Hoard of the Dragon Queen, sometimes referred to as The Lady of Sleep is an expansion for the 5e fantasy role-playing game The Tower of Valindra. It’s the first of a two part story and follows after the events of The Tower of Valindra. This time around you play as Elric of whom the Tower of Valindra was built. He is thrown into another world known as the Underdark where dragons reside. This time Elric must defeat the evil Fiord who resides there and reclaim the Amulet of Sunlight. This expansion focuses on Elric’s relationships with the other characters in his quest and also delves into a new class for D&D gamers the ranger.
If you are thinking of getting this adventure then you’re probably wondering what makes it different from other Tower of Valindra episodes. Well, that’s part of it. The story is told through several vignettes and cut-scenes, which really help add to the atmosphere of this amazing adventure. When creating the scenes there are a few things I wish I had included but I ran out of time before I got to them in the episode.
Hoard of Dragon Queen is a campaign module in the Forgotten Realm. This module is considered to be one of the finest 5e modules in Dungeons and Dragons.
You will experience adventures that are very different to other 5e books like Princes of the Apocalypse and Elemental Evil Player’s Companion when you come to Hoard of the Dragon Queen. Your adventure will start with fighting vampires and a White Dragon. This is a very attractive task.
Are you a fan of demons, dragons, and other strange things in DnD? This is likely what you will enjoy.
What I would have loved to include in this episode would have been the encounter with the evil queen. Elric and his companions travel to the swamplands of Athas and encounter the queen who is still obsessed about her evil brother, Nex Crulchshan. She has recruited several fighters to her side including Boadhagh who fights Elric but before he can do much damage she is knocked unconscious. With the assistance of Boadhagh Elric then defeats the queen who drops into an ice cave and is frozen to death.
This is just a small part of what makes this story fantastic. I love the interactions between the characters because they all have their own motives. Some are trying to help Elric while others want to seek revenge on Boadhagh. I especially liked the warrior who joins Boadhagh’s group. The forgotten realms where dragons reside were another intriguing part of this story. The coldness of those places was quite frightening for some of our characters.
In the new edition of Dragon Queen gamers get to experience the same story as the original but with some additional content. The main additions are a number of new heroes and a brand new batch of dungeons designed by Grinder & Lewis. I especially like the new edition dragons because they are a lot more realistic and dragonlike. They also have the feel of older D&D games. One thing I didn’t like about the old pack of dungeoncrawlers was that they were open ended, which forced players to backtrack and go through the levels over again.
Now with the new Hoard of the Dragon Queen, we finally get to travel back and forth between the normal world and the underworld. Players are introduced into the land of Avernus, using a hoard of treasures. If you haven’t played in the hoards yet then this is a perfect time to jump in and start collecting them all over again. As the game progresses our party will be split up into different groups as they go through the different portions of Avernus. Each of those groups will encounter dragons and have to collect the treasure and fight the dragons in order to move on to the next area.
The adventure can feel a bit confusing at times but don’t let it take over the playability of the game. The story is broken up into several episodes that all serve to hook you into playing future episodes. I especially like the fact that there is an “episodic” adventure path. This means that if you haven’t played any of the previous episodes you can jump into the first one and experience everything that Hoard of the Dragon Queen has to offer.
One of my favorite things about the campaign book is the included short story “The Return of the Lost Princess”. This short story provides some background information on what is happening in each scene. It also ties everything together nicely by introducing you to some new characters that will be appearing in future episodes. This was a great little story that added a lot to the overall enjoyment of playing through the 5th Edition of Hoard of the Dragon Queen.