D&D 5E Tell me your positive experiences with HotDQ

Amheirchion

Villager
Some slight spoilers ahead.






For the Sanctuary quest in the first chapter my players bricked themselves at the sheer number of foes present around the sanctuary, in the end the bard disguised himself as a raider and positioned himself outside of the gates so that he could call to the patrolling group as they passed nearby. The ranger positioned himself further off to act as the bait. The gambit worked and the patrolling group went hollering off after the ranger who led them around the walls of the sanctuary grounds and lost them in the trees along the stream (he actually managed to climb a tree and lose the pursuers that way), he was then in position to move to a limb overlooking the rear door where he started the combat by firing over the wall at the cultists and kobolds positioned there.

All but one of my players are first time RPGers, and the other, my wife, has only played one campaign prior to this, but they all seem to like what they've seen so far. I've also only ever played one D&D campaign (the same one as my wife) before so I'm diving in to DMing, it's taking some creative thinking, fudging and going with the flow but I'm happy with the HOTDQ book, and with how well my players are thinking things through. Next session I'll be finishing off Chapter 1 so I can't wait to see how they fare with the dragon and the champion.
 

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screenmonkey

Banned
Banned
We're on session 16, episode 8. My advice is read ahead, while the non glossy paper is DM friendly, the layout is not. Finding things in the book on the fly is difficult.

Favorite bits have been many, but so far: when they bluffed their way through the entire castle (at random, they had no idea where to go) only one bad deception roll from certain death the entire time. There was only one big bad they didn't talk to and that's because it was daytime ;)
 

Joe Liker

First Post
It's interesting to note that the lion's share of these positive experiences have everything to do with the creativity of the players and/or DM, and nothing to do with the writing or production value of the product.

That said, bonding through adversity is a real thing, as is Stockholm Syndrome. If the question is, "Can we have fun playing this adventure?" I suppose the answer is, "Technically, yes. It is possible to have fun with nearly any published adventure, no matter how poorly crafted."
 

Ezequielramone

Explorer
What my groupenjoyed the most is roleplaying their characters. I made them wrote a background. They are compromised players so they read about the sword coast. They send me that in private and I chose a bond. They are very happy and blended with that. this motivates them. Since they are actually roleplaying characters they have different levels of confidenthat between them. So they chose what to say to each other character depending on the confidence their characters have. Everything in secret. So if your character doesn't know You neither.
We are reaching the castle in chapter six.
so far my favorite scenes were the infiltration in the enemies camp and the caravan. You don't have idea the tension in the table when I run the scene where a stupid guy attempt to buy the halforc's bow and then it was stolen. I thought there could be violence. It was an intense situation. He even Stan up and walk nervous behind other players at the table breathing heavily as the character stand behind to not kill anyone while his companions get his bow back.
I was carried away by the situation and I felt there was a half orc about to kill me.

The adventure have some technical issues. I think those are product of schedule issues. But you have a strong and interesting basis for your campaign.

Edit: when he was unconscious he trow his head back and was barely breathing. He didn't even drink water or move till he was stable again.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
That said, bonding through adversity is a real thing, as is Stockholm Syndrome. If the question is, "Can we have fun playing this adventure?" I suppose the answer is, "Technically, yes. It is possible to have fun with nearly any published adventure, no matter how poorly crafted."


Folks, this thread was started to discuss positive experiences. That makes it a very poor choice for you to use as a venue for taking negative potshots at it.

It is okay to have a negative opinion, and to state it, but we expect you to do so with some consideration for your fellow EN World patrons. Save it for an appropriate thread, please and thank you.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
I'd also like to add that I started this thread as a way for me to get tips on how I can make this module fun for the players who asked me to run it. I've already read the negative threads, because I think it's useful to know where the potential pitfalls are. They give me ideas on what to de-emphasize or change. I'm hoping this thread will give me an idea of what to emphasize or be sure to leave intact--or ideas on how to handle the tricky bits.

To get the ball of positivity rolling again, and for my own reference, I'll post a link to another HotDQ-positive thread I found:

HotDQ went way better than expected

A sample from that thread:

The dragonborn sorcerer uses his Message cantrip to talk to the dragon in draconic.

What? Really?

Yes. They talk to the dragon and slowly convince him to leave. The kids are freaking out trying to find a way to run off this enormous beast and they built themselves a skill challenge.

It was epic. At first, it was really hard and I may have applied the rules a bit incorrectly. Also, why would a dragon deign to talk to these insignificant bipeds? But the message cantrip forced conversation. It was a telepathic connection to his ear. He had to hear them.
 
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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I played in the first part of this adventure and had a good time. Upon seeing Greenest under siege, I established that my folk hero fighter, Butch Uprise, had a bone to pick with the Cult and so I hooked myself into the events. We had some fun fights and did a crazy raid on the temple of Chauntea (iirc) and saved a lot of townsfolk through our actions. Later, I dueled Cyanwrath to save some more people and got my ass kicked badly and vowed revenge. At the end of that chapter, we battled the blue dragon and I managed to critically hit it with a ballista bolt at which point it ran away. That was fun.
 

Khasimir

First Post
Here are some of the tweaks that I put in:

Episode 1: The gal who the party is supposed to rescue turns out to be Gov Nighthills daughter. When Cyanwrath issues the challenge, she runs out to defend them since it's her sister he has. The group is then taunted for letting a woman defend their honor. Gov Nighthill is understandably upset at his daughters murder.

