Sword Coast Legends is the closest you can get to real D&D without a d20

A new Dungeons & Dragons game called Sword Coast Legends is coming to Windows later on in 2015. One to four players can take arms as traditional heroes while a fifth player has the option to become the Dungeon Master, controlling the action. This looks to be the closest game yet to replicating the experience of playing live D&D around a table.

Unlike other games that toy with unbalanced multiplayer, like the recently released Evolve or the upcoming Fable Legends, the role of the DM is not strictly adversarial. They can help or hinder the players as they see fit, able to increase the challenge and punish players that are doing to well or help out the heroes when they are struggling and move the story forward. The DM is able to interact in real time, adjusting encounters or taking control of opponents on the fly, and also has access to larger campaign tools allowing them to develop customized scenarios and stories without any scripting knowledge required. Just as in real Dungeons & Dragons, the goal is for everyone to have an enjoyable play experience.

Players can join up in parties of four with characters derived from five races and six classes (a selection of D&D standards like Human, Elf, Dwarf, Fighter, Thief, Cleric, etc). Solo players can also take charge of a whole customized party by themselves, in the vein of classic tactical PC role-playing games.

Rules are derived from the recently-released 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, with publisher Wizards of the Coast on board to make it official. The action takes place in the classic Forgotten Realms setting, which should be familiar to anyone who has played the Baldur’s Gate games or read R. A. Salvatore’s novels about Drizzt Do’Urden. The studio promises iconic locations, familiar faces, and plenty of lore for longtime fans of the game and setting.

Sword Coast Legends is being developed in a collaboration between n-Space, best known for creating games for Nintendo’s DS and 3DS handhelds, and Warframe developer Digital Extremes. The project is being helmed by Dragon Age: Origins director Dan Tudge. It is set to come out later in 2015 and can be pre-ordered now from the game’s website.