September 19, 2008

Word of Wizards - 17/9/2008

Things have certainly seem to quite down for Wizards, now that the Adventurer's Vault, Forgotten Realms Player's Guide and Scepter Tower of Spellgard are out. But there are still important annoucements to be made for this week.

1. Digital Insider #7: A Question of When

The verdict is out! Wizards has decided to start charging for the use of DDI on October!

In case you forget, here's the subscription charges again.
12 Months = $59.40 ($4.95 per month or RM17.12 per month)
3 Months = $19.95 ($6.65 per month or RM23.01 per month)
1 Month = $7.95 ($7.95 per month or RM27.50)

Subscribers will have full access to Dungeon and Dragon magazines, the DDI bonus tools (Ability Generator, Encounter Builder and an upcoming Monster Builder) and the D&D Compendium.

Non-subscribers will only have a limited access to the Compendium which only tells you where a particular rule is in which book.

An exact date on when the subscription will be charged is not yet announced but one thing's for sure is that this is the last month of the free trial.

The rest of it tells that Wizards will be concentrating on the Character Builder after the launch of DDI as planned and there will be a beta version put out first. It did not say whether the beta will be opened to public but I have my doubts.

I also have an important announcement to make in light of this decision. My stand is that I do not intend to subscribe to DDI and it will greatly affect the news that I'm able to cover for this regular column. So don't expect this blog to know anything that comes out from Dungeon and Dragon after this month.

2. Dragonlance 4E Lives!

According to various sources (here, here & here), Dragonlance might be the setting of choice for 2010. The details are still sketchy and nothing is written in stone yet but the novels will continue to be published after 2009.

I haven't really played in Krynn before and don't think this will affect me much but it is good news for fans of the setting. Let's hope they get a better treatment that the Realms.

3. Non-Random D&D Minis?

According to here (again, by thalmin!), Wizards is considering of releasing non random minis in boxed sets or singles format somewhere in 2009.

This has been not be made official yet as is still in the planning stages on where Wizards can take it to.

I would be overjoyed if Wizards have decided to proceed with this because I've been against the whole 'collectible' part of the minis since it began. Although, I've failed against temptation a couple of times, the results of my purchases has been unsatisfying. Only people who have the financial resources to buy an entire case of them have a much better chance of getting what they want in the right numbers.

4. Barbarian Shift Explained.

Chris Youngs, editor-in-chief of Dragon and Dungeon Magazines explains in Episode 25 of the D&D Podcast why the Barbarian playtest was shifted from the September issue of Dragon to October,
Player's Handbook 2 team is just...just...didn't feel comfortable with where the material was and we wanted it to be right for folks to be able to use it and actually get some benefit out of it. In addition to giving us good playtest feedback. So right now, we have that currently tentatively scheduled to a period now and October [sic].

The podcast also reveals that it's currently in editing now and seems to be ready for October. Too bad I won't be able to see it by then.

Listen to the rest of the podcast to hear about other interesting stuff.

5. Rob Heinsoo and Mike Mearls Switch Roles

In Rob Heinsoo's staff blog, he has stated that he is stepping down from being the Lead of the Mechanical Design Team to regular design work.

On the other hand, Mike Mearls will be stepping up in taking his position as the new lead.

I can't really say if this is good or bad news but maybe you can judge for yourself by visiting Mike Mearl's blog.

6. The Shadow Rift of Umbraforge

The 3rd installment of the Scales of War adventure path is here!
In "Siege of Bordrin's Watch," the PCs discovered that dark creepers had sold arms and tactical intelligence to the orc war chief Tusk, aiding him in his attack against the folk of the Stonehome Mountains. In this adventure, the PCs investigate the link between the orcs and the dark ones, stumbling into an arms-running operation bridging two planes and finally confronting the charismatic figure behind it.

Sarshan is an opportunistic shadar-kai arms dealer. For years, he has built an invisible mercantile empire around the sale and brokering of weapons, armor, mercenaries, and intelligence from his domain in the Shadowfell. Though Sarshan plays a significant part in this adventure, the PCs' initial focus is on one of his lieutenants -- a dark creeper shadowborn stalker named Modra.

After crawling through deep tunnels, the PCs will take the fight to the Shadowfell as they discover the secret supporters of the orog warlord. A planar adventure with a new adversary. This adventure is turning up the heat for the Scales of War.

Don't forget that this is the last free Scales of War adventure, so be sure to download it by the end of the month.

That's all for this week. But Hey! Where's the weekly excerpts? There isn't any for this week but hopefully something will come out from P1 King of the Trollhaunt Warrens. In the meantime, here's something that will help DMs who are running the H series of adventures.

Until next week!


Geek Gazette said...

YAH!!! Dragonlance will be alive and kickin in 4e. While I was upset that they basically squashed any hopes I had of playing in Maztica, I am glad to see DL is here to stay.
Since the are promoting Dark Sun novels on the WotC site WotC Novels, I assume they will be doing Dark Sun as well. My only beef is with the idea of splitting the Campaign Setting into 2 books.

Questing GM said...

Yes, the Dark Sun novels are an interesting sign of whether Wizards is going to revist some of the older settings.

Next month's Dragon will introduce the Domains of Dread which seems to be a Shadowfell region based on the Ravenloft concept and it is going to be part of the core.

I can't wait to see if Birthright makes a comeback.