Dungeons & Dragons & Co-op: Sword Coast Legends

Barkeep! I'll have a flagon of your cheapest whisky and someone I can punch until they swallow their own teeth.

Brawls! Ghouls! Fifth Edition rules! Oh, what a lively place that Sword Coast is! So vibrant. It’s got real character. Of course, in a few years it’ll be filled with brunch venues, bars that are also vintage clothes shops, market stalls selling £4 scotch eggs, and young people. Get in while you can, before people like you change it forever. Perhaps take a visit in Sword Coast Legends [official site].

Announced last night, it’s a Dungeons & Dragons RPG set in that corner of the Forgotten Realms so popular with games like Baldur’s Gate. It’ll support co-op for up to four adventurers, and let another play as Dungeon Master too.

Yes, trouble is afoot on the Sword Coast again, and it’s up to your gang to chat to some things and to murder some other things until the problems stop. With a smidgen more nuance, perhaps. It’s “based on” D&D’s Fifth Edition ruleset, with different classes and races and pausable real-time combat and quests and whatnot. You know: a D&D RPG.

Along with a singleplayer campaign, it’ll offer co-op for up to four, and a mode where someone else can play as the Dungeon Master creating adventures. Details are hazy, but it looks like DM Mode can be used as a regular old level editor making levels to share, and as a multiplayer mode where the DM fiddles in real-time too. I think. Something like that, anyway.

Sword Coast Legends is coming via Steam later this year at $39.99 (£26-ish). It’s made by n-Space, a studio who mostly work with ports and portables, in collaboration with Warframe developers Digital Extremes. Here, have an announcement trailer:

47 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    DM Mode will have a hard way to go to beat the flexibility and power of the equivalent stuff in the Neverwinter Nights games… though it shouldn’t be too hard to beat ’em on flexibility and ease-of-use.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      That last ‘flexibility’ should be ‘accessibility’.

      Why’s the edit function gone, guys? It’s really reduced my ability to hide the evidence of making myself look like a doofus ;)

  2. Lars Westergren says:

    Aw, Sword Coast again, same as just about every D&D book and game it feels like. I would have preferred any other setting… But hey, I can’t be negative with more RPGs announced! If the single-player campaign is any good, I’ll definitely buy it.

    The Pillars of Eternity/Divinity/Planescape/Shadowrun Kickstarters seem to have made publishers more interested in this style of games, hopefully we will see even more. The Beamdog BG/IW Enhanced Editions probably didn’t hurt either. Despite the kwetching from old-schoolers angry about mod support I guess they sold reasonably well, since more of them have been made?

    • Wizardry says:

      There aren’t many D&D games set in the Sword Coast…

      • Asurmen says:

        Sarcasm?

      • Lars Westergren says:

        Well… if you count the classic big sellers on PC in modern era – BG, BG2, NWN, NWN2, IW, IW2, PS:T, TOEE, that’s 4 out of 8. Plus plenty of expansions. 50% isn’t all, but it’s a lot. If you go back to the Gold Box games, or include more recent stuff like the MMO, or the Dragon Stone action RPG, things look a bit different, that’s true.

        • J Arcane says:

          And if you expand the net to include the Forgotten Realms entire, it becomes pretty much, well, all of them.

          • Premium User Badge

            Harlander says:

            Just out of curiosity, how many people here have some form of disdain for FR?

            Not a huge fan of it myself, given the choice.

          • Lars Westergren says:

            FR is lovingly detailed, nothing wrong with it, but feels like I know it now. Give me new characters, new cultures, new stories.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            There’s a handful of Ravenloft games. Strahd’s Possession and Stone Prophet for the old SSI games, and the fighting game, Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft.

        • Wizardry says:

          Where did you get that 4 out of 8 from? I count only 1 out of 8. Baldur’s Gate 1.

