Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game is the third game in the succesfull Dungeons and Dragons Adventure System series. It’s following the path started by Castle Ravenloft and continued by Wrath of Ashardalon, and taking us a step ahead by including R.A. Salvatore’s legendary character, Drizzt Do’Urden.
Born in the drow city of Menzoberranzan, Drizzt Do’Urden was forced to flee to the surface or face the wrath of the evil drow goddess, Lolth. Upon reaching the surface in Icewind Dale, Drizzt found a band of friends: a dwarf in search of his clan’s lost home, along with his adopted human daughter; a fierce yet noble barbarian; and a cunning halfling thief. Together, these brave heroes fight against the evil of the Underdark.
The enemies they battle are many. The shadow dragon that conquered Mithral Hall will not give up its new home so easily. The minions of Lolth seek the destruction of Drizzt, and mercenaries and assassins have all targeted the renegade dark elf. Worst of all is the balor Errtu—most mortals do not survive long when a demon such as he names them enemies. Fortunately, Drizzt is not like most mortals . . .
I guess that Drizzt Do’Udren, created by R.A. Salvatore is maybe the most well-known character in Dungeons & Dragons history. Now we have the chance to play some of his adventures in the Forgotten Realms settings, as both the adventures and the characters in the game are based on R.A. Salvatore’s novels. So, you could ask, this mean we could play as Drizzt, Wulfgar, or Catti-brie ? Absolutly yes !
If you open the box you will find many eye-catching components : 1 twenty sided die, 40 plastic figures, 200 cards and a lots of tokens and dungeon tiles, a rulebook and an adventure book. Basically it’s everything you need to play.
Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game, as it predecessors is basically a dungeon-crawling game. A team of 1-5 players could play as heroes, exploring dungeons and caves, fighting monsters, collecting experience and treasure on the way. The Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System (based on core D&D 4th edition rules) are clear and simple is really easy to learn, but enables many tactical decisions for the players. When do you use your Daily power or single-use Treasure, or which At-will power to use against those enemies ? To make the learning curve even better, the cards are divided to an equal quantity of Starting and Advanced cards, which are recommended only if you are experienced with he base game.
Back on the enemies : there are many different types from lowly kobolds to the mighty balor Errtu, and the game mechanic moves them automatically to fight the heroes, so no game master needed. There is a great variability in treasures, powers, encounters too. and the best of all : Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game could be freely combined with it’s predecessors, mixing up everything from monsters, heroes to powers.
The dungeons are random from game to game, as you will draw random dungeon tiles whenever you move to a new area. This greatly enhances replayability, however the game (as well as it’s brothers) has received critics,as the adventures sometimes tend to be similar from game to game.
If you are a tabletop RPG player, or played other games in the dungeon-crawling genre you maybe find some parts of the game somewhat strange at first, as the common “Healing Surge” pool (used to recover lost hit points) or the common XP pool, where the active player always has the chance to spend the party experience if she wants. But I think it’s easy to get used to these things, and both has some understandable reason, why it’s work like this.
All in all I think it’s a fine game as it is, so if you are ready to thread the Forgotten Realms with your friends as Drizzt and his companions, don’t wait any longer !
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros