Tabletop Games

‘Dungeons and Dragons’ Invades Your Favorite Board Games

Everyone’s favorite tabletop game has been brought into the worlds of some of the most popular board games of all time. TheOP now sells options for Dungeons and Dragons themed Clue, Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, and Yahtzee! games. You might know TheOP as the brand that brought us Risk Warhammer 40,000. This time, they are tackling the challenge of including legendary characters, locations, and even magic items from the worlds brought to life around the world every day. In this article, you will find reviews of the two games I thought had the most potential for unique gameplay and/or worldbuilding elements: Clue Dungeons and Dragons and Trivial Pursuit: Dungeons & Dragons Ultimate Edition.

Photo: Rory Bristol

Clue Dungeons and Dragons

This version of Clue is both very similar and very different from a standard game of Clue. All the bones of Clue games are there: A game board, Scoresheet, Characters, Weapons, and Locations. This version spices things up with new Power mechanics, which allow players to do extraordinary things, along with a deck of cards that players will draw from, with several unique mechanics. The story is set around Zariel, who has replaced a character with a disguised Devil who then killed the original character with a magical item in a particular location. Using the traditional Clue mechanics, players attempt to discover who the imposter is, and recover the Infernal Puzzle Box the Devil is trying to escape with.

Photo: Rory Bristol

Hero Powers

First, I will note that heroes are called Personality Cards in some parts of the rulebook and Power Cards in others. Either way, the character that you choose to be your hero has two sides. On the Personality side, you have a Hero, complete with illustration and name. On the Power side, you have specific powers for each character, which can only be used once per game. My single complaint about this game comes from these powers.

Photo: Rory Bristol

The Rumor Problem

Two heroes, Sylvira Savikas and Lulu, have the ability to start Rumors. Sylvira’s card says “Once per game, you may start two rumors on the same turn.” Unfortunately, the rules for this mechanic have been left out of the rulebook, except for one passage in the rules for Intrigue Cards (see below) that says if you are eliminated from the game, you can still be the subject of a Rumor. Lulu’s power reads, “Once per game, you may start a Rumor using a room you are not in. The suspect of the Rumor is moved to the room you name.” This gives some context to how the mechanic is meant to work, so we extrapolated rules for this at our table. If you found this post by searching for “How do Rumors work in Clue Dungeons and Dragons?”, read on for the house rule we developed.

House Rule: Rumor

When using Sylvira Savikas and/or Lulu in your game, the Rumor is initiated when they use their power. To start a rumor, choose another character to move to your location. When Sylvira’s power is engaged, this happens twice to the same location. When Lulu’s power is the source of the Rumor, the player can choose any location to move a single character to.

Photo: Rory Bristol

Intrigue Cards

The Intrigue Deck is a collection of cards which players draw from when landing on a “?” space. Intrigue Cards feature 8 Zariel cards (named after the Big Bad of the same name), along with various event and NPC cards, many of which grant a magical effect immediately or on your next turn. If the card is meant to be used on your next turn, just keep the card in front of you to help you remember. Otherwise, discard the card. The Zariel cards are shuffled into the deck, and when the 8th card is drawn by a player, they are removed from the game, and can only answer questions. The Zariel card is always shuffled back in (even if it’s the only card in the deck) so potentially all players can be removed via this mechanic, signaling that Zariel has gotten away with the heist.

The Intrigue Cards serve to bring some D&D flavor into the gameplay, and can add some chaos to the game if certain cards are drawn. We have yet to have a game where the 8th Zariel is drawn, but only because most of our players have terrible poker faces.

Photo: Rory Bristol
Photo: Rory Bristol

The Components

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Finally, let’s look at the game components. The weapon tokens seem to be pewter, and are finely detailed. The Movers (standees for moving around the board) are standard-ish moderate quality plastic stands with card which have to be inserted manually before use. The board is fairly traditional, but it does feature locations players will be familiar with.

