D&D 5E Rebalanced Tyranny of Dragons Coming In January

According to Amazon a 'rebalanced' version of Tyranny of Dragons is being released by WotC in January. There's no indication if there's a new cover, but the "adventure has been rebalanced to be easier for a new Dungeon Master to run and a better play experience".

2019's Tyranny of Dragons combined 2014's Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat with errata and new cover art. It was originally produced for WotC by Kobold Press during the early period of 5E when adventures were outsourced to local companies run by ex-WotC employees, such as Kobold Press, Green Ronin and Sasquatch Game Studios. This will be the third version of these adventures.

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Tyranny of Dragons combines and refines two action-packed Dungeons & Dragons adventures—Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat—into a single sweeping campaign. It also includes a gallery of concept art providing a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of an epic adventure spotlighting Tiamat, one of the most legendary foes in D&D.

  • A wonderful re-introduction to 5th edition’s first published adventures for new fans
  • Begins as a low-level adventure suitable for new players and evolves into an epic, sprawling campaign bringing players all the way from level 1 to level 15
  • Adventure has been rebalanced to be easier for a new Dungeon Master to run and a better play experience.
  • Book includes gallery of concept art spotlighting Tiamat, one of the most legendary foes in D&D
 

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FitzTheRuke

Legend
After writing the above reply, I went and looked at my copy of HotDQ on D&D Beyond. I'm pretty sure that the version there now includes the "reworking" of the beginning. It has A LOT more guidance for the DM on how to run it than I remember it having.
 

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Birmy

Adventurer
I never had the original version, as I didn't start collecting 5E books until AFTER Tyranny of Dragons 2019 was released, but supposedly one of the main things that was reworked/adjust was pretty much how the opening act was handled.

A lot of people thought plopping down a Blue Dragon on top of the party during the opening sequence when the village gets under attack, was a bit of a "LOL, really WoTC? That's fair..."
(This was still under the premise you even start the module legit at Level 1.)

Then I recalled a lot of people on here going "Yeah why would my PCs just rush headfirst at a dragon in the middle of a village on fire? Please, I rather just do "........." instead and "yada yada yada."

Even if you treated such a sequence as an Opening Cutscene, there was still complaints about it.
I encountered this scenario as part of the Expeditions/Adventurers League at the time. Our party of 1st-level pregens were sent up to the palisades to defend the city, the dragon bears down on us... and my half-orc fighter just said, "Nope," and headed back down the stairs. I was confused when it played out like it did, not thinking that of course the adventure writers wouldn't do that to new PCs (maybe in an earlier edition...).
 

pukunui

Legend
After writing the above reply, I went and looked at my copy of HotDQ on D&D Beyond. I'm pretty sure that the version there now includes the "reworking" of the beginning. It has A LOT more guidance for the DM on how to run it than I remember it having.
Didn't they also change the beginning so the PCs are already in the town when it comes under attack? (That's a change I made myself when I ran the campaign.)

I think they also changed some of the encounters in the first few chapters that included NPCs / monsters that were either too hard or not hard enough because their CR had changed. (Like the assassin in the inn during the caravan bit, IIRC.)
 


FitzTheRuke

Legend
Didn't they also change the beginning so the PCs are already in the town when it comes under attack? (That's a change I made myself when I ran the campaign.)
The one I'm looking at has you returning from abroad, but suggests that you might live in Greenest (or be guarding a caravan for a merchant who does).

I think they also changed some of the encounters in the first few chapters that included NPCs / monsters that were either too hard or not hard enough because their CR had changed. (Like the assassin in the inn during the caravan bit, IIRC.)
Looks like they replaced any assassins with veterans.

Until we have reason to believe otherwise, I assume this will be a reprint of the 2019 combo book with the standard trade dress and the RoT cover, with some errata maybe.
That's what I expect it to be, too.
 

pukunui

Legend
Until we have reason to believe otherwise, I assume this will be a reprint of the 2019 combo book with the standard trade dress and the RoT cover, with some errata maybe.
I am beginning to suspect this is all it will be as well.

The one I'm looking at has you returning from abroad, but suggests that you might live in Greenest (or be guarding a caravan for a merchant who does).
Huh OK. I read somewhere that they'd changed it so the PCs are already in town. I think they also changed the number of kobolds that appear in some of the encounters in the first chapter.

Looks like they replaced any assassins with veterans.
👍
 

Hussar

Legend
It's kinda funny. I just played out the original module for the first time very recently. We did the opening scene but the DM simply left the dragon in the background and never had us directly deal with it. Dunno how closely he was following the adventure or not, but, it worked very well for us. Very memorable.

One of the biggest problems with modules, IMO, is that people seem to think that a module should replace the DM - everything should be laid out for you to just follow by the numbers. I have no idea where this notion seems to have come from since it's never really been true - buying the module was the start point, not the end point. It's a framework for you, the DM, to work from, scaffolding your campaign. It's not the campaign itself though.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
It's kinda funny. I just played out the original module for the first time very recently. We did the opening scene but the DM simply left the dragon in the background and never had us directly deal with it. Dunno how closely he was following the adventure or not, but, it worked very well for us. Very memorable.

That's pretty much how it's meant to be run. It's a nice scary situation that is mostly ambiance. I ended it with the PCs driving the dragon off because it was a cool, fun moment, but it wasn't entirely necessary. When the job was done, he'd have flown off anyway. It's how I justified the dragon not bothering to stick around and murder the PCs. It wasn't his job, nor was it his goal. Not worth the risk, not worth his time. Still made the players feel awesome, so it was worth it.

One of the biggest problems with modules, IMO, is that people seem to think that a module should replace the DM - everything should be laid out for you to just follow by the numbers. I have no idea where this notion seems to have come from since it's never really been true - buying the module was the start point, not the end point. It's a framework for you, the DM, to work from, scaffolding your campaign. It's not the campaign itself though.

Yeah, that's why I never quite agree with a lot of criticisms against adventures. I mean, I agree 110% that they could always be better than they actually are. They could be made to be much easier to run. Still, I've never met an adventure that I would follow exactly as written, so I don't care when I have to do some "work" to make them how I want them. That's part of the DM's job.

It's also one of the reasons that I think it would be a good idea to "remix" old adventures, with bigger changes than just updating the rules to the newest edition. After an adventure has been run a bunch of times, there ought to be a LOT of feedback available on how to make it better and easier to run. It seems like it should be simple to make them much better for new DMs and new DMs don't actually need a new adventure. If someone wants a walk-through adventure, it should be easy enough to walk them through a classic. Why that's not available (beyond DMs Guild) is beyond me.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
I am beginning to suspect this is all it will be as well.


Huh OK. I read somewhere that they'd changed it so the PCs are already in town. I think they also changed the number of kobolds that appear in some of the encounters in the first chapter.


👍
They changed the encounter math, not the structure at all.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
It's kinda funny. I just played out the original module for the first time very recently. We did the opening scene but the DM simply left the dragon in the background and never had us directly deal with it. Dunno how closely he was following the adventure or not, but, it worked very well for us. Very memorable.

One of the biggest problems with modules, IMO, is that people seem to think that a module should replace the DM - everything should be laid out for you to just follow by the numbers. I have no idea where this notion seems to have come from since it's never really been true - buying the module was the start point, not the end point. It's a framework for you, the DM, to work from, scaffolding your campaign. It's not the campaign itself though.
The Blue Dragon is deeply uninvested in the attack, basically only there to fulfill a contractual obligation to people he actuvely dislikes. He will leave after a certain amount of time, or if he takes like 2 hits, as he doesn't want to he there and is ready to quiet quit.
 
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