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Dungeons & Dragons' latest official handbook boasts a star quality

20 August 2014, 6:38 pm EDT By Quinten Plummer Tech Times
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As the tabletop legend Dungeons & Dragons celebrates four decades of existence, publishers Wizards of the Coast have released the fifth edition of the game's official handbook and a dozen celebrities have collaborated on the narration of The Legend of Drizzt: The Collected Stories.

The release of the latest rule book for Dungeons & Dragons coincides with the release of Tyranny of Dragons, an incoming expansion for Neverwinter. The massively multiplayer online game, Neverwinter, is based on a fictional city-state by the same name from Dungeons & Dragons lore, making the release of the game's latest rule book helpful for individual just establishing an interest in the game.

Mike Mearls, senior manager for Dungeons & Dragons' research and development, said his company was looking to help players engage in a more social adventure than ever with the release of the expansion of Neverwinter. The novels, video game, tabletop game and rule book help to unite all Dungeons & Dragons fans, according to Mearls.

"The big part of a role-playing game is, you can do whatever you want," said Mearls. "But we want you to end up at the same place at the end of the adventure. There are many ways to get there, but having a big event that brings everybody back together is part of the fun, because once you've gone up against Tiamat, you've got something you can talk to any fellow player about, even if you've never met that person before."

The rule book will serve as an encyclopedia of sorts for the Dungeons & Dragons universe. After reading about a creature's traits in the rule book, players will have an idea of what to expect during an encounter with the entity in one of the games or when reading about it in one of the novels.

"Each [creature] has a different way they act, a different goal they have," Mearls said. "So when you encounter it in a (massively multiplayer online game), you can understand this creature, you can understand what it's doing, because when I'm fighting in a 3-D action environment as opposed to a board game as opposed to a role-playing game, it has a trait that can shine through."

Lending their vocal talents, 12 celebrities have narrated the R.A. Salvatore's The Legend of Drizzt: The Collected Stories. The anthology features Drizzt Do'Urden, a dark elf from the Forgotten Realms.

The actors who particpated in the narration include Sean Astin, Weird Al Yankovic, David Duchovny, Felicia Day, Melissa Rauch, Dan Harmon, Danny Pudi, Greg Grunberg, Tom Felton, Michael Chiklis, Ice-T and Wil Wheaton.

The celebrity narration of The Legend of Drizzt: The Collected Stories will be free on Audible for a limited time.

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