Content of the article: "Two year HotDQ campaign drawing to a close. Some of the highs and lows… (+Spoilers)"
We are just coming up to the end of Hoard of the Dragon Queen. It has taken us a very slow and meandering two years to play out this 3-4 months worth of material. Below is some rambling…
The Party – 11 characters, 9 players
- Alaria – White tabaxi two weapon battle master (with a dirt phobia.)
- Tassarion – Rastafarian Wood Elf (later turned accidentally Human) circle of the Moon Druid.
- Vonak – Short lived Goliath Barbarian.
- "John Smyth" – Tiefling Hexblade Warlock, who just wanted to fit in. Replaced Vonak.
- Draak – Dragonborn Vengeance Paladin of Bahamut (Who was secretly a Gold Dragon, but killed 100s of innocents when he blew up a packed tavern with gun powder kegs, was sentenced to death and subsequently abandoned by his god)
- A too brief to remember Dwarven Storm Cleric – Draak replacement character. Got a new job IRL & moved away.
- Cora – Halfling Thief Rogue. Rolled too well throughout the campaign. Was often too busy to join. IRL Spouse of Draak, so also moved away.
- Benly Blacksaber – Vuman Swashbuckler Rogue with tavern brawler feat. IRL family issues meant he left the table.
- Cedric Longdingsby – Human Champion Fighter. On a quest for a bespoke "Flaming Longdingsby" flametongue sword that never quite happened. Moved away IRL.
- Cancif Sunset Twinklefluff – Pixie (NOT a fairy, you racist) Wizard who lived amongst the dreadlocks of Tassarion the Druid. Currently held captive somewhere… Player turned DM to give me a break.
- Akeyr Edg'Lwrd – Half-Drow Gloomstalker Ranger. My Character after handing the DM reigns over. Made to as edgy as possible to try and "out-edge" the Hexblade. Voted not edgy at all after picking a name from FantasyNameGenerator without trying to pronouce it out loud. The name sounds too much like IKEA and references to interior design have haunted him through out the campaign.
Guest appearances by family members visiting
- Pib – Gnome Wizard
- Sondral – Wood elf Hunter Ranger with panther companion, Shinx.
I started off as DM, and loved it. But burn out is a real thing and life caught up with me about a year into the campaign. Next week is the (online) climax of the campaign as we assault the remains of the Cult of the Dragon Queen in the Flying Cloud Castle. Last session the DM saved us from a TPK as we plummeted to our near doom after falling from the Cloud Castle on the back of the Tabaxi Polymorphed into a Platinum Young Dragon. Druid lost concentration. Down we went… fully tapped… no way out… Terminal Velocity… until suddenly Giant Eagles. Lead by all the missing/written out (but still alive) PCs, the giant eagles turned up and saved us.
– The Village of Greenest. We had a LOT of fun right at the start of the campaign. Everything was fresh and new. The pace was fast and the encounters were furious.
– A random side quest to the Caves of Mintarn Island. I needed something a bit more free and fun to run, so left the "as written" campaign and homebrewed a Pirates of the Caribbean themed side quest. Possibly the most enjoyable part of the campaign.
– Easily downing an Adult White Dragon with 3 level 7 characters.
– Chapters 3-6 – so much travelling and messing about to find that the Hoard of the Dragon Queen is the Hoard of the Dragon Queen and is heading north to join up with more of the Hoard of the Dragon Queen. My party had worked it out in chapter 2.
– Getting to some of the key cities of the Sword Coast (Baldur's Gate, Waterdeep etc…) and having nothing from the book to give the PCs, who were all keen to explore these rich and interesting new environments.
TLDR – Hoard of the Dragon Queen is poorly written and hard to run even with a lot of online help. (My thanks to Reddit, Slyflourish, Merric's Musings and the good people who made printable versions of maps etc…)
- Advice on role-playing for a Wood Elf Monk
- Would this be unfair to my players? /how do I make this combat more unique
- Looking for help in balancing this encounter and tips to improve it.
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