In Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, it says you have to choose the season at the outset. Is it possible to choose it at a later part in the story? Or is it possible for the players to wait for a specific holiday in general?

I'm looking for a more fluid choice to make for the transition. I was possibly thinking that you could say that in Chapter 2 they wait for a specific season.


The DM is free to change their mind regarding villain and season at any time.

Reading the introduction to Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, it is clear that the intent is for the DM to choose a season at the outset, so that the DM can immediately start describing the weather and citizen activity in Waterdeep that is appropriate to the season, in order to make the game more immersive for the players.

The villain of the adventure is nominally tied to the season the DM chooses, but:

You can swap out one villain for another at any time. For example, if you decide halfway through the adventure that because of how the story has progressed Jarlaxle Baenre would make a better antagonist than Xanathar, you can make that change on the fly and run subsequent encounters accordingly.


The adventure unfolds in a particular season depending on the villain you choose at the outset. If you switch to a new villain midway through the adventure, don’t change the season to match unless the characters take enough downtime for seasons to change naturally.

But what if I don't want to choose a season right at the outset?

This is totally within DM prerogative. It just means you won't be able to be as descriptive when describing the city to your players at the outset.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It may also be worth noting that (as implied by the text you quote) having a particular villain in mind allows you to plan ahead and foreshadow that villain's role in the story. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Nov 11 '19 at 6:19

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