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Eberron: Rising From the Last War Preview

Eberron: Rising From the Last War is a campaign sourcebook set in the D&D world of Eberron.

I previewed it on Twitter here:

You can explore the swashbuckling pulp noir of Eberron: Rising From the Last War when it launches November 19, 2019.

Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty Preview

Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty is a box set that “[blends] the world of Dungeons & Dragons with the mad narcissistic genius of Rick Sanchez’s power-gaming sensibilities, and it includes everything a Dungeon Master needs to channel their inner mad scientist and run a rickrolling adventure for up to 5 players, levels 1 to 3.”

I previewed it on Twitter here:

You can experience “Rickth Edition D&D” when Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty releases everywhere on November 19, 2019.

Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus Preview

Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus is an adventure that “takes players from levels 1 to 13 as they journey through Baldur’s Gate and into Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells.”

I previewed it on Twitter here:

You can descend into hell when it launches September 17, 2019.

Look Inside: D&D Essentials Kit

The D&D Essentials Kit is available now (exclusive to Target until September 3rd, 2019). Let’s take a look inside, shall we? Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast provided me a review copy of this product. Opinions expressed are my own. And last but not least, the Essentials Kit comes with a code to unlock the Dragon of […]

Creature Incarnation: Giant Wolf Spider Variant

The Giant Wolf Spider as presented in the 5th Edition Monster Manual is perfectly usable monster, but I noticed while reading up on real world wolf spiders that it doesn’t quite capture their flavor. Presented below is my slightly tweaked version, the Giant Wolf Spider (Variant).Giant Wolf Spider (Variant).jpg

Design Notes

This variant is based on the Giant Wolf Spider from the Monster Manual, with the following changes:

Tremorsense: Giant Wolf Spiders and Giant Spiders both have Blindsight listed under their senses. I’m not entirely certain why the designers chose this ability–maybe it is supposed to reflect a spider’s 360 degree vision and excellent sense of touch, or perhaps it is a nod to Spider-Man’s tingly danger-sense. Regardless, I felt that Tremorsense was a better reflection of the wolf spider’s ability to detect nearby prey through vibrations. I kept the range of 10 feet, as that seemed reasonable.

Hunters. Wolf spiders hunt prey or lie in ambush in burrows. To better reflect this, I added the Ambusher trait (found on the Kenku and Doppleganger) as well as a Hidden Ambush reaction. I wanted to capture how they quickly emerge from their hiding places to attack their prey. Giving them Hidden Ambush in the form of a reaction facilitates encounters in which Giant Wolf Spiders lie in wait even after the first round of initiative while still allowing them to get the jump on PCs. The line that says that creatures attacked as a result of the Hidden Ambush are considered surprised allows the Ambusher trait to trigger and makes an exception to the general rule that surprise is determined only once at the beginning of combat and that a creature cannot be surprised again.

It would have been simpler, of course, to just grant advantage on the Hidden Ambush attack, but the use of “surprise” is intentional: it allows the attack to interact with other game abilities related to being surprised. For example, the Alert feat says that a PC cannot be surprised while they are conscious. It is the intention that in this case, the attack granted by Hidden Ambush would not have advantage (because Alert prevents the PC from being surprised).

No Webs. Wolf spiders don’t spin webs (though they do spin silk). As such, I removed Web Sense and Web Walker. The former is replaced by Tremorsense. As for the latter, one could probably argue that being a spider allows the Giant Wolf Spider to walk on webbing regardless of whether or not it can spin them.

Otherwise, the statblock is the same as the base Giant Wolf Spider. The addition and subtraction of a few traits and actions wasn’t enough to warrant changing the Challenge Rating, and the other stats seem reasonable. I considered doubling the Proficiency Bonus added to Perception–real world wolf spiders are noted as having excellent vision and other senses–but I suspect that the fact the Giant Wolf Spider is considered trained in Perception at all (compare with the Giant Spider who is not) is meant to reflect this.

