Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Indefinite Hiatus

Obviously this blog hasn't been updating much lately, and I have decided to place the site on indefinite hiatus because of life issues and general lack of time.

If someone else wishes to take over some responsibilities of the site, please contact me and we might be able to come up with some sort of arrangement.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Changes to DDM heroes line? Delays to the 3rd set of Heroes?

As many have noticed, there is no announced release for a Third round of Player's Handbook Miniatures, and some speculation that the line has been canceled.

Trevor from WotC's community team piped in here about this.

"The D&D minis line is not going away, and while I don't have very specific details about future releases, more information wil [sic] be available in early 2010.

As to PHH3, it is not going to be out first quarter, which is why you're not seeing any information on it. Again, look for more information early next year.

On to the information I do have - In addition to several DDM releases planned for 2010, D&D Minis will be included in the Castle Ravenloft board game, and don't forget to check out the D&D Heroscape Master Set. This latest version of the build-and-battle miniatures game will have some iconic characters and monsters from the worlds of D&D that you might be interested in, and that hits stores on January 4th.

Anyway, I hope to have more information for you soon (ie, early 2010), either here or on the main website. Until then, I hope this clears up some of the confusion.
"

... no not really, doesn't clear up the confusion at all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dragonborn, and Quests.

In today's Dungeoncraft (sub required) article, there is a bit of information about the upcoming Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn.

you’ll see what I think is an interesting feature in the Player’s Handbook Races: Dragonborn book coming out in January. This book is a slim 32-pages solidly focused on material for players with dragonborn characters, but it includes two-and-a-half pages of quests you might adopt for your character, broken up by tier

Monday, November 23, 2009

Official previews for 11/23/2009

... and also 11/20/2009
Excepts on the Plane Below
- on organizations of the Elemental Chaos specifically the elder elemental eye (think Temple of Elemental Evil)
- and the artifact WAVE - a trident for champions of Melora.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Updates and DDI reveals!

Two big updates came down the pipes this week, one of rules, one of the DDI software.

First of all, a HUGE update to the errata documents - problems it fixed: Problems relating to wizards having access to new implements (orbs), weird kill everything problems or other recursive issues (Rod of reaving, stalker's armour, bloodiron weapon, Brutal Enchantment etc), Power level issues with DMG traps and MM1 monsters, Double Weapons have major changes - only some count as two-handed weapons now (despite being held in two hands to be used) and each side of the weapon is now detailed (and double sword is ONLY a light blade now). Bloodclaw Weapon was nerfed so its not ridiculously better than just about everything else. And many other items from AV1 were changed. Some 1dX vs. [W] problems for the swordmage got ironed out. Small Characters can effectively be Barbarians by changing the At-wills to require wielding a weapon two-handed instead of a two handed weapon.

This is only the tip of the iceburg - I would recommend you double check your character builds. Get the Update Here.


Also Character builder/Compendium/moster builder updated - (with errata I believe) - The update included the final version of the Monk build that was previously available - the contemplative monk. It's undergone a number of changes including aligning its Ki focus with the rules used for the Assassin, no [W] powers and increased damage on many powers. Oh and a change I requested - Religion as a Class Skill. Article is here.
More subtle changes were also made to the Wilden, the race that was playtested a while ago. A number of its power and abilities were re-worded, (including a quizzical "2nd level" on the encounter powers) the most interesting thing was the inclusion of a name of a class which Wilden are supposed to be good: Battlemind.
Clearly a name of a new psionic class, likely a defender.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Official Previews for 11/16/2009

Reasoning with the Unreasonable is today's topic for the first Plane Below preview - a skill challenge about convincing the alien minded Slaad to do something, or just talking to them. Take a look here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Official Previews for 11/13/2009

Last preview day for Draconomicon 2 today, this one offering alternate powers for metallic dragons.

3 alternate powers for the Silver, Cobalt and Mithral Dragons are all detailed.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Draconomicon 2 Art Gallery and Player's Handbook Bundle

Not that it's really a preview or anything, but Wizards put up the art Gallery a littler earlier than they usually do for this month's book Draconomicon 2: Metallic Dragons.
Check that here

Also look the Player's handbook bundle has a picture in the product catalogue here

Interesting to note that this set comes with $12 off a DDI subscription in addition to the books!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Catch up 2: Electric Boogaloo


Yeah, I'm find it hard to find time to get updates in time every single day, but I'll make it up to you all right now with a catchup update.

First:
Wizard's Catalogue updated showing simple things like the cover of the new Tomb of Horrors cover. (also Demonomiconm, HS2 Orcs of Stonefang Pass and Vor Rukoth: An Ancient Ruins Adventure Site)
It also showed something nobody was expecting: A different 3rd Dark Sun book, and a renamed Setting Guide. Not the expected Player's Guide, Campaign Guide and an Adventure, but a Dark Sun Campaign Setting (here) (which includes: "exciting character options for D&D players, including new races, new character themes and class builds, new paragon paths and epic destinies, and new equipment. It also provides everything Dungeon Masters need to run 4th Edition Dark Sun campaigns or include Dark Sun elements in their homebrew campaigns. It has rules and advice for handling survival challenges, arena encounters, desert terrain, and adventure creation. It also presents a short, ready-to-play introductory adventure." meaning it is a campaign setting in the vein of the old 3rd edition ones with both player and DM information.) The replacement for the Player's Guide is the Dark Sun Creature Catalog - a book of monsters, hazards and other threats for the world of Athas, and the final book is just what we expect, an adventure. This one is called "Marauders of the Dune Sea" and is for 2nd to 5th levels, and takes place shortly after the fall of Tyr's Sorcerer-King. All three books release in August 2010.

Also notable, but not alarming as of yet, is the lack of D&D Miniatures Heroes sets available in the coming time.



The 2nd of this month's 3.5 Updates released: City of Stormreach




Metallic Dragons previews!: Metallic Dragons: Hall of Fame, Draconians (Baaz and Sivak, as well as a table listing them all)




This months Ampersand (subscriber only) also had some great information on the Castle Ravenloft Boxed set - it will have 40 plastic pieces, including a huge Dracolich! (and kobolds, zombies and skeletons and Count Strahd). Sheet of (interlocking) dungeon Tiles and more. A game takes about an hour and is 1-5 players cooperatively.
Not only this but: "Castle Ravenloft boardgame is the first in a series of themed boardgames using the same basic mechanics. This way, when the second game comes out in November of next year, it will be fully compatible with the first game. Scenarios, monsters, encounter cards, and heroes can easily be interchanged between the two games to create a multitude of new challenges not available using either game separately. Watch for these games late next year."


Previews wise, the article shows some combat style feats, some new and some updated for Martial Power 2 that had once appeared in Dragon #373.
The revealed feats are: Adamant Arrow Student (new), Adamant Arrow Commander (new), Black Hood Student (renamed Black hood Killer) and Black Hood Executioner (renamed from Black Hood Execution). In both Cases the commander level of the feat is open only to Warlords instead of all martial classes, but includes extra effects for a number of Warlord Encounter Powers, and the Student level is open to a number of martial classes (but not all like it was before)
Because the feats list a number of at-will and encounter power we can see a number of new power names too: paint the bull’s eye is a new Warlord at-will attack from the adamant arrow style, which requires longbow or Great proficiency, lending to the idea of a ranged/bow using warlord build, but none of the associated commander powers use a bow, so it may be possible there is a class feature letting the warlord use STR melee attacks with a bow, or something like that.
From the Black hood style we know a new Ranger At-will called marauder’s rush, and as this is for a two handed weapon style, it can be surmised that there is a new two handed weapon build for the ranger.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Catching up: Dark Sun, DDM, Previews and more

Sorry I've missed a number of stories lately, so here they are in no particular order:

Rich Baker on Dark Sun Dragonborn: Rodney [ ... ] challenged me to think hard about the dragonborn and what sort of Dark Sun "spin" we'd put on the[m ... to] make them distinctly Athasian. [ ... ] Maybe [ ... they] are a race that emphasizes [ ... their] Charisma boost [ ... ] suggest[ing] a much stronger emphasis on their natural talent for sorcery instead of swordplay. And maybe they are essentially dishonorable rather than honorable- [ ... ] the dragonish impulses of avarice and pride are very, very strong in Athasian dragonborn. [ ... But] maybe in Athas they're more social than you might expect[, ... ] and if you mess with one dragonborn in the clan, you mess with them all. They're big into vendettas and punishing people who offend or injure one of their own.

