Dungeons & Dragons Unveils Full Product Line, Release Dates, and Details - Update

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Dungeons & Dragons Unveils Full Product Line, Release Dates, and Details - Update

Update 9/15/2014: The Dungeon Master's Guide has been delayed.

Update: Details continue to emerge, with an organized play program and information about some of the rulebook being free.

Update 1:55 PM EST: Wizards of the Coast has released a set of images to accompany the game, including the new logo:

new d&d logo
dungeons and dragons covers spread

Release dates for the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set, Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, Dungeon Master's Guide, and various adventures unveiled.

Update 12:25 AM EST: Kobold Press has confirmed that they are the design studio behind the new adventures, and Wizards of the Coast will simply publish that material. In a joint statement, Dungeons & Dragons R&D member Mike Mearls said that Kobold Press writers Wolfgang Baur and Steve Winter were "at the top of his list" for writing the new D&D adventures. "What I love about Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat is how Wolfgang and Steve Winter have approached the traditional adventure format. While the episodic structure makes it easy for DMs to trace the campaign's humble beginnings to its epic conclusion, within those episodes is a level of flexibility and freedom for DMs and players that places this among the great D&D campaigns." From that information, it appears that the new adventures will have an episodic format within individual books, meaning that both adventures may include multiple mini-adventures within them.

Original Story: Wizards of the Coast has revealed the covers and release dates for not only the core books of the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons, but the adventures and miniatures that will accompany the release later this year. In addition to the previously revealed dates for the Player's Handbook and Starter Set, we now have dates for the Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide for a three month window after the release of the Player's Handbook in August. The covers, prices, and details were revealed via Wizards' website product listings, as well as on Amazon. Among the new reveals are two adventures, Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat, both intended as part of Wizards' Tyranny of Dragons story event for D&D. Regarding the extended game launch window, Wizards of the Coast's Mike Mearls said that the development team wanted to ensure that each book was as high quality as possible.

Much of the same information as was announced by Wizards of the Coast has been posted to multiple listings on giant online retailer Amazon.com. Most of that information is duplicated, but it does include the details that the Adventures for the new D&D are designed by Kobold Press, a popular third party RPG publisher that makes material for a variety of fantasy roleplaying games.

The products announced are:

  • Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set (July 15, 2014); Fantasy Roleplaying Fundamentals; $19.99; Will include six dice, a 64-page rulebook with adventure, rules for characters levels 1-5, and 5 pregenerated characters.
  • Player's Handbook (August 19, 2014); Core Rulebook; $49.95; Looks like the same book it has always been - learn the game's systems from it, but it includes only basic rules.
  • Hoard of the Dragon Queen (August 19, 2014); Tyranny of Dragons Adventure; $29.95; The first of the Tyranny of Dragons adventures, looks like the kickoff of the big event at 96 pages. The Amazon listing says that this one was designed and developed by Kobold Press, a third party firm.
  • Monster Manual (September 17, 2014); Core Rulebook $49.95; Bills its game statistics as "easy to use" and is supposedly full of "thrilling stories to feed your imagination" - same old, same old with a chance of increased game fluff.
  • The Rise of Tiamat (October 21, 2014); Tyranny of Dragons Adventure $29.95; Looks like the battle against Tiamat will become "increasingly political" - which would be an interesting twist for a second game adventure. Also designed by Kobold Press.
  • Dungeon Master's Guide (November 18, 2014); Core Rulebook $49.95; Full of "inspiration and guidance" as well as the optional rules modules we've been hearing so much about, as well as all the magic items - so not an optional book at all.
  • Deluxe DM Screen (January 20, 2015); $14.95; This one is listed at Amazon without details and not yet listed by Wizards.

Dungeons & Dragons, to be released later this year, will be the fifth official edition of the fantasy roleplaying game. It went through an extensive public playtest in late 2012 and early 2013, and has been in private development ever since.

Posted alongside the releases were two new miniatures products which by the familiar look of the sculpts are part of the line of miniatures produced by WizKids that were previously announced:

  • Icons of the Realms: Starter Set (July 14, 2014); Miniatures; $19.99; Described as a starter pack and clearly including figures intended as adventurers. Described as including "the dwarf cleric, human ranger, halfling rouge[sic], northlands fighter, elf wizard, and the famous drow ranger, Drizzt Do'Urden."
  • Icons of the Realms: Booster (July, 2014); Miniatures; $15.99; A box of four blind miniatures "inspired by the Tyranny of Dragons storyline" and almost definitely catered to go alongside the starter set and first adventures including "dragons, kobold fighters, bugbears, wraiths, mind flayers, and many more iconic D&D characters."

