Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Reverie

I've neglected this blog far too long. Things have been crazy at my day job, but that's no excuse for a writer! *shakefist*

This weekend was a great break, though. I got to participate in the Weekend in the Realms event with some great folks. We got the cooperation of Page 3 to use their store to play in. We did get stuck in the basement and had to leave after a few hours, though. Moved the game to our friends' place and played for hours.

It was a lot of fun, and we got to try some things in-game we hadn't done yet. Overall, it was worth it!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pimp my ride, WoW style

Got a couple product reviews awaiting approval on Those might go up Monday; if not, should be on Friday. Either way, they'll also go up on EN World and here as well, this week.

In the meantime, some news from the Warcraft… world. First, the Brewfest festival has begun. You can buy your own invisible Wolpertinger pet, get smashed and race rams. Used to be, you could build up tickets to buy a Swift Brewfest Ram, regardless of your faction. This year, that's been scrapped. Instead, there's a level 70 boss that (sometimes) drops the Ram, or a new Brewfest Kodo. He can also drop a teleporter remote. Or, you could just buy yourself a non-virtual beer stein.

Second, coming in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, Engineers will be able to make motorcycles. They're able to hold the rider and one passenger, and are Bind on Equip, so they can be sold or given away.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Today was a Warcraft day. Not much else to accomplish, but I did get a lot of gaming done. Among them:
  • Finished Uldaman, finally. And it was a surprisingly cool PUG too.
  • Hit 275 Engineering
  • Became Friendly with Ratchet, Gadgetzan and Booty Bay.
  • Hit level 50
  • Made a new gun: Thorium Rifle
  • Started exploring Un'Goro Crater. Awesome place. Got eaten by a dinosaur.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Magic Smoke

Well, that was fun. My current laptop, an old 12" aluminum Powerbook G4, has been a workhorse for about 6 years now. I briefly tried replacing it with an Asus eee, but the Xandros linux on the eee was so locked down it wasn't worth my time.

So, of course, right after I return the eee, my Powerbook decides to get revenge on me. The power adapter, which has seen better days, began to smoke near the actual plug at the laptop. A couple of the wires had finally frayed their insulation and shorted, melting the plastic housing them. One quick unplug-and-shutdown later, and I was offline until I could get a new power adapter.

I've now got a new MacAlly power adapter, which is a sight cheaper than the official Apple one and seems to work just as well.

I'll work up a review of the Asus eee shortly, long with several game book reviews that will likely go up on

Saturday, September 6, 2008

GenCon: Cosplay

As the final post in my GenCon report (finally), I thought I'd leave you with a few more pictures. Several folks were dressed up as their favorite characters (aka cosplay), and a few were really just outstanding.

Cosplay - Blood Elf

This is a really nicely done Blood Elf from World of Warcraft. There's a lot of detail in this one, and it must've taken quite some time to put together.

Cosplay - Drow

The elves were well represented this year. Here, we have an absolutely awesome Drow. The lighting in the hotel was bad, so it's a bit hard to make out, but she did a fantastic job with the makeup and costuming.

Cosplay - Medieval Figures

A medieval troupe. The lady in the white dress must've had a time with it, because the train was extremely long. Looked great, though.

Cosplay - Captain Jack Sparrow

The best Captain Jack Sparrow of the con. And yes, there were a few.

Banana & Monkey

A monkey and his banana. Be sure to look at the sign on the monkey's chest. And, who is that to the side?

Cosplay - Vash the Stampede

Why, it's Vash the Stampede! Complete with his friend, Kuroneko.


I'm not sure if this counts as cosplay, but this was a fully featured R2-D2 rolling around the con floor.

That does it for GenCon. Hope you enjoyed reading my blogposts! Later this week, I'm going to do reviews of a couple books I picked up at the con, as well as some new computer hardware I recently purchased.

Gencon: Days 3 & 4

Saturday at GenCon started out early. The "Haunted and Historical" tour kept us up late, so we almost overslept and missed...

Killer Breakfast

The "Killer Breakfast" does not serve breakfast. :) Basically, it's a silly thing that authors Tracy & Laura Hickman put together. Everyone piles into the room and a group of about a dozen people get pulled up onto the stage and given "character sheets." Tracy then gives a scenario and starts asking the people "How did you get here," and "What do you do?"

