Dungeons & Dragons: Tyrants of the Underdark Board Game

Gale Force Nine announced the new Tyrants of the Underdark licensed board game set in the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms universe.  Release is planned for Spring 2016.

Designed by the Origins Award-winning Lords of Waterdeep duo of Peter Lee and Rodney Thompson , the game pits players against each other in a battle to win territory in Underdark, using a mash-up of deck-building and board control mechanics.

The deck-building game uses cards and figures, as you attempt to spread your territory and influence across the Underdark regions on the game board. The basic drow minions you begin the game with provide you with ‘Power’ and ‘Influence’. Power lets you manipulate the game board, such as placing figures on it or assassinating enemy troops; while Influence allows you to add new cards to your deck.

Tyrants of the Underdark drow character figures

Players take the role of the head of a drow house, and recruit monsters, cultists and demons to help them control locations including Menzoberranzan and Blingdenstone. Players use power and influence as resources, attempting to infiltrate enemy strongholds and assassinate enemy troops as they vie for control of various areas.

“It’s fun to be the bad guy sometimes, and Tyrants of the Underdark lets you participate in the machinations of drow politics without getting physically stabbed in the back,” said Nathan Stewart, brand director of Dungeons & Dragons. “We’re excited that Gale Force Nine is bringing a game like this to our fans.”


When you set up the game, you create an 80-card deck by shuffling two 40-card half-decks together. There are four half-decks to choose from: Drow, Dragons, Elemental Evil, and Demons.

“Each half deck promotes a different style of play,” Lee tells Dragon+. “The Drow deck is the basic deck and is best to use in your first few games. The Dragons deck has some more expensive troops in it, so it rewards strong decks, while the Demons deck has both insane outcasts – cards you put in your opponent’s deck to slow them down – and devouring cards, which remove the weakest cards from your deck to make it stronger.”

Tyrants of the Underdark shield figures

The choice of creatures these decks provide draws from a number of D&D storylines, including the current Rage of Demons adventures, as well as Tyranny of Dragons and Princes of the Apocalypse.

“We chose drow as it made sense for the Rage of Demons season, but was expandable to other seasons,” says Lee. “The four highest influence cards in the Demon deck are demon lords: Orcus, Demogorgon, Graz’zt, and Zuggtmoy. The Dragons deck also has powerful cards, with corresponding figures, representing the five chromatic dragons, while the Elemental Evil deck features both the Princes of Elemental Evil and the four elemental cult leaders.”