Lords of Waterdeep
Lords of Waterdeep is a German-style board game designed by Peter Lee and Rodney Thompson and published by Wizards of the Coast in 2012. The game is set in Waterdeep, a fictional city in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. Players take the role of masked rulers of Waterdeep, deploying agents and hiring adventurers to complete quests and increase their influence over the city.
In Lords of Waterdeep, the players are powerful lords trying to control the city of Waterdeep by gaining control of its treasures and resources through trickery, negotiation or force.
Each color in the game represents a faction from the Forgotten Realms. The factions are as follows:
- Yellow - Knights of the Shield
- Black - City Guard
- Blue - Silverstars
- Green - Harpers
- Red - Red Sashes
- Gray (Expansion color) - Gray Hands
Lords of Waterdeep is a strategy board game for 2-5 players. Each player takes on the role of one of the masked Lords of Waterdeep, secret rulers of the city. The players use their agents to recruit adventurers to go on one of five different types of quests (piety, arcana, skullduggery, commerce, and warfare), which earns rewards (usually victory points and other rewards) and increases that lord's influence over the city.
Each player is dealt one of the Lords of Waterdeep, which is kept face down. They are allowed to look at the Lord at any time. Each Lord gives a player points at the end of the game for completing certain types of quests or controlling buildings.
Lords of Waterdeep is primarily a worker placement game. Players place their agents on various spaces around the city which allows them to take actions like collect money (gold), gather adventurers (resources), draw or play Intrigue cards (single-use special abilities), or gain Quests (the fundamental way to earn Victory Points).
Lords of Waterdeep includes: a game board; a rulebook; 5 cardstock player mats; 121 Intrigue, Quest, and Role cards; 100 wooden cubes (White, Black, Orange, Purple), 6 pawns in five different colors (Black, Red, Yellow, Green, Blue), and score pieces (one of each color Black, Red, Yellow, Green, Blue); wooden player markers (White and Grey; for the Ambassador and Lieutenant); and card stock tiles and tokens representing buildings, gold coins, and victory points.
Scoundrels of Skullport
In August 2013 Wizards of the Coast released a double expansion to the game titled Scoundrels of Skullport. The expansion contains 3 new game boards (Skullport, Undermountain and the corruption track), a new Grey faction "The Grey Hands", 1 more agent for each of the colors from the base game (Black, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow) which are for use with a new variant the long game (the long game is also used when using both expansions and the base game together). There are also 6 new Lords of Waterdeep cards, 50 new Intrigue cards, 60 new quest cards, 24 new building tiles and 16 adventure caravan tokens (there are 4 for each adventurer type (Fighter, Rogue, Cleric and Wizard); each caravan token counts for 5 adventurers and are used when the colored blocks are running low).
Undermountain adds a new mechanic to the game in the form of placing resources on the game board spaces. This can be things like adventurers (Fighters, Clerics, Wizards or Rogues) or even gold. The spaces are generally more powerful than normal spaces for instance one of the new buildings "The Citadel of the Bloody Hand" gives you 4 fighters when you use it (the owner gets 2 fighters) and then you must place 1 fighter on 2 different spaces on the board. When the next player puts an agent on a space where resources have been placed (a fighter in the above example) the player gets what the space would normally give them for placing there plus any resources that are on that space (a fighter from the above example).
Skullport adds another new mechanic to the game called corruption. There is a game board for corruption called the corruption tracker. There are 25 corruption points in the game, (1 on -1, 3 on -2, 3 on -3 and so on up to -9) spaces and cards will give you or remove corruption from the game or possibly even put corruption back onto the corruption tracker. At the end of the game each corruption you have is worth a number of points equal to the highest numbered empty corruption space. So if there is 1 corruption on -5 and no corruption on -4, all corruption tokens in players taverns are worth -4 points at the end of the game. The advantage to corruption is the spaces that "offer" you corruption, one of the spaces on the undermountain game board "Slavers' Market" gives you 2 fighters, 2 rogues and a corruption token when you place an agent there.
The expansion contains:
- 3 new game boards (Skullport, Undermountain and the corruption track),
- 6 agents for a new Grey faction "The Grey Hands",
- 1 more agent for each of the colors from the base game (Black, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow)
- 25 corruption tokens
- 6 new Lords of Waterdeep cards
- 50 new Intrigue cards
- 60 new quest cards
- 24 new building tiles
- 16 adventure caravan tokens (there are 4 for each adventurer type (Fighter, Rogue, Cleric and Wizard); each caravan token counts for 5 adventurers and are used when the colored blocks are running low).
An iOS version of Lords of Waterdeep was developed by Playdek and released by Wizards of the Coast on November 21, 2013. An Android version was also promised to be in production, but there has been no further word of it since the iOS release.
According to Ben Kuchera of Penny Arcade, Lords of Waterdeep "has players hiring adventurers and vying for control of a single city".
Erik Kain of Forbes said: "for a quick, entertaining game that requires actual thought, you could do much worse. It may not satisfy your dice-rolling, dungeon-crawling needs, but it’s a wonderful game of intrigue in one of the Forgotten Realms' most notorious urban settings."
Andrew Zimmerman Jones of Black Gate commented: "the folks over at Dungeons & Dragons have definitely come up with a quality product in Lords of Waterdeep. After years of being an Adventurer caught in the intrigues of others, it's nice to assume the role of puppet master."
- "Victory is One Back Alley Deal Away With New Lords Of Waterdeep Mobile Game From Playdek and Wizards of the Coast". Wizards of the Coast. November 21, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
- 2012 Origins Awards Winners and Nominees