Take that all together, and you've got something interesting with these guys: The dragonborn (or dray) are a race of sorcerous merchants, hired spellcasters, pragmatic mercenaries, and maybe even slavers. They're not especially numerous [ ... t]heir clans are like small, insular merchant houses, and they might serve as deal-brokers and moneylenders [ ... and] maybe some clans bribe the sorcerer-kings and templars for dispensation to practice magic or sell their services as assassins. That's a pretty different slant on the dragonborn, one that will let you play an Athasian dragonborn as a much different type of person than you might have thought to try with the core story.

(original text edited for length - see original here)




Matthew Sernett is working on some material for Warlocks (if for a Dragon Article, or something like Arcane Power 2 is not clear.) - look at his tweet here:
Monsters on the back burner, it's time to cook up some warlock stuff. #dnd




Previews for Savage Encounters are ongoing - In preview 3 we see two Slaad, a Living Vine and some bullywugs - HERE
- In preview 4 we see two elementals, a human riding a horse, a goblin riding a wolf and a Norker! HERE
- In November and Beyond there is a Drider Fanglord, an Adult Purple Dragon, an Angel of Valor Legionnaire and a Legion Devil Legionnaire. Then there is an aspect of Grazzt (or actually him...) HERE
-And finally It seems Greyhaze has pictures and a complete spoiler of the set including: Bloodspike Behemoth, Death Knight (a Dragonborn), Deathrattle (a snake), Fallen Villager (a laying on ground/dying human), Githyanki Gish, Githyanki Mindslicer, A Marilith, a Nightwalker (large sized), Rat Swarm, Rockfire Dreadnought (an earth/fire elemental), Savage Minotaur (LARGE sized), Skeletal Cyclops, Specter and Vampire Guildmaster.

Check it all out here




Three major previews for Draconomicon II - Orium Dragons (here) a new reddish coloured metallic which spawns serpent minions, and a lair for them here
And finally some traps and hazards you might find in a dragons lair in the November (and beyond)



The last preview in this month's November and Beyond is for the upcoming The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos - showing a hazard of Steel Rain, and a new type of Slaad




Finally the DDI Content Calender updated for November, showing the new everyday update schedule, and bringing the Dragon/Player, Dungeon/DM divide to clear focus - lots of short class and race articles this month, and moved columns.

More interestingly two new 3.5 Updates for Eberron Fans: Dragons of Eberron for 3 November 2009 and City of Stormreach on 11 November.

And Finally finally finally, despite updateding onto the schedule late, this month's Player's Handbook 3 prerelease material is the unexciting Monk!




Ok super long post, but we're all up to date again!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Official Previews for 10/26/2009


Two previews today, one for Draconomicon 2, one for Savage Encounters - the next D&D Miniatures set.

5 New miniatiures are in the Minis preview, pictured is the Sorrowsworn Reaper. Check the whole article out here - Including a very nice looking hobgoblin and a Salamander Archer that will be a visible.




The Draconomicon: Metalic Dragons preview is about Draconic Organizations, specifically the Guardians of the Gate, a group that seeks portals to other worlds!

Check that one out here

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rodney Thompson is getting back into the Dark Sun blogging game, and wrote a lot - mostly on tone of the the book, as seen by a original (1991) box-set purist.
Here are the most important quotes:

Athas is a desolate place where survival is not assured, where the very land can kill you, and where even the points of light (to use a 4E-favorite term) are ruled by darkness. It's a world of sword-and-sandal adventuring, of low tech and dangerous magic. It's a world where psionics is common, and where there are no gods to pray to or receive power from. It's a world where the land is struggling to stay alive, and its defenders face a near-hopeless task to keep it that way. Dark Sun is a dangerous world, a world of survival of the fittest, but...it's also a world for heroes. They might not think of themselves as such, but Athas is a place where evil rules so long as the common man does nothing.

Dark Sun is a setting that is zoomed in on a relatively small geographical area. There's a lot of diversity in that small area, but it's not hard to imagine world-spanning plots when the known world isn't much bigger than the American southwest. I also love the fact that the story of Dark Sun is about Athas, and that the focus remains on the world and not plane-hopping, god-fighting, or wars between extraplanar beings. It's about the here and now, the fact that death and extinction are very real things and that there's no such thing as divine intervention to save you at the last minute. Your fate on Athas is in your own hands, and while life may be nasty, brutish, and short...you also are the only one who can change that.

It's not a kitchen sink setting by any means; there are things that are part of other settings which simply won't be seen in the Dark Sun setting. There are also a few new things which fit the setting really well. Rich has already talked about the dragonborn a little bit (though he left out that we're also keeping the original backstory of the dray, that they were exiled from Giustenal and have a racial pathos about being scorned by their creator), so you know that some things won't be exactly the same. (emphasis added)

The sorcerer-kings rule over the city-states, using their templars as their agents throughout their domains. Savage raiders make the desert wastes even more unsafe than it already is. Giants wade across the Sea of Silt, staging raids on shoreline settlements and attacking passing silt craft. The Dragon still demands tribute from each city-state, and looms over the land like a force of pure destruction. Defilers destroy life to fuel their own arcane ambitions. Merchant houses still squabble amongs [sic] themselves, and wield a great deal of power outside of the sorcerer-kings' control. Mul gladiators still fight in the slave pits, and thri-kreen scouts lurk at the edge of rarely-traveled caravan paths, waiting to strike. Halfling cannibals still stalk the night like ghosts, and untrustworthy elves still lie, cheat, and steal from their victims in the Elven Market. The Veiled Alliance provides shelter from the authorities (and from the mobs of common folk who fear and hate them) for preservers, and they still fight defilers at every step. Ancient ruins filled with undead still lie in the deep desert, holding both danger and treasures of the ancient world.

The Full original Article is here

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Official Previews for 10/23/2009 - Bonus


Hey looks a Mini's preview went up in the middle of the day yesterday so I missed it!

What do we got... 5 Really cool looking minis from Savage Encounters!

Go take a look here

Friday, October 23, 2009

Official Previews for 10/23/2009

Today's preview is all about Dragon Encounters, talking about fights not to kill, but to subdue, or duel with a dragon. Its here

And I missed monday's preview about the role of good an evil with metallic dragons, that's here

Sunday, October 18, 2009

More Primal Power spoilers.

Bartoneus posted his review of Primal Power (out on tuesday the 20th of October) as well as some spoilers, most of which already appeared on his twitter - but there are a number of new ones. Check out the post on critical-hits.com

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Deserts of Athas - Dungeon Tiles set for June 2010

Looks like Dark Sun is getting its own set of Dungeon Tiles - coming out on June 15 2010. Take a look on Amazon

Friday, October 16, 2009

Errata coming soon?

There hasn't been any updates since July, so another round seems to be coming soon - this statement: @gregbisland Is whipping up a tasty new batch of #dnd errata. Yum yum. (here) is a good indication also.

Official Previews for 10/16/2009

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ex/20091016

There's an epic destiny to look at!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Whirling Barbarian Text from Trevor Kidd

From http://community.wizards.com/dungeonsanddragons/blog/2009/10/14/whirling_barbarian

Rich Baker on 'Crunchy bits' in Dark Sun

Hey look Rich Baker has another blog post!

