Updating 5e – Princes of the Apocalypse

I’ve been spending a lot of my time recently delving in to Princes of the Apocalypse, D&D 5e’s second adventure book. It was released in 2015, making it the first to release after all three of the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Monster Manual were out.

It is… not great?

I actually had a bit of a read of it back at the end of 2015. Our group had just finished off Lost Mines of Phandelver, the DM wanted a break, and I looked at this as a follow on since I wasn’t interested in the dragon cults in Hoard of the Dragon Queen.
I think we might have run one session too? Either way, that was the extent of it. I wasn’t interested enough in it, it was too complex to jump straight into, and I found it so difficult to read and absorb that it got abandoned very quickly.
It was also my first real foray into running a published adventure (yes, after about 15 years of DMing). So that was pretty off-putting.

Now that I have other time sinks – namely a toddler – it makes perfect sense that I’d be back at this well and trying to make sense of it, right?

So why have I come back now? Well, I’m working on something for it. But also, after half a decade, there’s a lot more to be done with the adventure.
Ignoring the wealth of new enemies to fight from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes and Volo’s Guide to Monsters, which didn’t exist at the time Princes was written, there’s also new angles of attack thanks to Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, and the wealth of material now available on DMsGuild.

What am I going to do with all of it? I’ve going to have to trawl through as much as I can and see if I can put something together that supplements what was already written, but hasn’t been done before. A lofty task, but I think I have something up my sleeve.

That would be Cryonax, the Prince of Evil Elemental Ice. Let’s see what adding another foe into the mix does!

8 thoughts on “Updating 5e – Princes of the Apocalypse

    1. As far as I’ve noticed from my reading so far, it’s mostly the earth cult that seems to be ascetics like that. The air cult is full of spoilt nobles and the water cult is stocked with bandits and river pirates. There should be some more loot to be had.

      I’m trying to come up with more interesting foes than just cultists too, and focus a bit more on the outside world – like the spire the vulture-riding nobles use has a full outside valley write-up, but the other areas don’t

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That does also appear to be more of an option, as written. Can I ask what you liked about the adventure? I don’t want to ruin those bits!


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