Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 7:41 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 30: 2003
Two major product changes hit D&D in 2003. The year before, the Chainmail game had resurfaced, using a modified d20 system and unpainted metal minis. Set in a previously unexplored section of the Greyhawk world, the game offered detailed factions and skirmish level warfare. The line was retired after only a year, however, as Wizards of the Coast had something new in mind to compete with the new Mage Knight line of prepainted plastic minis from WizKids. The D&D Miniatures game featured prepainted plastic minis in booster boxes containing a random set of minis that could be used for either tabletop roleplaying or to build warbands for the minis game itself. Wizards already had plenty of experience with randomized collectible booster model thanks to Magic: The Gathering. Rather than setting based factions, the game had simplified factions based on D&D’s classic alignment system.
The other major development of 2003 was an overhaul of the 3rd Edition rules based on feedback and playtest experience. A new set of core books, dubbed “3.5” hit store shelves in July. While the System Reference Document that 3rd party companies used was updated accordingly, the revision had the side effect of bursting the d20 bubble. Many of the 3rd party publishers that sprang up in 2000 to take advantage of the d20 system license went out of business and those that survived began to move away from the d20 license and used the OGL instead, tweaking and rearranging the rules into completely new roleplaying games.
However, on the licensing front, White Wolf was continuing to do well with Ravenloft, successfully updating the line to 3.5. Dragonlance would be the next classic world to benefit from licensing, this time with one of its creators, Margaret Weis. Wizards of the Coast produced a hardcover campaign setting product, then licensed the line to Weis’ new company, Sovereign Press. Sovereign Press would eventually morph into Margaret Weis Productions.
The Dungeons & Dragons logo also found itself attached to none other than Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, published by White Wolf and Sword & Sorcery Studios.
On the video gaming front, Neverwinter Nights received two expansions in 2003, Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark. Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes debuted on the X-Box in 2003 as well. PC gamers were treated to Temple of Elemental Evil, an adaptation of the classic 1st Edition adventure, updated to the 3.5 ruleset. Finally, Scourge of Worlds was an interactive animated DVD featuring the iconics. Viewers/players could select scenes in a manner similar to a “choose your own adventure” style book and thus direct the outcome of the movie.
2003 D&D Products
January – Icewall Trilogy, Volume 3: Winterheim. A Dragonlance novel in which the ogres and humans of Krynn’s frozen wastelands go to war.
January – The Bloody Eye. An iconics novel featuring Alhandra (the paladin), Krusk (the barbarian), and Jozan (the cleric) as they delve into a dungeon to stop Jozan’s former mentor from unleashing an avatar of Gruumsh, deity of the orcs.
February – Savage Species. Released as the 3.5 revision was still being worked on, this hardcover guide to playing monstrous characters utilizes some but not all of the revisions. Savage Species provides templates, feats, spells, prestige classes, and guidelines for playing monstrous player characters. It also featured an appendix with monster progressions – class-like versions of monsters that allowed a player to play a monster from level 1, eventually matching the Monster Manual version of the creature when they finished the class.
February – Van Richten’s Guide to the Walking Dead. A Ravenloft supplement from Sword & Sorcery Studios continuing the popular Van Richten’s Guide line of products, this one focusing on corporeal undead.
March – Arms and Equipment Guide. A hardcover supplement full of mundane and magical weapons, armor, and gear.
March – Races of Faerun. A Forgotten Realms supplement providing in depth details for a variety of races native to Faerun.
March – Sembia Series, Volume 7: Lord of Stormweather. A Forgotten Realms novel and finale to the saga of the Uskreven family.
March – Treachery’s Wake. An iconics novel featuring Lidda (rogue), Krusk (barbarian), and Vadania (Druid) in which they are hired by a wizard to retrieve a magical artifact from a shipwreck.
April – Fiend Folio. A hardcover collection of monsters, borrowing its name from the classic 1st Edition supplement. The monsters were mostly written with the 3.5 revision in mind, but were not 100% compatible with the revised rules. The 3rd Edition version of the Fiend Folio focused on extra-planar monsters, rather than the somewhat zany mish mash of creatures from the original.
April – Ravenloft Gazetteer Volume III. A regional supplement for Ravenloft published by Sword & Sorcery Studios. This volume focuses on the domains of Dementlieu, Richemulot, and Mordent.
April – Windwalker – A Forgotten Realms novel by Elaine Cunningham and sequel to Daughter of the Drow and Tangled Webs (the series now referred to as Starlight and Shadows).
May – The Ergoth Trilogy, Volume 1: A Warrior’s Journey. A Dragonlance novel set before the Cataclysm in the Ergoth Empire as a peasant rises to prominence during a civil war.
May – Plague of Ice. An iconics novel featuring Regdar (fighter), Lidda (rogue), and Hennet (sorcerer) as they investigate the cause of an unnatural winter.
May – The Players of Gilean: Tales from the World of Krynn. A Dragonlance anthology of short stories centered around an immortal troupe of entertainers and performers.
May – Unapproachable East. A Forgotten Realms regional supplement detailing Aglarond, Rashemen, and Thay.
May – War of the Spider Queen, Volume 3: Condemnation. Third in a series of Forgotten Realms novels focused on the drow and their dread deity, Lolth. Menzoberranzan comes under attack as a group of elite drow attempt to discover the reason for Lolth’s silence.
June – Ghostwalk. A stand alone campaign setting detailing the City of Manifest, where ghosts of the dead and the living walk side by side. Also contains rules for playing as ghosts.
June – The Minotaur Wars, Volume 1: Night of Blood. A Dragonlance novel focusing on the minotaurs shortly after the War of Souls.
June – Young Adult Chronicles, Volume 1: A Rumor of Dragons. A young adult adaptation of the first part of Dragons of Autumn Twilight, first book in the Dragonlance Chronicles.
June – Young Adult Chronicles, Volume 2: Night of the Dragons. A young adult adaptation of the second part of Dragons of Autumn Twilight, first book in the Dragonlance Chronicles.
July – Crossroads, Volume 5: The Middle of Nowhere. A Dragonlance novel in which the farmers of a rural village named Nowhere gather a group of unlikely defenders to help them against a group of bandits.
July – Player’s Handbook (version 3.5). A major revision of the 3rd Edition rules, including changes to most classes, tweaks to the skill list, changes to feats and spells, and a variety of other updates.
July – Dungeon Master’s Guide (version 3.5). A major revision of the 3rd Edition rules, including changes to Prestige Classes and new prestige classes previously presented in other supplements, including the Red Wizard of the Forgotten Realms.
July – Monster Manual (version 3.5). A major revision of the 3rd Edition rules. Monsters were restructured significantly, especially in regards to their skill and feat acquisition, which was changed to be more in line with how player characters acquire skills and feats. Several new to the core rules monsters appear in the book as well, including Githzerai and Githyanki.
July – Ravenloft Dungeon Master’s Guide. A Ravenloft supplement providing a variety of advice and tips on DMing in the domains of dread.
July – The Rogues, Volume 1: The Alabaster Staff. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a street urchin finds herself roped into stealing a powerful artifact.
July – The Sundered Arms. An iconics novel featuring Tordek (dwarven fighter), Vadania (druid), Lidda (rogue), and Devis (bard). The heroes must put an end to the humanoid forces that have occupied an ancient dwarven stronghold.
July – Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game. First in a line of products published by Sword & Sorcery Studios (though the only one to bear the D&D logo) set in the universe of the Warcraft series of strategy games, as well as the immensely popular World of Warcraft MMO.
August – Dungeon Master’s Screen (version 3.5). A revised screen for a revised edition.
August – Dragonlance Campaign Setting. A hardcover setting book providing everything needed to run a 3.5 campaign in the world of Krynn, specifically at the end of the Age of Mortals era (just after the War of Souls), though it also has guidelines for playing in other eras.
August – Erevis Cale Trilogy, Volume 1: Twilight Falling. A Forgotten Realms novel focusing on the Erevis Cale character from the Sembia series of novels. Erevis Cale finds himself working for a new master, a trafficker in souls.
August – Linsha Trilogy, Volume 1: City of the Lost. A Dragonlance novel set shortly after the War of Souls and focusing on Linsha Majere, granddaughter of Hero of the Lance Caramon Majere.
August – Ravenloft Tarokka Deck. A deck of fortune telling cards similar to Tarot, used by the Vistani of the Ravenloft setting. Published by Sword & Sorcery Studios.
September – Age of Mortals. A hardcover Dragonlance campaign setting expansion published by Sovereign Press. Age of Mortals greatly expands the setting details provided in the Campaign Setting product, focusing on the Fifth Age era, shortly after the War of Souls.
September – Miniatures Handbook. A hardcover supplement that splits its content into two sections, one for the D&D Minis game that would debut the following month, and one for the D&D 3.5 rules. The RPG section provides new base classes and other character options with a more tactical focus.
September – The Rogues, Volume 2: The Black Bouquet. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a rogue gets involved in what he thinks is a game but find the stakes more dangerous than he realized.
October – Book of Exalted Deeds. A companion to the Book of Vile Darkness, and the second book to bear a “Mature Audiences Only” label. Book of Exalted Deeds focuses on the concept of good, creatures that epitomize good, and character options for exalted characters.
October – D&D Miniatures Starter Set and Harbinger Boosters. Released simultaneously, the starter set contained the rules needed to play the game, map tiles to set up the battlefield, and an assortment of random minis from the Harbinger set, while the boosters simply contained random minis. Each booster contained a number of common and uncommon minis and a single rare mini. The Harbinger set included 80 miniatures total, including a variety of player character suitable minis (including several of the 3rd Edition iconic characters) and a large variety of classic D&D monsters.
October – Ravenloft Player’s Handbook. A hardcover Ravenloft supplement published by Sword & Sorcery Studios that updates the setting to the 3.5 revision.
October – Return of the Damned. An iconics novel in which Regdar (fighter) attempts to rescue Naull (wizard) from the clutches of death.
October – Underdark. A Forgotten Realms hardcover supplement detailing the underdark and its denizens.
October – Young Adult Chronicles, Volume 3: The Nightmare Lands. A young adult adaptation of the first part of Dragons of Winter Night, second book in the original Dragonlance Chronicles.
October – Young Adult Chronicles, Volume 4: To the Gates of Palanthas. A young adult adaptation of the second part of Dragons of Winter Night, second book in the original Dragonlance Chronicles.
November – Age of Mortals, Volume 3: Dark Thane. A Dragonlance novel that focuses on the dwarves during the War of Souls.
November – Best of the Realms, Volume 1. An anthology of Forgotten Realms short stories previously appearing in the “Realms of” series, with one new story by R.A. Salvatore.
November – Draconomicon. A hardcover supplement providing extensive details on dragons, including draconic prestige classes, spells, and equipment, as well as prestige classes and other character building options for dragon hunters.
November – Scions of Arrabar, Volume 1: The Sapphire Crescent. A Forgotten Realms novel focusing on a mercenary society in the city of Arrabar.
November – The Hunter’s Blades, Volume 2: The Lone Drow. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore in which Drizzt continues his one drow crusade against the orcs while the companions he thought dead and the rest of the North fend off an invasion by those orcs.
December – Complete Warrior. A hardcover class supplement providing feats, prestige classes and other character building options for warrior type characters. The Book also introduces three new base classes: Hexblade, Samurai, and Swashbuckler.
December – Kingpriest Trilogy, Volume 3: Sacred Fire. A Dragonlance novel exploring the Kingpriest of Istar’s role in the Cataclysm.
December – Ravenloft Gazetteer, Volume IV. A Ravenloft setting supplement published Sword & Sorcery Studios detailing the domains of Borca, Invidia, Verbrek, Valachan, and Sithicus.
December – The Death Ray. An iconics novel featuring Regdar and Naull, with Regdar receiving a minor title so that he can become a suitor to a Duke’s daughter whose other suitors are being murdered one by one.
December – The Rogues, Volume 3: The Crimson Gold. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a young rogue and member of the Uskreven family (from the Sembia series) finds herself in Thay.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 7:31 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 29: 2002
In 2002 Wizards of the Coast put out a call to the fanbase, inviting them to submit a one-page summary of a campaign setting for the Great Setting Search, a contest to find the next D&D setting. Over 11,000 entries were submitted; from those, 11 were chosen to send in a longer introduction; from those, 3 were chosen to send in full setting bibles. And ultimately, a final winner was chosen, a setting that combined film noir with fantasy steampunk elements submitted by Keith Baker. Eberron. However, D&D fans wouldn’t get to see the finished product for two years as it was being developed as the signature setting for a revision of the 3rd edition rules.
The d20 market continued to boom, with Wizards of the Coast continuing their own contributions beyond D&D with D20 Modern, a game designed to allow play in the modern world. The example settings include a hefty D&D influence as well.
By this time, Dragon and Dungeon magazines were on the chopping block in an effort to cut costs. Rather than cease publication, Wizards of the Coast instead offered the license to Lisa Stevens who formed a new company from WotC’s own magazine staff, Paizo Publishing.
On the computer gaming front, Icewind Dale II, a sequel to the original Icewind Dale, debuted using 3rd Edition rules. The bigger video game news by far, however, was the release of a game that recycled an old name, Neverwinter Nights. Neverwinter Nights had the normal solo campaign, but also came packaged with the Aurora toolset which allowed gamers to create custom content for the game. This content could then be shared and played online on dedicated servers, with DM tools allowing a very close simulation of the tabletop D&D experience.
2002 D&D Products
January – Blood Spawn: Creatures of Light and Shadow. One of several AD&D 2nd Edition Birthright products released in PDF format on the Wizards of the Coast website, this one a bestiary product.
January – Lord of the Iron Fortress. Seventh in a series of eight loosely connected adventures. A planar adventure in which player characters travel to Acheron to stop a half-dragon duergar from reforging a powerful weapon.
January – The Best of Tales, Volume Two. A Dragonlance anthology collecting the best of previously published short stories.
January – The Book of Regency. A Birthright AD&D 2nd Edition PDF released on the Wizards of the Coast website. The Book of Regency is a book of advice on rulership, similar, in some ways to a gaming version of Machiavelli’s The Prince.
February – Forgotten Realms Dungeon Master’s Screen. A Forgotten Realms specific DM screen which includes a booklet with dungeon and wilderness random encounter trables.
February – The Icewall Trilogy, Volume 2: The Golden Orb. A Dragonlance novel in which an elven outcast helps a human village against the threat of ogres in the frozen wasteland of Icewall.