          • Brinx says:

            Well yes, technically the Sword Coast only “stretches along the Sea of Swords from Waterdeep down to the river Chionthar at Baldur’s Gate in the south.” But the Forgotten Realms wiki also states that “Officially, the coast line north of Waterdeep up to Icewind Dale is not part of the Sword Coast, though most folk simply use the term Sword Coast for this otherwise unnamed stretch of coast line. ” That would make for three out of eight games.
            If you include the whole Western Coast (which I guess most, including me before reading the wikia-entry) do, BG2 is also part of this.

        • ribby says:

          Did you see the Goblin Punch blog featured in the Sunday papers about a month back? It’s got some very interesting setting ideas.
          link to goblinpunch.blogspot.co.uk

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        Well, there’s at least 7 that I can think of, a decent handful.

        • Wizardry says:

          Could you list them for me?

          • Premium User Badge

            Harlander says:

            NWN 1 and 2, and the old AOL MMO of the same name.
            Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2.
            Icewind Dale (using Brinx’s caveat above of “everyone calls it the Sword Coast even though it’s really Unnamed Coastal Region 3827-X”)
            Eye of the Beholder

            I’m not sure about the rest of the SSI-era games, they seemed to wander a lot more of the D&D settings than we see these days.

          • Premium User Badge

            Harlander says:

            I guess you’re pointing at the distinction between the Sword Coast and the “Sword Coast north”, which is presumably a region named to cash in on the popularity of the Sword Coast among Faerunian tourists.

      • BooleanBob says:

        Somehow it seems significant that you said D&D games and not RPGs.

        :)

    • TormDK says:

      Didn’t they make Forgotten Realms the default setting in D&D nowadays?

      My table top RPG Group and I moved on to Shadowrun in an effort to at least try and get away from D&D, but I recall 4th edition being also set in FR?

      On top – more Co-op RPGs is a good thing, so will help support the project I think, and snag up one of those campaign offers.

      • welverin says:

        Nope, the Forgotten Realms has never been the default setting for D&D. It’s pretty much become the first and definitely the most heavily supported setting, but it’s not the default.

        Now, the first two adventures released for the latest edition are set in the Realms, but the core books mention pretty much every official setting ever publish for D&D.

    • Darkheart says:

      Not sure where I read it, but I think it has to do with licensing rights. At lest that was the case for some of the older games (from other studios).
      Or WotC are simply afraid to take any sort of risk and want to keep the known names of places, chars, etc.

    • 0positivo says:

      I’ve honestly always liked Eberron and the one native with Pathfinder, especially the area around Varisia, to be far more intriguing. Also, from a DM point of view, I very much prefer the varisian city states, as it gives me much more freedom of tinkering

  3. Janichsan says:

    Single player campaign created by members of the leadership team that brought you Dragon Age™: Origins
    Ah, colour me interested. DA:O was a great game. A pity it never got a sequel.

    Has anyone already mentioned that there are five different pre-order editions? Isn’t modern gaming great?

    • Lars Westergren says:

      The 2 “campaign” packs are the same as the solo packs, but with 4 extra Steam copies for $22 or $27 per copy respectively. An ok reduction, I wouldn’t say this is the same stuff that Ubisoft and EA pulls with 30 different variations of in game trinkets and DLCs offered from different stores.

      Who wants to bet the collectors-edition statue spoils the mystery who the big bad is though?

  4. Kala says:

    Oh! Do want!

    This “and as a multiplayer mode where the DM fiddles in real-time too. I think. Something like that, anyway.” is also particularly interesting. Would be great to doing stuff on the fly and responding to things people are doing.

  5. Wizardry says:

    This will be awful I’m sure. And why go for real-time with pause?

    • Asurmen says:

      Why not? It’s just the style that’s expected of D&D.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Each of the systems has its pros and cons.

      Pure real time lends a sort of verisimilitude to battles and has limited windows for input, which taxes players’ reflexes and on-the-fly thinking which some find exciting and rewarding, others stressful and unnecessary.

      Pure turn-based offers the greatest amount of tactical decision making because the player can think through the implications of all moves at their leisure, but if badly handled the pacing issues can drag a game down if their is too much combat (or too many combats in which the stakes are too low to for the player to be invested in the outcome).

