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Adventuring for Dummies: Princes of the Apocalypse, The Temple of Elemental Evil, The Curse of Strahd, and Castle Ravenloft

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Adventuring for Dummies: Princes of the Apocalypse, The Temple of Elemental Evil, The Curse of Strahd, and Castle Ravenloft

This week we're looking at products that make great introductions to the gameplay and settings of Dungeons & Dragons. Today, we'll be looking at two more games for the adventure and campaign building co-operative board game adventure system series from Wizards of the Coast. 

The Temple of Elemental Evil, from WizKids, is compatible with Wrath of Ashardalon, Legend of Drizzt, Tomb of Annihilation, and Castle Ravenloft. If you're looking for a traditional fantasy campaign where the big bad isn't an evil dragon, we recommend The Temple of Elemental Evil as a primer for the Princes of the Apocalypse campaign and a quick overview of the Sword Coast's locations, denizens, and culture!

Check out this great "Let's Play" from Wizards of the Coast and dive right into the second adventure!

This is the title that started the D&D board game series from Wizards of the Coast. If you're thinking of embarking on a gothic horror themed adventure in Barovia via the Curse of Strahd campaign, then this Castle Ravenloft a perfect opportunity to explore Strahd's infamous castle and play as several classic class archetypes. 

For a quick breakdown of this classic, watch this review from GamerNode!

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Adventuring for Dummies: Out of the Abyss, Legend of Drizzt, Tyrants of the Underdark

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Adventuring for Dummies: Out of the Abyss, Legend of Drizzt, Tyrants of the Underdark

Welcome back to another fantastic day of D&D: Let's Roll! Today we are journeying deep into the Underdark to talk to you about two board games from Wizards of the Coast that can help you decide if the Out of the Abyss campaign is right for you!

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Legend of Drizzt from Gale Force Nine follows along with the book series of the same title. The board game, published by Wizards of the Coast, utilizes the same system as Wrath of Ashardalon and Castle Ravenloft so if you've played those titles, you'll be able to jump right in. 

In this game, you can play as Drizzt himself along with various other companions from the book series. Much like Out of the Abyss, the characters are attempting to escape the horrors of the Underdark and will face classic enemies from the setting, making this a great analogue for the starting events of Out of the Abyss campaign. 

Learn more about the game from Wizards of the Coast and Rodney Thomson. 

In Tyrants of the Underdark - also by Gale Force Nine - you can take a deep dive into Drow Culture! The rule book comes chock full of interests facts about the dark elf culture, which is something you'll have to contend with in Out of the Abyss. Unlike many of the other adventure or campaign based co-op games we've talked about so far in Let's Roll, this is a deck building and area control game. This game and its expansion Aberrations and Undead, however, does include many of the characters and foes you might come across in Out of the Abyss, giving you a chance to get your bearings before you start a campaign which hangs its hat on epic dark fantasy, horror, and madness. 

Learn more from The Dice Tower!

 

 

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Adventuring for Dummies: Dragonfire, Betrayal at Baldur's Gate, Rock, Paper, Wizard

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Adventuring for Dummies: Dragonfire, Betrayal at Baldur's Gate, Rock, Paper, Wizard

Let's kick off Dungeons & Dragons: Let's Roll Week One- Adventuring for Dummies!

Many of the D&D board games are great primers or companions for the Player's Handbook.

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Dragonfire is basically the closest thing you can get to playing Dungeons & Dragons without role play. Everyone gets very basic versions of characters based on the classic RPG archetypes with relevant statistics - you can familiarize yourself with the feelings of playing lot of classic characters and using their abilities without the pressure of building a character from the ground up and looking at a million numbers on a character sheet. 

No need for a Dungeon Master! Adventure Cards lay out the stories in a series of scenes with individual set ups and guide you through each scenario. 

Each turn has 7 phases which is a great prep for rounds of combat in traditional Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition where each player can take a series of three actions during their turn.  When you're done with Dragonfire, 3 actions in combat will seem like a piece of cake!

In Dragonfire, certain Different damage types prepare you for the strengths of the classes you can choose to play in D&D and certain encounters in Dragonfire require certain damage types to defeat. This can be a key factor for those struggling to choose between a few classes. 

Learn more about the rules from Becca Scott and "How It's Played."

