Neverwinter - A City on the Brink of War
Missing for decades, the Crown of Neverwinter, symbol of the former ruling family, has emerged at last. Yet not all are pleased with the crown's reappearance. Beset by rebels and plaguechanged, Lord Dagult Neverember must hire a group of adventurers to track down the so-called Lost Heir and discover his intentions for the city. The stakes are no less than the lives of the citizens of Neverwinter, for if the heroes fail, Neverwinter seems doomed to descend into civil war.
"Lost Crown of Neverwinter" is a Dungeons & Dragons adventure designed for Season 6 of the D&D Encounters official play program. The adventure includes three full-color battle maps, fourteen ready-to-play encounters, and information on the program.
"Lost Crown of Neverwinter" (2011), by Erik Scott de Bie, is the adventure for Season 6 of D&D Encounters. It was released for play in Summer 2011.
The D&D Games Day Prelude. On August 6, 2011, Wizards of the Coast ran a prelude for Season 6 called "Gates of Neverdeath" (2011). This was a first for the Encounters program. Not only did the Games Day adventure provide some hints about the story of "Lost Crown of Neverwinter," but players could also use their "Neverdeath" character in the Encounters season, giving them a leg up.
Continuing the Encounters. As with the previous Encounters adventures, "Lost Crown of Neverwinter" was prepared for use in the D&D Encounters organized play program. It contains materials for 14 sessions of low-level play, each of which consists of one encounter meant to be run in 2 hours or so. These encounters are organized into four chapters; players are (usually) allowed short rests after each encounter and extended rests after each chapter.
"Lost Crown of Neverwinter" focuses heavily on mystery, politics, and intrigue—moving it somewhat far from the dungeon delves and black-and-white combats that made up many of the previous Encounters seasons. The players instead can spend time figuring out who the important forces are within Neverwinter (and what they should do with them).
Season 6 began play on August 10, 2011 (just a few days after the Games Day prelude), and continued through November 9, 2011.
About the Encounter Format. As with the previous few seasons of Encounters, "Lost Crown of Neverwinter" has a continued focus on roleplaying and skills. In fact players can sometimes avoid combat entirely with good roleplaying and skill use!
For the first time ever in the Encounters, "Lost Crown of Neverwinter" doubles up some of its scenarios. (Weeks 1 and 2 were probably meant to run back-to-back, without any sort of rest in between, although the adventure isn't entirely clear.) In addition, week 12 includes two different combat encounters! However, "Lost Crown of Neverwinter" doesn't have the same support for players making choices to influence the adventure's plot that the past few seasons of Encounters had. In fact, at times it seems like the players are making important choices—such as deciding which political sides to support—but those choices don't actually affect the gameplay. That said, a choice in the 13th week does have some more notable effect on the final week's play.
About the Product Tie-In. As with the previous two seasons, "Lost Crown of Neverwinter" ties into the Essentials line (again using the same pregenerated character) and into Wizards' collectible Fortune Cards (2011-12). Three new cards are again available to players who gain renown. This time they are Bowl Over, Great Confidence, and Spellplague Surge.
However, the adventure's bigger tie-in is to Neverwinter Campaign Setting (2011), which was officially released on August 16, 2011. Players are encouraged to make Neverwinter characters, and the character themes in that book are heavily supported within the adventure. This was part of a massive Neverwinter crossover that run from 2010-12. It began with R.A. Salvatore's novel Gauntlgrym (2010); Salvatore wrote three more novels in the series (2010-13), as well as an original comic series called The Legend of Drizzt: Neverwinter Tales (2011-12). There was also a Heroes of Neverwinter facebook game (2011-12); a Legend of Drizzt board game (2011); and most importantly, the Neverwinter MMORPG (2013).
The rest of the multimedia event was intended to support the release of the MMORPG, but the game launch was delayed from 2011 to 2013 due to the sale of the publisher (Cryptic) and to various changes in the MMORPG's gameplay. As a result, the rest of the crossover ended before the MMORPG was out of beta.
Bonus Adventure! GMs who ran "Lost Crown of Neverwinter" were given the opportunity to request "Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan" (2011), a special DM's Reward edition of the classic adventure, updated to 4e by Stephen Radney-MacFarland.
Expanding the Realms. "Lost Crown of Neverwinter" was the second Encounters set in the 4e Realms, following Season 1's "Undermountain: Halaster's Lost Apprentice" (2010). Most of the expansion of the Realms of course occurred in the Neverwinter Campaign Setting. However "Lost Crown of Neverwinter" was able to provide some real details on the politics of an area that had been described in sourcebooks and computer games for a few decades.
Future History. Dungeon #195 (October 2011) contains a sequel to "Lost Crown of Neverwinter": "That Which Never Sleeps" by Daniel Marthaler. D&D Encounters had also provided its own sequel: Season 13's "Storm over Neverwinter" (2013), which allows players to use their experienced characters from this adventure!
About the Creators. De Bie was making a return visit to D&D Encounters, following his work on "Undermountain: Halaster's Lost Apprentice." He also coauthored Neverwinter Campaign Setting, wrote "Gates of Neverdeath," and would later write "Storm over Neverwinter."
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.