Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 7:56 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 40: 2013 & Beyond
And so we arrive at the present year, 2013. The D&D Next playtest continues, with new material added in every packet. In January, dndclassics.com, powered by drivethrurpg, debuted, selling classic D&D PDFs. New products continue to be added to the site every week. Premium reprints of classic products continue as well, with the AD&D 2nd Edition core rulebooks coming next month.
On the video game front, the Neverwinter MMO is currently in beta testing and the classic Capcom arcade games Shadow Over Mystara and Tower of Doom are making a comeback, repackaged as Chronicles of Mystara and soon to be available on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC. Meanwhile, the recent board games like Castle Ravenloft are coming to iOS via a partnership with Playdek.
What does the future hold for Dungeons & Dragons? When will D&D Next hit store shelves? What other video games, novels, and other merchandise will we see in the coming months and years?
D&D is between editions as of this writing and the future holds many exciting developments. 2014 is the 40th anniversary of the world’s first roleplaying game. I can’t predict the future, but I do know that Dungeons & Dragons will continue to excite and amaze players and Dungeon Masters for many years to come.
2013 D&D Products
February – Brotherhood of the Griffon, Volume 5: Prophet of the Dead. A Forgotten Realms novel that concludes the Brotherhood of the Griffon series as the heroes are scattered and facing overwhelming odds.
February – Blood of Gruumsh. A Dungeon Command faction pack, containing miniatures depicting orcs and their allies.
February – Unearthed Arcana. A premium reprint of the classic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Ediiton supplement.
March – The Last Threshold. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore and conclusion of the Neverwinter series. Drizzt Do’Urden faces difficult choices as his conscience conflicts with the actions of his new companions.
March – Dungeons of Dread. A hardcover premium compilation of the classic AD&D 1st Edition “S” series of adventures – S1: The Tomb of Horrors, S2: White Plume Mountain, S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, and S4: The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.
April – Spell Compendium. A premium reprint of the 3.5 edition hardcover.
May – Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Core Rulebooks: Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monstrous Manual. Premium reprints of the core rulebooks for the 2nd Edition of AD&D.
June – Against the Slave Lords. A hardcover compilation of the AD&D 1st Edition “A” series adventures – A1: Slave Pits of the Undercity, A2: Secret of the Slavers Stockade, A3: Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords, and A4: In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords. Also includes a brand new adventure, A0: Danger at Darkshelf Quarry, that serves as an introduction to the series.
July – Magic Item Compendium. A premium reprint of the 3.5 edition hardcover.
August – The Sundering, Volume 1: The Companions. A Forgotten Realms novel and first in the Realms Shaking Event known as the Sundering. Written by R.A. Salvatore, The Companions finds the iconic drow, Drizzt Do’Urden, reflecting on friends long gone as The Sundering begins.
August – Murder in Baldur’s Gate. First in a series of Forgotten Realms adventures that give player characters a direct hand in the outcome of the Sundering.
August – Scoundrels of Skullport. An expansion for the Lords of Waterdeep board game, adding new elements to the game from the infamous criminal haven of Skullport and the massive dungeon known as Undermountain.
October – The Sundering, Volume 2: The Godborn. A Forgotten Realms novel by Paul Kemp in which the shadowy legacy of Erevis Cale becomes intertwined with the Sundering.
October – Legacy of the Crystal Shard. A Forgotten Realms adventure in which player characters become directly involved in the Sundering.
November – Original Dungeons & Dragons RPG. A deluxe reprinting of the original D&D game first published in 1974. Contained in a wooden box, the set includes Volume 1: Men & Magic; Volume 2: Monsters & Treasure; Volume 3: Underworld & Wilderness Adventures; Supplement I: Greyhawk; Supplement II: Blackmoor; Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry; Supplement IV: Gods, Demigods, & Heroes; and a special dice set.
December – The Sundering, Volume 3: The Adversary. A Forgotten Realms novel by Erin M. Evans. The tiefling Farideh is thrown into a Netherese prison and into the cataclysmic events of the Sundering.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 7:07 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 39: 2012
On January 9th, 2012, the next iteration of Dungeons & Dragons, dubbed D&D Next, was officially announced in Legends & Lore as well as on more mainstream news websites such as the New York Times. A massive public playtest began in May, with the first of several downloadable playtest packets. As feedback poured in, each new iteration of the playtest saw updates, revisions, new classes, and new (and converted old) adventures.
A full line-up of weekly articles joined Legends & Lore and the DM Experience (an ongoing column by Chris Perkins containing DM advice and anecdotes from his Iomandra campaign) on the D&D website including – Dragon’s Eye View: A look at the art and product design of D&D in general, with glimpses of concept art for D&D Next; Wandering Monsters: Examining monsters in D&D Next; and Forging the Realms: a new column by Ed Greenwood exploring Realms content with an eye toward both the setting’s origins and its future.
The Forgotten Realms would see a major announcement of its own, tying in to D&D Next. As it had for every edition transition thus far, the Realms would be undergoing a “Realms Shaking Event.” This time around, the event is called the Sundering, with novels and adventures scheduled to be released in 2013.
Just as surprising as the announcement that he had returned to D&D the previous year, early in 2012 it was announced that Monte Cook would be leaving the D&D Next team to pursue his own projects.
The final print 4th Edition product, The Dungeon Survival Handbook, hit stores in May. It was followed by edition neutral products set in the Forgotten Realms and the first in a series of classic edition reprints, the AD&D 1st Edition core rulebooks. Premium hardcovers with redesigned cover art, part of the proceeds of these reprints went to support the Gygax Memorial Fund.
In addition to these premium reprints, it was announced at Gen Con that classic D&D products would be returning to the digital market in PDF form.
Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness, a SyFy original movie, finally debuted after a nearly year long delay. Trailers and sneak peeks of the also delayed MMO, Neverwinter, also began to hit the internet in 2012.
2012 D&D Products
January – Cold Steel and Secrets, Part 4. The conclusion of a four part Forgotten Realms novella published exclusively in electronic format.
January – Haunted Temples Map Pack. A collection of three double sided poster-sized battle maps.
February – Brotherhood of the Griffon, Volume 4: The Masked Witches. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the Brotherhood goes to Rashemen, seeking to replenish their depleted ranks of griffon mounts.
February – Player’s Option: Heroes of the Elemental Chaos. A player focused hardcover providing character building options centered on the elements. Includes new class variants – Elementalist, Shugenja, and Sha’ir.
February – Spiral of Tharizdun Fortune Cards. A new set of 8-card booster packs designed to add small bonuses and benefits to characters during game play.
March – Lords of Waterdeep. A board game set in the Forgotten Realms city of Waterdeep in which players vie for control of the city through intrigue and political maneuvering.
March – Venom in Her Veins. A Forgotten Realms novel in which an orphaned yuan-ti girl seeks to rescue her true family from slavery in the Underdark.
April – The Abyssal Plague, Volume 3: The Eye of the Chained God. A “Points of Light” novel that concludes the Abyssal Plague crossover series, in which the heroes confront the plague-infected dragon Vestapalk.
April – DN4: Cathedral of Chaos. A Dungeon Tiles product that includes, in addition to tiles, tokens to represent various traps and magic effects.
April – Halls of Undermountain. An adventure location product, providing a detailed look at the infamous Undermountain dungeon of the Forgotten Realms. Tied in to the D&D Encounters season The Elder Elemental Eye.
May – Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook. A hardcover supplement for both DMs and players focused on dungeon adventuring and the Underdark.
May – The Moonshae Isles, Volume 1: The Rose of Sarifal. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a vain Eladrin queen seeks to put an end to the perceived danger of her estranged niece.
June – DN5: The Urban Underdark. A Dungeon Tiles product with tiles depicting underground city locations.
June – Sword of the Gods: Spinner of Lies. A Forgotten Realms novel and sequel to Sword of the Gods. Also ties in to the year’s Rise of the Underdark theme.
July – Dungeon Command: Heart of Cormyr. One of two sets of a new miniatures game with non-random warbands facing off with card-based mechanics instead of dice. This set includes minis themed around the Forgotten Realms nation of Cormyr.
July – Dungeon Command: Sting of Lolth. Second of two sets of the new Dungeon Command miniatures game, this set featuring drow and spiders.
July – Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition Premium Reprints (Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual). Collector’s edition reprints of the 1st Edition core rulebooks, with part of the proceeds going toward the funding of a Gary Gygax memorial.
July – Prince of Ravens. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a scoundrel from before the Spellplague is released from a magical stasis and returns to his former stomping grounds, Raven’s Bluff.
July – Skein of Shadows. An Eberron novel tying in to the Dungeons & Dragons: Online MMO and sequel to The Shard Axe.
July – The Gilded Rune. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a mysterious petrification plague afflicts the dwarves.
July – Vaults of the Underdark Map Pack. A collection of three double sided battle maps depicting Underdark locales.
August – Drow Treachery Fortune Cards. A set of 9-card random booster packs of cards designed to provide small bonuses to player characters, often at the expense of their companions. Tied in to the Rise of the Underdark year-long event.
August – Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. An edition neutral hardcover supplement detailing the Forgotten Relams drow city of Menzoberranzan.
August – Neverwinter, Volume 3: Charon’s Claw. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore in which Drizzt Do’Urden and his new lover, Dahlia, join forces with Drizzt’s old foe, Artemis Entreri in search of vengeance.
September – Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Edition Premium Reprints (Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual). A collector’s edition reprint of the 3.5 core rulebooks, updated with the last errata available for those books.
September – Shadowbane: Eye of Justice. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the vigilante known as Shadowbane must confront an imposter using his name in the city of Westgate.
September – DN6: Castle Grimstead. A Dungeon Tiles product depicting a castle and other fortifications.
September – Dungeon Command: Tyranny of Goblins. A set of miniatures for use with the Dungeon Command miniatures game with a goblinoid theme.
September – If Ever They Happened Upon My Lair. A Forgotten Realms e-book novella by R.A. Salvatore that unveils the backstory of the Witch-King, villain of the Sellswords trilogy.
September – Sage of Shadowdale, Volume 3: Elminster Enraged. A Forgotten Realms novel in which Elminster inhabits the body of a drow and faces the vampire Manshoon.
October – Dungeon! A repackaging and revision of the classic 1975 board game.
October – Ed Greenwood Presents: Elminster’s Forgotten Realms. An edition neutral, rules-free look at the Forgotten Realms through the eyes of its creator, Ed Greenwood, and his most iconic character, Elminster.
November – DN7: Ruins of War. A Dungeon Tiles product depicting battlefields and warzones.
November – Dungeon Command: Curse of Undeath. A miniatures set with various undead figures.
November – Spider and Stone. A Forgotten Realms novel and the culmination of the Rise of the Underdark year-long product theme, as the drow attack various locations in the surface Realms.
December – Brimstone Angels: Lesser Angels. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a tiefling, striving to protect her sister, discovers a magical book that makes her question everything she thought she knew.
December – Shattered Keeps Map Pack. A collection of three double-sided battle maps depicting ruined castles and keeps.
Come back in two weeks for the final installment – A History of Dungeons & Dragons, Part 40: 2013 & Beyond!
Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 8:30 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 38: 2011
A new weekly feature debuted in February on the D&D website, Legends & Lore. Initially written by Mike Mearls, L&L took a look back at the history of the game as well as offering some peaks behind the design curtain. L&L was also where a surprising announcement was made in September – Monte Cook had returned to D&D. Cook took over the L&L column through the end of the year. Cook’s return to the D&D family created a firestorm of rumors and speculation about a potential 5th Edition of the game.
Adding fuel to the rumor mill, several products were delayed or cancelled, including a Class Compendium product that would have updated the Player’s Handbook classes to the new Essentials format. These revisions would later see the light of day as Dragon magazine articles via D&D Insider.
The random mutation card element of Gamma World had proven popular enough that a new line of randomized boosters, Fortune Cards, were released in 2011, starting with a set called Shadow Over Nentir Vale. The cards provided small boosts or power-ups in game.
Fortune Cards saw use during in-store D&D Encounters sessions. A new in-store play program was introduced in 2011, Lair Assault. Lair Assault focused on higher level, tactical play, designed to challenge experienced players.
On the video game front, Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale, debuted on the Playstation 3, X-Box 360, and the PC. Based very loosely on the 4th Edition rules, Daggerdale was a 3rd person action RPG set in the Forgotten Realms. A Facebook game also debuted, Heroes of Neverwinter, meant to tie in to the Neverwinter MMO, which ended up being delayed.
According to an ICv2 report in the summer of 2011, Pathfinder, the game created from the OGL of D&D’s 3.5 edition, by the company created from Wizards of the Coast’s magazine division, passed D&D in sales, something no other RPG had ever done.
2011 D&D Products
January – DN1: Caverns of Icewind Dale. Kicking off a third series of Dungeon Tiles products, this set featured ice and snow covered wilderness terrain and caverns.
February – Deluxe Dungeon Master’s Screen. A revised and updated heavy cardstock DM screen.
February – Gamma World Expansion Kit: Legion of Gold. A boxed set featuring an adventure and monster supplement for Gamma World, along with tokens and a battle map. Borrows its name from the original GW1: Legion of Gold adventure from the 80s.
February – Shadow Over Nentir Vale Fortune Cards. A set of random 8-card boosters of cards designed to provide a small boost to player characters during play.
February – Sooner Dead. A Gamma World novel set in the wasteland wilderness of Oklahoma.
February – The Legend of Drizzt Anthology: Collected Stories. An anthology of R.A. Salvatore short stories featuring the iconic dark elf, Drizzt Do’Urden. The anthology served as a capstone to the Legend of Drizzt reprints of every Drizzt novel from the Crystal Shard to the Sea of Storms over the past several years.
February – Wrath of Ashardalon. A Dungeons & Dragons board game utilizing the same mechanics as (and therefore compatible with) Castle Ravenloft. The game features Ashardalon, the red dragon antagonist of the 3rd Edition adventure Bastion of Broken Souls.
March – Abyssal Plague, Volume 1: The Temple of Yellow Skulls. A novel set in the Nentir Vale and first in a crossover series with the Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun and Eberron, featuring Tharizdun, also known as the Elder Elemental Eye and the Chained God, a villain first introduced in AD&D 1st Edition.
