looking for all-new adventures, don’t worry, look for another coming soon: Eberron: Rising from the Last War is available for pre-order here at Amazon now, arriving in one month.