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 23, 2013, 8:53 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 28: 2001
In 2001, 3rd Edition was getting into full swing with a number of sourcebooks and supplements with familiar names: Oriental Adventures, Manual of the Planes, Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, Ravenloft Campaign Setting and Kingdoms of Kalamar.
Three of those products, however, were either created or supported by other companies.
Thanks to the d20 system license and the acquisition of Five Rings Publishing by Wizards of the Coast, the 3rd edition version of Oriental Adventures replaced Kara-Tur with the Legend of the Five Rings setting of Rokugan. Support products were produced for the setting and the Oriental Adventures rules by Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG).
Ravenloft, the setting of fantasy gothic horror, was licensed out to none other than White Wolf, the company responsible for the World of Darkness, under the Swords & Sorcery Studios imprint. White Wolf would also handle a couple of other licenses, as we will see in a future installment, including a D&D branded adaptation of the most popular MMO of all time.
Kingdoms of Kalamar originally appeared in 1994 as an independent setting, published by Kenzer & Co, the creators of the Knights of the Dinner Table comic strip. When Wizards of the Coast produced the Dragon Magazine Archive CD-ROM, they took a bit of a gamble by including the Knights of the Dinner Table comics that appeared in the magazines. Whether or not this had anything to do with the licenses that Kenzer & Co acquired (publishing Kingdoms of Kalamar with the D&D logo, publishing D&D comic books, and using the AD&D rules to create a parody game, Hackmaster, based on the game the characters of Knights of the Dinner Table played) is a subject of internet rumor and speculation to this day.
The acquisition of Wizards of the Coast by Hasbro had been mostly a quiet one, but it did have one interesting side effect in 2001, the creation of the Dungeons & Dragons Clue board game. The 3rd Edition iconics took the place of Professor Plum, Colonel Mustard, and the rest; the classic mystery game’s board was turned into a dungeon; and the weapons became classic D&D magic items like the vorpal sword and staff of power. The game also introduced wandering monsters which give players items useful to winning the game when defeated.
D&D video games in 2001 were mostly sequels and expansions: Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter, Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, Icewind Dale: Trials of the Luremaster, and Pools of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor. 2001 also saw the release of the first D&D based game for the then-current generation of consoles, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, available for the Playstation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, and the Game Boy Advance.
2001 D&D Products
January – Sword and Fist: A Guidebook to Fighters and Monks. The first of the class supplements for 3rd edition, this softcover book contains advice, new uses for skills, new weapons, new feats, and, setting the trend for the edition, a plethora of new prestige classes.
January – The Speaker in Dreams. Third in a series of loosely connected adventures, The Speaker in Dreams departs from the standard dungeon setting as player characters become embroiled in events leading to an insidious invasion of the town of Brindinford.
February – Icewall, Volume 1: The Messenger. A Dragonlance novel in which an exiled elf helps a barbarian village fend off an attack by ogres in the frozen land of Icewall.
February – Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerun. The last monster book to bear the 2nd Edition era “Monstrous Compendium” title, this supplement provided new and updated monsters for the 3rd edition Forgotten Realms.
March – Diablo II: To Hell and Back. An adventure for the Diablo II license that recreated the story of the computer game for a tabletop roleplaying experience.
March – Kingdoms of Kalamar. A campaign setting hardcover presenting the world of Tellene in exhaustive detail, published by Kenzer & Co.
March – Psionics Handbook. A hardcover updating the psionics system to 3rd edition. In particular, 3rd edition psionics did away with the random wild talents of previous incarnations; a player wanting psionics for their character had to play a psionic character class (psion or psychic warrior). The book also presents several psionic prestige classes, monsters, and feats.
March – Return of the Archwizards, Volume 1: The Summoning. A Forgotten Realms novel and first in a trilogy that serves as a “Realms Shaking Event” to transition the setting from 2nd edition to 3rd edition, featuring the return of the ancient Netherese from the Plane of Shadow.
April – Counselors and Kings, Volume 2: The Floodgate. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the Magehound seeks revenge against those who defeated her in the first book of the series.
April – The Standing Stone. Fourth in a series of loosely connected adventures, in which player characters come to the aid of a tiny, secluded village menaced by a ghostly rider…but nothing is as it seems.
May – Classics, Volume 4: The Inheritance. A Dragonlance novel which tells the story of the birth parents of half-elven Hero of the Lance, Tanis.
May – Defenders of the Faith: A Guidebook to Cleric and Paladins. Second class supplement for 3rd Edition. Defenders of the Faith provides new feats, magic items, deities, and prestige classes for clerics and paladins.
May – The Temple of Elemental Evil. A novel based on the original T1-4: Temple of Elemental Evil adventure.
May – War of Souls, Volume 2: Dragons of a Lost Star. A Dragonlance novel in which the dark prophet, Mina, leads her army of the One God across Ansalon.
June – Dhamon Saga, Volume 2: Betrayal. A Dragonlance novel in which the fallen hero, Dhamon, leads a band of mercenaries in search of a long forgotten treasure and a means to lift the curse afflicting him.
June – Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. A hardcover 3rd Edition update to the Forgotten Realms setting. Setting changes include the presence of the Empire of Shade in the Anauroch desert, the return of the deity Bane, and the presence of Red Wizard enclaves selling minor magic trinkets in many major cities. Mechanically, the book introduces regional benefits to encourage players to choose a homeland for their character, as well as spells, feats, and prestige classes.
June – Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. A sequel to the 1st Edition Temple of Elemental Evil adventure and the last of the “Return to” series of adventures that began in 1999, as well as being the only one of that series designed with 3rd Edition rules.
June – Sembia, Volume 3: The Shattered Mask. A Forgotten Realms novel involving a quest for revenge by the matriarch of the Uskreven family.
July – Crossroads, Volume 3: Dragon’s Bluff. A Dragonlance novel in which Ulin Majere, son of Palin and grandson of Caramon, travels to Flotsam to investigate a murder.
July – Magic of Faerun. A Forgotten Realms supplement covering spells, the weave, deities of magic, and other details of magic in the Realms.
July – Tome and Blood: A Guidebook to Wizards and Sorcerers. A class supplement providing feats, spells, magic items, and prestige classes for wizard and sorcerer characters.
August – Barbarians, Volume 2: Brother of the Dragon. A Dragonlance novel set in the pre-history of Krynn, in which a new town faces threats from within and without.
August – Elminster in Hell. A Forgotten Realms novel in which Elminster finds himself in the Nine Hells after an attack by the returned Empire of Shade.
August – Heart of Nightfang Spire. Fifth in a series of loosely connected adventures. Player characters explore a mysterious spire filled with undead and face an enemy they may have unintentionally unleashed in The Sunless Citadel, first adventure in the series.
September – Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal. A Forgotten Realms novelization of the computer game of the same name.
September – Bertrem’s Guide to the War of Souls, Volume One. An “in character” look at the War of Souls era from the point of view of the common folk.
September – Manual of the Planes. A 3rd Edition look at planar adventuring. In addition to detailing a slightly streamlined Great Wheel cosmology, the book also provides guidelines on creating customized cosmologies for your campaign.
September – The Cities, Volume 2: Temple Hill. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a rogue in Eversult hires a drunkard, down on his luck fighter as a bodyguard to protect her from the Purple Masks thieves’ guild. The pair also quickly becomes involved in the plots of the Cult of the Dragon.
October – Enemies and Allies. A softcover supplement providing game stats for a variety of NPCs.
October – Lords of Darkness. A Forgotten Realms supplement detailing a variety of villainous organizations, as well introducing new feats, spells, and prestige classes tied to those organizations.
October – Oriental Adventures. A 3rd Edition version of the classic 1st Edition Oriental Adventures hardcover. The example setting provided in the book is Rokugan, the setting of the Legend of the Five Rings CCG. The book presents new races, new classes , and new prestige classes, all tailored to a mythic fantasy Asia style setting.
October – Sea of Swords. A Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore that returns to Drizzt. The dark elf reunites with the barbarian Wulfgar as they seek Wulfgar’s magic hammer, Aegis Fang, and meet an unexpected old foe along the way.
October – Queen of the Demonweb Pits. A Greyhawk novel in which the ranger Justicar and his pixie companion Escalla take on Lolth herself in this adaptation of the classic 1st Edition adventure.
October – Ravenloft Campaign Setting. Officially licensed to White Wolf Game Studio through their imprint, Sword & Sorcery Studios, this hardcover updates the demiplane of dread for 3rd Edition. Because White Wolf did not have the license to any other D&D worlds, certain domains had to be revised or simply left out. Luckily, iconic characters like Lord Soth and Vecna had already escaped Ravenloft toward the end of the 2nd Edition era.
October – The Search for Magic: Tales from the War of Souls. An anthology of Dragonlance short stories set during the War of Souls.
November – Deep Horizon. Sixth in a series of loosely connected adventures, Deep Horizon takes player characters into the underdark and to the aid of a race of bat-people called Desmodu.
November – Keep on the Borderlands. A novelization of the basic edition adventure of the same name, though setting the Keep and the nearby Caves of Chaos in Greyhawk.
November – The Kingpriest Trilogy, Volume 1: Chosen of the Gods. A Dragonlance novel set prior to the Cataclysm dealing with the rise of the Kingpriests of Istar, as well as the manipulations of Fistandantilus.
November – Sembia, Volume 4: Black Wolf. A Forgotten Realms novel focusing on the intrigues of the Uskreven family of Sembia.
December – Age of Mortals, Volume 1: Conundrum. A Dragonlance novel focused on a gnome submersible vessel’s attempt to circumnavigate the world.
December – Return of the Archwizards, Volume 2: The Siege. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the Chosen of Mystra attempt to fend off an invasion by the returned ancient Netherese.
December – Secrets of the Dread Realms and Dungeon Master Screen. A Ravenloft supplement detailing the backgrounds of most of the dark lords of the setting, as well as a Ravenloft DM screen, published by White Wolf.
December – Song and Silence: A Guidebook to Rogues and Bards. A class supplement focused on rogues and bards, with new spells, new feats, new equipment, and new prestige classes.
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.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012, 8:46 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 24: 1997
Dragon and Dungeon magazine subscribers found no magazines in their mailboxes. Game stores found no D&D products in their shipments from distributors. Visitors to the D&D website were told the company was having “printer problems.”
1997 was the year TSR would have gone bankrupt if not for Ryan Dancey and Wizards of the Coast. Dancey met with Lorraine Williams, who agreed to sell the company. Dancey, in turn, went to Wizards of the Coast and Peter Adkison for the money to save D&D.
A number of factors contributed to TSR’s demise. Overprinting of products, poor reception of Dragon Dice, losing money on boxed sets containing audio CDs, lack of customer communication, and primarily, from a financial standpoint, the return of millions of dollars worth of product from book distributors.
On April 10th, 1997, Wizards of the Coast announced that they were purchasing TSR, along with Five Rings Publishing Group and GenCon. A large number of TSR’s staff made the move from Wisconsin to Washington. Lisa Stevens was moved over to the D&D staff, becoming Brand Manager of the RPGA. Ryan Dancey was put in charge of business and marketing, a move that would allow him to pioneer one of the biggest changes in the RPG industry, as we will see in a later installment.
Wizards of the Coast initially simply put through the pipeline the products TSR had already been working on. However, Peter Adkison assembled a team of designers to start work on a 3rd Edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Jonathan Tweet was put in charge of the project, with two TSR alumni working with him: Skip Williams, a veteran of TSR going back to 1976, and Monte Cook, a relatively recent addition to the TSR team, whose primary credits were in the Planescape line. Adkison also reached out to Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, hoping to bring D&D’s creators, if not back into the fold, at least back into D&D’s sphere of influence.