"We're working hard to finish up the design and development stages of the two Dark Sun books, and get them over to editing. It's a bit of a scramble, because we've got a lot of crunchy bits by a number of different contributors scattered across the books, including Rob Schwalb, Ari Marmell, Bruce Cordell, Chris Sims, Logan Bonner, and Travis Stout. As you might imagine, Dark Sun demands more crunchy bits than our previous two campaign settings: muls, thri-kreen, gladiators, templars, defiling, world-suitable paragon paths and epic destinies, weapons, items, and of course, buckets full of freakish desert monsters."
and
"...but just about any "core" character you build should still find plenty of Athasian trappings. Sure, you might be a dragonborn fighter, but we've got ways to make that guy feel like he's just as appropriate in the setting as your thri-kreen ranger or mul gladiator."

So Muls and Thi-Kreen are confirmed as races (and conversely there is no mention of half-giants, perhaps Goliaths will take their place)
As we no there are no new classes in the book, we have to assume mechanics for Gladiators, Templars and Defiling are new mechanics - or reworkings of mechanics like spellscarred.
Also we get confirmation that the new 4E races are being fitted into Dark Sun for sure - at least Dragonborn anyway.


check out the blog post here

Primal Power previews on twitter

@bartoneus is tweeting about Primal Power Based on questions tagged with #primalpower.

What we have so far:

Spirits Channeled in rages for Barbarian: Tiger, Serpent, Primal Banshee, Scytheclaw, Elder Tuskbrother, Raptor, Thundering Rhino - lots of elements too (here)

Shaman Builds/Class Features: Eagle Shaman - enemies can't gain cover & count as nearest, World Speaker Shaman -allies gain bonus vs OA near Spirit (here)

Druid Builds: Swarm Druid turns into swarms of small animals/insects, Summoner Druid has no new feature but lots of daily summons (here)

Re Thunderborn Barbarians, and at wills for Druid: Thunderborn gives you a nice Warcry, closeblast 3 and pushes 1 sq - Druid at-will = Firehawk, ranged 10 fire attack! (here)

here's a LOT of great fluff, several pages on the Great Elder spirits including the great bear and soul serpent (here)

Animals Summoned by Summoner druid: very nifty! Boar, Giant Toad, Fire Beetle, Ape, Panther, Crocodile, Bear, Eagle, Bat, Tiger, Wolves, & Behemoths (here)

Healing and Buffs for Druids?: the #primalpower Druid has some minor buffs/heals at low level, some utilities that help allies, but not a ton though! (here)

Coiled Serpent paragon path adds 2d6 poison to melee beast attacks at level 16, it's stealthy and quick too! (here)

Official Previews for 10/14/2009

ORCUS
or how I learned to stop worrying and E3 the Prince of Undeath Excerpts

Lots of stuff in today's preview, overviews, items and 3 encounters! http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ex/20091014

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Official Previews for 10/12/2009

Big excerpt for the Warden:
whats in it:
name of builds: Life Warden (healing), Storm Warden (moving opponents)
Class features: there are two, one is called Stormheart
and a number of powers.

check it out http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ex/20091012

Friday, October 9, 2009

Official Previews for 10/09/2009

Feats!

Thats right, FEATS!

from primal power in today's excerpt.

hey look, still barely any racial feats for the eberron races!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Steel and "Radiant" dragons in Draconomicon 2

Rich Baker's Blog is again oozing up bits of valuable spoilers: "By way of another little spoiler... yes, the brass and bronze dragons appear in Draconomicon 2. We've got several other "new" metallics, some of which update dragons that appeared in earlier editions - for instance, the steel dragon - and others of which borrow older-edition dragons like the radiant dragon and seriously reconcept them. And, finally, we've got a couple that are brand-new for 4th Edition, too!"

check out the whole post (it includes some cool information on Dragon Motivations too!) here

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Official previews for 10/7/09

Just one quick one today - Dungeon tiles!
DU5 Sinister Woods - a forest themed set

take a look at some of the purdy tiles here

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Seeker is Primal?

Despite official information stating the seeker being a divine controller, in the actual update it is a PRIMAL controller.

More to come.

Seeker is an Archer

Scant few hours before the update of the compendium goes live and all of us subscribers gain access to the Seeker, the 'frontpage' for Dragon Magazine has updated with more information than the Calendar.

The next class from Player's Handbook 3 is here, exclusively on D&D Insider! Learn about the seeker, an archer who controls the battlefield through the mystical powers granted by her connection to the divine.

... So it seems we're getting a Divine controller archer? Awesome. Perfect for a Silver Flamite in Eberron :D


...also woo more dragonshard items :D

Monday, October 5, 2009

Player's Handbook Collection in November

Take a look at what is on Amazon here


4th Edition Player's Handbook Collection: 4th Edition D&D Core Rulebooks (Hardcover)
by Rob Heinsoo (Author), Andy Collins (Author), James Wyatt (Author), Jeremy Crawford (Author), Mike Mearls (Author)

# Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (November 17, 2009)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 078695552X
# ISBN-13: 978-0786955527



Based on the listed authors this is almost definitely a two-pack of Player's Handbook 1 and 2, and is the price of just one of them!

Based on further research, the set is not (yet) listed on the Canadian or British amazons, but is available on the Canadian bookseller Chapters' site.

Official Previews for 10/05/2009

Ok I'm sick so this is going to be quick - in Ampersand (sub) here we see Dragonborn paragon path from the PHB Races: Dragonborn book

Here is a shaman PP from Primal power. There is a new class feature called the Watcher Spirit- builds are eagle shaman and world speaker.

Lastly is october & beyond - (here) has too much to go over completely - I'll just list the books featured: Primal Power, E3 Prince of Undeath, Dracononomicon 2, The Plane Below,

Friday, October 2, 2009

Official Previews for 10/02/2009

A new Primal Power preview talks about new Backgrounds available to all characters, but especially Primal themed characters. These new ones previewed include- Geography: Broken Lands and Society: Disgraced. A new feature is extra racial backgrounds- with a primal bent - included in the preview is Dragonborn: Dragon Totem Warrior and Drow: Underdark Survivor.

Now check it out yourself

Dark Sun design teasers from Rich Baker.

Richard Baker is making use of his new 'Wizbook' blog to talk about the design of the Dark Sun campaign setting. His two posts thus far have talked about types of desert terrain, and therefore that the plan is to have an overview about the different types of deserts. (link) The more revealing post is the more recent one (link) that confirms that there will be the Mul race, and that there may be some sort of mechanics for the Templar. The bulk of the post talks about some minor changes to the map to explain certain features of the desert.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Player's Hanbook 3 Debut #4 to be of the "Seeker"

With the brand new site design, also comes a new Editorial Calendar (Now called a content calendar)

The some highlights -
A new Race... the Vistani (split into two articles? one on October 5th, the other on the 9th.)
A lot of new DM articles for Dungeon, and two Class Essentials, the Barbarian and the Wizard.

The big item though of course is the PHB debut content, this time its another class... and one that hadn't been confirmed before... the Seeker!

Nothing beyond the name is yet known. The content will debut in a subscription only DDI article on October the 6th, and will be in with the updates of the compendium and the character builder.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Official Previews for 9/28/2009

Hark a preview! This officially confirms the Swarm Druid I talked about the other day and shows off some of the themed powers, mostly bursts and blasts (often with lingering zones of prickly things.)
The class feature is pretty much as told.

Check it out! (here)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Official Previews for 9/25/2009

Quick one today - Primal Rituals! 8 new nature based ones listed, 2 detailed.
check it out!

And look, a preview schedule!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Swarm and Summoner Druid Build in Primal Power

According to the DMG2 there is going to be a new build of druid, called the "Swarm Druid".

Kamikazigerbil from the WotC boards (here) saw an advanced copy at a British World Wide Game Day event - and revealed the build takes damage like swarms do (less from single target attacks, more from multi-target attacks) while in beast form.

He also confirmed the Summoner Build of the druid (we've had a few powers in DDI for a while now)

Official Previews for 9/21/2009

Basic preview today for Primal power, a firey barbarian paragon path called the Stonefire Rager, great for those barbarians with good Con bonuses, check it out here.


Also, the Epic portion of the Assassin went up here (subscription required) including an Epic Destiny.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dual Weapon Barbarian Build in Primal Power?

