Join gaming leaders online at GamesBeat Summit Next this upcoming November 9-10. Learn more about what comes next.
Dungeon & Dragons‘ latest story arc brings a taste of the Abyss and the Underdark to two of the long-lived pen-and-paper game’s digital counterparts. And one of the Forgotten Realms’ most beloved characters will be at your side to battle back the evil hordes.
Rage of Demons hits D&D later this year, bringing the drow hero Drizzt Do’Urden back to the Underdark — the realm of tunnels and caverns deep under the Forgotten Realms — to fight some of the nastiest monsters in the game’s decades-long history: demons, with rumors pointing to the involvement of the terrifying Abyssal lords Demogorgon, Grazz’t, and Orcus. This storyline hits the massively multiplayer role-playing game Neverwinter as well as the upcoming PC RPG Sword Coast Legends, says Wizards of the Coast. It’s also the latest sign of the D&D publisher’s continued transmedia push to tie together storylines between the tabletop, digital, and miniature realms since the 2014 debut of its most recent edition of the pen-and-paper game.
And it’s also just the latest in more than 20 years of video game appearances for D&D‘s famous drow. He first hit the PC with 1994’s forgettable Menzoberranzan. He was also in both Baldur’s Gate PC games and the two Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance games for consoles, and he factored into Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone as well.
Neverwinter gets the tentatively titled Underdark expansion this year. This update to the free-to-play MMO has players join Drizzt on a journey to his forsaken home of Menzoberranzan. This drow’s homeland is under attack from demons, who rise from the Abyss (a plane filled with some of the most evil creatures in D&D), and even though the ranger split from his evil brethren more than a century ago, he gets involved. Drizzt’s creator, New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, is writing some of the expansion’s material. It hits PC first, coming to the Xbox One later on.
Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.
“Our team will be working closely with Wizards of the Coast to bring the themes and stories of Rage of Demons to our game with the launch of Neverwinter: Underdark in 2015,” said Neverwinter senior game designer Randy Mosiondz via e-mail. “Players are urged by the five Sword Coast factions to return to the Underdark to deal with the demonic hordes overrunning the lands below before their evil reaches the surface world.”
The MMO expansion also ties into Archmage, the fourth book of Salvatore’s “Companions Codex” series, the latest tales of Drizzt and his (now reborn) Companions of the Hall.
“Over the last year, we’ve been working with Salvatore on a special quest arc that leads up to a new adventure involving Drizzt Do’urden, “Mosiondz said. “While we’ve had other characters like Jarlaxle Baenre of the Bregan D’aerthe show up in our Curse of Icewind Dale module, this is the first time any of the Companions have made an appearance. We’re very excited to finally bring such an iconic character to life in Neverwinter!”
Sword Coast Legends brings in Drizzt after launch. Its story already brings players to the Underdark, and according to a Wizards of the Coast spokesperson, the drow joins in as the campaign “continues well after launch.”
Dan Tudge, the president of Sword Coast Legends developer N-Space and the game’s director, adds on how Drizzt fits into his team’s upcoming RPG.
“Rage of Demons pushes D&D to a darker, grimmer place! For n-Space, that means being able to expand our Sword Coast Legends story beyond the initial campaign. After launch, we’ll continue to explore the depths of the Underdark. Will we see Drizzt? Absolutely. Will we encounter untold terrors? Naturally. Will we be overcome by the Rage of Demons? Perhaps,” Tudge said over e-mail. “At the same time, it’s important to note that we do have the great benefit of working with a partner that literally games. It’s easy to gloss over, but most major licenses come from sports properties, film properties, novels, comics. … Ours comes from a storied history of gaming. They play. And that attitude has carried over day-to-day. So while Rage of Demons gives us an opportunity to expand our fiction and gameplay and tie directly into what D&D is focusing on, it’s also another day at the office. We live it. They live it. Now we bring it together thematically so all gamers can live it too!”
The storyline, of course, will be the major product release for the latest edition of the D&D tabletop game. This follows the previous Tyranny of Dragons and current Elemental Evil campaigns.
“Rage of Demons is a huge storyline involving all of Dungeons & Dragons, and we’re excited to bring players this story in concert with all of our partners,” said Nathan Stewart, the brand director at Wizards of the Coast, in a canned statement. “I’m excited to see everyone interact with one of the world’s most recognizable fantasy characters: Drizzt Do’Urden. Descending into the depths won’t exactly be easy for him, and D&D fans will get their mettle tested just like Drizzt when they come face-to-face with all the demon lords.”
GamesBeatGamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
- Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
- The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
- Networking opportunities
- Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
- Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
- And maybe even a fun prize or two
- Introductions to like-minded parties