Despite the upheaval going on in the world of D&D, video games still continued to be produced. Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft was a fighting game very loosely based on Ravenloft. Descent to Undermountain was the first D&D based game to utilize a 3D engine. Both games were poorly received, presenting a bleak outlook for D&D video gaming in 1997. The next year, however, would see the video gaming world visit a little city in the Forgotten Realms called Baldur’s Gate.
1997 D&D Products
January – Undermountain: Stardock. Player characters venture into Undermountain to rescue the insane wizard, Halaster Blackcloak.
January – The Warriors, Volume 6: Lord Soth. A Dragonlance novel telling the story of Lord Soth’s fall to evil as the Cataclysm strikes.
May – Player’s Secrets of Muden. A Birthright player supplement released as a PDF on the TSR website, detailing a merchant domain.
July – Domains of Dread. A revised, expanded, and updated Ravenloft Campaign Setting product, this time in a hardcover volume instead of a boxed set.
July – Monstrous Arcana: The Sea Devils. A non-setting specific supplement taking a detailed look at Sahuagin, their culture, religion, mutations, and tips for using them as villains.
July – Tale of the Comet. A boxed set adventure in the Odyssey line of products that mixes genres by posing the question “what if sci-fi style aliens invaded a D&D world?”
July – Tale of the Comet. A novel tie-in to the adventure,
July – The Harpers, Volume 15: Finder’s Bane. A Forgotten Realms novel that was also part of the Lost Gods series of crossover novels, carrying events and characters from the Realms into Planescape and Dragonlance.
August – SAGA Fate Deck. A deck of cards for use with the Dragonlance SAGA game rules.
August – King of the Giantdowns. A Birthright adventure set in a land ruled by giants.
August – Lands of Intrigue. A Forgotten Realms boxed set detailing the lands of Amn, Tethyr, and the previously unexplored nation of Erlkazar.
August – Evil Tide. First in a trilogy of adventures that tie in to The Sea Devils supplement and feature Sahuagin as the villains.
August – Powers & Pantheons. A Forgotten Realms supplement with the same general format as Faiths & Avatars, detailing deities, their churches, holy days, specialty priests, etc. Power & Powers specifically focuses on demigods and other minor deities.
August – The Blood Wars, Volume 3: Planar Powers. Conclusion of a Planescape trilogy about the eternal war between Baatezu (devils) and Tanar’ri (demons).
September – Faces of Evil: The Fiends. A Planescape supplement that focuses on baatezu and tanar’ri, specifically their physiology, culture, habits, and other roleplaying focused material.
September – Of Ships and the Sea. A “blue book” Dungeon Master supplement providing rules and details on oceangoing and undersea adventuring.
September – Castle Spulzeer. A Forgotten Realms adventure that takes characters into Ravenloft.
September – The Forgotten Terror. Ravenloft adventure and sequel to Castle Spulzeer in which player characters must explore the dreams of a madman to escape his domain.
September – The Nobles, Volume 5: Council of Blades. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a trio of odd characters find themselves in the middle of an odd war utilizing a strange new weapon.
October – Night of the Shark. Second in a trilogy of adventures supporting The Sea Devils supplement.
October – The Great Modron March. A Planescape anthology of adventures featuring the polyhedral creatures known as Modrons, as they march across the planes, off schedule from their normal highly regimented routine.
October – The Last Tower: The Legacy of Raistlin. A Dragonlance SAGA boxed set exploring the last of the Towers of High Sorcery.
October – The Nobles, Volume 6: The Simbul’s Gift. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the Simbul, Chosen of Mystra, one of the Seven Sisters, and ruler of Aglarond, attempts to lure Elminster into siring an heir to her throne.
October – The Warriors, Volume 7: The Wayward Knights. A Dragonlance novel detailing the final adventures of Sir Pirvan, unlikely Knight of Solamnia.
October – Wizard’s Spell Compendium, Volume Two. Second in a series of four books containing every wizard spell in the D&D game to date.
November – Children of the Night: Ghosts. A Ravenloft supplement featuring a collection of ghostly NPC villains.
November – Dead Gods. A Planescape adventure featuring the return of classic D&D villain, Orcus.
November – Dragons of a New Age, Volume 2: Day of the Tempest. A Dragonlance novel set during the Fifth Age, in which new heroes try to find a way to defeat the powerful dragon overlords.
November – Elminster in Myth Drannor. A Forgotten Realms novel featuring the iconic character of Elminster as he studies magic in the elven land of Cormanthor and witnesses its transformation into Myth Drannor.
November – Four from Cormyr. An anthology of four adventures set in the forest kingdom of Cormyr.
November – Heroes of Defiance. A Dragonlance SAGA boxed set covering rogue type characters. It also contains an adventure, Storm Over Krynn, in which player characters discover the origin of the dragonspawn.
November – Lord of the Necropolis. A Ravenloft novel in which the lich, Azalin, attempts to escape the mists.
November – Lost Legends, Volume 1: Vinas Solamnus. A Dragonlance novel telling the story of the founder of the Knights of Solamnia.
November – Lost Legends, Volume 2: Fistandantilus Reborn. A Dragonlance novel about the legendary wizard Fistandantilus and his attempts to return to life through manipulating a young kender. Also ties in to the Lost Gods series of crossover novels.
November – Tales of Uncle Trapspringer. A Dragonlance novel about the legendary kender, “Uncle” Trapspringer.
November – The Book of Priestcraft. A Birthright supplement covering priests, their connections to the gods, and their connections to domain rulers.
December – Heroes of Sorcery. A Dragonlance boxed set detailing mage type characters and including an adventure, A Killing Frost.
December – Sea of Blood. Conclusion of a trilogy of adventures supporting The Sea Devils.
December – Prayers from the Faithful. A Forgotten Realms supplement covering the magic and spells of priest characters.