In This weekend's World-Wide D&D game day event for the release of the DMG2, one of the pre-generated characters, a halfling barbarian, dual wielded Scimitars, has a two-weapon using at-will, encounter and daily power.

There is a feat the fighter-pregen used that worked differently than printed in Dragon- so that possibly changed also - perhaps for Martial Power 2.


When more information/scans etc come available I will update/make a new post

(Source)

Edit:

Some Power names & descriptions from here: Whirling Strike (1[W]+str and 1[W] to another target); Brutal Slam; Whirling Frenzy (Targets AC or Reflex, damages YOU on a miss)

Monday, September 14, 2009

No New Class in Player's Guide to Dark Sun

According to James Wyatt, in an interview with newbieDM:
[...] You should expect the unexpected! I don’t ever want the design team to fall into ruts or do things because that’s what we’ve done before. For example, when we started Dark Sun design, we had a lot of discussions about what class we should include in the book, because we had introduced a class in each of our previous two campaign setting Player’s Guides. But first we had to ask the question of whether a new class was the right thing to add to the game in Dark Sun, and ultimately we decided no. So instead, Dark Sun is going to offer an entirely new mechanic that will take you by surprise. Stay tuned!

There is speculation that this new mechanic will be defiling/preserving.

DMG2 Artifact on Facebook; Paragon Tier of Assassin on DDI

Most of the new Heroic Tier Artifact the "Adamantine Horse of Xarn" was posted on Facebook today here
The DMG2, where it is located comes out tomorrow.

And here (sub required) is the 2nd of 4 articles on the Assassin

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Assasin Heroic tier out, follow up on way after Paragon & Epic.

The heroic tier building blocks of the Assassin were released on Friday this week here (DDI Subscription required) - including a lot of class feats and racial feats for all of the PHB races.

However, there seems to be a little confusion on how some of the class abilities and features work, especially the shroud and the Ki Focus.
Trevor Kidd from wotc said there is going to be a follow up article after the Paragon and Epic portions of the class are released next week (see post here)

He went on to say:
"However, there will be an assassin follow-up article some time in the future that will include specific assassin key focus implement enhancements that do stuff beyond the basic attack and damage buff.

This follow-up article will be in addition to the paragon and epic tier assassin articles, and should include more powers for both builds and more feats along with those ki focus magic items. I don't have an exact date for this follow-up article but it should be out before PH3, and combined with the three tier articles, should give us plenty assassin material to keep us busy!
"


So keep a look out for the follow up article with Ki focus implement items, more powers and feats (hopefully racials for the Setting and Dragon/Monster races too!)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Official Previews for 9/11/2009

Last DMG2 preview today, covering paragon adventuring.

In this there is advice on the type of adventuring that is usually best within this tier of play, as well as the possibility of ruling a nation.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Official Previews for 9/09/2009

More previews today, we're going to get spoiled! (ooh...)

Big excerpts from Revenge of the Giants - Synopsis of the entire adventure, three whole encounters and new magic items too! check it all out here


Also another 3.5 converstion - this time for the adventure Fortress of the Yuan-ti - lots of monsters for the builder/compendium even if you don't have the adventure!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Official Previews for 9/08/2009

Due to the labour day holiday, Wizards of the Coast did their previews a day late this week, that's all good though, because we get a big dose because on of them is the September and Beyond!

The DMG excerpt is an important one, its about non-magic item rewards - divine boons, legendary boons and grandmaster training. - article

These use basically the same system as magic items, they have a value, a level, have powers and properties. The main difference is that they last only 5 levels from when the character gets them. (Because normally items are upgraded/traded/sold and there needs to be a way to remove them somehow)
Two Divine Boons shown are Ioun's Revelation, and The Raven Queen's Shroud.


In the Previews for September and Beyond Bart Carroll covers a number of books, starting with Revenge of the Giants.

For that super adventure he shows off an Item Set for a group of adventurers - one for each party role - the full stats are shown for the Champion's Ring.
Also a encounter is shown off - Starting with an infiltration skill challenge, and followed by an encounter with some giants and their drake.

There is a bit about Artifacts from the DMG2 - How to use them and a the entire stats for the amulet of passage: a heroic tier neck slot item that lets you and an attuned ally to teleport.

The Primal power preview talks about the creation of the Primal Power Source, then shows off an epic destiny for Druids - the Sovereign beast: the destiny to become a new Elder Primal Spirit

For the last adventure in the series that started with H1- E3 Prince of Undeath - they talk about the 'big bad' himself - Orcus.

The last October release show is the Dungeon Tiles set, DU5 Sinister Woods. Three tiles are show, two with both interior and exterior features, and a little pond or big puddle.

The Last Preview is Draconomicon 2: Metallic Dragons - and they show off the King of the Metallics, the Platinum Dragon himself, or at least one form of him - the Old Man with the Canaries. A level 36 solo monster, and one of the few Lawful good monsters that exist so far in 4th Edition.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Official Previews for 9/04/2009

Only the DMG2 for 'official previews today' - today showing off a Demogorgon themed template. Take a look here.

In the subscriber side, Ampersand (here, subscription required) talks about two forthcoming books, Underdark, and Martial Power 2

The Underdark section talks about an area of the underdark where Beholders are able to actually get together without wanting to kill each other, and is the birthplace of beholders, thus its name, The Hatching.

The much more interesting thing (to me) is the Martial Power 2 excerpt. This talks about a new ritualesque system for non-magical characters, called Martial Practices. They have components like rituals and alchemy, but most are strenuous, so use healing surges also. The feat to gain these is called Practiced Study; and 3 practices are shown: Alter Ego - a non-magical disguise self like practice; Precise Forgery - Fabricate Documents; Speak Without Word - helps with pantomiming communication.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Player's Hanbook 3 Debut #3 - Skill Powers

A brand new system from Player's Handbook 3 is being debuted here (subscription required) and in the character builder/compendium update today - what are skill powers you ask? Well they are powers that can be taken in place of a class utility power as long as you are trained in the correct skill, so a rogue or a wizard with training in bluff both could take a level 2 bluff power at level 2.

It seems like a very neat new system, and this debut includes about half of the new skill powers.

Character Builder/Compendium Update NOT pushed back

Trevor Kidd passed some bad information, so disregard this and pay attention to:

@Trevor_Wotc I passed on some bad information in my sick stupor yesterday, sorry - DDI Character Builder update is today as originally planned #dnd #ddi (post)

Character Builder/Compendium Update pushed back

Despite what the editorial calendar still says, the updates will not be today -

Trevor Kidd wrote "@Trevor_Wotc DDI character builder update pushed to 9/8 for some needed bug squashing time #dnd #ddi" (original post here)

So everything is moved a week, and looks like its going up along with the Monster Builder Update, and the regular update (which is delayed due to the monday being a holiday)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Official Previews for 8/31/2009 (and 08/28/2009 too!)

I missed updates completely on friday, sorry!
So, there were two previews done for the DMG2 - Today's on Skill Challenges, and Fridays on Terrain, both articles look quite cool!

The section on skill challenges shows one of the new types of challenge ideas Wizards is putting in the DMG2, 'branching challenges', with two (or more) possible outcomes for success.

The Fantastic terrain excerpt includes the new terrain types: Energy Nodes, Grasping Bog, and Needle Hedges. It also talks about Terrain powers, and includes the obvious chandelier attack.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Condition Marker Stickers coming from WotC?

Kiko, part of the Penny Arcade crew, posted this today:

@thekiko DnD Markers - http://bit.ly/rALsq We are working with WotC to figure out the best way to get these into your guys' games. #dnd

The link there, goes to http://www.thekiko.com/tmp/markers/ which shows off some condition stickers he's designed for his own game (see a full sheet here)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Official Previews for 8/24/2009

More dungeon masters guide 2 previews today, check them out here - the preview is about encounter building.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

James Wyatt Talks about DMG2

Dave the Game from critical hits interviewed James Wyatt about a number of things while at GenCon this year, and has posted it as a Podcast.

