D&D 5E Red Hand of Doom + Rise of Tiamat + Scales of War

jimmytheccomic

First Post
Hey there!

I've got at least half a year to plan it out, but my players want me to run a campaign where they tussle with Tiamat after we finish up our current outing.

I wasn't big on "Hoard of the Dragon Queen", but I love Red Hand of Doom and Rise of Tiamat, and Scales of War gives some fun ideas for high level play, so I'm putting together something that tosses them all into a kitchen sink/blender approach.

Has anyone attempted this with any level of success? Anything to watch out for?

Here's my vague outline so far:

Red Hand of Doom to get them to level 7ish. I play up the "Sandbox" elements of that book, and this section of the campaign ends after the major battle in the city- the Fane of Tiamat doesn't 'exist' yet at this point. They learn that the loot that would have been taken from the razed city was supposed to be delivered to a flying castle, so we still play out that section of "Hoard", because a flying castle stronghold is dope.

Either winning the battle, or taking the skycastle, gets them the attention of Waterdeep, so they are invited to the council, and we jump into the mission style gameplay of "Rise of Tiamat" for the mid-section of the campaign. I'd change around some of the story elements here- I want the players to be able to retrieve masks without completely throwing off the cultists plan, for instance. I also liked Sly Flourish's suggestion of putting the "Doom Vault" dungeon in here as a method for killing the leader of the cult- that gives us mission based gameplay and a MegaDungeon, so now we've covered several campaign styles.

After beating the Aspect of Tiamat, they'd have the option to start planejumping and finish her off, and we'd use some of the "Scale of War" adventures for high level play- I haven't had a chance to fully read these through, yet, but a lot of the concepts sounded cool. (Getting the arrow that had split Tiamat and Bahumat, raiding a Githyanki ship on the Astral Plane, attacking her a Bahumat realm to finish her off...)

Anyone tried something similar, or have any insight into these campaigns?
 

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Rellott

Explorer
I had considered bringing in Scales of War's ending to finish off after Rise of Tiamat, but I haven't yet put in the energy to figure out exactly where to start in that campaign path, let alone what to change/convert/update. I'm very interested to see what you come up with for that part.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I'm running Red Hand of Doom right now in D&D 5e which follows the events of my previous town-to-dungeon campaign, The Delve, but with new characters. Both were set in Elsir Vale. The 6th-level PCs have just destroyed Skull Gorge Bridge, right at the end of Session Two. I changed Tiamat to Maglubiyet because I had enough of Tiamat in Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat.

At the same time, I'm running a D&D 4e "one-shot" of the first module in the Scales of War adventure path, "Rescue at Rivenroar." The events of this adventure take place well after Red Hand of Doom, so it's neat to see the crossovers for players in both games.

All this to say I think your plan is fine as these adventures should have plenty of similar elements to meld them together. It will require a lot of adjusting of encounters to match the appropriate character levels, especially Red Hand which I think is 6th to 12th level.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
For my players (if they're willing) I aim to follow up RoT with a high level version (15-20) of OotA (basically the attempt to restore Tiamat has allowed other demons to accidentally emerge in the Underdark). Word of this gets to Gauntlgrym and the heroes are asked to enter the Underdark and return these demons to their plane. So just the PCs (and perhaps a guide, no big unwieldy army). Ends with a big battle against 3 or 4 demons (after dispatching some of the others on the way to the final confrontation in Menzobarranzan) In fact I'm thinking of a twist where Graz'zt makes (or tries to) a deal with the PCs to help them in order to win the worship of the Drow - but then double-crosses them at the end and tries to remain as Lord of the Underdark.

A bit ambitious :)
 

Rellott

Explorer
I've also looked into the DM's Guild adventure Palace of the Red Pasha as a segue between Rise of Tiamat and Scales of War. The party is tasked with ending the cult once and for all (and ideally ending Tiamat), so they track down a major base of operations in Calimport. At the end of the adventure they have access to a planar portal that's strongly connected to the City of Brass, which would lead right into some of the last adventures in the Scales of War.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
I've also looked into the DM's Guild adventure Palace of the Red Pasha as a segue between Rise of Tiamat and Scales of War. The party is tasked with ending the cult once and for all (and ideally ending Tiamat), so they track down a major base of operations in Calimport. At the end of the adventure they have access to a planar portal that's strongly connected to the City of Brass, which would lead right into some of the last adventures in the Scales of War.

Oh - that's interesting. My players picked up a map of the City of Brass in Xonthal's tower - it would be cool to tie that in.
 

jimmytheccomic

First Post
All this to say I think your plan is fine as these adventures should have plenty of similar elements to meld them together. It will require a lot of adjusting of encounters to match the appropriate character levels, especially Red Hand which I think is 6th to 12th level.


Yeah, that'll be the big thing- honestly, when I run module inspired stuff, I always massively adjust the encounters anyway...encounter planning is one of the things I enjoy in DM prep. I'm thinking I'll have them be level three when they do the keep dungeon crawl, the bridge fight around level five, and the big battle at the end around level 7 or 8. I want to play up a sandbox element to Red Hand, though, so they'll have a bit of control over that from their end as well.
 

jimmytheccomic

First Post
For my players (if they're willing) I aim to follow up RoT with a high level version (15-20) of OotA (basically the attempt to restore Tiamat has allowed other demons to accidentally emerge in the Underdark). Word of this gets to Gauntlgrym and the heroes are asked to enter the Underdark and return these demons to their plane. So just the PCs (and perhaps a guide, no big unwieldy army). Ends with a big battle against 3 or 4 demons (after dispatching some of the others on the way to the final confrontation in Menzobarranzan) In fact I'm thinking of a twist where Graz'zt makes (or tries to) a deal with the PCs to help them in order to win the worship of the Drow - but then double-crosses them at the end and tries to remain as Lord of the Underdark.

A bit ambitious :)

I actually had a similar thought, for planning WAY far ahead. I want to follow up the Tiamat campaign with a vague riff on Out of the Abyss, with a focus shifted on Orcus as the Big Bad since I'm using Demogorgon in my current campaign. "Tiamat weakened the walls between planes" works as a great justification to bring in demons for a sequel.

I like the idea of the Tiamat campaign being about "Stopping a great evil from coming through", and then a demon lord campaign about "What happens when no one stops a great evil from coming through". I'm planning on taking the campaign out of the Underdark, and having Orcus enslave a big part of a continent with an undead army, really go apocalyptic with it.
 

jimmytheccomic

First Post
I've also looked into the DM's Guild adventure Palace of the Red Pasha as a segue between Rise of Tiamat and Scales of War. The party is tasked with ending the cult once and for all (and ideally ending Tiamat), so they track down a major base of operations in Calimport. At the end of the adventure they have access to a planar portal that's strongly connected to the City of Brass, which would lead right into some of the last adventures in the Scales of War.

Ooh, this was exactly the kind of stuff I was hoping to find, thank you!
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
I'm not familiar with Scales of War, but I need a post-Rise of Tiamat campaign capper. Can anyone give me a brief summary?
 

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