Dungeons & Dragons/D&D Beyond Video Commentary

The teams at Wizards of the Coast and Curse have been chatting about all things Dungeons & Dragons over at the D&D Beyond website, and that's led to the availability of three new videos that feature some great commentary about The Forgotten Realms campaign setting, the game's monsters and villains, and the creation of dungeons. While these videos are focused on the tabletop game and are not specifically video game related, they are still great supplements for all previously released and future D&D-set CRPGs:

Excerpts from the commentary offered in the video have been made available here, here, and here, and I've included the snippets on The Forgotten Realms below:
Chris Perkins: The Forgotten Realms, as a setting, it’s an old medieval world, so old that all of the civilizations that we know exist in the world today are built upon the bones of empires and civilizations that the world has forgotten about.

Richard Whitters: It’s this giant playground and I think that gets us … With what we’re dealing with now, it’s sort of like how do we put it to full use?

Chris Perkins: Let’s take, for example, the city of Waterdeep. It is a metropolitan coastal city on the Sword Coast. It has hundreds of thousands of people living in it but what people don’t realize and what few people in Waterdeep actually remember is that it is built on top of a dwarven city, which was built on top of an elven city. If you delve into Waterdeep far and deep enough, you will discover these forgotten realms underneath it. That’s sort of a template that carries through the entire setting. You can look to pretty much any place where civilization resides now and say there was something else there before. What is that and what mysteries does it contain? That’s sort of a key theme of the setting.

Richard Whitters: It also could harbor things that are kind of like cannon from different editions and all kinds of things like that. I think when we worked with it, we just tried to like squeeze the best out of it but it’s so sprawling. It’s just so big.

Adam Lee: I want to be like what … in there, there’s something that’s sticking out of their ground and that cannot be explained and it’s not a part of any realm you know of or you've read about in the books. It’s something that is completely forgotten and you don’t know what it is. It’s out of the lore and what the heck is that thing? Richard and I, we talked about this. We’re like we want to put something in the realms that is truly forgotten, that you don’t know about.

Adam Lee: As I’m going along in my D&D career here, I’m going to get a chance to actually write my own adventures and work with the team and create these things. I’m going to put some things in The Forgotten Realms that you don’t know about. You've read all the books and you've never heard of this thing before and nobody has because I love that.

Adam Lee: I think when something is mysterious and unknown, it fires up the imagination. It sparks … It makes it like we … As we do our little fearful quest through the world, to make everything known is to like create this sense of security but when something is completely unknown, it’s like, “Whoa, where was that? Where did this come from?” It’s why I love things like the pyramids. There’s this thing that actually exists in the world that people don’t know how the hell it was done. People theorize about it but it’s still a giant mystery. I love that. I love that they actually exist in reality.

Chris Perkins: Take, for example, the current story, Tomb of Annihilation, which takes place in Chult. One of the key features of the story is that you discover a lost city in the jungle that belonged to an ancient Chultan kingdom. That’s never been described before. We wanted to actually play up this idea that nobody knows anything about this place and so, it just heightens the mystery.

Chris Perkins: As you explore it, you learn or you start to sort of unravel clues of how this place fell and without giving away too much, this Chultan kingdom once worshipped a god named Ubtao who abandoned them, so they took on … These other gods came to sort of fill the spiritual vacuum and they turned out to be trickster gods who kind of misled this culture into sort of a self-destructive course. I won’t spoil any more than that but I mean, you can meet, you can find the bones of one of the old queens under the city and that sort of illuminates part of the story. I think that what makes The Forgotten Realms interesting is the discovery of the ancient.