In the interview, among other things, James talks a lot about the DMG2, and he gives away a bit of interesting information.
He talks about the first chapter of the book, which is the storytelling chapter, and apparently he called it secretly "D&D as an indie game" - the chapter, by and large was written by Robin Laws (of Robin's Laws of Good Gamemastering) and includes stuff that can help players take a greater role in Narrative control, and will surprise a lot of people.
James also revealed that the chapter on Skill challenges will include the 'updated' rules to page 42 and the skill challenge sections of the DMG1.
And finally, in addition to the detailed Sigil, City of Doors included in the book, there will be a short adventure included also.



Friday, August 21, 2009

Official Previews for 8/21/2009

Part 2 about the DMG2 today!
Companion Characters!

It looks like companion characters are specially altered monsters, so go check it out!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More information on WotC forum upgrade

So the forums are down for upgrades for the rest of this week, (and possibly next) and Enworld user thalmin, from Games Plus posted this which has a little more information about the upgrade:

Wizards of the Coast is pleased to announce that we’re upgrading to a new community platform. We are in the process of migrating our forums to a new system that includes a host of additional community features like friends lists, groups, an invite system and calendar, blogs, wiki, forums, and special store pages designed for our Wizards Play Network locations and hobby retailers.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In Depth Coverage of D&D Extravaganza

Critical Hits put up a longer post with higher-res photos of the GenCon Panel, check it out here.

The Clarification about Tomb of Horrors mentioned in that article, is here on enworld.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Official Previews for 8/17/2009

New week, new book to be previewed! The DMG2 is being previewed - this time its gameplay advice, specifically about Storytelling.
It seems the first chapter is going to talk about basic story structures (likely will go into the three act structure etc) in addition to specific things you can do to help tell your story. In this preview we get to see what they have to say about Vignettes, Flashbacks and more.

Topics coming up in previews seem to be: Companion Characters; Advanced Encounters; Terrain; Skill Challenges; Customizing Monsters; Adventures and Rewards; and Paragon Campaigns.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

D&D Heroscape Pictures

Found some more pictures of The D&D Heroscape set.

http://www.heroscapers.com/community/gallery/files/4/troll_original.jpg

http://www.heroscapers.com/community/gallery/files/4/front_original.jpg

http://www.heroscapers.com/community/gallery/files/4/boxback_original.jpg

The text of the boxes:
FRONT OF BOX

HeroScape
Dungeons & Dragons

Master Set 3
Battle for the Underdark

10 figures
50 terrain pieces


BACK OF BOX

Beware the Jaws of the Dragon

Evil monsters emerge from the darkest corners of Valhalla, spreading terror as they conquer and control the mystic portals that lead to other worlds. Sinister drow and brutal trolls gather in underground ruins, and rumors of black dragons are too terrifying to ignore.

The hordes of evil must be stopped. The Valkyrie Generals representing the forces of good have summoned brave adventurers, who together embark on a quest to defeat the black dragons and their wicked allies. Will they prevail or perish?


Tandros Kreel
Einar
Tandros' skill with the greatsword is matched only by his bravery on the battlefield. He stands against the forces of evil with great confidence, allowing no enemy to slip past his guard.

Erevan Sunshadow
Jandar
Erevan channels raw arcane power and mighty spells that scorch the battlefield. Like any good wizard, he puts monsters in their place. Anything that stands in his way is blasted to bits.

Darrak Ambershard
Aquilla
Darrak sneaks across the battlefield hiding in the shadows until he finds the right moment to strike! Using stealth and guile, he catches enemies by surprise and finds the chinks in their armor.

Ana Karithon
Einar
Ana commands the battlefield with the power of her faith. She leads her comrades in the fight against evil, bolstering and healing them while casting divine prayers that cause her enemies to wither.

DMG2 has Rod of Seven parts

Here it is tweeted from the fingers of @CriticalHits

@criticalhits Got to flip through DMG2. One scoop: Rod of 7 Parts is one of the artifacts in it. (direct link)

Some Savage Encounters Minis now Known

Thanks to a poster from the DDM site Hoardlings, and the DDM seminar put on the DDM Guild at GenCon, we now know that there will be Bullywugs, the demon lord Grazzt, and a Carnivorous Plant (likely the predatory vine from MM2)

D&D Jones Soda 'potions'

Jones Soda is making 'potions' for D&D - they're showing them off at GenCon
check it out http://twitpic.com/drw0c

Flavours include: Potion of Healing, Sneak Attack, Ithillid Brain Juice, Dwarven Drought, and Eldritch Elixer (there is one more but I can't read it)

Seems pretty cool to me, and there is also a line for Magic: the Gathering too.

Wizards Boards to be down for Week

According to this post the official Wizards of the Coast Message boards will be down for a week starting August 18th for some major upgrades.

For posterity and because the boards will be down for a week I will copy the text of the announcement here:
"Extended forum downtime, migration & platform upgrade
We are taking the forums down on Tuesday, August 18th for approximately one week. We are pleased to announce that we’re upgrading to a new community platform. On the 18th, we will begin the process of migrating our forums to a system that includes new features such as friends lists, groups, a calendar and invitation system, blogs, and wikis. We’re sorry for the inconvenience, but excited about the new features!
"

Dragon Annual information

Looks like a few people have the Dragon Magazine Annual a little early, and they are letting us know what articles are in it!

Demonomicon of Iqqwilv: Yeenoghu; Creature Incarnations: Kobolds; Wish Upon a Star; Mithrendain, Citadel of the Feywild (here)

Art of the Kill (assassins); The Gladiator (here)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Compiled Release Schedule.

The information in this post is pretty scattered and confusing, so here's a (hopefully) well ordered summary of everything that's come out today (At least of the new information)

Rules Books/Adventures

For before May 2010 see the spring calendar

May 2010
Dungeon Magazine Annual
Player's Strategy Guide - Has cover art by Gabe of www.penny-arcade.com; "It offers up advice for building the best possible player character from the options available" [some information say it releases June 15th 2010 instead]

June 2010
Monster Manual 3 - Will include the evil goddess Lloth
PH Races: Tiefling - Softcover, around $10

July 2010
Demonomicon - By Mike Mearls
Tomb of Horrors - Mega adventure. Levels 10-22

August 2010
Dark sun Campaign Guide - see here

Unannounced Release Date
Vor Rukoth - An ancient haunted tiefling ruin, in the 32 page style of Hammerfast.
Dungeon Master's Guide 3 - Help with epic material and advice.

Covers for Primal Power (October 2009) and Underdark (January 2010)

Dungeon Tiles

October 2009
Sinister Woods

March 2010
Harrowing Halls - Will have 3d elements like staircases and platforms

June 2010
Dungeon Tiles Master set - A set of basic tiles (reprints) that will stay in print. Comes in a box, with a lid, both of which are usable in game.

The team is trying to make sure there are enough desert Dungeon Tiles for Dark Sun

Miniatures
July 2010
MM: Lords of Madness

Other Miniatures news - Minis sets will alternate with large and huge sized sets.

Other Products

Febuary 2010
D&D Heroscape - see here
Three Dragon Ante: Emperor’s Gambit - see here

August 2010
D&D Castle Ravenloft Boardgame - A Co-operative game, comes in a big box filled with dice and plastic miniatures, for 1-5 players


Digital D&D
Wotc is working on getting digital books going again, but there isn't any announcements yet.
Rumour: There are Iphone tools coming soon.
Rumour: There may be a new Atari D&D game coming at some point, an announcement will come within the year (see)

D&D Heroscape at GenCon

One of the bigger announcements of GenCon is the new HEROSCAPE D&D game.

Initial word came out as "Feb: Heroscape Dungeons & Dragons, sample is here at #gencon. Dragonborn book in Jan, tiefligs in June. 32 softcover. $10" (tweeted here)

And the official word is: "Also in February, look for the release of D&D Heroscape."

They are showing off a little bit now at the show, see: http://twitpic.com/dvk5m & http://twitpic.com/dvkd5/full

It looks like they are reusing sculpts from Dungeons and Dragons Minis based on that picture.

CAMPAIGN SETTING IS DARK SUN




http://twitter.com/criticalhits/status/3310434849
More Later!

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20090814


Edit: Ok I've looked over things completely, and its time to compile the information from the live feed.

Information about Dark Sun we have:
Campaign Guide will release in August 2010, written by Richard Baker and Robert J. Shwalb, the lead developer is Rodney Thompson.
It may or may not follow the same Model as previous settings (ie: 1 Campaign Guide, 1 Player's Guide and 1 Adventure) and there are going to be NEW novels based in Athas for sure.
They are trying to get original setting artist Brom to work on art for the book, but he is very busy, so they aren't completely sure what they will get yet.
The timeline of the setting is going back to the original 2nd edition AD&D boxed set, and [implied in the interview with James Wyatt] any novels will not move the setting forward again, including the [already released] Pentad Prism.
They are trying to not 'shoehorn' the conceits of 4th edition into the setting, but will examine how regular D&D things would have developed on the world of Athas.

D&D extravaganza

People (mostly @criticalhits and @geeksdreamgirl that I can see) are tweeting up a storm at the D&D extravaganza.

Stuff so far:

Talking about the year of the 2's, DMG2 has chapter on adding story, skill challenges, paragon tier, Sigil

Dungeon Magazine Annual next May

Savage Encounters minis set comin later this yr, more player minis coming for later books

Sinister Woods tile set in Oct, Harrowing Halls in March will have 3d elements, staircases for your minis, Master Set in June (reprints)

Dungeon Tilws Master Set will stay in print and be primary for adventures, Oct Primal Power, Draconomicon in Nov

http://twitpic.com/dv3b3 is primal power cover.

http://twitpic.com/dv3j3 underdark cover

Feb: Heroscape Dungeons & Dragons, sample is here at #gencon. Dragonborn book in Jan, tiefligs in June. 32 softcover. $10

Next year, PHB3 in March w/ Game Day, June next year MM3 with Lolth, DMG3 in Sept. Epic level play focus


I'll keep updating this as more info come through - new setting will be it's own post!

updates: Hammerfast in Apr, Vor Rukroth (tiefling ruins), 32 PGs poster map, quests. Player's Strategy Guide in June with cover by @cwgabriel
[that's gabe from penny-arcade]

July Denomicon by Mike Mearls, July 2010 Tomb of Horrors mega adventure. Levels 10-22

Dungeons & Dragons Board Game focused on Ravenloft coming Aug. Cooperative game. Big box filled with dice and plastic 1-5 players http://twitpic.com/dv4q5/full

http://twitpic.com/dv4h2 player's stragegy guide cover.

Campaign setting is: Dark Sun http://twitpic.com/dv4x5

No answer whether Dark Sun will follow the same model as previous settings. There will be novel for sure

There will be pdfs again but no details yet. #dnd #gencon

PDFs: working on that, but no announcements yet. Brom is very busy but will try to do some for Dark Sun.

Dark Sun: "We're going back to the original box set" as far as timeline goes."

Going to try not to dissapoint those who want desert tiles dungeon tiles for DS

Minis sets will alternate large/huge during the year

release calendar - http://twitpic.com/dv5ng

Sounds more like Online Map tools are pushed behind other tools

Just because a plane hasn't been covered yet doesn't mean it won't get a book

"We are going to try very hard not to shoehorn 4e conceits into Dark Sun" -Bill

Andy Collins says they're examining how d&d things would evolve in Dark Sun compared to elsewhere

@wotc_rodney Whew, the announcement of Dark Sun is live at #gencon, so I can finally reveal I am lead developer on Dark Sun. #dnd

Official extravaganza page: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20090814

Will Heroic and Epic be in plan books too? Yes, we want to let players go where they want, but "not over red line"

@weldonglenn iPhone tools could coming #gencon #dnd


Looks like thats it for the Panel!
Now time for me to absorb this all myself!

Full pictures of GenCon Assassin preview

Dave the Game from critical hits.com posted pictures of the entire preview from the GenCon special preview of the Assassin class.

Seems quite cool, and I made some mistakes with my transcriptions last night - check it out here: http://www.critical-hits.com/2009/08/14/gencon-4e-preview-the-assassin/

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More Gen-Con giveaways!

Scott Rouse let us know in this post on Enworld that there are MORE WotC giveaways at Gen-Con - "&" patches for staff to give away, and backpacks to go along with those assassin previews

Assassin Transcription

This picture has information about the upcoming Assassin class, its small and hard to read, so I'm going to try to transcribe it. This will have to do until scans of this get online.





Dragon Assassin Preview
Assassin Preview Character
The Harrower
Halfling Assassin Obsidian Stalker, Level 11

Few Creatures embrace shadow magic without both a compelling reason and a measure of desperation. Not many enter the shadowfell willingly, let alone pledge a shard of their souls to it. For that's exactly what assassins, and other practitioners of shadow magic, must do to gain their power.
As an Assassin, you XXXX a portion of your mind and body in the shadowfell, replacing a fundamental part of your being with a dark reflection of your true self. At times you can manifest this twisted image in place of your physical body so that you can face attacks with little cause for concern. Also, the infusion of shadow magic allows you to spot the weakest points in a victim's defenses. With a few moments of study you can reduce even the strongest warrior to a bloody corpse.
If others know that you are an assassin you might find that few trust you. In some civilized realms, the study of shadow magic and assassination is banned on the pain of death. In the past, as a response to the outcry against them, assassins formed XXXrries or guilds of liked minded slayers and each one delves into the study of shadow magic and developed unique methods of killing. A guild provides you with a measure [...]

As an assassin you are XXXXXed. You traded away part of your soul for the power of death. Perhaps you seek justice against a powerful enemy or maybe you had no other way to preserve yourself in the face of a bleak uncaring world. Whatever drew you into the assassin's path, you are an XXXX of death and a trained killer from whom few can escape unharmed.
Assassins and Ki Focuses
assassins use ki focuses for the ability to augment mundane weapons. After all, a guard patted [unreadable] assassins wield whatever weapons are at hand, or XXXX unarmed strikes [unreadable]
When you use your Ki focus with a weapon attack you focus shadow magic into your weapon. Some assassins carry a few different weapons XX XXXXXX that they have the right tool for the job. An accurate weapon like a longsword is good for taking down a heavily armored warrior, [unreadable] while a devastating weapon like a greataxe XXXX XXXXX.
Since your ki focus augments your basic attacks, [...]


Implements and Weapons
Assassins focus their shadow energy through a ki focus, a [dweomer?] of magical powers XXXX XXXXX XXXXX. When using a ki focus [...]the power of shadow magic and channels it for implement and weapon attacks.
[... very unreadable after this... can see a bit about using weapon as an implement, with the normal not getting proficiency bonus to attack]
If you have a magic ki focus and wield a magic weapon, you choose [...] attack power whether to use the magic of the ki focus or that of the weapon [...]


SHORT VERSION
Assasin - Shadow powered; can use new implements called Ki Focuses to empower weapons; will have a paragon path called Obsidian Stalker.



Edit: Added contrast enhanced version of picture that helped me transcribe.

If you want to comment below with probable transcriptions of the unreadable (by me) sections, please do so!

Assassin Preview at Gen-Con

As many Twitterers are saying " Sign or renew ddi at #gencon and get the assassin preview!"

The only actual text I have found from this preview is this picture so far... off to look for more!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Adventurer's vault preview on facebook

Three pictures involving AV2 - a picture of some gloves, a dagger, and the stats for both are up on the D&D facebook page.

Check them out here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/dungeonsanddragons?ref=nf

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

News Catchup...

Uh, there's a lot and I'm tired.

Quick quick quick!

