Critical Bits for the week ending 2011-08-07

  • http://bit.ly/qEFgbk #
  • Gen Con Acquisition List – The purpose of this post is to both show what I think is worth buying at Gen Con,… http://tumblr.com/xcu3u0eohr #
  • Paizo announces "Pathfinder Battles: Heroes & Monsters" prepainted minis line, in cooperation with WizKids http://bit.ly/pYx1V4 #
  • Further details of Paizo/WizKids minis line available in this press release: http://bit.ly/mnwUmN #
  • Via press release- Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) to support Wizard World shows with a trade day and gaming events. #
  • Fantasy Flight Games announces acquisition of the Star Wars license: http://bit.ly/ol5E8Y #
  • FFG's first two Star Wars games will be X-Wing tactical miniatures game and Star Wars cooperative card game http://bit.ly/ol5E8Y #
  • Fiasco wins the 2011 Diana Jones Award. #
  • Margaret Weis Productions announces acquisition of Marvel comics license. #GenCon #
  • Marvel comics RPG will have basic book next year, and releasing event books to expand, starting w/ Civil War. #GenCon #
  • 16 books released next year, covering events with either just event books or event plus rules. #GenCon #
  • Marvel comics RPG is going to be based on Cortex Plus customized for the Marvel experience. #GenCon #
  • Congrats to our friends @gnomestew on their silver award for best blog, and thank you to our readers for voting for us gold for best blog! #
  • RT @ENnies New #ENnies Blog post: Congratulations to all the winners! http://bit.ly/p5KKuM #
  • D&D New Product Seminar starting at 10a. There will be many tweets from us, so please adjust accordingly. Thank you! #
  • One more warning: D&D New Product Seminar to begin in a few minutes. Many tweets to follow. Thanks to @Squach for use of his MiFi. #
  • On the panel: @michaelrobles, @mikemearls, @aquelajames, @wotc_rodney #
  • Starting off with D&D novels. Neverwinter saga continues with Neverwinter and Charon's Claw. Brimstone Angels also in Neverwinter. #
  • Cold Steel and Secrets will be a 4 part serial novella also related to Neverwinter, $0.99 an installment. #
  • Abyssal Plague continues. Two Origin stories, 3 stories as the Plague Strikes, and 3 stories as the Plague Spreads. #
  • Shadowbane will be released ebook only to start, packed with bonus features. 3 backlist novels being released as ebooks every week. #
  • D&D board games next. Conquest of Nerath discussed. Adventure System (Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon, and Legend of Drizzt) also #
  • Dungeon of Dread board game canceled, due to not meeting quality standards. #
  • Lords of Waterdeep announced as "euro-style" game, putting plans into motion, backstab other Lords, recruit adventurers. #
  • Lords of Waterdeep released March of next year. Will include coins based on coins from an 2nd edition FR game. #
  • The board game division is looking into expanding into other areas while still using D&D license. #
  • Roleplaying line next. Neverwinter Campaign Setting released here. Split into player section and DM section. #
  • Neverwinter integrates character creation to give hooks into the setting, so the player and DM sections work together for the campaign. #
  • Madness of Gardmore Abbey deluxe-adventure. Includes poster maps, tokens, Deck of Many Things, tiles, and more text than folio adventures. #
  • Gardmore Abbey includes a book only of story hooks, NPCs, etc. and is described as very open-ended, including many non-combat options. #
  • Moving away from linear adventures into something more open ended with more story options. #
  • Deck of Many Things is scattered all through the Abbey which flavors the entire adventure. #
  • Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium. Back on schedule. When pulled, did a lot more play testing, spent time to get it right to rerelease. #
  • MME includes items under the rarity system, character options, rules for followers and henchmen, new armors, and anything you can buy in D&D #
  • D&D Lair Assault launches September in Organized Play. More focused on combat/puzzle aspect of D&D. "Forge of the Dawn Titan" #
  • In Lair Assault, the dungeon master selects from a menu to populate the dungeon. #
  • Lair Assault will be "unabashedly" aimed towards power-gamers who want to challenge a DM. #
  • Dragon collector's set like Beholder's set. Will get closer look later. #
  • November brings Heroes of the Feywild. Encounter season to go with it, based on the older Crystal Cave module. #
  • In Heroes of Feywild, a PC race that can fly, and Barbarian dual role. Defender until he rages, then becomes a Striker. #
