Sword Coast Legends videos showcase campaign creation tools

Sword Coast Legends

A pair of new Sword Coast Legends gameplay videos offer an "extended look" at the game's campaign creation toolset, and illustrate how it will play from the Dungeon Master's perspective during a "real" dungeon run.

The Campaign Creation video highlights what appears to be a very flexible campaign editor. Players can create and customize dungeons with various sorts of highly-detailed detritus, place and modify merchants, quest givers, and monsters, and string together individual encounters and quests into a larger, overarching campaign. Encounters can be left at default or built entirely from scratch, as can individual monsters in dungeons, via the game's "Creature Creator."

Once complete, the campaign can be modified on the fly by the Dungeon Master. We've already seen how this system will work, but this new video is more of a "live fire exercise," as a group of four players embarks upon the adventure just built, while the DM manages the campaign separately. The nature of "threat," the resource used by DMs to modify dungeons, is clarified a bit, as are the DM's abilities: Traps cannot be dropped directly on players, for instance, and once the party enters a room, the default encounter can no longer be changed.

It looks impressive, and increasing or decreasing "threat" based on a party's success (or lack thereof) is an interesting way to go about limiting the Dungeon Master's powers. After all, it wouldn't be much fun if the DM could drop the hammer at will on a party that's been hanging on by a thread from the word "go." Sword Coast Legends comes out on September 8.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.