I think these minor changes help better reflect the abilities of the wolf spider, while also distinguishing the Giant Wolf Spider a bit more from the Giant Spider. Whereas the Giant Spider may lie in wait for a victim to be snared in its web, the Giant Wolf Spider hides among debris and in small burrows, waiting for the moment to pounce.DDEE-008.jpg

Building Scarlet Moon Hall

Scarlet Moon Hall is one of the “haunted keeps” located in the Dessarin Valley and an important location early in the 5th edition D&D adventure Princes of the Apocalypse. The gallery that follows shows how I built the keep for my game using primarily Dwarven Forge City Builder terrain and D&D Dungeon Tiles. Below the gallery is a parts list for those interested.

Click the individual photos to read design and build notes for each floor.

Parts List

The following is a list of parts to build Scarlet Moon Hall similar to the way I have. In some cases it varies slightly from what I actually used as I ran out of pieces here and there and made due with what I had. I have linked to sets on the Dwarven Forge site that contain the pieces in question, but note that many pieces appear in multiple sets.

1st Floor (The Downward Path)

Here, and throughout the tower, one could opt to use only stone double posts, only wooden ones, or a combination of both. I chose to use both on the exterior walls for aesthetic and cost reasons.

Wall type and placement can also be varied. I chose to alternate solid stone walls with arrowslits, both horizontally and vertically.

2nd Floor (The Downward Path)

3rd Floor (Upper Entry Chamber)

If you use the ruined wood floors, the exterior will match the other wood floors (the outsides of the floor pieces are brown).

In addition to solid stone walls, one has the choice of magnetic walls and walls with LED torches to spruce up this build.

4th Floor (Cultist Barracks)

Here and elsewhere, it is possible to substitute a double posts with two corner posts. However, the double posts serve to hold adjacent floor pieces together, giving your build stability.

5th Floor (Elizar’s Chamber)

In my build, I used two more stone center window walls for the North wall (instead of a solid wall and arrowslit wall) simply due to running out of wall pieces.


I chose to make the walls of the attic Tudor style as I thought it helped offset the attic a bit from the stone walls of the structure.

Roof Support

Alternately, one could use a combination of any type of wood floors, as it simply supports the roof.


Using the 2″ x 4″ roof pieces creates a roof that isn’t as deep as the rest of the keep. One could alternately use a total of eight 4″ x 4″ roof pieces.


The pieces for the scaffold came from a variety of D&D Dungeon Tiles sets, but the most useful are found in DU6 Harrowing Halls and DU7 Desert of Athas.


These are great papercraft tents designed by Dave Graffam Models. Assembly required.

Cataloguing the Art of the Monster Manual


Copper Dragon, by Vance Kovacs

The 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons is perhaps the most beautifully illustrated to date. The artwork begs to be shared, and at the table I enjoy showing players exactly what terrors they are facing. Pulling out the Monster Manual each time, however, can be cumbersome, especially when trying not to reveal the monster stats. As such, I prefer to use printouts of monster art or now, in the age ubiquitous digital devices, display them on a tablet.

Unfortunately, there is no complete digital art gallery available for the Monster Manual. In addition, although the Monster Manual credits all of the contributing artists, it doesn’t tie these credits to individual pieces. This makes tracking down a specific artist to see more of their work a bit of a chore.

To remedy these issues, I scoured the internet in an attempt to track down as many high quality original (i.e. not scanned from the book) versions of the art shown in the Monster Manual and determine their respective creators. Fortunately, many artists proudly display their work as part of their portfolio or on social media, and Wizards of the Coast has released some of it through various channels.

What follows is a list of every monster in the 5th edition Monster Manual for which there is a piece of primary artwork. This art is almost always directly above or near the stat block, but in a few cases multiple monsters are combined into a bigger full-page piece (see Myconids). For purposes of this list, I have omitted the artwork that is not directly tied to a stat block (such as monster sketches, backgrounds, section illustrations, etc.) Monsters with no art are omitted from this list.

Every monster for which I could find artwork from a primary source (i.e. the artist themself or Wizards of the Coast) is linked to that art. I made every attempt to link to the highest resolution image I could find. In some cases, I have linked to multiple pieces of art if the original varies from the printed version in some meaningful way (see Azer).