Announcement of 2010 setting will be at the "D&D 4th Edition Extravaganza" panel at Gen-Con ... not the 25th Anniversary of DragonLance. Link

More Gen-Con stuff... WotC is selling Player's Handbooks for $5 with purchase of another book at the Con! AND the compendium is going to be free this weekend! (link)

Some have adventurer's vault already (link 1) (link 2)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Official Previews for 8/10/2009

Another item set today - this time for a Thaneborn Barbarian - and can be started even at low heroic tier.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Eberron Campaign Guide Review!

Last review I did (Eberron Player's Guide) was a little long, so I'm going to try to cut this one shorter, especially since I'm writing it, well, about 2 weeks after the book came out. But the book took a long time to read!

Art 8/10 - The art is almost universally great, but there are two major stinkers I can think of, a picture of a dwarf and half-orc (if I remember correctly) that are awful, and I'm not a fan of the Foulspawn picture - its too cartoony for the subject matter.

Cartography 10/10 - Best RPG maps ever made, hands down - great job Lee Moyer! And the adventure's battle-scale maps are while not amazing, quite functional and get all the important information across clearly. The cutaway of Sharn, and the new Cosmology map are A+ too.

Layout 9/10 - I really like the chapter structure, introducing the concepts of the setting and some of the major villains right at the beginning was a great idea, and worked much better than sticking the introductory adventure at the beginning like the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide did. Each section is meaty, having both a lot of great text to read, stat-blocks to look at, and History/Arcana/Religion checks that can be used mid-play. The layout works great for using the book during play as you just have to find the right section of the book ("What do you know about Karrnath? Well make a history check 23? ok you know...") The inclusion of the index and monster index are awesome too.

Writing 9/10 - This is a very enjoyable book to read, just like its 3.5 predecessor was, and kept me completely engaged. It is also a weighty text, which can take some time to absorb and get the full impact. Keith Baker's Writing is really great though anyway.

Mechanics 7/10 - Simply, there isn't too much in the book rules wise. There's a monster or NPC stat block in pretty much every section, and most of them are quite good, but they didn't use all of their new monster rules (minions get an actual role for example) in all places, but there isn't a whole lot of stuff in here. The Mounts section, which is pretty much all that there is left other than a disease and some traps, (both quite useful) should have been moved to the player's guide.

As Update from 3.5 10/10 - This is simply the best Eberron Campaign Guide yet written (not too hard when there is only one book for competition) Nothing feels shoehorned into the 4E mechanics, and the new additions (Eladrin and Dragonborn mostly) feel natural. Elements from other Eberron 3.5 books are well integrated (More information on Sarlona, Argonesson, the religions, and more) and tone and things are even conveyed better than they were in the original ECS.

Weakeness - The major weaknesses in the book are that you just wish there was more space! I wish each plane would have gotten a page or two, I wish each dragonmarked house had gotten two more pages minimum, but everything is still completely playable as is without that extra info.


Overall Score - 95% - This is a great great campaign setting. Go buy it.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Official Previews for 8/07/2009

Only one preview today from Adventurer's Vault 2 - magical ammunition -
The three ammos shown are: Bending Bullets, Dispelling Bolts, and Phasing Arrows.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Martial Power 2 Cover and Fansite Policy

Wizards finally put up their fansite policy, and it had a little gem hidden in the marketing material that is allowed to be used with it, behold:
4eSpoilers is not affiliated with, endorsed, sponsored, or specifically approved by Wizards of the Coast LLC. 4eSpoilers may use the trademarks and other intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast LLC, which is permitted under Wizards' Fan Site Policy [link]. MARTIAL POWER 2® is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast and D&D® core rules, game mechanics, characters and their distinctive likenesses are the property of the Wizards of the Coast. For more information about Wizards of the Coast or any of Wizards' trademarks or other intellectual property, please visit their website at (www.wizards.com)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Assassin going into Compendium/Character Builder Early?

Mike Donais posted on the Wizards boards that the online team is going to try to get the Assasin exclusive class into the Character Builder et al early

Original Post

Well we never promise dates but there is some chance that like the monk it might be a month earlier than our normal schedule. Which would mean it appears in Dragon in September and CB at the beginning of October.

More On Githzerai...

Apparently I missed a couple things yesterday:

Confirmation that there are only 4 Races in PHB3.
There is another class called the Seeker that the Githzerai is supposed to be good at.

I think that's everything I missed though!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Githzerai and more!

I'm still updating my character builder right now, but the PDF of the Player's Handbook 3 debut of the race (subscription required) is there too, so lets take a look...

In order as things jump out for me:
There is a racial paragon path called the rrathmal and some racial feats here in the article.
"A high Wisdom score fills the secondary ability score for the other three psionic classes [other than the monk] ..."
Player Githzerai get "defended mind" bonuses to some saving throws, and "Shifting Fortunes" making second wind better, the rest is the same as it was in the Monster Manual.
Githyanki ARE NOT going to be in the PHB3; they are meant to be a villainous race, and they feel Drow take up too much of that mindspace.
Githzerai have two racial backgrounds included: Cenobite Initiate and War Band Survivor.
The Rrathmal has a potentially abusable level 11 power.
The feats that they show off are: Alhahn’s Mindful Relocation, Dakshai’s Body-Mind Union, Iron Resolve of Zerthadlun, Miryath’s First Strike, Zuwoth’s Enlightened Step, Githzerai Planewalker, Iron Hands, Shared Danger Sense, Wind’s Fortunes, Adamantine Mind, Iron Body, Peerless Reaction

Monday, August 3, 2009

More Official Previews for 8/3/09


Hey look an August and Beyond... later in the day, lets see what we got...

There's new information for D&D Minis: Legendary Evils, as in Stat Cards for some monsters; and cartoon pictures of the 5 too!

For Adventurer's Vault 2, we get our first peek at item sets, this time the relics of Creation - an item set for epic divine characters (avengers mostly)

For Revenge of the giants we get some info on the city of Argent: The city of Argent is a walled settlement on a cloud-shrouded mountaintop overlooking the Plains of Chaos, where the barriers between the world and the Elemental Chaos are particularly thin. In ages past, it was a thriving metropolis, occupied by various races and visited by scores more. Everything was built around the needs of the guardians, the champions provided by the bastions of light to serve as Argent’s agents and defenders.
Also statblocks for some Giants!

Dungeon Master's Guide - we're going to be getting: 8 pages of traps; better guidelines for making traps; More Fantastic Terrain - ones with POWERS; Rules on Making minions; 'refined' guidelines for Elites and Solos; Class Templates for the PHB2 classes (no mention on the artificer or swordmage); "You’ll find new artifacts in Chapter 5, including old favorites such as the Rod of Seven Parts and the Cup and Talisman of Al’Akbar" and new artifacts too; Alternate systems of rewards instead of magic items; Rules for Companion characters!
Seems like a lot of cool stuff there!

Ok time for me to go play some D&D

Official Previews for 8/3/2009

More adventurer's vault 2 today - showing off Lair Items, what are they you might ask?

Lair items are a class of wondrous item that adventurers can add to their base of operations (or "lair"). Unlike most magic items, lair items aren’t portable; they must be left behind when a hero goes exploring. They provide comforts when the party returns home after a difficult adventure, and a home-field advantage against enemies who would dare assault them in their sanctum.

Items show are, a cask ever-filling with dwarven ale; A talking door knocker; A Powerful throne; Mortar that helps build magical walls.


In this month's Ampersand (subscription needed) Bill Slavisek talks about a bunch of things we already know, and teases about the 2010 setting announcement at Gencon, and other announcements for the convention.

