April Game of the Month – Lords of Waterdeep

The Game of the Month series highlights one of the many games in our libraries at Ravenwood Castle and The Malted Meeple. We will briefly describe the game, how to play it, and why we like it. This month’s Game of the Month is written by The Malted Meeple’s Head Game Master – and former Ravenwood Innkeeper – Karington Hess.

Game: Lords of Waterdeep

Publisher: Wizards of the Coast

As you step inside the dimly lit tavern, you are greeted with suspicious glances and hushed voices. The warmth resonating from the crackling fire is a welcome change from the cold sea air. If there are adventurers to be found, this is the place to find them. As you toss a bag full of gold on the table, you announce your intention to hire adventurers to complete your quests. Welcome traveler, to Waterdeep, the city of splendors!

In Lords of Waterdeep, you take on the role of one of the Masked Lords of Waterdeep, the secret rulers of the glorious city. You will send your agents to recruit adventurers, purchase buildings, complete quests, and advance your personal agenda.

The game setup begins with each player receiving their own secret lord card, which offers an incentive for completing certain types of quests. Players also select a play mat specific to one of Waterdeep’s iconic factions – such as the City Guard, Knights of the Shield, or the well-known Harpers – and collect their agent tokens, building control markers, gold, intrigue cards, and starting quests.

During a turn players place one of their agents on the board and take the action associated with that space. This action might consist of recruiting adventurers to go on quests, taking on new quests, collecting gold, or playing intrigue cards. Intrigue cards allow players a chance to gain tactical advantage over other players by sharing resources – or stealing them! – taking special actions, or forcing other players to complete mandatory quests.

Players also have the ability to purchase and build special buildings. These buildings create additional spaces on the board, and provide the owner a significant advantage. Whenever a player uses the space in one of their buildings, they must pay the owner for using the facility. This nets the owner valuable resources without spending an action.

Though there are multiple ways to score, the primary route to victory points is through completing quests. Each quest requires a different amount of resources, such as a certain amount of gold or specific types of adventurers. Upon completion, the player claims the reward on the quest card. Rewards include victory points, additional adventurers, or special powers.

The game progresses through eight rounds, after which the score is tallied and the player with the most victory points is proclaimed the winner!

For a more detailed look at the game, we highly suggest checking out this episode from the second season of TableTop, featuring Felicia Day, Pat Rothfuss, Brandon Laatsch and of course Wil Wheaton.

Better yet, grab a copy off the shelf on your next visit to Ravenwood Castle or The Malted Meeple, and claim your rightful place as a Lord of Waterdeep!

Jim Reed

Jim Reed is a lifelong gamer who started with the original red box Dungeons & Dragons. After spending 20 years in the corporate world, he decided it was high time that work be fun and struck out on his own. Jim now owns and operates Ravenwood Castle, and spends his days ensuring his guests have as much fun as he does.