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Board Game Overview: The City of Kings

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Board Game Overview: The City of Kings

The City of Kings is a cooperative adventure roleplaying board game for 1-4 players in which your character is tasked with tactically exploring the hazardous world surrounding the City of Kings, trading for vital resources in nearby villages, and battling your enemies whilst uncovering a story of a world imperiled.

Watch our chat with designer Frank West at Gen Con 2018.

Host: Anne Richmond
Twitter: @annerichmond
Instagram: @hearthsinger

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Overlight - How to Roll Tests

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Overlight - How to Roll Tests

Learn the core dice mechanic that drives the narrative and action of Overlight forward.

Overlight is a fantasy roleplaying game of kaleidoscopic journeys: a visceral, dangerous, and brightly-colored setting. Characters will search for personal meaning among a fantastic, sometimes violent, and overwhelming world. Overlight is published by Renegade Game Studios.

Learn more about Overlight in our other videos:

What is Overlight? Watch our video on the Cosmology of Overlight to learn more.

Overlight - Character Creation

Host: Anne Richmond
Twitter: @annerichmond
Instagram: @hearthsinger

Guest: Helena Anderson
Instagram: @themagicllama95

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Overlight - Character Creation

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Overlight - Character Creation

Watch as we roll up our Skyborn - a Zenith Order Monk and Hamanu - and teach you how to create a character for Overlight, the new RPG from Renegade Game studios.

What is Overlight? Watch our video on the Cosmology of Overlight to learn more.

Host: Anne Richmond
Twitter: @annerichmond
Instagram: @hearthsinger

Guest: Helena Anderson
Instagram: @themagicllama95

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Unboxing: Pathfinder Battles - Deadly Foes and Red Dragon Evolution from WizKids

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Unboxing: Pathfinder Battles - Deadly Foes and Red Dragon Evolution from WizKids

We're opening Pathfinder Deadly Foes blind boxes and the Red Dragon Evolution figures from WizKids! Whose army of Paizo predators will win against the Dragon Menace?

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Unboxing: Icons of the Realms - Monster Menagerie III Blind Boxes and Kraken from WizKids

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Unboxing: Icons of the Realms - Monster Menagerie III Blind Boxes and Kraken from WizKids

Get a front row seat as host Anne Richmond and guest Dave open nine Icons of the Realms Monster Menagerie III blind boxes and the Kraken from WizKids.

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Unboxing - Waterdeep Dragon Heist Blind Boxes and City of the Dead: Statues and Monuments

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Unboxing - Waterdeep Dragon Heist Blind Boxes and City of the Dead: Statues and Monuments

Get a front row seat as host Anne Richmond and guest Emily Floyd open 8 Icons of the Realms Waterdeep: Dragon Heist blind boxes and unbox City of the Dead: Statues and Monuments from WizKids.

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Let's Play Catch the Moon

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Let's Play Catch the Moon

Watch as Anne Richmond and Emily Floyd play a lovely French dexterity/balance game called Catch the Moon from Bombyx!

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Level Up Dice

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Wacky Gaslands - The Mean Machine

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Wacky Gaslands - The Mean Machine

I'll start out by saying that Gaslands has quickly become one of my favorite miniatures games of all time. It has just about the lowest barrier to entry for a minis game ever, clocking in at a whopping $19 for the rule book at your local game store! From there, you just need some Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars (if you don't have any they are about $1 a pop), some d6, and print outs of the templates in the back of the book and you're ready to start! If you want some higher quality dice and templates, check out your local game store or Gaslands.com to find sellers. There are a ton of resources on the game's official website too, including free updates, printable templates, printable car dashboards for stat tracking, new Sponsors, and lots more.

Seeing all the amazing fan submitted cars for Gaslands in our feature last month, I really wanted to give customizing my own crew a go. So I settled on a theme and started building a three car team from there. Choosing a theme wasn't very hard. The moment I started playing I knew I wanted to make the entire cast of Hanna-Barbera's Wacky Races. And what better to start with than #00, The Mean Machine!

