So, yesterday was a big day for D&D announcements. Considering I’ve been waiting for over a year now to really get back into the swing of blogging about the D&D scene, I figured I owe it to all of my readers to give them a one-stop-shop for everything that was announced yesterday. There were articles all over the place, from your usual geek websites to…CNN for whatever reason. So, here’s the skinny on what we know so far, along with some high-res art for good measure.
In a nutshell we’ve got a standard 3 core rule books coming our way, a boxed starter set, and two adventures put together by none other than Kobold Press, cultivated by the amazing minds of Wolfgang Baur and Steve Winter! Oh, and we’ve also got a shiny new logo. The books aren’t titled “Next” or “5th Edition” or anything either, it’s all just D&D, which is nice. As far as the differences from printed rules and the last play test packet Mike Mearls has stated that they are pretty similar, aside from boosting monster HP, adding Warlock and Sorcerer, and balancing classes.
“Basic” Dungeons & Dragons – A 100% free PDF with full rules for fighters, thieves, wizards, and clerics of the dwarf/elf/halfling/human variety to travel from levels 1-20. No setting information and just the basics. This is freakin’ amazing!
Licensing / Packaging – As far as licensing is concerned, no one knows yet for sure whether this will be OGL, GSL, or something else entirely. We’ve also got a sexy shot of Trevor’s hand showing off a mockup of the spines of the books.
Artwork – Artist Tyler Jacobson shows off the un-cropped versions of the PHB/DMG artwork that he did over on his blog.
Organized Play – Everyone will be part of the same huge ongoing campaign, read all about it!
Misc – There is also a new set of D&D minis coming in a Tyranny of Dragons set, blind booster box flavor and the set will contain 44 miniatures including mindflayers, bugbears, and lots of other iconic stuff I’m sure – to be released in July.
Anyway, I hope this serves you all well. I will update as more info becomes available, you can preorder from here and also click all the artwork to see bigger, prettier versions too![/box]
What we know so far about the core rulebooks beyond their beautiful artwork and modern looking design is that they will be coming out in a staggered release instead of all at once and that the DMG and the MM will not be required to run a campaign. Also per Mike Mearls they have stated that they are staggering them because stacking them up all at once causes quality issues. Remember 4e errata? Yeah. It’s also worth mentioning that Mike has also stated that you won’t need the PHB or even the starter set to make a character so that might mean digital tools…not really sure on this yet but stay tuned.
Dungeon Master’s Guide
Release Date: November 19th [Preorder] “The Dungeon Master’s Guide provides the inspiration and the guidance you need to spark your imagination and create worlds of adventure for your players to explore and enjoy. Inside you’ll find world-building tools, tips and tricks for creating memorable dungeons and adventures, optional game rules, hundreds of classic D&D magic items, and much more!”
Release Date: August 19th (limited release available at Gencon 14′) [Preorder]
“The Player’s Handbook is the essential reference for every Dungeons & Dragons® roleplayer. It contains rules for character creation and advancement, backgrounds and skills, exploration and combat, equipment, spells, and much more. Use this book to create exciting characters from among the most iconic D&D® races and classes.”
Release Date: September 30th [Preorder]
“The Monster Manual presents a horde of classic Dungeons & Dragons creatures, including dragons, giants, mind flayers, and beholders–a monstrous feast for Dungeon Masters ready to challenge their players and populate their adventures. The monsters contained herein are culled from the D&D game’s illustrious history, with easy-to-use game statistics and thrilling stories to feed your imagination.”
Release Date: July 15th [Preorder]
You might be saying “wait, what was this about a “Starter Set” he was just going on about? Well in case you haven’t heard yet let me enlighten you, the next edition of D&D will launch with a starter set, which is presumed to be much like a “red box” kit to get people into the hobby. It has a relatively low price point and seems like a great way to test the waters of the new system. Mearls says it is “aimed at DMs, so no PC creation in the box.” Here’s a preview of the table of contents.
“Ideal for a group of 4 – 6, the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set includes a 64-page adventure book with everything the Dungeon Master needs to get started, a 32-page rulebook for playing characters level 1 – 5, 5 pregenerated characters, each with a character sheet and supporting reference material, and 6 dice.”
