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Dungeons & Dragons’ free LEGO-themed adventure is full of evil wizards and hot wings

The perfect combination of goofy and thrilling.

Title art for D&D adventure Red Dragon's Tale, part of LEGO crossover promotion
Image credit: LEGO/Wizards of the Coast

LEGO’s collaboration with Dungeons & Dragons, centred on a dragon-dominated mountainside inn, also includes a bespoke adventure for 5th-level characters that strikes a balance between D&D’s derring-do and LEGO’s often goofy sense of humour.

Red Dragon’s Tale is available to download from D&D Beyond for free, as long as you have an active account with the platform. It also includes four LEGO-themed frames and backdrops for character sheets and a set of digital dice fashioned to look as though the polyhedral are constructed of little pieces. These ostensibly work great with the four pregenerated characters that come packaged with the adventure - a dwarf cleric, gnome fighter, elf wizard and orc rogue.

The adventure was created by head designer Chris Perkins, product lead Kyle Brink and a crew from D&D maker Wizards of the Coast, and it sends a quartet of premade adventurers to the Inn Plain Sight as part of the tried-and-true tradition of meeting in a tavern. From here, the party will search for a dragon’s egg amidst a magical forest, musty dungeon and the crumbling ruins of a tower parapet that might just be home to a massive red dragon.

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Groups are instructed to build the set in sections as the adventure progresses, using each piece and its associated minifigs (miniature figurines) as a backdrop for roleplay. This is a novel instruction that doesn’t add much to the game but does invite collaborative LEGO time, so who’s to complain?

Red Dragon’s Tale is a fairly standard introduction to Dungeons & Dragons 5E but weaves in just enough of LEGO’s silly and harmless sense of humour to raise it above middling forgettable-ness. The recurring mention of how delicious hot wings and hot sauce taste (you can sedate a pair of mimics by feeding them wings) leaves me wondering if Perkins and crew simply forgot to eat lunch on the day they were writing this short, combat-concentrated adventure booklet.

One interesting wrinkle lies at the end of Red Dragon’s Tale - a section dedicated to playing the adventures without using any of D&D’s rules or its three core sourcebooks. Actions are thrown directly out of the window, while damage is abstracted into a system of points that serve to keep track of various wounds, stressors or setbacks a character or monster has suffered. Magic items eschew exact distances and how they augment dice rolls in favour of generally useful abilities, such as the Sword of Sharpness - it can literally cut elements off the brick-constructed terrain, which are removed by hand if using the LEGO set.

Negotiating D&D’s assumption in a bid to make the tabletop RPG more welcoming to newcomers has accidentally resulted in a more interesting game that foregrounds conversations of intent and outcome between players and the DM. If you’re curious, check out the free PDF on D&D Beyond’s official website.

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