5E Enhancing "Dragon Heist"
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  1. #1
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    Enhancing "Dragon Heist"

    With Dragon Heist due for its official release very soon, it's time for the traditional "Enhancing" wiki thread! I don't believe anyone else has beaten me to it yet...

    This post contains shortcuts to particular posts* that offer suggestions and answer questions raised by the adventure. It is broken down by chapter:

    Introduction


    Chapter 1: A Friend in Need

    • Expanding the content: #15
    • Zhentarim Hideout: #22, #25

    Chapter 2: Trollskull Alley


    Chapter 3: Fireball

    • Gralhund Manor: #84

    Chapter 4: Dragon Season


    Chapter 5: Spring Madness
    Chapter 6: Hell of a Summer
    Chapter 7: Maestro’s Fall
    Chapter 8: Winter Wizardry
    Appendix A: Magic Items
    Appendix B: Monsters and NPCs

    • City Guard vs City Watch: #38
    • Xanathar Gazer: #56
    • Jarlaxle: #93

    Appendix C: Handouts
    Map

    [Most recent indexed post: #105]


    *These posts typically start discussions so don't forget to read relevant following posts!

    If you're looking for reviews of Dragon Heist, you can find them here.
    Last edited by robus; Thursday, 21st March, 2019 at 09:05 PM.
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  2. #2
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    And I'll start the thread with links to a couple of other threads where people with advance copies have been discussing the adventure:

    Pulling Off a Dragon Heist in Waterdeep
    Waterdeep: Dragon Heist First Impressions

    And here's another related thread:

    Running an actual heist?
    Last edited by jayoungr; Monday, 17th September, 2018 at 06:32 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Added the Chapter breakdown and indexed the first post.
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  4. #4
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    DMs Guild related content

    I'll try and accumulate the best relevant DMs Guild products and DND Beyond content in this post:

    Guild Adept Content

    • Unseen Waterdeep
      Add a new villain option and cunning criminal organization to Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Hlaavin, a half-doppelganger/half-illithid crime boss, runs the UNSEEN, an illegal cabal of assassins, thieves, spies, illusionists, and shapechangers that plots to rule the city from the shadows. Written by Dragon Heist designer James Introcaso.
    • Waterdeep: City Encounters
      Presenting over ONE-HUNDRED short encounters that bring the City of Splendors to life in YOUR game. This supplement includes a plethora of highly replayable random street encounters that draw on the story of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist™, with emphasis on the central themes of intrigue, espionage, and peril. One-shot encounters are presented for almost every location mentioned in "Volo’s Waterdeep Enchiridion" (Chapter 9), meaning you'll never get caught short for a dramatic scene as your players explore the city.
    • Blue Alley
      The infamous Blue Alley lies hidden in the heart of Waterdeep. Built by a secretive wizard, it is a magic maze full of tricks, traps, strange monsters, and rich treasure. Countless adventurers have ventured inside to test their bravery and skill, yet few have returned. And now it is your turn… Blue Alley is a 3-4 hour Dungeons & Dragons adventure for characters of 1st to 4th level. It expands upon the material presented in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, but can be played on its own or as part of any D&D campaign.
    • Durnan's Guide to Tavernkeeping
      The famous proprietor of the Yawning Portal tavern has declared happy hour on his years of business knowledge! Durnan’s Guide to Tavernkeeping expands on the rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide and chapter 2 of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist to provide gamers with everything they need to create and manage a fantasy tavern in the world of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS!


