Monday, May 30, 2011

G4 Unboxes "Conquest of Nerath"

I am really looking forward to the release of Wizards of the Coast's next board game Conquest of Nerath later this month. I am not only a fan of big box Axis and Allies style board games, but I want to see the "points of light" setting for the D&D 4th Edition game become more developed -- and it looks like this board game will continue Wizards' recent exercise of adding depth to that world.

One of the biggest mistakes that Wizards made with the release of 4e was the lack of focus on a setting with sufficient depth to form a meaningful connection with players. The reported reason for the vagueness of the setting was that it would allow DMs to create more of their own worlds and use the open "points of light" setting as a sandbox. In reality this concept may have appealed to a few gamers, but I believe it cost Wizards greatly. Recently, they have begun to increase the richness of the setting.

First, in the excellent Tiefling and Dragonborn sourcebooks -- products that weren't particularly successful in the market in part due to the fact that DMs had no way of knowing how much rich fluff these products were offering. This is especially true given the relative lightness of fluff in early core products.

Second, in the growing series of books based in the "points of light" setting. The books suffer from a lack of being able to draw on a rich setting, but each book adds more depth to the setting. As I mentioned earlier, reading the books is like watching world building in progress.

Third, products like the upcoming Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale are filled with rich narrative details -- the kinds of details that should have been in the game from the beginning.

One of the key reasons players enjoy sandboxing around Paizo's Golarion is because the setting has a rich, deep, and strong IP in which to play around. Wizards is finally making the "points of light" setting a richer place.

The G4 box opening makes the game look good, and I'm even more excited about the product itself. I saw a d12 being used and anything that uses d12s automatically gets a boost in my book, which is one reason why I own all the Rogue Games stuff.

You can ignore the last minute of the video where the staff of G4 pretend to play the game.

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