With the launch of a new version of the venerable role-playing game, D&D is on a quest to dominate your leisure time with digital weapons.
A party of adventurers sneak their way through Cragmaw Cave to surprise a clutch of goblins and their pet wolves.
As the bloody battle wages on, bodies fall one by one. The Dwarven priest and the vicious leader Klarg are all that remain standing. The duel rages on and only one can emerge victorious. A player tosses his dice eagerly to see if he can roll that critical hit and win the day.
This could be a scene from 1970s or the 1990s or today, from the first version of Dungeons and Dragons, to the second edition or third or fourth. But this scene unfolds in the latest D&D release and it comes with one big, modern difference: the players themselves had a hand in shaping the rules. It is all part of D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast’s embrace of the online world and digital lives of those who play this iconic paper-and-pen-based game.
"The rules provide the engine for great adventures and our focus shifts squarely to creating the best stories for players to share and enjoy in their preferred format," says Nathan Stewart, brand director for Dungeons and Dragons.
The latest version, simply titled Dungeons and Dragons, debuted last week with the release of the “Starter Set,” a box that comes with a 32-page primer on the new rules, a 64-page adventure, five characters for players to use on said adventure, and a set of dice to actually play the game with. It is a preview of the new game, before the full rulebooks are released later this year: the Player’s Handbook in August, theMonster Manual in September, and the Dungeon Master’s Guidetwo months later. Getting to this point was, as any avid D&D player might guess, an epic undertaking.