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One of the key experiences of Dungeons & Dragons is revealing dungeons, caverns, and keeps bit by bit as you explore - never knowing what might come around the bend! Betrayal at Baldur's Gate by Avalon Hill mimics this experience very well as players slowly reveal the city and its sewer system turn by turn. 

The game also provides a lot of classic character classes that feature abilities directly out of the Player's Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Playing this game will give new players a good entry way to a much loved Dungeons & Dragons location and with less phases and more surprises than Dragonfire, but unlike Dragonfire, it confines you to exploring one city. The two games are very different and if you're someone who loves the Betrayal games, you're sure to adore this installment and get to know more about D&D at the time time. For more details on game play, read our feature on Betrayal at Baldur's Gate

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I can't tell you how many times I've introduced a new player to D&D, they got excited about playing a magic class, and then their excitement was equalled by their confusion and utter terror when it came to actually choosing and employing spells in combat. 

That's where RockPaper, Wizard from WizKids comes in! This game, on its own, is a fun, hand signal driven romp that employs various spells from the D&D universe so you can mess with your friends in a board game setting. You'll see spell classics like Color Spray, Chain Lightning, Anti Magic Shield and more. While you'll almost never see a bunch of wizards flinging spells across the table in 5th Edition combat, this is a great way to get to know the kinds of options you might have available to you, so when you roll that Wizard, Sorcerer, Warlock, or Bard, you have a basic idea of the kinds of effects these spells might have. 

Check out this review from The Dice Tower to learn more about how the game is played. 

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Introducing D&D: Let's Roll

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Introducing D&D: Let's Roll

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We are thrilled to announce that for the next four weeks we are going to featuring a veritable hoard of Dungeons & Dragons content here at Active Player Network!

On Monday, July 23rd, 2018, Hasbro CEO and Chairman Brian Goldner pronounced this year the best in the game's storied history - and we couldn't agree more! In fact, this month we are going to invite adventurers new and old to the table so that together, we can explore this amazing hobby one tool at a time and make sure you have everything you need to join the throngs of rabid RPG enthusiasts and of course,  that D&D veterans to can discover new ways to improve their experience. 

Each week will have a theme featuring products and exciting content! 

Week 1: Adventuring for Dummies

Getting started with Dungeons & Dragons can be very intimidating. We will explore all the board games published by Wizards of the Coast and how they are great entryways for each campaign published by Wizards of the Coast.  These games can help you explore the many realms, features, and characters of the Dungeons & Dragons universe without the staggering time commitment the RPG demands. We'll also cover the 5th Edition Starter Set and it's pre-rolled characters for the adventure The Lost Mine of Phandelver. 

 

Week 2: Quest Accepted!

Now it's time to make sure you have everything you need to start playing, whether you're a Dungeon Master or you're rolling up your first character. We'll also give you some insight into the amazing campaigns published by Wizards of the Coast so that you can choose your own adventure!

Image from  The Curse of Strahd

Image from The Curse of Strahd

Week 3: Getting Mini with It

Owlbear from  Nolzurs Marvelous Unpainted D&D Miniatures  by  Wizkids

Owlbear from Nolzurs Marvelous Unpainted D&D Miniatures by Wizkids

We'll be sharing tips and tricks for building and customizing your miniature collection whether you're a proficient painter, a DM who needs to collect a lot of miniatures quickly to build out their campaign, or you want to find great options for pre-painted products. 

 

Week 4: Advanced Adventuring

Want to take your adventuring to the next level? From customized maps and miniature decor, to ambience for your game room, to Spellbook Cards for all your characters, we've got you covered with all the accessories you can collect to ensure the best quest. 

Spellbook Cards by  Gale Force 9

Spellbook Cards by Gale Force 9

That's not all! Starting on Monday July 30th, we will be starting our D&D: Let's Roll Giveaway!

We want you to GET INVOLVED in D&D: Let's Roll. For participating in our weekly conversations and content with likes, public shares, and comments on Facebook, we'll be entering you for a chance to win the ENTIRE Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Library - including the upcoming Waterdeep Adventures: Dragon Heist and Dungeon of the Mad Mage. All this loot could be yours!

For more information on how you can win, click here

Let us be your guide to the amazing world of Dungeons & Dragons. What say you? You bring the dice, we'll bring the discourse. Let's Roll!

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