Ep 2: I increased the amount of bad guys and made them a little tougher. My group has 6 players, so volume of bad guys becomes an issue for my group rather than one big nasty.

Ep 3: More bad guys. Added the dangling halfling and purple vortex mentioned in HackSlash. Added 2 more berserkers in the Cyanwrath encounter. Added 2 more eggs and 3 more guard drakes in the hatchery. Played the guard drakes as savvy protectors of the eggs who used the shadows to their fullest rather than rabid killers blindly charging. This freaked out my group but they still managed to grab an egg.

Used the return trips to Greenest for the group to do some cool things: The paladin erected a shrine to Hoar (his deity) at the ruins of the abandoned house where they holed up in Ep 1 and was eventually burned down by the bad guys. I had the rest of the group do neat little things around town to commemorate their hitting third level. Lastly, before they left, Gov Nighthill insisted his young son accompany the group as the paladins squire.

I built a tower encounter for the group to do something on their way to Elturel but they didn't take the bait. The paladin chose the background of his grandfather being a famous dragon slayer, so I had them come across a shrine dedicated to one of his battles that had been desecrated Lord of the Rings style by one of the dragons offspring. I had originally intended to have the group catch the desecration in the act but I didn't have the time to prepare the encounter.

Ep 4: Added festivities in Elturel, had the group participate in them for a few days before the meeting. This allowed for a change of pace and they had fun with it. I built a large carousing table (80 or so different options) and one of the group rolled something about accepting an offer to retrieve a book. I didn't have anything really prepared for it so they headed out to the tower they had bypassed a few days earlier. I also had them come across rumors of a blue half dragon asking around about them.
The tower offered them the chance to get cool stuff since HoTDQ doesn't have much for treasure built into it's encounters along with planting seeds for long term plot lines. They are now racing back to Elturel to make the boat that Ontharr arranged for them. They've come across a corpse with a note from Ontharr saying there are rumors of a price on their heads.

In the future:
There really is a price on their heads and it's set by the Blue Dragon that was attacking Greenest on behalf of the Cult. Why? Turns out Cyanwrath was one of it's offspring. Also turns out that the dragon eggs in the hatchery were from that dragon and the group stole one. The blue half dragon asking around in Elturel? Cyanwrath's brother.

Also coming soon: the boat ride to Baldurs Gate is going to feature a fight straight out of The Mummy.
 

screenmonkey

Banned
Banned
Here are some of the tweaks that I put in:

Episode 1: The gal who the party is supposed to rescue turns out to be Gov Nighthills daughter. When Cyanwrath issues the challenge, she runs out to defend them since it's her sister he has. The group is then taunted for letting a woman defend their honor. Gov Nighthill is understandably upset at his daughters murder.

Ep 2: I increased the amount of bad guys and made them a little tougher. My group has 6 players, so volume of bad guys becomes an issue for my group rather than one big nasty.

Ep 3: More bad guys. Added the dangling halfling and purple vortex mentioned in HackSlash. Added 2 more berserkers in the Cyanwrath encounter. Added 2 more eggs and 3 more guard drakes in the hatchery. Played the guard drakes as savvy protectors of the eggs who used the shadows to their fullest rather than rabid killers blindly charging. This freaked out my group but they still managed to grab an egg.

Used the return trips to Greenest for the group to do some cool things: The paladin erected a shrine to Hoar (his deity) at the ruins of the abandoned house where they holed up in Ep 1 and was eventually burned down by the bad guys. I had the rest of the group do neat little things around town to commemorate their hitting third level. Lastly, before they left, Gov Nighthill insisted his young son accompany the group as the paladins squire.

I built a tower encounter for the group to do something on their way to Elturel but they didn't take the bait. The paladin chose the background of his grandfather being a famous dragon slayer, so I had them come across a shrine dedicated to one of his battles that had been desecrated Lord of the Rings style by one of the dragons offspring. I had originally intended to have the group catch the desecration in the act but I didn't have the time to prepare the encounter.

Ep 4: Added festivities in Elturel, had the group participate in them for a few days before the meeting. This allowed for a change of pace and they had fun with it. I built a large carousing table (80 or so different options) and one of the group rolled something about accepting an offer to retrieve a book. I didn't have anything really prepared for it so they headed out to the tower they had bypassed a few days earlier. I also had them come across rumors of a blue half dragon asking around about them.
The tower offered them the chance to get cool stuff since HoTDQ doesn't have much for treasure built into it's encounters along with planting seeds for long term plot lines. They are now racing back to Elturel to make the boat that Ontharr arranged for them. They've come across a corpse with a note from Ontharr saying there are rumors of a price on their heads.

In the future:
There really is a price on their heads and it's set by the Blue Dragon that was attacking Greenest on behalf of the Cult. Why? Turns out Cyanwrath was one of it's offspring. Also turns out that the dragon eggs in the hatchery were from that dragon and the group stole one. The blue half dragon asking around in Elturel? Cyanwrath's brother.

Also coming soon: the boat ride to Baldurs Gate is going to feature a fight straight out of The Mummy.

To the HotDQ detractors:
"You see that kids? You see what he did there? That's called DUNGEON MASTERING."

Well done sir, *thats* the kind of DMing that got me into this hobby.
 


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