September 12, 2008

Word of Wizards - 12/9/2008

It's been a slow week at Wizards but there has been some really strange activity going on...

1. Playtest for Barbarian is GONE!

Just a few days after the table of contents for Dragon 367 proudly listed that the Barbarian would be available for playtesting, the cover was changed and the supposedly Barbarian playtest article has been replaced by one about the drow.

Children of Darkness
By Robert J. Schwalb
Most drow worship the spider queen Lolth, chafing under her rule, but glorying in destruction caused in her name. But some rebel drow fight their heritage, and choose a path less traveled.

In Randy Buehler's weekly address here, the playtest Barbarian appears to be shifted to October's issue.
Well, next month we’re planning to do this again, and this time it’ll be the barbarian class from the upcoming Player’s Handbook 2 that gets the full treatment.

What makes me curious is the fact that they didn't seem to acknowledge whether it was a mistake for it to be available on the September issue and made it sound like it was for the October issue all along.

I guess they were hoping nobody noticed.

2. Digital Insider #6: Dragon/Dungeon

There were a few interesting pieces of news also found in his address. Here's a list of the good ones.

Right now these magazines are available for free, but our intention is to begin charging for them relatively soon. Once the free trial ends the price for a D&D Insider subscription will be $4.95 per month if you’re willing to commit to 12 months, or more if you commit for less time (going month-to-month will cost you $7.95, for example). Your subscription includes not just access to the magazines, but also access to the D&D Compendium and the D&DI Bonus Tools. OK, enough overture …
You can judge for yourself from the table of contents, but I think the coolest thing going on in Dragon this month is going to be the rules for Intelligent Magic Items. These rules don’t appear anywhere else -- they are a Dragon magazine exclusive. Note that Adventurer’s Vault, which is being published as a hardcover book this month, has Logan Bonner as the lead designer -- and Logan is also the one writing “Smart Swords” for Dragon.

Wizards has also been listening to what some of us had to say in response to his address last week that there would not be an overview for the Scales of War adventure path. They made a surprising response by providing that overview for us.
Scales of War Heroic Tier
Episode #3: The Shadow Rift of Umbraforge
On returning from the Vents, the characters search for clues behind the well-armed orcs that sought passage beneath the mountains around Overlook. Their investigation takes them beneath the city, and then to another plane!

Episode #4: The Lost Mines of Karak
A dwarven clan of Overlook—once renowned for their wealthy mines—has fallen on hard times. But the rediscovery of one of their mines could spell relief for the city’s war efforts, and redemption for a once worthy name.

Episode #5
The heroes are summoned back to Brindol by an unexpected source. Their new ally then guides them to a long-lost fortress now inhabited by all manner of foul creatures.

Episode #6
The characters return to Overlook to find the city marshalling for war. But something rotten lurks in the city’s heart, and further investigation reveals that the city faces a threat as great from within as the army marshalling at the gates of Bordrin’s Watch.

Scales of War Paragon Tier (Episodes #7–12)
The scope has changed. By the end of the heroic tier, the heroes finally learn that the war in Elsir Vale is on a much larger scale than they imagined. Not only their small slice of the world is in danger, and the forces of good need powerful champions. The characters venture across the planes as a small, elite strike team, pursuing missions few champions of their world would dare to undertake. There, they must make new alliances to further their war effort, while sundering those of their enemies. Finally, they uncover the magnitude of the true threat facing their home.

Scales of War Epic Tier (Episodes #13–18)
The stakes increase. As the heroes cross into the epic tier, they learn that their world is truly under siege from all sides. Pursuing numerous threats only they can deal with, they single-handedly have the potential to turn the tide of war in one direction or the other. As the balance teeters on a razor’s edge, disaster strikes the characters’ allies, and they must act swiftly before their world—and possibly more—is lost to an age of darkness unlike any other.

Lastly, it gives a final sneak peek at October's issue which is sure to be intriguing for fans of the older settings.
October will also see the Domains of Dread return to D&D, with the long-time Ravenloft concept being folded into the core now.

This article and the previous Dark Sun article that came in an earlier issue are some interesting signs that may see the return of older settings in future Dragon.

By the way, Ecology of the Genasi is out so check it out while it's still free!

3. The Red Dragon's Interview: On the Set of 4th Edition

Another episode of interview with another iconic monster of D&D. Everybody loves the red dragon but the troll always has something to say about it. It's pretty cute and you should watch it.

4. Excerpts: Scepter Tower of Spellgard

A week can never pass without excerpts. Catch the adventure introduction and 3 encounters excerpts from the adventure if you can't wait to piece them together. They've even added a little bonus; a player's Log to keep track of XP and treasure.

Adventure Introduction
R9: Trapped Passage
C8: Honor Guard
T7: Kitchens
Player's Adventure Log
The Analects of Kuyon

That's really all for now. So until next week!

No comments: