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D&D: Tyranny of Dragons

Last September, I finally got my new 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons player’s handbook. I told my friends that I would be the DM for a new campaing as soon as 5th edition hits the shelves. Let me introduce the player’s characters.

The last campaign I ran as a DM was The City of the Spider Queen for D&D 3.5. That was somewhere between 2004 and 2006. Since then, my group tried 4th edition twice, but no one liked it. To us, it felt like World of WarCraft, but not like D&D. Everyone else was looking into that new thing Pathfinder at that time. But my group was looking elsewhere. For a year or so, we played Shadowrun 4 and The Dark Eye (Das Schwarze Auge here in Germany) instead. Later, my friend Micha converted the Shadowrun rules to a classic fantasy setting and we played for another year. He later dropped the system in favor of role-playing and just used three stats (magic power, physical power, hit points). Last year, we started a short lived Shadowrun 5 campaign. I was always eying D&D Next and read about it, but we never got around to trying it out.

5th Edition is great!

Even as I was starting this blog, I hoped that some day all those nice miniatures would be put to a good use with a new D&D game. And hell yeah, my group really likes 5th edition! It’s flexible, it feels clever, it’s fast, it’s Dungeons and Dragons again.

I bought the first official adventure, Horde of the Dragon Queen along with the new PHB. I didn’t even had to ask who wanted to play. Everyone wanted to participate and even new players joined in. So we sat down and created player characters for the Tyranny of Dragons storyline. The story is set in the Forgotten Realms.

The Player Characters

I have seven players in the campaign, but only six players at the table every session. Two players are parents to two young kids, so one of them has to stay home and the other joins the group for the evening. We incorporated the fact that only one can play into their character’s backstory. Both characters (a cleric of Tempus and a Harper spy) were on a mission together but got cursed by a powerful extraplanar being they disturbed on accident in some ruins. From that moment on, their bodies were fused into one body: Sometimes the cleric is controlling the body, sometimes the spy has the reigns. Both characters learned to live with another person in their head and they make the most of it, swapping personalities and skills at random (DM decides). This often leads to interesting situations, as the spy cannot wear the heavy armor of the cleric and has to get rid of it to do anything.

Anyway, there are six players at the table, but seven characters. I ruled that all of them had to be of good or neutral alignment. Here they are:

  • Alester “the far light”, male cleric of Lathander (NG). He’s a old wandering priest who condemns the corruption of his church in Iraebor and distrusts any authority figures. He carries light to the darkest of places of Faerun.
  • Hakran Steamhammer, male shield dwarf archfey warlock, pact of the blade (CG). He’s a trapper and huntsman from a dwarven outpost near Mithril Hall who feels he doesn’t belong and feels drawn to nature. He’s got something otherwordly about him, but isn’t very clever.
  • Vinaya, female spy (CG). She works for the Harpers and was in pursuit of the Cult of the Dragon when the curse hit her. She recently trained to be an assassin and master archer.
  • Asgrim Fuxfell, male cleric of Tempus (N). He once survived a duel to the death by divine intervention and has visions of possible futures and the Cult of the Dragon. The dwarf thinks he is undead now as no one can lose a fight to the death and still walk around.
  • Lady Elena von Greifenfels, female noble knight and battlemaster (LG). She’s from Festung Ehrenburg, the stronghold of a knightly order near Waterdeep. She’s been there when Vinaya and Asgrimm got cursed and wants to help restore them.
  • Red Raven, male half-elven warlock of the Old One, pact of the tome (CG). He’s been forced into service of a Far Realm entity which is interested in destroying all knowledge of the Far Realm on the material plane, so that no one can destroy its purity. By now, he agrees and happily burns evil tomes.
  • Lafisar, male wood elf druid of the Circle of the Moon (NG). He finished his apprenticeship in the High Forrest and was tasked to visit other realms to study the culture and nature of the world around him. He spotted a blue dragon several days ago and followed it to the western heartlands.

The featured image of the article shows placeholder miniatures for the PCs. I want to give each of them a fitting miniature over the course of the campaign. That is, after reaching mid-levels and finalizing their equipment.

Here are the final miniatures for the players!