If people's answers are too boring or just lame, they get "killed" and taken off the stage, to make room for the next person. Of course, the trick is that everyone will get killed by the end of it, so it's no big deal. The people who are the most entertaining "live" the longest onstage. A couple of my favorites:

Killer Breakfast - Pirate Wench

The Pirate gal actually lasted a couple rounds, if I remember right, because she played it to the hilt. And besides, everything's better with pirates!

Killer Breakfast - Service

As I mentioned before, there is no breakfast served at Killer Breakfast. When Tracy Hickman asked this guy "what do you do?" he got up and pulled out a table, then proceeded to serve Tracy & Laura a light breakfast. He lived a couple more rounds. :)

Killer Breakfast - Yoda

Yes, this guy dressed up as Yoda, complete with little arms on sticks. And he really stole the show. He also was sitting next to a kid who was doing a Harry Potter-ish thing to play, and they really had fun playing off each other.

Killer Breakfast - Monster in Darkness

I really wish I could've got a better picture of this. Someone dressed up as the "Monster in Darkness" from the comic The Order of the Stick. Did a great job of it, too.

Of course, in the end, the entire audience died. :)

We managed to double-book several events on Saturday, so we didn't get to do everything we had planned. After the Killer Breakfast, we got some real breakfast, and did more shopping in the dealer's room. Then, it was time for "Tracy Hickman's X-Treme Dungeon Mastering!"

X-Treme Dungeon Mastering!

This was a seminar where he talked about the various ways to play games, and how to avoid many of the pitfalls gamemasters make when running their games. He had a lot of great insight, including...

XDM and Joseph Campbell

... using Joseph Campbell's monomyth to help build your stories.

DNA Winner

At the end of the seminar, Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis held a contest. Apparently, a batch of human DNA samples are going to be sent up to the ISS as a kind of "back up" for the human race. They drew out a name and the guy pictured in the middle won.

Again, the seminar kept us from attending a couple other events, so we just spent some time walking around getting pictures and such. I stopped by the miniatures painting area, and they had a bunch of their contest winners out for show.

Mini - Red Dragon Minis - Sculped Giant Frog
Minis - Beholder Minis - Sewer
Minis - Mecha Minis - DDR

Then, the big event of the con...

Charity Die

Gary Gygax, one of the co-creators of the original Dungeons & Dragons game, died this past year. In tribute, the con had this huge styrofoam d20 die out on the floor. The die was hollow, and people were encouraged to drop some of their spare dice into it.

On Saturday evening, a charity auction was held. All purchases made at the charity auction went to help soldiers who had been badly injured in combat. Several artists and writers donated unique pieces of their work, along with lots of other gaming related items. But the big event of the night was auctioning off the huge foam d20 and all its contents.

Charity Auction

The auction started off kinda anemic, without a whole lot of bids going in. It was a bit disappointing, but some of the presenters gave impassioned speeches that seemed to get people more in the giving mood. The die ended up going for $1500.

That brought an end do our Saturday. Sunday, the final day of the con, started out after a good night's sleep. We only had a single event to attend, the "Worst Mistakes in Game Writing" seminar. Several writers talked about the typical mistakes people make when trying to get into game writing, and took questions people had about the subject. It was really informative, and I hope they do it again next year.

After that, it was just a matter of getting home. GenCon was fabulous fun, and I'm looking forward to doing it again next year.

I have one more follow-up post to make. There was a bunch of good cosplay at the con, and I'm going to show off some of the highlights in another post later today.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Nice chrome.

Google has unveiled their own web browser, Chromium.

The concept was to strip off all the "chrome," aka unnecesary menus and visual effects that most apps have. The second concept was to revolved around the "web app," such as Gmail, Google Docs and other web applications. It will use Google Gears to actually "save" the webapp to your computer so you can run it offline.

So far, it looks really cool, and I hear its quick. It has a few really neat features, such as: each tab is its own process, so if one tab crashes it doesn't take the whole browser down with it; inline search, like Safari; Firefox's spell check; "private browsing" mode; and a thumbnail view of your sites, similar to Opera's "Speed Dial" function. The developers describe the browser as drawing on the best features of today's web browsers, and they hope their open-source code will be used to improve other browsers.

The downside is that it's beta. From what I've read, having each tab really takes up way too much memory; and there's no real bookmark manager in place. Plus, they're still working on MacOS X and Linux versions.

