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Dungeons and Dragons Lords of Waterdeep

Dungeons and Dragons
Lords of Waterdeep
Board Game


Available from Wizards of the Coast

Waterdeep. City of Splendor Is an ancient and colorful city with many splendid buildings and a variety of characters. You are one of the five Lords who rule this enchanted city. At any time, there are from two to five Lords vying for power and prestige over his or her opponents. Through your agents, you will recruit Adventurers to complete your Quests and advance your agendas.

The one thing that all the Lords of Waterdeep have in common is the safety of the city. However, each is also laying down their own plans to acquire more power than their opponents. This then, is the game that anywhere from two to five players will partake with each one portraying a Lord of Waterdeep.

Physical Components

I want to state right from the beginning that the Physical Components contained in Lords of Waterdeep are really of high quality. In this game you receive the following items;

  • 100 Adventurer Cubes
  • 25 Clerics (white)
  • 25 Fighters (orange)
  • 25 Rogues (black)
  • 25 Wizards (purple)
  • 33 Wooden Pieces
  • 5 Score Markers
  • 25 Agents (as noted above)
  • 1 Ambassador
  • 1 Lieurenant
  • 1 First Player Marker
  • 121 Cards
  • 11 Lord of Waterdeep Cards
  • 50 Intrigue Cards
  • 60 Quest Cards
  • 170 Die-cut Pieces
  • 24 Building Tiles
  • 45 Building Control Markers (9 for each player)
  • 60 Gold Tokens
  • 36 Victory Point Tokens
  • 5 100 Victory Point Tokens
  • Storage Tray for the components
  • 5 Cardstock Player Mats

Game Board

Rule Book

The rule book is 24 colorful pages including Front Cover and the rear Rules Reference Sheet. The rules are well written with excellent examples. The examples contain colorful diagrams or photos that really clear up any outstanding questions. While I mentioned that the rule book is 24 pages long, the rules themselves are only 7 pages. The Table of Contents for the rule book is;

  • Introduction
  • How to Win
  • Setup
  • Sequence of Play
  • Ending the game
  • 4 Appendices
  • Glossary
  • Storage Diagram
  • Rules Reference

I cannot repeat enough how well the rules are written with clear examples illustrating play. The manner in which the rules are written make you want to dive right into the game and begin experiencing the intrigues and quests of governing Waterdeep.

Sequence of Play

The game is played in rounds with a maximum number of rounds per game being 8. During each round there are a varying amount of Action Phases that players can experience. Each player takes their turn one at a time and assigns their agents tasks to complete. Each Action Phase a player performs functions to receive as many Victory Points as possible. They receive these Victory Points through the Playing of Intrigue Cards, Quest Cards, or purchasing buildings. Depending where you assign your Agent on the map board during your Action Phase will determine what action the Agent accomplishes. Sounds simple enough, right! Well I can tell you that often the best laid plans go awry when your opponent ruins your strategy.

Each item of play during an Action Phase of the game can provide varied levels of Victory Points, henchman, or gold. These are determined by the type of card played or building purchased. For example, playing an Intrigue card can assist or hurt opponents, or your own agent.

Also, there are two different types of Quest cards in the game. There is the Standard Quest and then, there are the Mandatory Quests. The Standard Quests are voluntary and can be completed whenever the player desires. However, Mandatory Quests are Quests that a player must complete immediately before they complete any other Quest. These type of Quests can be drawn from the deck randomly, or can be triggered by an opponent playing an Intrigue Card and which will normally hinder an opponent’s plans. There are five different alignments of Quest cards in the game which are;

  • Piety
  • Skullduggery
  • Warfare
  • Arcana
  • Commerce

Each Lord of Waterdeep card has an end of game bonus as an incentive. Typically, a Lord will receive a number of Victory Points for every specific type of Quest completed. For example, one Lord may receive 4 Victory Points for every Skullduggery Quest he completes while another may receive the same Victory Points for each Arcana Quest completed. This adds a nice bonus at the end of the game as the Lord cards are kept secret until games end so players never know their Lord’s alignment. So, a player may be losing the game until they count the final Victory Points and because he concentrated on completing Quests for his Lords alignment could pull ahead and become the winner of the Lords of Waterdeep.

Play of the Game

When you first begin to play Lords of Waterdeep you will be referring back to the rules book for the first game or two. The reason you will be doing this is not because the game is difficult, but to make sure you’re playing the game correctly. However, after the first game or two, you will soon find yourself flying through the game planning your strategy and making decisions during your opponents turn. Lords of Waterdeep is a fairly fast moving game with a lot of interaction between players. A player makes decisions round to round on how they place their Agents on the mapboard which will determine whether they will draw Intrigue cards, get additional adventurers, draw new Quests, receive Gold, or purchase Buildings. Players will plan ahead and trying to implement their strategy to complete Quests and purchase Buildings. To this end players position their agents on the map in the best locations that will benefit them with the strategies they have chosen. Play alternates back and forth until all Agents are played and each player passes. At this point, the turns are over and play proceeds to the next turn unless it is turn 8 which means the game is over and players will count their Victory Points.


I was pleasantly surprised not only with the physical qualities of Lords of Waterdeep but also with the games play. After playing more than a few games of Dungeons and Dragons Lords of Waterdeep, I can tell you there is subtleness and strategy in its playing that is inherent in the games design. There are moves and counter-moves each player performs as they place their Agents on the mapboard either to fulfill their own strategy or block their opponents. While it may seem that the game may play slow, I can tell you it moves fairly quickly and there is nice bantering that goes back and forth between players, especially when you spoil an opponent’s well laid plan. Dungeons and Dragons Lords of Waterdeep is a surprising game full of strategy that easy to learn, difficult to master and fun to play.

To see a youtube video from Wizards of the Coast on the Dungeons and Dragons Lords of Waterdeep


MSRP $49.99

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