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 Waterdeep: Dragon Heist & Dungeon of the Mad Mage

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Zeromaru X Posted - 02 Jun 2018 : 02:54:16
The new adventure has been unveiled. Is going to be in Waterdeep (because we sure love the Sword Coast)

http://m.ign.com/articles/2018/06/01/dungeons-and-dragons-newest-storyline-waterdeep-dragon-heist-revealed

Mod edit: Renaming this scroll.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
RealmProtector Posted - 09 Dec 2018 : 00:21:47
I’ve been reading through the book, on the 4th level now. I’ve also read some in the Skullport chapter. I’ll always be a 2nd/3rd edition diehard, completely ignoring 4th edition. that being said the book is pretty good so far. There are some things I didn’t like and some I do. Undermountain resurrecting Halaster LOVED this idea. Knot in the weave awesome though I would take it a step further and change the amount of time for the madness to take hold, say perhaps it’s different for each individual. Some folks don’t go mad (as per the book) while others my go mad in a day/week/month. Could be very useful in harassing PC’s. George mentioned the Jhesiyra thing, I don’t really like the idea, I prefer her as a living spell. I also prefer the gates and architecture in the original 2e boxed set and Skullport as it was originally before the “spellplague”. I plan to run this adventure but I plan to combine ideas/situations from this book with the original boxes sets and the three stand alone adventure to really make a mega dungeon adventure.
George Krashos Posted - 06 Dec 2018 : 23:23:23
I've had a look at Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Bit sad that there's no mention of Bandaerl, the archlich of the Lost Level, and peeved that they used Elder Runes (I had plans!) but it looks pretty solid. Their take on Jhesiyra Kestellharp is interesting ...

-- George Krashos
farinal Posted - 06 Dec 2018 : 21:58:13
I like the Dragon Heist module. Especially some paths have really good storytelling opportunities. But what I really want to run is the Dungeon of the Mad Mage. I received my book last week and didn't have the chance to read it fully yet. But I really like what I see so far.
sleyvas Posted - 04 Dec 2018 : 22:44:05
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Well, may sound like dumb news, but I haven't seen it here. They have confirmed the current year as of Dragon Heist. Is the first time they acknowledge the year in a 5e adventure.

quote:
Originally posted by Chris Perkins

1492 DR, the Year of Three Ships Sailing (I kid you not). #wotcstaff #SeaMaidensFaire


https://www.sageadvice.eu/2018/12/01/any-idea-if-waterdeep-dragon-heist-takes-place-in -heist-takes-place-in-1492-dr-or-1491-dr



Ah, and I just relooked at the SCAG to get a rough idea of time passage since Sundering. So, 1487 is when lands start appearing, etc... so if this is 1492, then 5 years have passed. This does give enough time that cultures should have started seriously interacting again and be past the "honeymoon" stage where they're testing the waters.

Huh, good to know... Thanks Zero.
Zeromaru X Posted - 03 Dec 2018 : 23:14:01
Well, may sound like dumb news, but I haven't seen it here. They have confirmed the current year as of Dragon Heist. Is the first time they acknowledge the year in a 5e adventure.

quote:
Originally posted by Chris Perkins

1492 DR, the Year of Three Ships Sailing (I kid you not). #wotcstaff #SeaMaidensFaire


https://www.sageadvice.eu/2018/12/01/any-idea-if-waterdeep-dragon-heist-takes-place-in -heist-takes-place-in-1492-dr-or-1491-dr
CorellonsDevout Posted - 14 Nov 2018 : 19:41:10
I haven't read this book yet in any great detail, but I was flipping through it. Some of the characters I of course recognized, but this is another reason I wish they would pick up the novel line again (yes, I realize the novels are secondary to the game, but as bookworm, they are the biggest draw to me). I want to read about some of the other characters, such as Fala.
Gelcur Posted - 14 Nov 2018 : 05:50:12
quote:
Originally posted by Gelcur

I often spend my cash less than wisely and pick up D&D items before they're vetted.


Well I've done it again picked up the map pack for Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage.

Twenty-six maps are printed on 13 double sided laminated 8.5"x11", also contains some punch out cards to make decks the players can draw from presumably goes with the adventure.