Wherever it was possible to determine it, I have listed the artist who created the work. In some cases the credit is simply a studio (e.g. Conceptopolis). If I was able to determine the name of a specific artist at a studio who produced a work, I credit them both.

This catalog is far from complete. I encourage readers who can identify the artist of a monster lacking a credit, and who can link to a high quality digital version, to post in the comments. Artist homepages, ArtStation, DeviantArt, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, are excellent places to look when attempting to track down individual pieces. If you are an artist who contributed to the Monster Manual, please say hi in the comments as well.


Aarakocra by Christopher Burdett, page 12
Aboleth by Mark Behm, page 13
Adult Blue Dracolich by Ralph Horsley, page 84
Air Elemental by Kieran Yanner, page 124
Allosaurus: See Dinosaurs
Ancient Black Dragon by Craig J Spearing, page 87
Ancient Blue Dragon by John-Paul Balmet, page 90
Ancient Brass Dragon by Daniel Landerman, page 104
Ancient Bronze Dragon by Craig J Spearing, page 107
Ancient Copper Dragon by Vance Kovacs, page 110 and title page
Ancient Gold Dragon by Autumn Rain Turkel, page 113
Ancient Green Dragon by Daren Bader, page 93
Ancient Red Dragon by Zack Stella, page 97
Ancient Silver Dragon (Monster Manual) by Tom Babbey, page 116
Ancient Silver Dragon (Original) by Tom Babbey, page 116
Ancient White Dragon by Lars Grant-West, page 100
Androsphinx by Brynn Metheney, page 281
Animated Armor by Autumn Rain Turkel, page 19
Ankheg by Christopher Burdett, page 21
Arcanaloth by Andrew Mar, page 313
Archmage by Tyler Jacobson, page 342
Azer (Monster Manual) by Milivoj Ceran, page22
Azer (Original) by Milivoj Ceran, page 22


Balor by Conceptopolis, page 55
Bandit Captain by Vincent Proce, page 344
Banshee by Tomas Giorello, page 23
Barbed Devil (Hamatula), page 70
Barlgura by Conceptopolis, page 56
Basilisk by Ilya Shkipin, page 24
Bearded Devil (Barbazu) by Mike Sass, page 70
Behir by John-Paul Balmet, page 25
Beholder by Kieran Yanner, page 28
Beholder Zombie by Conceptopolis, page 315
Black Dragon Wyrmling, page 86 (previous printed in 4th edition’s Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons)
Black Pudding, page 241
Blights (Needle, Twig, Vine) (Monster Manual) by Conceptopolis, page 31
Blights (Needle, Twig, Vine) (Original) by Conceptopolis, page 31
Blink Dog by Conceptopolis, page 319
Blue Slaad by Rudy Siswanto for Conceptopolis, page 275
Bone Devil (Osyluth) by Filip Burburan, page 71
Bone Naga by Conceptopolis, page 233
Bronze Dragon Wyrmling, page 109
Bugbear by Steve Prescott, page 33
Bulette by Cory Trego-Erdner, page 34
Bullywug by Conceptopolis, page 35


Cambion (Monster Manual) by Milivoj Ceran, page 36
Cambion (Original) by Milivoj Ceran, page 36
Carrion Crawler by Brynn Metheney, page 37
Centaur by Wesley Burt, page 38
Chain Devil (Kyton) by Marco Nelor, page 72
Chasme by Conceptopolis, page 57
Chimera, page 39
Chuul by Kate Pfeilschiefter, page 40
Clay Golem by Jasper Sandner for Conceptopolis, page 168
Cloaker by Mark Behm, page 41
Cloud Giant by Justin Sweet, page 154
Cockatrice by Filip Burburan, page 42
Couatl by Conceptopolis, page 43
Crawling Claw by Jim Pavelec, page 44
Cult Fanatic by Lindsey Look, page 345
Cyclops by Tomas Giorello, page 45


