Waterdeep is home to many powerful creatures. Aside from the four main villains, there’s are entities like Laeral Silverhand, archmage, Open Lord of Waterdeep, and a powerful ally. Or a dangerous enemy.
One of the things that Waterdeep Dragon Heist does really well is mix powerful creatures with low level parties. The PCs still feel relevant even when moving and shaking with heads of state and other stupidly powerful beings. It feels right, early D&D should give a sense that the world is bigger than you know, but it shouldn’t outshine the players.
An NPC like Laeral Silverhand had more important things to do than help the characters, but she’s a powerful resource they can use–she can help them punch above their weight if they can get her aid. They can use the threat of her patronage to get them out of a jam, which can lead to some satisfying gameplay moments. Nothing like having an ace up your sleeve when facing down an insane Beholder.
But… if characters should cross her, add you can see, she’s a powerful enemy who can turn her resources towards stopping PCs who prove to be agents of the Zhentarim or worse. And I love that that option exists. How will your players deal with the Open Lord of Waterdeep? Find out in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist.