Dungeons & Dragons: Well-known locations and heroes appear in TV series

Dungeons & Dragons: Well-known locations and heroes appear in TV series

Dungeons & Dragons

Almost nothing is known about the planned TV series for Dungeons & Dragons. However, the author, Derek Kolstad, has now given some interesting pointers to the scenario.

A D&D series in the Forgotten Realms?

"You heard about Jabba the Hutt in the first Star Wars and don't see him until the third movie ... And I think with Dungeons and Dragons, which has this huge, devoted community of fans, I suddenly don't want it all Throw it on the screen and say: "Here's the buffet". You'd much rather keep the story intimate, "said Kolstad, explaining the approach he is taking with the D&D series Helden: "When you think of our favorite films, I would look more like Rambo: First Blood. There is this guy in the forest who is being hunted. And it's a very intimate story, but you act on the other things You have your USS Indianapolis [in "Jaws"], you see something in the background. You hear a name that makes 3% of the audience think, "Ho ho, I think we'll see it soon." I think the thing is just take a deep breath, take it slow, and just close the world respect, and when you adapt, certain things have to change. But you'd better not touch the heart and soul of what the fans love about it. "

Derek Kolstad went on to explain that his story probably takes place at the end of the current D&D timeline. He can refer to certain events, flash them back, or mention them to create a bigger whole while telling a completely new story. And this could even lead us into the Under Realm, the home of the drow in the Forgotten Realms. "You want everything to be successful because that's good for the franchise as a whole ... if it's this huge, quarter-billion-dollar spectacle that's doing well, great because I want my series all rolled into one small, little shadows of it exist and penetrate deeper and deeper into the sub-realm, "he said.

So it seems like the D&D series is set in the Forgotten Realms and we get to see and meet the sub-realm on some well-known characters. The Drow Drizzt Do'Urden comes straight to mind here, of course. Incidentally, the series is a separate project that has nothing to do with the D&D film that is also planned.

Source: Collider

‘Dark Alliance’ Is A Surprisingly Fun Dungeons & Dragons Action-RPG

Dark Alliance

Credit: Tuque Games

A couple weeks ago I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to participate in a remote preview of Dark Alliance, the new action-RPG set in the Dungeons & Dragons world of Baldur’s Gate.

Thanks to COVID-19 and travel restrictions / social distancing measures, most video game previews are remote these days, which means I’ve been able to attend far more than usual. Using Discord and other software, I’ve been able to play all sorts of games prior to release—or at least small slices of those games—and share my impressions with you, dear readers. (See my preview of Magic: Legends here, for instance).

Those of you old enough may recall the original Dark Alliance games. Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance and Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2 were among my favorite games on the PlayStation 2. Essentially Diablo-clones, these games were enormously entertaining co-op hack-and-slashers which ditched the complexity of something like Baldur’s Gate in favor of a more straightforward, linear experience.

For a very long time I’ve hoped they would come out with another in the series, despite the developer—Black Isle Studios—and publisher Interplay having gone out of business. (Vivendi distributed the games). Now, nearly two decades later we are getting Dark Alliance.

It’s really nothing like the older games from what I’ve played and it isn’t trying to be. It’s not a top-down (or three-quarter top-down) isometric RPG at all. The perspective is closer to something like the new God Of War, third-person over-the-shoulder. Most of the time this feels fine, but occasionally I found the camera would pull in too tight and I’d lose track of my character, usually when pressed up against a wall or in a corner in some melee or other.

Dark Alliance

Credit: WOTC

It’s still action-RPG an filled with hack-and-slash combat and lots of special powers, but it’s more of a hub-and-spokes game rather than a linear story-driven game from what I can tell. You select missions to go on with friends and head off to get better and better loot, level up and so forth. Upping the difficulty ups the reward. The mission structure reminds me of Vermintide, another fantastical online co-op game.

Honestly, it’s much better than I expected it would be heading into the demo. Granted, it was quite a bit too easy for my taste, but they had the settings turned down (another demo I attended recently called the difficulty setting “press difficulty” which I thought was hilarious). The actual combat is pretty fun, even if combat itself—rather than story or RPG elements—is the main course here.

You play as one of four heroes from the novels by R.A. Salvatore: Drizzt Do’Urden the Dark Elf with a heart of gold, Catti-brie the warrior, Bruenor the dwarf, and Wulfgar the barbarian. I played through my demo mission as Wulfgar, a heavy-hitting tank type hero, and messed around in the hub area with some of the other heroes. Each seems like it will bring something unique and fun to the table. I played a mission where we had to go fight a bunch of goblins and then some giant Verbeeg. You’d collect gold and loot along the way and then get your big prize at the end after the final fight.

Dark Alliance

Credit: WOTC

Combat mechanics will feel familiar to anyone who has spent any time at all with modern action games like Dark Souls or Assassin’s Creed’s modern iterations. I don’t mean to suggest it apes either of these series in any significant way, but it adheres to a stable of basic ideas: You can lock-on to enemies, hit them with light and heavy attacks, dodge out of the way and so forth. Special powers, including powerful ultimates, help cleave through foes faster or take down tougher baddies. It plays like a modern-day arcade game, and I can see how it would be a lot of fun to play online with friends.

Dark Alliance is also blessedly absent of any shady monetization schemes. The game costs $39.99. There are no micro-transactions whatsoever. Developed by Wizards of the Coast-owned studio Tuque Games, the game is currently just that: A game that you purchase and play with no expectations of future DLC beyond the Echoes of the Blood War expansion—or any sort of “game-as-service” support or monetization.

It’s possible that we’ll see more expansions in the future if the game succeeds and fans clamor for additional content, but it’s not baked into the game’s DNA. That’s actually a little refreshing these days especially given how aggressively some other titles—including Magic: Legends—are pursuing ongoing revenue streams.

Dark Alliance releases on June 22nd for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. The base game is $39.99 and the Deluxe Edition (which includes the first expansion and some other goodies) will cost $59.99. I’m looking forward to it.

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