September 5, 2008

Word of Wizards - 5/9/2008

This is the first Word of Wizards for September and also in the new layout of the blog. So I hope everyone enjoys reading it.

First up is,

1.Previews for September and Beyond is up!

A new month means a new preview!

September is finally here! Now that Adventurer's Vault and Forgotten Realms Player's Guide are already on their way, it's time to shed some light on new products that are coming out for the remainder of the year. For this preview, it is also giving us first glimpse at 2 new adventure modules that will released for September and October and the first splatbook in November!

We'll start with September, the adventure module that will complete the '3-books only' model for the Forgotten Realms setting; Scepter Tower of Spellgard.

The adventure is designed for 2nd level parties which will take them through 4th or 5th level by the end of the module.

Here's an overview of the module
Lady Saharel has a secret. What secret? All of them....

In Scepter Tower of Spellgard, the player characters brave the dangers of a fortress of Lost Netheril. Treasures of that ancient empire are said to be hidden within, but the relics of a bygone age pale in comparison to Spellgard’s greatest treasure: Lady Saharel.

Once the ruler of Spellgard, Lady Saharel exists beyond death as a kind of prophetic spirit. On those rare occasions when she appears within the ruins of Spellgard, she answers questions posed by any mortals nearby. No query is off limits. Lady Saharel can tell a seeker the location of the secret door to a dragon’s lair, why his or her betrothed disappeared mysteriously last month, and what will happen if someone reconciles with estranged friends.

Although no prophecy is supposed to be able to determine the future with complete accuracy, it is said that Lady Saharel’s answers have yet to be proven wrong. As a result, numerous travelers seek the rubble of Spellgard. Some come in search of assurance before making fateful decisions. Others desire an omniscient guide to acquiring wealth or power. Some come in search of answers that are far more personal: the whereabouts of a lost love, the identity of a parent, or how to find the strength to live with the choices of one’s past.

For October, we shall see the first adventure released for the Paragon (P) series which introduces a new level of play in D&D's new tier; P1 King of Trollhaunt Warrens

Like most of its predecessors, it can be played as a continuation from H3 Pyramid of Shadows or as a standalone. It will take a 11th level party to 13th level.

Here's the introduction
The small town of Moonstair lies on the far frontier of the barony of Therund. A central stop on the north–south trade road, Moonstair was the site of an ancient portal to the Feywild.

East of the town lies the dangerous wilderness known as the Trollhaunt—a maze of swampland, thickets, gullies, and forested ridges. In ages past, this area was part of a land called Vardar, a violent realm of troll war-clans and the monsters that served them. Vardar fell into ruin centuries ago, leaving only dank barrows and a few fogshrouded stone forts to mark its existence. The trolls and other foul creatures dwelling in the Trollhaunt degenerated into savagery, preying on each other and any travelers foolish enough to venture into their lands. However, things in the Trollhaunt are about to change . . .

The great troll chieftain Skalmad has put an end to the feuds and squabbling of his kin, using ancient fomorian magic to declare himself King of the Trollhaunt. Now, Skal mad and his monstrous followers are turning their malice toward neighboring human lands. For the first time in centuries, the trolls of the Trollhaunt have a leader with the will and the wits to forge his lesser fellows into a conquering army. Vardar lives again, and if nothing is done to check Skalmad’s power, Moonstair will be just the first of many settlements to fall.
You should check out the preview because it has some artworks from both adventures that can keep your imagination wild.

Rumors have been circulating around the forums that Martial Power is being delayed and now we have our confirmation. Martial Power is due for a November release instead of October.

The first sneak peek from the first splatbook, surprisingly starts with the Rogue! Although I have read through forums that the rogue is not getting enough loving these days, so I guess Wizards is giving the poor bastard a chance to shine for once.

The preview shows a new power 29th level daily power for the Rogue (which allows him to make 3 attacks at 3 targets by shifting 3 squares in between each attack!) and a new paragon path; Master Spy.

November is also the launching of the new D&D miniature set; Demonweb. I'm normally not concerned about new miniature sets because they are 'collectibles' but this one caught my attention because they have a...

Dragonborn Paladin of Bahamet

It's just a typo though and the stat card is fine.

However, it makes no exception that this Dragonborn mini, like so many before it, is another RARE! I don't get it. Why make it so hard to get a mini for one of the core races ?

Do check out the Stirge though.

2. Digital Insider #5: Q&A

Randy Buehler took some time to answer some questions and here are a few of them that I think are interesting.
Originally Posted by AsmodeusLore
Can we get a copy of the Scales of War overview?

