sabato 17 settembre 2016

Review: Storm King's Thunder - Introduction&Chapter 1 ENG VERSION

Let's start the review of Storm King's Thunder, the newest adventure for D&D 5th edition, from Wizards of the Coast.

Be warned, there are many spoilers.

Introduction

A summarized plot of the adventure opens the chapter: what has happened, what's happening and what will happen in the future.

The adventure is a sandbox and you can realize from the useful flowchart how you can easily incorporate it into a wider and bigger campaign.

For Forgotten Realms' fans: you can place it between 1486 DR and 1493 DR.

Since there are references to elemental cults from Princes of the Apocalypse (which happens in 1491 DR) I suggest to run it not after that year.

However it's written that it starts after the events narrated in Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat.

The sandbox approach as well as the ties with Princes of the Apocalypse (which is a sandbox too) can allow you to run both adventures at the same time, easily switching from one to the other.

A gallery of all major Lords of Giants describes them and their behaviors and goals.

Some tables will help you to determine what PCs can find in a giant's bag and there are suggestions to create other Giantlords.

Descriptions of the classical five factions are at the end, with a new one (already in the realms canon): the Kraken Society, a network of spies, assassins, slavers and smugglers lead by a powerful and brilliant magic-user Kraken.

Chapter 1

It's an introductory adventure whose goal is to rise PCs to 5th level.

I don't like it.

Party arrives to Nightstone village. Villagers have run away because the attack of flying castle manouvered by some Cloud Giants. They have stolen the Nightstone, a magical obsidian stone with unknown powers (it's unknown the purpose of the theft, the Nightstone is never mentioned again in the book).

A band of goblin is raiding the village as the party arrives.

PCs have to explore the it, have some fights against the goblins, and to face some Zhentarim, who want to occupy the village to use it for an outpost, as well as some orcs. A group of elves from the near Ardeep Forest can help the party if needed.

Il villaggio è al momento oggetto di razzia da parte di una banda di goblin.

After that the party will learn that villagers are held captive by the goblins in the near caves. It's supposed (why? Because they're the good guys) the PCs will try to free them.

After a classic dungeon exploration the party complete its tasks (by killing all the goblins or by making a deal with them) and brings back the villagers to Nightstone.

Then, because PCs are good and nice, the party is given the task to bring news of some villagers' deaths to some relatives in 3 towns, very distant from Nightstone: Bryn Shander, Goldenfields and Triboar.

During the trip, the party meets a cloud castle run by an eccentric Cloud Giant Wizard. He believes the PCs to be the heroes who will bring back law and order among the giants and he will transport them to their destination (even if they ask to be brought elsewhere) with his castle.

During the air trip the castle will be visited by the Cult of Howling Hatred (directly from Princes of the Apocalypse) and will be attacked by a silver dragon and some dwarves of the Lords' Alliance, who want to destroy the cloud castle.

The fight is too difficult for the PCs, who will simply watch the Wizard defending the castle and the attackers fleeing.

At the end the PCs reach their destination and the Wizard goes away, disappearing forever.

In Chapter 2 the party will get more evidences that the giants are in turmoil.

In my opinion Chapter 1 is illogical and too much railroad.

Instead to run it, I'd prefer to have players directly start from 5th level or to use other adventures.

It should be interesting to insert the events of Chapter 2 into Princes of the Apocalypse, because Goldenfields and Triboar are featured also in that adventure.

Bye.

The DM.