Lego and Wizards of the Coast tell us how Red Dragon's Tale went from dream to reality

The Lego D&D set and minifigures laid out on a wooden table strewn with dice
(Image credit: Lego)

Literally making your dreams come true is rare, but Lucas Bolt is an exception to the rule. He did exactly that with a Lego D&D design he submitted following the company's open call for ideas, and now his suggestion is an actual, real-life kit you can put together. 

"The original submission by Lucas was really amazing," says Lego designer Jordan David Scott. "What really stood out was that Lucas really thought about the story aspect of his design, not just how it looked. He created a journey through the build and we tried to reflect that in the building process."

Naturally, turning this idea into an actual thing you can put on a shelf is… well, a little more complicated. A lot went into making this kit (and the original adventure accompanying it), so I caught up with Lego and D&D creative director Chris Perkins to find out how Lego Dungeons & Dragons: Red Dragon's Tale went from a daydream to one of the best Lego sets.

Adventurers wanted

Lego Beholder on a table covered with dice, with a nearby hand holding a minifigure

(Image credit: Lego)

Back in late 2022, Lego put out a call asking for fan-created designs based on Dungeons & Dragons. The winner would be turned into a proper, will-actually-go-on-sale set – and Bolt's submission, Dragon's Keep: Journey's End, ran away with the prize. 

Although the original concept is very similar to what's now on store shelves, you'll find a few differences if you look closely (the green dragon has been swapped out and lots of new monsters were added, for example). Why? The Lego team wanted to make sure it encapsulated everything fans love about Dungeons & Dragons. Scott notes that he and many of his colleagues are big D&D fans who play on the regular, so were keen to push the boat out as much as possible when it came to fan service.

Pint-sized heroes

Lego minifigures in the tavern section of the set

(Image credit: Lego)

"Lego minifigures and monsters make great D&D miniatures," Perkins says, and Scott agrees, saying that Lego wanted to "showcase a variety of different species across all six figures and bring as much diversity as possible, because Dungeons & Dragons is an incredibly inclusive game where you get to be whatever you want to be! We deliberately included two heads so you can customize your character, and all the heads are swappable across the different torsos." 

"Lucas' design was a great starting point, and we worked with him to elevate it," Scott tells me. "We wanted to showcase the most iconic creatures [in the set], which is why the Beholder, Owlbear, Displacer Beast, Gelatinous Cube, Mimics, Skeletons and Myconids were also included. We also wanted a strong lineup of adventurers and drew inspiration from the first boxed set of Dungeons & Dragons, where there were only three main classes; the Cleric, the Fighting Man and the Magic-User, and then later the Thief was added. This is why we ended with the Cleric, Fighter, Wizard, and Rogue." 

D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast had some notes as well – mainly surrounding that dragon.

"The dragon was the biggest change, and that was down to Wizards of the Coast input," Scott says. "Green dragons are super cool – they breathe poison after all – but the red dragon is THE most iconic of all the dragons, and so we chose to change it. We talked with Lucas about it and he had actually made a digital version where the dragon was red so he was very open to the change! The tavern also featured a red roof, so we decided to shift that color too, to balance it against the red dragon. Dungeons & Dragons is a very colorful world depending on the setting you are in, so we felt this color scheme worked well and made it stand out."

Choose your own adventure

Lego Dungeons & Dragons set with adventurer minifigures and a Gelatinous Cube in the foreground

(Image credit: Lego)

Wizards of the Coast didn't just sign off on the project and call it a job well done; they drummed up an original adventure to go along with it. 

"We leaned into the Lego building aspect," Perkins explains. "The adventure is designed to be run while the set is being built. It includes important information about all the set’s monsters, traps, treasures, and location features. Players build the set and reveal new things as they play through the adventure – with or without the D&D rules."

Hidden secrets

Lego adventurer minifigs explore a dungeon in the D&D set

(Image credit: Lego)

What does longtime D&D Dungeon Master, player, and designer Perkins like the most about this kit? "I love exploration and was thrilled to discover that the set contains a lot of fun, discoverable, iconic D&D elements like secret doors, hidden areas, familiar magic items, and Easter eggs. My favorite LEGO element is the see-through gelatinous cube – the perfect addition to any D&D dungeon!"

That's only right for a game where the only limit is your imagination – it became one of the best tabletop RPGs through that kind of individuality, after all.

"Lucas’ design and the set that the Lego team designed is so inspiring and contains so many fun elements that it was easy to build an adventure around it," says Perkins. "It allowed us to explore what the set has to offer. The adventure gets to explain how the monsters behave, how the traps work, and so on. Red Dragon’s Tale also offers a choice of play styles: one that requires the D&D rules and another that allows the adventure to be run as more of a storytelling experience, with minimal reliance on the rules. Having both options gives D&D players and non-D&D players different but equally fun ways to interact with the set. Partnering with Lego gave us that sort of flexibility. I expect Dungeon Masters will find many clever ways to include the set (or parts thereof) in their home campaigns."

Our fans have been asking us to develop a Lego Dungeons and Dragons set... Just like our Lego community, Dungeons & Dragons fans are wonderfully creative, so we wanted to celebrate that

Monica Pedersen, marketing director

Speaking of which, the crossover doesn't seem to have run out of steam yet – separate D&D minifigure packs have been rumored, and although that's still unconfirmed, Perkins notes that Wizards of the Coast are "definitely" interested in further collaborations thanks to the "overwhelming" response. So, what would he personally like to see next?

"I think Castle Ravenloft would make a fantastic set. Or, for something smaller, a Spelljammer ship like a Nautiloid."

We can but dream. Lucas, what's your schedule looking like…?

Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to the latest Lego news. I've been writing about games in one form or another since 2012, and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.