Dao by Conceptopolis, page 143
Darkmantle by Mark Behm, page 46
Death Dog by Rudy Siswanto for Conceptopolis, page 321
Death Knight by Conceptopolis, page 47
Death Slaad by Conceptopolis, page 278
Death Tyrant by Kieran Yanner, page 29
Deep Gnome (Svirfneblin), page 164
Demilich by Michael Berube, page 48
Deva by Conceptopolis, page 16
Dinosaurs by Marc Sasso, page 79
Displacer Beast by Conceptopolis, page 81
Djinni by Conceptolis, page 144
Doppelganger by Vance Kovacs, page 82
Dragon Turtle, page 119
Dretch by Muhamad Faizal Fikri for Conceptopolis, page 57
Drider by Daniel Landerman, page 120
Drow Mage, page 127
Druid by Jesper Ejsing, page 346
Dryad by Richard Whitters, page 121
Duergar by Jasper Sandner, page 122
Duodrone by Julie Dillon, page 225
Dust Mephit, page 215


Earth Elemental by Kieran Yanner, page 124
Efreeti by Conceptopolis, page 145
Empyrean by Cory Trego-Erdner, page 130
Erinyes by Allen Williams, page 73
Ettercap, page 131
Ettin by Kieran Yanner, page 132


Faerie Dragon by Mike Sass, page 133
Fire Elemental, page 125
Fire Giant by Daniel Ljunggren, page 154
Fire Snake by Christopher Burdett, page 265
Flameskull by Conceptopolis, page 134
Flesh Golem by Conceptopolis, page 169
Flumph by Conceptopolis, page 135
Flying Sword, page 20
Fomorian by Conceptopolis, page 136
Frost Giant by Justin Sweet, page 155
Fungi (Gas Spore, Shrieker, Violet Fungus), page 137


Galeb Duhr by Conceptopolis, page 139
Gargoyle by Brynn Metheney, page 140
Gas Spore: See Fungi
Gelatinous Cube (Monster Manual) by Conceptopolis, page 242
Gelatinous Cube by Conceptopolis, page 242
Ghast by Ryan Pancoast, page 148
Ghost, page 147
Giant Eagle, page 324
Giant Fire Beetle by Conceptopolis, page 325
Giant Spider by Brynn Metheney, page 328
Gibbering Mouther by Conceptopolis, page 157
Githyanki Warrior by Emrah Elmasli, page 160
Githzerai Monk by Emrah Elmasli, page 161
Glabrezu by Conceptopolis, page 58
Gnoll (Monster Manual) by Conceptopolis, page 163
Gnoll by Conceptopolis, page 163
Goblin by Steve Prescott, page 166
Gorgon by Zack Stella, page 171
Goristro by Conceptopolis, page 59
Gray Ooze, page 243
Gray Slaad by Conceptopolis, page 275
Green Hag by Conceptopolis, page 177
Green Slaad by Rudy Siswanto for Conceptopolis, page 275
Grell by Daniel Landerman, page 172
Grick by Conceptopolis, page 173
Griffon, page 174
Grimlock by Milivoj Ceran, page 175
Guardian Naga, page 234
Gynosphinx by Brynn Metheney, page 282


Half-Ogre by Conceptopolis, page 238
Half-Red Dragon Veteran by Conceptopolis, page 180
Harpy by Jesper Ejsing, page 181
Hawk by Martias Tapia, page 330
Hell Hound by Rudy Siswanto for Conceptopolis, page 182
Helmed Horror by Mathew Stewart, page 183
Hezrou by Conceptopolis, page 60
Hill Giant by Justin Sweet, page 155
Hippogriff, page 184
Hobgoblin Warlord, page 187
Homunculus by Brynn Metheney, page 188
Hook Horror by Cory Trego-Erdner, page 189
Horned Devil (Malebranche) by Jim Pavelec, page 74
Hydra by Zack Stella, page 190
Hyena, page 331 (previously printed in 4th edition’s Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale)


Ice Devil (Gelugon) by Dave Dorman, page 75
Ice Mephit, page 215
Imp by Slawomir Maniak, page 76
Incubus by Conceptopolis/Richard Suwono, page 285
Intellect Devourer by Conceptopolis, page 191
Invisible Stalker by David Vargo, page 192
Iron Golem by Conceptopolis, page 170

J, K

Jackalwere by Conceptopolis, page 193
Kenku, page 194
Kobold by Conceptopolis, page 195
Kraken by Christopher Burdett, page 197
Kuo-Toa by Min Yum, page 198
Kuo-Toa by Zoltan Boros, page 199
Kuo-Toa Archpriest by Zoltan Boros, page 200
Kuo-Toa Whip by Zoltan Boros, page 200


Lamia by Brynn Metheney, page 201
Lemure by Jasper Sandner, page 76
Lich (Monster Manual) by E. M. Gist, page 202
Lich (Original) by E. M. Gist, page 202
Lizardfolk by Conceptopolis, page 204


Magma Mephit, page 216
Magmin by Toma Feizo Gas, page 212
Manes by Conceptopolis, page 60
Manticore (Monster Manual) by Zack Stella, page 213
Manticore (Original) by Zack Stella, page 213
Marid by Muhamad Faizal Fikri for Conceptopolis, page 146
Marilith by Conceptopolis, page 61
Mastiff by Rudy Siswanto for Conceptopolis, page 332
Medusa by Richard Suwono for Conceptopolis, page 214
Merfolk, page 218
Merrow by Rudy Siswanto for Conceptopolis, page 219
Mezzoloth, page 313
Mimic by Eric Belisle, page 220
Mind Flayer (Illithid) by Conceptopolis, page 222
Minotaur by Brynn Metheney, page 223
Minotaur Skeleton, page 273
Monodrone by Julie Dillon, page 224
Mud Mephit, page 216
Mummy by Vincent Proce, page 228
Myconid Adult: See Myconids
Myconid Sovereign: See Myconids
Myconid Sprout: See Myconids
Myconids by Hector Ortiz, page 231


Nalfeshnee by Conceptopolis, page 62
Needle Blight: See Blights
Night Hag by Conceptopolis, page 178
Nightmare by Conceptopolis, page 235
Noble by Daniel Landerman, page 348
Nothic, page 236
Nycaloth, page 314


Ochre Jelly, page 243
Ogre by Mark Behm, page 237
Ogre Zombie, page 315
Oni, page 239
Orc by Conceptopolis, page 246
Orog by Marco Nelor, page 247
Otyugh by Brynn Metheney, page 248
Owlbear by Brynn Metheney, page 249


Pegasus by Dave Dorman, page 250
Pentadrone by Julie Dillon, page 226
Peryton, page 251
Phase Spider, page 334
Piercer by Brynn Metheney, page 252
Pit Fiend by Michael Berube, page 77
Pixie, page 253
Planetar by Conceptopolis, page 17
Plesiosaurus, page 80
Pseudodragon by Tom Babbey, page 254
Pteranodon: See Dinosaurs
Purple Worm, page 255


Quadrone by Julie Dillon, page 226
Quaggoth, page 256
Quasit by Autumn Rain Turkel, page 63
Quipper by Cyril Van Der Haegen, page 335


Rakshasa by Ilya Shkipin, page 257
Rat, page 338
Red Slaad by Rudy Siswanto for Conceptopolis, page 275
Remorhaz by Cory Trego-Erdner, page 258
Revenant by Christopher Moeller, page 259
Riding Horse, page 336
Roc by Conceptopolis, page 260
Roper by Brynn Metheney, page 261
Rug of Smothering, page 20
Rust Monster by Brynn Metheney, page 262


Sahuagin by Conceptopolis, page 263
Sahuagin Baron, page 264
Salamander by Christopher Burdett, page 266
Satyr by Lake Hurwitz, page 267
Scarecrow by Dave Dorman, page 268
Scout by Lindsey Look, page 349
Sea Hag by Conceptopolis, page 179
Shadow, page 269
Shadow Demon by Conceptopolis, page 64
Shambling Mound by Ilya Shkipin, page 270
Shield Guardian by Conceptopolis, page 271
Shrieker: See Fungi.
Skeleton by Autumn Rain Turkel, page 272
Smoke Mephit, page 217
Solar by Conceptopolis, page 18
Spectator by Kieran Yanner, page 30
Specter, page 279
Spined Devil (Spinagon) by Michael Berube, page 78
Spirit Naga, page 234
Sprite, page 283
Steam Mephit, page 217
Stirge by Brynn Metheney, page 284
Stone Giant (Monster Manual) by Marco Nelor, page 156
Stone Giant (Original) by Marco Nelor, page 156
Stone Golem by Conceptopolis, page 170
Storm Giant by John-Paul Balmet, page 156
Succubus (Monster Manual) by Richard Suwono for Conceptopolis, page 285
Succubus by Richard Suwono for Conceptopolis, page 285
Swarm of Bats, page 337


