Critical Bits for the week ending 2010-08-08

  • RT @NeoGrognard: Remembering the disorganized play of 80s conventions. http://bit.ly/9GxB3J #
  • RT @wilw: bloggy blog blog about #GenCon stuffs, including my signing schedule and chapbook info: http://bit.ly/ds9sUC #
  • 10am #dnd New Product Seminar is coming in 10 minutes. Live-tweeting to come, expect MANY updates from us. #
  • Last warning- many tweets coming from the #dnd new product seminar. Mute us for 2 hours if you don't want to see them. #
  • In the panel: Bill S., Jeremy C., Steve S., John S., and Mike M. #dnd #
  • Overview of available now and coming soon. Then new for 2011. #
  • Highlights of the year: Underdark, Martial Power 2, Player's Handbook 3, The Plane Above, Monster Manual 3, Player's Strategy Guide… #
  • …Demonomicon, Tomb of Horrors, Dark Sun Campaign Setting, Dark Sun Creature Catalog, Marauders of the Dune Sea, Psionic Power, Cstl RavenL #
  • Next season of Encounters: Keep on the Borderlands. #
  • September: D&D Essentials, using the original Larry Elmore art for Red Box. Includes info about making characters, running starter games etc #
  • Essentials line: Bill: "Set the record straight." games stores know what they should have in stock. 10 key products for stores. #
  • "Making it a little easier to get into the game." Red Box is the on-ramp, w/ builds for existing characters. #
  • "There is no 'conversion' – it's the same game." 6×9 lower price point format. #
  • Rules Compendium- all core rules, across player, DM, and monster books. Quick reference. And they lay flat. #
  • Master sets of dungeon tiles. 2" thick box, 10 tile sheets, includes 3D tiles. #
  • Lords of Madness minis in September. Some on display at the show. #
  • October: Dungeon Master's Kit. DM advice, starter adventures, tokens. Very heavy. #
  • Gamma World in Oct. Light-hearted look at the apocalypse. Designed with 4e in mind. Char gen is very different and fast. #
  • Roll two themes (half plant, half cockroach), random mutation cards, and technology deck with broken robots. #
  • Box includes everything you need to play (except dice.) Rules tokens, etc. Very story-driven experience. Crazy mutations, like "you explode" #
  • Mutation cards: will have booster packs to add more "wahoo experience." Not meant to be collected as a set. #
  • Nov: Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms for Essentials. Monster Vault. 1/4 reprints, 3/4 new versions of classic monsters + tokens for all #
  • 10 sheets of tokens, heavy boxed set. Works right along existing monsters. Owlbear on the cover. #
  • Nov: City dungeon tiles. Also Beholder Collector's Set including new beholders from Mm3. 4 beholders in a "book-like" box. Limited quantiy #
  • Wrath of Ashardalon board game, same engine as Castle Ravenloft, can work together. Dec: Wilderness dungeon tiles. #
  • Gamma World: Famine in Far-Go. Adventure that includes even more mutations and hybrid. Includes Giant Chickens. #
  • Red Box game day in September, Encounters ties into Essentials, then Gamma World game day in October. #
  • Novels: Elminster Must Die, The Mark of Nerath (1st in d&d core world novels), then 5 part prelude novellas within other novels #
  • IDW D&D comics, first one set in Fallcrest, then Dark Sun, 2011 will have Drizzt comics. #
  • 2011 releases for novels. Abyssal Plague takes place in core world but echos across other worlds like FR and Dark Sun. #
  • Gazetter: Nentir Vale. 6×9, with map, includes what's around it. #
  • Fortune Cards: Cards in booster packs that include random benefits for characters. Adds extra "fun and power" for characters. #
  • Fortune Cards similar to Gamma World mutations, w/out mutations. Not an extra level of powerups, an extra level of chance and randomness #
  • Deluxe Dungeon Master's Screen, thicker than DM kit screen with Wayne Reynolds art. Very long. #
  • Optional and not meant to be collected. Also 1st quarter: Heroes of Shadow #
  • Shadow power source. More flavor and background in the game. New shadow powers for other classes. Feats to add shadow pacts to classes #
  • Mordenkanien's Magnificent Emporium. More into he story behind magic item. Not history, but more description to bring items to life. #
  • Starting with Essentials, magic items will be grouped into common, uncommon, and rares. Rare more powerful and cannot be created by ritual #
  • Common items can be created and bought by characters, the others are given out only by DMs. More part of the campaign story. #
  • Almost every magic item already given out will be classified uncommon, new items will be rares. #
  • The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond. Boxed set that includes poster maps. #
  • Shadowfell includes a "despair deck." Cthulhu-esque insanities that the DM gives out that includes rp and rules. #
  • Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale. Box box of monsters. Includes tokens, encounters, poster maps. #
  • Conquest of Nerath strategy war game board game. 2-4 players fighting across the map of ruined Nerath. Plastic minis, with heroes and armies #
  • Player's Handbook: Champions of the Heroic Tier. Introduces themes for core D&D. New options, feats. Non-combat options like Blacksmith #
  • A variety of options for DMs and players to decide to use, across all character classes. #
  • Neverwinter Campaign Guide for Forgotten Realms. #
  • 1-30 Bladesinger class, plot options, and more. #
  • Hero Builder's Handbook. Aimed at players who want to tinker and build something detailed with your character. Not in development yet #
  • Madness of Gardmore Abbey super-adventure. Includes card deck- the deck of many things. #
  • 4th Quarter: Ravenloft Roleplaying Game. Play vampires, werewolves, as well as other standard classes. #
  • New card component for Ravenloft, but won't reveal it until later. #
  • Q&A: Working on new minis set for 2011, nothing to announce yet. Ravenloft will be integrated into D&D and be in the Shadowfell #
  • DDI updates… Dungeon and Dragon magazines continuing, nothing else to announce yet but updates in the works. #
  • Most books will still be hardcover going forward with a few exceptions #
  • Assassin will not be in Heroes of Shadow, but there will be new versions of Assassin and Revenant in Heroes of Fallen Lands. #
  • In the DM kit and rules compendium, there will be alternatives to treasure parcels, including random treasure finds. Item rarity too #
  • Dragonlance continue to release novels, nothing else to announce but there is a plan. #
  • Races will be retrofitted to have ability score choice in Essentials, like the PHB3 ones. #
  • PDF and e-book question- still working on it, not ready to say yet but will have news soon. #
  • .@NewbieDM asked about epic-tier support for a DMG. Not enough people playing epic yet, prob. 2012. #
  • Alternatives to stun? Trying to limit its use in the design for stun (and daze to a lesser extent). Solo design takes this into account too #
  • Rules Compendium isn't an alternative to the core books. Core books will be reprinted "when the time is right." #
  • Dragonborn and Tiefling books were a format that were difficult for stores, looking at new ways to present race books. #
  • Atari has an announcement coming about some kind of D&D video game but they can't talk about it here. #
  • Fortune cards- not meant to be collected but they are randomized. Meant to be opened up at the table while playing. No deck-building. #
  • Sounds like fortune cards are going to be given out at Encounters in some way. #
  • Will we see anything for the Feywild? Yes, but it hasn't been shown yet. #
  • From @Squach– is Ravenloft more like Gamma World or Dark Sun? "Yes." Can stand alone or be used with D&D. #
  • One of @mikemearls's new job duties is reducing the amount of errata on new rules. #
  • One of Mike's other goals is to make the new D&D books more appealing to read with more story instead of just rules in Compendium. #
  • Seminar over. Appreciate the words of encouragement about the live tweeting as always. #