January 8, 2009

Word of Wizards - Previews for January and Beyond

Previews for January and Beyond

Sorry for the late update. I have been meainig to start my regular blogging schedule this year since Monday but my confounded internet connection has been down for almost a week since the New Year. Only yesterday my line is restoring slightly back to its normal self and I don't know if it's going to get better or worse.

Anyway, better late than never.

It's that time of the month (and I'm not referring to period pains) where Wizards shows us a few previews of products that we can expect to see in the coming first months of 2009.

Unfortunately, this month's preview is lacking in the juicy bits of excerpts and exciting annoucements that we don't already know.

First up, January,

Open Grave is coming out this month and some may have gotten their hands on it early from the release date. Excerpts from the book will continue till then (the last appearing on the 16th about the well-feared demilich).

There's an extra excerpt which supplements with Monday's excerpt. The extra excerpt is the Black Petal encounter in the Bloodtower on the Moorland which is a level 14 encounter which pits the PCs against a female necromancer, a Boneclaw and 3 Marrowshriek Skeletons in a room filled with traps of spectral tendrils.

It's a pretty challenging encounter because it has many changing elements in terms of tactics and terrain which would add good value to the book.

Nothing much is being said about Practical Guide to Faeries except for a short blurb and that it will have a tie-in support for DDI subscribers in Dragon, a sample chapter and an art gallery. Certainly useful for adventures or understanding the Feywild but there's just too little information about it.

February is the month for tactical players and DMs alike.

For the players, prepared to be challenged by 30 delves for 30 levels in Dungeon Delve. There isn't much that can be said about this book because it's as straightforward as it can get.

The sample delve shown are mostly very smalled sized map and keyed encounters which oculd be done in an evening's session. It looks like the perfect replacement game when the players in your group aren't up for the main campaign and just want to have a good hack & slash evening.

For the DMs, another set of dungeon tiles is being released and it's all about caves and carnage. Expect tiles of dead bodies and stone caves to be added into your collection of tiles for adventures in the Underdark or other cavernous environment.

March is the month of the big releases.

This is the first preview where the Player's Handbook II is in the horizon but there are no new excerpts to be found. However, if you are a DDI subscriber you have probably seen alot of the new classes that will be in the book (Druid, Invoker, Warden, Barbarian & Bard).

It's also the first book where classes with a new power source; primal, will make it's debut so we'll just have to make do with the history and origins of the primal power source, which is 'meh'.

Also coming out during March is the next installment of adventure modules by Wizards and the final Paragon tier adventure; Assault in Nightwyrm Fortress.

Here's synopsis of the adventure.
Infesting old crumbling cities and sunken palaces, shadow dragons are greedy and voracious, hungry for power, wealth, and of course, food. Pitiless and driven to commit atrocities to slake their appetite for all these things, shadow dragons regularly enslave other races, dominating them to work as soldiers and servants. Thankfully, most shadow dragons lair far from large cities and nations, and are content to prey mostly on those who dare the shadows that congregate beyond the lamps of civilization.

But some time ago, a shadow dragon named Urishtar discovered a relic structure in the Shadowfell, a structure whose foundation may well predate the rise of the Raven Queen on Shadow’s dark plain. Claiming the site for herself, Urishtar rechristened the dread edifice Nightwyrm Fortress. Within the ancient halls and dungeons, Urishtar learned much about the passage of mortal souls from life into death. Perhaps too much. With her new-found knowledge, Urishtar discovered the trick of capturing fleeting spirits of just-slain mortals as they raced through the Shadowfell. When she catches a soul, she diverts it away from whatever its fate should be, possibly risking the wrath of the Raven Queen herself. Urishtar cares not. She has other uses in mind.

Can't wait.

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