Trevor Kidd, Wizards of the Coast's community manager, also posted a mockup of the book's spines.

The products are listed on the Wizards of the Coast website.

What does all of this mean? Check out our article on whether or not D&D's release plan is botched or brilliant.

Permalink

A three-months window between the Player's guide and the DM's guide? Why? What sense does that make? Enough time to play the Starter Set to death?

...I can't just buy a bundle of all three, like I did for every other edition that came out during my lifetime? Why?

Does anyone know if the 3rd edition archetype characters--Lidda the halfling thief, Mialee the elven wizard, etc--are making a comeback? I have to admit that I've got a soft spot for them.

I even read the entire fictional series by "T.H. Lain" (which was actually the front name for several different authors). Granted I only enjoyed 2 or 3 of the books enough to consider them worth re-reading...but still...

Really digging the art on these. I'm excited to get my hands on official stuff instead of just the playtest packet.

It will be interesting to see what makes it into the official edition from the play-testing materials (which were alright in comparison to other recent rule-sets; a handful of decent ideas that one could salvage). Personally, I'm still satisfied with first edition AD&D and the books I picked up twenty-odd years ago, but I've found inspiration for new house rules in much weirder places and might pick these up somewhere down the line if heavily discounted.

Rangarig:
A three-months window between the Player's guide and the DM's guide? Why? What sense does that make? Enough time to play the Starter Set to death?

Could be like pathfinder where the Player's guide gives enough info to GM and the GM guide is just supplemental with hints, tips, advice, tables etc.

Though with the monster manual coming out a month after the Player's guide, I think its probably just a big money grab to force early adopters to buy and play the premade adventures since they can't make original encounters without it.

I'll be honest - This staggered release is really disappointing. I don't know if someone in marketing told them this would be a good idea, or they just decided that they wanted to have at least one of the books ready for sale on the floor at GenCon, and I don't care. Why do I need to buy the PHB, wait a month to grab the Monster Manual, and then wait two more months to get the DMG?

I'm probably overreacting a bit, but it's frustrating to people who don't want to play the pre-written adventures to find out that we can't even acquire all the basic tools until 3 months after the game launches.

Uhm, and where are the promised books for the current version? Like the Traps/Hazards books?

And a staggered release just means i'm not going to buy anything until i can have the PHB, Monsters + DMG because how on earth are you going to creat any own adventures without any guideline on how strong monsters/groups should be?
Of course you can just "do something" but chances that those enemies are either to weak or to strong are pretty high.

Seems like i can ignore the new version for a little longer :) It's not like there'd be any need to replace the 4th for my group anyway.

The article spells "rogue" as "rouge." Unless we're getting a makeup mini. >.>

velcthulhu:
...I can't just buy a bundle of all three, like I did for every other edition that came out during my lifetime? Why?

That is a little baffling. Why stagger the releases of the core books so much?

Adeptus Aspartem:
Uhm, and where are the promised books for the current version? Like the Traps/Hazards books?

Apparently, not finishing your product isn't just for video games anymore.

Is it just me or do these covers look like they came from a Scholastic book fair.

This staggered release is pretty stupid, but i guess it prevents me from buying them until i hear the feedback from the community.

ayvee:
Is it just me or do these covers look like they came from a Scholastic book fair.

That was my thought as well. Obviously you can't judge a book by it's cover -- or a game system by it's art -- but if that's the tone they're intending to set, it doesn't inspire much confidence.

What really strikes me is the price tag; $50 isn't too much for an RPG core rulebook, if it contains an entire game. Three books at $50 each for the basic rules is really pushing it.

$150 just for the essential corebooks? In 2014? The same year that we have hundreds of cheap or even free and perfectly legal alternatives? Yeah no thanks.

I'll definitely be picking up the starter box so I can run it for some of my friends over the summer, but what I've seen of the playtest material doesn't inspire much of a need to pick up the rest of the books. Maybe after they come down in- oh who am I kidding, this is WotC. Those books will still be in stores for $50 each five years from now.

The Starter comes out on the same day as my birthday so thats pleasing.

Not fussed at all regarding the staggered release; cant see any players in my group getting beyond level 5 in a month before the Players Handbook arrives. If anything it gives me time to wrap my head around the basic rules before expanding on that knowledge when the PH arrives.