To see how creative I could be, I put a limitation on myself: I had to make my cars from whatever I got out of a $20 Hot Wheels pack with random cars. Unfortunately, I didn't get a car that screamed "Mean Machine" but I did find two cars with parts I could smash together, the Twin Mill and the Salt Shaker.

With a plan in mind, I got to modding. Because this was my first time modding Hot Wheels, I unfortunately was so single-minded in my work I forgot to take pictures (forgive me!). But here's a rough outline: 1. Drill the rivets on the bottom of the cars to take them apart. 2. Strip the paint from any pieces you wish to paint. 3. Drill or cut away any unwanted parts. 4. Primer the pieces. 5. Paint the interior pieces. 6. Glue the car back together. 7. Paint!

 "The Mean Machine" sponsored by Idris

"The Mean Machine" sponsored by Idris

The one major piece of modding I did was using a Dremel to cut a rectangle out of the hood out of the Twin Mill to slap a rocket from the Salt Shaker into the empty space. I then used Green Stuff to fill in Dremel cuts and the gaps between the rocket and car. Then I snipped a toothpick and stuck it in the middle of the rocket to give it that signature Mean Machine point. A few major mistakes I made were bending the front wheels and needing to replace them, not supporting the rocket while the Green Stuff hardened because it drooped, and applying primer to inside areas when it wasn't necessary (this made the car not fully snap back together).

Despite those missteps, the end result came out better than I hoped! I really like the dirty paint job, the "gold" pieces that you can tell were hastily spray-painted on parts to make them look fancier, and the way the rocket engine looks like it was just welded into place by an amateur. You'll also notice that there are no visible weapons. Sticking to the theme, Dick Dastardly and Muttley use Nitrous to zoom ahead of the pack and then drop Mines, Glue Traps, and Oil Spills to foil the other racers!   Come back next week and check out my next project: The Compact Pussycat!

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D&D Let's Roll Library and Giveaway!

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D&D Let's Roll Library and Giveaway!

Spending the last month writing and chatting with all of you about Dungeons & Dragons has been incredible. We covered every manual and campaign guide along with miniatures, board games and more to provide a comprehensive look at the hobby and the tools you need to enhance your play experience! To celebrate all the content we created, we've collected it into one easily navigated library so that you can bookmark this page and keep our advice on hand whenever you need it. 

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Chapter 1: Adventuring for Dummies

Exploring the world of D&D through Board Games, Twitch Streams, and the Starter Set!

Chapter 2: Quest Accepted

Ready to roll up a character or hop behind the DM screen? Let's roll!

Chapter 3: Gettin' Mini with It

Diving into the colorful world of miniatures and painting!

Chapter 4: Advanced Adventuring

Enhance your game ambience, table presence, and gameplay experience! 

 Active Player Network has partnered with GTS Distribution to offer one lucky Grand Prize winner the entire library of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition campaign books including the forthcoming Waterdeep Adventures; Dragon Heist and Dungeon of the Mad Mage.

Additionally, five runners-up will receive will receive a prize package of one already published campaign book of their choice between: Storm King’s Thunder, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Rise of Tiamat, Curse of Strahd, Princes of the Apocalypse, Out of the Abyss, Tomb of Annihilation, or Tales from the Yawning Portal. Distribution of runner up prizes to be determined by the Sponsors.

How do I enter?

You must like APN on Facebook and interact with the posts we will be initiating over the course of the month.

The number of entries per person made during the period of the D&D Let’s Roll event (running July 30-August 24, 2018) will be equal to the number of likes, public shares, and comments/photos/social contributions made on our Facebook Page in response to the community questions, images, and blog posts we share surrounding Dungeons & Dragons. Comments, images, or videos that contain lewd, crass, or inappropriate content are not permitted and do not constitute entries. Entries must be relevant to the Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game.

Let's talk about D&D!

How do I know if I won?

