Cryptic are having a bit of early April fun in Neverwinter. The announcement of Dragons as a playable race was a fairly conventional jape, and news of a Gelatinous Cube mount seemed to be along similar lines, but no: it really exists as an in-game… thing. You can buy one from the store, and it’ll schlupp up your character and transport them around with an 80% speed boost while making strange glooping noises.
The centrepiece of the whole business is Respen’s Marvellous Game, a really rather splendid event in which you find yourself transported to a strange dimension…
Yes, it’s a pen and paper D&D adventure! The players all adopt their best Heroic Figurine Pose and glide around the map on fixed bases. A dungeon masterly wizard briefs you on your quest, investigating a dread dungeon or enchanted forest, and provides further narration and convincing NPC voices as you progress.
The mechanics are fairly conventional, you use your standard abilities (with animations), but there are plenty of nice touches, like the DM being a bit short of monster miniatures and using dice as stand-ins:
There’s even a Dread Gazebo:
With two basic adventures, each with several randomised encounter elements, there’s a lot to enjoy in the event, especially if you can run through it at a relaxed pace with a group of friends. Completing the event gives a chest of rewards with a chance for a couple of uncommon items, and the lustre wears off slightly when blitzing through at high speed with a PUG for the 19th time, but c’est la MMO-vie. The event is running until Friday 4th April, so if you’re reading this before then and have a level 6 character in Neverwinter (or the spare hour or so it takes to run through the tutorial to get one) it’s well worth a look.