I had really really hoped for poster maps like the old box sets... These maps do not even feature the entire level at times, likely only the parts of the level that will be used by the adventure module.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 Nov 2018 : 09:37:35
Nope. All he has to do is not get caught. Being LG does not mean adhering to unjust laws.
Dargoth Posted - 08 Nov 2018 : 07:03:13
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I would say that allowing a human to dictate whether or not he could keep something he had already received from its owner created a lot of issues, too.

Just because the dragon is lawful doesn't mean he is obligated to recognize human laws, or to follow corrupt ones.



It does if he wants to live in a Human city
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 Nov 2018 : 05:09:55
I would say that allowing a human to dictate whether or not he could keep something he had already received from its owner created a lot of issues, too.

Just because the dragon is lawful doesn't mean he is obligated to recognize human laws, or to follow corrupt ones.
Dargoth Posted - 08 Nov 2018 : 03:36:19
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Aurinax could have just as easily decided that Maaril was the rightful owner of the staff, and that Dagult didn't have a legal right to confiscate someone else's property.



He could of but that would have created alot of issues for him. If there wasnt a Law, Neverwinter could have made one saying all property that doesnt pass to an Heir at the death of its owner becomes the property of the city in which case he would have had to hand it over. If he didnt hand it over Neverwinter could have said the Dragonstaff belongs in the hands of someone who can be trusted by the Lords of Waterdeep and as The Staff specficly keeps dragons allowing it to stay in possession of a Dragon does meet that standard ie Aurimex ends up having a constant stream of State sanctioned Adventurers and thieves tracking him down to take the staff off him.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 Nov 2018 : 03:21:24
Aurinax could have just as easily decided that Maaril was the rightful owner of the staff, and that Dagult didn't have a legal right to confiscate someone else's property.
Dargoth Posted - 08 Nov 2018 : 02:11:15
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

So as I'm reading thru this book, I decide to check to see what the current description of the Dragonstaff of Ahghairon is; I was mainly interested in how it passed from Maaril to a gold dragon.

And it says in the write-up for the gold dragon that the staff was passed to him by Maaril. Dagult Neverember later cut a deal with the dragon, saying that if he guarded the latter's vault, then the dragon could keep the Dragonstaff.

Think on this. A human dude says to an adult gold dragon, "You can keep this powerful magical item that you already have in your possession if you agree to be my guard dog" -- and the dragon agreed.

Is it just me, or is that utterly preposterous? What could Dagult have done if the dragon told him where to stick it?




Well it did say Aurinax was entrusted with Dragonstaff not given it ie Maaril said "look after this while Im out of town" of course tMaaril never came back and is assumed dead. So technically Aurinax was in possession of the staff not ownership.

Given the staff is the only way dragons can subvert the dragon ward and enter the city the Staff may well be considered part of the Waterdeeps defences and the Lords may well have a say on who can take possession of it in the event the current owner dies.

As Dagult Neverwinter was the Open Lord of Waterdeep at the time he approached Aurinax he would have had the legal right to revoke Aurinax "custodianship" of the staff and Aurinax is a LAWFUL good dragon .

Aurinax got a pretty good dea, he gets legal ownership of both the Dragonstaff and The Dragon Tower and all he had to do was sit on someone elses gold for 5/10/20 years until they reclaim it. Which isnt alot of time when your a dragon...


Edit: Interesting Dragon Heist claims Maaril gave the Staff to Aurinmax (and its presumably been in possession ever since) but theres a Novel called Godcatcher where the staff appears in the hands of Nazra Mrays a Masked Lord of Waterdeep in 1479...
Wooly Rupert Posted - 29 Oct 2018 : 04:17:45
I found another two quibbles... There are some great NPC names in there, but a halfling named Mookie Plush? I'm sorry, that sounds like someone looked at their kid's favorite stuffed animal for inspiration.

Also, Jarlaxle has a safe, with a combination lock on it. They could have gone with a standard keyed lock, but they decided to go with a combination lock. And rather than make it something random, they decided to be cute with it and make it an Easter egg.

To me, just the fact that they made it a combination lock and provided the combination draws attention to it -- and I'm not a fan of Easter eggs that have big neon arrows pointing to them that say "Look! An Easter egg!"

Me, if I'd've wanted to include that particular Easter egg, I would have been more subtle about it... Maybe Jarlaxle had some papers that needed to be rifled thru, and an important one was dated "20 Hammer, Year of the Forged Sigil." That's an Easter egg you have to look for. It's the same reference, without the "Hey, look at this!" flags and banners.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 26 Oct 2018 : 07:19:24
quote:
Originally posted by RealmProtector

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Browsing thru the book and actually reading it are two separate things.

And we've a long history of people bashing newer material without reading it -- sometimes before it's even released. Someone comes into a discussion just to say "all new stuff sucks!" *and* at the same time says they're not buying anything? That's a common sign of not even looking at new material.

Perhaps I shouldn't have assumed you weren't reading anything -- but at the same time, perhaps you could have posted something more constructive than "everything sucks!" We're trying to discuss a specific product here, not offer commentary on several years' worth of material.

The routine of randomly, pointlessly bashing new stuff got old when 4E was going strong -- and I say that as someone who hated both the 4E ruleset and what was done to the setting. My ideal Realms stops where 3E begins -- but I'm fully reading everything before I comment on it, or I'm limiting my comments to just those things I have read.



First I NEVER said in my post “everything sucks” stop putting words in my mouth!

Second “perhaps you shouldn’t have assumed?” Your a moderator you should never assume!

And last last I bought the book and read it and...well I liked it more then I thought. I may not like what happened to the Realms with 4E and all but there is a lot in this book that is useable in many a campaign with a little tweaking this way or that. I also love the artwork and the book itself as I love hardbacks. So I took some of your words to heart in buying the book and I am actually looking forward to “Dungeon of the Mad Mage” so thank you for that.



Many (myself included) didn't like 4e and what it did to the setting. Thankfully, 5e restored the pantheons, so that is a plus. It lacks the "meat" of previous editions, but hopefully that will change. If there are some good lore til bits, I may check it out.
RealmProtector Posted - 26 Oct 2018 : 05:30:46
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Browsing thru the book and actually reading it are two separate things.

And we've a long history of people bashing newer material without reading it -- sometimes before it's even released. Someone comes into a discussion just to say "all new stuff sucks!" *and* at the same time says they're not buying anything? That's a common sign of not even looking at new material.

Perhaps I shouldn't have assumed you weren't reading anything -- but at the same time, perhaps you could have posted something more constructive than "everything sucks!" We're trying to discuss a specific product here, not offer commentary on several years' worth of material.

The routine of randomly, pointlessly bashing new stuff got old when 4E was going strong -- and I say that as someone who hated both the 4E ruleset and what was done to the setting. My ideal Realms stops where 3E begins -- but I'm fully reading everything before I comment on it, or I'm limiting my comments to just those things I have read.



First I NEVER said in my post “everything sucks” stop putting words in my mouth!

Second “perhaps you shouldn’t have assumed?” Your a moderator you should never assume!

And last last I bought the book and read it and...well I liked it more then I thought. I may not like what happened to the Realms with 4E and all but there is a lot in this book that is useable in many a campaign with a little tweaking this way or that. I also love the artwork and the book itself as I love hardbacks. So I took some of your words to heart in buying the book and I am actually looking forward to “Dungeon of the Mad Mage” so thank you for that.
sleyvas Posted - 25 Oct 2018 : 15:35:31
That is pretty cool Wooly. I would love it if somehow when Mystra died, a wizard using magic jar was slain, and a number of the driftglobes in the city absorbed the scattered sparks of the spirit. Maybe they travel to this section of the city on a nightly basis because this is where its remains reside, but it needs help to reconstitute its soul.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 25 Oct 2018 : 05:02:55
You know one thing I've absolutely loved in this book, thus far? It's a throwaway line on page 69:

"At dusk, hundreds of driftglobes make their way from the inhabited part of the city and congregate in the City of the Dead. They spend the night here, then disperse and return to the waking city at down -- for a reason no one knows."

This is awesome -- an odd and wondrous little mystery, just tossed out there, enriching the book by giving it some uniquely flavorful details. Just a couple of sentences, but it's something unique and memorable, and could easily become the hook for an entirely separate adventure.

In fact, it reminds me of the old Current Clack section we used to get.
Gelcur Posted - 24 Oct 2018 : 21:04:49
quote:
Originally posted by Dewaint


An I like the idea of becoming a landlord in Waterdeep, same for the various factions and how they might approach the characters, same for the guilds!


