Who Killed the Archmage?
With What? And Where?

By Mat Smith

So, they're making a Clue game out of the Dungeons & Dragons brand.

And when I say "they" are making the game, I mean we have teamed up with USAopoly to make a Dungeons & Dragons brand version of the Clue game.

You know, Clue: the classic detective game for 3 to 6 players, ages 8 to adult.

Now, before you get all weird about what "they" are doing with Dungeons & Dragons, think about this: A lot of D&D games will, at some point, involve characters in doing things such as exploring a series of rooms, hallways, and secret passages while collecting information for some reason or another.

Okay, there's often a tad more to a D&D game than that, but there's also more to the D&D Clue than you might think.

Sure, the basic game mechanics are still there: six characters, six weapons, nine rooms, and a combination of one of each of those that resulted in the untimely demise of a gracious host. But this version has a really nifty twist on the story of the game that's very D&D.

The Story

Basically, the six characters have been summoned to the castle of the Archmage Korinon, who has need of their skills and powers. It was a long trek to the castle, and our worthy adventurers need rest before setting out on the mission Korinon has in store.

In the middle of the night, the heroes are awakened by a scream. The ghostly form of the archmage appears to each of them, explaining that he was murdered by a doppelganger that's taken the form of one of their number. The castle has been magically sealed and will remain that way until the foul shapeshifter has been captured.

Isn't that cool? I mean, yeah, that's the basic premise of Clue. But there's one significant difference: The crime most foul wasn't committed by one of the heroes -- it was a devious monster that has taken the place of one of them.

People, Places and Things

So, instead of Colonel Mustard in the Billiard Room with the wrench, the culprit in this version is a doppelganger who might be posing as Lidda (in the Lost Crypt with the ring of magic missiles).

Yes, that's Lidda, the tough little halfling rogue from the Player's Handbook.

All of the characters in the game are iconic characters from the Player's Handbook taking the roles of the classic Clue characters.

You've got Lidda as Mrs. Peacock, Regdar as Mr. Green, Ember as Mrs. White, Nebin as Professor Plum, Mialee as Miss Scarlet, and Tordek as Colonel Mustard, any one of whom might be the doppelganger.

Instead of a wrench, rope, dagger, lead pipe, candlestick or revolver, the evil murderer in this castle might have chosen to use a ring of magic missiles, vorpal sword, scroll of fireball, staff of power, flaming battle axe, or mace of disruption.

The mansion is now a castle, and you'll be exploring rooms such as the Magical Armory, the Dragon's Lair, the Chamber of Trick and Traps or the Lost Crypt.

The characters' game pieces aren't just color-coded plastic things, they're metal miniatures like you'd use in a D&D game. Even better, they're totally new sculpts -- different from the official D&D miniatures. So, the basic game is very familiar, but it's got a real D&D flavor, look and feel.

Add a Dash of Combat

Is it possible that every game could be improved by adding a Wandering Monster element? It sure seems so, 'cause one of the really nifty new ideas that you'll find in the D&D Clue game is an optional rule called the Monster Challenge.

Scattered around the game board are six squares that feature deep-grooved claw marks. When you move onto one of these, you draw a card from the Monster deck.

You may find yourself faced with a goblin that needs dispatching, or you could wind up staring down a beholder. Regardless, a quick die roll will determine whether or not you've defeated the beastie you've stumbled across. If you get the short end of the stick, you run away and get lost in the Maze at the center of the castle. You're stuck there until you can roll a 5 or 6 on your turn.

If you win the battle, you get a little treasure for your trouble. You could get a set of boots of striding and springing that will let you roll the die twice (giving you a double move for one turn), or you could be so lucky as to pick up an amulet of seeing that lets you take a peek at one of the cards in the Scroll Case (giving you inside knowledge of one of the three parts of the mystery that you need to know to win).


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