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Designed by: Jimmy Meritt, with maps by Louie Skaradek
Those who have read (and/or watched) my Waterdeep: Dragon Heist review know that I was a bit miffed that there was no actual heist. Thankfully the DMs Guild is here to set things straight.
“Handful of Heists” features five 3rd level mini-adventures that fit perfectly within Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, or any urban setting of your campaign.
“Handful of Heists” includes five side treks with an impressive variety of events and challenges.
Cavern of the Sunken Queen is a mostly straight-forward dungeon crawl, except it’s entirely underwater. It’s very combat-heavy, with sharks, merfolk, and sea wraiths to overcome as you may your way deeper through a ravine where a demonic octopus is shoveling the loot you’re after into a portal. It’s the least thematically tied to Waterdeep: Dragon Heist but a well-designed little dungeon crawl nonetheless.
The Lock Blocker sets up an interesting social encounter in the Yawning Portal. You need to swipe the loot from an aging knight, but his key only works if he’s the one to open it (or for him to give the key away by his own volition). The knight is an easy mark to dupe, but he has fiercly protective halfling paladin that the PCs will need to get rid of. Instead of simply murdering her, however, a series of skill checks and role-playing is heavily encouraged.
Husteem’s Vault features a fun mix of combat and exploration as PCs battle through the sewers to break into the Xanathar vault. Failing skill checks results in more time elapsing, increasing the encounters in the sewers and the chance that the Xanathar will spot them and send guards.
It’s Always Sunny in Waterdeep provides a zany, farcical caper as PCs work to sabotage a rival Inn while promoting their Trollskull Manor to the Fellowship of Innkeepers. With the right group and setup this has the potential to be a hysertical series of events as PCs are encouraged to use their skills and wits to come up with memorable moments of sabotage, such as starting a bar brawl with Athletics, using Sleight of Hand to mess up food ingredients, or using Animal Handling to release vermin.
The Tower Heist is the biggest side trek of the bunch, about twice as long as the others. The PCs assemble a team to break into Ahghairon’s tomb, which is extensively magically protected by a series of forcefields that they’ll need to overcome. The tomb itself provides a wealth of treasures and trinkets (and a Pit Fiend who can be bargained with) but also starts an exciting timer as the Walking Statue of Waterdeep heads to defend the tomb, creating a (hopefully) exciting egress.
Despite the brevity of each mini-adventure I was impressed with their range, including some that were entirely focused on role-playing. The Cavern of the Sunken Queen, Husteem’s Vault and Tower Heist all feature beautiful, colorful maps (gridded and non-gridded) that can be easily used with VTTs like Fantasy Grounds and Roll20.
- Nice variety of side quests, from zany capers to social situations to an underwater dungeon crawl.
- Love the “Railroad with Off Ramps” approach for each design.
- Fits perfectly with Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, but can also be added to any urban setting.
- Three of the five adventures include colorful battlemaps (the other 2 are mostly social encounters).
- All five adventures are built for level 3, with no level scaling.
The Verdict: From Cons to Capers and a full-on Heist, “Handful of Heists” includes a variety of excellent content for Waterdeep: Dragon Heist – or any urban setting.
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