Im just curious about how important minis are to the game system. I want to just pick up a pen some paper and dice and just start up with my friends. not worry about setting up a map and makiing sure everybody likes their mini and all that extra baggage

funksobeefy:
Im just curious about how important minis are to the game system. I want to just pick up a pen some paper and dice and just start up with my friends. not worry about setting up a map and makiing sure everybody likes their mini and all that extra baggage

If it's like the 4th it's like.. the core principle to work with a map for fights/dungeons, 'cause you're using a grid to move/fight.
Basically you can use whatever you like. We were WH40k players once so we're using all the WH40k minis to play D&D which is pretty funny :)

And i've to say i prefer it over the abstract fighting system of say Shadowrun. It feels more like a ongoing boardgame with added story/fluff than a pure P&P-RPG.

As I said a few months ago when this price point was a rumor, $50 for the corebooks is a major fail.

Unless they have something amazing under their sleeve, I have a very grim outlook for the future of Dungeons & Dragons.

Does this mean that WotC will now finally start working on D&D 6E, or are they going to wait for 5th edition DM manual to be published first?

I may not be able to get them the day they come out, but you can bet I'll be picking up at LEAST the player's guide. (I'm always a player, never a DM, so I don't need it.) I honestly don't care about the price either. If I'm happy spending $60 on a video game, I'm more than happy to spend it on something that will last MUCH longer.

Adeptus Aspartem:

funksobeefy:
Im just curious about how important minis are to the game system. I want to just pick up a pen some paper and dice and just start up with my friends. not worry about setting up a map and makiing sure everybody likes their mini and all that extra baggage

If it's like the 4th it's like.. the core principle to work with a map for fights/dungeons, 'cause you're using a grid to move/fight.
Basically you can use whatever you like. We were WH40k players once so we're using all the WH40k minis to play D&D which is pretty funny :)

And i've to say i prefer it over the abstract fighting system of say Shadowrun. It feels more like a ongoing boardgame with added story/fluff than a pure P&P-RPG.

If they're keeping the same design as the playtests, it's grid-compatible but not grid-required. Everything is measured in feet again, and it was easy enough to run a theatre-of-the-mind style game or to break out some grid maps if you feel like it.

With that said, they promised advanced tactical rules as an option, but apparently those modules aren't going to be available until the DMG drops in November, which means I won't buy any 5E products until then. The rules for the GM are the most important part of a game, because that's all the stuff that he/she takes care of so the rest of the players can have a good time. Until I know the quality of that, I don't feel like investing in the MM or PHB.

Thunderous Cacophony:
If they're keeping the same design as the playtests, it's grid-compatible but not grid-required. Everything is measured in feet again, and it was easy enough to run a theatre-of-the-mind style game or to break out some grid maps if you feel like it.

With that said, they promised advanced tactical rules as an option, but apparently those modules aren't going to be available until the DMG drops in November, which means I won't buy any 5E products until then. The rules for the GM are the most important part of a game, because that's all the stuff that he/she takes care of so the rest of the players can have a good time. Until I know the quality of that, I don't feel like investing in the MM or PHB.

Uh, if they're keeping it the same how is it not grid-required? I couldn't fathom to play 4th without a grid.
I mean with all the pullin', pushing and shifting. And all the LoS spells and basically.. everything ranged needs the grid.

Jeah i guess you could write down the feet you're apart from each other but sofar i'd bet that that method would be way more time/brain power consuming than me creating those grids in .. maybe 5-15min per grid. Got 4 A3-laminated grid sheets and some felt pens.

Meh, whatever. As you said until the GM books hits it's more or less useless. How you're going to create adventures without the GMB + MM? Unless they put a little bit of everything in the PHB which would mean that they either duplicate some stuff or you've to shift between the books all the time. derp.

Adeptus Aspartem:

Thunderous Cacophony:
If they're keeping the same design as the playtests, it's grid-compatible but not grid-required. Everything is measured in feet again, and it was easy enough to run a theatre-of-the-mind style game or to break out some grid maps if you feel like it.

With that said, they promised advanced tactical rules as an option, but apparently those modules aren't going to be available until the DMG drops in November, which means I won't buy any 5E products until then. The rules for the GM are the most important part of a game, because that's all the stuff that he/she takes care of so the rest of the players can have a good time. Until I know the quality of that, I don't feel like investing in the MM or PHB.