Now is the appropriate time to headbang.

I've had a few bands that I've loved a long time. Many were because my dad listened to them quite a bit: Pink Floyd, the Doors, Dire Straits, etc. Once I got to college, I got exposed to something new: "alternative" music, which turned me on to bands like Alice In Chains, Tool and others.

One of my favorites from this time period was Nine Inch Nails. The sound was raw, the lyrics were full of emotion, and there was a wonderfully layered effect to the sound. Trent Reznor, the heart of the band, takes advantage of live instruments, synthesizers and his own powerful voice to create music that builds on itself, adding rhythms to each other, often building up the complexity of the song as it goes along. It's really evident in their big hit "Closer" as it approaches the end.

So, when my partner told me he got a notice from Rupp Arena that NIN was coming to Lexington, and were offering special $20 preorder tickets, I snapped them up. The seats weren't the best, but for $20 who was I to argue?

I have never seen so many people wearing black in my life. n.n

The venue didn't sell out, but it was pretty well packed. The folks next to us were cool, and we chatted with them a bit before the show. The opening act was a band out of Ohio called White William. Three college guys, one on guitar, one on a very small drum set and one on synth/vocals.

These guys sucked. I hate to say it, but good lord this sounded like a self-absorbed college band. They used reverb and echo effects for their entire set. The guy on vocals and synth was the worst offender, as there wasn't a single song where he wasn't using both effects on his singing. Plus, they apparently used every damn effects key on the synth. The guitarist kept to the really high notes and was headbanging. My partner commented that "this is not the appropriate time to headbang," because the music really wasn't heavy; rather, I can best describe it as pop-synth-crap. The drummer didn't get to do anything interesting for most of the set. The worst part is, the band didn't seem to have any enthusiasm. When the singer talked to the audience between songs, he was flat and emotionless. I'm guessing he wrote the lyrics to their song because the words were just as flat and trite. Well, what I could hear of them. Did I mention the whole set was badly over-amplified?

It's telling when the lead singer says, "This is going to be our last song," and the crowd starts cheering. o.o

That said, their last song almost didn't suck. If the lead singer had turned off his damn echo & reverb, used a few less effects, and the outro hadn't been three times too long, it would've been a decent electronica piece.

Following that disappointment, the lights came back up and we sat for about 45 mins while roadies set up equipment for the headlining act. We chatted with folks about the opener, and they all agreed it wasn't good. My partner thinks that NIN must be picking up local acts for their openers, rather than bringing an opener on tour. After the concert, I thought it would've been much more appropriate to track down the guys from Days of the New, as they were a Louisville band originally, had talent, and were at least an alternative band that would've fit the sound of an opener for NIN somewhat.

Finally, we got to the main act. And, damn, Trent Reznor knows how to put on a show! This is billed as the "Lights in the Sky" tour, and the name shows. There was a fantastic amount of lighting effects, and several curtain effects that were just dazzling. For one song, a curtain came down in front of the stage showing TV static. And at certain points during the song, Reznor would step up close to the curtain and the static would clear just around him for a few moments. He'd step back and the static would fill in, he'd come close to the curtain and it'd clear, he'd run across the stage and the static would clear as he moved across, filling in behind him again.

At one point after a song, a block of 64 hollow squares appeared on the screen, stacked in a pair of 16x2 grids. Reznor walked up in front of the curtain screen and a pair of white squares started tracking across the grid. He'd touch one of the hollow squares, which would fill in red and, when the white trackers crossed the red square, a snare hit was played. He started filling in the squares in the right pattern to begin the song "Echoplex" off the album The Slip. Once the main pattern was started the band began playing and he started singing the song. It was a great bit to watch, if kinda hard to explain. (You can download The Slip for free on the official site, linked.)

Edit: Found a YouTube video that shows it off well!

Most of the music was off The Slip, but he also played the band's most popular songs, plus some stuff off Ghosts I-IV. (You can download Ghosts I for free on the official site, linked.)

I really hope they put out a concert DVD of this performance, as some of it needs to be seen to be believed. It was just a fantastic show. The band was really into it, Reznor knew just how to play the crowd, and the crowd was singing along to most of the songs. Overall, it was a fantastic show to attend.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

GenCon Day 2, Part 3

Day 2 was so busy, it took three posts to cover!