December – Realms of the Arcane. A Forgotten Realms anthology of short stories focusing on wizards and magic.
December – The Lost Gods, Volume 3: Tymora’s Luck. A Forgotten Realms novel in which characters from Finder’s Bane and Fistandantilus Reborn unite to prevent another reunification, that of the goddesses Tymora and Beshaba.
December – Tribes of the Heartless Wastes. A Birthright supplement detailing the lands of Vosgaard, the frozen north.
Unknown Month – The Star of Kolhapur. A RPGA adventure featuring Hindu mythology.
Friday, December 21, 2012, 2:07 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 23: 1996
Still attempting to find success in the collectible game market, TSR tried something new with a game called Dragon Dice, a collectible dice game built on the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons. TSR also spun off Dragonlance into its own game system, called Saga. Using cards instead of dice, the Saga game was more story focused, which suited the Dragonlance world, and was based on the post-Dragons of Summer Flame Fifth Age.
D&D based video games continued at a steady pace in 1996, including Deathkeep, a first person “shooter;” Dark Sun Online: Crimson Sands, an early attempt at a MMO; Blood & Magic, a Forgotten Realms based real-time strategy game; Birthright: The Gorgon’s Alliance, another real-time strategy game; and Shadow over Mystara, an arcade game and sequel to Tower of Doom.
By the end of 1996, disaster loomed on the horizon. TSR had overprinted many of their books and Dragon Dice boosters and nearly 1/3 of those printings were returned by book trade distributor Random House unsold. TSR laid off thirty people in December and fell behind on payments to freelancers and, most importantly, the logistics company that handled the printing of their products. Although D&D fans would not learn of TSR’s woes until the next year, behind the scenes, the end of D&D was a very real possibility. Salvation would come from an unlikely source.
Wizards of the Coast continued to expand the CCG market with games licensed from other companies’ games, including Netrunner (based on Cyperpunk 2020) and Battletech Collectible Card Game (based on Battletech). Wizards of the Coast also acquired the Origins game convention. Their phenomenal success would put them in a position in 1997 to become an unlikely savior, as we will see in the next installment.
1996 D&D Products
January – Forged of Darkness. A Ravenloft supplement detailing magic items in the Domains of Dread and the taint each carries.
January – Lost Histories, Volume 4: Land of the Minotaurs. A Dragonlance novel covering the history of the minotaurs, featuring Kaz, former companion of Huma.
January – The Blood Wars, Volume 1: Blood Hostages. A Planescape novel detailing the eternal war between baatezu and tanar’ri.
January – The Silver Key. A low level adventure in which player characters must rescue a town by infiltrating an orcish city disguised as orcs to recover a kidnapped important political figure and a magic item called the Silver Key.
January – The Wanderer’s Chronicle: Mind Lords of the Last Sea. A Dark Sun boxed set supplement detailing the Last Sea region.
January – Warriors and Priests of the Realms. A Forgotten Realms supplement with a cover similar to the “brown book” series of player supplements, providing Realms specific kits for warrior and priest characters.
February – The Quest Triad, Volume 3: Immortal Game. A First Quest young adult novel in which a young queen and a farmboy turned knight must destroy an artifact to save the world.
February – The Nobles, Volume 3: Escape from Undermountain. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a rogue must venture into the mega-dungeon underneath Waterdeep known as Undermountain to rescue a missing noble.
February – The Rod of Seven Parts. A hardcover novel involving a quest to reassemble the artifact known as the Rod of Seven Parts.
March – Bleak House: The Death of Rudolph Van Richten. A Ravenloft boxed set adventure which involves the player characters in a plot against the famous monster hunter.
March – Den of Thieves. A non-setting specific supplement that details thieves’ guild and provides a fully detailed example guild.
March – Faiths and Avatars. A Forgotten Realms supplement providing exhaustive detail on Faerun’s deities, including churches, religious practices, holidays, and a unique priest class for every god.
March – Greatheart. A Birthright novel in which a xenophobic elven nation is threatened by human expansion and an undead threat.
March – King of the Dead. A Ravenloft novel that tells the tale of the one of Ravenloft’s most powerful dark lords, the lich Azalin.
March – Murder in Cormyr. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a retired wizard must investigate a murder.
March – Player’s Secrets of Binsada. A Birthright player supplement detailing a domain of honorable family lines beset by monsters.
March – Realms of the Underdark. A Forgotten Realms anthology of short stories set in the Underdark.
March – Something Wild. A Planescape adventure in which player characters must uncover why dreams are driving residents of Sigil to madness and savagery.
March – The Book of Magecraft. A Birthright supplement covering magic and wizards, including war magic.
March – The Harpers, Volume 12: The Veiled Dragon. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a harper agent infiltrates the court of the Shou in Kara-Tur to uncover a conspiracy involving the Cult of the Dragon.
March – The Sword of Roele. A Birthright adventure in which player characters must choose sides in a complex border dispute.
March – The Warriors, Volume 4: Theros Ironfeld. A Dragonlance novel describing the early life of the blacksmith who would end up forging new dragonlances during the War of the Lance.
April – A Player’s Guide to the Living City Campaign. A RPGA exclusive guide to Raven’s Bluff in the Forgotten Realms.
April – Chronicles of Athas, Volume 5: The Rise and Fall of a Dragon King. A Dark Sun novel in which the sorcerer-king of Urik attempts to become a dragon.
April – Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium Appendices I & II. A compilation of the first two Ravenloft monster supplements.
April – Tangled Webs. A Forgotten Realms novel continuing the adventures of rogue drow, Liriel Baenre as she and her human companion wander the surface world.
April – The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier. A Forgotten Realms boxed set detailing the Savage Frontier.
April – Treasure Tales. A collection of 16 short adventures involving treasure hoards.
April – Uncaged: Faces of Sigil. A collection of NPCs for the Planescape setting.
May – Player’s Option: Spells & Magic. Third hardcover rules supplement in the Player’s Option series, detailing new optional rules for spellcasting.
May – The Dragons at War. A Dragonlance anthology of short stories about dragons.
May – The Harpers, Volume 13: Silver Shadows. Arilyn Moonblade, main character of Elfsong and Elfshadow, returns to save a band of wild elves.
May – The Netheril Trilogy, Volume 1: Sword Play. A novel set in the Arcane Age era of the Forgotten Realms, thousands of years before the present time.
May – The Vilhon Reach. A Forgotten Realms regional supplement detailing the jungles of the Vilhon Reach.
May – Undermountain: The Lost Level. A Forgotten Realms boxed set adventure further exploring the mega-dungeon underneath Waterdeep.
May – War. A Birthright novel in which a conflict erupt over the succession to the throne of Anuire.
June – Murder in Tarsis. A Forgotten Realms novel in which the Lord of Tarsis enlists some unusual investigators to solve the murder of a political figure.
June – Death Unchained. A Ravenloft adventure and the beginning of a trilogy called the Grim Harvest. Player Characters find themselves in Falkovnia, struggling against a cult known as the Ebon Fold.
June – Defilers and Preservers: The Wizards of Athas. A Dark Sun covering wizards, magic, and spells in Athas.
June – The Lost Histories, Volume 5: The Gully Dwarves. A Dragonlance novel telling a story of the Gully Dwarves shortly after the War of the Lance.
June – Monstrous Arcana: I, Tyrant. First of a series of supplements providing exhaustive detail on a particular monster. I, Tyrant covers beholders, their culture, variations, anatomy, and a host of other details.
June – Eye of Pain. First in a trilogy of adventures featuring beholders and tied to the I, Tyrant supplement.
June – Player’s Secrets of Baruk-Azhik. A Birthright player supplement providing details on a dwarven domain.
June – Player’s Secrets of Halskapa. A Birthright supplement detailing a civil war-torn Norse inspired domain.
June – The Blood Wars, Volume 2: Abyssal Warriors. A Planescape novel in which the protagonists of the first book, Blood Hostages, find themselves on opposite sides of the Blood War, which has come to Sigil, City of Doors.
June – The Hag’s Contract. A Birthright novel in which a pirate king makes a deal with a hag to save his kingdom from orogs and goblins.
June – The Rjurik Highlands. A Birthright boxed set describing the wild northwestern region of Cerilia.
June – Volo’s Guide to the Dalelands. A Forgotten Realms “travel guide” to the Dales region.
July – A Hero’s Tale. A collection of nine short adventures.
July – Cormyr: A Novel. A Forgotten Realms novel by Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb covering the forest kingdom’s history in some detail.
July – Death Ascendant. A Ravenloft adventure and second in the Grim Harvest trilogy, in which player characters track the Ebon Fold to Darkon.
July – Fritz Lieber’s Lankhmar: The New Adventuers of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. A new boxed set detailing Lankhmar, featuring a stand-alone version of the AD&D 2nd Edition rules, streamlined for the Lankhmar setting.
July – Hellbound: The Blood War. A Planescape boxed set detailing the Blood War and providing several adventure scenarios to get player characters involved in the war.
July – Heroes’ Lorebook. An updated and revised version of the Forgotten Realms supplement, Hall of Heroes, providing AD&D 2nd Edition stats and background for 60 characters from the various novels set in the Realms.
July – Passage to Dawn. A Forgotten Realms Drizzt novel in which Drizzt and Catti-Brie must once again confront the demon Errtu.
July – Sages and Specialists. A “blue book” DM supplement, providing full NPC classes for ten different types of specialists, such as apothecaries and seers.
July – The Nobles, Volume 4: The Mage in the Iron Mask. A Forgotten Realms novel in which Volo, of Volo’s Guide, visits Mulmaster to pen another travel guide but instead becomes embroiled in the nation’s politics.
July – The Warriors, Volume 5: Knights of the Rose. A Dragonlance novel continuing the story of reluctant knight, Sir Pirvan as he ascends to the highest order of the Knights of Solamnia.
August – A Guide to Transylvania. A Ravenloft Masque of the Red Death supplement providing details on the home of Dracula.
August – AD&D 2nd Edition Core Rules CD-ROM. A software package on CD including the complete texts of nine AD&D 2nd Edition rulebooks, a character generator, mapmaker, dice roller, and random treasure encounter generators.
August – Dragonmage of Mystara. Final book in a the Dragonlord trilogy set on Mystara.
August – Naval Battle System: The Seas of Cerilia. A Birthright boxed set expanding the large scale battle rules of Birthright into naval battles and providing sample navies for several of Birthright’s nations.
August – The Black Vessel. A Mystara novel set in the Savage Baronies in which the discovery of a cursed statue leads to intrigue.
August – The Rod of Seven Parts. A boxed set adventure involving the eponymous artifact.
August – Undermountain: Maddgoth’s Castle. A Forgotten Realms adventure that once again sends player characters in the mega-dungeon beneath Waterdeep.
September – Dragonlance: Fifth Age Dramatic Adventure Game. A new roleplaying game boxed set that used cards instead of dice, set in the Fifth Age, also known as the Age of Mortals, of the Dragonlance world, 30 years after the events of Dragons of Summer Flame. The game system was called the Saga system and would also be used for TSR’s final Marvel RPG.
September – Dragons of a New Age, Volume 1: Dawning of a New Age. First in a new trilogy of Dragonlance novels set during the Fifth Age.
September – Legends of the Hero-Kings. A Birthright adventure supplement providing 11 scenarios in which player characters have the opportunity to perform truly legendary feats in the eyes of the domains.
September – Eye of Doom. Second in a trilogy of adventures based on the material found in I, Tyrant.
September – Pages of Pain. A Planescape novel telling the story of the enigmatic protector of Sigil, the Lady of Pain.
September – Player’s Secrets of Khourane. A Birthrigh player’s supplement detailing a heavily contested domain.
September – Psionic Artifacts of Athas. A Dark Sun supplement detailing various psionic items.
September – Requiem: The Grim Harvest. A Ravenloft boxed set that includes rules for playing various types of undead, details on a new domain – Necropolis, and the conclusion of the Grim Harvest trilogy of adventures, Death Triumphant, in which the player characters find themselves in the middle of a plot by Azalin to escape Ravenloft and must confront an entity known as Death.
September – The Planewalker’s Handbook. A Planescape supplement providing a wealth of new player character options, new rules for affecting the planes via belief, and a player’s overview of the planes.
September – The Spider’s Test. A Birthright novel in which a ruler must confront an abomination known as the Spider.
September – To Sleep with Evil. A Ravenloft novel in which a young woman finds herself married to a dark lord
September – Volo’s Guide to All Things Magical. A Forgotten Realms supplement “written” by Volo, providing a guide to magic item creation.
October – Lost Histories, Volume 6: The Dragons. A Dragonlance novel exploring the history and ancient wars of the dragons of Krynn.
October – Murder in Halruaa. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a rogue is mistaken for a wizard who is the target of assassins.
October – Netheril: Empire of Magic. A Forgotten Realms boxed set detailing an ancient empire 5,000 years in Faerun’s past, part of the Arcane Age line of products.
October – On Hallowed Ground. A Planescape supplement providing details on the most powerful inhabitants of the planes, deities, and their domains, covering 20 different pantheons.
October – The Gates of Firestorm Peak. An adventure module supporting the Player’s Option line of rulebooks. Notable for introducing the Far Realm into D&D’s cosmology.
October – The Harpers, Volume 14: Stormlight. A Forgotten Relams novel in which Storm Silverhand must investigate strange magic that is killing harpers and nobles of Cormyr.
October – Wizard’s Spell Compendium, Volume One. First in a four volume set compiling all the wizard spells published in D&D to date.
October – World Builder’s Guidebook. A sourcebook providing a step by step guide to creating a full campaign setting from scratch. Includes a packet of blank hex grids of various styles and sizes for mapping your world.
November – A Guide to the Astral Plane. A Planescape supplement providing details and adventure hooks for the “in between” plane.
November – The Doom Brigade. A Dragonlance novel featuring draconians as main characters and the potential perpetuation of their kind as a true race with the introduction of females.
November – Children of the Night: Vampires. A Ravenloft supplement containing full stats and background information on 13 powerful vampire NPCs.
November – Heroes of Steel. A Dragonlance: Fifth Age supplement providing new options for warrior characters in the Saga system. Also includes an adventure that is the first in a series placing player characters at the center of a new epic story, similar to the War of the Lance.
November – How the Mighty are Fallen. A Forgotten Realms Arcane Age adventure in which player characters are involved in the epic events surrounding the fall of Netheril, including the awakening of the Tarrasque.
November – Monstrous Compendium Annual, Volume Three. Third in the series of annual monster supplements containing monsters from adventures and Dragon magazine from the previous year.
November – The Netheril Trilogy, Volume 2: Dangerous Games. Second Forgotten Realms novel set in the Arcane Age era, 5000 years prior to the present day of Faerun.
December – The Complete Start Set. A repackaging of the First Quest starter set, with the addition of the Forgotten Realms Book of Lairs supplement.
December – Doors to the Unknown. A Planescape collection of four inter-related adventures.
December – Havens of the Great Bay. A Birthright boxed set detailing the coastal areas and nations.
December – Eye to Eye. Third adventure in a trilogy supporting the I, Tyrant supplement, focused on Beholders.
December – Player’s Secrets of Stjordvik. A Birthright player supplement detailing a politically fragmented warrior domain.
December – Player’s Secrets of Tuarhievel. A Birthright player supplement detailing an elven domain.
Friday, December 14, 2012, 3:15 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 22: 1995
Much as 1st Edition did before it, 2nd Edition rereleased the core rulebooks with minor revisions and new cover art in 1995, then followed those with a new range of options, creating a sort of “.5” edition. Unlike 1st Edition’s Unearthed Arcana, 2nd Edition’s new rules and options were spread over four books, the first three of which, Player’s Option: Combat & Tactics, Player’s Option: Skills & Powers, and Dungeon Master Option: High Level Campaigns, were released in 1995.
The new campaign settings for 1995 were a revised and expanded Dark Sun, taking into account the events of the Prism Pentad novels, and the Birthright Campaign Setting. Birthright allowed player characters to assume the mantle of regent with access to divinely powered bloodlines.
1995 saw only one D&D based video game released, Ravenloft: Stone Prophet. A sequel to Strahd’s Possession, Stone Prophet took characters from the Forgotten Realms nation of El-Turel into the domain of Har’Akir, a vaguely Egyptian based land ruled by the mummy, Ankhtepot.
Magic: The Gathering continued to take the gaming world by storm, so much so that Wizards of the Coast initially struggled to keep up with its own success. Their last major roleplaying game effort was a game called Everway by Jonathan Tweet. In December of 1995, Wizards of the Coast announced that they were dropping their roleplaying lines entirely to focus on Magic: The Gathering and other collectible card games, including Vampire: The Eternal Struggle based on and licensed from White Wolf’s Vampire: The Masquerade. Their withdrawal from the RPG market would be surprisingly short-lived, however, though their re-entry would come in a way no one saw coming, as we will see in a later installment.
1995 D&D Products
January – Dungeon Master’s Survival Kit. A collection of handouts, charts, and other DM resources specifically tailored to the Mystara setting.
January – The Lost Histories, Volume 1: The Kagonesti. A Dragonlance novel chronicling the history of Krynn’s wild elves.
January – Player’s Survival Kit. Similar to the Dungeon Master’s Survival Kit, but with lists of names, heraldry, and other Mystara specific player oriented resources.
