October 3, 2008

Word of Wizards - 3/10/2008

After a fairly quiet September, Ocotber's schedule looks packed.

First up, the usual

1. Digital Insider #9: Updates and Improvements

A reminder that October is the month that the DDI will start charging. There is still no word on an exact date but keep your pockets ready.

Wizards have seem to stablize their updates schedule and have even laid it out for all to see. Randy introduced a Editorial Calendar to give everyone an idea on when the publications will be up which includes the stuff from the DDI and freebies from the website.

I think this is a job well done on Wizards' part and while I won't be enjoying some Dungeon and Dragon love for a while, I'm quite excited by what's in for me in the free section!

Anyway, to those who are going to subscribe to DDI, mark these dates and time on your calendars.

Regular updates to the website will now happen at midnight U.S. east coast time. No more wondering what time today’s new article will show up… if it’s 12:01am on Monday then Monday’s content will be there. (Your mileage may vary depending on your time zone, of course.)
Monday and Friday are Dragon days while Wednesday is usually a Dungeon day.

The Compendium will be updated once a month on the '4th tuesday of the month' starting from November.

A new bonus tool; the Monster Builder will be included somewhere later this month. It will help DMs to create new monsters using the rules in the DMG.

Finally, WoTC is looking to hire someone for the position of Web UI Designer.

2. Previews for October and Beyond

There are few releases this month (and the best ones are being kept for November) but they are still worth mentioning here.

The fourth installment and the first in the P(aragon) series of WoTC's adventure modules will be out soon and they have fed us with little excerpts. This is still set in the Nentir Vale which makes it a great continuation to anyone who has played in the H series. Anyone would like to review or comment about those?

Here's a little introduction to what is installed for us...
The first adventure in the Paragon Tier, P1 also includes several new magic items and monsters, including (what else!) new varieties of trolls.

...and a brief glimpse at the town.

The Town of Moonstair
Built among the ruins of the troll kingdom of Vardar, the town of Moonstair is a trade outpost that lies at the confluence of two rivers. The town's most renowned feature is the Moon Door, a portal to the Feywild that opens when the moon is full and the sky is clear.

Geography: The peninsula on which Moonstair was built starts as rocky hills jutting up from the river at its westernmost tip. The western high ground is heavily settled, with the population thinning to the east as the ground slopes away. There, the town gives way to fertile farmland that borders the swamps of the Trollhaunt.

Population: Just over a thousand people live in and around Moonstair. With the river serving as a natural protective barrier on two sides, the town has grown up rather than out, and multistory buildings are common. Situated as it is on a major trade route, Moonstair's population fluctuates (sometimes drastically) depending on the number of travelers passing through.

Government: Moonstair is led by a half-elf mayor, Kelana Dhoram. Her primary focus is in maintaining the town's prosperity through trade, and her leadership is more about commerce than security. As a result, the town watch is small and poorly equipped. The monsters to the east have long been quiet, but Moonstair is ill equipped to deal with the new power in the Trollhaunt.

Stay tune for more exceprts on the 10th!

Not much to be said, it's quite self explanatory but I had always thought that H1 Keep on the Shadowfell felt pretty much like a starter kit. Anyway, to anyone who is interested, this is what you will find;

A 16-page Quick Start Rules booklet
A 64-page Dungeon Master's Book
3 sheets of double-sided Dungeon Tiles
50 tokens, to represent characters and monsters
And of course, a set of 6-dice

And for the ones with deep pockets,

They feature embossed foil covers, premium gilt-edged pages -- and, perhaps best of all, these rulebooks also incorporate material from the update documents, including the new Stealth rules!

Thank you Wizards for listening to our concerns for once!

Now I can proceed to starving myself for the next few years or so just to save up enough to buy them!

There isn't much on the November products except for some real teases but you should check them out yourself (especially a little insight on dragons).

October will be a month filled with excerpts and previews on Martial Power so be sure to check back often!

Also, don't forget to get the last free remnants of Dragon and Dungeon for September or you could just wait for the issue compilation.

1. Design and Development: Evolution of Magic Items
2. Children of Darkness
3. Intelligent Weapons
4. Backdrop: Graywall

1. Sea Reavers of the Shrouded Crags
2. Tariff of Relkingham

That's all for now this week. I'm having some small plans to reformat this regular column and I should be making an announcement shortly.

Till then, see you next time!

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