#DNDLIVE2019: If Hell Is This Much Fun, Count Me InMay 20, 2019
I’ll say one thing about #DNDLIVE2019: it’s going to be damn near impossible for Dungeons and Dragons to top in 2020. Of course, it’s highly likely that the folks who penned odes to last years award-winning Stream of Many Eyes probably said the same thing about what would become The Descent.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but it looks like those folks miscalculated, as The Descent was incredible; and not just because the new storyline seems like a winner, and reintroduces Baldur’s Gate into mainstream D&D, either.
No, this event was so meticulously planned, and executed, that even a power outage sent by Torm himself couldn’t derail it.
The event started with a live game of Relics and Rarities led by actress Deborah Ann Woll, and gradually the electricity in the room began to grow, gathering like an impending storm as 4 pm drew nearer…because that was the official launch of the new storyline: Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus, and everyone was waiting to hear the full details.
The embargo for press was lifted as soon as the stream began, but the fans wanted the information from the team unfiltered, not through the lens of journalists; I know. I travelled with one. “Aren’t you going to just read my article,” I asked naively? “No bro, I’ll read it later.”
I wasn’t offended, as once the Dungeons and Dragons team took the stage, nobody did anything but listen and take pictures.
The evening finished with two Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus preview games DMed by Jeremy Crawford and Kate Welch (if you do nothing else, click on this link and FF to the 40th minute to hear Jeremy Crawford play Mad Maggie, it’s a hoot).
Saturday, though, was the big day.
The marketplace was opened, and featured amazing vendors including Beadle and Grimm’s, Death Saves, GaleForce 9, WizKids, Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, and more…but perhaps the most interesting part of the marketplace were the NPCs; actors, in full makeup and costume, provided quests…which ultimately led (if you did it right, and didn’t lose your own soul in the process) to a soul coin, you could keep.
The quests weren’t repeatable but the actors behind these roles were phenomenal and added exponentially to the experience; and as the weekend went on, they just kept getting better.
Fans also had the opportunity to try the new multi-table epic adventure Infernal Pursuits, a Dungeons and Dragons Adventurer’s League module.
An epic adventure isn’t like a normal adventure: multiple tables, at different levels, even, are working together to solve a common goal, or defeat a common threat. At this event, upwards of 25 tables were running simultaneously, and featured two levels of play tier 1 (for levels 1-4) and tier 2 (for levels 5-10).
During Infernal Pursuits, players had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of an infernal war machine and raise…well, hell, leaving blood, ichor, and ground demon bones in their wake.
With the cast signings, new storyline, the overall immersive environment, and a kickin’ concert to cap it all off, #DNDLIVE2019 is a going to be an adventure to remember all year.
That is, of course, until Dungeons and Dragons launches #DNDLIVE2020, and blows my expectations to smithereens all over again.
Photos courtesy of @jeremy_johnston_ and @Geekzunited and used with permission