Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"Way of the Wicked: Knot of Thorns" in D&D 5E

In this month's post, I'd like to try something a little bit different. Usually I talk about D&D Fifth Edition material, but this time I'm going to discuss a set of adventures for the Pathfinder roleplaying game - the Way of the Wicked adventure path. In this article, I'll explain why you might want to consider running those adventures in Fifth Edition. I'll include a full set of conversion notes for the first adventure in the path, Knot of Thorns, as well as my thoughts on how to best present that adventure to your players.

A quick note before we begin: I have no connection with the creators of this adventure path. It's just that Way of the Wicked is really awesome, and I want to let you all know about it. I just finished running the first adventure in the path, Knot of Thorns, and it was the most fun I've ever had with a prewritten adventure - and I've run a lot of them.

So what is Way of the Wicked?
In Knot of Thorns, the PCs are lawfully convicted criminals
sentenced to death. In three days' time, they must escape from
the maximum-security Branderscar Prison with nothing but
their wits and a few items from a mysterious benefactor.
All Artwork: Michael Clark
Way of the Wicked is a series of adventures for evil player characters. That doesn't just mean morally ambiguous characters - if you run this adventure, your PCs will, necessarily, be evil. In fact, they will be the villains. They will have opportunities aplenty for betrayal, vengeance, conspiracies, ritual sacrifices, warmongering, backstabbing allies, conquering a kingdom, and ruling it with an iron fist.

So is it good? Absolutely!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Which Adventure To Play: January 2017 Edition

In late 2015, I published an article that considered and compared each "official" D&D Fifth Edition adventure released at the time. As my fifth most popular article of all time, and with two new adventures released by Wizards in 2016, this seems like an opportune time to update it. If you're a Dungeon Master trying to decide what adventure to run in the new year, this article is for you!

In this article, I'll walk through each hardcover adventure that Wizards of the Coast has released at the time of this writing (plus Lost Mine of Phandelver, which comes in the introductory Starter Set). I'll discuss the selling points of each one, as well as some pitfalls you might expect while running them.

Why listen to me? While I haven't played through each of these adventures to completion, I've spent a lot of time reading each of them along with internet reviews and actual play reports. In addition, I've been a dungeon master for all but Out of the Abyss, and played a character in the Tyranny of Dragons adventures as well as Out of the Abyss and Storm King's Thunder.

Before we start, I'll point out that these descriptions are, by their nature, likely to spoil the content of the adventures discussed. I’ll try not to be too specific about plot points, but if you want to play through any of these adventures blind, don’t read ahead. In other words, SPOILER ALERT!