An Afternoon with Sword Coast Legends

As a break from my busy RPG and work schedule, I spent a bit of today playing through the default Sword Coast Legends campaign. I haven’t really gotten that far yet – I’m in Luskan, uncovering the plot against the guild at present – but I now have the experience of several hours playing the game.

And I’m enjoying it. A lot more than I would have expected, especially given what I’ve read about it.

One of the reasons I’m enjoying it is that it presents the Forgotten Realms as I expect it to be presented. There’s a lot of lore, and the characters stay true to my perception of the world. Hommet is an absolute joy – his revelation that he got kicked out by the Harpells (and the reaction of pure disbelief of the others… how is it possible to offend the Harpells?) is absolutely awesome.

Along the way, I’m learning things about the Realms I didn’t know before. I’ve spent a LOT of time on the Sword Coast recently – the last few years – and it’s a delight to still be discovering things. The sewers of Luskan are the ruins of Illusk? Awesome! (And meeting the Dead Rats, outcasts of which were significant in some of the Neverwinter games I ran, is likewise awesome).

I’m very pleased to see the game run smoothly on my less-than-top-of-the-line computer. The combat goes by pretty fast and painlessly. There will be some who want a major tactical game. I’m not one of those people; I enjoy combat, but I enjoy winning combats more. And getting XP. And that works well. The lack of a strict conversion of the D&D rules has bothered me less than I expected.

The game is not flawless, of course. Some of the quests are somewhat arcane or obscure in their requirements to be completed. I’ve spent a lot of time wandering around aimlessly because I haven’t had enough clues for the current quest. And the game doesn’t feel as rich (side-quest wise) as did Baldur’s Gate. And some of the NPC dialogues go a little too long for my taste… but they’re balanced by some good conversations at other times.

It’s not a perfect game, but it’s good enough to keep this (not-a-computer) gamer happy.

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