January – The Complete Barbarian’s Handbook. 14th volume of the “brown book” series of player supplements, this book differs from its predecessors in that it introduces a full class, the Barbarian, updated from its original appearance in the 1st Edition Unearthed Arcana.
January – The Moonsea. A Forgotten Realms supplement detailing the Moonsea region, including new information on Zhentil Keep.
January – The Twilight Giants, Volume 2: The Giant Among Us. Second book in a Forgotten Realms trilogy focusing on giants.
February – The Chronicles of Athas, Volume 2: The Darkness Before the Dawn. Second book in a series of Dark Sun books. The two main characters seek to harness their psionic abilities but are forced to face one another in the gladiator pits instead.
February – Cutthroats of Lankhmar. A Lankhmar supplement focusing on the southwestern area of the city and the underhanded businesses and merchants that operate there.
February – Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium Appendix II: Terrors Beyond Tyr. A second collection of monsters specific to the Dark Sun world.
February – First Quest: Rogues to Riches. Set in Mystara, this is the first in a short series of young adult novels produced in the First Quest line.
February – First Quest: The Unicorn Hunt. Another young adult novel set in Mystara, in which a young man and his father seek out a unicorn in the hopes of curing the boy’s mother of a terrible illness.
February – Planes of Law. A Planescape boxed set providing details for the lawfully aligned planes, Acheron, Arcadia, Baator, Mechanus, and Mount Celestia.
February – When Black Roses Bloom. In this Ravenloft adventure, player characters must explore the dark memories of Lord Soth, death knight of the Dragonlance setting, in order to save his domain of Sithicus and themselves.
March – Baroness of Blood. A Ravenloft novel in which a young woman plots revenge after the execution of her tyrannical father.
March – Elminster’s Ecologies Appendix I: The Battle of Bones/Hill of Lost Souls. Supplementing the Elminster’s Ecologies boxed set for the Forgotten Realms, this product explores two new areas not covered in the previous work.
March – Encyclopedia Magica, Volume II. Second in a four volume collector’s set reprinting every magic item in the D&D game up until that point. This volume covers D through P.
March – Fires of Dis. A Planescape adventure in which player characters must track down a lost magical sword in the second layer of Baator.
March – Glantri: Kingdom of Magic. A Mystara boxed set bringing the wizard ruled realm of Glantri into AD&D 2nd Edition. Includes an audio CD.
March – Ivid: The Undying. A Greyhawk supplement on the Great Kingdom after the Greyhawk Wars that was completed but never published in print, not becoming available until later as a downloadable RTF on the Wizards of the Coast website.
March – Once Around the Realms. A Forgotten Realms novel in which Volo (of Volo’s Guides) accepts a dare to circumnavigate the globe without the use of magic.
March – Ruins of Zhentil Keep. A Forgotten Realms boxed set detailing both the pre-Time of Troubles keep in its heyday and the ruined modern keep in the current era of the Realms.
March – The Complete Book of Necromancers. A “blue book” DM supplement providing copious details on wizardly and priestly necromancers, kits, spells, and an island setting.
March – The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga. A non-setting specific adventure module in which player characters explore the infamous chicken-legged hut of the monstrous crone, Baba Yaga.
March – The Shadow of the Avatar, Volume 1: Shadows of Doom. A Forgotten Realms novel by Ed Greenwood, revisiting the Time of Troubles from the perspective of Elminster.
March – Thri-Kreen of Athas. A Dark Sun supplement providing details on the mantis-like thri-kreen.
March – Warriors, Volume 1: Knights of the Crown. A Dragonlance novel telling the story of one young man’s unlikely path to becoming a Knight of Solamnia.
April – Dungeon Master’s Guide (Revised). A slightly revised and updated AD&D 2nd Edition DMG with a black binding, new cover art, and a redesigned logo.
April – The Seven Sisters. A Forgotten Realms supplement providing background, game stats, and other details on the characters known as the Seven Sisters, all chosen of Mystra; Sylune, a ghostly witch that haunts Shadowdale; Alustriel Silverhand, ruler over Silverymoon; Dove Falconhand, a ranger and member of the adventuring group known as the Knights of Myth Drannor; Storm Silverhand, bard, Harper, and self-appointed protector of Shadowdale; Laeral Silverhand Arunsun, wife of Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun and resident of Waterdeep; The Simbul, ruler of Aglarond; and Quilue Veladorn, a drow and priestess of Eilistraee.
April – Introduction to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. A new introductory boxed set, with an audio CD designed to help guide players through their first adventure.
April – Player’s Handbook (Revised). A revision of the 2nd Edition PHB, with a new, black cover design and new cover art.
April – Savage Baronies. A boxed set for the Red Steel sub-setting of Mystara.
April – The Nobles, Volume 1: King Pinch. A Forgotten Realms novel in which a scoundrel and thief named Pinch becomes heir to a throne.
April – Van Richten’s Guide to Fiends. A Ravenloft supplement detailing fiends and the strange effects they have on the demiplane of dread when they become trapped there.
May – A Light in the Belfry. A Ravenloft boxed set adventure in which player characters must track down a necromancer responsible of the destruction of a circle of paladins. Includes an audio CD that provides sound effects, music, and dialogue.
May – A Player’s Primer to the Outlands. A Planescape boxed set providing a tour of the Outlands. Includes an Audio CD that features the voice of the Mimir, an artifact that acts as a sort of oracle, answering questions posed to it.
May – Chronicles of Athas, Volume 3: The Broken Blade. A Dark Sun novel featuring the hero from the Tribe of One trilogy.
May – Circle of Darkness. A Ravenloft adventure in which player characters are caught in the power struggles between an insane high priest and a cult that seeks to replace him with the deity he worships.
May – Encyclopedia Magica, Volume III. Third in a series of collector’s edition volume containing every magic item printed in D&D to date. This volume includes items from P through T.
May – First Quest: Son of Dawn. A novel for young adult readers set in Mystara in which a young man from the Isle of Dawn attempts to return two Shadow Elf noble children home in order to prevent a war.
