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Tyranny of Dragons: Hoard of the Dragon Queen Adventure (Dungeons & Dragons (Idw Hardcover)) Hardcover – 29 Aug 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (29 Aug 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786965649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786965649
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 1.4 x 28.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Neal Walker on 13 Oct 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A fun adventure to take characters from lev 1 to 7/8.

Takes some work to flesh out some of the non dungeon encounters which newer dms may struggle with, but experienced dms should be fine.

My group of mainly new players did find the first chapter pretty hard with lots of fighting with several of them falling unconcious often, I ended up toning it down a little. Also following the one level per chapter idea the pc's would end up with way less xp than if you do the other suggestion of xp for kills with some bonuses for objectives. There is also a limited number of different monsters used which may become abit repetitive so regquire some work to make them interesting.

I also became confused by the whole Perception vs Investigation, with investigation not being used anywhere in the adventure.

It could have used more maps and details for some encounters.

As it came out before the monster manual you need to download a pdf online to get the monster stats, it would have been good to include this with the adventure initially.

On the whole it was good fun, but could have used more detail.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Matthew D. Hayward on 31 Aug 2014
Format: Hardcover
The adventure isn't bad but it many aspects of it are very vague. The NPCs could do with more description about their mannerisms and motivations. Many of the encounters need more detail, especially maps and enemy behaviours. The magic items could use more description and flavour. The formatting of the text could do with more sidebars and bullet points. It almost feels like the authors were told to keep the page count down or something.

The quality of the covers, bindings and pages are excellent.

As the first published adventure for D&D it's as shame this isn't more detail, but the gaps can be filled in with a good dungeon master. The story itself is interesting and, if brought to life with a good dungeon master, is engaging for the players.

For fans and collectors of D&D this is definitely worth picking up, but I'm hoping that future published adventures raise the bar.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great looking book, but the adventure is poor, very opened ended so expect a bit of work / rewrite to adjust to your adventure.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 82 reviews
113 of 116 people found the following review helpful
A fantastic starting module! (Other user's issues addressed) 20 Aug 2014
By Andrew Geertsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a great module that should be picked up for sure!

Pros:
Production Value - The book is indisputably high quality. Full color printing, heavy duty binding and fantastic artwork makes the book a pleasure to use.
Layout - The layout is extremely clean, with nice use of color to delineate sidebars and "read-aloud" text.
Writing - The writing is well done, by some big name pros in the industry including Wolfgang Baur and Steve Winter. It's got enough flavor to paint a picture, but is short enough to not overwhelm.
Structure - The adventure is put together in an episodic format throughout the book and each episode has sub-missions that can, generally, be done in whatever order the GM / Players choose. This may not be true for each chapter, but is certainly true for the first.

Cons (I would not actually say there are any *real* cons to this product, but I would like to address some issues other users have mentioned):

Level Range Visibility - Some users have pointed out that it does not state the level range. It does, on the back cover of the book it states that it is from 1-7.

Monsters - There are certainly monsters mentioned that are not found in the book. The reason that this was done is up for debate but you DO NOT need to wait until the Monster Manual or the Dungeon Master's Guide come out. They state in the first pages of the book that there is a free online supplement that they have released that has all of that information (and then some). That info can be found simply by googling "Hoard of the Dragon Queen Free Supplement."

This is a great product that is extremely high quality and should make for the beginning of a very awesome campaign! You would do well to pick yourself up a copy.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Semi-quality generic product and caveats for players 8 Sep 2014
By M. Platz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I purchased Hoard through my local gaming store (as there is nothing else out from D&D at the moment) and am a veteran of AD&D, 3.5, Pathfinder, and now D&D (Next). As an overall conclusion, it is a pretty generic linear adventure with nice artwork. It provides instant action for gamers wishing to immediately immerse into the game but misses the ball on just about everything else by running such a linear adventure that player choices matter little.

The paper quality is thicker and the artwork above what I consider industry norm. You get a lot of descriptive substance for rather than a book full of stat blocks. While some reviewers have griped about not having monster blocks, this has allowed the writers to instead fill the book with more illustrative details of NPCs, encounters, and role-play notes. You can download monsters, magic items, and spells from the module for free along with the basic rules, allowing this module to be played without the Monster Manual or a Dungeon Master's Guide. The adventure starts gripping, immediately beginning with action with a town under attack and a series of forays that can occur to stave off the invaders. This leads to a linear progression of adventuring where the next step is to find out who and why, leading to deeper mysteries. Players expecting "sandbox" (go and do whatever you want) will not find such here. If the players fail to follow the adventure hooks, there isn't really anything else to do. The module has a lot of opportunity for combat if players wish, but just as much there are chances to use creativity in avoiding them.

The adventure starts strong, but the wheels fall off quickly. The adventure devolves into a series of "go fight this, then this and then this." There isn't much room for choice (and those times you do have choice are illusory, see the finale battle in the village in chapter 1). Also, while there is substance in some areas, it's very lame in others. Many times it's a "you run into 1d6 kobolds." This forces DMs into one of two options: play as-is or take some serious editing into play to make things uniquely memorable. Further, there's little emotionally compelling reasons for the party to get involved with the adventure other than "we showed up for our Saturday afternoon game." The designers will spend a significant amount of space describing an NPC (e.g. the caravan) only to make them irrelevant to the story. While it can be supposed the DM can work with this, players could simply sit through a caravan ride interacting with no one and it wouldn't matter a lick to the story. In a sandbox adventure, players will come back to NPCs, interact with them, and hence description is needed. It's another failing in game design. Since they freed up 30 pages with the online download, I expected more nuanced descriptions, even a 1-liner, ascribing some role-play detail to the bad guys (in case they're captured, etc.) Instead, we get a ton of description for people who last no more than one scene in the adventure.