March – Sandstorm. A Forgotten Realms novel set in post-Spellplague Calimshan, in which a genasi slave is set free and learns to harness his power.
April – Sword of the Gods. A Forgotten Realms novel in the Abyssal Plague crossover series, in which a warrior wakes up in the middle of a corpse littered shrine with no memories.
April – Player’s Option: Heroes of Shadow. A hardcover player supplement featuring the Shadow power source and introducing options for Assassins, Blackguards, and Necromancers. Also introduces a Vampire character class.
May – Dawnbringer. A Forgotten Realms novel inspired by Romeo and Juliet, in which two angels attempt to protect lovers from rival houses.
May – Red Sails in the Fallout. A Gamma World novel in which a pair of heroes cross the desert to find a new water supply for their home.
May – The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond. A boxed set detailing the Shadowfell, with a focus on the city of Gloomwrought. The set includes two booklets, a poster map of the city, monster counters, and a 30 card deck of Despair cards, similar to Fortune cards, but with negative effects. The set details several “Domains of Dread” inspired by Ravenloft.
June – Brotherhood of the Griffon, Volume 3: The Spectral Blaze. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the Brotherhood is caught in a war between a red dragon and a dracolich.
June – Conquest of Nerath. A strategic battle boardgame set in the 4th Edition default setting. The game features four factions, utilizing a Risk type board that greatly expands the map of the “Points of Light” setting.
June – DN2: The Witchlight Fens. A Dungeon Tiles product featuring bog and swamp wilderness terrain.
June – Domain of Dread: Histaven. A Free RPG Day product that expands on The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond, presenting a new “Domain of Dread.”
June – Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale. A softcover collection of monsters, packaged in a slipcase with a battle map and monster tokens. Threats to the Nentir Vale provides, in addition to monster stats, expanded lore and encounter advice for each monster.
June – Under the Crimson Sun. A Dark Sun novel and part of the Abyssal Plague crossover series. A con artist stumbles across a body in the desert and becomes infected by the Abyssal Plague, becoming a huge draw in the gladiatorial arena as he begins to change into something monstrous.
June – Untold Adventures. An anthology of short stories by a collection of science fiction and fantasy authors, several of whom are not normally associated with Dungeons & Dragons, invited to put their own spins on the D&D universe.
July – Neverwinter Fortune Cards. A new set of Fortune Cards sold in 8-card randomized booster packs. These were part of an overall Neverwinter themed suite of products that included the Neverwinter Campaign Setting and a novel by R.A. Salvatore.
July – Unbroken Chain: The Darker Road. A Forgotten Realms novel and sequel to Unbroken Chain, in which a Shadar-Kai must put an end to a dangerous menacr threatening both her home in the Shadowfell and the nation of Rashemen.
August – Abyssal Plague, Volume 2: Oath of Vigilance. A “Points of Light” novel in which a group of heroes faces the spreading plague and the powerful green dragon, Vestapalk, who has become “patient zero” and the herald of Tharizdun.
August – Neverwinter Campaign Setting. A hardcover setting book that, unlike previous years, revisits the Forgotten Realms, focusing on a single city, Neverwinter, location of the popular series of computer games, Neverwinter Nights and the upcoming MMO, Neverwinter.
August – Sage of Shadowdale, Volume 2: Bury Elminster Deep. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the Realms’ most iconic wizard is barely alive in the form of magical ash, yet must still find a way to defeat his nemesis, Manshoon.
September – Shadowbane. A Forgotten Realms novel tie-in to the overarching Abyssal Plague storyline in which the vigilante known as Shadowbane must save the city of Luskan from the Plague.
September – Madness at Gardmore Abbey. A deluxe boxed set Heroic tier adventure that includes adventure booklets, monster tokens, dungeon tiles, battle maps, and the infamous Deck of Many Things, around which the adventure is centered.
September – Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporium. A hardcover collection of new magic items. The book also provides background and history for many items, introduces story items, and includes a rarity system for magic items that became standard for the 4th Edition game.
September – The Shard Axe. An Eberron novel based on the Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited MMO.
October – Cold Steel and Secrets, Volume 1. A Forgotten Realms novella published exclusively in electronic form, in which a spy attempts to infiltrate a band of rebels in Neverwinter.
October – Neverwinter Trilogy, Volume 2: Neverwinter. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore in which Drizzt Do’Urden has lost the last of his old companions and fallen in with a morally ambiguous new companion, Dahlia, as they both seek justice.
October – Legend of Drizzt. A D&D board game compatible with Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon and featuring the iconic drow, Drizzt Do’Urden.
November – Cold Steel and Secrets, Volume 2. Second part of a four part Forgotten Realms novella set in Neverwinter.
November – Death Mark. A Dark Sun novel in which a group of unlikely heroes attempts to preserve the newfound freedom of the city-state of Tyr as neighboring Urik prepares to invade.
November – Dragons Collector’s Set. A boxed set of five dragon miniatures, one of each of the iconic chromatic dragons.
November – Fury of the Feywild Fortune Cards. A set of 8-card randomized boosters, with a focus on the Feywild.
November – Brimstone Angels. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a tiefling makes a pact with a devil and ends up embroiled in the schemes of that devil’s enemies.
November – Player’s Option: Heroes of the Feywild. A hardcover player focused supplement providing new character building options connected to the Feywild. The book introduces hamadryads, satyrs, and pixies as races and new subclasses for Barbarians, Bards, Druids, and Wizards.
December – Book of Vile Darkness. A 4th Edition update to the 3rd Edition Book of Vile Darkness, presented in a slipcase containing a softcover book for DMs, a smaller booklet with adventure hooks, and a poster map. The book was intended to coincide with the release of the third Dungeons & Dragons movie, Book of Vile Darkness, but the movie ended up being delayed for several months.
December – Chosen of Nendawen, Volume 3: Cry of the Ghost Wolf. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a warrior returns from the Feywild to seek vengeance for the death of her family.
December – Cold Steel and Secrets, Volume 3. Third part of an e-book exclusive Forgotten Realms novella.
December – DN3: Shadowghast Manor. A Dungeon Tiles product that depicts a specific adventure locale.
December – The Last Garrison. A “Points of Light” novel in which a young apprentice must find a way to protect his town after his mentor begins to go mad.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 8:44 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 37: 2010
The setting of the year for 2010 was Dark Sun, though the format changed slightly, with a Campaign Setting book that included character building options and a Creature Catalog of Dark Sun specific monsters.
The Dungeons & Dragons Insider Character Builder switched to an online-only cloud-based format about a month after the release of the 4th Edition Dark Sun books. A beta test of the Virtual Table was launched for DDI as well.
As every edition before it had done, 4th Edition received a revision and repacking of the core rules, presented as the Essentials line. Essentials comprised ten products released in the last part of the year; two digest sized player books, a digest sized Rules Compendium, two DM focused boxed sets (Dungeon Master’s Kit and Monster Vault), three large boxed sets of Dungeon Tiles, a dice set, and, kicking off the line, an introductory starter set that modeled itself on the 1983 “Red Box” Basic set, even utilizing the same cover artwork.
2010 also saw the kickoff of D&D Encounters, an in-store play program designed to bring new players to the game. D&D Encounters was designed to utilize the Essentials version of the rules, with each season also allowing the most recent release.
A D&D 4th Edition based board game, Castle Ravenloft, also debuted in 2010. The first of several board games utilizing similar rules, Castle Ravenloft was a dungeon exploration board game set in the infamous lair of Count Strahd Von Zarovich. Topping off the interesting directions D&D was taken in, Gamma World re-emerged from the vaults in 2010, re-imagined as a light-hearted, post-apocalyptic RPG based on the 4th Edition rules.
2010 D&D Products
January – Dwarf Home, Volume 3: The Fate of Thorbardin. A Dragonlance novel in which the dwarven people attempt to depose an insane ruler from the throne of Thorbardin. This would also end up being the last Dragonlance novel as of the posting of this article.
January – Gold Dragon Codex. An illustrated young adult novella in which a young man from a village threatened by a blue dragon seeks out the lair of a gold dragon for assistance.
January – Player’s Handbook Races: Dragonborn. A 32 page paperback supplement expanding on the Dragonborn race, providing new character building options and background.
January – Realms of the Dead. A Forgotten Realms anthology of short stories centered on undead.
January – Underdark. A hardcover supplement providing DM advice, monsters, and encounters for the subterranean realm known as the Underdark.
February – Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep, Volume 5: The God Catcher. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a would be wizard comes to the aid of a dragon trapped in human form, though a bounty hunter claims she is merely an insane human.
February – Martial Power 2. A second player focused hardcover supplement providing character building options for fighters, rangers, rogues, and warlords. Also introduces the concept of Martial Practices.
March – Blades of the Moonsea, Volume 3: Avenger. A Forgotten Realms novel in which an exile returns home to rally the people against their oppressors.
March – DU6: Harrowing Halls. A Dungeon Tiles product of mostly standard dungeon terrain, but featuring 3-dimensional tiles that can be put together to form staircases and platforms.
March – Hammerfast. An adventure location product that provides full stats on a dwarven village, with encounters, adventure hooks, and maps.
March – Player’s Handbook 3. A third volume of player options, providing new races and classes and introducing the Psionic power source and rules for Hybrid multi-classed characters. New races include Githzerai, Minotaur, Shardmind, and Wilden. New classes include Ardent (Psionic Leader), Battlemind (Psionic Defender), Monk (Psionic Striker), Psion (Psionic Controller), Runepriest (Divine Leader), and Seeker (Primal Controller).
April – The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea. A hardcover supplement expanding on the material in Manual of the Planes, providing details on the Astral Sea and the various outer planes.
May – Brotherhood of the Griffon, Volume 1: The Captive Flame. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the famed Brotherhood of the Griffon takes on cultists.
May – Dungeon Magazine Annual. A hardcover compilation of adventures originally published in the DDI subscriber only version of Dungeon Magazine.
May – Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep, Volume 6: Circle of Skulls. A Forgotten Realms novel in which an angel trapped in mortal form seeks final justice or revenge against a dark angel of Asmodeus.
May – HS1: The Slaying Stone. A Heroic Tier adventure in which player characters must find an ancient relic in the ruins of Bael Turath.
May – Player’s Strategy Guide. A hardcover player supplement focused on playing advice and character optimization tips and tricks.
June – DU7: Desert of Athas. A Dungeon Tiles product featuring desert terrain typical of the Dark Sun setting, as well as 3D buildable elements.
June – Bloodsand Arena. The Free RPG Day offering from Wizards of the Coast, Bloodsand Arena was a brief Dark Sun adventure with pregenerated characters.
June – Monster Manual 3. A third hardcover collection of creatures, featuring Lolth, both on the cover and with full stats within.
June – Orcus, Prince of Undeath. A limited edition Gargantuan miniature of the demon lord, Orcus.
June – Player’s Handbook Races: Tieflings. A 32 page softcover supplement providing further details and character building options for tieflings.
June – The Legacy of Dhakaan, Volume 3: The Tyranny of Ghosts. An Eberron novel focused on the struggles of a goblin nation.
July – Demonomicon. A hardcover supplement providing extensive details on demons, demon lords, and the Abyss.
July – HS2: Orcs of Stonefang Pass. A Heroic Tier adventure in which player characters are asked to clear an orc tribe out of a mountain pass so the route can be used for trade.
July – Tomb of Horrors. A hardcover version of the classic Tomb of Horrors adventure, updating it to 4th Edition and greatly expanding it as well.
July – Unbroken Chain. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a shadar-kai spy is sent by his family to learn the weaknesses of an enemy city.
July – Vor Rukoth. An adventure location product providing a fully fleshed out ruined fortress with maps, adventure hooks, and encounters.
August – Castle Ravenloft. A cooperative adventure board game based on the D&D 4th Edition rules. The “board” consists of interlocking dungeon tiles so game play is never the same twice. 40 unpainted plastic miniatures represent monsters, heroes, and Strahd Von Zarovich. The same game engine would be used for two more board games: Wrath of Ashardalon and Legend of Drizzt.
August – Chronicles of Abraxis Wren, Volume 1: Taint of the Black Brigade. Sometimes listed as Volume 2 as this is a sequel to a novel in the Inquisitives series. An elite squad of mercenaries from the Last War is being killed one by one and Abraxis Wren must clear his ex-wife of the crimes.
August – Dark Sun Campaign Setting. A 4th Edition reimagining of the classic 2nd Edition era Dark Sun setting, a ravaged world of psionics and tyrants. This version takes the timeline back to just after the liberation of Tyr. Dark Sun Campaign Setting also introduced the concept of Themes to the 4th Edition rules, which became a popular character building tool for the entire edition.
August – Dark Sun Creature Catalog. A Monster Manual style product specifically designed for Dark Sun, presenting that setting’s exotic and bizarre creatures. It also provides stats for several Sorcerer Kings and other powerful personages.
August – Marauders of the Dune Sea. A Dark Sun Heroic Tier adventure in which player characters must help defend Tyr from those who would take advantage of the lawlessness created in the aftermath of the fall of the city’s Sorcerer-King.
August – Psionic Power. A player focused hardcover supplement providing character building options for psionic characters, including Ardents, Battleminds, Monks, and Psions.
August – Sage of Shadowdale, Volume 1: Elminster Must Die. A Forgotten Realms novel by Ed Greenwood, bringing his most iconic character into the 4th Edition era of the Realms, in which Elminster has lost much due to the death of the Goddess of Magic, Mystra, and the many enemies he has made seek to take advantage of his vulnerability.
August – The Mark of Nerath. A novel set in the 4th Edition default “Points of Light” setting. An imprisoned emperor from the time of the last empire, seeking to free himself from the Shadowfell, makes a bargain with Orcus.
September – A Practical Guide to Dragon Magic. An illustrated guidebook aimed at young adult novel readers, narrated by Sindri Suncatcher, kender apprentice wizard from the Dragonlance New Adventures series.
September – Abolethic Sovereignty, Volume 3: Key of Stars. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a group of heroes must find the Key of Stars before the aboleths use it to open a portal to the Far Realm.
September – Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Starter Set. A new introductory boxed set for the 4th Edition rules, this set modeled itself on the 1983 “Red Box” basic set, including utilizing the original cover art by Larry Elmore. The set also served to kick off the Essentials line of products.