Winners will be notified by Facebook message on August 27, 2018.  

Complete Terms and Conditions

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Advanced Adventuring: Spellbook Cards

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Advanced Adventuring: Spellbook Cards

Spellbook Cards from Gale Force Nine WILL change your life.

I'm the kind of player who gets flustered when the GM or another player questions whether my spell works the way I think it does. The character sheet doesn't leave you enough room to write down every aspect of the spell and I don't like to grind combat or role play to a halt. I want to do something cool/useful, describe it in the most extra way possible and move on. The more time that passes while I'm flipping through the Players Hand Book and Xanathar's Guide to Everything, the more my soul is slowly crushed and I question my life choices.

Does that spell require concentration? What's the exact range? Is there a duration? What type of saving through does the DM need to make? What is the flavor text on Blight? These are ALL questions that can be answered in the palm of your hand with Spellbook Cards from Gale Force Nine. They come in packs specific to you class, meaning you don't have to weed through every option to even search the things available to you. There are even cards for martial classes and racial abilities if you want to make sure you have everything covered.

I recommend this tool especially if you're playing a Cleric, Paladin, Druid, or Wizard who needs to quickly adjust their spell list every long rest. These cards help you eek out every opportunity for customization and preparation that your class offers without interrupting the fun of the game for your friends at the table. Look for them at your FLGS and don't pass them up!

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Advanced Adventuring: Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, Volo's Guide to Monsters, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

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Advanced Adventuring: Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, Volo's Guide to Monsters, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

So you've bought your Player's Handbook, Your Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual for Dungeons and Dragons. You've thumbed through all the amazing campaign guides from Wizards of the Coast. What are these other books you're seeing at your FLGS?

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Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide

The Sword Coast is a region of Faerûn in the Forgotten Realms that comprises shining paragons of civilization and culture, perilous locales fraught with dread and evil, and encompassing them all, a wilderness that offers every explorer vast opportunity and simultaneously promises great danger.

This book serves as a campaign setting guide for DM's but also provides several new backgrounds and options to help players further customize their characters.

Volo’s Guide to Monsters

Learn about some of the most iconic monsters in the Forgotten Realms from the esteemed loremaster Volothamp Geddarm. As a Dungeon Master, this book provides even more background on the behaviors and cultures of these villains so that you can infuse your tales with infinite depth when it comes to beholders, mind flayers, and the yuan-ti, as well as classics like orcs, gnolls, and kobolds. 

This book also opens up new racial options - previously only thought of as monsters - to players on the other side of the table. If you've always wanted to play a goblin, orc, or firbolg, you'll need this book to roll up your new character!

Xanathar's Guide to Everything
 
This is Dungeons & Dragons' first major expansion for fifth edition and it is chock full of new rules and options.

  • Over twenty-five new subclasses for the character classes in the Player’s Handbook, including the Cavalier for the fighter, the Circle of Dreams for the druid, the Horizon Walker for the ranger, and many more
  • Dozens of new spells, a collection of racial feats, and a system to give your character a randomized backstory
  • A variety of tools that provide Dungeon Masters fresh ways to use traps, magic items, downtime activities, and more—all designed to enhance a D&D campaign and push it in new directions

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

This is the most recent release from Wizards of the Coast and it reads very similar to Volo's Guide to monsters. We covered some of our favorite featured foes already! This book provides you with more insight into demons, devils and denizens of the Underdark such as drow, githyanki, githzerai, and duergar. It also provides new character races and personality trait tables for character creation for the player perspective. There are further background options for tieflings and elves and more otherworldly choices for character races like githyanki or githzerai.

 

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Advanced Adventuring: Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated

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Advanced Adventuring: Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated

So you've had a wet erase grid for a while and you're ready for some illustrated terrain - but not just any terrain; reincarnated terrain. 

