The Legend of Drizzt board game is part of the Adventure System Board Games by Wizards of the Coast. These games are designed as a co-op experience with no DM required! In this game you get to play as Drizzt and his companions.
It contains scenarios set around the city of Neverwinter. You will be getting a lot of Drizzt and his followers throughout your adventures in this board game. For those of you who don't already know, Drizzt Do'Urden is the most famous character in the Forgotten Realms world. Created by R.A. Salvatore and featured in his New York Times Best Selling novels, Drizzt and his companions have become a fantasy staple for fantasy fans and RPG fanatics alike!
This is a great game for families. My wife enjoyed the Neverwinter Nights computer games but has never been very interested in joining my friends and I for tabletop D&D games. My son is 9 years old and although shows much interest in the D&D RPG, still has a tough time with the vast amount of rules required to play a fair and balanced game. The Legend of Drizzt Board Game is a perfect introduction to a family who has not yet played D&D or anyone who has trouble fully grasping the concept of tabletop role-playing games.
My family decided to set up the Legend of Drizzt game on our dining room table at home. We started a timer to see how long it would take to get all the pieces out, read up on the rules, and start playing.
It took almost an entire hour to get all the dungeon tiles and other icons punched out of the large cardboard sheets and read up on the rules. Even after reading the rules multiple times we were still all a bit confused despite my 25 year background playing role-playing games. We decided to just dive right in and figure it out as the game progressed.
My suggestions for first time players:
1. Make sure you read ALL of the rules by yourself prior to having friends over.
2. Punch out, organize, and bag up all the cardboard pieces in advance of your first session.
To start out you choose one of multiple adventures you would like to play. Next the adventure tells you which cards and items you will need. After gathering these you mix the specific dungeon tiles up with the generic tiles and place them within a stack of tiles from which you draw each round. I know, it's a bit confusing but it's much easier if you can sit down and look at the pieces. Then you choose which hero you would like to play and find the required cards for that hero. Each hero has an attack they can do every round, an attack or stance they can do once per day, and some other one-time use abilities or items. As the game progresses you find treasure which helps you reset these powers or obtain new powers in the form of magical items.
The game progresses like this:
- Hero Phase: This is the phase in which your hero moves through the dungeon and makes attacks against monsters.
- Exploration Phase: This is the phase in which you add new Cavern tiles, draw Monster cards, and place Monsters.
- Villain Phase: This is the phase in which you draw and play Encounter Cards as well as activate Villains.
Each player performs all three of these actions each turn, so by the time it is your turn again as many as 3 additional monsters may appear on the map and engage you in combat! If you would like a detailed play by play (with images) of a session check out this site!
Opinion: As a veteran RPG Game Master I found the game to be fun, but lacking and repetitive in many areas. Take in mind that I have over 25 years of role-playing experience under my belt so my opinion is a bit biased. As an introduction to D&D or a "D&D gateway game", I think the Drizzt Board Game is excellent. My family had a lot of fun playing it. My 9 year old son enjoyed the game immensely and was quite excited each time his turn came up. He played Drizzt and mangled most enemies he encountered very quickly. My wife was interested in the game, perhaps a bit more so than traditional tabletop RPGs, but she found many of the rules constraining and suggested we throw out some of the rules and play it our own way.
Overall family score: 3/5
Name: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game
Company: Wizards of the Coast (HASBRO)
Price: $65 US
Number of Players: 1-5
Target Audience: 12+ (9+ will do fine)
First time set-up: 45m-1hr
Subsequent set-up: 10-15m
Game time: 1-2hrs per adventure
This game includes the following components:
- 42 plastic heroes and monsters
- 13 sheets of interlocking cardstock dungeon tiles
- 200 encounter cards and treasure cards
- Scenario book
- 20-sided die