Dungeons & Dragons is sending people on a wild quest that involves secret websites, Yelp reviews, and even excursions into the real world.
Earlier this week, we reported that Dungeons & Dragons had started an ARG (alternate reality game), likely to promote their upcoming adventure story that will be revealed in early June. The game began when the brand's Twitter account was briefly "taken over" by someone claiming to be an associate of Elminster, a popular wizard from one of the campaign settings in the game.
The "quest" of the game is to find a stone of great power, which was sent to Earth under the protection of an emissary, who had his identity and memory wiped in order to protect his identity. After the initial announcement, Dungeons & Dragons directed players to a new Twitter account (@Immortal4tress) where more clues would follow.
Like all good ARGs, things have gotten both exciting and a little weird. Fans quickly discovered an Immortal Fortress website that contained an image of a card with a rune on it, along with a message hidden in the background.
At first, the website's purpose was unclear...until the @Immortal4tress account started tweeting out additional clues yesterday afternoon.
A scroll’s arrived by courier, signed with Elminster’s mark:— Immortal Fortress (@Immortal4tress) May 3, 2018
“The wielder shares a name with Earth’s first man. His surname safeguards even idle hands.”
“Wondrous items, where do we begin? An even greater wonder lurks within:— Immortal Fortress (@Immortal4tress) May 3, 2018
Orb of Time
Gem of Seeing
Robe of Eyes
Rope of Mending
Lock of Trickery#NoStoneUnturned”
The first tweet revealed that the guardian's name on Earth was Adam Glover. The second Tweet was a little harder to decode, but players eventually figured out that the first letter of each item listed in the tweet could be unscrambled into a new Twitter account: @Glovers_Travels.
While that account looked at first glance like an innocent travel account, fans quickly figured out it had ties to D&D as it mentioned using the same rating system as Volo, a renowned traveler within the D&D universe.
1) COINS - This is how I rate the cost of a business— Glover's Travels (@Glovers_Travels) April 29, 2018
2) PIPES - This is how I rate hotels
3) TANKARDS - This is how I rate restaurants & bars
4) DAGGERS - This is how I rate safety (in this case only, fewer daggers are better)
From there, the ARG game switched from the Internet to the real world. Fans found Adam Glover's Yelp account, which had reviews of 10 different game stores from around the country. Luckily for me, one of the game stores was located nearby. So, yesterday evening, I dragged my wife and toddler to Orc's Forge Games in Dublin, OH.
The store was a newer store, with tons of space for RPG, tabletop, or miniature gameplay. When we arrived, the store owner was helpfully unhelpful, which made me second-guess whether we were supposed to actually appear at the store. He did at least hint that he knew that his store was involved with a quest, which led me to start searching through the store for clues. (The quest's unofficial catchphrase is #NoStoneUnturned after all). Unfortunately, searching through the D&D books or a shelf full of landscape pieces didn't turn up anything, so we left the store dejected (but with a new D&D manual in hand and a reservation for the alternate cover of Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.)
At dinner, I checked the #NoStoneUnturned hashtag and discovered that each Yelp review contained a different D&D location. If players told someone at the store that location, it would unlock the next clue.
With the help of a huge Dungeons & Dragons Facebook group and a Discord chat set up just for this ARG, I figured out the password and rushed back to the store. Giving the clerk the password, I was told that I was the first one to figure out the puzzle and he took my name and phone number down. It turns out that Orc's Forge (and the other 9 game stores) would all receive some sort of package the following day and I'd get a notification as to when it arrived.
There was some confusion on the Internet as to whether only one person per store could give the password or if multiple people would get the notification. I've seen tweets indicating both were the case.
There's a couple other potential clues that haven't been cracked yet. People are trying to figure out if there's a message hidden within a sigil posted by the @Immortal4Tress account and www.immortalfortress.com went dark shortly after Adam Glover's Yelp page was discovered.0comments
So....what happens next? Well, I'm impatiently waiting for my phone to buzz so I can get the next clue and share it with my party of adventurers. This new D&D game has been a blast so far, though. I discovered a new game store with a very active D&D presence (their weekly Adventurer's League has between 30-50 people per week, which is nuts!), met a few new D&D enthusiasts and got swept up in a new adventure that's not limited to a computer or table.
We'll provide an update as to what will happen next. If you want to follow the action as it unfolds, be sure to follow the #NoStoneUnturned Twitter hashtag.