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You've likely seen these in your FLGS and personally I used to just ignore them - I already have a grid to work on. Then I got a chance to open one of these and realized how much I had been missing out. These packs are full of illustrated puzzle pieces in the shapes of curved hallways, staircases, cavernous dining halls, and more. This means you're not drawing a dungeon onto a grid, but actually constructing the dungeon out of these shaped tiles. 

They come in three varieties: Dungeon, Wilderness, and City. You can mix and match all these options to create thousands of unique maps that span multiple environment types. Imagine being a dungeon master with little time to plan and writer's block. You toss the setting appropriate tiles into a bag and then pull them at random to create your layout and reignite your inspiration for the session. Of, of course, you lay them all out on the floor and carefully construct a lethal temple to challenge the adventuring party. The options are truly endless. I seriously need to get my hands on every one of these. 

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Advanced Adventuring: WizKids Trophies, Premium Maps, and Deep Cuts Miniatures

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Advanced Adventuring: WizKids Trophies, Premium Maps, and Deep Cuts Miniatures

It is our last week of Let's Roll and we are going to open the door to Advanced Adventuring! These products all represent ways to enhance ambience, table presence, and gameplay experience. 

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It cannot be stressed enough how much WizKids can partner you in play when it comes to D&D. The first time I saw their trophy heads of beholders, dragons, and mindflayers - I knew I needed AT LEAST one for my game room.

Imagine sitting in your living room as candlelight flickers across the horrible visages of some of the most iconic villains in Dungeons & Dragons as your players drink mead and peruse illustrated premium maps enhanced with three dimensional painted miniature furniture and objects from their Deep Cuts line and music/soundscapes from Sirinscape build the tension. Te

These items are the perfect gift for the DM in your life and they the perfect storm for the senses. 

Show us pics of your best D&D Set up! What are your must have items?

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Our Adventuring Party - Rycin Pendragon, Human Wizard

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Our Adventuring Party - Rycin Pendragon, Human Wizard

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Rycin Pendragon, Human Wizard, Chaotic Neutral

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Rycin (who was a street orphan with no knowledge of his parents) grew into a life of swindling and thievery. During one act of larceny, he was caught in the act by a hermetic wizard whose home he had invaded. Rycin killed the old man, who seemed to have very little contact with the outside world. Rycin assumed his surname, becoming Rycin Pendragon, and had stolen an old and well-used tome, from which he began to teach himself the ways of magic, hoping to use these newfound skills to become more effective at his natural trade-- a smuggler for hire.   Recently, upon taking a job from an underworld crime lord in order to pay off a financial debt to him, Rycin was tasked to find an ancient and prized relic. But his trail lead him to the underdark, where he was captured. It was upon this, that Rycin had concluded that he was set up, and double-crossed, as punishment for his outstanding debt. Broke, hunted and vengeful, Rycin now finds himself at ground-zero of his life’s story, but with unexplored powers of magic as his new ally.  

INSPIRATION:

I took a lot of inspiration from characters of the properties I loved, growing up. But there are a few characters, specifically, who went into the creation of Rycin Pendragon:

  • Han Solo (Star Wars)- orphan, rogue, smuggler for hire. Always looking over his shoulder, underground. Here’s a guy who has a job to do – Never mind if it’s above-board or not. He doesn’t ask questions, he completes the mission and gets paid.
  • Stormshadow (G.I. Joe)- Here’s a guy who’s shrouded in shadows. His origins obfuscated, his motives mysterious. When his knowledge hit a glass ceiling, he killed his master, and became ronin.
  • Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark)- Trained in classical studies, but with an unquenchable drive for fact (not ‘truth’), Indy soon learned that the ancient artifacts that he unearthed held arcane powers that could sway the struggle between the sacred and profane.
  • Bobby Stickel (Me)- I won’t go into details, but one of the great draws of D&D for me, is that I can infuse some of myself into my character. What those aspects are, I’ll let the members of my party find out along the way…

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Gettin' Mini with It: Nolzur's Marvelous Brush Set, P3 Paints from Privateer Press, and The Army Painter Project Paint Station

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Gettin' Mini with It: Nolzur's Marvelous Brush Set, P3 Paints from Privateer Press, and The Army Painter Project Paint Station

We could spend a thousand years just talking about types of paints, miniatures, and the miniature painting process as an art-form and hobby. In fact, we have several painters on our team. Rather than push you down an overwhelming rabbit hole all at once, I'd like to set you up with some great products that can help you get started on your painting adventure over the next few days!