September – Dungeon Tiles Master Set: The Dungeon. An Essentials boxed set providing a variety of dungeon tiles centered around a dungeon theme.
September – Heroes of the Fallen Lands. An Essentials digest-sized paperback volume that served as a revamped Player’s Handbook, providing revised versions of various races and classes. Fallen Lands included dwarf, elf, eladrin, halfling and human races. Five subclasses of the overarching Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard archetypes were presented: Warpriest (Cleric), Knight (Fighter), Slayer (Fighter), Thief (Rogue), and Mage (Wizard).
September – Rules Compendium. An Essentials digest-sized paperback that presents all of the 4th Edition rules in a concise, easy to use format.
September – Monster Manual: Lords of Madness. The last set of randomized monster miniatures, including Huge figures.
October – City Under the Sand. A Dark Sun novel in which a psionic half-elf with the rare ability to detect metal is recruited by the sorcerer-king of Nibenay to find an ancient cache of weapons.
October – Dungeon Master’s Kit. An Essentials boxed set that includes a digest-sized Dungeon Master’s book, two adventures, monster counters, battlemaps, and a DM screen.
October – Gamma World Roleplaying Game. A somewhat tongue-in-cheek reimagining of the Gamma World setting, utilizing D&D 4th Edition rules. Technically the 7th edition of the Gamma World RPG itself, the boxed set included a rules booklet, battlemaps, character and monster tokens, and a deck of mutation cards. Random boosters of additional cards were available as well.
October – Neverwinter Trilogy, Volume 1: Gauntlgrym. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore that introduces the iconic drow, Drizzt, to the 4th Edition era of the Realms. Drizzt and his old friend Bruenor seek out a legendary dwarven kingdom but run into the drow mercenary, Jarlaxle, and a plot to destroy the city of Neverwinter.
October – Thorn of Breland, Volume 3: The Fading Dream. An Eberron novel in which Eladrin seek to return their cities to the Feywild and simultaneously heal the Mourning.
November – Beholders Collector’s Set. A set of four beholder miniatures, depicting four different variations of the iconic D&D monster.
November – Brotherhood of the Griffon, Volume 2: Whisper of Venom. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the Brotherhood become embroiled in a war between a mad draconic king and a dracolich.
November – Dungeon Tiles Master Set: The City. An Essentials boxed set containing dungeon tiles depicting city streets and buildings.
November – Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms. An Essentials digest-sized paperback that serves as an alternative to the Player’s Handbook. The book contains some duplicated rules material from Heroes of the Fallen Lands as the two books are meant to complement each other with only one of the two being necessary for play. Forgotten Kingdoms includes the dragonborn, drow, half-elf, half-orc, human, and tiefling races. Similar to Fallen Lands, this book contains sub-classes as alternatives to the original classes presented in the various Player’s Handbook volumes: Sentinel (Druid), Cavalier (Paladin), Hunter (Ranger), Scout (Ranger), and Hexblade (Warlock).
November – Monster Vault. An Essentials boxed set that includes a digest-sized book of creatures, an adventure, and tokens for every creature in the book. The rules and math for most monsters were revised and updated from those originally presented in the first 4th Edition Monster Manual.
November – Stone of Tymora, Volume 3: The Sentinels. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore and his son, Geno, in which a young hero attempts to destroy a magical stone while enemies on all sides try to take it from him.
December – Chosen of Nendawen, Volume 2: The Hand of the Hunter. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a young woman learns to become a ruthless hunter to avenge her family.
December – Dungeon Tiles Master Set: The Wilderness. An Essentials boxed set full of wilderness oriented dungeon tiles.
December – Gamma World Expansion Kit: Famine in Far-Go. A boxed set that expands the rules and world of the Gamma World setting, including an adventure modeled on the original Famine in Far-Go adventure from 1982.
December – Lady Ruin. An Eberron novel in which a young woman must face her own uncle after his experiments unleash the horrors of Xoriat.
December – The Seal of Karga Kul. A novel set in 4th Edition’s default “Points of Light” setting in which a courier is set upon by fearsome creatures only to find himself and his magical cargo rescued by a dragonborn paladin.
Thursday, March 21, 2013, 7:47 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 36: 2009
The previous year, the Forgotten Realms debuted with just three products. This was part of a new plan for campaign settings – A Campaign Guide, a Player’s Guide, and an adventure. 2009 would be Eberron’s turn, though it would also benefit from a Free RPG Day adventure. Miniatures would also get a revamp, with the miniatures game itself being dropped in favor of minis tailored to the RPG line, with player character minis sold separately from monster minis.
2009 also saw the winding down of the venerable Dragonlance line as trilogies were concluded and no new series started. One final novel would see release in January of 2010, but 2009 was, for the most part, the final Year of the Lance.
On the video gaming front in 2009, Neverwinter Nights 2 received another expansion, Mysteries of Westgate. Dungeons & Dragons Online, DDO, adopted a “free-to-play” model in June, 2009.
On April 7th, 2009, Dungeons & Dragons lost its other co-creator, Dave Arneson.
Also in April, Wizards of the Coast pulled PDF sales of D&D products from sites like drivethrurpg and Paizo’s web store. This coincided with a piracy case surrounding Player’s Handbook 2.
Paizo, meanwhile, had been busily playtesting its updated and revised version of the 3.5 rules and officially released the Pathfinder RPG at Gen Con. In short order, it became a stiff competitor with D&D, one of the first games to do so since White Wolf’s Vampire: The Masquerade nearly 20 years prior.
2009 D&D Products
January – A Practical Guide to Faeries. An illustrated guide to fey creatures targeted at young adult readers.
January – Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead. A 4th edition look at the undead. Includes stat blocks for the infamous and powerful liches Acererak and Vecna.
January – The Wilds, Volume 1: The Fanged Crown. A Forgotten Realms novel in which an expedition to the jungles of Chult by Tethyr is lost, with only the leader returning.
February – Brass Dragon Codex. An illustrated young adult novella in which an orphaned baby brass dragon befriends a gnome on the run from thieves, Solamnic Knights, and dwarves.
February – DU3: Caves of Carnage. A Dungeon Tiles product featuring underground cave formations and the aftermath of bloody battles.
February – Haunted Lands, Volume 3: Unholy. A Forgotten Realms novel in which Szass Tam, a lich and conqueror of Thay, seeks to complete a powerful ritual, while Thay’s former Red Wizard masters attempt to stop him.
March – Anvil of Time, Volume 3: Renegade Wizards. A Dragonlance novel set prior to the War of the Lance in which the Order of High Sorcery seeks the leader of a group of renegades.
March – Blades of the Moonsea, Volume 2: Corsair. A Forgotten Realms novel that finds a corsair attempting to infiltrate and bring down a band of bloodthirsty pirates.
March – Dungeon Delve. A hardcover collection of 30 (one for each character level) short adventures, with three encounters each.
March – Assault on Nightwyrm Fortress. A folio style Paragon tier adventure with two booklets and a poster map. Player characters must enter the Shadowfell to discover why souls of the dead aren’t reaching their final resting places.
March – Player’s Handbook 2. A second resource for players, providing eight new classes, five new races, and introducing the Primal power source. The new races included Deva (a reimagining of the aasimar from prior editions), Gnome, Goliath (originally introduced in 3.5), Half-Orc, and Shifter (an Eberron race). The new classes were Avenger (Divine Striker), Barbarian (Primal Striker), Bard (Arcane Leader), Druid (Primal Controller), Invoker (Divine Controller), Shaman (Primal Leader), Sorcerer (Arcane Striker), and Warden (Primal Defender).
April – Arcane Power. A player focused hardcover supplement providing new character building options for classes with the arcane power source, including wizards, warlocks, sorcerers, bards, and swordmages.
April – E1: Death’s Reach. An Epic Tier adventure in which player characters learn of a plot to usurp the Goddess of Death, the Raven Queen, and must journey to the heart of the Shadowfell to stop it.
April – Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep, Volume 3: Downshadow. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a vigilante faces a choice between vengeance and justice.
April – Player’s Handbook Heroes Series 1. Six non-randomized sets of three miniatures suitable for use as player characters. The sets and figures included were – Martial Heroes 1: male elf ranger, female dragonborn rogue, and male human fighter; Martial Heroes 2: male dwarf rogue, female eladrin fighter, male tiefling warlord; Arcane Heroes 1: male half-elf bard, female eladrin wizard, male tiefling warlock; Arcane Heroes 2: male human wizard, female eladrin sorcerer, male half-elf fighter/warlock; Divine Heroes 1: male human cleric, female halfling cleric, male dwarf paladin; Primal Heroes 1: male human barbarian, female elf druid, male goliath barbarian.
May – Monster Manual 2. A new collection of monsters, featuring Demogorgon on the cover and fully statted within.
May – Monster Manual: Dangerous Delves. Semi-random boosters of monster miniatures, with one non-randomized mini visible in the package and four random minis inside. Figures included an Aspect of Vecna, Beholder Eye Tyrant, Frost Giant, and Skalamd the Troll King (from P1: King of the Trollhaunt Warrens).
May – The Wilds, Volume 2: The Restless Shore. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a genasi must brave a strange dry lake to rescue her kidnapped sister.
June – Anvil of Time, Volume 4: The Forest King. A Dragonlance novel that tells the story of the legendary elf general, Balif.
June – Black Crusade. A Ravenloft novel, the last of the Ravenloft Dominion line, that was released as a free PDF on the Wizards of the Coast website.
June – DU4: Arcane Towers. A Dungeon Tiles product that included arcane libraries and laboratories, as well as rounded pieces which would be used to construct towers.
June – E2: Kingdom of Ghouls. An epic tier adventure and sequel to E1: Death’s Reach. Player characters delve into the underground realms of the Shadowfell, seeking the Kingdom of Ghouls.
June – Eberron Player’s Guide. A hardcover player’s overview of the Eberron setting, including a plethora of character building options, including a new class, the Artificer (an Arcane Leader).
June – Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep, Volume 4: City of the Dead. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the city’s graveyard, known as the City of the Dead, is the source of restless dead.
June – Khyber’s Harvest. A Free RPG Day adventure set in Eberron. Player characters must investigate a subterranean menace threatening a village of humans and orcs.
June – Green Dragon Codex. An illustrated young adult novella in which a pair of children happen upon a green dragon egg and find themselves evading dragon hunters when the egg hatches.
July – Divine Power. A player focused hardcover providing new character building options for characters with the divine power source, including paladins, clerics, invokers, and avengers.
July – Eberron Campaign Guide. A hardcover overview of the Eberron setting for 4th Edition. The book includes an introductory adventure and some new monsters.
July – The Empyrean Odyssey, Volume 3: The Crystal Mountain. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a half-fiend, having betrayed her allies in a failed attempt to prevent the death of the Goddess of Magic, must mend burned bridges to escape captivity.
July – Player’s Handbook Heroes Series 2. Six sets of non-random minis representing player character races and classes. Sets included Arcane Heroes 3 (male human wizard, female human warlock, warforged artificer), Divine Heroes 2 (warforged cleric, female human avenger, male human paladin), Divine Heroes 3 (male genasi paladin, female human cleric, male human invoker), Martial Heroes 3 (male dragonborn warlord, male elf fighter, male gnome ranger), Martial Heroes 4 (female human warlord, male tiefling fighter, male shifter ranger), and Primal Heroes 2 (male halfling barbarian, female human barbarian, male half-elf druid).
July – Seekers of the Ashen Crown. An Eberron Heroic Tier adventure in which player characters are hired to find the pieces of a broken crown.
August – A Practical Guide to Vampires. An illustrated guidebook aimed at young adult novel readers, providing hunter’s tips for D&D style vampires.
August – Adventurer’s Vault 2. A second hardcover sourcebook full of equipment and magic items, including legendary weapons and artifacts.
August – Dragon Magazine Annual. A hardcover compilation of articles from the previous year, originally published online as part of the Dungeon & Dragons Insider subscription version of Dragon magazine. Originally labeled “Volume 1” this would prove to be the only volume in the series.
August – Lost Chronicles, Volume 3: Dragons of the Hourglass Mage. Final volume in a trilogy filling in the spaces in between the original Dragonlance Chronicles novels. This novel follows Raistlin Majere, after his betrayal of the companions and turning to the black robes.
August – Monster Manual: Legendary Evils. Another monsters only semi-random set of miniatures boosters, with each booster including one non-random huge size mini and four randomized minis. Notable figures included a Balor, an Aurak Draconian, a Beholder Ultimate Tyrant, an Elder Green Dragon, an Elder Iron Dragon, a Frost Titan, and a Storm Titan.
August – The Draconic Prophecies, Volume 3: Dragon War. An Eberron novel in which the Five Nations’ only hope of averting another war rests with a half-mad outcast.
August – The Wilds, Volume 3: The Edge of Chaos. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a cult seeks to harness and control the wild magic at the edge of the Plaguewrought Lands.
September – Abolethic Sovereignty, Volume 2: City of Torment. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a group of odd companions venture in to the Underdark to slay an elder aboleth.
September – Dungeon Master’s Guide 2. A second volume of advice for building encounters and campaigns, with a focus on the Paragon tier. Also provides an overview of the extraplanar city of Sigil.
September – Revenge of the Giants. A hardcover “super adventure” presenting a Paragon tier sequel to the original Against the Giants modules.
September – Silver Dragon Codex. An illustrated young adult novella in which a young dragon silver dragon shapechanged into human form and with no memory of her true self, joins a circus, befriending another performer.
September – Legacy of Dhakaan, Volume 2: Word of Traitors. An Eberron novel in which a band of heroes attempt to find the assassin of the emperor while evading capture by his villainous successor.
October – DU5: Sinister Woods. A Dungeon Tiles set featuring tiles with forest terrain.
October – E3: Prince of Undeath. An Epic tier adventure and conclusion to the loosely connected series that began with H1: Keep on the Shadowfell. Player characters discover that the demon lord Orcus is the entity attempting to usurp the Raven Queen’s power over death.
October – Primal Power. A hardcover player supplement providing new character building options for barbarians, druids, shamans, and wardens.
October – Stonetellers, Volume 3: Goblin Nation. A Dragonlance novel in which a group of goblinoid outcasts attempt to found their own nation.
October – Transitions, Volume 3: The Ghost King. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore in which Drizzt and his companions face the Spellplague and the return of an enemy thought destroyed.