New info in the article is a monster from The Plane Below - The Primordial ooze, a Huge Level 24 Elite brute Elemental Ooze.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Detailed Info from WotC spring Calendar

Thalmin posted the full details of the calendar on to ENWORLD's board (watch out they're a little slow right now due to ENNIES voting - go do that too; but because of that I will copy all the relevant info)

New info: A New products showcased: a New 3 Dragon Ante game; There is NO confirmation of PHB3 being divine, primal AND psionic (only psionic); “Shadow Over Nentir Vale” is what the S means in HS1; Hammerfast comes with a poster map;

Roleplaying Games

Underdark a D&D Supplement by Rob Heinsoo and Andy Collins
No realm in the D&D world stirs the imagination like the Underdark. This vast subterranean domain holds thousands of adventure possibilities and myriad threats, including drow, mind flayers, dragons, and worse! Entire campaigns can unfold in its depths, and its rewards are boundless.
Underdark contains everything a Dungeon Master needs to run adventures or campaigns set in the vast underworld of his or her D&D pcampaign, including new monsters and hazards, ready-to-play encounters, monster lairs, and detailed information on various dark-dwelling “movers and shakers.”
Jan 19, 2010
160 page hardcover $29.95

Player’s Handbook Races: Dragonborn a D&D Supplement by James Wyatt
If you want to play the ultimate dragonborn hero, this book is for you!
This expansion of the Player’s Handbook core rulebook explores the mysteries of the dragonborn. It presents D&D players with exciting new options for their dragonborn characters, including unique racial feats, powers, paragon paths, and epic destinies. This book also includes ways to flesh out your dragonborn character’s background and personality.
Jan 19, 2010
32 page softcover, $9.95

Martial Power 2 a D&D Supplement by Richard Baker
Sharpen your sword and tighten your bow! This must-have book is the latest in a line of player-friendly game supplements offering hundreds of new options for D&D characters, specifically focusing on martial heroes. It provides new archetypal builds for fighters, rangers, rogues, and warlords, as well as new character powers, feats, paragon paths, and epic destinies.
Feb 16, 2010
160 page hardcover, $29.95

HS1 Reavers of Harkenwold
a D&D Heroic Tier Adventure by Richard Baker
Harken Keep has fallen, and what’s left of the Barony of Harkenwold will soon fall under evil’s sway unless brave heroes take action to overthrow the dreaded Iron Circle and their monstrous allies.
This heroic-level D&D adventure is designed to take characters from 1st to 4th level. HS1 Reavers of Harkenwold can be played as a stand-alone adventure or as the first part of a three-part series (“Shadow Over Nentir Vale”) that spans ten levels of game play. This product includes two adventure booklets, a full-color battle map, and illustrations of sights and scenes featured in the adventure.
Feb 16, 2010
96 pages, $24.95

Divine Power Cards a D&D Accessory
Players using Divine Power Cards don’t need to crack open a rulebook every time they use a power – all the crucial information is right in front of their eyes. Simply select the cards for your character’s powers and you’re ready to play!
Each deck of 100 nonrandom cards includes all the powers from Divine Power for one of the four classes featured in the book – avenger, cleric, invoker, and paladin – plus a few blank cards for players to use for other powers.
Feb 16, 2010
$9.99

Player’s Handbook 3 a D&D Core Rulebook by Mike Mearls, Rob Heinsoo, and Robert J. Schwalb
Player’s Handbook 3 expands the range of options available to D&D players with new classes, races, powers, and other material.
This book builds on the array of classes and races presented in the Player’s Handbook and Player’s Handbook 2 core rulebooks, presenting old favorites and new, never-before-seen options to the game. Player’s Handbook 3 also adds the psionic power source to the 4th Edition D&D game, along with several new classes that harness this power source.
New classes will include the monk, and new races will include the minotaur and githzerai.
March 16, 2010
224 page hardcover, $34.95

Harrowing Halls – Dungeon Tiles a D&D Accessory
This D&D Roleplaying Game accessory gives Dungeon Masters an easy and inexpensive way to include great-looking terrain in their games. This set provides ready-to-use, configurable tiles and three-dimensional enhancements with which to build exciting encounter locations.
This accessory contains four double-sided sheets of illustrated, die-cut terrain tiles on heavy cardstock, plus two sheets of three-dimensional terrain elements, allowing you to create platforms, staircases, and other dungeon fixtures.
March 16, 2010
$11.95

Hammerfast a D&D Supplement
A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site by Mike Mearls
Need an exciting adventure location for your heroes to explore? Look no further.
Hammerfast presents a fully detailed, ready-to-use dwarven town, complete with secret location, maps, adventure hooks, monster and NPC statistics, ready-to-ply encounters, and a full-color, double-sided battle map. The book is perfect for Dungeon Masters looking for an intrigue-laden adventure location that fits instantly and easily into their existing D&D campaigns.
The dwarven outpost Hammerfast is described in the Dungeon Master’s Guide core rule book and gets mentioned often in D&D published adventures. However, this is the first time the town has been fully detailed. In addition to the adventure location, Hammerfast can serve as the base of operations for characters exploring Nentir Vale.
April 20, 2010
32 page softcover, $11.95

The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea a D&D Supplement by Rob Heinsoo
On the Astral Sea, characters face off against angels, devils, githyanki, and even the gods and their exarchs while exploring dungeons, raiding astral galleons, and establishing themselves as demigods. This game supplement builds on the overview of the Astral Sea presented in the Manual of the Planes game supplement and explores the heavenly plane in greater detail. From the cavernous layers of Nine Hells to the dark dungeons of Tytherion, adventure awaits in every astral dominion and on the vast, uncharted sea that stretches between them.
This game supplement describes the Astral Sea and key locations throughout the plane. It also presents a multitude of new monsters, as well as adventure hooks, encounters, hazards, and everything Dungeon Masters need to make the Astral Sea a featured setting in their campaigns.
April 20, 2010
160 page hardcover, $29.95


Miniatures

Three-Dragon Ante: Emperor’s Gambit
a D&D Game by Rob Heinsoo
This fun card game updates the popular Three-Dragon Ante card game, adding new cards and new ways to foil your opponents! Designed for 2-6 players, Three-Dragon Ante: Emperor’s Gambit showcases dragons and iconic character archetypes from the D&D world. Easy to learn and play, this game is great for everyone, from dedicated D&D games to poker fans to casual card players. D&D characters can also play Three-Dragon Ante: Emperor’s Gambit within the contest of any D&D campaign. In addition to the added cards and rules, this game also contains complete rules for the original Three-Dragon Ante card game.
Feb 16, 2010
$14.99

Player’s Handbook Heroes: Series 3 a D&D Accessory
The Player’s Handbook Heroes: Series 3 expansion for the D&D Roleplaying Game features high-quality miniatures representing iconic player character races and classes described in the Player’s Handbook and Player's Handbook 2 core rulebooks. There are six packs in all: 1 pack of divine heroes, 1 pack of martial heroes, 2 packs of arcane heroes, and 2 packs of primal heroes.
Each pack contains 3 visible, high-quality, non-random plastic miniatures representing D&D player characters. Each miniature comes beautifully painted and fully assembled. (NOTE: no mention is made of power cards in this set.)
Feb 16, 2010
$10.99


Monster Manual: Streets of Shadow a D&D Miniatures Expansion
The Monster Manual: Streets of Shadow expansion for D&D features pre-painted plastic miniatures of iconic monsters from the Monster Manual and Monster Manual 2 core rulebooks, as well as other D&D game supplements. This 40-figure set includes monsters of various levels and roles, and each booster pack allows Dungeon Masters to run a ready-to-play D&D encounter right out of the box!
Each booster pack contains 1 visible non-random miniature and 4 hidden random miniatures.
April 21, 2010
$14.99

Friday, July 31, 2009

Official Previews for 7/31/2009

Today's preview again is just for Adventurer's Vault 2, today covering Story Items for Implements (rods)

Two rods are covered, the Rod of Stolen Starlight and the Rod of Silver Rain.

Also there is official confirmation that there will be equipment for Artificers and Invokers (and by extension the rest of the PHB2 classes) in the preamble for the article.

Edit:
I just realized there was a bit of information from a preview I missed today, in the Mini's preview. Normally I wasn't covering them because we knew all about the minis in the set, but today also had "You'll be able to find monster statistics for all the draconians in the upcoming Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons book."
Does that point to, or away from the next setting being Dragonlance? You decide, or wait until the announcement at GEN-CON.