Today we'll focus on paints and brushes!

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We have discussed our passion for Privateer Press previously in regards to Warmachine: Hordes and we did a Let's Paint video for the "Circle Orboros" starter box. However, Privateer Press also makes a great line of P3 paints and brushes that you can find at your FLGS. They offer a  variety of matte and metallic acrylics, washes, and primers to choose from. While not as exciting as all the pretty colors, don't forget to prime your miniature before you start applying paint or there won't be anything for the paint to stick to and you'll likely lose your precious work. With so many paints to choose from, it's hard to select your first set, but make sure you at least grab you primaries (red, blue, yellow) and white so that you can mix your own base coats and highlights. If you mix your paints on a damp paper towel (called a wet palette), it will preserve the paints longer and make the most of all the pots you purchase. 

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This brings us to brushes! The basics you'll need are a small detail brush, a slightly larger base-coat brush (which doesn't require as much precision), and a dry brush. Privateer Press makes some good brushes along with their P3 Paints and The Army Painter's brushes have really nice grips to help you steady and control your application. However, Nolzur's Marvelous Brush Set from Gale Force Nine should not be overlooked because they sell all three of your basic brushes in one package! 

If you're ready to make an investment in a really great set of acrylic paints, washes, and effects paints, then the Mega Paint Set from The Army Painter is a great option. It comes with a stand to array all of your paints on your craft table as well as one of their triangular gripped brushes. When you're ready to truly expand your primary colors into a spectrum of possibilities, this is 100% a great set to acquire with one of the most recommended detail brushes on the market.

What are your favorite paints and brushes to use?

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Gettin' Mini with It: Pathfinder Pawns

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Gettin' Mini with It: Pathfinder Pawns

Do you want an arsenal of pawns for your RPG's? We can't recommend Paizo's Pathfinder Pawns enough when it comes to volume, variety, and cost!

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The NPC codex is fantastic for all of your humanoid needs, whether you're letting your players choose one to represent them or you need to table a hoard of cultists to face off against their heroes. You'll find all the most common races represented - including halflings and gnomes - of all classes/genders. This is some of the best money you can spend if you're not ready to dive into miniature collecting and the boxes work for easy storage that fits right on your shelf next to your rule books.

Are you looking for monsters or something to represent druid or polymorph forms? Bestiary boxes are your best bet! They have a mixture of classic monsters and animals with beautiful art to match. If you are playing Pathfinder, each box's number corresponds to the bestiary book number so you won't have to guess whether what you're looking for is inside.

Looking to split the difference? The Pathfinder Society Pawn Collection features several humanoid and creature options for your table. These correspond to the Pathfinder Society adventure, but can easily be used for any game.

One of the best parts about these boxes is they come with stands that represent correct size foot prints from medium sized creatures on up to huge so you can be sure you're getting an accurate sense of scale even though each pawn is flat.

Do you own any of these boxes? How are you using them in your games?

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Gettin' Mini with It: Help for Players and Dungeon Masters Who Don't Paint

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Gettin' Mini with It: Help for Players and Dungeon Masters Who Don't Paint

It's Week 3 of Dungeons & Dragons: Let's Roll, which means it's time to get mini with it! Miniatures can be really intimidating for folks who can't paint, but Wizkids has some amazing pre-painted tools that can help you bring battles to life whether you've never held a brush in your life or you just don't have time to paint an army of evildoers to take on your players. 

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Let's start with some products to help non-painting players get started.