February – Masters of the Wild: A Guidebook to Barbarians, Druids, and Rangers. The last class book for 3rd edition, providing feats, spells, prestige classes, and other character options for nature-based characters.
February – The Cities, Volume 3: The Jewel of Turmish. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a druid must come to the aid of a city in the Vilhon Reach after an ancient evil awakens and begins gathering an army.
February – The Tomb of Horrors. A Greyhawk novelization of the classic AD&D 1st Edition adventure, in which a fallen paladin joins a group seeking the fabled treasures of the tomb.
March – Bastion of Broken Souls. Final adventure in the series of loosely connected adventures that began with The Sunless Citadel. Player characters must journey to the Positive Energy Plane to confront the half-fiend great wyrm red dragon, Ashardalon.
March – Counselors and Kings, Volume 3: The Wizardwar. A Forgotten Realms novel in which Halruaa faces war as its king falls ill.
April – Deities and Demigods. A 3rd Edition version of the classic supplement detailing deities. This version provides full stats for a variety of gods as well as a detailed system for creating deities that is at least partially inspired by The Primal Order.
April – Denizens of Darkness. A Ravenloft monster supplement published by Sword & Sorcery Studios.
April – Realms of Shadow. An anthology of Forgotten Realms short stories tying in to the Return of the Archwizards trilogy and storyline.
May – The Barbarians, Volume 3: Sister of the Sword. A Dragonlance novel set in the pre-history of Krynn, detailing a massive war between most of the races of the continent of Ansalon.
May – Faiths and Pantheons. A Forgotten Realms supplement detailing the various gods and their followers.
May – Stronghold Builder’s Guidebook. A supplement providing a complete component-style system of purchasing and building strongholds, along with magic enhancements, spells, and siege weapons.
May – Van Richten’s Arsenal, Volume 1. First in what was planned to be a multi-book series of Ravenloft equipment, magic items, spells, and character options published by Sword & Sorcery Studios.
June – Book of Challenges. A supplement providing a number of readymade encounters which include traps and hazards.
June – Ravenloft Gazetteer, Volume 1. A Ravenloft regional supplement detailing Barovia, Hazlan, Forlorn, and Kartakass. Published by Sword & Sorcery Studios.
June – Sembia, Volume 5: Heirs of Prophecy. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a half-elven daughter of the Uskreven family must find a way to put a stop to a war between Sembia and the Dalelands.
June – The War of Souls, Volume 3: Dragons of a Vanished Moon. A Dragonlance novel by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, in which the One God is revealed to be Takhisis and the fate of the world once agains rests on the shoulders of the kender, Tasslehoff Burrfoot.
July – The Dhamon Saga, Volume 3: Redemption. A Dragonlance novel in which the former hero, Dhamon, finally has a shot at redemption.
July – Epic Level Handbook. A hardcover supplement that takes the power level of the game up a notch, providing level advancement rules for characters above 20th level. The book provides spells, feats, prestige classes, magic items, artifacts, and a custom spell creation system for characters. It also provides epic level challenges with Challenge Ratings up to 66. The first printing of the book came with a promotional “Olidammara’s Die,” a six-sided die with the symbol of the deity of thieves, Olidammara, in place of the 1, modeled on one of the artifacts in the book.
July – Silver Marches. A Forgotten Realms regional supplement detailing the Silver Marches region of Faerun, along with spells, feats, and prestige classes.
July – The Savage Caves. First in an open ended series of novels featuring the 3rd Edition iconic characters. Regdar, Jozan, Lidda, and Naull feature in this story about a dungeon expedition.
July – War of the Spider Queen, Volume 1: Dissolution. First in a six book series focused on the drow of the Forgotten Realms and their capricious and malignant deity, Lolth.
August – Age of Mortals, Volume 2: The Lioness. A Dragonlance novel in which a renegade elf leads a small resistance force against the dragon and dark knights dominating her people.
August – Heroes of Light. A Ravenloft supplement published by Sword & Sorcery Studios that provides new character options for virtuous characters in the demiplane of dread.
August – The Living Dead. A novel centered on the 3rd Edition characters Mialee, Devis, and Soveliss as they attempt to discover what is responsible for attacks on elves and dwarves before the two races go to war.
September – City of the Spider Queen. A Forgotten Realms adventure set in the drow city of Maerimydra and tying in to the War of the Spider Queen novel series.
September – Monster Manual II. A second hardcover collection of creatures for 3rd Edition. One of the few official D&D products published by Wizards of the Coast to contain open game content, namely the Razor Boar and the Scorpionfolk, originally published in The Creature Collection from Necromancer Games and Sword & Sorcery Studios.
September – Oath of Nerull. A novel in the iconics line in which the monk, Ember, becomes involved in a magical competition that threatens her order.
September – Hand of Fire. A Forgotten Realms novel and sequel to Spellfire and Crown of Fire, in which Shandril, the wielder of the powerful Spellfire, attempts to evade those pursuing her by hiding out in Silverymoon.
October – Book of Vile Darkness. One of two supplements published with a “Mature Audiences Only” warning label, the Book of Vile Darkness, inspired by the in-game artifact of the same name, delves into the truly evil and horrific with feats, prestige class, spells and advice for either playing vile characters or DMing adventures with vile villains and plot elements.
October – Champions of Darkness. A Ravenloft supplement published by Sword & Sorcery Studios and companion to Heroes of Light, providing character options and advice for playing anti-heroes in the demiplane of dread.
October – The Kingpriest Trilogy, Volume 2: Divine Hammer. A Dragonlance novel set prior to the Cataclysm in which the Kingpriest begins his crusade against the Towers of High Sorcery.
October – The Hunter’s Blades, Volume 1: The Thousand Orcs. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore in which the renegade drow, Drizzt Do’Urden, allows the vicious hunter aspect of his personality to take the reins after the apparent death of his companions, declaring a one-drow war against the orcs.
November – Bertrem’s Guide to the War of Souls, Volume Two. Accounts of every day life in the Dragonlance world during the War of Souls.
November – City of Fire. An iconics novel in which Krusk (barbarian), Regdar (fighter), Naull (wizard), and Alhandra (paladin) must thwart a fallen paladin and his army of gnolls.
Novel – Return of the Archwizards, Volume 3: The Sorcerer. Conclusion of the 3rd edition era “Realms Shaking Event” trilogy for the Forgotten Realms.
Novel – Sembia Series, Volume 6: Sands of the Soul. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a daughter of the Uskreven family travels to the Calim desert on a journey of spiritual healing.
December – Crossroads, Volume 4: The Dragon Isles. A Dragonlance novel in which various factions attempt to claim the abandoned island homes of the good dragons.
December – Ravenloft Gazetteer Volume II. A Ravenloft regional supplement published by Sword & Sorcery Studios detailing Darkon, The Necropolis, Lamordia, and Falkovnia.
December – War of the Spider Queen, Volume 2: Insurrection. Second in a six book series of Forgotten Realms novels focusing on the drow and their deity, Lolth. A group of drow from Menzoberranzan seek out rival city Ched Nasad to determine whether they have also been cut off from Lolth.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 8:41 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 27: 2000
In the year 2000, Wizards of the Coast wrapped up AD&D 2nd Edition with a couple of end-of-the-world adventures, The Apocalypse Stone and Die Vecna, Die!
