Next month’s editorial calendar for D&D Insider is up. In it, there are not one, not two, but FOUR playtest articles coming out. The Druid is first up, coming on December 1st. As one of the most missed classes that didn’t make the edition jump, this should be good news to all you entagling shillelagh-wielders out there.
Additionally, it also looks like we’ll see the Invoker class, now almost confirmed to be a new class making its first appearance in Player’s Handbook 2. Is there some thematic link between it and the Druid? Since Primal powers are called Evocations, will the Invoker Evoke, harkening back to the Invocation/Evocation school of 2e? We’ll find out soon enough!
Presumably, we’ll see some new magic items with the Adventurer’s Vault 2 playtest. Unless they feature some brand new awesome mechanic, this will largely just be more magic items to use. I could be wrong, and we’ll see brand new rules for skateboards or something, but new magic items is a best guess.
Finally, the one that actually has me the most excited: Mercykillers. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, that’s the name of one of the factions from Planescape, which happens to be my all time favorite D&D published campaign setting. Since it’s marked as a playtest and not just an article, this implies it is a preview of published material to come. My first guess is that this is a paragon path, and it’s a playtest for some kind of player equivalent to Manual of the Planes (possibly: Player’s Guide to the Planes) that will include faction goodness. Of course, my bigger hope is that it’s playtesting for a full blown Planescape campaign setting for 4e, and that you can select a faction just like you can select a backgrond in Forgotten Realms.
One final note: I believe all signs are pointing to a lack of Monks in Player’s Handbook 2. That leads me to believe it’ll be a while before our high-kicking friends make it into core 4e. Fortunately, there are many good alternatives in the meantime.