After the "Ways to Play" seminar, we took a bit of a break. We missed the Ennies and a Paizo seminar, instead retiring to our room to check out some of our loot. That will be a separate post, probably next week.

We returned that evening for the D&D Miniatures seminar. As we came in, the folks giving the presentation showed off a few of the upcoming minis they had with them:

Minis Seminar - Iron Dragon
Minis Seminar - Ogre Pulverizer
Minis Seminar - Thoon Hulk

Once everyone got settled, they began the presentation. There was talk about the current starter set and available minis boosters. Then, they talked about the next booster set coming out:

Minis Seminar - Demonweb

Oooh, baby. Yes, that's a mind flayer sketch on the left, and a stirge mini in the upper right! They did say they learned their lesson from the last time they put out a stirge (and it was hard to get), so it'll be a lot easier to get them now.

They talked about last year's championship winner, who got to help design a new figure. It's an elf ranger, with a crow companion on his arm. They did let slip that, yes, the Martial Power sourcebook will have rules for animal companions in it.

Next was Legacy support.

Minis Seminar - Legacy Support

The plan is to pick up posting new stats for the old sets starting in October. They'll publish downloads for the cards once per month, except for months where a new booster set comes out. They'll do this all the way back to Harbinger. They also said they were looking into making sure that old Chainmail minis that had an equivalent DDM figure would be allowed in league play.

Minis Seminar - 2009

The next discussion was what they wanted to do in 2009. Yes, that's another beholder, an aboleth (which they gushed over, saying they didn't think it could be done until they saw the first sculpt), and a rust monster. The rust monster is apparently going to be a critter in MM2.

Minis Seminar - Orcus

Yes, they still want to publish a colossal Orcus figure. They're having some issues finding a way to make it economical and affordable to gamers at the same time. They did cite that the Colossal Red Dragon didn't sell as well as they'd hoped due to the price, and some people mentioned they saw them for sale in some of the discount booths at the con for as little as $25, while the Gargantuan Blacks and Blues were going as low as $15. (Apparently those sold out quick, as I didn't find one at that price the next day.)

During the Q&A, someone brought up the lower quality of recent sets, and the Wizard reps agreed. Apparently they had changed companies, and weren't happy with some of the figures they got out of the last few sets. However, they said that this has been worked out, and they were really happy with Demonweb.

There was also a question of playing the minis game online through DDI. This is something the Wizards reps said they wanted to support, but the RPG side was first priority, so this would be further down the line.

After the minis seminar, it was time for one of the more expensive things I had bought tickets for: the "Haunted and Historical" tour of downtown Indianapolis.

Haunted & Historical

The lady in the green cloak was our tour director (I forgot her name by the next morning, unfortunately). She was working in cooperation with an actual "ghost hunter" society that operated in Indiana, and took us to some of the more famous "haunted" sites in town.

Haunted & Historical - Grand Central Station

Our first stop was the Indianapolis Grand Central Station, the first Grand Central Station in the USA. Supposedly, this is haunted both by a conductor, as well as a "ghost train" of President Lincoln's funeral train. And, yes, that's a full moon in the sky. I was happy with how this picture turned out on my little camera.

Haunted & Historical - Slippery Noodle

This is the bar "The Slippery Noodle." Originally, the building was a storehouse with a hidden tunnel to Grand Central Station, which was used to conduct escaping slaves for the Underground Railroad.

Haunted & Historical - Manager

As our guide was telling us about the stories, this guy came out to listen. When she was talking about one of the night managers who heard footsteps when no one else was there, this guy said "That was me!" The manager told us a few of his own experiences, as well as other stories he had heard about the building, which was a great little bit of lucky timing.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Statue at Night

This is the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, dedicated to all the service personnel who died in the Civil War. Supposedly this used to be the site of the mayor's mansion, but the mayor never lived there. His wife didn't like hanging her laundry in the middle of the downtown square, so they lived outside of town. Shortly after they moved out, there were rumors of a headless man seen inside the house, which persisted for years. One day, a young man went inside on a dare, and caught a turkey that was walking around inside the house. After that, the headless man was never seen again. ;)

We stopped by what is now a bank building, which used to have a restaurant in the upper floors. I don't remember the story well for that one.