There's also absolutely no "troubleshooting" section (like previous editions had, including 2nd) whereby players do something unexpected (such as wiping out the cultists in a certain part of the module where the adventure presumes the players do not attack the cultists). I suppose the answer to that is the adventure is over, because there's really no rational way it could continue (see chapter 3).

Additionally, we were promised more descriptive magical items than previous editions, but instead we got bulk +1 armor and +1 weapons. It wouldn't have taken any effort to spice things up (e.g. the Black Blade of Doom, borne by blah and while a +1 sword roars out the abyssal name of a creature slain by it and briefly causing the user's skin to grow dark scales (+1 AC) for one round or until hit by an attack). Something would have been nice and this is just the same mechanical crap as before.

In summary, for the flagship adventure of D&D, it's a sadly disappointing module with some roleplay opportunities and promises of high adventure but in a generic and very boring linear fashion of "go here, kill this" and no real discussion of alternate choices. This can work for easing new gamers into the fold as "sandbox" (free-form) can be intimidating with a new rules system. For those asking for more, it's a letdown.

Finally, those bred on "grid" maps will be thrown off by theatre-of-the-mind gaming, so a DM should be prepared to create maps on the fly (e.g. open field with a fence, a few trees). The module doesn't make clear that until November rolls around, gamers will need to visit Wizards of the Coast's website to download the free materials necessary to run it. This is not a negative; you're getting 30 more pages of content instead of stat blocks. However, I wish they'd put more effort into the product. I'm playing it because the Monster Manual and DMG are not out yet, and I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.
49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
A Four-Star Product Ruined by Terrible Editing 24 Aug 2014
By Parker Emerson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a tough one. On the one hand, Kobold has written a really solid adventure. It's interesting, exciting, and fun; everything you want a classic D&D adventure to be. The production quality is good, nice paper and solid printing.

On the other hand, the editing is TERRIBLE. It completely ruins the product. (Almost?) Every map has omissions, or lacks keys or descriptions. Monsters are listed as being in two different places at once. I really, really hope that for Rise of Tiamat, Kobold gets better editor. This was the worst editing job I've seen in an RPG product (sans hyperbole); definitely the worst I've seen in a physical RPG product. I don't know how this made it out to the printers.

It's also clear Kobold was working with a ruleset that was still solidifying. Skill checks are a little off with regards to passive checks, etc.; and some monster descriptions that don't match up with the monster stats in the supplement put out by Wizards.

Overall, a four-star product absolutely ruined by terrible editing.
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Looks Promising 20 Aug 2014
By dgwardys - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just got my copy of this and while I have not had a lot of time to dive in and digest the book fully here are my initial thoughts.

First off, as the game master for my group I am really excited about the format of this book. I previously used forth edition adventures and my group found that it often felt very constrained and forced to the story. The way that this book is set up is eight 'episodes' with a series of modular encounters and adventures in each one.

For example, it starts with a village under attack by a dragon and a cult and there are a series of different encounters that a group would go through within that framework. There is a good mix of traditional dungeon crawl episodes and more social role playing situations that the party could go through. It also is great that this is set in the Forgotten Realms universe on the Sword Coast.

One thing to note is that characters can level up on episodes as milestones or through experience given by the GM also making it flexible in that area. At the end if this a party of four should be level 7 with the next book set to take that party to level 15.

One thing I am disappointed about the requirement of a PDF that includes the monster stats and item information. I was not aware that I would have to print out 30 pages to stick somewhere or look on a computer to find this information. While this is a temporary point until the monster manual is released it is disappointing and I feel that it is a cost cutting move. Given that this book retails for 30.00 providing this in the book itself would have been appreciated. This is one more thing to think about when packing up supplies for game night and I really wish they had included stat blocks. Having handwritten eratta in a book would be better than having an up to date PDF.

All said I am really really excited to bring this to the table. I am excited as ever to create something based on the flexible format. I really think that the modular structure will work better from a narrative perspective and will prevent things from feeling too constrained.

This is not for everyone, but for those who want a good starting point I think that this book and the follow up will be great. If anything else I am inspired to think about creating a new adventure for my players to enjoy.
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
especially since the adventure provides very easy to implement adventure hooks for all your PCs 20 Aug 2014
By Andrew - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I purchased mine through a local gaming store, and have only played through the first chapter. That chapter is presented as several missions, which your PCs can take on in whatever order you see fit. The book presents you with very clear guidelines to run each encounter, and still gives you plenty of wiggle room to accommodate improvising. My players found the story very intriguing so far, especially since the adventure provides very easy to implement adventure hooks for all your PCs. The adventure is designed to level up your PCs after each episode, so you can ignore calculating XP should you so choose.

The book itself is full color, thick pulpy paper, and the cover features great artwork, and a half glossy, half matte finish.

You get plenty of content to take the PCs all the way to level 7 for thirty bucks, and have the option to play using just a free PDF of the rules, instead of the buying the Core Rulebooks (this PDF is necessary until the whole set of rulebooks is released).

In my opinion, it is a great start to the new edition of D&D.
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