GenCon Announcements

A lot of stuff rolled out at GenCon this year. They opened up with the announcements by mentioned stuff that was already released before moving on to the new stuff (as well as "super secret stuff!"). I'm going to skip all that and move to the new releases.

Now, we already know a lot about The Essentials, and the "Red Box" releases next month along with Rules Compendium, Dungeon Tiles Master Set: The Dungeon, and Lords of Madness. Rules Compendium is going to be a 6" x 9" soft-cover book that will have all the current rules updates, while Lords of Madness is a DDM expansion that I will be pre-ordering an entire case of.

In October we'll get the next Essentials product, Dungeon Master's Kit, which has a starter adventure (of course) and monster tokens. I'm curious if they will start releasing token packs instead of minis, which would be easier to carry and cheaper to produce. We'd also be able to quickly get tokens of all the monsters from the game instead of waiting for them to make specific models. On the downside, I do like being able to freak out my players with a sense of scale. Additionally (and more importantly to me), there's Gamma World. I never played it in the past, but I did play Rifts (which sucks ass), and Gamma World looks like a funner romp in a post-apocalyptic world. As has been said in the past, chargen is purportedly random and faster, with mutations being presented as randomly drawn cards (including card booster packs to be released later).

Two Essentials products debut in November: Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms and Monster Vault (which I guess is a boxed set that also includes tokens). There's a Dungeon Tiles set cleverly named Dungeon Tiles Master Set: The City that I'll by a few of and shelve, a beholder minis set that has four beholders (sold as a limited quantity deal, so I need to snag two of them), and a Gamma World expansion: Famine in Far-go. According to the product catalog, it's a 160-page adventure with new mutants, monster tokens, and a fold-out map.

Finally, at the end of the year we'll get Dungeon Tiles Master Set: The Wilderness. Yawn.

Aaaand in a similar vein, next year starts off pretty sparse as far as I'm concerned: Dungeon Tiles: Caverns of Icewind Dale is one of two products that interests me, and only because I don't have ice Dungeon Tiles. Double-yawn.

I'm really excited for February because of Deluxe Dungeon Master's ScreenDeluxe Dungeon Master's Screen will sport badass Wayne Reynold's art and (hopefully) accurate tables. There's some of other stuff, too: Gazetteer: Nentir Vale is, like Rules Compendium, another 6" by 9" softcover that details (dun dun duuun!) the Nentir Vale. If it's good I might actually want to run adventures there. Legion of Gold is the second Gamma World adventure (more tokens and another map, of course). Good month.

The last mentioned product that's also on the catalog is Heroes of Shadow, which will be about more than just races and classes that hinge on the shadow power source (though the hexblade and necromancer are in there): you'll be able to give new and existing characters a shot at tossing around some shadow-goodness. In other words, its designed to, "appeal to lots of players," and I fully endorse that movement. 

After that it's kind of a crap shoot as to when other mentioned products are coming out.
  • Fortune Cards are for groups that want to inject more randomness into their games in a similar manner to mutations from Gamma World, just without the added side-effect of permanently mutating your character. I'm envisioning them possibly akin to all those bullshit critical fumble/critical hit charts from older editions (just without the bullshit). It's slated for 1st Quarter, but not mentioned in the catalog.
  • Mordenkainen's Magical Emporium will be another magic item book, except that it will have lots of story elements for each item and will list items with their rarities. I guess common and uncommon items can be purchased and made by characters, but rares can't. At least they won't be sold in boosters.
  • Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond is the next of the planar books, except that it will also have a "Despair Deck" that lets the DM afflict the characters with various mechanical and roleplaying effects while they're touring around the place.
  • Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale is a "monster book" that comes with tokens and poster maps. Nifty.
  • Conquest of Nerath is a strategy wargame,, that is similar to Risk or Axis & Allies taking place on the ruined kingdom of Nerath. This, along with the Castle Ravenloft board game will give my group some more things to do instead of delves on nights when no one feels like running, or when we're missing a player or three. I recently got Liz into Inn-Fighting as a short analog game to play while we watch TV or need to kill some time, so I got high hopes. Also curious to see what Nerath looks/looked like.
  • Player's Handbook: Champions of the Heroic Tier will introduce (among other things) themes for core D&D, so you can get your theme on outside of Athas, in addition to new options, feats, and "non-combat options" that I guess will be like professions but wont cost you anything to pick up. One of the non-combat options has been stated multiple times is the blacksmith.
  • Neverwinter Campaign Guide is for Forgotten Realms, so the only reason I care is the bladesinger class.
  • Hero's Builder Handbook is for players that want to heavily emphasize a concept. I love building characters around a concept, so am looking forward to what this will bring to the table.
  • Madness of Gardmore Abbey is a super-adventure that's build around a scattered deck of many things that will come with a deck in the box.
  • Ravenloft Roleplaying Game slated for release in the fourth quarter of the year. It's designed to be stand-alone, yet compatible with the rest of D&D (whew!) that let's players play werewolves, vampires, and other monsters. Like Dark Sun and Gamma World, I'm looking forward to running a game with an officially made, updated setting.

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