November – Chosen of Nendawen, Volume 1: The Fall of Highwatch. A Forgotten Realms novel in which one of the last members of a bloodline of lycanthropes faces the machinations of her evil uncle.
November – Draconomicon 2: Metallic Dragons. A hardcover sourcebook detailing metallic dragons of various sorts, including new varieties introduced in 4th Edition, Iron and Adamantine.
November – Monster Manual: Savage Encounters. A set of semi-randomized pre-painted miniatures with one visible non-random figure and four random figures. Figures included a Dragonborn Death Knight, a Marililth, a Nightwalker, and a Death Giant.
November – Stone of Tymora, Volume 2: The Shadowmask. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore and his son, Geno Salvatore, in which a young boy discovers a powerful magic within himself that may destroy him.
November – Thorn of Breland, Volume 2: Son of Khyber. An Eberron novel in which a spy infiltrates a band of criminals utilizing a forbidden dragonmark, but begins to sympathize with their cause.
December – Ogre Titans, Volume 3: The Gargoyle King. A Dragonlance novel in which an ancient city is recreated with a powerful artifact as various factions vie for power in the ogre nation.
December – The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos. A hardcover followup to the Manual of the Planes, focusing on the Elemental Chaos, with details on the City of Brass.
December – The Wilds, Volume 4: Wrath of the Blue Lady. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a treasure hunter discovers a sunken ship in the Sea of Fallen Stars but inadvertently awakens an ancient evil.
Throughout the year, sets of Power Cards were released, providing details of class powers on convenient index-sized cards.
Thursday, March 14, 2013, 3:59 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 35: 2008
As the weeks and months of 2008 progressed toward the debut of 4th Edition in June, one thing every third party publisher was waiting for was word on whether the OGL would apply to 4th Edition. Some of them finally chose to stop waiting and move on to other projects. Among them was Paizo, which chose to pursue development of an update to the 3.5 system using their in-house setting. Paizo began a then unprecedented open public playtest of what would become the Pathfinder RPG in the summer of 2008.
When 4th Edition arrived, it came not with an OGL but a GSL, Game System License, which was more limited in scope than the original OGL. Only a few third party publishers signed on, though a few pursued other means of supporting the game via the original OGL.
4th Edition was a complete overhaul of D&D, changing both the game’s mechanics and much of its flavor. Classes were now a mix of a Role (Defender, Striker, Controller, Leader) and a power source (Arcane, Divine, Martial). The initial offering of classes included Cleric (Divine Leader), Fighter (Martial Defender), Paladin (Divine Defender), Ranger (Martial Striker), Rogue (Martial Striker), Warlock (Arcane Striker), Warlord (Martial Leader), and Wizard (Arcane Controller). Each class also offered Paragon Paths, similar in theme to 3.5’s Prestige Classes. Epic Destinies rounded out character progression as PCs approached 30th level (the maximum) and achieved immortality (either literal or figurative depending on the Epic Destiny). The game was now organized into tiers of play, Heroic (levels 1-10), Paragon (11-20), and Epic (21-30). Every class had a variety of powers, At-Will, Encounter, and Daily, to use in combat. Magic items now appeared in the Player’s Handbook as a character building resource. Races included Dragonborn (honorable humanoid dragons), Dwarf, Eladrin (a more fey version of elves), Elf, Half-Elf, Halfling, Human, and Tiefling (descendants of an ancient empire that made pacts with devils). Alignments were simplified from nine to five (Lawful Good, Good, Unaligned, Evil, and Chaotic Evil). The Great Wheel cosmology of prior editions was replaced with the World Axis, introducing new planes like the Feywild and the Shadowfell, and merging the elemental planes into the Elemental Chaos, with the Abyss at its center.
Dungeons & Dragons Insider, aka DDI, debuted alongside 4th Edition, featuring several online tools, though not the full suite originally planned. Dragon and Dungeon Magazine were now digital downloads, supporting the new 4E rules. DDI also offered a downloadable character builder and a searchable Compendium of all 4th Edition rules elements. Other features such as the Virtual Table were delayed while the Character Visualizer would end up being cancelled entirely.
2008 would see only one video game release for D&D, an expansion for Neverwinter Nights 2, Storm of Zehir.
On March 4th, 2008, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, Gary Gygax, passed away. GM’s Day, a “gamer holiday” that began as a single thread on EN World and which blossomed into an industry wide tradition, would forever after carry a double meaning as a day to commemorate the man who helped provide countless hours of entertainment to millions.
2008 D&D Products
January – Realms of War. An anthology of Forgotten Realms short stories with themes of war and conflict.
January – Red Dragon Codex. An illustrated novella for young adults and follow-up to A Practical Guide to Dragons.
January – War of the Lance, Volume 3: Dragons of Spring. The final licensed Dragonlance product from Margaret Weis Productions, updating the original Dragonlance adventures to the 3.5 rules, specifically Dragons of Dreams, Dragons of Faith, Dragons of Truth, and Dragons of Triumph. The book also introduced a new chapter between Dragons of Dreams and Dragons of Faith, entitled Dragons of Shadows, which replaces the war simulator module Dragons of Glory, taking the player characters out of the nightmare warped Silvanesti and into the Blood Sea of Istar.
January – Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters. The second 4th Edition preview product, providing an illustrated behind the scenes look at the development of 4th Edition. The book introduces the “Points of Light” concept for the default D&D 4E setting, a world with pockets of civilization struggling to survive in a hostile, monster-infested world. It also introduces the Feywild and the Shadowfell, light and dark reflections of the material world.
February – Blade of Flame, Volume 3: Sea of Death. An Eberron novel in which an ex-assassin must return to his old ways to stop a powerful lich.
February – City of Stormreach. A 3.5 Eberron supplement covering Stormreach, a frontier city on the continent of Xen’drik. The book provides a tie-in to the MMO, Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach.
March – An Adventurer’s Guide to Eberron. An illustrated, rules-free, “coffee table book” guide to the Eberron setting.
March – DT7: Fane of the Forgotten Gods. A Dungeon Tiles set featuring temple ruins.
March – Haunted Lands, Volume 2: Undead. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the wizard-ruled nation of Thay faces a full scale invasion of undead.
March – The Inquisitives, Volume 4: The Darkwood Mask. An Eberron novel in which a young investigator is brought in to solve the high-profile murder of an aristocrat and his family.
April – Anvil of Time, Volume 1: The Sellsword. A Dragonlance novel in which a troubled mercenary is hired to rescue a nobleman’s daughter from behind enemy lines during the War of the Lance.
April – Citadels, Volume 2: Obsidian Ridge. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a monstrous living citadel controlled by a mad wizard attacks a peaceful kingdom.
April – D&D Miniatures Starter Set. A new starter set for the D&D Minis game, this time with non-randomized mins and an introductory scenario pitting a group of three heroes against a yuan-ti and a green dragon. The revised rules were the first glimpse into 4th Edition’s powers structure.
April – Dungeons of Dread (D&D Miniatures Expansion). The first booster expansion to utilize the 4th Edition style rules revision. Among the figures in the set were several 4th Edition monsters and heroes including an Angel of Valor, Eye of Flame (beholder), Emerald Orb Wizard, Ice Archon, Oni, Tiefling Warlock, and Warforged Infiltrator. The set also introduced new packaging for the boosters.
April – Elements Trilogy, Volume 3: Tempest’s Vow. A young adult Dragonlance novel in which a young mage’s test at the Tower of High Sorcery is interrupted by the theft of a magical artifact.
May – Blades of the Moonsea, Volume 1: Swordmage. The first Forgotten Realms novel set in the 4th Edition era of the Realms, after the Spellplague. A wandering swordmage (a class that would be introduced later in the year in the Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide) returns home to find it under siege.
May – Citadels, Volume 3: The Shield of Weeping Ghosts. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the Rashemi return to the ruins of an ancient icebound citadel.
May – Dark Disciple, Volume 3: Amber and Blood. Dragonlance novel in which the dark priestess, Mina, driven insane by the revelation of her true nature, must evade capture while attempting to reach Godshome to fulfill her destiny.
May – H1: Keep on the Shadowfell. The first adventure and first product for 4th Edition, released a month prior to the core rulebooks. The adventure came in a folio style folder containing both the adventure itself and a quickstart guide, briefly explaining the 4th Edition rules and providing pregenerated characters. Player characters arrive in the town of Winterhaven to find it beset by kobolds. While investigating the kobold threat, the player characters stumble upon the dark machinations of Kalarel, who seeks to unleash an even greater evil upon the world.
June – Bronze Dragon Codex. An illustrated novella about a bronze dragon whose thirst for vengeance begins to corrupt him toward evil.
June – Player’s Handbook (4th Edition). The player’s entry point for the 4th Edition version of the D&D game and first of three PHBs released during the 4th Edition era.
June – Dungeon Master’s Guide (4th Edition). The 4th Edition guide to running adventures and campaigns. In addition to the usual advice and guidance on building encounters and running campaigns, the book included a mini gazetteer of the town of Fallcrest, part of the Nentir Vale “Points of Light” setting, as well as a short adventure, Kobold Hall. The first of two DMGs released during the 4th Edition era.
June – Monster Manual (4th Edition). The first of three 4th Edition era Monster Manuals, this volume presented the 4E versions of many classic monsters like the Beholder, Dragons, and Orcs, as well as several reimagined monsters such as Angels and Archons. Also featured was Orcus, who graced the cover of the book.
June – Treasure of Talon Pass. A brief adventure created for Free RPG Day. Player characters must race against other interested parties to be the first to claim a jade chalice.
June – The Draconic Prophecies, Volume 2: Dragon Forge. An Eberron novel in which events begin to spiral toward a new war.
July – Against the Giants (D&D Miniatures Expansion). A new set of random boosters with Huge sized miniatures, including a Blackwood Treant, a Death Titan, an Earth Titan, and a Fire Titan, as well as Elder White and Red Dragons.
July – Character Record Sheets. A new edition, a new set of character sheets.
July – Citadels, Volume 4: Sentinelspire. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a ranger is kidnapped by assassins and then asked to assist in the slaying of their master, the Old Man of the Mountain.
July – DU1: Halls of the Giant Kings. First in a new line of Dungeon Tiles products. This set features a variety of giant sized dungeons with appropriately proportioned furnishings.
July – Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition for Dummies. A new version of the D&D for Dummies book, updated for the 4th Edition rules.
July – H2: Thunderspire Labyrinth. An adventure for the Heroic Tier, set in the Nentir Vale. Thunderspire can be played alone or as a sequel to Keep on the Shadowfell. Player characters must track down a group of slaves, facing minotaurs, duergar, and gnolls along the way, before uncovering a plot to conquer the Nentir Vale. The adventure is contained in a folder style cover and includes two booklets and a poster map.
July – Lady Penitent, Volume 3: Ascendancy of the Last. A Forgotten Realms novel which introduces major changes to the drow pantheon, setting another part of the stage for the 4th Edition version of the Realms.
August – A Practical Guide to Dragon Riding. An illustrated guidebook for young adult readers and followup to A Practical Guide to Dragons.
August – A Practical Guide to Wizardry. An illustrated guidebook for young adult readers, providing a look at what it takes to become a wizard in a D&D style setting.
August – Black Dragon Codex. An illustrated young adult novella in which a black dragon kidnaps a young “snack” only to run afoul of red dragons and transformed into a human boy, forced to ally with his former meal if he wishes to survive.
August – Dungeon Master’s Screen. A new screen for a new edition, constructed from thicker cardstock than previous screens, as well as being shorter, to give the DM a better view of the table, players, and battlemat.
August – Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. A hardcover guide to the Forgotten Realms for Dungeon Masters, introducing the 4th Edition, post-Spellplague era Realms. The Realms were radically altered for 4th Edition, with the Spellplague changing both magic and the geography of the Realms, a new continent, Abeir, appearing where Maztica once was, and a timeline shift of 100 years.
August – H3: Pyramid of Shadows. The third Heroic Tier adventure, and loose sequel to Keep on the Shadowfell and Thunderspire Labyrinth. Player characters must infiltrate a multi-dimensional pyramid used as a prison for a power mad tiefling wizard and either free him or destroy him.
August – Stonetellers, Volume 2: Death March. A Dragonlance novel in which escaped goblin and hobgoblin slaves seek out a place to call home.
August – The Legacy of Dhakaan, Volume 1: The Doom of Kings. An Eberron novel in which a goblin king hires a shifter to seek out the pieces of a scepter that will solidify his rule.
September – Adventurer’s Vault. A hardcover supplement with stats for a variety of weapons, mundane tools, and magic items.
September – Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep, Volume 1: Blackstaff Tower. A Forgotten Realms novel and first in a new series designed to be an entry point for Forgotten Realms novel readers.
September – Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep, Volume 2: Mistshore. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a young girl scarred by the Spellplague must face her powers.
September – Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide. A hardcover supplement providing player character options for the 4th Edition Realms, including a new class, the Swordmage, an Arcane Defender.
September – FR1: Scepter Tower of Spellgard. A Forgotten Realms adventure in which player characters must stop a dark force from taking control of a prophet in an ancient ruin.
September – Heaven’s Bones. First in a new line of Ravenloft novels in which a mourning doctor sculpts angelic figures from the bodies of murdered women.
September – Stone of Tymora, Volume 1: The Stowaway. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore and his son, Geno Salvatore, in which a young stowaway with a dark secret finds an ally in Drizzt Do’Urden.
October – D&D Roleplaying Game Starter Set. A new introductory boxed set for 4th Edition. The set included quickstart rules, cardboard counters for player characters and monsters, dungeon tiles, and an introductory adventure.
October – Deluxe Player’s Handbook. A premium printing of the 4th Edition Player’s Handbook with a silver foil cover.
October – Deluxe Dungeon Master’s Guide. A premium printing of the 4th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide with a silver foil cover.
October – Deluxe Monster Manual. A premium printing of the 4th Edition Monster Manual with a silver foil cover.
October – DU2: Streets of Shadow. A Dungeon Tiles product featuring city streets and sewers.
October – Dwarf Home, Volume 2: The Heir of Kayolin. A Dragonlance novel in which the dwarven nation of Thorbardin fights a brutal civil war.
October – P1: King of the Trollhaunt Warrens. First of three Paragon Tier adventures in which player characters must find a way to destroy a seemingly immortal troll king.
