To be honest, I’ve never played the official D&D 5E storyline. I’ve played entirely home-brew campaigns for all of my tabletop roleplaying career, and while every adventure Wizards has put out has looked pretty cool, I’ve never been tempted before to actually buy and play an “official” canon storyline, until now.
Wizards’ 256-page adventure features new rune magic items, and a new “treasure option” for characters, which sounds kinda cool but I’m still not entirely sure what it means. The big idea here is that the world’s giants have emerged from their hovels and hills to fuck with the countryside. Hill giants are stealing grain and livestock, stone giants are raiding settlements, fire giants are shaking down smallfolk, frost giant longships have been pillaging along the coast, and cloud giants have floated their elusive cities towards established settlements. Apparently, giants are supposed to be kept in line by the storm giant King Hekaton, who has gone missing.
The adventure description goes on to tease “using the giants’ own power against them”, which sounds kinda badass, but I feel like some serious additional work would need to be added to adapt this adventure to work with existing characters, since its built for characters level 1-11. This is another reason why I’ve never played through a published adventure, because rolling a new character every 11 levels just doesn’t seem nearly as fun. Who knows, maybe I’ll give Storm King’s Thunder a try anyway, and attempt to work with my DM to adapt the campaign to work with our existing characters.’
In addition to this, Wizards is also releasing “Volo’s Guide to Monsters”, which sounds like the closest thing to a Monster Manual II that we’re going to get for a while. Wizards says this will give players access to rules and story for dozens of new monsters including the froghemoth, the neogi, and the vargouille (whatever those are), as well as new playable race options, including goblins, orcs, and firbolgs. Personally, I’d love to see a collected, updated Player’s Handbook II as well that incorporates all the errata, Elemental Evil spells, and Sword Coast classes and backgrounds to make life a little bit easier.
Tabletop gamers: How do you feel about published adventures versus creating your own? Do you like building a world with your players/DM that you can adventure in for years, or do you adhere strictly to the published canon that Wizards is pumping out? Do you incorporate a mix of both? Let us know at @WickedGoodGames on Twitter!