      In between you have real time with pause and active time battles which attempt to inject one of the approaches with some of the positives from the other. I think they all work when properly implemented, which again I reckon is as much to do with the quality and quantity of combat in your game as it is with the system you opt for.

      You know all this of course and were asking with a rhetorical thrust. Specifically in the case of this game I’m sure they’re going with this system because they’re aping as much of Baldur’s Gate I and II as possible.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      That seems like a mightily subjective statement. Now, I am not expecting anything out of it, and there’s no need for any with Pillar of Eternity, Wastelands 2 and the like, but it might even be good. Also, you may not prefer real-time with pause, but I think it’s actually pretty decent. With a decent AI/scripts/behaviour settings allowing the game to flow as broadly directed unless necessary. But if it is, it’s possible. Of course it requires both parts to actually be good unlike, say, DA: Inquisition which made tactical mode far more unwieldy than necessary.

    • krackedkorean says:

      You know the real time pause is only in one-player mode right? not in DM mode.

  6. JesterRaiin says:

    Eeeeew!

    • JesterRaiin says:

      Sorry, something went wrong. And that was supposed to by my reaction to “…and young people” announcement.

  7. aliksy says:

    I don’t know 5e but it can’t be worse than 2e and 3e. Warframe was a great game, so that gives me some hope.

  8. FriendGaru says:

    The next D&D game is going to be 5e? Did they actually make any games based on the 4e ruleset? I guess Neverwinter would have been the closest, but that was pretty much just D&D flavor without any real basis inn the tabletop rules (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I mean, personally I hated 4e, but I respect that it was good for a particular flavor of game and had thought it would be pretty solidly adaptable to a videogame format.

    • .backslash says:

      I believe D&D: Daggerdale was sort-of based on 4e. Haven’t played myself though, so can’t confirm.

  9. notenome says:

    That isometric perspective… and those icons… be still my heat…

    … the memories, the memories.

  10. derbefrier says:

    My group is actually giving 5e a go this weekend for the first time. Been lookingt hrough the php all week and while it is simplified compared to say 3.5 it seems to do that in an attempt to put less focus on number crunching and min maxing and more on roleplaying. It also seems fairly well suited for a crpg.

    I am excited for this. It has a chance to be really good. My only complaint is I would rather have turn based combat and a different setting to explore. My group has been spending a lot time in Eberron lately and I think it would make for a cool world to explore.

  11. Alegis says:

    If it’s got a good single-player campaign, count me in.

    Unrelated: seems quite a bit of people are having connectivity issues to rockpapershotgun.com as of late ; for me it works about half the time.
    link to downforeveryoneorjustme.com

  12. Voqar says:

    I like the setting so that’s not an issue. I’m more concerned with the D&D ruleset invovled and how it translates to a PC game, along with the fact that the primary developer seems to be a mobile/phone dev. I have so little interest in stripped down and weak games thrust at PC and much prefer games that are truly designed for PC (as compared to games claimed to be PC-first like DAI which are clearly console-first designed).

  13. skyturnedred says:

    Again with the four party members. I understand coop is easier with only four, but I miss having a party of six adventurers. Temple of Elemental gave you up to eight, which worked in a turn-based game, but I’d rather have six for more options. With only four, I always felt I *had* to have certain classes or I would gimp myself. With six, you have more room for experimentation.

    • skyturnedred says:

      Edit button, where art thou.. “Temple of Elemental gave you up to eight, which worked in a turn-based game, but I’d rather have six for more options.” makes very little sense, but hopefully you can decipher what I was going for.

  14. hungrytales says:

    They just released a first look video: link to youtube.com and it looks painfully awful. You can saturate your eyes with jolly bright colours and the cartoonish art style till they bleed and then blow up. The voice acting is bad and mostly pointless and the combat and UI is taken straight out of WoW. Cooldowns FTW! In face of all this their tooted DM mode can’t be nothing more than elaborate marketing gimmick.

    At least we still have Pillars of Eternity to tide us over, but this has D&D licence. What an utter waste.

  15. Sarr says:

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  16. Sarr says:

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