Tarrasque by Cory Trego-Erdner, page 287
Thri-Kreen by Ilya Shkipin, page 288
Thug by Tyler Jacobson, page 350
Treant, page 289
Tridrone by Julie Dillon, page 225
Troglodyte, page 290
Troll by Daniel Ljunggren, page 291
Twig Blight: See Blights


Ultroloth, page 314
Umber Hulk (Monster Manual) by Cory Trego-Erdner, page 292
Umber Hulk (Original) by Cory Trego-Erdner, page 292
Unicorn by Toma Feizo Gas, page 294


Vampire, page 295
Vampire Spawn by Conceptopolis, page 298
Vine Blight: See Blights
Violet Fungus: See Fungi
Vrock by Conceptopolis, page 64


Water Elemental by Kieran Yanner, page 125
Water Weird, page 299
Werebear, page 208
Wereboar by Conceptopolis, page 209
Wererat by Conceptopolis, page 209
Weretiger by Conceptopolis, page 210
Werewolf, page 211
Wight by Autumn Rain Turkel, page 300
Will-o’-Wisp by Hector Ortiz, page 301
Winter Wolf, page 340
Worg, page 341
Wraith by Justin Sweet, page 302
Wyvern by Brynn Metheney, page 303

X, Y, Z

Xorn by Mike Burns, page 304
Yeti, page 305
Yochlol by Conceptopolis, page 65
Young Red Shadow Dragon by Craig J Spearing, page 85
Yuan-Ti Abomination by Conceptopolis, page 308
Yuan-Ti Malison (Type 1) by Conceptopolis, page 309
Yuan-Ti Pureblood by Conceptopolis, page 310
Zombie by Conceptopolis, page 315

Shifty Cow

In celebration of there finally being an official cow statblock for 5th Edition D&D (as seen in Volo’s Guide to Monsters) I statted up a Shifty Looking Cow for anyone interested. You’re welcome?Shifty Looking Cow (Volo).jpg

Princes of the Apocalypse: Random Unusual Weather

Early in Princes of the Apocalypse  it is repeatedly suggested that the Sumber Hills have been experiencing unusual weather lately. To reinforce that theme, I developed a set of random unusual weather tables for use while running the adventure.

Random Unusual Weather In Sumber Hills

Roll once per day on each of the tables below to determine how the weather is out of the ordinary. With these tables, there is around a 41% that some sort of strange weather will happen on a given day. If results happen too frequently or infrequently, the DM should feel free to reroll or just decide that something does or does not happen.

unusual weather



The DM can decide that unusual weather happens at any time during the day, or at multiple times, depending on what makes the most sense with the results on the table and what the PCs are doing.  A sudden thunderstorm can break up an otherwise uneventful day of travel, or disrupt a night camping under the stars forcing the PCs to find shelter.


The duration of the events are also up to the DM’s discretion and what makes the most sense with the results rolled.  For instance, unseasonable hot or cold temperatures might last throughout the day (and return to normal the next day), but a tornado is more likely a single event. Because later events in the story tend to amplify the weather and produce greater, longer effects, it’s probably best to keep these random strange weather events limited to a smaller period of time: a sudden, violent storm that develops quickly and stop just as abruptly a few minutes or an hour later; a series of small tremors that last a few minutes and then stop.

Connections To Random Encounters

There are several random encounters (p.30) that, when paired with an appropriate weather event, can help get across the idea that the strange weather is tied to the various cults. For instance, a sudden violent downpour may indicate that nearby is a group of water cultists (“Water cult marauders” encounter) gathered at the shore of a small pond upon which as water priest is conducting a rite of Olhydra. If you roll for random encounters and unusual weather at the start of the day, and both occur, feel free to let one inform the other, e.g., if the random weather is tremors, then instead of using the random encounter rolled, change it to something involving the earth cult (and include a priest or other magic user).  Or if the random encounter is fire cult related and something came up when you rolled for random weather, change the weather to unusually high temperatures in the area around the encounter.

Unintentional Connections

Be prepared for your players to draw the wrong conclusions about random strange weather. For instance, if you randomly roll up tremors the same day that they make it to Feathergale Spire, they’ll probably think the Feathergale Knights were responsible. You could mitigate this by having the strange weather correlate more closely with the Haunted Keep that best reflects it (i.e. high winds near Feathergale Spire, downpours closer to Rivergard Keep) but the randomness of the weather and its possible lack of correlation with places the PCs visit may also help hint at the fact that there is something larger happening and many factions at work.

Design Notes

I used the Weather table (DMG p109) as a starting point for this set of tables.  You could easily include the light wind/precipitation from the DMG tables in the ones I published above; I opted not to for simplicity and to accentuate abruptness of the unusual weather.

Hoard of the Dragon Queen Chapter 1: Miniatures

If you plan to run Hoard of the Dragon Queen with miniatures, here are a few suggestions on what you might use and how many you’ll need in Chapter 1.  The counts are based on the maximum number you’re likely to need at one time, not the total that appear in the chapter.


Castellan Escobert the Red

Desert of Desolation 4 Dwarf MaulfighterDwarf Maulfighter (Desert of Desolation 4).

Unfortunately, this miniature doesn’t have a red beard.
Unless, of course, you repaint it.


Eadyan Falconmoon

Angelfire 12 Village PriestVillage Priest (Angelfire 12).




Governor Tarbaw Nighthill

Dragoneye 07 Purple Dragon Knight Dungeon Command: Heart of Cormyr Dragon KnightPurple Dragon Knight (Dragoneye 7) or
Dragon Knight (Dungeon Command: Heart of Cormyr)



Langdedrosa Cyanwrath, Half-Blue Dragon

Tyranny of Dragons Half Red Dragon FighterHalf-Red Dragon Fighter (Tyranny of Dragons 36).

You’ll just have to pretend he’s blue.  There don’t appear to be any good prepainted miniature options for a half-blue dragon/dragonborn short of painting one yourself.


Lennithon, Adult Blue Dragon

D&D Attack Wing Blue DragonBlue Dragon (D&D Attack Wing).

Although a bit small, I like the Attack Wing version of this Blue Dragon because it can be made to fly high over the battlefield by adding multiple pegs (something that’s not possible with the Tyranny of Dragons version).


Linan Swift, her husband, and children

Linan Swift Husband and ChildrenHealer (Archfiends 9)
Man with Hoe (Reaper Townsfolk V)
Townsfolk Children (Reaper)

These reaper minis are metal, not plastic.




Sergeant Markguth

 Dungeons of Dread 35 Human Fighter4eGD4/5 Human FighterHuman Fighter (Dungeons of Dread 35 or 4eGD4/5 Promo)




Other Creatures

Acolyte (x1)

Legendary Evils  11 DoomdreamerArchfiends 48 Cultist of the DragonDoomdreamer (Legendary Evils 11) or
Cultist of the Dragon (Archfiends 48)



Ambush Drake (x2)

Tyranny of Dragons 22 Guard DrakeGuard Drake (Tyranny of Dragons 22).

There is no official 5th Edition Ambush Drake miniature, but the Ambush Drake will do in a pinch.  And for the ambitious, you can always repaint it.


Cultist (x7)

Bloodwar 47 Doomguard Lords of Madness 42 Shadar-Kai WarriorDoomguard (Bloodwar 47)
Shadar-Kai Warrior (Lord of Madness 42)

The cultists are described as not wearing any particular regalia and are made up of, at least in part, mercenaries.  These minis seem to fit the bill.