Not everyone is ready to dive into painting and WizKids has you covered with pre-painted Icons of the Realms miniatures. They sell them individually or even in starter boxes, so you and your party and all go in on one and share the spoils. They even have Ravnica specific Icons of the Realms coming out so you'll be ready for the upcoming Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica Magic: The Gathering campaign setting!

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Dungeon Master's are fun facilitators in D&D and there's nothing like the moment when the big bad appears on the battle grid and it's time to roll initiative. That's a lot of pressure, painting, and cost placed squarely on the shoulders of the GM - especially if they don't fancy themselves miniature painters.

To that end, WizKids provides prepainted Icons of the Realms miniatures in a "Classic Creatures" box set as well as "Monster Menagerie" boxes with villains and monsters that tower over the Icons of the Realms miniatures, striking awe and fear into the hearts of your players. With these tools, you can build your collection without needing to know how to paint!

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Quest Accepted: Out of the Abyss and Tomb of Annihilation

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Quest Accepted: Out of the Abyss and Tomb of Annihilation

Lastly, we'll round out our campaign breakdowns with a look at two adventures that take you to far flung reaches of the Dungeons & Dragons realms for a completely different experience. 

Choose Your Adventure: Out of the Abyss - Rage of Demons

Leave behind the sunlit vales of Faerun and escape the Drow denizens of the Underdark - a maze of twisted gargantuan caverns where madness lurks around every bend and bioluminescent horrors lay in wait. Something truly terrible awaits you in the darkness where demons threaten to break through to the surface world. This adventure has been described as a subterranean “Wonderland-esque” chase.

Support this adventure with a custom Rage of Demons DM screen from Gale Force Nine and figures for key characters from their Icons of the Realms line.

Choose Your Adventure: Tomb of Annihilation

Ride dinosaurs through the tropical jungles surrounding of Chult and discover the Tomb of Annihilation - a lethal catacomb of horrors and traps that will test bravery, skill, and cunning. Home to the classic Dungeons and Dragons villainous Lich, Acererak, this campaign was inspired by one of the all time best selling adventures: Tomb of Horrors. This adventure is non-stop action from the go with curious villains.

Support this dungeon delve adventure with a custom DM screen from Gale Force Nine and figures for key characters from their Icons of the Realms line.

 

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Quest Accepted: Tyranny of Dragons: Rise of Tiamat, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, and Princes of the Apocalypse

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Quest Accepted: Tyranny of Dragons: Rise of Tiamat, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, and Princes of the Apocalypse

We are at it again, helping you choose your next adventure! Yesterday we talked about Curse of Strahd and Storm King's Thunder. Today we'll take a closer look at the Tyranny of Dragons campaign set and Princes of the Apocalypse: Elemental Evil. One is is subsequently very Dragon heavy and one is very dungeon crawl heavy!

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Choose Your Adventure: Tyranny of Dragons

In the Rise of Tiamat, discover and stem the rising tide of the Cult of the Dragon and in Hoard of the Dragon Queen, rush to prevent the five headed dragon goddess from escaping her prison in the Nine Hells so that she can lay waste to Faerun. This two part adventure is everything you could want from a high fantasy epic - moving from small adventures in the lower levels as every day lives are effected by doomsday threats from the Cult of the Dragon and political factions move to protect their interests, to facing down the Goddess Tiamat herself in the second half of the adventure.

You can also enhance your Tyranny of Dragons experience with Icons of the Realms figures and an adventure specific DM screen from Gale Force Nine.

Choose Your Adventure: Princes of the Apocalypse

Four corrupt princes rise with four corrupt prophets as you face four lethal elemental temples. Confront cadres of cultists and creatures bound to the service of the Elder Elemental Eye. Search for the source of elemental corruption and save the Sword Coast from the Princes of the Apocalypse.

Support the campaign with a DM Screen from Gale Force Nine and Elemental Evil Booster Bricks chock full of miniatures from Wizkids!

Have you played these adventures? Let us know what you thought in the comments!

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