October – The Lanternlight Files, Volume 2: When Night Falls. An Eberron novel in which a mercenary “fixer” finds himself in the middle of a revolution.
October – Transitions, Volume 2: The Pirate King. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore in which Drizzt Do’Urden helps an old friend attempt to save the city of Luskan from destruction.
November – Demonweb (D&D Miniatures Expansion). The final miniatures product to support the D&D Minis game (later sets would be designed with only the RPG in mind). The set included a variety of Underdark creatures: Cyclops Hewer, Draegloth Favored One, Drow Demonbinder, Mezzodemon, Thoon Hulk, and Web Golem among other figures.
November – Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons. A hardcover supplement providing extensive details on the five chromatic dragon species: White, Black, Green, Blue, and Red as well as introducing three new chromatic dragon types: Brown, Gray, and Purple.
November – Dungeon Master 4th Edition for Dummies. A 4th Edition update to the original DM for Dummies book.
November – Empyrean Odyssey, Volume 2: The Fractured Sky. A Forgottten Realms novel in which a pair of demons find themselves trapped in Celestia as that plane suffers through upheaval in the wake of the Spellplague.
November – Knights of Myth Drannor, Volume 3: The Sword Never Sleeps. A Forgotten Realms novel by Ed Greenwood which concludes the adventures of one of the Realms’ most famous adventuring companies.
November – Martial Power. A hardcover supplement that provides new character building options for martial characters, including Fighters, Rangers, Rogues, and Warlords.
November – Mithras Court. A Ravenloft novel in which a London widower seeking his wife’s murderer finds himself drawn in to the mists of Ravenloft.
November – Thorn of Breland, Volume 1: The Queen of Stone. An Eberron novel in which a spy infiltrates a nation of monsters.
December – Abolethic Sovereignty, Volume 1: Plague of Spells. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a plaguescarred wizard must thwart the rise of an aberrant horror.
December – Manual of the Planes. A hardcover supplement in the tradition of the 1st Edition and 3rd Edition books of the same name, describing the World Axis planar cosmology.
December – Ogre Titans, Volume 2: The Fire Rose. A Dragonlance novel in which the ruler of a new nation of ogres must claim an ancient artifact to solidify his rule.
December – P2: Demon Queen’s Enclave. A Paragon Tier adventure and sequel to King of the Trollhaunt Warrens. Player characters delve into the Underdark to face drow, demons and worse.
December – Twilight War, Volume 3: Shadowrealm. A Forgotten Realms novel in which Erevis Cale has a final confrontation with the Shadovar invading Sembia.
Friday, March 8, 2013, 3:29 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 34: 2007
In April of 2007 something a little…unusual, popped up in the Wizards forums. A new section called Gleemax. Gleemax was part of an overall Digital Initiative that had several goals. Gleemax was meant to become a sort of social networking site for gamers, with a variety of online games and support for Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. On the D&D side, the Digital Initiative was headed toward something called D&D Insider, an ambitious project designed to provide a variety of online tools for the D&D game.
Feeding the speculation about 4th Edition, Wizards of the Coast pulled in their various licenses, ending their partnerships with Paizo (publishers of Dragon and Dungeon Magazines) and Margaret Weis Productions (publishers of 3.5 Dragonlance products). In both cases, the companies were allowed to finish out key adventure paths (The Savage Tide adventure path in Dungeon Magazine and the 3.5 updates to the original Dragonlance adventures from Margaret Weis Productions).
A few days before Gen Con, the D&D website was replaced by a countdown timer, with the word “4dventure” across the screen. Speculation about 4th Edition was all but confirmed and when the countdown timer hit zero…the website went down. At Gen Con, however, convention goers were treated to the official announcement that 4th Edition was indeed on its way.
On the electronic gaming front, Neverwinter Nights 2 received its first expansion, Mask of the Betrayer and Dungeons & Dragons: Tactics was released for the PSP.
2007 D&D Products
January – Complete Scoundrel. A hardcover player supplement providing a variety of new character building options, including Luck feats and Skill tricks.
January – Elements Trilogy, Volume 1: Pillar of Flame. A Dragonlance young adult novel in which a young wizard must discover why all of the fires have gone out in Kenderhome.
January – Dungeons & Dragons Icons: Gargantuan Blue Dragon. A “miniature” to scale with the D&D Miniatures Game of a Great Wyrm Blue Dragon. Also included were a stat card for the D&D Minis Game, a battlemap, and a brief D&D 3.5 encounter.
January – Rise of Solamnia, Volume 3: The Measure and the Truth. A Dragonlance novel in which Solamnia rises as a new empire in the aftermath of the War of Souls.
February – DD1: Barrow of the Forgotten King. First in a three-part series of adventures in which player characters explore the graveyard of an ancient kingdom.
February – DT3: Hidden Crypts. A Dungeon Tiles product featuring crypts and tombs.
February – Dungeonscape. A hardcover environment sourcebook providing advice on running dungeon adventures as well as providing character building options for dungeon delving players. Introduces a new base class called the Factotum, a true jack-of-all trades.
February – Heirs of Ash, Volume 2: Flight of the Dying Sun. An Eberron novel in which a group of heroes must track down a relic from the Last War.
February – Lady Penitent, Volume 1: Sacrifice of the Widow. A Forgotten Realms novel and sequel to the War of the Spider Queen series that follows a former priestess of Eilistraee, now a drider in service of Lolth.
February – Secrets of Sarlona. An Eberron regional sourcebook covering the continent of Sarlona and the psionic races and cultures that dwell there.
March – Blade of the Flame, Volume 2: Forge of the Mindslayers. An Eberron novel in which an ex-assassin attempts to rescue an ex-lover from the clutches from a vampire pirate.
March – Champions, Volume 3: The Great White Wyrm. A Dragonlance novel in which a group of dragonslayers embark on a Moby Dick like quest to destroy an ancient white dragon.
March – FR1: Cormyr: Tearing of the Weave. A Forgotten Realms adventure in which player characters must thwart a plot by agents of Shar and Cyric to tear a hole in the Weave. First in a three-part series.
March – Magic Item Compendium. A hardcover compilation of many magic items from the history of 3rd Edition. The book reclassifies items as armor, weapons, clothing, and tools and introduces several new concepts, including augment crystals.
March – Suncatcher Trilogy, Volume 2: The Ebony Eye. A Dragonlance young adult novel in which the kender apprentice wizard, Sindri Suncatcher, must reassess who he can trust.
March – Unhallowed (D&D Miniatures Expansion). A new set of random booster packs of miniatures featuring, among other minis, a Beholder Lich, a Bone Naga, Count Strahd Von Zarovich (from the Ravenloft adventure/setting), a Tsucora Quori (a nightmarish creature from the Eberron setting), and Van Richten (famous monster hunter from the Ravenloft setting).
April – Bestiary of Krynn (Revised). A Dragonlance supplement published Margaret Weis Productions. This version incorporates errata from the previous edition and revises the format of the monster entries.
April – Dragons of Time. An anthology of Dragonlance short stories focused on dragons.
April – Dungeons, Volume 1: Depths of Madness. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a group of adventurers must escape a maddening dungeon.
April – Expedition to the Demonweb Pits. A hardcover adventure that revisits the locale of Q1: Queen of the Demonweb Pits, involving player characters in the machinations of the demon lords Graz’zt and Lolth.
April – Eyes of the Lich Queen. An Eberron adventure in which player characters must rid themselves of an ancient curse while evading agents of evil.
April – Fantastic Locations: City of Peril. A short adventure based around two double-sided poster maps that are also suitable for use with the D&D Minis game.
April – Haunted Lands, Volume 1: Unclean. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a necromancer plots to take over the nation of Thay.
April – The Inquisitives, Volume 1: Bound by Iron. An Eberron novel in which a war hero missing for twenty years is found murdered.
May – Best of the Realms, Volume 3: The Stories of Elaine Cunningham. A Forgotten Realms anthology of short stories by Elaine Cunningham, most of which appeared in previous anthologies.
May – Complete Champion. A hardcover player supplement focusing on character options for those who champion a faith or cause.
May – Drow of the Underdark. A hardcover supplement focusing on drow, primarily as NPCs and villains, but also including character building options for player character drow.
May – DT4: Ruins of the Wild. A Dungeon Tiles product with wilderness terrain tiles and above ground ruins.
May – Empyrean Odyssey, Volume 1: The Gossamer Plain. A Forgotten Realms novel that follows a succubus character from the War of the Spider Queen as she winds up in Celestia.
May – Goodlund Trilogy, Volume 2: Warrior’s Blood. A Dragonlance young adult novel in which a young warrior faces betrayal and captivity.
May – The Inquisitives, Volume 2: Night of the Long Shadows. An Eberron novel in which one of the inquisitives gets involved in a murder investigation that goes to the highest levels of power in Sharn.
May – Watercourse Trilogy, Volume 3: Scream of Stone. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the nation of Thay descends into civil war.
June – DD2: The Sinister Spire. An adventure in which player characters pursue grave robbers in to the underdark.
June – Expedition to Undermountain. A hardcover adventure that revisits the classic Forgotten Realms dungeon known as Undermountain.
June – Taladas Trilogy, Volume 3: Shadow of the Flame. A Dragonlance novel set on the continent of Taladas in which a group of heroes must face their own leader who has been possessed by an ancient evil.
June – Tasslehoff’s Map Pouch: Legends. A collection of maps depicting pre-Cataclysm Ansalon.
June – The Forge of War. An Eberron supplement that takes a detailed look at the Last War, its effects on the world, and character building options for veterans of the Last War.
June – The Inquisitives, Volume 3: Legacy of Wolves. An Eberron novel in which rival factions must work together to solves a series of murders.
July – Dungeons, Volume 2: The Howling Delve. A Forgotten Realms novel in which an orphan mage finds her home transformed into a thieves’ guild’s dungeon.
July – Elements Trilogy, Volume 2: Queen of the Sea. A Dragonlance young adult novel in which a young wizard must find a way to put an end to the tempest that threatens to destroy Palanthas.
July – FR2: Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land. A Forgotten Realms adventure in which the Dalelands have been conquered and the player characters must lead a revolt against the occupying forces of Shar and Zhentil Keep.
July – Lost Chronicles, Volume 2: Dragons of the Highlord Skies. A Dragonlance novel that fills in some of the gaps from the original Dragonlance Chronicles, specifically following Kitiara during the events of Dragons of Winter Night.
July – Monster Manual V. The fifth and final Monster Manual for 3.5, with a variety of new monsters, as well as maps and sample encounters.
July – Night Below (D&D Miniatures Expansion). A set of randomized booster packs for the D&D Minis game, borrowing a name from a classic 2nd Edition boxed set adventure. Among the new miniatures are a Brass Golem (shaped like a minotaur), a Frost Giant Jarl, a Guardian Naga, Raistlin Majere (major character from the Dragonlance setting), Lady Vol (a villain from the Eberron setting), Wulfgar (companion of Driz’zt Do’Urden from the Forgotten Realms setting), and an Aspect of Loviatar.
July – The Lanternlight Files, Volume 1: The Left Hand of Death. An Eberron novel in which a “fixer’s” latest job proves to be more than he can handle.
August – A Practical Guide to Monsters. An illustrated guide to various iconic D&D monsters, written with young adult novel readers in mind.
August – Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk. A hardcover adventure that revisits the dungeons beneath Castle Greyhawk.
August – Knights of Myth Drannor, Volume 2: Swords of Dragonfire. A Forgotten Realms novel by Ed Greenwood in which the now famous Swords of Eveningstar find themselves manipulated by various power groups.
August – Races of Ansalon. A Dragonlance supplement published by Margaret Weis Productions detailing the unique races of the Dragonlance setting.
August – Stonetellers, Volume 1: The Rebellion. A Dragonlance novel in which a group of goblin and hobgoblin slaves revolt against their Dark Knight masters.
August – The Draconic Prophecies, Volume 1: Storm Dragon. An Eberron novel in which a nearly insane war veteran is broken out of prison to seek the relic that drove him mad.
August – Twilight War, Volume 2: Shadowstorm. A Forgotten Realms novel in which Erevis Cale must try to stop an invasion by the Shadovar.
September – DD3: Fortress of the Yuan-ti. Third adventure in a three part series. Player characters must take back the bones of a long-dead king to prevent yuan-ti cultists from completing a ritual that will unleash a powerful menace.
September – Dragons of Krynn. A hardcover sourcebook covering the iconic creatures of the Dragonlance setting, published by Margaret Weis Productions.
September – DT5: Lost Caverns of the Underdark. A Dungeon Tiles product featuring natural cavern formations and underdark tunnels.
September – Elven Exiles, Volume 3: Destiny. A Dragonlance novel in which the elven people attempt to claim a new homeland.
September – Exemplars of Evil. A hardcover supplement providing advice and guidelines for creating memorable villains, as well as providing nine specific examples of pre-made villains.
September – Dungeons & Dragons Icons: Legend of Drizzt. A D&D Miniatures product containing a Gargantuan White Dragon figure, Drizzt Do’Urden and Wulfgar miniatures, a battlemap, and an encounter scenario that is designed to recreate the battle between Drizzt, Wulfgar, and the dragon Icingdeath depicted in the novel, The Crystal Shard.
September – Lady Penitent, Volume 2: Storm of the Dead. A Forgotten Realms novel in which Lolth and Eilistraee vie for control of the drow.
September – Suncatcher Trilogy, Volume 3: The Stolen Sun. A young adult Dragonlance novel in which the kender apprentice wizard Sindri Suncatcher must save his home, Kendermore.
September – The Grand History of the Realms. A Forgotten Realms rules-free supplement that provides a detailed timeline of the setting’s history, along with commentary from Elminster.
September – Transitions, Volume 1: The Orc King. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore in which an uneasy peace between dwarves and orcs is threatened by old hatreds on both sides.
October – Champions, Volume 4: Protecting Palanthas. A Dragonlance novel in which two old rivals must set aside their differences to save the city of Palanthas from destruction.
October – Dragons of Eberron. A hardcover Eberron supplement providing a detailed look at Eberron’s dragons, which, unlike the dragons of other settings, are not as rigidly tied to their racial alignments.
October – Dungeon Survival Guide. A rules free, illustrated look at various infamous dungeons from the game’s long history.
