D&D Stream of Many Eyes Part 2 — Waterdeep: Dragon Heist AND Dungeon of the Mad Mage
The Stream of Many Eyes has ended, and what a weekend of Dungeons & Dragons spectacle! The big news from the live stream event was the announcement of TWO new adventures coming later in 2018. Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage have already got everyone talking. Both set in (and beneath) the City of Splendors, Dragon Heist is meant to take characters from levels 1-5, with a delve into the largest dungeon in the Forgotten Realms carrying adventurers the rest of the way from levels 5-20.
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, Dungeon of the Mad Mage and so much more!
Live stream D&D featuring tons of personalities from D&D team members like Chris Perkins, Mike Mearls, Kate Welch and Satine Phoenix, cast members from Critical Role, streamers like Mark Hulmes, celebrities like Joe Manganiello, Deborah Ann Woll and the Big Show and a whole lot more filled this past weekend’s Stream of Many Eyes event. Jason Charles Miller and the Sirens of the Realms performed musical numbers throughout the weekend. Demonstrations and live action segments abounded in the amazing set pieces designed as the streets of Waterdeep. Cosplayers and craftspeople put their incredible work on display and audiences both in attendance and watching around the world were treated to an epic celebration of D&D.
If you missed any of the Stream of Many Eyes, the video will be archived soon on D&D’s Twitch channel.
The biggest takeaway for us here at Nerdarchy HQ was certainly the two awesome new adventure books. Waterdeep: Dragon Heist is set for release in game stores on Sept. 6, and everywhere else on Sept. 18. Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage is set for release in game stores on Nov. 11, and everywhere else on Nov. 20. Both will of course be available on D&D Beyond as well.
Special mention needs to be made about the additional designers brought in to work on these two adventures. D&D Beyond’s James Haeck contributed, as well as James Introcaso, Matt Mercer, Lysa Chen, Matt Click, Dan Dillon and more. It was really cool to hear so many awesome people involved with creating these adventures.
You can preorder them both on Amazon right now, too. Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage are both distinct adventures, but linked together through the city of Waterdeep, a sprawling metropolis. There is also a Waterdeep: Dragon Heist Dice Set that includes a life counter, one d4, four d6, one d8, percentile d10s, one d12 and two d20. Looks like the life counter only tracks two digits so, sorry barbarians.
One of the things that makes Waterdeep: Dragon Heist really exciting is it sounds like more than just an adventure. Interviews with designers who worked on it like Jeremy Crawford and Chris Perkins give the sense it’s not only a thrilling quest to stop one of four villains from getting their hands on a huge treasure hoard, but includes a lot of information players might be interested in, too. Beware of spoilers for the adventure of course, players, but Dragon Heist sounds like it has a lot of cool content about Waterdeep as a setting.
Two really great aspects of the adventure are that characters receive a tavern of their own during the introductory portion of the adventure, which will factor heavily into both the main quest itself as well as provide a ton of opportunities for downtime activities. The other is Dragon Heist features four different villains, giving Dungeon Masters flexibility — and replayability — focusing on each of the villains and their nefarious plots taking place at different times of the year.
When it comes to Dungeon of the Mad Mage, this epic megadungeon will be a real counterpoint to the urban heist adventure preceding it. Undermountain is massive, featuring 23 levels to explore! The underground city of Skullport is included too, a hub of criminal activity where the infamous Xanathar Guild operates.
Even Nerdarchist Dave, well-known for running homebrew D&D campaigns in settings of his own creation, hinted that these two adventures intrigued him. But who knows, maybe we’ll see Gryphongaffe: Dragon Heist? Speaking of Nerdarchist Dave, his favorite parts of the Stream of Many Eyes was the live music from Jason Charles Miller and the Sirens of the Realms, and the sets. The event coordinators and planners, organized by Senior Communications Manager Greg Tito, put on an absolutely fantastic event. The cosplayers and costumes along with the amazing production brought so much vibrancy to the event. People who had a chance to attend live were treated to one heck of a show, no doubt about it. More than one person in the live chat on Twitch clamored for this to become an even bigger yearly event.
And what a live chat it was! At any point during the Stream of Many Eyes at least 10,000 people were watching live and chatting away. Nerdarchy was invited to be one of the moderators for the chat, and it was daunting to keep up with the energy and passion from D&D fans all over the world. Fortunately, we’ve got the greatest community in the world too so there was very little to moderate overall. It was really heartwarming to connect with our own fans and friends in the chat, too. We keep doing what we do because we love D&D and sharing it with all of you, so it was incredibly cool to hear from folks who enjoy our content and celebrate the spectacular event along with them.
For a bit of D&D gaming takeaway, Mark Hulmes gets the nod for a really cool addition to his Mission: Impractical game. Matthew Lillard, Taliesin Jaffe, Sam Riegel, Ashley Johnson and Clint McElroy teamed up for a vault robbery quest. DM Mark gave each player a token at the start of play they could cash in any time to add their own special twists and quirks to the adventure.
For example, a player could redeem their token to add a quick flashback scene into the story from before the adventure began to affect the present, like saying they’d bribed a guard to grant them access to a room, or to have just the right tool for a job on hand. This was a really neat idea, especially for live stream games where time is a big factor. Definitely a technique to adopt for our own live games.
It was also very encouraging to see such a wide variety of DMs run games throughout the Stream of Many Eyes. Everyone’s game is different, and the composition of players and DMs can make even the same adventures vary wildly. Playing D&D is all about having fun together telling a story, and all of the games showcased this admirably. In particular, it was very cool to see Deborah Ann Woll DM her first live stream game. An accomplished actress and performer, she still had the same nervousness any of us do before a game, with the added level of doing it while thousands and thousands of people watch live! She ran a terrific game.
For anyone out there who hasn’t taken the plunge and run a D&D game of their own yet, go for it. We all get nervous before a game, but once you start and see the players having fun, all those nerves melt away.
If you want to learn more about Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage, definitely check out the D&D Beyond YouTube channel. Todd Kenreck continues to put out incredible videos there featuring the biggest names in D&D. Below is one of my favorites of the bunch, where Chris Perkins talks about Manshoon, an important character in the Forgotten Realms. Manshoon has a really intriguing story and even if you don’t play games set in the Realms or draw on the rich lore and history of the setting, there’s some very interesting stuff about Manshoon you could easily pull into your own D&D campaigns.
The world and culture of D&D continues to grow, expand and get better in so many ways every day. Thanks to the spirit of openness and creativity fostered by today’s stewards of the game, we are seeing more people than ever enjoying the world’s greatest roleplaying game and sharing their experiences with others. Players new and old are discovering new ways to play, new friends and new opportunities to create and engage with people all over the world. It’s truly amazing. Now hurry up, November, so we can put the kibosh on these villains plans in Waterdeep and then head into Undermountain!
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