    Other Content

    • Waterdeep Primer
      The Waterdeep Primer is a Dungeon Master's go to document to learn about or refresh their knowledge of the current state of Waterdeep. The primer is a summary, distillation and update of the AD&D, 3.5e, and 4e printings about Waterdeep. The Primer saves Dungeon Masters time by reducing the amount of searching and reading needed to gain an up to date understanding of the current state of Waterdeep. The Primer will provide you will all you need to know to start creating your own adventures or campaigns in Waterdeep. Once a DM has a base understanding of Waterdeep, they can use the Waterdeep Primer to locate other DMs Guild products that provide more detail and useful tools for running an adventure or campaign in Waterdeep.
    • Here's to Crime: A Guide to Capers and Heists
      Capture the energy and mood of our favorite heist movies with this special rules supplement, which is strongly informed by the new classic RPG "Blades in the Dark", by John Harper and Evil Hat Productions. This guidebook hacks the “Blades in the Dark” approach for 5e, reaching a middle ground between John Harpers heavy narrative focus, and the mechanical robustness of 5e.
    • Handful of Heists
      Run riot over Waterdeep with this collection of five low prep/no prep "Pick up and play" heist adventures, along with six hand drawn, full color detailed battle maps, one full color hand drawn dungeon maze map, and a player handout treasure map.
    • 'Down and Out in Waterdeep' A Level 0 Adventure
      Down & Out in Waterdeep is a Dungeons & Dragons adventure designed for characters starting at level 0. By the end of this module, the characters will have grown into themselves, determine their origins as heroes or villains of varying classes, and discover what will motivate them to take on life as an adventurer.
    • Yearning to Breathe Free - Waterdeep: Dragon Heist Primer
      This FREE primer is designed to allow you to integrate your reputation with the factions introduced in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist into the Yearning to Breathe Free campaign. This primer also offers a new faction for use in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist - The Order of the Hellfire Hearth.
    • Denizens of Waterdeep - Backgrounds for a Heist
      If you're creating new characters for Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, consider these three new backgrounds for use with your character. If you're a DM planning on running the adventure, there's a new faction as well: The Heralds. Across Faerûn, they consider it their job to record and police the noble family lines and their heraldry.
    • The Nobility of Waterdeep
      The upcoming "Waterdeep: Dragon Heist" will undoubtedly be a launching point for many new campaigns. Waterdeep is a grand city with a storied history. Part of that history is the establishment of the noble families who live in the city and bring it prosperity.
    • The Press of Waterdeep
      This folio of game handouts provides the front pages of 13 newspapers, broadsheets and scandal rags found in the City of Splendors. As handouts, they serve as table props and boost the game atmosphere for your sessions. The stories and headlines on these pages can provide adventure ideas that can take place alongside Waterdeep Dragon Heist.
    • The Lady of Trollskull Priory
      As the party settles in to their new home in Trollskull Alley, the neighborhood welcomes another addition. A lady from a faraway land has acquired the old Priory of the Overgod, a long-abandoned structure at the eastern end of the alley. Shortly after Lady Boguescu and her small retinue move into the priory, strange occurrences begin haunting the alley. The east end of the alley sees an uptick in vermin, and a strange fog seems to fill the alley, regardless of the season. Shadows seem longer. Soon Fala Lefaliir begins complaining that their supplies are spoiling. Will the owners of Trollskull Manor be able to discover the nature of these dark disturbances and put a stop to it? Or will the people of the alley fall prey to the Lady of Trollskull Priory?
    • 150 Shops, Stalls, and Stores
      150 Shops, Stalls and Stores for your RPG Campaign. Originally designed for Waterdeep Dragon Heist, but it location non-specific.
    • The Yawning Portal Map
      Digital map for use in your Waterdeep campaign in the Forgotten Realms! NEW: There are separate maps for the DM and the players! This product includes a PDF document, as well as a zip file with the maps in PNG and JPEG format.
    • Waterdeep Bestiary
      Monsters from 2nd and 3rd edition from Waterdeep-specific sources and monster manuals.
      The clockroach, dweomervore, ghaundan, greater leucrota, guardgoyle, mageripper swarm, nyth, scaladar, taunting haunt and wilora are featured, all converted to 5e rules.
      Challenges from 1 to 9, many perfect creatures to challenge a party of 1st to 5th level PC’s!
    • Treasures and Trinkets: Waterdeep Dragon Heist
      This installment in the Treasures & Trinkets series, which provides ready-made treasure parcels to plug into any session, focuses on Waterdeep.
    • Trollskull Manor Printable Deed - Dragon Heist
      This prop-deed was written in the styling of a 1699 french deed of a similar nature. The verbage and redundancies stay true to the bureaucratic stylings of the masked lords and high speech one might find from scriveners and scribes.
    • Trollskull Alley - a Waterdeep: Dragon Heist DM's Resource
      Chapter 2: Trollskull Alley is the sandbox of the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist campaign. It's where you and the players get to set your own pace, create unique stories and forge a lasting relationship with Waterdeep and its residents. But, as is often the case, freedom can become overwhelming. What should you use from the chapter? How do you use it? When? For who?
      The goal of this document is to help you find the answer to those questions and provide the tools to create a fun and manageable sandbox for your players. You'll find advice and embellishments on nearly everything that's described in the chapter, which will hopefully help you DM the chapter.
    • Options for Trollskull Alley
      So Volo gave you Trollskull Manor. You even had it renovated and first patrons come to taste your ale. But what’s next? This small module is useful for both DMs and players and offers:- simple rules for making deals and earning money
      - 16 upgrades for the manor and tavern, which provide small game-mechanics benefits
      - a cool-looking handout: the Deed of Ownership
      - 40 random events that occur when the heroes are away adventuring
      - a short 2-hour adventure based on the tavern’s history
      And of course
      MAPS! Beautiful, colour, grid or no-grid re-imagined, hand-drawn maps of each floor!
    • Urban Archetypes: 30 Urban-Themed Subclasses
      Urban Archetypes includes 30 urban-themed subclasses and 17 spells (including lovely spells like Conjure Mugger and Lawyer-Up) for any cityscape campaign or character.
    • Heart Hunt
      Heart Hunt is an urban murder mystery adventure designed for 4-6 3rd level characters. Depending on how much the characters explore and number of players, you can expect this specific story to take anywhere from 4-6 hours.
    • Downtime Businesses: Waterdeep
      This product is for DMs whose player characters are looking for a business other than Trollskull Manor to run and operate in the course of their Waterdeep Dragon Heist campaign.
    • Scrying Into His Handkerchief - Waterdeep Faction Adventure
      This adventure gives the characters a chance to explore a bit more of Waterdeep that I had a great time learning about from old source material like FR1 - Waterdeep and the North, City of Splendors, and Ed Greenwood’s fantastic Volo’s Guide to Waterdeep.

