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Notes From D&D Experience

Scott "Fowl Sorcerous" Wachter

The New Products Seminar at this past week's Dungeons & Dragons Experience in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Chris Perkins and Mike Mearls announced, fittingly enough, new products for Dungeons & Dragons, as well as clarified a number of previous announcements.

On the organized play front, the next three Encounters seasons will be titled March of the Phantom Brigade, Lost Crown of Neverwinter, and Beyond the Crystal Cave. Each season will tie in to book releases (ie: Phantom Brigade uses mechanics introduced in Heroes of Shadow, Lost Crown uses the Neverwinter Campaign Setting and Crystal Cave will use Player's Option: Heroes of the Feywild), and will make use of Fortune Cards, WOTC's new CCG style Feats. Also confirmed were the release dates for the next 2 quarters as follows:

  • Player’s Option: Heroes of Shadow – April
  • The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond – May
  • Monster Vault – Threats to the Nentir Vale – June
  • Dungeon Tiles: The Witchlight Fens – June
  • Dungeon Tiles: The Witchlight Fens – June
  • Madness at Gardmore Abbey Boxed Set – September
  • Player’s Option: Heroes of he Feywild – November
  • Dungeon Tiles: Shadowghast Manor - December

The new Monster Vault will include groups and factions like bandits. Gardmore Abbey is an adventure focused on a notorious artifact: the Deck of Many Things. The boxed set does include a physical Deck of Many Things, and later in the year we'll see a new Book of Vile Darkness along with a direct to video movie release of the same title. Another new product is the Despair Deck which can afflict players with a negative effects as they are exposed to the mental hazards of the Shadowfell.

WOTC will also be introducing a new in-store program wherein players can bring their own (rules-legal) character to face down a single killer encounter. No name has been announced thus far.

This year will also see three new D&D branded board games: Wrath of Ashardron in February, Legend of Drizz't in October, and Conquest of Nerath in June. The first two are dungeon crawl games similar to last year's Castle Ravenloft while Conquest of Nerath will be more like Axis and Allies with elves.

Also updated were the statuses of several canceled and delayed products. It was re-iterated that Class Compendium: Heroes of Sword and Spell, Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium, and Hero Builder's Handbook were dropped for quality control reasons but that some content, particularly magic items, may be released in future. Also, the Ravenloft Campaign Setting has been shelved for the forseeable future for further development as it is very "experimental".


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