The short answer to this question is “no.” The problem is that we’ve mapped out an elaborate plot that covers level 1 all the way through level 30 and there are a number of surprises along the way. Those “grand reveal” moments won’t be nearly as impactful if they’ve leaked out via plot summaries and/or an overview of where the Path is going. I can assure you that the current fears about the lack of a compelling archvillain, or a logically complete structure, or major NPCs, or a real hook are all misguided. Just wait and see!

This does not seem to be taken happily by some. It was a major complaint when Rescue at Rivenroar(the 1st adventure) came out that a campaign overview should have been there and it would have greatly helped DMs who were running the adventure path to plan ahead. I'm not too happy about this either but at least I've been given the final word on the matter.

RPGCentric has written an open letter to Randy Buehler about this.

Originally Posted by WolfStar76
On behalf of others, (SirVimes) I’d like to know if we might ever see a schedule of article releases?

Yes and no. Due to the realities of dealing with external submission plus an in-house team that has more priorities than just the magazines, we aren’t going to commit in advance to which Dragon and Dungeon articles come out on which days. Instead, our current schedule is to make sure that something new comes out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and that a monthly compilation comes out at approximately the beginning of the month. We’ve been hitting this schedule pretty regularly with the exception of one one-day hiccup due to Gen Con. (emphasis mine)

Originally Posted by Kyros_Tachyus
Where the heck did Ken Troop go???

Ken hasn’t gone anywhere. He still works for me as Executive Producer for D&DI. The change you’ve noticed is that he and I agreed that he was trying to do too many things all by himself and that we could do a better job of communicating with the public if I stepped into the role of official spokesperson and let him focus on building things and making sure they actually work. The creation of this column was one of several changes we’ve made over the last month or two and Ken and I are both much happier with the way things are going now.

You can check out the rest of the Q&A to know more about the progress and updates of the DDI tools.

3. Deluxe Core Books Changes

Got this info from here. (Thanks, thalmin!)

A store owner has spoken to this sales rep and was told of some changes to the deluxe core books. They will not be leather bound anymore but will be replaced with a foiled-over effect on the covers. There are no ribbons in the books and will included some sort of tabs. The errata will be printed in them!

The release date for them is on 21 October and will retail at $74.95 (RM292.31)
This is good news to me but it is at a hefty price. Keep in mind that the price tag is for EACH book.

4.Dragon 367

The table of contents for this month's Dragon is up and it looks to be jammed pack with articles for the Forgotten Realms.

But what is making almost everyone swooning is the playtest version of the Barbarian.

5. Excerpts from the Adventurer's Vault

Holy Symbols
Magic Item Tables, Level 8-12(from Previews for September and Beyond)

I've liked what they have done to Holy Symbols. It has become something more than what it was in 3.x and adds some flavor to them.

The Aquenos armor is cool while the Warsheath armor is wicked!

6. Excerpts from the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide

Purple Dragon Knight (from Previews for September and Beyond)

There are not a bunch of new feats per se. Most of them in this excerpt are either Channel Divity feats which we can't guess what do they really do or racial feats. I'm surprised there were a few names that I could not recognised. Are there new gods in FR?

The subraces have been implemented as feats such as Ghostwise Heritage, Gold Dwarf Pride, Sun Elf Grace, Wild Elf Luck, etc. which means that you still get to play your subrace characters.

Wood Elf Agility is one crazy feat!

After reading the Luruar excerpt, I'm glad to see that this is probably the one place that feels mostly untouched by the changes in 4E and the 100 year leap.

The feel of the region still feels pretty much same in 3.x and the changes has been minimal. It has become even more dangerous (which is a good thing) in the wilderness and Silverymoon is still a shining beacon of civilization.

Again as I've mentioned, I still think that some entries in the player's guide should have been in the campaign guide and vice versa.

The Purple Dragon Knight looks like a Warlord paragon path but it can also be taken by a Fighter or Paladin. This makes it a good alternative for players who wants a few Warlord powers without taking Walord multiclassing feats.

So there you have it. Please give any feedbacks about the format or layout of this column, to make it easier for you to read this through.

Stay tuned next week!


Dave The Game said...

While I was lucky enough to pull a dragonborn from the last set, I agree that there's no excuse for making them rare. Apparently the minis designers are still in the mindset that dragonborn have to be powerful, which leads to bad effects for those of us who want them for D&D.

LeeHng said...

marketing... ... ...

anyway this is OOT / spam, but i just started an experimental "game blog" & hope u give it a try:

ok, anyway... luckily im not a dragonborn fan...

Questing GM said...

Hey, dave the game.

That's really strange to hear that the mini designers are not working together with the D&D designers, in benefitting everyone. It's like they almost competing with themselves.

Don't listen to what wizards want you to believe. And no dwarves for you!