      Interaction, exploration of the city, two combat encounters, and an all new dice game!
    • Waterdeep: A Tail of Two Fishies
      This is a five-hour adventure for 1st to 4th level characters. When playing this adventure, expect to encounter any of the following: a talking goldfish, a table-flipping bugbear, a gnome with ichthyophobia, robot beholders, a disco dance floor, a giant slot machine, a book titled "Wizardry for Dummies," and a chance to steal from a laundry list of magical artifacts out of the Xanathar's personal treasury. This adventure fits very well in a Waterdeep: Dragon Heist campaign, and there are instructions for inserting the adventure into any number of different places in Dragon Heist.
    • Fireball - a Waterdeep: Dragon Heist DM's Resource
      Chapter 3: Fireball is the real 'hook' of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. It's where the adventure starts in earnest, as an explosion of fire pulls the adventurers from their leisurely lives at Trollskull Manor and right into the middle of a criminal investigation - and a hunt for 500,000 gold dragons! But how to make sure the party actually get involved? And that they find the clues they need to get where they need to go? And how do you handle the chaos of Gralhund Villa?
      The goal of this document is to provide you, the Dungeon Master, with tools and thoughts that'll help you make Chapter 3 of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist easy for you to run and enjoyable for your players.
    • Rumors for DDAL08-01 Map with No Names
      Looking for a good way to start your Dragon Heist game? Hand out these spoiler-free whispers and rumors to your players and let the map mania take over! Includes 9 rumors connected to the rumors of treasure maps floating around Waterdeep. Suitable for a variety of character backgrounds.
    • Waterdeep: Dragon Heist - Infernal Contract
      In the private study of Lady Cassalanter stands an infernal tome, the Red Grimoire, whose dark secrets are revealed using the only currency that truly matters - blood. This document is designed to be found either within the study or in the book itself and serves as a visual handout for players.
    • Dragon Heist Paper Miniatures (Chapter 1)
      I've made some paper miniatures for Waterdeep: Dragon Heist! This pack covers all the NPCs and Monsters for Chapter 1.
      There are 24+ different designs (i.e. 25), and I've included printouts to get the full quantity of miniatures required for the entire first chapter of Dragon Heist, i.e. if you print the whole thing and prepare them you'll have everyone you need!
    • Gray Hands - a Waterdeep: Dragon Heist DM's Resource
      In this document we explore the Gray Hands (also known as Force Grey) — one of the most interesting and unique factions available to player characters in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. With inspiration from the source material, we've crafted three whole faction missions from the brief outlines given in the campaign book, complete with challenging encounter, beautiful battlemaps, entertaining skill challenges and unique treasure. Being a member of the Gray Hands have never been this fun — or this dangerous!
    • Dragon Heist: The Haunting at Trollskull Manor
      The Haunting at Trollskull Manor is a short adventure balanced for four 2nd-3rd level characters for chapter 2 of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, and is designed to be completed in two sessions as the adventurers confront the ambulant spirit(s) that haunt the manor. It expands upon the grisly history of Trollskull, particularly the dark chapter it spent as an orphanage headed by a cannibalistic hag.