These adventures are looking to be hardcover and should go right along with the Tyranny of Dragons stuff that WotC has been talking about with the launch of the new edition. Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat are the adventures we’ll see out of the gate first. You can read even more about them over on Kobold Press’s site.
Release Date: August 19th [Preorder]
“In an audacious bid for power the Cult of the Dragon, along with its dragon allies and the Red Wizards of Thay, seek to bring Tiamat from her prison in the Nine Hells to Faerun. To this end, they are sweeping from town to town, laying waste to all those who oppose them and gathering a hoard of riches for their dread queen. The threat of annihilation has become so dire that groups as disparate as the Harpers and Zhentarim are banding together in the fight against the cult. Never before has the need for heroes been so desperate.”
Release Date: October 21st [Preorder]
“The Cult of the Dragon leads the charge in an unholy crusade to bring Tiamat back to the Realms, and the situation grows more perilous for good people with each passing moment. The battle becomes increasingly political as opportunities to gather allies and gain advantage present themselves. From Waterdeep to the Sea of Moving Ice to Thay, it is a race against Evil. Succeed or succumb to the oppression of draconic tyranny. Win or lose, things will never be the same again.”
Great post and thanks! Pretty exciting news. Can’t wait to get my hands on these new products. My takeaways are
1. Digital tools. I don’t really care either way but I know tons of people do so I’m curious to see what WOTC will do with these. I think it will have a big impact on the future of D&D
2. Starter Set. The first Red Box was amazing. The 4E Red Box was an abomination. I really hope they get this starter set right. You absolutely MUST have rules for character creation in it. I’ve already preordered it on Amazon where it’s only $16.
3. Price point. $50 per book. Seems steep. Interesting to see that ALL books will be 320 pages. The 4E PHB was 320. But the MM was only 286 and DMG was 222. They were all priced at $35. So a fairly big jump. As long as the insides is beautiful and easy to read like the 4E books and not cluttered and eye breaking like the 3E books, I’ll be ok with them. Hopefully, with the much cleaner and more streamlined ruleset, the pagecount no longer necessary for mechanics (hundreds of feats/powers/utilities) can be used for other awesome content.
4. I love the art work. Love it.
5. Love the new Ampersand logo. It’s classic and modern all at once.
6. Thrilled about Kobold Press doing the modules. That makes me think for sure they’ll be good and that WOTC is actively engaging the enthusiast Press/Market. That’s important. If WOTC tries to be an ivory tower this will hurt them.
7. To that point I’m really curious about licensing. Will there be a new OGL? A new GSL? SRD? PDF? OMG? BBQ? Can’t wait to find out.
Very handy. Can I translate it into Russian and post in my blog?
Sure thing, just make sure to give me credit and link back!
well i for one will be getting the starter box set. it will have everything in it that i and others need to start play. along with a set of dice. the dice for me is what will make this box awesome. Oh yeah i will get the book, but they will not have dice packed with them.
Can i also add a comment about the covers.
There seems to be (as usual) some problem with the covers. How i see them is, you are looking through your own eyes. As if you are there. the lettering is secondary to the cover. imaging looking through a telescope at the image then the written word is placed on the lense. Well that is my comment about them. truly epic in proportion. Bring it on. i am ready to play
I think I read, in addition to the blind boosters for the mini-figs, that there would be a non-blind set coming out as well. This non-blind set seems to be Drizzt and his companions, which gives a nice range of PCs. I think that comes out at the same time as the blind boosters
That would be really great because honestly I hate blind buying minis, and I hate paying for overpriced “rares” as singles when I want a certain figure. Nature of the beast I guess.
Thank you for pulling all the information together in one place. I used your Amazon link to preorder the starter set, so I hope you get a kickback. I’ve been enjoying your posts for some time, especially the actual plays and the reviews. Please keep up the interesting work!
Thank you very much!
I also used your links to do my pre-orders. So, hope that works out for you too.
As for the License I doubt they’ll go full OGL again. I just can’t see them letting go of so much control. However, I hope we get something more open than the GSL.
And as a digital tools user, I am PRAYING for an HTML 5 version of Masterplan. Fully integrated with the Compendium data! WoTC art for tokens. But while I am dreaming, I’d also like a Unicorn.