Wizards also acquired a brief-lived license to make tabletop RPGs based on popular computer games by Blizzard, Diablo and Starcraft. Diablo products appeared as D&D was moving from one edition to the next, resulting in the Diablo licensed products having two different rule systems.
D&D 3rd Edition debuted with the Player’s Handbook at Gen Con of 2000. A variety of other products debuted at Gen Con as well. Products from other companies like Green Ronin and Necromancer Games that were written for use with D&D 3rd Edition. This was possible thanks to the Open Game License, or OGL, and the d20 system license. The brainchild of Ryan Dancey, the OGL was written to allow any company to use the d20 system rules to create their own material, thus indirectly supporting D&D. Starting at Gen Con and continuing through the next few years, the response was enormous, with d20 products flooding the market. Even companies with successful games of their own, like White Wolf, jumped on the d20 bandwagon.
The d20 system would be expanded well beyond the fantasy adventure genre of D&D by several companies, though Wizards of the Coast itself had one of the first entries in that race with the d20 Star Wars Roleplaying Game.
In the computer gaming arena, 2000 saw the release of a sequel to the popular Baldur’s Gate game, Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn. Icewind Dale was also released in 2000. Both games continued to utilize the AD&D 2nd Edition rules.
2000 also saw the theatrical release of a Dungeons & Dragons movie. Starring Jeremy Irons and directed by first-time director Courtney Solomon, the movie was something of a box office failure, though two direct-to-DVD and/or cable sequels were produced. Both Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson appear in the movie as extras.
The purchase of Wizards of the Coast by Hasbro the previous year had some unexpected repercussions, namely the departure of Wizards of the Coast CEO, Peter Adkison and WotC’s first full time employee, Lisa Stevens. Adkison would go on to purchase the Gen Con game convention from WotC while Lisa Stevens would start her own company a couple of years later. A company with a somewhat unusual relationship with Wizards of the Coast and D&D over the years and one that would demonstrate the full ramifications of the OGL: Paizo Publishing.
2000 D&D Products
January – Dragonlance Classics, Volume 2: Dalamar the Dark. A Dragonlance novel that relates the early years of Raistlin’s dark elf apprentice, Dalamar.
January – The Vortex of Madness and Other Planar Perils. A supplement detailing five planar locales. By this point, the Planescape brand had been dropped but Vortex was among several products that were still Planescape in all but name.
February – Priest’s Spell Compendium, Volume Three. Final volume in a series of digest-sized collector’s volumes compiling all of the priest spells in the game to date.
February – Rise of the Titans. A Dragonlance supplement dual-statted for use with both the SAGA rules and AD&D 2nd Edition, detailing the ogre nations of Krynn.
February – Secrets of the Magister. A Forgotten Realms supplement detailing the Magister, personal champion of the goddess of magic, Mystra.
February – The Best of Tales, Volume 1. An anthology of Dragonlance short stories, previously appearing in various Tales anthologies.
March – The Apocalypse Stone. A high level adventure specifically designed to end campaigns, featuring cataclysmic events and potentially world-ending catastrophes.
March – Diablo II: The Awakening. First in a short-lived line of D&D products based on the popular Diablo II computer game. The Awakening is a short adventure set in the world of Diablo II using AD&D 2nd Edition rules.
March – Realms of the Deep. An anthology of Forgotten Realms short stories with aquatic and nautical themes.
March – Threat from the Sea, Volume 3: The Sea Devil’s Eye. Conclusion of a Forgotten Realms trilogy centered around an attack by sahuagin armies on coastal areas of Faerun.
March – The War of Souls, Volume 1: Dragons of a Fallen Sun. Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman return to the Dragonlance setting with a new trilogy. A mysterious prophet, Mina, acquires followers for “the One God” as magic begins to wane.
April – Counselors and Kings, Volume 1: The Magehound. A Forgotten Realms novel set in the magical land of Halruaa.
April – Slavers. A Greyhawk adventure that serves as a sequel to the “A” series of AD&D 1st Edition adventures, Scourge of the Slavelords.
April – Tales of the Fifth Age, Volume 3: Rebels and Tyrants. A Dragonlance anthology of short stories set during the Fifth Age.
April – Van Richten’s Monster Hunter’s Compendium, Volume Three. A digest sized compilation of Van Richten’s Guide products. Specifically, this volume reprints the Guides to Demons (originally titled Van Richten’s Guide to Fiends) and Vistani and presents a new guide, Van Richten’s Guide to Witches.
May – Death of the Dragon. A Forgotten Realms novel in which King Azoun IV of Cormyr, with age catching up to him, faces the greatest threats his kingdom has ever known, including a powerful dragon.
May – The Dhamon Saga, Volume 1: Downfall. A Dragonlance novel in which Dhamon Grimwulf, one of the heroes from the Dragons of a New Age trilogy, falls on hard times but must somehow find the strength to redeem himself in the face of a new threat.
May – Reverse Dungeon. An “adventure” in which players take on the roles of monsters defending their lairs from marauding adventurers.
May – The Dungeon of Death. A Forgotten Realms adventure in which player characters explore the cursed ruins of an ancient dwarven stronghold.
May – The Falcon and the Wolf. A Birthright novel released in PDF form on the Wizards of the Coast website.
June – Cloak and Dagger. A Forgotten Realms supplement detailing various secret societies and organizations, including the Harpers and the Zhentarim. It was also one of the first products to have a “web enhancement,” additional material available on the Wizards of the Coast website.
June – Descent into the Depths of the Earth. A Greyhawk novel based on the AD&D 1st Edition adventure series of the same name. Also a sequel to the White Plume Mountain novel, featuring the Justicar and his pixie companion.
June – Die Vecna Die! An epic, campaign ending adventure that takes player characters from Greyhawk, to Ravenloft, and finally to the Planescape city of Sigil as they attempt to thwart the evil schemes of Iuz, the Old One, who seeks to seize the power of Vecna, himself. But Vecna appears to be the one holding all the strings. The adventure also served as in-universe way to explain some of the cosmology changes between AD&D 2nd Edition and D&D 3rd Edition, most notably Vecna’s promotion to godhood as one of the sample deities in the 3rd Edition Player’s Handbook.
June – More Leaves from the Inn of the Last Home. A non-game supplement for the Dragonlance setting with a mostly in-universe style, providing details of the Fifth Age era, including songs, recipes, kender taunts, and more.
July – Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn. A Forgotten Realms novelization of the computer game of the same name.
July – Crossroads, Volume 1: The Clandestine Circle. A Dragonlance novel in which a Solamnic Knight infiltrates the dangerous city of Sanction to spy on its governor and the hostile forces gathered there.
July – Sembia, Volume 1: The Halls of Stormweather. A Forgotten Realms novel written by seven different authors, with each taking a single chapter.
July – Volo’s Guide to Baldur’s Gate II. A Forgotten Realms supplement providing further details on the city of Baldur’s Gate.
August – Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Player’s handbook. The debut product for 3rd edition, the Player’s Handbook contained a D&D that had been rebuilt from the ground up. A core rule, the foundation of the d20 system, ruled every interaction of the game: roll a d20, add a modifier, and attempt to beat a Difficulty Class. Unlike previous editions, higher was always better. The Player’s Handbook brought the half-orc and the monk back to the game and used a bare bones version of the Greyhawk setting as a sort of core assumption, particularly noticeable with the sample deities (including Vecna). Saving throws were reduced to three, Fortitude, Reflex, and Will; non-weapon proficiencies became skills and were more streamlined; and feats were added to the game. A new class, the Sorcerer, was introduced, providing a different take on arcane spellcasting. Racial class restrictions and level limits were a thing of the past. Every race could multi-class by taking a level in a new class upon leveling up and every class used the same experience advancement table. Each class included an illustration of an “iconic” character. These “iconics” would continue to show up in the artwork of 3rd Edition throughout its run. Because the Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual wouldn’t be appearing for a couple of months, the first printing of the PHB included a short index with a few monsters and DMing tips. Finally, the book contained a CD-ROM in the back with a simple character generator.
August – Character Sheets. A new character sheet product for a new edition, with separate sheets for each class.
August – Dragonlance Classics, Volume 3: The Citadel. A Dragonlance novel telling the story of the creation of the first of the flying citadels.
August – D&D Adventure Game. A new introductory boxed set designed with the 3rd Edition rules.
September – Barbarians, Volume 1: Children of the Plains. A Dragonlance novel focusing on barbarian culture and set in the setting’s pre-history.
September – Dungeon Master Screen. A new DM screen for a new edition, with player’s side art featuring the iconics and various monsters.
September – Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide. The DMG for 3rd Edition contained similar advice for running the game as its predecessors but also covered new ground with an experience point system based on challenge ratings and a new option for higher level play, prestige classes. Prestige classes had prerequisites that had to be attained before a character could enter the class. Examples included assassins, blackguards, and shadow dancers. Magic items were given prices and formulas usable with the proper item creation feats for players to make their own magic items, though this involved the expenditure of experience points in addition to gold.
September – Dungeons & Dragons Gazetteer. A slim, stripped down version of the Greyhawk setting for use as the core world of the D&D 3rd Edition game.
September – Pool of Radiance: Attack on Myth Drannor. A Forgotten Realms adventure designed to tie-in to the Ruins of Myth Drannor computer game coming the following year. Player characters must infiltrate the ruined city of Myth Drannor to stop the Cult of the Dragon from using a corrupted pool of radiance.
September – The Lost Empires, Volume 4: The Nether Scroll. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a young wizard seeks out the Nether Scroll.
September – The Sunless Citadel. First in a series of loosely tied together adventures, The Sunless Citadel sends player characters into a ruined citadel that fell into a crevasse in ages past in search of another group of adventurers that ventured into the ruin and never returned. This adventure is notable for introducing Meepo, a kobold NPC who would become something of an iconic character in his own right.
October – Bertrem’s Guide to the Age of Mortals. A non-game guidebook to the Dragonlance setting during the Fifth Age.
October – Into the Dragon’s Lair. A Forgotten Realms adventure that follows the events of the novel Death of the Dragon. Player characters have the opportunity to claim the treasure hoard of the dragon that ravaged Cormyr.
October – Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Monster Manual. The first book of creatures for the 3rd Edition of the game, including the classics like orcs, goblins, and dragons, but also introducing a few new creatures like the yrthak and destrachan. Monsters were now built more like player characters, with ability scores, skills, and feats. Each monster also had a Challenge Rating, or CR, that would determine how much experience a party would get for defeating it as well as being a tool for determining what monsters were an appropriate challenge for parties at various levels.
October – Servant of the Shard. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore. Like his previous novel, Spine of the World, Salvatore focused attention away from the dark elf, Drizzt Do’Urden, in this novel, instead following two of Drizzt’s long time enemies, Artemis Entreri and the drow mercenary, Jarlaxle. The unlikely pair fall under the influence of the crystal shard and undertake a mission to destroy it.
November – Draconian Measures. A Dragonlance novel and sequel to The Doom Brigade, in which the draconian Kang fights to protect the first female draconian from multiple enemies.
November – Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. A more extensive look at the Greyhawk setting and a launching point for the Living Greyhawk campaign, a RPGA program similar to the 2nd edition era Living City, but much larger.
November – Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor. A Forgotten Realms novelization of the computer game of the same name.
November – Sembia, Volume 2: Shadow’s Witness. A Forgotten Realms novel featuring Erevis Cale, a butler with a dark secret.
November – The Forge of Fury. Second adventure in an eight-part loosely connected series. Player characters explore a dwarven stronghold that has been overrun with orcs, trolls, and duergar.
December – Crossroads, Volume 2: The Thieves’ Guild. A Dragonlance novel describing the intricacies of one of the thieves’ guilds of Palanthas.
December – Diablo II: Diablerie. A 3rd edition version of the popular computer game tie-in, providing a full setting, character classes, magic items, etc.
December – Hero Builder’s Guidebook. A supplement providing a plethora of non-mechanics background elements to help flesh out characters, including a randomized background generator, an alignment “test” to help determine a character’s alignment based on their personality, and lists of names for each major player character race.
December – The Cities, Volume 1: The City of Ravens. A Forgotten Realms novel set in Ravens Bluff, in which a petty thief gets caught up in a scheme to destroy the city.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 8:19 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 26: 1999
In 1999, Wizards of the Coast celebrated 25 years of Dungeons & Dragons by releasing a series of “Silver Anniversary” products geared toward nostalgia, including revisiting classic adventures like Keep on the Borderlands, Against the Giants, and the original Dragonlance adventures. At Gen Con that year, 3rd Edition was officially announced. Of particular note, thanks to a settlement with Dave Arneson, Wizards was able to drop the “Advanced” from the name of the game. 3rd Edition would be “Dungeons & Dragons.”
Behind the scenes, Wizards of the Coast’s phenomenal success with Magic: The Gathering and the Pokemon TCG caused toy giant Hasbro to take notice. In September of 1999, the deal was closed and Wizards of the Coast officially became a subsidiary of Hasbro.
Baldur’s Gate received its first expansion in 1999, Tales of the Sword Coast. As with the previous year, 1999 saw the release of only one completely new computer game, but, like Baldur’s Gate before it, it would be one of the most popular Computer RPGs of its time. Planescape: Torment. Based on the popular Planescape campaign setting, the player takes on the role of an amnesiac immortal who travels through Sigil and the planes of existence attempting to discover clues to his own history.
As development of 3rd Edition continued, Ryan Dancey was also working on a license that would fundamentally change the roleplaying game industry, with consequences that resonate to this day. The OGL.
1999 D&D Products
January – Bridges of Time, Volume 3: The Silver Stair. A Dragonlance novel telling the story of Goldmoon’s attempt to establish the Citadel of Light shortly after the Chaos War.
January – Demihumans of the Realms. A Forgotten Realms supplement in the Realms specific version of the “brown book” line of products, providing character kits for elves, dwarves, gnomes, and other demihumans in the Forgotten Realms.
January – The Shattered Circle. An introductory adventure by Bruce Cordell.
January – Threat from the Sea, Volume 1: Rising Tide. A Forgotten Realms novel in which an ancient undersea menace threatens the surface world.
February – The Chaos War, Volume 3: The Puppet King. A Dragonlance novel in which Gilthas, son of Tanis and Laurana and new leader of Qualinesti, faces threats from all sides, including his own uncle, Porthios.
February – Dungeons of Despair. A compilation of six adventures originally published in Dungeon magazine.
February – The Lost Empires, Volume 3: Star of Cursrah. A Forgotten Realms novel in which an ancient, seemingly dead city becomes a threat to modern day Calimshan.
February – The Sylvan Veil. A Dragonlance adventure with rules for both the SAGA system and AD&D 2nd Edition, in which player characters explore a changed Silvanesti as events build toward the War of Souls.
February – Van Richten’s Monster Hunter’s Compendium, Volume One. A digest sized compilation of three Ravenloft supplements, Van Richten’s Guides to Vampires, Werebeasts, and Created.
March – Bridges of Time, Volume 4: The Rose and the Skull. A Dragonlance novel in which the Knights of Solamnia form a fragile alliance with the Knights of Takhisis.
March – Spectre of the Black Rose. A Ravenloft novel in which the death knight Lord Soth finally escapes the mists and returns to his native setting, the Dragonlance world of Krynn.
March – The Accursed Tower. A Forgotten Realms adventure by R.A. Salvatore and his gaming group, featuring cameos by Drizzt Do’Urden and Regis, the halfling.
March – The Scarlet Brotherhood. A regional sourcebook for Greyhawk, featuring AD&D 2nd Edition versions of the 1st Edition monk and assassin classes.
March – TSR Jam 1999. A compilation of seven adventures in seven different settings (Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, The Illithiad, Planescape, Ravenloft, Dragonlance, and Alternity) and three different game systems (AD&D 2nd Edition, Alterntiy, and SAGA).
April – Axe of the Dwarvish Lords. An adventure centered around the artifact which lends its name to the title. Player characters must find the legendary Axe to unify the dwarven clans before a goblinoid army descends upon them.
April – The Glass Prison. A Forgotten Realms novel by Monte Cook, in which a half-fiend flees the Abyss to find his human parentage on Toril, but finds himself pursued by the demonic family he left behind.
May – The Chaos War, Volume 4: Reavers of the Blood Sea. A Dragonlance novel set during the Summer of Chaos. The minotaurs and Knights of Takhisis, embroiled in a battle of their own, must set aside their differences and unite against the forces of Chaos.
May – Children of the Night: The Created. A Ravenloft supplemente providing stats, background, and short adventures for 13 construct NPCs.
May – Dragonlance Classics: 15th Anniversary Edition. First of the “Silver Anniversary” line of products celebrating 25 years of D&D. A revision of the original Dragonlance adventures, presented with rules for running the adventures with either the AD&D 2nd Edition rules or the SAGA rules. The adventures include several new scenes and are generally restructured to be more story-driven than the originals.
May – Priest’s Spell Compendium, Volume One. First in a three volume collector’s edition compilation of all of priest spells in the D&D game to date.
May – The Dream Spheres. A Forgotten Realms novel by Elaine Cunningham in which Danilo Thann and Arilyn Moonblade investigate the sale of dreams in the city of Waterdeep.
June – Bridges of Time, Volume 5: Dezra’s Quest. A Dragonlance novel set ten years after the Summer of Chaos, in which Dezra, daughter of Caramon and Tika, finds herself entangled in the problems of the centaur tribes of Darken Wood.
June – Return to the Keep on the Borderlands. A Silver Anniversary adventure that revisits the classic B2: Keep on the Borderlands. Set twenty years after the original adventure, novice player characters discover a new threat awakening in the Caves of Chaos.
June – Skullport. A Forgotten Realms supplement detailing the underdark city of Skullport, situated directly beneath Waterdeep.
July – Against the Giants. A Greyhawk novelization of the Against the Giants adventures.
July – Baldur’s Gate. A Forgotten Realms novelization of the computer game of the same name.
August – AD&D Core Rules 2.0 Expansion. An expansion to the core rules CD-ROM software. The expansion includes most of the “brown book” series of player supplements.
August – Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff. A Silver Anniversary adventure that revisits the classic Against the Giants series of adventures. The adventure contains the original G1, G2, and G3 and provides 18 new adventure sites that tie the full series to Cloud Giant villains, rather than the original connections to the drow.
August – Odyssey of Gilthanas. A Dragonlance novel and non-game sourcebook focused on Gilthanas and his lover, the silver dragon Silvara.
August – Brothers in Arms. A Dragonlance novel and sequel to The Soulforge, in which Caramon and Raistlin become mercenaries and Kitiara advances in the ranks of the dragonarmies.
August – Ravenloft (25th Anniversary Edition). A Silver Anniversary adventure that updates the original I6: Ravenloft adventure to AD&D 2nd Edition rules. Originally available as a RPGA exclusive and later in PDF form.
August – Sea of Fallen Stars. A Forgotten Realms supplement detailing the undersea regions and peoples of the Sea of Fallen Stars.
August – Silver Anniversary Collector’s Edition. A boxed set celebrating 25 years of D&D with reprints of the Holmes version of the basic D&D game booklet, the Against the Giants adventures (G1, G2, and G3), B2: Keep on the Borderlands, I6: Ravenloft, and S2: White Plume Mountain. It also includes a new AD&D 1st Edition Adventure, L3: Deep Dwarven Delve and a 32 page booklet, The Story of TSR.
August – Silverfall: Stories of the Seven Sisters. A Forgotten Realms anthology of seven short stories by Ed Greenwood about the seven sisters.
September – Campaign Option: Council of Wyrms. A hardcover version of the 1994 Council of Wyrms boxed set with some minor revisions and additional material.
September – The Chaos War, Volume 5: The Siege of Mt. Nevermind. A Dragonlance novel that recounts what was happening in the gnomish homeland during the Chaos War.
September – Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas. A CD-ROM containing over 500 maps of the Forgotten Realms, including a full global map. The Atlas was built using Campaign Cartographer 2 from ProFantasy.
September – The Spine of the World. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore, who shifts the focus from Drizzt to the barbarian, Wulfgar, who is still recovering from the trauma he suffered in the Abyss.
September – Warriors of Heaven. A player supplement that provides playable versions of various celestial beings.
September – Wyrmskull Throne. A Forgotten Realms adventure that utilizes rules and the setting of the Sea of Fallen Stars supplement.
October – Carnival. A Ravenloft supplement detailing a traveling troupe of performers that is also a haven for freaks and outcasts.
October – Priest’s Spell Compendium, Volume Two. Second in a three volume set compiling all of the priest and cleric spells published in the D&D game to date.
October – Tales of the Fifth Age, Volume 2: Heroes and Fools. A Dragonlance anthology of short stories set during the Fifth Age.
October – Threat from the Sea, Volume 2: Under Fallen Stars. The sahuagin army finds a way into the inland Sea of Fallen Stars, threatening a vast area of the Forgotten Realms.
October – White Plume Mountain. A Greyhawk novelization of the classic adventure, featuring an unusual group of protagonists: a ranger, a sentient hell hound pelt, and a pixie.
November – Drizzt Do’Urden’s Guide to the Underdark. A Forgotten Realms supplement written in a mostly “in character” style by the Realms most famous drow.
November – Return to White Plume Mountain. A Silver Anniversary adventure that revisits the classic White Plume Mountain adventure. This adventure is a direct sequel, set 20 years after the original adventure.
November – Torment. A novelization of the computer game, Planescape: Torment.
December – Bastion of Faith. A supplement providing a fully detailed temple, in the same style as Den of Thieves and College of Wizardry.
December – Beyond the High Road. A Forgotten Realms novel and sequel to Cormyr: A Novel, in which a prophecy foretelling Cormyr’s doom may be coming to pass.
