My gaming table likes the nitty-gritty of political roleplay. In Hoard of the Dragon Queen, they enjoyed those moments of interacting with their traveling companions along the Trade Way headed north. With Sword Coast faction notables gathering at the Council of Waterdeep, The Rise of Tiamat campaign provides another opportunity to foster that style of play. (It should be said, neither adventure requires that approach. For Dungeon Masters who prefer jumping into combat encounters, council deliberations can occur entirely off stage.)
At the Council of Waterdeep, the PCs may foster or disrupt alliances between delegates, then cope with the consequences. They then will embark—with or without the support of the council—on several missions against the Cult of the Dragon and their allies.
As a DM, part of the fun of preparing this campaign has been reading through the descriptions of the many council members and looking for ways to customize the material for my table.
The thing is, keeping track of campaign’s many NPCs requires a reference sheet to cut down on in-game page-turning and keep the conversations flowing. (There are five factions, 12 nobles, and one assassin at the council, not to mention the cult’s five Wyrmspeakers, a dozen other villains, and their assorted minions.)
So I made a crib sheet (which is attached to this post as this Tiamat Scorecard PDF), including the key details I think are important. It’s designed in landscape mode, so it can be clipped to a DM screen. I included the Council Scorecard that’s also available from the D&D website. And, to put a face to each name, I used painted portraits from the Baroque period. (Hey, I like Rembrandt.)
If you intend to use the cribsheet, please be aware that some entries reflect the state of my campaign and deviate from the main text. (In our campaign, Rezmir is dead and Frulam is a reformed cultist working on the adventurers’ behalf, for example).
I would encourage every DM to look for ways to put their own stamp on a game and to find the aids that keep their game on pace. Remember, any published module—even one so compelling as The Rise of Tiamat—should be customized, altered, or hacked as the situation requires to fit the version of fun your players prefer.
I am sure the Kobold Press crew of Steve Winter, Alexander Winter, and Wolfgang Baur wouldn’t have it any other way.