So, to anybody who does like Hoard of the Dragon Queen, let me go ahead and apologize for calling it a terrible module. I was just trying to be quippy, but I don’t mean to poo-poo on anyone else’s preferences. Personally, I did not like HotDQ for a number of reasons, but if it worked for you, that’s awesome. Please know that my critiques of it are based on my own experience with it and my own taste, not meant to be taken authoritatively.
It seems to me like you ran things just fine. It’s just that HotDQ is extremely lethal in the beginning.Ok, fair enough. One of my players had it and I don't have lots of time to do a homebrew campaign, so I ran it. Are you suggesting I ran things properly?
It has been my experience as well that 5e is generally less lethal that previous editions, save 4e. HotDQ, however, was the first module written for 5e, and I think the balance issues that many people find with it have a lot to do with that.I've been playing 5e for three or so years and have been finding it to be a less deadly compared to previous editions. It could be that I've had a couple 'story driven' DMs who didn't push combat very hard. Even when I DM one-shots, I've found I've been able to err on the side of more deadly to challenge PCs.
I guess I was just 'trusting' the module for balance but a lot doesn't feel 'right' as I was prepping stuff. I know there's a thread to help 'improve' the module but what's the point of having a module if you have to read a 10-page thread? For me, I run modules to save time and reading piles of threads is just more prep that I don't have time for.
Lost Mine of Phandelver from the starter set is excellent. If you can get ahold of the Sundering modules, they’re technically written for the playtest version of 5e, but they’re fantastic and easily compatible with the final version of 5e. Curse of Strahd is pretty good, but I would strongly caution against using story-based level advancement with it. I can’t speak to Storm King’s Thunder as I haven’t read it, but I have heard good things about it. My experience playing it has been a tad on the railroady side, but not half as bad as Dragon Queen in that regard. I would not recommend Princes of the Apocalypse at all.What modules are good? I'm willing to buy a different one. I was thinking of running Storm King's Thunder.
Yeah, I think for players who know to expect the early game lethality of HotDQ and enjoy that kind of play, it wouldn’t be a big problem (though such a group would still have to contend with its linearity).I told them to make new characters. They're all new to D&D so, on the bright side, they've learned the value of retreating and caution.