Photo: Rory Bristol

Trivial Pursuit: Dungeons & Dragons Ultimate Edition

If you think you are an ultimate D&D trivia hero, you are going to want to strap in for this game. This version of Trivial Pursuit isn’t a cake walk for seasoned players, or even the professional D&D player. Many questions can be called hardcore, and unfortunately, they’re all in the same category, making it very difficult to actually finish the game. Let’s look at what they’ve done very well, and what was tuned too tightly for fun play.

Photo: Rory Bristol

Components

The components for the game are well made. The cards and board are of the same standard as other Trivial Pursuit products. The Movers are 6 of the most notorious monsters in the D&D multiverse. I rather enjoyed playing with a Flameskull myself, but you can also choose more common monsters, including the Beholder, Gelatinous Cube, Mimic, Bugbear, and Mind Flayer. Each Mover has slots for each of the six colors of pie a player collects as they traverse the board. Once snapped it, the pie slices will stay secured, even if the board is jostled, so there’s less worry about losing everyone’s progress compared to some older versions of the game.

Categories

There are six categories available, as is standard for Trivial Pursuit. The color of the board segment you land on determines which category of question you will be asked. There are 300 cards, each with one question in each category.

Photo: Rory Bristol

The categories are:

  • Green: Magic & Miscellany
  • Yellow: History
  • Orange: Monsters
  • Pink: Dungeons & Adventures
  • Blue: Characters
  • Purple: Cosmology

The Tuning Trap

The only major issue in this game is the tuning. The questions chosen for the game are either distractingly basic, such as “What are the six basic character attributes?”, or obscenely obscure. Of particular difficulty are questions which cannot be known unless the person has specifically interacted with a hyper-niche piece of real-world knowledge. For example, one card asks, “What was the nickname of the estate Gary Gygax bought in Clinton, Wisconsin, in 1979?” If you don’t already know this lore for some reason, this answer is only found by searching the Gygax Memorial Fund, Inc’s website, and is not something even expert players will always have encountered. This kind of question is unfortunately common in every category, to the point of not being fun even for veteran and professional players. Playing with Oak of Oakstaff Games (my twin and the only-ever DM of the Year), our table had well over 60 years combined experience with the game, with ages spanning decades apart, and not a single person got 4 of the wedges before we all grew exhausted with the game. 

Thankfully, the cards also have many more approachable questions. You can use these trivia questions with an NPC to make your players answer questions to progress in their quests. You can use the non-hardcore questions for a fun trivia night. You can also pillage the minis, and use the trivia cards in any way you see fit, because you have all the monsters, and deserve to be feared. 

Image: TheOP
Image: TheOP
Photo: Rory Bristol

Yahtzee! and Monopoly

I did not opt to review the Dungeons and Dragons versions of Yahtzee! or Monopoly, because, really, the game play for those games isn’t going to be significantly different, and I personally hate playing both games. If you’re interested in them, though, check out the listings from TheOP to learn more about them. I will say that the Monopoly set comes with 6 interesting pewter hero minis, and the Yahtzee set comes with a D&D-branded dice tower, so there is some added value, if you enjoy those games.

TL;DR

If you love Dungeons and Dragons, and you love Clue, Monopoly, Yahtzee!, or Trivial Pursuit, you can get some serious mileage out of these games. Each game has components that can’t be acquired outside the games, and each gets a bit of fantasy love from the D&D multiverse. They range from $25.95 to $47.69 on Amazon, so none of them will break the bank. The problems we ran into with Clue were solvable; Trivial Pursuit questions were a bit hardcore; and the components of the games were high quality. Any of the four games is worth checking out for a gift or an indulgence, especially if you like to change up your game nights from time to time.

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This post was last modified on May 30, 2023 6:57 pm

Rory Bristol

Rory is a nonbinary stepparent to two awesome geeklings. Rory is an advocate for gender, sexuality, and mental health causes and also records mental health videos at UpRoryUs. Any pronouns are fine.

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