Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sword Coast: Legends - Solo / Co-op Play D&D PC Game (DM Optional)

Sword Coast: Legends is the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons 5e ruleset based PC game. Yep, no Playstation or Xbox versions - pure PC. 1-4 players and the possibility of using a DM for the 5th player.

Release date? Nebulously set sometime in 2015.

A few things to note:

- Although a licensed Dungeons & Dragons title, the D&D logo is noticeable small on the cover of the mock-up, almost an afterthought.

- Neverwinter Nights had promised an effective use of a DM - I don't recall it ever working all that well. It would be interesting if they can pull this off.

- it looks like there may be an adventure builder in the software. Again, if they can pull this off, it may be really cool. It needs to be simple enough for the average tabletop player to use effectively.

- system requirements aren't all that high, which should lower the entry bar.

- I didn't see mention of built in VOIP, but I'm going to assume for now that it is a given.

From the site:
About the Game 
Set in the lush and vibrant world of the Forgotten Realms, Sword Coast Legends offers an all-new way to enjoy the time-tested magic of playing Dungeons & Dragons as a shared storytelling experience. With a deep narrative developed by a team of long-time industry veterans and a partnership with Wizards of the Coast, the single player campaign of Sword Coast Legends brings the world of Faerûn home like never before. 
Sword Coast Legends also brings the roleplaying dynamic between players and Dungeon Masters to life with DM Mode, a first-of-its-kind real-time experience in which Dungeon Masters guide players through unique customizable adventures. In DM Mode, the Dungeon Master engages players and empowers them to have fun in a way that suits the party best while creating a tailored, non-adversarial 4 with 1 experience that any RPG or pen-and-paper fan will enjoy. 
Game Features: 
Single player campaign created by members of the leadership team that brought you Dragon Age™: Origins 
Choose from five playable races and six unique character classes to build your own stalwart adventurer 
A return to form, Sword Coast Legends is the compelling and complex RPG you've been waiting for and features pause time, party-based tactical combat and involving storylines
Dungeon Master Mode: Create your own epic adventure to share with your friends, or enhance their experience in real time as they traverse your dungeon 
Set in the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms universe based on the fifth edition ruleset and populated with Dungeons & Dragons lore and legend


  1. I remember being so excited about the toolbox options of NWN, but being let down because of the coding ability required to do stuff.

  2. Why in the hell can't we get a proper turn-based CRPG?

    1. What qualifies as proper? I think Eternity, Wasteland 2 are decent attempts in this direction, and expect similar things from Numenera/Torment. Additionally, Spiderweb has been plugging away at this stuff for a goodly long time.

    2. A D&D licensed game that actually uses turn-based rules. Not this real-time, psuedo-MMO, cooldown timer crap. What was the last one? Temple of Elemental Evil?

    3. Oh, D&D Licensed? I haven't been satisfied since the Gold Box series.

      I'm not sure the D&D rules are really ideal for video games though. And they do add unnecessary expense and constraints to an already challenging game category. So I'm not going to hold my breath.

  3. I don't think this sort of thing *can* work that well. Think about how difficult it is for your typical DM to improvise on their feet in an entertaining way. Some of you all are probably really gifted, but I bet you're frequently relying on some amount of advance planning, and some keying off player comments.

    In this kind of RPG where everything is drawn concretely, the players aren't going to be demonstrating their interests nearly as often. It's also very difficult to create a "sketch" of a scene and then let things go from there. Stuff is either on the screen or it isn't.

    And how much work does it take to put something on the screen? What if you decide that there should be a traffic holdup due to an incompetent shepherd. Let's say the game engine can even do that. How long will it take you to find the "make a sheep" tool, and then click a lot of times?

    All you can provide is little tweaks, tweaks that won't blend seamlessly with the automatically controlled stuff. It's going to, for many people, be harder to buy into the game world by far as compared to just speaking.

    It might be able to succeed as it's own thing. A live player who enhances largely prefabricated or ahead-of-time designed on rails content. But I doubt your own content can even realistically work like an on-rails D&D experience, as you'll have no practical way to debug it before your players arrive.

    I mean it might make for a fascinating gaming experience, but comparing it to tabletop and using terms like "DM" is just misleading.

    1. If the game ships with a toolset like Bioware's Neverwinter Nights, then it might be passable, but I don't have high hopes with the way the D&D license has been handled for the last decade plus.

  4. (I'm like'a box'a chocolates, so . . . )

    And, I'm old. What do/does VOIP and MMO mean?

    1. If not joking: VOIP is Voice Over IP (internet protocol), or talking to remote people on the computer, while MMO is .. uh.. Massively Multiplayer Online (game implied), or computer game you play with a thousands of other jerks logged in at the same time trolling each other.

  5. And if joking, it's Venison, Onions, In Porrige, a peasant food classic, while MMO is Massive Mammary Overload, which is all the rage among kids these days.

  6. Yeah there's no way a game such as this is an RPG with or without a GM; in a real RPG your options aren't limited by what've been preprogrammed. Why bother with this stuff?

  7. Neverwinter Nights actually worked pretty well with a DM, as long as you kept in mind that you weren't going to run every single action of a monster or NPC once combat started. Given that you could move the whole party to different maps and the like, it was a lot easier to accomplish "outside the box" thinking than in other games. The problem was learning what all of the options on the GM panel did, and, like traditional RPGs, having some prep time to "create" monsters that weren't hostile to begin with so they could have conversations, etc.

  8. Also . . . interesting to me that not only is D&D not prominent, but neither is Forgotten Realms. In fact, Forgotten Realms doesn't show up anywhere there at all.


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