Lords of Waterdeep – Quest types and such

Back to good ole’ Waterdeep! I know I’ve talked about it a lot, but I’ve played the heck out of it  and it’s such a great game I just can’t stop myself. I talked before about specific plot quests but I thought this time I would take a step back and talk about a more general aspect: the quest types and how they play.

There are five quest types in LoW: Arcana, Piety, Warfare, Skullduggery, and Commerce. Each has various strengths and weaknesses we can look at.

Warfare – Warfare is probably the most basic type: gather up a bunch of fighters (orange resources) and complete quests. Sort of like you would expect for a bunch of dumb fighters 😉


  • Main resource is orange, which is usually fairly easy to obtain
  • Has a great plot quest that allows you to get an extra orange whenever you take an orange
  • Has a quest that lets you recall 3 agents


  • Has little or no interaction with Intrigue cards
  • Not a ton of fun/interesting plot quests

Overall Warfare is pretty straightforward and the easiest to play but can also be pretty effective. A good all-around type, but a little boring at least to me.


Skullduggery – Skulldugg is similar to Warfare in some repsects, but overall a little more interesting and tricky, like the rogues this type represents.


  • Main resource is black, which is usually fairly easy to obtain
  • Has some great plot quests: get gold when you take black, 2 points for every Intrigue card played
  • Lots of interaction with Intrigue cards
  • Good synergy with most of the other quest types


  • Can need a lot of gold which can be very hard to get in some games

Overall I like Skullduggery. Not my favorite type but it’s for sure my favorite second type to combine with my 2 favorites.


Piety – Piety can be tough to play…not much else to say about it 😛


  • Has a lot of quests that let you take an additional quest upon completion, saving you an action
  • Has a lot of quests that don’t use gold


  • Uses white which is hard to obtain
  • Needs a ton of orange so you have to chase down two different resources
  • Has by far the worst plot quests of any type

Piety is my least favorite to play as you might be able to tell. I don’t hate it or anything but it’s the least fun type for sure.


Arcana – Arcana represents the mages and they definitely have some tricks up their sleeve.


  • Has probably the best plot quest in the game (play and draw an extra Intrigue card whenever you play an Intrigue card)
  • Has some other great quests for Intrigue cards
  • Lots of fun quests


  • Uses purple which is hard to obtain

Arcana is my favorite for sure. Anytime I have Arcana my goal is to get the “play one draw one Intrigue card” quest (and the one where you get to play 4 Intrigue cards as part of the reward). It can be a pain to gather all that purple but it’s worth it.


Commerce Commerce represents the merchants and their greedy ways so you’ll be gathering a lot of gold for these quests…


  • Lots of quests with interesting rewards
  • 3 quests that can get you free buildings
  • Great synergy with Skullduggery


  • Quests use a lot of gold, which can be the hardest resource to obtain

I like Commerce, especially when combined with Skullduggery. It can be really tough to play when the game is on gold lockdown though!


So as far as my favorites to play I would rank them:

Arcana > Commerce > Skullduggery > Warfare > Piety

I think overall they are pretty balanced though, and you can win with any combo. I’ve adopted a house rule where at the beginning of the game each player gets 2 lord cards and chooses which one to play. I base my choice primarily on which quests I’ve been dealt, but all else being equal I’ll choose the lord with the quest type(s) I prefer. In the end which lord type you’re dealt isn’t that important, the key is to grab the right types of quests and any buildings that will provide the resources you’re going to need. Good luck and thanks for reading!




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4 responses to “Lords of Waterdeep – Quest types and such

  1. Looks like there is a new contender. From the makers of LoW and Castle Ravenloft.


  2. I love Warfare! And it has the Lieutenant–you didn’t want to mention him? 🙂

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