    Adventurer's
    League Content

    • DDAL08-00 Once in Waterdeep
      Companion Map Pack
      Who knows why adventurers are drawn together? The lust for gold, a common foe, or the whimsy of fate? Pull up a stool, stoke the hearth, and let YOUR story begin! A Four-Hour Adventure for Tier 1 Characters. Optimized for APL 1.
    • DDAL08-01 The Map with No Names
      Companion Map Pack
      Rumors abound of a map that leads to a treasure of unimaginable value. When chance drops the map into your hands, you have the chance to become wealthy beyond your wildest dreams. But you’re not the only ones with that dream. The chase is on. Part One of the Umbral Aristocracy Trilogy. A 2-4 Hour Adventure for Tier 1 Characters. Optimized for APL 3.
    • DDAL08-02 Beneath the City of the Dead
      Companion Map Pack
      The treasure hunt has led to the City of the Dead. Beneath that well-manicured park is an ancient crypt where the treasure awaits you! Part Two of the Umbral Aristocracy Trilogy. A 2-4 Adventure for Tier 1 Characters. Optimized for APL 3.
    • DDAL08-03 Dock Ward Double Cross
      Companion Map Pack
      You’ve been set up. However, the man you were set against is more than willing to forgive and forget, if you are willing join forces to seek a terrible vengeance. Part Three of the Umbral Aristocracy Trilogy. A 2-4Adventure for Tier 1 Characters. Optimized for APL 3.
    • CALL OF THE KRAKEN: WATERDEEP
      Continue your adventures after completing Waterdeep Dragon Heist!
      In this adventure for levels 5 to 7, one of Waterdeep's factions reaches out with a special assignment: locate their missing agent!

    DND Beyond Content

    • Visitors to Trollskull Alley
      There’s a place in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist called Trollskull Alley, and you may soon find yourself spending a great deal of time on this auspicious street. To keep this hub of life and excitement in Waterdeep feeling fresh, you will want to make sure it’s always teeming with new visitors for the player characters to meet. Dungeon Masters, this article is for you. And players?
    • What to do with 500,000 Gold Pieces?
      What if you could get that gold? What could you possibly spend it on? Now there will probably be caveats; a windfall of that size will surely create problems and expenses all on its own, and you will surely have to spend a fair sum of it just to protect yourself from enemies, politicians, and “long lost cousins.” But what if this were a perfect world, and you could keep it all? Let’s speculate on the sheer magnificence of 500,000 gold pieces, and what a group of adventurers could do with it all.
    • Welcome to Waterdeep! An Introduction to the City of Splendors
      The next Dungeons & Dragons adventure, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist will take place in—where else?—Waterdeep, the City of Splendors and Jewel of the Sword Coast! This city is figuratively built atop thousands of years of history, and literally built atop the thousands-years-old mega-dungeon Undermountain. Players and DMs who are preparing to adventure in Waterdeep when Dragon Heist launches on September 6th, 2018, will want to know a little bit about the city before they create their characters—especially if those characters are native Waterdhavians.
    • Waterdeep: Dragon Heist’s Factions are Perfect for Beginner and Veteran DMs
      For most players, their party is the only organization they need. In fact, some more selfish characters chafe at even that much camaraderie. But factions need not be omnipresent guides. In Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, the player factions are a source of information, side hustles, and sometimes even major magic items.
    Last edited by robus; Monday, 25th March, 2019 at 02:13 PM. Reason: Added: The Haunting of Trollskull Manor
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  5. #5
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    dndbeyond has another nice shop for trollskull ally:

    https://www.dndbeyond.com/posts/316-visitors-to-trollskull-alley

    and some faction rewards:

    https://www.dndbeyond.com/posts/317-...re-perfect-for
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  6. #6
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    Finally got my copy of Dragon Heist and I’m starting to read it. What’s shocking me is that there is no heist to retrieve the dragon hoard from the villain’s lair. (I’ve noted this oddness in other threads, but reading it for real makes it puzzling all over again.)

    If I get to run this adventure, the PCs will be beaten by the villain to the hoard, the mission will then be to extract the hoard from the villain’s lovingly detailed lair (that the authors suggest could be skipped!). The dramatic googdness of this approach seems so obvious I have to wonder if they considered it and rejected it because of some reason? They kept the name but dropped the actual heist chapter?

    Anyway, https://www.dmsguild.com/product/252...ers-and-Heists will be indispensable to any DM wanting to try this variation.

    Edit: the fact that the Character Advancement section indicates that the lairs are designed for level 5 shows that tackling a lair was supposed to be the finale of this book...
    Last edited by robus; Saturday, 22nd September, 2018 at 10:38 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by robus View Post
    Finally got my copy of Dragon Heist and I’m starting to read it. What’s shocking me is that there is no heist to retrieve the dragon hoard from the villain’s lair. (I’ve noted this oddness in other threads, but reading it for real makes it puzzling all over again.)

    If I get to run this adventure, the PCs will be beaten by the villain to the hoard, the mission will then be to extract the hoard from the villain’s lovingly detailed lair (that the authors suggest could be skipped!). The dramatic googdness of this approach seems so obvious I have to wonder if they considered it and rejected it because of some reason? They kept the name but dropped the actual heist chapter?

    Anyway, https://www.dmsguild.com/product/252...ers-and-Heists will be indispensable to any DM wanting to try this variation.

    Edit: the fact that the Character Advancement section indicates that the lairs are designed for level 5 shows that tackling a lair was supposed to be the finale of this book...
    Instead of changing that much, just make one or more of the three keys to the hoard hidden in the various villain lairs (the adventure specifically gives leeway to DMs to make up their own), and the heist is to get the key or keys. Elsewhere, I've already suggested using Sylgar as a key.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demetrios1453 View Post
    Instead of changing that much, just make one or more of the three keys to the hoard hidden in the various villain lairs (the adventure specifically gives leeway to DMs to make up their own), and the heist is to get the key or keys. Elsewhere, I've already suggested using Sylgar as a key.
    Oh, this is good. In fact I'm reading this thread because I was wondering about this exact question.

    What are your thoughts about levels? Using milestones they don't hit 5th until they actually find the gold. Is 4th too low for the villain lairs?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfcrusher View Post
    Oh, this is good. In fact I'm reading this thread because I was wondering about this exact question.

    What are your thoughts about levels? Using milestones they don't hit 5th until they actually find the gold. Is 4th too low for the villain lairs?
    I can't see how the module would be negatively impacted by milestone leveling to 5th level once the party gains the Stone of Golorr and determines what the keys are. As that's the mcguffin for the entire story, gaining possession of it seems reasonable place to gain a level. And the only real change would be to make the discovery of the gold come at 5th level instead of 4th, which, again, doesn't seem like too major of a change.

    The real question is how this segues into Dungeon of the Mad Mage. If the first level there is tuned for 5th level adventures, your group might be stuck at level 5 for awhile. Then again, that's not too bad of a level to spend some time in...
    Last edited by Demetrios1453; Sunday, 23rd September, 2018 at 07:54 AM.

  10. #10
    There's a new DMs Guild Adept title up- "Blue Alley". I read through it, and it seems like it'll be a blast to run at the table, good way to fill out the early game.

    https://www.dmsguild.com/product/252...&filters=45680

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