Looking to play Red Hand of Doom in 5e? It’s a fun module, and 5e is a fun system to run it in.
For myself, I’ve been running Red Hand of Doom in 5th edition for level 8 players. Swapping out the Hobgoblins for Orcs to fit in with a PCs history. You can watch us play on the Non-Fiction Gaming YouTube channel.
What is Red Hand of Doom?
Red Hand of Doom is a 128-page adventure module for the 3.5 version of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D. It is designed as a generic D&D adventure that can be dropped into any campaign world, including a personal one.
The plot of Red Hand of Doom follows a group of adventurers who have entered the Elsir Vale, a thinly populated frontier region. The party discovers a massive hobgoblin horde that is fanatically devoted to the dark goddess Tiamat and led by the charismatic half-dragon warlord Azarr Kul.
To stop the horde, players must muster the inhabitants of the Vale, battle hobgoblins, giants and dragons, and defeat an overwhelming enemy.
A Conversion Guide under Construction
If you’ve run Red Hand of Doom (abbreviated as RHOD from here on in for sanity’s sake) and have some good advice for DMs, we’d love you to share it.
Down the in the comments below, please share content, resources, maps, tips, etc. for running RHOD in any edition.
Stuff that looks good will then get edited back into this original document.
Converting Red Hand of Doom to 5e
The Red Hand Warband
Many of the monsters that make up the bulk of the Red Hand’s army already have official 5e counterparts. Which should be easy enough to plug into your game using many of the DM tools available.
In particular, the hobgoblin is a great stand-in for the hobgoblin regular or hobgoblin veteran. If you’re looking for more variations of Hobgoblins and Bugbears, consider getting the Ultimate Bestiary: Revenge of the Horde 5th Edition from DriveThruRPG. It offers monsters such as: Hobgoblin Legate, Pikeman, Arbalester, and more.
The Red Hand Monsters
Once again, most of the monsters used in the RHOD adventure have readily available 5e stats. Monsters like chimeras, manticores, hill giants, and ettins can be ported directly from the Monster Manual.
The barghests in Volo’s Guide do differ from the 3.5 version, however. Once you get to the Fane of Tiamat, you’ll also have to deal with abishai. While these are listed in MToF, consider which CR level version you’ll be throwing at your party.
Greenspawn razorfiends, also called harrowblades by wood elves and other forest dwellers, were cunning, voracious dragonspawn.
Large monstrosity (dragonblood), lawful evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 85 (10d10 + 30)
Speed 50 ft., swim 50 ft.
STR 18 (+4) DEX 17 (+3) CON 16 (+3) INT 5 (-3) WIS 15 (+2) CHA 12 (+1)
Damage Immunities acid
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons
Condition Immunities paralyzed, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft. passive Perception 12
Challenge 6 (2300 XP)
Water Breathing. A greenspawn razorfiend can breathe underwater indefinitely and can freely use its breath weapon while submerged
Tiamat’s Blessing. A greenspawn razorfiend grants immunity to acid to dragonblood creatures within 5 feet of it. This immunity lasts as long as the creature remains within 5 feet of the greenspawn razorfiend.
Multiattack. The greenspawn razorfiend makes three attacks: two with its wingblades, and one with its bite.
Wingblade. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6+4) slashing damage4) slashing damage.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) piercing damage4) piercing damage.
Acid Breath (Recharge 5-6). The greenspawn razorfiend exhales acid in a 20-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 17 (5d6) acid damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
High Wyrmlord Azarr Kul
Large dragon (mutated goblin), lawful evil
Hit Points 207 (18d10 + 108)
Armour Class 19 (natural armour, sentinel shield)
Speed 40 ft.
STR 22 (+6) DEX 10 (+0) CON 23 (+6) INT 16 (+3) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 19 (+4)
Skills. Arcana +9, Deception +10, Insight +8, Intimidation +10, Perception +14, Stealth +6
Senses. Blindsight 60 ft., Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 22
Saving Throws. Dex +6, Con +12, Wis +8, Cha +10
Languages. Draconic, Goblin, Infernal. Azarr Kul knows Common, but never speaks it.
Challenge Rating. 17 (18,000 XP)
Notable Equipment. Azzar Kul wields a magic scimitar set with a ruby of the war mage and bears a sentinel shield. He carries a potion of flying, a potion of invulnerability, and a potion of invisibility. Among his prized possessions are a crystal ball of telepathy and a set of Nozlur’s marvellous pigments. The crystal ball was a gift from Tiamat and is bound to his life force, if Azarr Kul is killed it shatters as if he had cast the spell using a 5th-level spell slot. He has a sending stone paired to the one carried by Hravek Kharn.
Personal Treasure. Azarr Kul wears platinum tailbands, bracers, greaves, and a girdle with silk loincloth. Each piece is engraved with a duelling dragon motif and set with sapphires; as a set they are worth 2,500 gp. He carries a statuette of himself carved from gold and decorated with sapphires worth 2,500 gp and a ruby worth 5,000 gp which are used as the focus for his contingency and forcecage spells.
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If Azarr Kul fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.
Spellcasting. Azarr Kul is an 18th-level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 17, +9 to hit with spell attacks). Azarr Kul can cast shield and suggestion at-will and has the following wizard spells prepared:
Cantrips (at will) green-flame blade, fire bolt, mage hand, ray of frost, shocking grasp
1st (4 slots) chromatic orb, feather fall, magic missile, thunderwave
2nd (3 slots) detect thoughts, invisibility, mirror image, shatter
3rd (3 slots) counterspell, fireball, sending, thunder step
4th (3 slots) banishment, fire shield, vitriolic sphere
5th (3 slots) cloudkill, cone of cold
6th (1 slot) chain lightning
7th (1 slot) forcecage
8th (1 slot) mind blank
9th (1 slot) time stop
Contingency. If a spell renders Azarr Kul incapaciated, blinded, or restrained, contingency targets Azarr Kul with a 5th level dispel magic.
Azarr Kul’s spellbook contains the spells listed above plus antimagic field, contact other plane, contingency, detect magic, dispel magic, dominate monster, foresight, imprisonment, infernal calling, invulnerability, magic circle, planar binding, plane shift, power word stun, private sanctum, project image, scrying, soul cage, symbol, and teleportation circle.
Multiattack. Azarr Kul makes two scimitar attacks.
Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d6 + 6) slashing damage.
Lightning Breath (Recharge 5–6). Azarr Kul exhales lightning in a 90-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 19 Dexterity saving throw, taking 66 (12d10) lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Azarr Kul can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. He regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.
Cantrip. Azarr Kul casts a cantrip.
Thunder Step (Costs 2 Actions).Azarr Kul casts thunder step without expending a spell slot. He requires no components to cast the spell in this way.
Part I: The Witchwood
- Marauder Attack
- Drellin’s Ferry
- Witchwood Random Encounters
- Jorr’s Cabin
- Blackwater Causeway
- Vraath Keep
- Old Warklegnaw
- Skull Gorge Bridge
- Goblin Raid
- Chimera Attack
- Massacre at Drellin’s Ferry
Other great conversion resources:
- RHOD v1.0 – by Adam-M
- The 3.5 Red Hand of Doom Handbook for DMs – by Saintheart
- Giant in the Playground conversion guide – by Draz74
- Running the Game #52 – by Matt Collville
- RHOD Maps – by Various