Uh, if they're keeping it the same how is it not grid-required? I couldn't fathom to play 4th without a grid.
I mean with all the pullin', pushing and shifting. And all the LoS spells and basically.. everything ranged needs the grid.

Jeah i guess you could write down the feet you're apart from each other but sofar i'd bet that that method would be way more time/brain power consuming than me creating those grids in .. maybe 5-15min per grid. Got 4 A3-laminated grid sheets and some felt pens.

Meh, whatever. As you said until the GM books hits it's more or less useless. How you're going to create adventures without the GMB + MM? Unless they put a little bit of everything in the PHB which would mean that they either duplicate some stuff or you've to shift between the books all the time. derp.

I think you misread. I said if they are keeping the same design as the D&D Next Playtests, which were explicitly designed to allow for theatre of the mind combat, then grids aren't necessary. There are far fewer auras and other such things in Next, and forced movement is simplified. Plus, people made do without explicit grids in past editions, and in plenty of other games; when you get the knack of it, it's easy to turn "25-foot slide" into "the bandit slams into the back wall of the pub, that's near to you, Laurel." A quick sketch map is all that's needed if people need some help following events and locations; I've never seen a group that was playing TotM write down all the distances in a list, or do anything more than tossing some labelled scraps of paper on the map to track combatants and macguffins, if that.

Im down with using the grid sometimes, my group used it for more complex battles in 3.5. I did not like how 4 required the grid, it felt like something was taken away from the story your were trying to tell when you didnt have the exact figure or map.

but if this edition did away with the grid requirement, then sign me up! I will however have to wait till the DM guide so I can start crafting my own adventures

I know they staggered 3.x release, and if I'm not mistaken it's their usual tactic. The way I've heard it explained is that if they release them all at once, people will feel like they have to buy them all and because that's expensive, they don't buy any of them. But if all they can do is buy the PHB at first, a lot more people buy it and will then buy the later books.

It's not what I would do, but I can understand their reasoning, and I imagine it must be why they're doing it this time, too.

That being said, I'm having a hard time getting particularly jazzed up about this new edition. But since I've at least bought the core books of every edition since the later printings of 1e, I'm sure I'll at least get the three core books for this, too.

Looks like they are going with the 'Games Worskhop' pricing model there. After the 4th edition fiasco, I didn't think I'd ever move past 3.5, and everything I have heard about 5th-hearing mixed impression of mechanics, and the sack of half-measures that is the Sundering-and now this? I think it's probably safe to say It'll stay that way and I won't touch this edition either.

Mike Mearls, who is the lead designer for the new edition, tweeted today that "You will not need the MM or DMG to run a campaign. Or the PH or Starter Set to make a character."

And as far as staggered release dates go, isn't there a prescient for this already? I know the two AD&D editions had staggered releases too, as did 3.0.

As long as the PHB is a "Complete System" the staggered releases don't really matter... but if like every previous edition you need the DMG and MM in order to say... create your own monsters, create traps, create magic items... then the staggered release dates are really horrible.

But if all you need the MM for is prebuilt monsters and all you need the DMG for is optional stuff like towns, prestige classes and expanded dungeon options then I guess it's not a big deal.

Mearls's second sentence is what really interests me. Are they going to put basic character creation tools online or something? I guess we'll find out.

Thunderous Cacophony:

I think you misread. I said if they are keeping the same design as the D&D Next Playtests, which were explicitly designed to allow for theatre of the mind combat, then grids aren't necessary. There are far fewer auras and other such things in Next, and forced movement is simplified. Plus, people made do without explicit grids in past editions, and in plenty of other games; when you get the knack of it, it's easy to turn "25-foot slide" into "the bandit slams into the back wall of the pub, that's near to you, Laurel." A quick sketch map is all that's needed if people need some help following events and locations; I've never seen a group that was playing TotM write down all the distances in a list, or do anything more than tossing some labelled scraps of paper on the map to track combatants and macguffins, if that.

Ah yes, i read it again. Thanks for clarification.

Vaporware slowly turns into shovelware.

$150 for the basics? $150 to test a new system I don't even know if I'd like or not? Pass.

OverEZ:
$150 for the basics? $150 to test a new system I don't even know if I'd like or not? Pass.

You could always try playing with some folks who do have it first. Every system is "new" to people at least once.

"Rise of Tiamat"
So, she's not a goddess of Evil Dragons anymore?

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here