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Dungeons and Dragons Boardgames
Since Dungeons and Dragons began life it has been translated into many different forms of entertainment. Everything from video games to comic books has been created in the many worlds of Dungeons and Dragons. Probably the most natural fit for the Dungeons and Dragons brand has been board games. Since Dungeons and Dragons is already a game in of itself the transition from role playing game to board game was not hard to make. Some of these games have been designed to teach players the basics of the role playing game while others are stand alone products with nothing to do with the role playing game other than the setting. Below you will find a list of some of the most popular Dungeons and Dragons board games over the years. Please keep in mind that this is not an all inclusive list as there have been many many board games based in the worlds of Dungeons and Dragons released since the games creation.
Dragon Strike was released in 1993 by TSR and was designed to introduce players to the world of Dungeons and Dragons and role playing games. Dragon Strike was in fact a role playing game using board game mechanics even including a Dungeon Master, or Dragon Master as it was called in the game. One thing that really made the game stand out was the included VHS to help teach new players the concepts and basics of role playing. The game came with some pre written adventures and lots of little plastic miniatures to represent both players and monster. This was by far one of the most basic introduction packages ever done for role playing. Dragon Strike boiled everything complicated about role playing games and left you with a very user friendly package. The ease of use combined with the at the time amazing special effects in the video really helped to rope a whole new generation of people into the role playing hobby. Today the presentation of the VHS is horrid and the effects abysmal but in the early '90s Dragon Strike was the go to game when you wanted to introduce someone to the world of role playing games.
Castle RavenLoft is a board game released by Wizards of the Coast and is part of the Dungeons and Dragons Adventure game series of board games. These games offer players an unusual take on board game playing. In the Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Game series the players all work together to complete different quests against the game itself. Castle RavenLoft takes players into a Gothic horror setting and has them adventuring through the famed castle RavenLoft. The game board is made of modular pieces that fit together like a puzzle. While players choose a quest at the start of the game encounters during game play are random and allow players to replay the same quests over and over with different results. The Adventure Game series games are newer games and are rather easy to find both online and at local hobby stores. While RavenLoft is a campaign setting in the Dungeons and Dragons world and the game is based off of Dungeons and Dragons lore the game is not intendid to teach players how to play role playing games like Dragon Strike. RavenLoft and the other games in the series are designed from the ground up to be stand alone games.
Wrath of Ashardalon
Wrath of Ashardalon is the first game in the Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Game series and is based around Firestorm Peak. Like the other games in this series the players are not competing with each other but rather work together to complete a common goal. Wrath of Ashardalon has the players undertaking quests in the area around and under Firestorm Peak where they incur the wrath of the red dragon Ashardalon. The board is again a modular board and encounters are randomize to an extent allowing players to replay quests. The Adventure Game series games can be used together to expand upon each other and make for larger adventures. Because of its setting and the use of Dragons and typical high fantasy creatures Wrath of Ashardalon is the closest to traditional Dungeons and Dragons of the three games in the series.
Legend of Drizzt
Legend of Drizzt is the final of the three Adventure Game System games that have been released so far. Legend of Drizzt takes place in the Underdark, home to the Dark Elf ranger Drizzt Do’Urden a character made famous by fantasy author R.A Salvatore. While Legend of Drizzt works like the other games in the Adventure Game System and is compatible with them not all of the adventures are cooperative. There are some quests that have the players competing against one and other to complete the objective at hand. Legend of Drizzt allows players to take on the roles of Drizzt Do’Urden himself as well as his companions and other characters from the novels. Legend of Drizzt is based on one of the most famous Dungeons and Dragons characters ever created and is a great way to learn about the lore and backstory of these characters, not to mention a lot of fun to play.
Conquest of Nerath
Conquest of Nerath is a grand strategy game of empire building and warfare. While based in the world of Dungeons and Dragons Conquest of Nerath strays the furthest from the concept of the original role playing game out of all the games on this list. Players take the roles of warlords overseeing armies in a bid to conquer the lands around them and reunite the empire. There are heroes as well as dungeon exploring that can be done but this is done is a much more abstract manner then in other Dungeons and Dragons games. Fans of games like Axis and Allies will find a lot to like here as the game plays almost like a fantasy version of it. Being a grand strategy game Conquest of Nerath also takes longer to play then the other games on this list. If you are looking for something based in the world of Dungeons and Dragons but with more of a wargame/strategy game I would recommend Conquest of Nerath. The game is still newer and rather easy to find if you are interested.
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