Still working through my backlog of 5th edition D&D products, I am proud to share my thoughts on another official adventure: Storm King’s Thunder.
This adventure returns to the familiar setting of the Sword Coast in the world of the Forgotten Realms. This adventure is designed to take players from level 5-11. However, if needed, the book also presents a small lead-in adventure to get new players up to the level 5 cap. Another interesting feature of this adventure is that the storyline itself piggybacks off of the events in the previous Tyranny of Dragons campaign. In fact, Wizards of the Coast even took the initiative to provide some potential story hooks to link the events of this book to all of the other adventures they’ve published for 5E thus far. It’s nice to see the lore being tied together between all the products.
As with the other adventures published thus far, I’ve not actually ran this module at the table. But just by reading and flipping through the pages, it’s very obvious that Wizards of the Coast is upping their quality control. Of all the modules they’ve put for 5E to date, Storm King’s Thunder may be the cleanest and most sensibly structured. For this reason, running this book should be manageable for even a rookie DM as long as they are willing to spend a little time reading the adventure and learning the material. That said, this is no “on-rails” module. Storm King’s Thunder is actually a very open-ended adventure. But one so well written, that it makes the life of the DM easy.
The biggest drawback might simply be with the content itself. The story focuses on the Giants, which are very Nordic by nature. For many players, this may not feel like a very “swords and sorcery” adventure. But personally, I praise WotC for being unique and a providing a variety of settings for their official publications. If anything, I feel that the storyline in this book actually helps the Sword Coast thrive and grow as a campaign world.
The book also offers a few perks that have become standard with officially published adventure modules. It contains a handful of new monsters and magical items that can easily be adapted for other campaigns.
On a personal note, this would not be my first choice for a 5E game. I think I would prefer something a little more traditional. But Storm King’s Thunder would certainly make for a good change of pace further down the road. It’s variety like this that allows Fifth Edition D&D to claim the tabletop crown.
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