December – Chaos Spawn. A Dragonlance adventure set during the Chaos War and runnable with either AD&D 2nd Edition or the SAGA system. Player characters must save a town from one of the most powerful minions of Chaos.
December – Guide to Hell. A supplement providing details on the Nine Hells and the various devils that dwell there. Notable for departing from the early 2nd Edition practice of avoiding references to “hell” and “devils.”
December – Van Richten’s Monster Hunter’s Compendium, Volume Two. A digest sized compilation of the Ravenloft supplements Van Richten’s Guides to Ghosts, Liches, and the Ancient Dead.
Unknown Month – Wand of Archeal. A RPGA adventure in which player characters must track down the Wand of Archeal as two rival magic orders race to acquire it for themselves.
Thursday, January 3, 2013, 3:36 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 25: 1998
As 1998 began, Wizards of the Coast was still realigning and restructuring after the purchase of TSR. There were still a lot of products on TSR’s old schedule so that’s what they stuck with for most of the year. They even kept the TSR logo on these products. The first two marks Wizards of the Coast would make on the D&D brand would be attempts at mending bridges. The first was a reintroduction of the Greyhawk setting. The second were a series of dual-statted adventures for the Dragonlance line that could be used with either the SAGA rules or AD&D 2nd Edition.
Wizards of the Coast had also filed a patent for the collectible card game model the previous year. This gave them a bit of leverage when bidding for the CCG rights to the megahit Pokemon. The Pokemon card game outsold Magic: The Gathering and got the attention of toy giant, Hasbro.
There was only one D&D based video game released in 1998 but it was and still is considered one of the best: Baldur’s Gate. Set in the Forgotten Realms, Baldur’s Gate was an in-depth computer RPG that put then unknown Bioware on the map. It is credited with revitalizing interest in both computer roleplaying games and tabletop roleplaying games. An enhanced edition of the game was just recently released for the iPad.
1998 D&D Products
January – College of Wizardry. A fully detailed wizard organization that can be dropped into any setting.
January – Cult of the Dragon. A Forgotten Realms supplement detailing a quasi-religious cult that worships evil dragons, particularly the undead dragons known as dracoliches.
January – Double Diamond Triangle Saga, Part 1: The Abduction. The first in a series of nine serial novels set in the Forgotten Realms, modeled somewhat on Stephen King’s The Green Mile series. The series was written to be read somewhat out of sequence as books 2 and 3 followed two different groups, their stories intertwining and separating as the series continued.
January – Double Diamond Triangle Saga, Part 2: The Paladins.
January – Double Diamond Triangle Saga, Part 3: The Mercenaries.
January – Heroes of Hope. Fourth in a series of boxed set supplements for the Dragonlance SAGA game, this one dealing with mystic type characters (the replacements, so to speak, of clerics with the absence of the Gods). It also included an adventure, The Crown and the Serpent.
January – Jakandor: Island of War. A mini-setting presented in a three book series as part of the Odyssey line, Jakandor presents an island setting where invading barbarians confront native necromancers.
January – The Soulforge. A Dragonlance novel by Margaret Weis, detailing the life of Raistlin Majere from early childhood to his test at the Tower of High Sorcery, shortly before the events of Dragons of Autumn Twilight.
January – The Dragons of Chaos. A Dragonlance short story anthology, with most of the stories set in the time period of the Chaos War.
January – The Netheril Trilogy, Volume 3: Mortal Consequences. A Forgotten Realms novel set during the Arcane Age era of pre-history.
February – Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad. A Forgotten Realms novel and sequel to Prince of Lies, in which the new god, Cyric, now insane, must be dealt with.
February – Double Diamond Triangle Saga, Part 4: Errand of Mercy.
February – Dragons of a New Age, Volume 3: The Eve of the Maelstrom. A Dragonlance novel set during the Fifth Age in which one of the dragon overlords, Malastryx, aspires to godhood.
February – Hellgate Keep. A Forgotten Realms adventure in which a new evil stirs in a ruined keep destroyed by the Harpers.
February – Moonlight Madness. A non-setting specific adventure in which player characters are infected with lycanthropy and must find a cure while being pursued by werewolf hunting paladins.
February – Servants of Darkness. A Ravenloft adventure in which player characters set about to prove the innocence of a young woman sentenced to death.
February – Wizard’s Spell Compendium, Volume Three. Third in a series of collector’s edition books containing all of the wizard spells printed in the game to date.
March – Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. An Arcane Age supplement for the Forgotten Realms detailing the ancient elven empire.
March – Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix III. A Planescape supplement detailing monsters that dwell on the inner planes.
March – Shadowborn. A Ravenloft novel in which a fallen paladin attempts to redeem himself and cleanse himself of a curse inflicted on him 20 years ago.
March – The Lost Empires, Volume 1: The Lost Library of Cormanthyr. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a human explorer sets out to find a near mythical library of the ancient elven empire.
March – Wings of Fury. A Dragonlance: Fifth Age boxed set covering dragons. It also includes the final adventure in the Dragons of a New Age series, Wings Over Ansalon.
April – Double Diamond Triangle Saga, Part 6: Conspiracy.
April – Evermeet: Island of Elves. A Forgotten Realms novel detailing the history of the secret elven island-refuge.
April – The Illithiad. A supplement in the Monstrous Arcana line providing comprehensive details on mind flayers.
April – Reunion. An RPGA adventure that revisits the Al-Qadim setting. Players take on three roles during the course of the adventure, the men of a tribe staging a slave revolt against an efreet, the women of the tribe, escaping the efreet’s harem, and finally the children of the tribe, fleeing an evil temple before they are sacrificed.
April – Tales of the Fifth Age, Volume 1: Relics and Omens. A Dragonlance anthology of short stories set during the Fifth Age.
May – Double Diamond Triangle Saga, Part 7: Uneasy Alliances.
May – Dungeon Builder’s Guidebook. A sourcebook of advice, tables, and blank map sheets for creating custom dungeon adventures.
May – For Duty and Deity. A Forgotten Realms adventure that crosses over with the Planescape adventure anthology Tales from the Infinite Staircase. Player characters are drawn into the mystery of the fate of the Goddess of Wealth, Waukeen, who vanished during the Time of Troubles.
May – Return of the Eight. Marking the return of the Greyhawk setting, Return of the Eight is a high level adventure in which player characters are tasked by the Circle of Eight to find one of their number who has gone missing.
May – Tales from the Infinite Staircase. An anthology of connected Planescape adventures which also connect to the Forgotten Realms adventure, For Duty and Deity.
June – The Chaos War, Volume 1: The Last Thane. A Dragonlance novel telling a tale of civil war in the dwarven nation of Thorbardin as the dark dwarven clans take advantage of the absence of the dwarven army (out fighting in the Chaos War) to attempt a bloody coup.
June – Double Diamond Triangle Saga, Part 8: Easy Betrayals.
June – I, Strahd: The War Against Azalin. A Ravenloft novel and sequel to I, Strahd, written from the personal perspective of the vampiric lord of Barovia as his domain faces an incursion from the lich, Azalin.
June – Jakandor: Isle of Destiny. Second in the Odyssey line of supplements detailing the island setting of Jakandor. This book presents the island from the perspective of the natives, a culture that turned to necromancy after a horrible plague decimated their population. While attempting to rebuild their civilization, they find themselves invaded by foreign barbarians.