Haunted & Historical - Indianapolis Athletic Club

This was the Indianapolis Athletic Club. Supposedly it was not built with fire in mind, so of course a bad fire broke out one night. The firemen couldn't get to the water line inside, people couldn't get out easily. They got some of them out, but one firefighter went back in to save a man trapped inside. The firefighter died of smoke inhalation later. After that, people say they can still hear a fireman banging on doors at night, warning people of a fire that went out years ago.

Finally, we stopped by the local arts theater. One of the owners apparently liked to jog around the upper levels on days where it was too rainy to do his jogging outside. He was unfortunately killed near his home one day while jogging, after being struck by a car. Folks report they can still hear someone running upstairs late at night.

Also, a homeless man apparently fell down an open window into the basement during the depression. He was badly injured and no one could hear him. When they finally found the body, they found bloody scratches on the wall, and the rock he had been using to bang on pipes, which he ultimately used to kill himself with. Apparently people can sometimes still hear banging on the pipes, or see a figure in the basement shadows.

So, that finally brings us to the end of day 2! We were absolutely exhausted after this one, let me tell you.

Days 3 and 4 will be much shorter, so they will likely be combined into one post. Then I'll have a final post, showing off some of the stuff we bought/won at the con, plus a bunch of cosplayers we saw!

Gencon Report: Day 2, part 2

Work was hell today, and I've picked up the sinus bug that's going around, so I really don't feel well. However, I'm going to get up at least the second part of day 2 here. I'll try to get days 3 & 4, as well as a special wrap-up post, but those may be delayed until next week when I'm off work again. Yes, I have to work through the Labor Day weekend.

After the D&D Seminar's presentation ended, they took questions from the audience for the second half of the event. Unfortunately, I didn't get a recording or notes, so I'm going by rough memory here.

A question was brought up about how well D&D 4e was selling, and the team was obviously enthusiastic. My impression was that they were happy with the sales, not just in marketing-speak mode.

People asked about DDI stuff, some to do with compatibility (the guy asked about Linux, but the Wizards folks mostly focused on the possibility of a Mac port "when it makes sense"); some about the virtual mins (you get a default set of 3D "minis," can buy more random sets of "minis," and there is a set number of times you can "clone" the 3D mini; cloning it onto your game table more times than that results in 2D tokens instead for the rest); getting a group together (yes, there will be a "waiting area" where you can set up Pick-Up Groups); and how the app handles your numbers (it will auto-calculate the results of rolls, which you can drag & drop into place, eg. you roll 2d6+3 for damage against a player, get a result of 13, and can drag that "13" to their HP, which will deduct the damage appropriately).

There were questions about specific rules issues, which I can't remember the details of. Sorry.

Someone brought up the OGL and how useful things like the Hypertext d20 SRD were for DMs. This got a direct answer: the OGL was bad business for Wizards. They still wanted 4e to be open, but not so open that it cost them the way the OGL did for 3e. They realized that there were concerns about the GSL, and they're working with other companies to fix that. Finally, they recommended that anyone who needs an electronic resource for looking up rules either subscribe to DDI for the Rules tool, or purchase the PDF versions of the books and take advantage of its search functions.

After the Q&A was over, we went to lunch at Steak & Shake. The local one had experienced GenCon before and was well prepared. They had separate lines for pick-ups and dine-ins, and a staff that was both efficient and very friendly. If you just want a fast-food meal at GenCon, I recommend hitting this place.

Then, we went to the Fantasy Flight Games PR venue.

Fantasy Flight seminar

These guys were very friendly, and had some great insights into the board games market. Also talked about their relationship with Games Workshop, and their issues getting the Confrontation game to market. They also mentioned they had a new Arkham Horror cardset out at the con, Black Goat of the Woods.

We had some time after that, so we went shopping in the exhibition hall. More on that later, but I did pick up Hunter: the Vigil and its brand new book Witchfinders, while my partner picked up the Arkham Horror expansions Kingsport Horror and the aforementioned BGotW.

Next was the "Villains of Eberron" seminar, by none other than Keith Baker, along with his assistant.

Keith Baker

He had a lot of great insights into how to use the various groups in Eberron as antagonists in your game, as well as a few hints at the 4e version of the setting.

We had to cut that seminar short to make it to the next one: "Ways to Play D&D," aka the RPGA seminar. A few of the guys from the Q&A seminar were back to discuss the new Living Forgotten Realms and how it was going to affect ways people play D&D.