October – Dungeons, Volume 3: Stardeep. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a reluctant adventurer must return to a dungeon to ensure a villain she imprisoned there does not escape.
October – Heirs of Ash, Volume 3: Rise of the Seventh Moon. An Eberron novel in which a group of adventurers struggle to control a powerful relic, only for dragons to arrive, attempting to take it from them.
October – Rules Compendium. A hardcover supplement providing a definitive rules resource for the 3.5 version of the game. Also included are brief designer commentaries about various rules.
November – FR3: Anauroch: The Empire of Shade. A Forgotten Realms adventure in which player characters attempt to thwart a plot by the ruler of the Empire of Shade.
November – Citadels, Volume 1: Neversfall. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a regiment vanishes from a fortress in Estagund and their replacements must discover what happened to them.
November – Desert of Desolation (D&D Miniatures Expansion). A set of randomized booster packs of miniatures, featuring previews of some D&D 4th Edition monsters. Among the figures included are an Angel of Vengeance (a 4th Edition monster), Bruenor Battlehammer (dwarven companion of Drizzt Do’Urden), a Fire Archon (a 4th Edition monster), and a Yuan-Ti Champion of Zehir.
November – Dungeons, Volume 4: Crypt of the Moaning Diamond. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a group of eccentric mercenaries become trapped in a dungeon after a cave-in.
November – Dwarf Home, Volume 1: The Secret of Pax Tharkas. A Dragonlance novel in which three dwarves from different walks of life come together to save the dwarven people.
November – Goodlund Trilogy, Volume 3: Warrior’s Bones. A young adult Dragonlance in which a young warrior, left for dead, must embrace her destiny.
November – War of the Lance, Volume 2: Dragons of Winter. An adventure anthology updating the middle adventures of the original Dragonlance series to the 3.5 edition, published by Margaret Weis Productions. Includes Dragons of Ice, Dragons of Light, Dragons of War, and Dragons of Deceit.
December – DT6: Dire Tombs. A Dungeon Tiles product featuring tombs with an Egyptian motif.
December – Elder Evils. A hardcover supplement presenting nine epic-level creatures suitable for use as campaign ending threats, most of which are inspired by the Cthulhu mythos.
December – Lost Leaves from the Inn of the Last Home. A non-rules supplement primarily directed at novel readers for the Dragonlance setting, published by Margaret Weis Productions.
December – Ogre Titans, Volume 1: Black Talon. A Dragonlance novel following the ambitious conquests of a half-ogre.
December – Wizards Presents: Races and Classes. First of two previews of 4th
edition, taking an illustrated look at what’s coming for the Dungeons & Dragons game as 4th
Edition nears release. The book introduces the 4th
Edition versions of Dragonborn, Eladrin, and Tieflings and the concept of class roles (Defender, Striker, Leader, and Controller). The book also discusses the three tiers of 4th
Edition play, Heroic, Paragon, and Epic.
Thursday, February 28, 2013, 8:58 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 33: 2006
Whisper and rumors of a potential 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons began to circulate around the internet in 2006, though nothing concrete emerged to back up those rumors. However, work was indeed progressing on a 4th Edition of the game and some early “previews” began to surface in the form of new mechanics introduced in books like Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords.
On a more humorous note, Wizards of the Coast unleashed an epic April Fool’s Prank on the D&D website on April 1st, 2006, creating a product promotional page and press release for a My Little Pony roleplaying game, utilizing the d20 system, along with My Little Pony miniatures compatible with the D&D Miniatures line.
Neverwinter Nights would receive two more online only expansions, Infinite Dungeons and Wyvern Crown of Cormyr, in 2006. The bigger news, however, was the release of Neverwinter Nights 2, a sequel to the popular Neverwinter Nights. The biggest video game news of 2006 was the release of Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach, a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game set in Eberron.
2006 D&D Products
January – Champions, Volume 1: Saving Solace. A Dragonlance novel in which the town of Solace faces new problems and threats.
January – Player’s Guide to Eberron. An Eberron supplement that provides a player’s point of view of the setting as well as new character options.
January – Races of the Dragon. A hardcover player supplement providing a plethora of character options for characters with a draconic flair. This book also introduced the Dragonborn race, though it is quite different from the 4th Edition version that would grace the Player’s Handbook two years later.
January – The Fighters, Volume 3: Son of Thunder. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the Zhentarim interfere with the totem quests of Uthgardt barbarians.
January – The Lost Mark, Volume 2: Road to Death. An Eberron novel in which various factions vie for the Dragonmark of death.
January – Trinistyr Trilogy, Volume 2: Wizard’s Betrayal. A young adult Dragonlance novel in which one of the heroes of the New Adventures series seeks answers to the mysteries of her family history.
February – Dark Disciple, Volume 2: Amber and Iron. A Dragonlance novel which continues the story of the dark cleric, Mina, revealing her true nature.
February – Knights of the Silver Dragon, Volume 11: Mystery of the Wizard’s Tomb. A young adult Mirrorstone novel in which the young heroes attempt to cure their mentor of a sudden amnesia that has stolen his wizardly powers.
February – Legends of the Twins. A hardcover Dragonlance supplement published by Sovereign Press, covering the both the events of the Legends trilogy and rules for time travel in the world of Krynn.
February – Realms of the Elves. A Forgotten Realms anthology of short stories centered on elves.
February – Red Hand of Doom. An adventure in which player characters must help defend a valley against a goblinoid and draconic incursion. The adventure included designer notes that offered DMs a peek inside the designers thought processes when putting the adventure together.
February – The Dreaming Dark, Volume 2: The Shattered Land. An Eberron novel in which a band of soldiers brave the wilds of Xen’drik in search of a lost artifact.
March – Elidor Trilogy, Volume 2: The Crystal Chalice. A Dragonlance young adult novel in which Elidor seeks to cure a friend of a curse by seeking a magical chalice in a lost city.
March – House of Serpents, Volume 3: Vanity’s Brood. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a priestess convinces a tribe of yuan-ti to help her free her imprisoned deity.
March – Power of Faerun. A Forgotten Realms supplement providing advice and rules for players on how to attain political, military, religious, or mercantile power and influence.
March – The Dragon Below, Volume 2: The Grieving Tree. An Eberron novel in which a trio of adventurers seek an evil artifact.
March – Tome of Magic. Though it borrows a name and the general theme of a 2nd Edition era supplement, this Tome of Magic covers three very specific alternate magic systems, Pact magic, Shadow magic, and Truename magic, with a new base class for each type.
March – War Drums (D&D Miniatures Expansion). A D&D Minis expansion featuring a variety of miniatures useful in the Red Hand of Doom adventure, an Aspect of Moradin, an Aspect of Hextor, and Warduke, a character originally appearing in the early 1980s line of D&D action figures and the Dungeons & Dragons animated series.
April – Complete Psionic. A player supplement and companion to the Expanded Psionics Handbook, providing new character building options for psionic characters.
April – Dungeon Master for Dummies. A companion to Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies, providing advice for dungeon masters.
April – Fantastic Locations: Fields of Ruin. A short adventure with two double-sided battle maps usable in the adventure and also suitable for use with the D&D Minis game.
April – Knights of the Silver Dragon, Volume 12: Mark of the Yuan-Ti. A young adult Mirrorstone novel in which the young heroes suspect their new pet snake may be more than it seems.
April – Taladas Trilogy, Volume 2: Trail of the Black Wyrm. A Dragonlance novel set on the continent of Taladas after the War of Souls.
April – Tales of the Last War. An Eberron anthology of short stories based on the Last War.
April – Tasselhoff’s Map Pouch: The War of the Lance. A collection of maps from the War of the Lance era, published by Sovereign Press.
April – The Fighters, Volume 4: Bladesinger. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a half-elven fighter becomes entangled in the politics of Rashemen.
April – Voyage of the Golden Dragon. An Eberron adventure in which the player character must protect an airship.
May – Blade of the Flame, Volume 1: Thieves of Blood. An Eberron novel in which an ex-assassin must return to his old ways to save his city.
May – Goodlund Trilogy, Volume 1: Warrior’s Heart. A young adult Dragonlance novel in which a young aspiring knight must choose between revenge and redemption.
May – Player’s Handbook II. A follow up to the first Player’s Handbook, providing expanded options for character building, including four news classes: Beguiler, Dragon Shaman, Duskblade, and Knight.
May – Trinistyr Trilogy, Volume 3: Wizard’s Return. A young adult Dragonlance novel in which one of the young heroes from the New Adventures series faces a final challenge to redeem her family.
May – Year of Rogue Dragons, Volume 3: The Ruin. A Forgotten Realms novel that concludes the story of the plague afflicting all dragonkind.
June – Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Kit. A boxed set of similar size to the 3.5 version of the D&D Basic Game, containing a paperback copy of the Player’s Handbook, quickstart booklets, a short solo adventure, and a dice set. Some copies of this set were packaged with a bonus booster pack of D&D minis from the Aberrations set.
June – Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss. A hardcover supplement detailing demons in some depth, including stats for several new types of demons as well as 14 demon lords. The book was released on June 6th, 2006 (6/6/06).
June – Heirs of Ash, Volume 1: Voyage of the Mourning Dawn. An Eberron novel in which a street thief joins the crew of an airship.
June – Mysteries of the Moonsea. A Forgotten Realms regional supplement covering the Moonsea region, including Hillsfar, Mulmaster, and Zhentil Keep.
June – Knights of the Silver Dragon – Revelations, Volume 1: Prophecy of the Dragons. A young adult Mirrorstone novel in which the young Knights attempt to stop a prophecy from coming true, facing an old enemy in the process.
June – Rise of Solamnia, Volume 2: The Crown and the Sword. A Dragonlance novel in which a Knight of Solamnia and his companions struggle to save Solamnia in the aftermath of the War of Souls.
June – The Last Mythal, Volume 3: Final Gate. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a war between elves and demons has lasting consequences for the Realms.
July – Elidor Trilogy, Volume 3: City of Fortune. A young adult Dragonlance novel in which Elidor faces betrayal in his quest to find a cure for his friend’s ailment.
July – Fantastic Locations: Dragondown Grotto. A short adventure in which the player characters must stop a ritual that will resurrect an ancient dracolich. Includes poster maps suitable for use with the D&D Minis game.
July – Lost Chronicles, Volume 1: Dragons of the Dwarven Depths. A Dragonlance novel that fills in some of the gaps from the original Dragonlance Chronicles, specifically the Companions’ adventure in Thorbardin to recover the Hammer of Kharas.
July – Monster Manual IV. A new collection of monsters, including variations of older monsters as well as full encounters and maps for some entries.
July – Secrets of Xen’drik. An Eberron regional supplement detailing the wild and ruins filled continent of Xen’drik.
July – The War-Torn, Volume 3: In the Claws of the Tiger. An Eberron novel in which an adventurer must return to Xen’drik after having nearly been killed there years before.
July – The Wizards, Volume 1: Blackstaff. A Forgotten Realms novel focusing on Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun.
July – The Wizards, Volume 2: Bloodwalk. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a blood magus ruthlessly pursues her ambitions.
July – War of the Dragon Queen (D&D Miniatures Expansion). An expansion for the D&D miniatures game featuring Huge sized minis. Among the new sculpts were an Aspect of Bahamut, an Aspect of Tiamat, a Dracolich, and Meepo (who apparently became a Dragonlord since last we saw him in the Sunless Citadel).
August – Champions, Volume 2: The Alien Sea. A Dragonlance novel focused on the sea elves and a threat that could destroy both sea elven nations.
August – Dragons of Faerun. A Forgotten Realms supplement detailing dragons in the Realms, draconic organizations, and guidelines on incorporating the Year of Rogue Dragons event in campaigns.
August – DT1: Dungeon Tiles. A “build-a-map” style set of cardboard cutouts featuring various dungeon features. The tiles came in a variety of shapes and could be arranged in innumerable ways to provide a D&D minis scale dungeon map for adventures. The product also featured a return of the letter/number product code from the early days of D&D.
August – Dungeons & Dragons Icons: Gargantuan Black Dragon. A Gargantuan sized “miniature” of a Great Wyrm Black Dragon. The figure came with a D&D Minis game card, battlemap, and a short encounter scenario.
August – Knightly Orders of Ansalon. A Dragonlance supplement published by Sovereign Press detailing the Knights of Solamnia, Knights of Neraka and the Legion of Steel.
August – Knights of Myth Drannor, Volume 1: Swords of Eveningstar. A Forgotten Realms novel by Ed Greenwood, telling the story of the fabled Knights of Myth Drannor.
August – Knights of the Silver Dragon – Revelations, Volume 2: The Dragon Revealed. A young adult Mirrorstone novel in which the young knights attempt to restore the seal protecting their town from monstrous incursion as their mentor attempts to summon draconic aid.
August – Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords. A hardcover player supplement that introduces several “martial adept” classes that attempt to close the balance gap between martial and spellcasting characters in the 3.5 version of the game. This book is notable for providing something of a sneak preview of some 4th Edition rules like martial “powers” and stances. Three new classes are introduced: Crusader, Warblade, and Swordsage.
September – A Practical Guide to Dragons. An illustrated “in character” guide to dragons aimed at younger readers, narrated by Sindri Suncatcher, a kender character featured in the Dragonlance New Adventures series.
September – Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game (Revised). A new version of the 3.5 edition introductory product, featuring minis, dungeon tiles, dice, and adventures.
September – Dragon Magic. A hardcover player supplement exploring draconic themed spells, feats, prestige classes, and other character building options.
September – Faiths of Eberron. An Eberron supplement detailing the various faiths and religions of the setting, as well as providing new character building options.
September – Dungeons & Dragons Icons: Colossal Red Dragon. A D&D Minis scale figure of a great wyrm red dragon as well as being the largest “miniature” ever produced for D&D. The dragon came with a battle map, a D&D minis stat card, and a breath weapon attachment to make the figure look like its breathing fire.
September – Suncatcher Trilogy, Volume 1: The Wayward Wizard. A young adult Dragonlance novel featuring Sindri Suncatcher, the kender from the New Adventures series, who becomes an apprentice wizard.
September – The War-Torn, Volume 4: Blood and Honor. An Eberron novel in which an exile must discover why undead soldiers are being stolen.
