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D&D's Next Storyline Is All About That Drizzt

Illustration for article titled iDD/is Next Storyline Is All About That Drizzt

Wizards of the Coast is calling the next big global Dungeons & Dragons storyline “Rage of Demons,” but the theme running through D&D tabletop, board and video games later this year is a dark elf wielding a pair of scimitars and his pet panther.

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One of the most borrowed dark elf names in MMO history, Drizzt Do’Urden is one of role-playing’s most recognizable bad-asses. As one of the few good members of an evil race playing a ranger, a class not normally associated with a society that mainly lives underground, he’s a walking, talking Dungeon Masters’ nightmare, courtesy of fantasy author R.A. Salvatore.

“Rage of Demons” will see players fighting alongside Drizzt and his pet kitty Unspellable as they travel to the Underdark to figure out why its dark denizens are starting to travel outside of their vast underground world to cause trouble.

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Players will encounter Drizzt in the upcoming CRPG Sword Coast Legends, with an Underdark campaign extending well past its launch later this year. MMORPG Neverwinter is getting an entire expansion tentatively called Neverwinter: Underdark, featuring a series of adventures written by R.A. Salvatore himself. The tabletop game is getting a new Underdark adventure as well in Out of the Abyss, which should be available this fall in nifty hardcover format.

And everything comes to a head in Archmage, a new Drizzt-starring novel by Salvatore, arriving on store shelves in early September.

The “Rage of Demons” but secretly “Drizzt, Drizzt, Drizzt” storyline for Dungeons & Dragons will kick into full swing this fall. You can get more info over here.

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DISCUSSION

I know I’m in a definite minority here, but I’ve always found Salvatore’s writing to be a bit pat/formulaic. That’s true of a great many authors, of course, and some are significantly more guilty of playing into a cookie-cutter pattern in their writing (Stephen King, Dan Brown, etc.), but I just—I can’t get behind Drizzt as a compelling character.

Full disclosure: I stopped reading Salvatore’s work a few years back, so it’s entirely possible that he’s evolved/improved. I also want to be clear in that my personal estimation of an author’s work is not meant to be a judgment from on high; I work with literature for a living, but that doesn’t mean I’m the final arbiter of quality or what people are allowed to like—I read some truly terrible shit myself (eyes Warhammer 40k novels with shame).

That said, in my opinion, Drizzt is only slightly less Mary Sue in his construction than, say, Kvothe the Kingkiller (or the main character of Eragon)—and I find that sort of thing to be hard to get into as a reader.