Sword Coast Legends Shows Off DMing Dungeon Crawls

Last time we had a gander at Sword Coast Legends [official site], it was ten minutes of singleplayer questing, monster-slaying, loot-grabbing, and tavern-frequenting. The latest trailer for the Dungeons & Dragons action-RPG follows on from that, but carries the quest over to multiplayer so another player can be Dungeon Master.

It’s a curious mode which sees one player deploying monsters, laying traps, setting ambushes, locking doors, and controlling monsters while the heroes romp through it. Come see how it works.

It’s not directly a competitive mode, more a weird sort of cooperative with the end goal of having a nice adventure. You don’t necessarily want to crush the heroes, but it would be nice to give them a challenge. Perhaps set up a few tricks they’ll only have themselves to blame if they fall for them. You could outright murder them, of course, but do people to stop playing with jerkface DMs.

That said, I suspect the DM in this here video is going easy on the heroes as they try not to overwhelm viewers by showing off too much at once. It looks simply but pretty neat all the same. DMs can’t directly alter a dungeon’s layout, as the computer handles that, but they can change basic level parameters like the visual style, the types of monster it’ll contain, number of floors, complexity, and difficulty.

Sword Coasts Legends will also let folks create their own campaigns to play and share, mind, but that’s not being shown off publicly yet.

The game’s due to launch some time later this year, developed by n-Space with Digital Extremes.

19 Comments

  1. Keymonk says:

    Wow the voice acting of the player characters really isn’t very good.

    • Tuhalu says:

      According to one of their community managers, all the voices are place holder and all the male voices are provided by one guy in house. The real voice acting is being farmed out to a “great VO studio” and is yet to come.

      Info from here:
      link to forums.swordcoast.com

  2. SaintAn says:

    Don’t like that the DM can just spawn monsters out of thin air right in the line of sight of the players. Placement should be limited to fog of war only so not to break immersion.

    • NathanH says:

      In practice you don’t want a restriction like that. Typically you’d want the DM not to spawn things in line of sight, but you also want the DM to have the power to e.g. simulate a demon summoning ritual, or just spawn something right there because everyone agrees that’d make things fun, and just rewrite the story-in-their-head to include that creature being there at once.

  3. Spluff says:

    If only they’d add persistent world functionality, maybe we’d finally get the successor that NWN deserved.

    • frightlever says:

      Nothing about that demo cried “persistent world”. It’s virtually an asynchronous MOBA.

  4. derbefrier says:

    I am pretty excited for this game. The dm mode looks like a lot of fun.

  5. Presti71 says:

    I’m Super excited, looks awesome.

    The lead dev said in interview that you will be able to create campaigns that go on forever, so I’m assuming there will be some type if Persistant world gameplay. Also there are NWN devs working on this game.

    We’ll need to see much more of the Offline Campaign creation to see where they are going.

  6. aliksy says:

    I’d be more excited if this wasn’t d&d. I like pillars of eternity so much more because it has a system without all the weird d&d baggage.

    • ye-ole-PK says:

      with the proper mod, anything is possible.

    • ffordesoon says:

      Well, it is based on Fifth Edition, which is a fair bit more sensible than previous iterations of D&D, but 5E is also pretty clearly designed for tabletop play. I wonder how well it’ll translate to a game.

      It’s a shame they never adapted Fourth Edition wholesale, given that 4E is the only version of D&D which feels so tailor-made for videogames that it’s not very good at being a tabletop game. It’s genuinely puzzling to me that they never took advantage of the brilliant videogame design document sitting right under their noses. Even the games that are based on 4E only use the broad strokes of the system.

      Then again, in my relatively brief time as a D&D player, I have learned that someone in a position of great power at Wizards of the Coast A) does not know what the hell they’re doing, and B) makes damn sure that nobody who knows what the hell they’re doing can do their fucking job. So.

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  9. Premium User Badge

    syllopsium says:

    I’m liking the DM’s ability to control key characters, but it’s a pity the preview is radically shot of any exposition. Dare I say I’m becoming a bit bored of dungeon crawlers with no plot?

    As to the voice acting – it’s not exactly superb, but until you’ve heard Richard Garriot as Lord British, you’ve not heard poor voice acting..

    • ffordesoon says:

      There was a fair amount of exposition in the previous demo. Nothing too earth-shattering, mind, but it is striving to be more than a plotless dungeon crawl.

      And yes, Richard Garriott was always terrible as Lord British (which is still a hilariously stupid name after all these years).

      This is sort of off-topic, and I have no idea why this happens to me, but rewatching one of those live videos he occasionally did in costume evokes the vivid sense-memory of standing in a poorly ventilated room thick with some strange odor that reminds me of nothing so much as an open jar of Ragu. I wonder why?

  10. Darkheart says:

    I’m not impressed… Don’t really see how this is supposed to be fun. Since it looks like RTwP is not possible in the DM/Multiplayer version and all spells/skills are with cooldowns, it just plays like your average ARPG. Not what I’m looking for in this game. I have no experience with table-top RPGs, so I don’t know how this works for groups trying to play their campaigns with this game.

    I’m still interested in the game, but the single-player campaign better be good.

  11. welverin says:

    “It’s not directly a competitive mode, more a weird sort of cooperative with the end goal of having a nice adventure.”

    So, just like a real rpg then.

  12. manio22 says:

    So excited about this!