Tabletop Preview: Dungeons & Dragons: Upcoming Neverwinter Releases

As of August 2nd, Wizards of the Coast has one solid focus when it comes to Dungeons & Dragons : The City of Neverwinter. August 2nd is when Wizards officially announced several new products and initiatives, including a Facebook game, all taking place in and around Neverwinter.

For those unaware, Neverwinter is a city in the Forgotten Realms, in the cold north of the continent of Faerûn. Even though the city should be freezing, it moreresembles a Mediterranean climate because of a river running through it that generates heat thanks to Fire Elementals that live nearby in Mount Hotenow. Neverwinter was of the most cosmopolitan cities in Faerûn, but was left mostly in ruins after the spell plague.

So we know Neverwinter is the focus, but what can we expect in the coming months from Wizards of the Coast? Well on August 16th, we’ll see the release of the Neverwinter Campaign Guide for 4th Edition. It will be 226 pages on the current history of Neverwinter and provide a heroic level campaign to get players started in this iconic city.

August 10th is when the new season of D&D Encounters begins. This new season is titles The Lost Crown of Neverwinter. So every Wednesday night at your local gaming store, you can play in Neverwinter with your fellow gamers.

In September, Wizards of the Coast is launching a new organized play program called, D&D Lair Assault. This is for the power gamers. This is will be all about min-maxing characters and tactical thinking, more so than you standard D&D Encounters session. The first challenge is called Forge of the Dawn Titan and promises thrilling convention-style play.

We’ve covered the RPG offering, but we haven’t covered all of the tabletop offerings yet. On October 18th, Drizzt becomes the focus of his own board game, in The Legend of Drizzt Board Game. This will feature co-operative play, similar to that of Castle Ravenloft.

Of course, we can’t mention Drizzt without mentioning his upcoming literary adventure. On October 4th, Neverwinter: The Neverwinter Saga Book II by R.A. Salvatore is released. Drizzt finds himself in unfamiliar lands, and on the wrong side of the law. This is the sequel to Gauntlgrym: The Neverwinter Saga Book I that was released in paperback form on July 5th. Drizzt also will be appearing in his own comic mini-series as well, The Legend of Drizzt: Neverwinter Tales published by IDW and co-written by both R.A Salvatore and Geno Salvatore.

Last but not least, is the Facebook game, Heroes of Neverwinter. This will be a tactical turn based strategy game, that reminds me in some ways of the old SSI Gold Box games. You create your character using the 4th Edition rules and send them off with characters your friends created into various dungeons to kill monsters and gain treasure like all good adventures should. Unlike other Facebook games, everything is available in the free version. If you want to take the time to earn the gold to buy anything in the game you can. No money required. If you are more impatient, there is an option available to purchase those things as well. So you get the full gaming experience no matter which path you take.

The game itself is a single player game, but it does let you use your friend’s characters in your party. It also allows your friends to watch you play and has a chat box so you can talk back and forth when you do play. The initial game has characters capped at Level 10. It also has 50 dungeons to start, but it also has the ability for users to create dungeons, so the potential replayability is limitless. From my brief initial look, this appears to be a Facebook game that has more depth to it than your generic Farmville clone. If you want to take part in this game, the beta begins August 15th. Watch the Heroes of Neverwinter Facebook Page for announcements of the beta slots opening. There will be several waves of the beta before the final release this fall.

If you’re a fan of the Forgotten Realms, particularly the City of Neverwinter, this is an exciting time for you. No matter, if you’re a video game player, tabletop game players, or just an avid reader Wizards of the Coast has something waiting for you in the legendary City of Neverwinter.

For more information on all of the upcoming Neverwinter releases, visit the offical Neverwinter Website.

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