On Friday at GenCon, we attended the 4e Extravaganza, which was where the new setting was announced (which I’m sure everyone has heard by now is Dark Sun).
However, there were a number of other products showcased, some new, some already known, and a few big surprises. I used Twitter to report the announcements as they came, but I thought I’d post the pictures that Bartoneus took alongside the updates (cleaned up for readability).
I will add the caveat that we didn’t cover everything, especially the announcements about the novels at the beginning. There were video cameras set up at the back, so if you want to see the presentation in full, you probably will be able to later. Here’s the easily skimmable version for the stuff I found most interesting.
Dungeon Master’s Guide 2
This was the year of the “2” series. DMG2 has chapters on adding story to the game, more about skill challenges, the paragon tier, and a writeup of the city of Sigil, as well as an adventure. (We’ll have more on DMG2 when we post our interview with James Wyatt).
Dungeon Magazine Annual
Didn’t really hear much about the Dungeon Annual, but presumably it will be similar to the Dragon Annual (review coming soon). Bill did talk about D&D Insider, and how it will debut additional content, including more races in addition to the Revenant.
Revenge of the Giants
Revenge of the Giants is the mega-adventure coming soon, which is “inspired by” the classic Against the Giants, but not a remake.
Sinister Woods dungeon tiles is released in October, which supplements the previous forest-themed set. Harrowing Halls releases in March, and will contain 3D elements. For instance, Bill specifically talked about a set of stairs you can build and put your minis on.
Dungeon Tiles Master Set
The Master Set will contain tiles reprinted from previous sets and form a core set of dungeon tiles. The set will stay in print unlike other DT sets, and will be the “go-to” set for published adventures.
Coming in October.
Draconomicon 2: Metallic Dragons
Coming in November. There was some talk about metallic dragons in roles as both antagonists and helpers.
Martial Power 2
Coming in February. While not explicitly mentioned, it does open the door to regular “____ Power” updates.
Prince of Undeath
The culmination of the first adventure path, leading up to a confrontation against Orcus. The statblock used in the adventure will not be the same as what appeared in the MM.
The Plane Below and Underdark
Plane Below (Dec) is secrets of the Elemental Chaos, Underdark (Jan) is fairly self-explanatory, and Plane Above (April, not pictured) is about the Astral Sea. All of them will divide them up into regions and contain sample encounters, focusing on a “DM Toolbox” approach. Later in the Q&A, they mentioned that just because a book about a specific plane wasn’t on the schedule didn’t mean it wasn’t coming.
Three Dragon Ante: Emperor’s Gambit
Releases in February, and serve as a standalone game in addition to an expansion for the original.
The popular board/minis game Heroscape receives a D&D expansion that also serves as a master set to play by itself. This is interesting both for the Heroscape brand (also owned by Hasbro, of course), especially because there were plenty of fan conversions of D&D minis already for use in the game.
They had samples of the game in the booth behind glass: it looks as though they took the existing sculpts of D&D minis and attached Heroscape bases to them.
Player’s Handbook Races
One for Dragonborn in January, the other for Tieflings in June (the two new races, you’ll note). Each one is 32 pages, softcover, for $10. They’ll draw on and expand from Dragon articles on those races but they’re not just reprints.
Player’s Handbook 3
PHB3 will premiere next March, and will also have a game day to coincide. Roughly 1/3-1/2 of the content will be debuted to D&D Insider subscribers beforehand.
Monster Manual 3
Monster Manual 3 will feature Lolth, it seems. (Guess they couldn’t save her for Monster Manual 8).
Dungeon Master’s Guide 3
Not the actual cover. Will discuss epic-level play.
Hammerfast and Vor Rukoth
Both are location books, 32 pages, and will contain a poster map each, and filled with quests for PCs. Hammerfast is a Dwarven city, and Vor Rukoth is the ruins of a Tiefling city left from Bael Turath.
Player’s Strategy Guide
With cover by Gabe of Penny Arcade. A book of advice for players. Almost sounded like a guide to min-maxing.
A book of demons, of similar form to Open Grave.
Tomb of Horrors
A mega-adventure. Ari Marmell clarifies that the 10th to 22nd level listed on it doesn’t mean an adventure that spans all those levels in the traditional sense, but instead has a storyline that uses the Tomb in and out throughout those levels.
Castle Ravenloft Board Game
A stand-alone cooperative board game based on the classic module. 1-5 players, “filled with dice and plastic.”
Dark Sun Campaign Guide
Bill said, based on who now works at WotC, that Dark Sun was “obvious.” (The announcement elicited a cheer from the room). Heavy preview roll-out begins immediately. They did not answer the question of whether it would follow the same setting model of only using three books. Brom is very busy but wants to contribute to Dark Sun. The timeline goes back to the original boxed set. They’re going to try and have some dungeon tile support for it. “We are going to try very hard not to shoehorn 4e conceits into Dark Sun” said Bill, to which Andy added that they’re going to examine how things have evolved on other D&D worlds, then seeing how that same thing would evolve on Dark Sun.
Not covered already:
- They’re working on bringing PDFs back, but no announcements yet.
- Minis sets will alternate Large/Huge during the year.
- The online game table has been pushed back, and they’re planning on releasing some unannounced tools first.
- All of the books focusing on other planes won’t just solely focus on the Paragon tier and will have opportunities for Heroic and Epic play as well.
- D&D video game announcement from Atari coming within a year, but nothing yet.
- There was a lot of discussion about making adventures for children and contributing to DDI.
And that was that. Start working on your Dark Sun theories now.