June – A Darkness Gathering. First in a trilogy of adventures supporting The Illithiad.
June – Player’s Guide to Greyhawk. A new introduction to the world of Greyhawk for players, providing a brief overview of the world, its cultures, religions, races, and key players. It also provides some Greyhawk specific kits.
June – Player’s Secrets of Hogunmark. A Birthright player’s supplement detailing the conflicted domain of Hogunmark. Originally released as an RPGA exclusive bundled with Polyhedron Magazine #130. It was later released as a PDF.
June – Realms of Mystery. A Forgotten Realms anthology of short stories focusing on mysteries and intrigue.
June – The Fall of Myth Drannor. A Forgotten Realms Arcane Age supplement/adventure that puts player characters in the middle of history during the fall of the elven empire of Cormanthyr and its greatest city, Myth Drannor.
July – AD&D Core Rules CD-ROM 2.0. A complete overhaul of the original core rules software. In addition to new DM tools and mapping features, it includes RTF versions of the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, Monstrous Manual, Arms and Equipment Guide, Tome of Magic, DM’s Option: High Level Campaigns, Player’s Option: Combat & Tactics, Player’s & Option: Skills & Powers, and Player’s Option: Spells & Magic.
July – Bridges of Time, Volume 1: Spirit of the Wind. A Dragonlance novel that tells the story of Riverwind’s last quest, shortly after the Chaos War, aiding the kender in attempting to stop the dragon overlord, Malastryx from destroying the kender homeland.
July – Citadel of Light. A Dragonlance: Fifth Age boxed set supplement detailing the center of mysticism founded by Goldmoon after the Chaos War.
July – Double Diamond Triangle Saga, Part 9: The Diamond.
July – Return to the Tomb of Horrors. First in a series of adventures revisiting classic adventures from 1st edition. This boxed set is a direct sequel to the original Tomb of Horrors, once again pitting player characters against the demilich Acererak.
July – The Adventure Begins. A Greyhawk supplement serving as an introduction to the setting for Dungeon Masters.
July – Villain’s Lorebook. A Forgotten Realms supplement providing stats and background material for many of the Realms’ most notorious villains, including Artemis Entreri, Fzoul Chembryl, Jarlaxle, Manshoon, and Szass Tam. It also provides details on villainous organizations such as the Zhentarim and the Cult of the Dragon.
August – A Guide to the Ethereal Plane. A Planescape supplement detailing the Ethereal plane and various demiplanes within it.
August – Kidnapped. A RPGA adventure in the Forgotten Realms in which player characters must escort a ransom for the release of a kidnapped child of a priest of Tyr.
August – Masters of Eternal Night. The second in a trilogy of adventures supporting The Illithiad. The player characters uncover a plot by the mind flayers to extinguish the sun itself.
August – Road to Danger. A collection of six low-level adventures originally published in Dungeon Magazine.
August – The Harpers, Volume 16: Thornhold. Final book in the open ended series of Forgotten Realms novels focused on the Harpers, in which the Zhentarim threaten Waterdeep and the Harpers.
August – Vecna Reborn. A Ravenloft adventure and loose sequel to Vecna Lives. Having been imprisoned in the demiplane of dread locked in eternal conflict with his traitorous lieutenant, Kas, Vecna now seeks an escape.
September – A Paladin in Hell. Inspired by a piece of artwork in the 1st Edition Player’s Handbook, this adventure takes player characters into Hell in search of the soul of a paladin wrongly taken there. This also marks a return of terms like “Hell” and “Demon” to the game.
September – Empires of the Shining Sea. A Forgotten Realms boxed set detailing Calimshan and the Lake of Steam.
September – The Lost Tombs: The Star Cairns. A Greyhawk adventure presenting five lost tombs player characters can explore.
September – The Bestiary. A Dragonlance: Fifth Age supplement providing details for a variety of monsters, though, unlike AD&D 2nd Edition’s Monstrous Compendiums, this book is written “in character” by Caramon Majere.
September – The Shadow Stone. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a young half-elf becomes an apprentice mage and eventually a powerful wizard.
September – Wizard’s Spell Compendium, Volume Four. Final volume in a collector’s set of books containing every wizard spell published in D&D to date.
October – Calimport. A Forgotten Realms supplement providing extensive details on the capital city of Calimshan.
October – The Chaos War, Volume 2: Tears of the Night Sky. A Dragonlance novel revealing what Chrysania (from the Legends trilogy) and Dalamar (Raistlin’s apprentice) were up to during the Chaos War.
October – Faction War. A Planescape supplement/adventure that mostly closes out the line with an all out war between the factions in the streets of Sigil.
October – Jakandor: Land of Legend. The final book in a trilogy of supplements detailing the min-setting of Jakandor. This book provides adventure hooks and advice on playing out the conflict between the two major cultures in the setting.
October – The Lost Tombs: Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad. A Greyhawk adventure detailing the tomb of an insane lich.
October – Dawn of the Overmind. Third in a trilogy of adventures supporting The Illithiad. Player characters must put an end to a Mind Flayer plot to dominate not only their own world but many others.
October – The Silent Blade. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore in which the barbarian Wulfgar confronts the horrors within himself after his imprisonment in the Abyss and Drizzt seeks a way to finally destroy the Crystal Shard, unknowingly heading directly into a final confrontation with the assassin, Artemis Entreri.
October – Seeds of Chaos. A Dragonlance adventure set during the Chaos War and including stats for both the SAGA rules and AD&D 2nd Edition. Players may take on the roles of invading Knights of Takhisis or the defenders of the town they are invading. Either way, the two groups must set aside their differences when the Chaos War erupts around them.
October – The City of Ravens Bluff. A Forgotten Realms supplement detailing the home of the Living City RPGA campaign.
November – Bridges of Time, Volume 2: Legacy of Steel. A Dragonlance novel set a few years after the Summer of Chaos, in which Sara Dunstan, adoptive mother of Steel Brightblade, learns that the Knights of Takhisis are gathering again in Neraka.
November – Demihuman Deities. A Forgotten Realms supplement that details gods of the various “demihuman” races (elves, dwarves, halflings, and gnomes) in the same style as Faiths and Avatars.
November – Destiny of Kings. A 2nd Edition update and revision of N3: Destiny of Kings from the 1st edition era.
November – The Lost Tombs: The Doomgrinder. A Greyhawk adventure in which player characters explore a stone windmill that is the source of many rumors, fears, and prophecies.
November – Monstrous Compendium Annual: Volume Four. Final book in the Monstrous Compendium Annual series reprinting monsters from adventures and Dragon and Dungeon Magazines from 1996 and 1997.
November – The Lost Empires, Volume 2: Faces of Deception. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a disfigured cleric of the goddess of beauty sets out to find the mythical realm of Langdarma.
November – The Temptation of Elminster. Ed Greenwood continues the tale of the Forgotten Realms most famous resident as he finds himself cut off from Mystra and seeks tutelage from a mysterious woman called the Lady of Shadows.
December – Palanthas. A Dragonlance: Fifth Age supplement detailing the city of Palanthas.
December – The Inner Planes. A Planescape supplement detailing the elemental planes, the paraelemental planes, the quasielemental planes, and the energy planes.
Unknown Month – The Lost Shrine of Bundushatur. A Dungeon Crawl adventure in which player characters must thwart an ancient prophecy.