Dungeons & Dragons is doing a marathon of gaming live on Twitch this weekend to announce its next storyline for the world’s biggest role-playing game, new products for its board games and miniature lines, and expand Twitch programming … and with a name like “Stream of Annihilation,” I’m pretty sure someone’s going to die.
Here’s the two-day schedule, with a list of the streams participating (and the group’s bios).
Wizards of the Coast is bringing together the biggest names in the growing D&D livestream community for two days of people rolling dice and playing one of the most influential games ever created. In many ways, D&D is the grandfather of the modern video game industry, and role-playing games — and even first-person shooters! — still show off the hallmarks of their grandpappy to this day with character classes, leveling up, and other mechanics.
According to Wizards, the publisher of D&D, the stream will show off the RPG’s storyline for 2017. Last year, giants stomped all over Faerûn in Storm King’s Thunder, and before that, the hordes of the Abyss invaded the Underdark in Rage of Demons. With each storyline, Wizards also releases board games, miniatures, and expansions to the Neverwinter massively multiplayer online RPG (which has more than 12 million registered players) that dive further into narrative.
Neverwinter is D&D‘s flagship online game. It focuses on a city in the north of the Sword Coast, a region of great adventure in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. Each D&D storyline has a companion expansion in this MMO to keep players engaged with the RPG’s narrative.
It’ll also deal with D&D Beyond, the new online tools for players and Dungeon Masters (those are the folks that run a game of D&D) from Curse Media, which Twitch acquired last year to better compete with Discord and Steam when it comes to the PC gaming community. And we’ll get some news from D&D online partners Fantasy Grounds and Roll20, which give people a way to play the tabletop game over the internet with other people.
The stream kicks off at 10 a.m. Pacific and features D&D livestreaming groups such as Acquisitions Incorporated’s C Team from Penny Arcade, High Rollers, Misscliks, Maze Arca, a group of women actors known as Girls Guts Glory, and others. Dungeon Masters include D&D‘s Chris Perkins, Chris Lindsay, and Mike Mearls (who all work on the storylines and led the creation of 5th Edition).
I’d tune into the 8:30 p.m. Pacific stream with Mearls behind the DM screen. I played in a game he ran at Wizards HQ in Renon, Washington, in August, and his talent for craziness, creativity, and voices should be fun to watch. I’ve also played with him as a party member, where his character said his brother was a rock, and he kept talking to the piece of stone in hushed voices. We never knew if it really was a rock or his brother polymorphed into stone. But it was fun to watch him play this out.