  • December: Shadowghast Manor dungeon tiles (haunted house), March: Cathedrals of Chaos w/ diagonal corridors #
  • In January, new map pack product launches, with same price point as dungeon tiles. #
  • In December, Book of Vile Darkness. Many campaign options for evil characters that helps explain how they work together. #
  • Next year, Player's Option: Power of the Plane Below. New monk build with elemental power and "essentialized" sorcerer. #
  • Encounters season: Elder Elemental Eye, more investigative than previous seasons. #
  • Under mountain product contains poster maps, multiple adventures, and setting. Random dungeon generator for when players go somewhere new #
  • Undermountain releases in April. That wraps it up for new product announcements for next 6 months or so. #
  • Mordenkainen's Magical Emporium will have some new shorter rituals and ones with more twists to them. #
  • Q&A is going on now. Heroes of Feywild will have the Barbarian, new Bard build (skald-style), new Druid, new themes. #
  • This year, products pulled back a bit. Want to reemphasize quality and meet expectations rather than causing confusion. #
  • A new campaign-style book will be released next August, but not ready to talk about it yet until it's more solidified. #
  • Virtual Table is still in beta. Want to make sure it's ready to go and perfect when released. #
  • DDI is going to have a Kara-Tur theme in October. Can take more risks and make more experiments digitally. #
  • Digital products have faster turnaround time, can be smaller, unlike physical products that are more deluxe. #
  • New Runepriest build coming in October Dragon issue with Kara-Tur theme. #
  • They want to get away from just releasing new powers to assist a class, now want to tie them with a stronger story element (like Kara-Tur) #
  • New monk build will not be essentialized to be able to add more support to existing monks. #
  • Next August setting is not Dragonlance but still on the table. New setting will be a new twist in D&D never been done before. #
  • Hamadryad, satyr, and pixie are new races in Heroes of Feywild. Support for a variety of fey races too. #
  • .@ArcaneSpringbrd They were specifically cagey on the new/redo setting question. in reply to ArcaneSpringbrd #
  • Heroes of Plane Below will have Sha'ir wizard build. Al Qadim is a possibility for DDI. #
  • On Legends & Lore: Mike rarely designs anymore, so as head of D&D R&D it's his way to explore the game from all angles. #
  • Said they've learned the lesson that you can't push people into D&D as a surprise. So very important to work for fans. #
  • When Mike got his job, he tried to read every 1-star review of 4e PHB and then every 5- star review. #
  • Mike does worry that 4e was too "lecturing" when it came out, and he wants to avoid that from now on. #
  • D&D wants to get back to what makes D&D great and make more conversations with fans. #
  • Conquest of Nerath might have another game that uses similar system. Also looking at (different) ways to do mass battles in D&D. #
  • Electronic editions of older D&D – still not ready to announce but definitely want to do something about it. #
  • The electronic editions of 4e books is the same answer- they want it to happen. #
  • About "supporting every edition of D&D" – figuring out a way to bring D&D fans of all stripes back to WotC and figuring out why they left. #
  • Atari is working on more D&D video games, and there will be more tie-ins. #
  • Eberron subscription pack coming that will be a small fee that gives access to many Eberron sourcebooks for a year digitally. #
  • Q&A wrapping up, there will be one more product announcement after. #
  • Miniatures – discovered that RPGers don't like random minis. New product next year (not quite done), boxed set based around themes #
  • New board game/skirmish game will go along with new, non-random minis sets released by WotC. #
  • New game does not use dice, will be driven by "action cards" that drive the tactical play. Leans more towards skill than luck. #
  • New modular battle map for set. Each box will have set minis, plus everything you need to play with those minis. Mix and match later. #
  • New minis game will have open mass playtest for everyone to use existing minis to test out the game and make it the best it can be. #
  • Mid-September is target for the open play test in the new minis game. Tiles will be usable in RPGs. #
  • To summarize: new, non random boxed sets of minis coming from WotC, will include new battle game with them. #
  • Seminar over. Full article coming later (pending Internet access) #