The Wizards of the Coast found themselves at the Origins Game Fair last weekend in Columbus, OH. The game fair takes place every year in June, and the Origins team gives out awards for the best “insert gaming category here”. There were plenty of winners, but as you can probably tell by now, my bias lies with D&D. The Dungeons & Dragons team took home Best Role-playing Supplement of the Year for Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
Xanathar is a gangster in Waterdeep. He is especially dangerous, because he is a powerful Beholder with all manner of ways to make the lives of characters uncomfortable. Imagine if you will, a dark Jabba the Hut. He collects baubles and trinkets, magical artifacts, and information from all over the Realms. He is the master of a network of agents that serve his needs, including taking care of his beloved pet goldfish, Sylgar. Xanathar is so violently obsessive over his pet gold fish, that if he were to ever find out that it died 100 times over, only to be replaced, he would start slaughtering the people of Waterdeep without a thought.
Xanathar’s Guide is a great supplement for DMs and players alike. The book contains a ton of details that help bring characters, places, and monsters to life even more. There are spells for all manner of spell caster, new class options, and my personal favorite—rules and insights for player character Rivals. There is even an in-depth section for tool kits and skill checks. It even includes the rule set for a Brewers Kit, just in case the player wanted to start brewing their own beers.
That isn’t even the most exciting piece of news out this week. DM Matt Mercer and his team at Critical Role are separating from Geek & Sundry to found their own studio.
If you don’t know, Critical Role is a D&D stream where a bunch of voice actors get together and play D&D for your entertainment. Mercer has voiced characters in hundreds of your favorite games and TV shows over the years, and he isn’t the only one with credits in popular titles. They have also been known to bring in Hollywood stars, like Deborah Ann Woll and Joe Manganiello, to play in the Mercer run games. Unfortunately for us, Mercer and the team left out any major details about what this could mean, other than more content and a “Mighty Nein” t-shirt. Given the creativity that just oozes out of this bunch, the star power in their back pocket, and a new studio to play around in I am positive we won’t be disappointed.
Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter, from Arc Games, has been celebrating its 5-year anniversary this week. There have been sales, promotions, and hints to new content on the way (my personal favorite). The last big update for Neverwinter was the Tomb of Annihilation story line. This takes players to the jungle choked island of Chult. A place where you will fight dinosaurs, the undead, an undead dinosaur, and eventually a god fetus…? Yes, a god fetus that feeds on the souls of the dead through a device called the Soul Monger. Brutal.
The next installment is Neverwinter: Ravenloft. If a more dark and twisted story is what you enjoy, Ravenloft will be your gig. The table-top adventure supplement, The Curse of Strahd, was featured in Season 1 of Dice, Camera, Action!, and has made some reoccurring appearances in the adventures of the Waffle Crew. The story is rich with intrigue, danger, and death as you confront a vampire lord, and the prospect of this story coming to life in Neverwinter is very exciting. Remember, Neverwinter is free-to-play, and available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Finally, after the wildly successful Stream of Many Eyes, there is a chance that we could see another large streaming D&D event before the release of the new Waterdeep content. At least I hope so. Greg Tito, one of the head haunchos for D&D on Twitch, hinted at something big on a recent broadcast. I wish that I could say more, but we will have to stay tuned. There is no doubt the D&D renaissance will continue. Either follow D&D on twitch.tv/dnd, or smash that subscribe button for Level Grind to keep up to date on all things D&D.
Are you playing D&D? Do you want to? Who is your character? What have you fought? Who have you saved? What dastardly deeds have you performed? Let me know in the comments!