September – The Wizards, Volume 3: Darkvision. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a young sorceress runs away from her secretive people and finds more trouble than she expected.
September – The Twilight Tomb. A Forgotten Realms adventure in which player characters are tasked with preventing the return of an ancient star elf wizard.
September – War of the Lance, Volume 1: Dragons of Autumn. An adventure anthology published by Sovereign Press, updating the original Dragonlance adventures to the 3.5 edition. Included in the compilation are Dragons of Despair, Dragons of Flame, Dragons of Hope, and Dragons of Desolation.
September – Watercourse Trilogy, Volume 2: Lies of Light. A Forgotten Realms novel in which three different characters are followed as they weave their way through political intrigues.
October – Complete Mage. A hardcover player supplement that expands options for arcane magic wielding characters of all sorts.
October – Elven Exiles, Volume 2: Alliances. A Dragonlance novel that follows the struggles of the elven peoples after the War of Souls.
October – Expedition to Castle Ravenloft. A hardcover expansion and update of the original I6: Ravenloft adventure.
October – Special Edition Monster Manual. A deluxe leatherbound reprint of the Monster Manual, updated with errata.
October – The Lost Mark, Volume 3: The Queen of Death. An Eberron novel that concludes the quest for the dragonmark of death.
October – The Sellswords, Volume 3: Road of the Patriarch. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore featuring the assassin, Artemis Entreri and the mercenary dark elf, Jarlaxle in which Entreri faces his past while Jarlaxle plays a dangerous game of manipulation and deceit.
November – Age of Mortals, Volume 3: Price of Courage. A Dragonlance adventure published by Margaret Weis Productions (the first Dragonlance product to be published after the company transitioned from being Sovereign Press) in which player characters face the last of the dragon overlords.
November – Blood War (D&D Miniatures Expansion). An expansion for the D&D minis game featuring a variety of extraplanar creatures including a Solar, a Lillend, Storm Silverhand (one of the Seven Sisters from the Forgotten Realms), Vlaakith the Lich Queen, and the Lord of Blades (a warforged villain from the Eberron setting).
November – Cityscape. A hardcover environment series supplement focused on cities and towns.
November – Dragonmarked. An Eberron supplement detailing the dragonmarked houses and the power of the dragonmarks themselves.
November – DT2: Arcane Corridors. A new set of dungeon tiles featuring a variety of magical rooms and effects.
November – Scourge of the Howling Horde. A 1st level adventure pitting beginning heroes against a goblin lair. The adventure introduces a new encounter format that would be carried over into 4th Edition.
November – The Dragon Below, Volume 3: The Killing Song. An Eberron novel in which heroes face an ancient evil.
November – The Dreaming Dark, Volume 3: The Gates of Night. An Eberron novel in which a band of soldiers must stop an otherworldly invasion.
November – Twilight War, Volume 1: Shadowbred. A Forgotten Realms novel continuing the story of Erevis Cale as the Shadovar prepare for war.
December – Fantastic Locations: The Frostfell Rift. A short adventure with included poster maps suitable for use with the D&D Minis game.
December – Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. A hardcover supplement providing details on the Nine Hells and the devils who inhabit them. Also provides stats and details on several new devils as well as the Lords of the Nine Hells, including Asmodeus.
December – The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde. An adventure in which player characters must prevent the magical gateways in a fortress partially banished to the Abyss from reconnecting to that dread realm, allowing a demon horde to invade.
December – The Wizards, Volume 4: Frostfell. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a War Wizard of Cormyr braves the frozen north to rescue her son from slavers.
Thursday, February 21, 2013, 8:22 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 32: 2005
Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God, a sequel to the first Dungeons & Dragons movie, debuted in 2005 on SciFi channel. While carrying over the setting, Izmer, and a villain, Damodar (now undead…and missing the blue lipstick), the movie had little else in common with the first movie, and was a bit more faithful to D&D lore.
D&D received its own volume in the popular “for Dummies” series in 2005. Written by Bill Slavicsek and Richard Baker, Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies follows the usual formula of a “for Dummies” book, covering the basics of the 3.5 edition of the game.
The video gaming front saw only two D&D releases in 2005. Dungeons & Dragons: Dragonshard is a curious mix of real-time-strategy and roleplaying, set in Eberron. Pirates of the Sword Coast was an online only expansion for Neverwinter Nights, featuring swashbuckling style adventure.
In June 2005, prolific freelancer Mike Mearls, then best known for the Iron Heroes, a d20 system “variant player’s handbook,” was hired by Wizards of the Coast. At the same time, work began on something ominously called Project Orcus.
2005 D&D Products
January – Complete Adventurer. A hardcover class sourcebook for rogues, bards, and similar characters. The book presents three new base classes: Ninja, Scout, and Spellthief.
January – Grasp of the Emerald Claw. An Eberron adventure in which player characters must find a powerful relic in the jungles of Xen’drik before the Emerald Claw faction does.
January – New Adventures, Volume 5: Dragon Sword. A young adult Dragonlance novel in which the heroes must ally with their worst enemy to free one of their friends.
January – Year of Rogue Dragons, Volume 2: The Rite. A Forgotten Realms novel continuing the story of the insanity gripping Faerun’s dragons.
February – Knights of the Silver Dragon, Volume 5: Figure in the Frost. A young adult Mirrorstone novel in which the young heroes must save their town from a magical winter.
February – Linsha Trilogy, Volume 3: Return of the Exile. A Dragonlance novel concluding a trilogy focusing on Linsha Majere.
February – Lost Empires of Faerun. A Forgotten Realms sourcebook detailing various ruined or lost kingdoms and empires.
February – Races of the Wild. A hardcover race sourcebook focusing on elves, halflings, and a new race, Raptorans.
February – The Dreaming Dark, Volume 1: The City of Towers. An Eberron novel set in Sharn.
March – Deathknell (D&D Miniatures Expansion). A D&D Minis expansion, continuing the line of randomized boosters. The set included a variety of iconic D&D critters, including a beholder, an Aspect of Nerull, and a couatl.
March – House of Serpents, Volume 2: Viper’s Kiss. A Forgotten Realms novel focusing on the yuan-ti.
March – New Adventures, Volume 6: Dragon Day. A young adult Dragonlance novel in which the heroes, having split up after a tragic failure in the previous novel, end up on opposite sides of a conflict.
March – Rise of Solamnia, Volume 1: Lord of the Rose. A Dragonlance novel set after the War of Souls as Solamnia rebuilds.
March – Sandstorm. A hardcover environment sourcebook focusing on desert and wastelands.
March – Tasslehoff’s Map Pouch: The Age of Mortals. A collection of maps published by Sovereign Press for the Dragonlance setting.
March – The Lost Mark, Volume 1: Marked for Death. An Eberron novel focusing on the revelation of the thirteenth Dragonmark.
April – Dungeons and Dragons for Dummies. A D&D entry in the popular “for Dummies” series from Wiley Publishing.
April – Knights of the Silver Dragon, Volume 6: Dagger of Doom. A young adult Mirrorstone novel in which one of the young heroes appears to be cursed to die when his name appears on a magical dagger.
April – Lords of Madness. A hardcover supplement providing in depth details, background, and mechanics for aberration type monsters such as mind flayers, aboleths, and beholders.
April – Races of Eberron. A race supplement providing details on the various races unique to the Eberron setting, including Warforged, Shifters, and Kalashtar. Although the book is focused on Eberron lore, the cover art and style were designed to match core D&D products like Races of Destiny and Races of the Wild.
April – Taladas Trilogy, Volume 1: Blades of the Tiger. A Dragonlance novel set shortly after the War of Souls and on the continent of Taladas, little explored up to this point in novels.
April – War of the Spider Queen, Volume 6: Resurrection. Final novel in a six part series of Forgotten Realms novels focusing on the drow and Lolth. Three rival forces of drow converge on Lolth’s domain in the Abyss, either to serve as her new body or to destroy her.
May – Champions of Ruin. A Forgotten Realms supplement providing rules and guidelines for playing evil characters in the Realms.
May – Dark Tales and Disturbing Legends. An anthology of short Ravenloft adventures published by Sword & Sorcery Studios.
May – Heroes of Battle. A hardcover campaign guide for running D&D campaigns incorporating large scale battles and war time scenarios.
May – Minotaur Wars, Volume 3: Empire of Blood. A Dragonlance novel set after the War of Souls in which the minotaurs continue their campaign of conquest but face violence and turmoil from within.
May – New Adventures, Volume 7: Dragon Knight. A young adult Dragonlance novel in which the young heroes’ hope in finding a lost friend is rekindled.
May – Realms of the Dragons, Volume 2. A Forgotten Realms anthology of short stories tying into the Year of Rogue Dragons.
May – The War-Torn, Volume 1: The Crimson Talisman. An Eberron novel focusing on the aftermath of the Last War and those changed by it.
June – City of Splendors: Waterdeep. A Forgotten Realms supplement providing a 3.5 look at Waterdeep.
June – Dungeon Master’s Guide II. A second hardcover volume of advice and rules for the DM.
June – Knights of the Silver Dragon, Volume 7: The Hidden Dragon. A young adult Mirrorstone novel in which the mother of one of the young heroes is framed and the heroes must find a secretive dragon to clear her name.
June – The Priests, Volume 3: Maiden of Pain. A Forgotten Realms novel focusing on a priestess of Loviatar, deity of pain.
July – Age of Mortals, Volume 2: Spectre of Sorrows. A Dragonlance adventure published by Sovereign Press. The player characters embark on a quest to find the Dragon Graveyard.
July – Angelfire (D&D Miniatures Expansion). An angel themed expansion for the D&D minis game. The set included angels and archons, a mounted paladin, a djinn and an efreet, and Mina (the dark cleric of the Dragonlance setting’s War of Souls).
Best of the Realms, Volume 2: The Stories of Ed Greenwood. A Forgotten Realms anthology collecting the short stories of Ed Greenwood.
July – Eberron Deluxe Dungeon Master’s Screen. An Eberron specific DM screen.
July – Five Nations. An Eberron regional sourcebook providing details for the nations of Aundaire, Breland, Cyre, Karnath, and Thrane.
July – New Adventures, Volume 8: Dragon Spell. A young adult Dragonlance novel in which the young heroes must stop a power hungry villain from transforming herself into a dragon.
July – The Last Mythal, Volume 2: Farthest Reach. A Forgotten Realms novel focusing on a war between the elves of Evermeet and invading demons.
July – The Shackled City Adventure Path. A hardcover compilation of a series of adventures originally published in Dungeon Magazine. The first official Adventure Path, the Shackled City is set in the Greyhawk setting, in a city named Cauldron. Published under license by Paizo Publishing.
July – Weapons of Legacy. A hardcover sourcebook presenting a new sort of magic item that gains power as the owner of the item does. The book provides stats for a variety of Legacy items, as well as rules for creating new ones.
August – Eberron Deluxe Character Sheets. A packet of four-page character sheets with some Eberron specific details.
August – Explorer’s Handbook. An Eberron supplement providing rules and details on travel and exploration, including air ships, lightning rail, and sea-going ships.
August – Knights of the Silver Dragon, Volume 8: The Silver Spell. A young adult Mirrorstone novel in which the young heroes must rescue one of their friends from a rakshasa.
August – Scions of Arrabar, Volume 3: The Emerald Scepter. A Forgotten Realms novel detailing a mercenary society.
August – Stormwrack. A hardcover environment sourcebook providing rules and character options for adventuring on and below the waves.
August – The Cities, Volume 4: City of Splendors. A Forgotten Realms novel set in Faerun’s largest and most famous city, Waterdeep.
August – The Dragon Below, Volume 1: The Binding Stone. An Eberron novel introducing characters of Eberron’s unique races and exploring the world’s exotic locales.
August – Van Richten’s Guide to the Mists. A Ravenloft supplement published in PDF form by Sword & Sorcery Studios. The license for Ravenloft had, by this time, reverted back to Wizards of the Coast, leaving this product in the pipeline. Rather than leave it unreleased, White Wolf decided to release it as a free PDF.
September – Fantastic Locations: Fane of the Drow. A short adventure designed specifically with the D&D Miniatures line in mind. The included poster maps were also suitable for use with the miniatures skirmish game.
September – Holy Orders of the Stars. A Dragonlance supplement published by Sovereign Press detailing the religions and Gods of Krynn.
September – Magic of Incarnum. A hardcover sourcebook that introduces a new form of magic, Incarnum, along with classes, races, feats and magic items that utilize it.
September – Sons of Gruumsh. A Forgotten Realms adventure in which player characters face an orcish army as they search for six missing nobles.
September – The Fighters, Volume 1: Master of Chains. A Forgotten Realms novel in which an ex-slave wields his chains as weapons in a quest for vengeance.
September – The Priests, Volume 4: Queen of the Depths. A Forgotten Realms novel focusing on a priest of Umberlee, deity of the oceans.
September – Trinistyr Trilogy, Volume 1: Wizard’s Curse. First in a trilogy of Dragonlance young adult novels following up on characters from the New Adventures. One of the young heroes seeks to restore her family’s magical heritage.
October – Elven Exiles, Volume 1: Sanctuary. A Dragonlance novel in which the elves attempt to find a new homeland in the aftermath of the War of Souls.
October – Heroes of Horror. A hardcover supplement providing rules and advice on DMing horror themed campaigns and adventures.
October – Knights of the Silver Dragon, Volume 9: Key to the Griffon’s Lair. A young adult Mirrorstone novel in which the young heroes must find an ancient tomb and awaken long dead Knights of the Silver Dragon to thwart an attack by a ghostly army on their home town.
October – Magic of Eberron. An Eberron supplement providing character options and information on magic in the world of Eberron.
October – Special Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide. A leather-cover premium edition of the DMG.
October – The Sellswords, Volume 2: Promise of the Witch-King. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore and sequel to Servant of the Shard (reprinted as volume one of this series). Assasin Artemis Entreri and mercenary dark elf Jarlaxle find themselves caught between a self-righteous paladin and a powerful lich.
October – The War-Torn, Volume 2: The Orb of Xoriat. An Eberron novel in which an orb capable of opening a portal to the plane of madness is stolen.
November – Champions of Valor. A Forgotten Realms supplement providing advice and character options for playing truly heroic characters.
November – Elidor Trilogy, Volume 1: Crown of Thieves. A young adult Dragonlance novel in which one of the young heroes from the New Adventures series, believed to be dead by his companions, awakens in the clutches of an enemy.
November – Erevis Cale Trilogy, Volume 3: Midnight’s Mask. A Forgotten Realms novel in which Erevis Cale becomes Chosen of Mask.
November – Fantastic Locations: Hellspike Prison. A short adventure with battle maps suitable for use with the D&D Minis game.
November – Underdark (D&D Miniatures Expansion). A D&D Minis expansion with a variety of underdark creatures including Artemis Entreri (nemesis of Drizzt Do’Urden), an Aspect of Kord, a Balor, Elminster, and several drow.
November – Watercourse Trilogy, Volume 1: Whisper of Waves. A Forgotten Realms novel which follows three different characters whose ambitions will have lasting consequences.
December – Knights of the Silver Dragon, Volume 10: Curse of the Lost Grove. A young adult Mirrorstone novel in which the young heroes attempt to solve the puzzle of a cursed inn.
December – Spell Compendium. A hardcover sourcebook compiling all of the spells printed for 3rd Edition up to this point.
December – The Fighters, Volume 2: Ghostwalker. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a ghostly warrior seeks revenge against his killers.
Thursday, February 14, 2013, 6:11 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 31: 2004
While Wizards of the Coast was branching out with several new CCGs in 2004 (G.I. Joe, Neopets, and MLB Showdown), the D&D front was relatively quiet, with the exception of…
Eberron. The winner of the 2002 setting search contest, Keith Baker, teamed with Wizards of the Coast to produce a setting inspired by pulp novels and film noir. Living constructs called Warforged rubbed elbows with more traditional adventurers while the Dragonmarked Houses plotted and schemed.
2004 also saw the release of two major rules expansion. The Expanded Psionics Handbook heavily revised 3rd Edition’s psionic system, while Unearthed Arcana, inspired by the 1st Edition book of the same name, introduced a huge variety of optional rules. Both books were added to the SRD (System Reference Document), making them available for third party publishers to utilize in their own publications.
2004 was also the 30th anniversary of D&D and Wizards of the Coast celebrated by publishing a hardcover “coffee table” book, Thirty Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons. A retrospective and history of the game, with essays by notable D&D players, including a forward by actor, Vin Diesel.
On the video gaming front, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II debuted on the Xbox and Playstation 2 as did an action RPG, Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone. Neverwinter Nights continued to be popular, with premium modules released – Kingmaker, Shadowguard, and Witch’s Wake. These three modules were notable for having been created by members of the NWN fan community using the Aurora Toolset.
2004 D&D Products
January – Deluxe Character Sheets. More detailed character sheets for D&D 3.5, including class specific sheets for each of the 11 core classes, plus a generic sheet, spell sheets, and a D20 Modern character sheet.
January – Deluxe Dungeon Master’s Screen. A new DM’s screen for 3.5. Also included a D20 Modern GM screen.
January – Denizens of Dread. A Ravenloft collection of monsters published by Sword & Sorcery Studios. Most of the creatures are 3.5 updates of monsters from the Denizens of Darkness product, though there are several new monsters as well.
January – Dragoneye (D&D Miniatures Expansion). A new set of randomized booster packs for the D&D Minis game. The set included many minis suitable for use as player characters, a variety of monsters (including two draconians from the Dragonlance world), and a number of dragons.
January – War of the Spider Queen, Volume 4: Extinction. The epic, six volume series focused on the drow and Lolth continues, as two members of the group sent to find the reason for Lolth’s silence find redemption and love in the surface world and undertake a new quest to destroy Lolth.
January – Young Adult Chronicles, Volume 5: Hope’s Flame. A young adult adaptation of the first part of Dragonlance Chronicles, Volume 3: Dragons of Spring Dawning.
February – Ergoth Trilogy, Volume 2: The Wizard’s Fate. A Dragonlance novel set before the Cataclysm exploring the Ergoth Empire.
February – The Rogues, Volume 4: The Yellow Silk. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a bard faces an unlikely villain.
February – Unearthed Arcana. A hardcover volume full of variant and optional rules, including variant races, bloodlines, alternate class features, new magic systems, and a large variety of other options.
March – House of Serpents, Volume 1: Venom’s Taste. A Forgotten Realms novel exploring the political intrigues of the Yuan-ti.
March – Van Richten’s Guide to the Shadow Fey. A Ravenloft supplement published by Sword & Sorcery Studios, examining the fey of the demiplane of dread.
March – Young Adult Chronicles, Volume 6: A Dawn of Dragons. A young adult adaptation of the second part of Dragonlance Chronicles, Volume 3: Dragons of Spring Dawning.
April – Archfiends (D&D Miniatures Expansion). A set of boosters for the D&D Minis game, with minis representing a variety of demons, including Aspects of Bane, Demogorgon, Lolth, and Orcus. The set also included a miniature of Drizzt Do’Urden.
April – Bestiary of Krynn. A collection of Dragonlance monsters published by Sovereign Press.
April – Expanded Psionics Handbook. An extensive revision of the 3rd Edition Psionics Handbook. In addition to the revised psion and psychic warrior, two new classes are introduced – soul knife and wilder. Powers, feats, psionic items, and monsters all get updates and revisions. As an inside joke, the Déjà vu power is printed twice. As an inside joke, the Déjà vu power is printed twice.
April – Map Folio I. A collection of maps originally offered on the Wizards of the Coast website as part of the Map-a-Week series.
April – Minotaur Wars, Volume 2: Tides of Blood. A Dragonlance novel set during the War of Souls in which the minotaurs invade the elven land of Silvanesti.
April – Year of Rogue Dragons, Volume 1: The Rage. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the dragons of Faerun succumb to a rage-inducing madness.
May – Age of Mortals, Volume 1: Key of Destiny. First in a series of three Dragonlance adventures published by Sovereign Press (not to be confused with the novel series published by Wizards of the Coast). After the War of Souls, player characters must safeguard an ancient and forgotten magical key while attempting to learn its secrets.
May – Complete Divine. A hardcover class sourcebook providing prestige classes, feats, spells, magic items, and a variety of new deities drawn from the Greyhawk setting for divine characters. Also introduces three new base classes – Favored Soul (updated from the Miniatures Handbook), Shugenja (updated from Oriental Adventures), and Spirit Shaman.
May – Elminster’s Daughter. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the Sage of Shadowdale, Elminster, meets his estranged daughter.
May – New Adventures, Volume 1: Temple of the Dragonslayer. First in a series of Dragonlance novels specifically geared toward young adults.
May – Player’s Guide to Faerun. A Forgotten Realms supplement of character options, updating the setting to 3.5.
May – Ravenloft Gazetteer, Volume V. A Ravenloft regional supplement published by Sword & Sorcery Studios covering the domains of Nova Vaasa, Tepest, Keening, and the Shadow Rift.
May – The Search for Power: Dragons from the War of Souls. A Dragonlance anthology of short stories focused on dragons during and after the War of Souls.
June – Age of Mortals, Volume 4: Prisoner of Haven. A Dragonlance novel set during the War of Souls in which half-sisters Dezra and Usha Majere are trapped in Haven by an army from Neraka.
June – Age of Mortals, Volume 5: Wizard’s Conclave. A Dragonlance novel in which Dalamar allies with a red-robed wizard to retake the Wayreth Tower of High Sorcery after the War of Souls.
June – Eberron Campaign Setting. A hardcover new setting designed by Keither Baker with Bill Slavicsek and James Wyatt. Eberron combines steampunk stylings with noir overtones and pulp action. Set shortly after a great war, the book details the continent of Khorvaire. Eberron tweaks many D&Disms, with alignment being a bit more vague, the gods distant (possibly even non-existant), and magic a part of everyday life.
June – Erevis Cale Trilogy, Volume 2: Dawn of Night. A Forgotten Realms novel in which Erevis Cale, now part shade, and his companions find themselves in the Plane of Shadow.
June – Knights of the Silver Dragon, Volume 1: Secret of the Spirit Keeper. Printed under Wizards of the Coast young adult imprint, Mirrorstone, Secret of the Spirit Keeper was the first in a series of young adult fantasy novels with a distinctly D&D flair.
July – Giants of Legend (D&D Miniatures Expansion). A booster expansion for the D&D minis game, with Huge sized figures in every booster pack. Among the Huge creatures available were a storm giant, a treant, a behir, and a warforged titan from the Eberron setting.
July – New Adventures, Volume 2: The Dying Kingdom. Second in a series of Dragonlance novels written for young adults.
July – Planar Handbook. A hardcover supplement providing character options with a planar flair, including feats, spells, prestige classes, and new races.
July – Serpent Kingdoms. A Forgotten Realms supplement detailing various reptilian races, including the Yuan-ti and the Sarrukh.
July – Shadows of the Last War. An Eberron adventure in which player characters must stop the Emerald Claw from reassembling a magic weapon from the Last War.
July – The Priests, Volume 1: Lady of Poison. A Forgotten Realms novel featuring the priesthood of the goddess of poison, Talona.
July – War of the Spider Queen, Volume 5: Annihilation. A Forgotten Realms novel and fifth in the six part series featuring the drow and their deity, Lolth. The series races toward an epic conclusion as forces converge on Lolth to either reawaken her or destroy her as the siege of Menzoberranzan continues.
August – Knights of the Silver Dragon, Volume 2: Riddle in Stone. A young adult Mirrorstone novel in which the young heroes of the first book tangle with a medusa.
August – Map Folio II. Another collection of maps originally available as part of the map-a-week series on the Wizards of the Coast website.
August – Races of Stone. A hardcover supplement providing character options and detailed history and cultures for dwarves, gnomes, and a new race, Goliaths.
August – The Last Mythal, Volume 1: Forsaken House. A Forgotten Realms novel in which an adventuring elf returns home to find an ancient demonic-elven army ready to invade.
August – Towers of High Sorcery. A Dragonlance supplement published by Sovereign Press detailing the havens of magical study in the Dragonlance world.
September – Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game. An introductory boxed set featuring a slightly simplified version of the 3.5 rules. Includes dungeon tiles and miniatures from the D&D minis line representing all of the heroes and monsters in the included adventures.
September – Dark Disciple, Volume 1: Amber and Ashes. A Dragonlance novel that picks up where the War of Souls left off, following the dark prophet Mina after her defeat at the end of the war.
September – Frostburn. A hardcover supplement focusing on adventures in an arctic environment, with character options for cold-based characters.
September – Linsha Trilogy, Volume 2: Flight of the Fallen. A Dragonlance novel focusing on Linsha Majere after the War of Souls.
September – Monster Manual III. Another collection of creatures, with a variety of monsters originating in the Eberron setting.
September – New Adventures, Volume 3: The Dragon Well. Third in a series of Dragonlance novels targeted at young adult readers.
September – Whispers of the Vampire’s Blade. An Eberron adventure in which player characters are asked to find a magic weapon before an evil force seeking to start a new war does.
October – Aberrations (D&D Miniatures Expansion and Starter Set). An expansion set for the D&D Minis game. The set also featured a new starter set for the game which revised the rules slightly and provided full battle maps instead of the dungeon tiles of the previous Harbinger Starter Set.
October – Age of Mortals, Volume 6: The Lake of Death. A Dragonlance novel set after the War of Souls and featuring characters from the Dhamon Saga.
October – Knights of the Silver Dragon, Volume 3: Sign of the Shapeshifter. A young adult Mirrorstone novel in which the young heroes attempt to discern the true appearance of a troublesome trickster.
October – Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead. A hardcover supplement focused on undead and necromancers. In addition to the usual feats, spells, and prestige classes, the book provides level progressions for various undead creatures, based on the concept first introduced in Savage Species.
October – Masque of the Red Death. A hardcover update of the Gothic Earth Ravenloft sub-setting published by Sword & Sorcery Studios.
October – Realms of the Dragons. A Forgotten Realms anthology of short stories tying in to the Year of Rogue Dragons event.
October – Shining South. A hardcover Forgotten Realms regional supplement covering Halruaa, Dambrath, and Luiren.
October – Special Edition Player’s Handbook. A deluxe printing of the 3.5 Player’s Handbook with a leather cover.
October – The Hunter’s Blades, Volume 3: The Two Swords. A Forgotten Realms novel in which Drizzt Do’Urden reunites with the companions he thought dead and defends Mithril Hall from a massive orc army.
October – War of the Lance. A Dragonlance campaign expansion published by Sovereign Press that provides rules and guidelines for running 3.5 campaigns during the War of the Lance era.
November – Complete Arcane. A player focused hardcover supplement providing character options for arcane characters. Also includes three new base classes: Warlock, Warmage, and Wu Jen.
November – Dragons in the Archives: The Best of Weis and Hickman. A 20th anniversary of Dragonlance anthology of short stories by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, drawn from previously published anthologies.
November – Map Folio 3D. A collection of cardstock cut-outs that can be used to construct three-dimensional village buildings and a castle, all scaled to D&D Minis.
November – New Adventures, Volume 4: Return of the Sorceress. A young adult Dragonlance novel in which the young heroes confront the wizard that has dogged them through the previous three books.
November – Scions of Arrabar, Volume 2: The Ruby Guardian. A Forgotten Realms novel focusing on the political intrigues of a mercenary society.
November – Sharn: City of Towers. An Eberron supplement detailing the largest city on the continent of Khorvaire.
December – Dragonlance Dungeon Master’s Screen. A DM screen specifically designed for the Dragonlance setting, published by Sovereign Press.
December – Ergoth Trilogy, Volume 3: A Hero’s Justice. A Dragonlance novel set prior to the Cataclysm, concluding a trilogy worth of intrigue in the old Ergoth Empire.
December – Knights of the Silver Dragon, Volume 4: Eye of Fortune. A young adult Mirrorstone novel in which the young heroes get more than they bargain for after stowing away on a ship.
December – Legacy of the Blood. A Ravenloft supplement published by Sword & Sorcery Studios providing in depth details on the various noble families of Ravenloft, including the Von Zarovich and Drakov families.
December – Races of Destiny. A player focused hardcover supplement providing character options for humans, half-elves, half-orcs, and a variety of other partially human races. Also introduces a new race, the Illumian.
December – The Priests, Volume 2: Mistress of the Night. A Forgotten Realms novel focusing on a werewolf priestess of Selune.