Dragonbowl is a setting and pulp action adventure in one. It plunges a party into a rich festival scenario that revolves around a deadly gladiatorial contest, where the dangers they face in the arena are almost secondary to those they encounter in the murky criminal underworld they find themselves in: a world that stinks of corruption, human trafficking, illegal dinosaur-trading, necromancy, blood sacrifice and unnatural arcane experiments.
The action takes place in a vast cavern in Mount Waterdeep, known as the Underbelly, where not only Dragonbowl Arena, but also an entire festival grounds – consisting of temples, bars, casinos, funfairs and markets - has been constructed to host this grand sporting extravaganza.
With Xanathar, Jarlaxle, Davil, Volo and the Black Viper all in attendance, and scores of 'entanglements' (faction missions) to keep players busy, Dragonbowl can be played as a sequel to Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, or as a first step towards the Undermountain and the Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Equally, it can be played as a stand alone adventure, or easily transported into other settings.
The adventure is written for a party of four 6th level adventurers, and easily customisable for three to five players, of any mid-tier level (the adventure contains maps and handouts adapted for both 4 and 5 player tables). The adventure is designed to last around ten to fifteen 4-hour sessions, but can very easily be shortened or lengthened according to the DM's desire.
The adventure features all three pillars of play: combat (in and out of the arena), social interaction (a succession of parties and parades, where players can get entangled in NPC business) and exploration (30+ locations in the festival grounds alone).
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