Tyranny of Dragons 20 Cult Of The Dragon EnforcerCult of the Dragon Enforcer (Tyranny of Dragons 20)

Mostly matches the picture on page 71 of Hoard of the Dragon Queen, makes you wonder why the miniature got a different name.


Female Prisoner

D&DC 54 Prisoner Night Below 40 PrisonerPrisoner (Promo repaint D&DC54) or
Prisoner (Night Below 40)



Guard (x4)

Angelfire 01  Caravan Guard Caravan Guard (Angelfire 1)




Keep Defenders (x20+)

DefendersSharn Redcloak (Demonweb 44)
Human Town Guard (Lords of Madness 22)
Dalelands Militia (Archfiends 2)
Greyhawk City Militia Sergeant (Night Below 13)
Human Crossbowman (Dragoneye 5)
City Guard (Giants of Legend 23)

A selection of guard miniatures to man the battlements of the keep.  Want their stats to match the minis?  Add the following to the Guard statblock:

Armor Class: 16 (chain shirt, shield) or 14 (no shield).

Longbow.  Ranged Weapon Attack:  +3 to hit, range 150/600 ft., one target.  Hit:  5 (1d8 + 1) piercing damage.

Glaive/Halberd.  Melee Weapon Attack:  +3 to hit, reach 10ft., one target.  Hit:  5 (1d10 + 1 slashing damage).

Crossbow.  Ranged Weapon Attack:  +3 to hit, range 80/320ft., one target.  Hit:  5 (1d8 + 1) piercing damage.

Longsword.  Melee Weapon Attack:  +3 to hit, reach 5ft., one target.  Hit:  5 (1d8 + 1 slashing damage or 6 (1d10 + 1) slashing damage if used two-handed.

Kobold (x22)

Kobolds copyKobold Slinger (DDM4 27)
Kobold Fighter (Tyranny of Dragons 5)
Kobold Soldier (Angelfire 44)

Kobold Skirmisher (Dragoneye 35)

A majority of the time you won’t need more than 5 or so kobolds, but the “Sanctuary” mission involves 22.  Although the Kobold stat block is statted out with slings and daggers, I chose to include minis bearing spears/javelins and bows for variety.

If you want the stats to match the minis, just add the following:

Javelin.  Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5ft or range 30/120, one target.  Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.

Shortbow/Crossbow.  Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 80/320, one target.  Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.

Winged Kobold (x1)

Wrath of the Dragon Queen 32 Dragonwrought KoboldDragonwrought Kobold(Dragon Queen 32)




Swarms of Rats (x2)

Rat SwarmsRat Swarm (Pathfinder Skull & Shackles 2) or
Rat Swarm (Savage Encounters 28)

I prefer the paint job and the sculpt of the Pathfinder miniature, but the flatter D&D mini makes it possible to slip the figure underneath another when they’re sharing the same space.

Townsfolk (x6+)

Reaper TownsfolkAnirion Wood Elf (Reaper Bones)
Balto Burrowell Gnome Wizard (Reaper Bones)
Juliette Female Sorceress (Reaper Bones)
Lem Iconic Bard (Reaper Bones)
Mother With Children (Reaper Bones)
Townsfolk: Innkeeper (Reaper Bones)
Townsfolk: Blacksmith (Reaper Bones)
Townsfolk: Grandmother (Reaper Bones)
Townsfolk: Village Rioter (Reaper Bones)
Townsfolk: Strumpet (Reaper Bones)
Townsfolk: Undertaker (Reaper Bones)
Townsfolk: Wench (Reaper Bones)
Man with Hoe (Reaper Townsfolk V)
Man with Sickle (Reaper Townsfolk VIII: Village Mob)
Woman with Rolling Pin  (Reaper Townsfolk VIII: Village Mob)
Man with Pitch Fork (Reaper Townsfolk VIII: Village Mob)

The Reaper Bones minis are great for when you need to throw in a few townsfolk (“Seek the Keep”, “Wandering Encounters”, “Sanctuary”).  Since they are unnamed NPCs I just use the unpainted miniatures.

The non-Bones minis in the list are made of metal.