Again another good concept that I wish got fleshed out more, could have left out a villain base or two and fleshed out that chapter more. The intrigue of factions and guilds, lords and villains and adventures is what gives Waterdeep its feel I think.

Reminds me of an idea, I've always wanted to run a Waterdeep adventure where I use the Lords of Waterdeep board game as the high level background, players wouldn't know or have access to the game unless they became Hidden Lords but the game would be being played either way behind the scenes.
Dewaint Posted - 24 Oct 2018 : 12:54:01

indeed!!!

I love such "hidden" ovations.

Like in Dragon Heist ... the scarlet marpenoht

am pretty sure there are more, but hadn't catched my eye yet.

Anyway ... I have to second Gelcur's view on DragonHeist.

It's a really nice update to already available lore/adventure modules on Waterdeep, with many nice Adventure Hooks you can grab, or in case you stumbled over Waterdeep with 5e first time, a great modular adventure.

An I like the idea of becoming a landlord in Waterdeep, same for the various factions and how they might approach the characters, same for the guilds!

DragonHeist appears to me a good starting point for DMs to get familiar with the city. Preparing you for deep divings into older lore books from 3(.5)e, 2e and 1e
Gelcur Posted - 24 Oct 2018 : 02:21:32
I often spend my cash less than wisely and pick up D&D items before they're vetted. So I've grabbed a lot of products from different editions. I do my best to give them a good read, overall I think 5E stuff is doing some good course correction.

I have begun running Dragon Heist with my group, it has good concepts and for a DM who knows what they are doing but is limited in time it is a good fit. I am impressed with how much they packed into the book. I can easily patch in a lot of small changes to make it feel more like my FR, my biggest wish was that it was a year long adventure and it tied all the seasons together, more than a little patch.

On a different note, some Mad Mage content is starting to hit, here's an image see anyone hanging with Mirt we might know?
Wooly Rupert Posted - 21 Oct 2018 : 15:19:19
Browsing thru the book and actually reading it are two separate things.

And we've a long history of people bashing newer material without reading it -- sometimes before it's even released. Someone comes into a discussion just to say "all new stuff sucks!" *and* at the same time says they're not buying anything? That's a common sign of not even looking at new material.

Perhaps I shouldn't have assumed you weren't reading anything -- but at the same time, perhaps you could have posted something more constructive than "everything sucks!" We're trying to discuss a specific product here, not offer commentary on several years' worth of material.

The routine of randomly, pointlessly bashing new stuff got old when 4E was going strong -- and I say that as someone who hated both the 4E ruleset and what was done to the setting. My ideal Realms stops where 3E begins -- but I'm fully reading everything before I comment on it, or I'm limiting my comments to just those things I have read.
RealmProtector Posted - 21 Oct 2018 : 10:55:13
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Maybe it's just me, but I think you can't properly judge the material if you're not reading it.



I never said I didn't read it, I have friends who have loaned me books, I've also stopped by Barnes and Noble to read, have read reviews and content online, read alot of the current history on the FR app. browesed through this very book (Dragonheist) at my local Cool Stuff...

Mabey it's just me but you should not assume (as we know what that makes) without knowing all the facts.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 21 Oct 2018 : 02:36:20
Maybe it's just me, but I think you can't properly judge the material if you're not reading it.
RealmProtector Posted - 20 Oct 2018 : 21:51:25
quote:


This book like all others post spellplague feels manufactured for retail value vs the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ed Realms. Pre Spellplague it felt like a living breathing world with real environs ann residents, especially pre ToT. After this disapointment, I can't see ever spending any more money on "new Realms'. For me, it would take a hard rebbot back to pre spellplague and the return to Lore centric books of previous editions.




I'm a Forgotten Realms gamer from way back to first edition, when 3.0/3.5 came out I was doing news stories reviews and interviews for GamingReport.com. I completely agree, I love the old realms the books are fantastic! I have yet to buy anything post 3.5, Ed's Realms remain by far the best. Though there were plenty of folk who added amazing people and details to the realms. I miss the old TSR/WOTC team. Sadly I doubt they will ever Reboot back to pre spellcr** and all those folks are off to new persuits anyway...sigh....sadness

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