One of the main things talked about was the new Wizards Play Night. This is the group that does the "Friday Night Magic" stuff for Magic: the Gathering, and now they're doing something similar for D&D: the Delve Night

Essentially, Delve Night is a monthly adventure broken up into four major encounters (with accompanying roleplaying opportunities). The idea is that you can play once a week for a couple hours, so folks who want some casual D&D can get together regularly to play. They'll also support bi-weekly or monthly play for folks who can't get together as often. It's fully supported by the RPGA, so it counts towards your points and such.

Also, there's going to be a special event October 24-26: Weekend in the Realms. It's an LFR event where you basically find a shop, library, bookstore, etc. that agrees to host you, and play a special D&D adventure all day. It's a mega-adventure broken into three parts, each part taking approximately 3 hours to play. They really want this to be a public event, rather than something you roll at home, so that other people get exposed to LFR and D&D.

You can read more about the Delve Night and Weekend in the Realms on the Wizards site.

We all recieved a little postcard-flyer for the WitR, and also the con-exclusive LFR player option card:

RPGA Character Option

Normally, characters cannot play RPGA events with the new "spellscarred" rules in the upcoming Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. This card is the exception to that rule, so GenCon attendees will have an extra option unique to them. I expect most folks will keep theirs, so I doubt many will show up on eBay or anything.

Then, we were asked what we wanted to see out of Living Forgotten Realms. Adventure styles, rewards, etc. Some of the rewards suggested were: player option cards with unique feats or powers, not found elsewhere in the rules; exclusive battlemaps or Dungeon Tiles, including spell effects; exclusive minis, which may be too expensive to pull off, but they were willing to look into it; a branded d20 die (with an RPGA or LFR symbol for the 20); free DDI time and other "virtual rewards."

That prompted some questions about online play with the DDI. We were assured that yes, you will be able to play RPGA sanctioned adventures using the online game table app. There's still some discussion about how to use player option cards online, and possibly awarding things like alternate virtual minis and such.

... this post is running long! Okay, I'm going to stop here, and post a Part 3 for day 2 for the last two events, which are rather photo heavy: the D&D Minis seminar, and the "Haunted and Historical Downtown Indy" tour!

Friday, August 29, 2008

GenCon report: Day 2, part 1

Sorry for the lengthy delay. Things have been a bit weird for me this last week, but I should be able to get this GenCon report finished up in short order.

Day 2 began with a brief stop at Starbucks on the way to the D&D 4th Edition Q&A Seminar! Lots and lots of information here, including a ton of pictures, so this seminar gets a whole post to itself.

I'm afraid I lost track of exactly who was giving the seminar, as I didn't have a chance to note their names down. Plus, I had my camera set wrong, so the first few pictures came out too blurry to keep. Once things settled down, they started talking about developing 4e and things that had recently come out & were coming out. The FRCS was mentioned as being on sale at the con (and sold out later that day), and they talked about the upcoming FR Player's Guide...

D&D Q&A Seminar

... and they had a copy to show!

After that, they started into the slide show presentation, discussing things that would be coming out over the next year:

D&D Q&A: Scepter Tower of the Spellguard

Scepter Tower of the Spellguard is an adventure coming out in September, which will be made to work in a Forgotten Realms campaign or a basic D&D campaign.

October is going to be a busy month for D&D!

D&D Q&A: Martial Power

Martial Power will be out. No real surprises here, except that there will be more racial feats in this book.

D&D Q&A: King of the Trollhaunt Warrens

King of the Trollhaunt Warrens, the first adventure in the P-series of Paragon-level adventures. Maybe featuring trolls? ;)

D&D Q&A: Streets of Shadow Dungeon Tiles

Streets of Shadow Dungeon Tiles, for your city-based adventuring needs. Also has some spell-effect tiles.

D&D Q&A: Draconomicon

November brings us the new Draconomicon! Of course, it has new dragons and dragon-monsters; plus treasure, rituals and other player-goodies.

D&D Q&A: Starter Set

D&D Starter Set also comes out in November. This will have the usual stuff: pregen characters, adventure, tiles... but will not have plastic minis. Instead, Wizards is using tokens for the PCs and monsters, to cut down on production costs and keep the price down.

