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Save yourself & skip this D&D Next adventure

Written by MythicParty - Published on August 30, 2014
Copyright WotC.  Please don't fireball us.

Copyright WotC. Please don’t fireball us.

So in the last column I talked about how I was cautiously optimistic about the latest incarnation of D&D.  The 90ish Amazon reviews for the 5th Edition  PHB were overwhelmingly positive, & a lot of the concepts from this version sounded like they’d genuinely improve the game.  For the first time- in a very long time- I felt something serious for Dungeons & Dragons: excitement.

But then reality crashed down on the fantasy about fantasy.  The next (+1 pun) step after getting yourself a PHB is waiting for the Monster Manual/DMG to come in.  And while inevitably waiting, you of course check out any available adventures aside from the introductory one.  In this case, the only thing currently available is Hoard of the Dragon Queen, written by industry veterans Wolfgang Baur & Steve Winter, with a Kobold Press design credit.  It’s part 1 of a 2 module arc that is set within a Forgotten realms storyline that will be the central plot background of D&D.  (Part Deux, The Rise of Tiamat, is due in October, with other pieces happening in comics/video games/minis/organized play sessions at FLGS’).  And the problem is that while the reviews on Amazon, blogs, & other gaming sites were usually pretty favorable, they were usually very vague or even completely unspecific.

So I dug deeper.  To be exact, 10′ into the web deeper.

And I came across a scathing review of HotDG written by Bryce Lynch whose blog, tenfootpole.org, promises, “I bought this stuff and read it so you don’t have to.”  And in the case of Hoard, Bryce makes it quite clear that you (and me) should avoid this one.  It’s not just brutally honest, it cuts through the rotten bits like a rot grub through a Son of Kyuss.  You’re welcome grognard readers who got that Monster Manual II reference.

And while Bryce has some pretty lofty Review Standards, they’re not completely unreasonable- Evocative atmosphere, Terse writing style, Foreshadowing of the main villain, etc.- for professional designers to meet.  His 5,500 word evisceration critically guts HotDG, going through each of the 8 Episodes in the adventure & telling you bluntly what worked & (more often) what didn’t work.  And why.  Specifics galore people.  Details upon details.  No generalizations like what you find in all the glowing “reviews.”

So while I’m somewhat bummed that the first read module for 5th Ed is not up to par with the new edition, I’m happy I didn’t spend $20 to find that out.

If you think I’ve been exaggerating, well, simply head on over to tenfootpole & read their review for Hoard of the Dragon Queen yourself.  Or simply trust us because we’re trusting 10′ pole.  Save both your $ + your time.  Someone will write a great 5E adventure.  It just wasn’t this one- which needs to get chucked back into the hoard.

Written by MythicParty

Dog-loving, movie-watching, pizza aficionado. Content Editor for DMing.com, Project Manager for AvatarArt.com, & player of the coolest characters in a weekly D&D game. Halflings are the real heroes.

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Thanks for reading.

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Save yourself & skip this D&D Next adventure, 1.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating » Leave a comment



7 Responses to “Save yourself & skip this D&D Next adventure”
  1. The Recursion King says:

    I have this adventure and I cannot agree with what the reveiwer is saying. First of all he writes like a complete idiot, full of exageration for (presumably) comic effect and second of all he seems to think that adventures should spell everything out and that the DM should not be using what he finds as a spring board for a really creative adventure. Some people do need their hands holding, it’s true, but these are probably the worst kind of dungeon masters. Can you imagine what this idiot’s reaction would be to a truly old school adventure, like the original Judge’s Guild, where the rooms have just a couple of lines dedicated to them? He’d sink in the deep end like a stone, because he just wouldn’t get it.

  2. Alan Skinner says:

    I wouldn’t call Bryce Lynch an “idiot”, and if you took 30 seconds to look at his blog you’d see that he DOES have some pretty thoughtful comments on the old Judge’s Guild stuff (mostly positive, too). I don’t agree with everything he says but he’s a great reviewer who is very clear about what he’s looking for.

  3. DM Michael says:

    As an active member of RPGGeek, I am very familiar with Mr. Lynch’s peculiarities and writing style due to his many reviews posted on that website. There’s very little in the various editions of D&D that meet his high standards. I disagree with him on a lot of things, and I cordially dislike his overuse of hyperbole to make his points. However, I do respect his opinions and welcome his reviews, which provoke thought if nothing else.

    That being said, I am greatly disappointed in this shallow piece. MythicParty did not dig even 10′ deep by reading one review and judging the product solely on the contents of that review. If Bryce Lynch’s negative view is enough to turn him away from the module, that’s all well and good. For him (or her, I should add). It is of no real help for the rest of us. I was hoping for a substantive review when I saw this, and what I got was a regurgitation of someone else’s opinion. This in no way helps me decide whether or not this module is worthwhile for me. I hope that next time MythicParty posts about a product, he actually reads the thing first.

  4. matt johnson says:

    I already have the adventure, so the review isn’t useful in that regard. I don’t tend to run these things verbatim anyways, pillaging what works for my game and discarding the rest. I won’t take it as gospel but I do find useful in a way to help guide me as I plunder the module for the shiny bits.

  5. TheGrandUser says:

    No big loss to me, wasn’t planning on using it. I don’t really like dragons being in the villain role, actually.

  6. MythicParty says:

    Hey guys, given the responses I’ll do a follow-up piece that addresses some of the things that have been brought up.

    Stay tuned.


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] before I delve a little deeper, (most likely in a follow-up to this follow-up) I wanted to reply to the criticism.  Here we […]

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