Dungeons & Dragons once again butts up against the world of Rick and Morty today with the release of the Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty starter set. It's a whole adventure -- complete with a room that's basically full of Pickle Ricks -- designed within the world of the animated television show. We recently had the opportunity to play the game as well as interview Dungeons & Dragons designer Kate Welch, who worked on the set. And, as expected, things got a little weird.
The premise of the new starter set is that it's actually an adventure written by Rick that he's putting the rest of the main cast -- Summer, Jerry, and Beth -- through. The Rick Sanchez featured in the starter set is Rick from C-132, which might sound like a reference to the show, but it's actually an entirely new character made up just for this. (Because of the odd number of main cast members, there's also an entirely new character called Meatface that serves the traditional role of big, beefy fighter.)
"That's just a dimension that wasn't taken, so I made it up," Welch says. "But that's the Dungeon Master extraordinaire. He thinks this is one of the best adventures he's ever written in any dimension, and obviously it's ridiculous. So he's extremely proud of it, and believes that it's the best D&D adventure ever written."
There's 39 total rooms in Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty, and our intrepid party (with me as Morty playing a half-orc rogue) made our way through 10 total in about two hours of play. Depending on how long any given session might go, the starter set could easily take three or four different gatherings to finish -- which is a pretty good chunk of time to spend given that it's only a starter set. And that's with several experienced players rushing through; a less-experienced group that wants to take their time could stop and soak it all in, extending the amount of play.
"I would say that the first 34 or 35 rooms are toys, right?" Welch says when asked about how long the adventure goes. (She also commented on the last several rooms, but we won't spoil that here.) "You're going through these rooms, and it's ridiculous situations to put your players into that they have to figure out a way to get out of, and there's not a lot of prescriptive solutions to these things. That's meant to be what it is."
And while the starter set absolutely dives into some specific references to the show, it's not all that it's about. As the name implies, it's 50% Dungeons & Dragons as well, after all. It's meant for both fans, and folks that maybe aren't at all familiar with the source material.
"The dungeon is designed so that hopefully it's hitting a bunch of Rick and Morty in-jokes, but it's also really important to me that people who don't watch a lot of Rick and Morty or are only familiar with the comic, for instance, would still have fun in the ridiculousness of this dungeon," Welch says.
"Some tables are going to be like, 'I don't even know who those characters are outside of these [D&D] characters, I'm just going to play Keth and Kiir.' But the option of being able to bring all of that, who you think these people are, and what you think Rick and Morty is to the table, it makes it and enhances it," Welch admits. "It makes it better, in my opinion."
As for whether there will be more Rick and Morty crossovers in the future, Welch is optimistic. "There's always going to be [that possibility], especially now they got renewed for 70 more episodes or something," she says. "So, there's a whole lot more Rick and Morty to reference. So once those new seasons start coming out, it will just be fodder for this."
Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty is now available on Amazon (34% off).
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