Classic Heroes: Dungeon Crawl in a Box

Published 5/16/21

The Legend of Drizzt Board Game

This, years ago, was a Yule gift to DM Bork due to our mutual love for R.A. Salvador's Legend of Drizzt series. The game features main characters and villains from the book series. Here you can become Drizzt or one of his famous companions as you take on familiar and unique enemies to complete your adventure and quest.

Opening the box can be a bit overwhelming due to the sheer amount of goodies that come with the game; from miniatures, dungeon tiles, and a bunch of cardboard tokens. Inside are all the pieces that you need to run a dungeon crawl adventure with your friends where no DM is needed. Everyone takes turns running their hero and their monsters that move over interlocking cardboard dungeon tiles each that have their own art work.

Why am I such a big Fan?

I am a big fan of these types of games because no matter how many times you play the same game/adventure it will always be a new and exciting game experience every time you play. The variety of map tiles, encounter and monster cards makes every play through unique. I also love that it gives me the chance to NOT be the DM for an evening dungeon crawl game. The characters each have their own stat card with the information on it just like a real character sheet.

I have played though where we were TPK’d numerous times before the BBEG was revealed, along with successful playthroughs where the heroes won. Just like in D&D success is not guaranteed.

Basic Information

  • Age 12+

  • 1-5 players

  • Features R.A.Salvatore’s heros (Drizzit, Regis, Bruenor, Wulfgar, Catti-Brie) and other famous characters (Jarlaxle, Artemis, Athrogate)

  • 13 different adventures

Quick How To Play

Pick an adventure based on the objective that interests you and make sure you have the right number of friends to join you. Each person has three "phases" that they take on their round. The first part of your turn you get to play the hero that you picked and you get to move around and explore the tiles around you. This is where you could also attack any monsters on the board. The second phase is the exploration phase where if your character is next to a unexplored edge of the cavern tiles you can pull a new Tile and a monster card to fill it. The last phase is the Villain Phase where if you didn't place a new part of the map you can either draw an encounter card or you can play the monster(s) (or "villians") that are in play in the order they were placed in the game.

Adventure Book

The adventure booklet lets you pick from 13 adventures you and your friends hope to survive. The first adventure titled “Exile” is a self-run game for a solo learning experience to get a feeling of the game before 1-4 friends join in the dungeon crawls. The difficulty of each adventure can be changed based on how many healing surge tokens you give everyone/the group at the beginning of each adventure.

Not all of the pieces, tokens or tiles are used in every game. The manual does very well telling you the objective of each adventure along with the number of heroes, any suggested heroes from the available tiles and any of the special pieces that you will need from the box. Like a D&D adventure module there are pieces pre written for someone to read at the beginning of the adventure and when the objective tile is revealed just like a Dungeon Master would set the scene in a real D&D game.

Two of our usual go to adventures is Adventure 3: The Hunt for Shimmergloom because it is such an iconic part of the Legend of Drizzt series and it is a great satisfaction defeating or dying at the claw of the dragon and Adventure 6: The Starless Night because it is a 3 player (which is our usual number) team game what puts two against one. The reason why Adventure 6 is a bit different is as you are on two teams it makes placing tiles and monster tokens a little more strategic as you are no longer working together.

Rule Book

The sixteen page rulebook is one of two information pamphlets you receive in the box. It gives a very brief description of who Drizzt Do’Urden is for the uninitiated and names of his famous companions that you can pick from as your playable hero. The first few pages of the manual go over game setup and all of the game components that are inside of the box (which I appreciate to help take a quick inventory to see if anything is missing). The book goes in detail over the turns of the game, what to expect and how to use the cavern tile stack, how movement works in the game, the three different attack abilities you can choose for your hero, and how combat works. Just like in a real ttrpg game of Dungeons and Dragons players have AC, Hit points, and will have the opportunity to level up their hero. I think that it is great that every piece of the game in explained in great detail in the rule book without being to overwhelming. I also appreciate that there are images to help players understand the explanations that go with them.

Let the Games Begin

Step one is picking from which of the suggested heroes you want to play the game as. Each character has a unique tile that gives all of the character's information like a character sheet. One side is for lvl 1 the other for lvl2. The character cards have all of your player's possible actions that you get to pick from to customize your game play and character fighting style. There are at will powers that you can use as much as you want as well as Daily and Utility powers that have a one time use.

Once you pick your hero and adventure the game gets to begin! Game play will vary in time depending on if your party each individually explores corners and engaging in their own personal monsters instead of working together in a group. Some adventures require more tiles than others where sometimes you get lucky on where the bbeg / adventure end tile is closer to the top of your stack. Some people continue to explore for as long as they can. There are also those evenings where your players get wiped out by the monsters and the game has to be started again if you are looking for a victory. The games that DM Bork and I have played have all lasted 30 (we got tpk'd 5 tiles in) to 2 hours (playing it like a ttrpg). There is quite a variety of game scenarios and when playing at your own table you can adjust based on your own gaming interests.

There are lots of different treasures in the cards from items to help your character or fortunes to give health back, discarding curse cards or allowing for other cards to be discarded to the benefit of the heroes. Ally cards are also in this box that has the armor class, hit points and fighting tactics for each of the heroes along with the beasts Guenhwyvar and Snort.

Monsters of all Shapes and Sizes

There are a variety of monsters and events to pose challenges to the players. The cards that are picked have the Armor class, Hit points and the fighting tactics of each of the monsters. There is also an amount that you can add to your d20 roll to attack the hero characters and a set amount of damage to be dealt. There are also events such as hunting parties that cause a mob of monsters and stalagmite events. Some of the featured monsters in this game includes yochlol, a drow matron mother, mind flayer and a Balor.

A little detail note: Each of the monsters are made with durable plastic. I have had our box for at least 8 years. It has handled moving, travel to other houses, and many many hours of game play. Also, for those who may not be as familiar with D&D or just getting introduced to the monsters, each miniature has the name of the hero or monster on the bottom to help identify which is needed.

Cavern Tiles

There is a Starting Tile which will be used for all the games you play. The game board is different every adventure you take based on the specific tiles required for each adventure. Some tiles have volcanic vents, others a dwarven statue, narrow passages, statues and other dungeon features. Each tile has a mushroom where a monster will be placed when a card is drawn. The tiles are have interlocking puzzle slots to keep the pieces together as you move the heroes around the board.

Overall Thoughts of the Fox

As an owner of two of these D&D Board games I can't type enough of how much I enjoy them. They are engaging, fun, and you never know what you are going to get. The amount of adventures you can play through can offer an entire evenings worth of fun if you want to play Adventure 2-13 with your friends (adventure 1 is solo) and even if you play the same adventure twice it will be vastly different.

If you love Legend of Drizzit and board games, this is the ideal game for you. Do you like D&D and board games? This is also the game for you? Are you a forever DM and just want to play a hero for an evening with your friends? Look no further than a Dungeon and Dragons Board Game like The Legend of Drizzit.

Another reason why I really enjoy the D&D boxed games is I reuse the minis and the dungeon tiles into my own campaigns as a way to get more use out of the pieces. Everything is to scale using the traditional 1 inch squares to map things out. Dm Bork, Mr. Meow and I usually bring and use our own D&D dice to keep track of hit points and use our own d20's. The box does come with one d20 for everyone at the table to share.

In this article I review The Legend of Drizzt Board Game which was created by Wizards of the Coast, copy right 2011. The game was manufactured by Hasbro. All Dungeons and Dragons, and Legend of Drizzt images and monsters are owned and copy write by Wizards of the Coast LLC.