D&D Q&A: Manual of the Planes 4e

Manual of the Planes 4e comes out in December. Note that this is not the final cover art, just a mock-up with some filler art. Not much else to say, here. It's a MotP, you know pretty much what it's going to focus on.

D&D Q&A: December 2008

We'll also get P2: Demon Queen's Enclave in December. Again, not the final cover, but expect to deal with a lot of drow in this one.

D&D Q&A: January 2009

January 2009 will bring us a book I'm really looking forward to, Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead. Obviously, not the final cover. I always love these undead splatbooks, no matter what system they're for.

D&D Q&A: February 2009

February will begin the Dungeon Delve. I'll go into this in more detail in a later post but, basically, this is an RPGA function where a DM can run a single encounter for players. It's designed to be like the "Friday Night Magic" leagues, where people can just drop in once a week and play for a couple hours. If you want, you can save them up to do bi-weekly or monthly games, but it's a great set-up for folks with less time to play.

Also, another set of Dungeon Tiles: Caves of Carnage. Lots of natural underground terrain. They specifically mentioned working on more non-linear features, like an underground stream that winds around on one side, with a natural winding tunnel on the opposite side.


March of 2009 is when we finally get to see the Player's Handbook 2! As the speakers were talking, they let slip that Bards are in, as well as Sorcerers (and that Sorcerers are Arcane, not Primal). They also said that we could tell what some of the new races are by the cover, so I got a closer shot:

D&D Q&A: Closeup of PHB2 cover

Unfortunately, I don't recognize them a bit. The big guy looks giant-ish, while the druid gal looks fey/elvish.

D&D Q&A: March 2009

There's a ton more stuff coming in March:

  • P3: Assault on Nightwyrm Fortress finishes out the P-series of adventures.
  • Player's Handbook Power Cards and Martial Power Cards: Wizards said they've heard people's requests for power cards. While you can print them out from the DDI Character Creator app, these are going to be nice, heavy cardstock prints of powers from the PHB and Martial Power books.
  • Feywild miniatures set.

D&D Q&A: April 2009

Arcane Power comes out in April 2009, with all sorts of extra stuff for magic-types to play with. This will include the Arcane classes from PHB2! A question came up later about how they'll support the Martial PHB2 classes, since Martial Power comes out before PHB2. There wasn't a solid answer, just that they do plan to offer more things for each class in future products "as it makes sense," ie they're not going to put out an "extra" product or delay another one to add extra features for classes; but, they're not going to leave them hanging either. Most likely, this will become Dragon magazine content, and show up in other products.

Also, E1: Death's Reach becomes the first Epic-tier adventure published this month.

D&D Q&A: May 2009

Monster Manual 2 debuts in May 2009, along with PHB2 Power Cards.

D&D Q&A: June 2009

June 2009 brings us the next campaign setting, with the publication of the Eberron Campaign Setting book. Note that this is proposed art for the cover, but nothing's final yet.

We'll also see the Arcane Towers Dungeon Tiles, said to feature the first round terrain available in Dungeon Tiles.

Finally, we get E2: Kingdom of the Ghouls. Hopefully we'll find out why Yeenoghu no longer has control of this realm!

D&D Q&A: July 2009

The Eberron Player's Guide comes out in July, and the proposed cover art matches up nicely beside the ECS4e cover.

Also out that month, Divine Power for the cleric-y/paladin-ly types; Seekers of the Ashen Crown adventure (which I'm guessing is E3); and an untitled Huge set of D&D Minis.

D&D Q&A: August 2009

And that brings us to August 2009. Here we'll see Adventurer's Vault 2, for even more treasure!

The big news this month is the "super adventure" Revenge of the Giants. This is going to be a "boxed set," featuring tokens instead of minis, just like the Starter box.

Finally, we get Arcane Power Cards to go along with the other power card sets published so far.

Note that there was no DMG2 mentioned anywhere in this. I'm guessing that they either don't feel it's necessary, or plan to wait until they have enough new stuff to talk about to publish one.

At the end of the presentation, they talked a bit about their online DDI stuff, and showed off from stills from the gameplay app. No pictures, as there didn't seem to be anything new to that. However, we did get a special treat: we got to watch (after some audio troubles) the upcoming new D&D animation video! Without spoiling too much, folks should enjoy this shot:

D&D Q&A: Trollin'

The second half of the day will be written up and posted either tonight or tomorrow!