The Sword Coast isn’t shaking because of a quake — it’s because giants are on the march.
Wizards of the Coast announced it’s next Dungeons & Dragons storyline yesterday at an event in Los Angeles. It’s Storm King’s Thunder, which puts giants into the spotlight. This follows Wizards strategy of focusing on the role-playing game’s classic monsters since the new edition of D&D‘s launch in 2014: first dragons, then elemental evil, and most recently, demons.
And it’s all coming to Neverwinter, Perfect World’s massively multiplayer online role-playing game for PC and Xbox … and soon PlayStation 4, as Wizards announced at the same event. Storm King’s Thunder hits the PC in August, before the console release.
“Rob Overmeyer and his team at Cryptic Studios are busy working on Neverwinter Storm King’s Thunder to get it ready for the PC in August, with the Xbox One and the newly announced PS4 version coming later,” D&D spokesperson Greg Tito said in an email.
But Tito did note that “there will very likely be no official Storm King’s Thunder content in [Sword Coast Legends, whose studio N-Space closed but also got a promised expansion recently], but fans can continue to create their own dungeon adventures with DM Mode.”
In Storm King’s Thunder for Neverwinter, you head to the northern part of the Sword Coast — Icewind Dale. You first hit Bryn Shander, the largest of the dale’s Ten Towns, to look into the recent movements of frost giants in the region. This area has three new zones for adventuring. Here, you get a chance to team up with notable D&D characters such as Catti-brie and Wulfgar from R.A. Salvatore’s many Realms books and Harshnag, a frost giant that helps protect the north and based in Waterdeep.
The storyline, of course, carries the feel of one of D&D‘s classic adventures from the 1980s: Against the Giants. But Storm King’s Thunder isn’t an update or retelling of that series.
“Storm King’s Thunder is an original story using the giant lore of the Forgotten Realms. It’s inspired from many sources such as the work of Ed Greenwood [creator of the Forgotten Realms] and William Shakespeare,” Tito said. “The daughters of the storm giant King Hekaton vying for their father’s throne feels a lot like King Lear in its gravitas.”
And this isn’t just about it being the giants’ turn in Wizard’s marketing plans for D&D. As Tito said, “giants are memorable characters in all stories. My 2-year-old daughter has been scared of giants ever since I told her they are in the next D&D story. There’s something fascinating about the extreme difference in scale and the necessity of adventurers working together to bring down a larger foe.”
Neverwinter and D&D players are in for a “giant” adventure, alright.