May – The Quest Triad, Volume 1: Pawns Prevail. First novel in a First Quest trilogy for young adult readers, set in Mystara.
May – Shadow of the Avatar, Volume 2: Cloak of Shadows. Second Forgotten Realms novel by Ed Greenwood covering what Elminster was up to during the Time of Troubles. In this volume, he takes on an insidious threat from the plane of shadows.
May – The Sword of the Dales. A Forgotten Realms adventure in which the player characters must rescue the rightful ruler of Daggerdale, Randal Morn, who disappeared while attempting to recover the Sword of the Dales.
June – Beyond the Prism Pentad. A Dark Sun supplement summarizing the events of the Prism Pentad series of novels and their effects on the setting.
June – Castle Sites. Floor plans, adventure suggestions, and stats for the inhabitants of seven fantastical castles.
June – Chilling Tales. An anthology of eight short Ravenloft adventures featuring the monster hunter, Rudolph Van Richten.
June – Death of a Darklord. A Ravenloft novel by Laurell K. Hamilton, who would go on to write the Anita Blake series of novels.
June – In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil. A Planescape accessory detailing the City of Doors, also known as The Cage, also known as Sigil.
June – The Lost Histories, Volume 2: The Irda. A Dragonlance novel covering the secret history of Krynn’s “noble” ogres.
June – Mark of Amber. A Mystara boxed set adventure and sequel to Castle Amber in which player characters must track down a killer who is murdering the d’Amberville family one by one. Includes an audio CD with sound effects, music, and dialogue.
June – Player’s Option: Combat and Tactics. A hardcover volume with the same cover design as the revised core rulebooks, Combat and Tactics provides a plethora of new combat options, including an expansion of the base combat system designed for use with a battle grid and minis, a series of critical hit tables, and new rules for siege warfare.
June – Spellbound. A Forgotten Realms boxed covering the region known as the Unapproachable East, including the nations of Thay, Aglarond, and Rashemen.
June – The History of Dragonlance. Much like Leaves from the Inn of the Last Home, this is a sort of “in universe” supplement with no game mechanics, including poetry, songs, recipes, and other bits of unique lore from the Dragonlance setting.
June- Thief’s Challenge II: Beacon Point. A solo adventure for a thief character in which the ship the character stows away on is attacked by pirates.
July – Birthright Campaign Setting. A new setting for AD&D 2nd Edition in which player characters have the potential to become rulers of domains via divine bloodlines. The boxed set includes extensive rules on domain management, large scale warfare, and details on the continent of Cerilia.
July – Blood Enemies: Abominations of Cerilia. A Birthright supplement that provides details on the monstrous domain rulers known as Abominations.
July – Chronicles of Athas, Volume 4: Cinnabar Shadows. A Dark Sun novel in which a young outcast becomes the pawn of the Sorcerer-King of the city-state of Urik.
July – Dragonking of Mystara. Second book in the Dragonlord Chronicles in which an uneasy peace between dragons is threatened.
July – Labyrinth of Madness. A non-setting specific adventure module in which player characters must enter a legendary maze to find a means of lifting a temple’s curse.
July – Player’s Secrets of Endier. First in a series of player supplements for the Birthright setting detailing a pregenerated domain for the player character to rule.
July – Player’s Secrets of Roesone. A Birthright player supplement detailing the border domain of Roesone.
July – The Factol’s Manifesto. A Planescape supplement detailing the 15 factions that provide most of the conflict in the setting.
July – The Harpers, Volume 10: Masquerades. A Forgotten Realms novel featuring the characters from the Finder’s Stone trilogy as they face the mysterious and deadly Night Masks criminal organization.
July – The Secret of Spiderhaunt. A Forgotten Realms adventure and sequel to Sword of the Dales in which player characters, having found the Sword but not Randal Morn, seek out the wayward ruler of Daggerdale in Spiderhaunt.
July – Van Richten’s Guide to the Vistani. A Ravenloft supplement detailing the gypsy-like Vistani, nomads who wander freely through the mists.
July – Volo’s Guide to Cormyr. A Forgotten Realms “travel guide” to the forest nation of Cormyr.
July – Warriors, Volume 2: Maquesta Kar-Thon. A Dragonlance novel detailing the early exploits of the captain of the Perechon, the ship that bore the Heroes of the Lance across the Blood Sea of Istar.
August – Avengers in Lankhmar. A Lankhmar adventure in which player characters pursue a murderer for a rich reward.
August – Chronomancer. A supplement exploring time magic and providing a variant wizard class, the Chronomancer, as well as introducing the Demiplane of Time.
August – Defenders of Magic, Volume 3: The Seventh Sentinel. A Dragonlance novel in which heroes make an alliance with fey in order to stop a former friend from destroying magic.
August – Dungeon Master Option: High Level Campaigns. A hardcover volume with similar cover design to the revised core books, exploring character levels beyond 20th. Includes rules for powerful spells called True Dweomers, magical duels, and magic item creation.
August – Giantcraft. A Forgotten Realms supplement detailing giants and tying in to the Twilight Giants series of novels.
August – Harbinger House. A Planescape adventure which involves the player characters in the plots of a succubus attempting to become a deity.
August – Player’s Secrets of Medoere. A domain guide for players taking on the mantle of regent of a theocratic domain in the Birthright setting.
August – Quest Triad, Volume 2: Suitors Duel. A Mystara First Quest novel in which a farmboy is hired to guide suitors competing for a princess’ hand in marriage in a quest to find a goat that gives wine instead of milk.
August – Daughter of the Drow. A Forgotten Realms novel by Elaine Cunningham telling the story of a drow named Liriel Baenre.
August – The Complete Ninja’s Handbook. The last of the “brown book” series of player supplements, this one bringing the ninja class from Oriental Adventures into 2nd Edition as well as providing kits, gear, and other character options.
August – The Evil Eye. A Ravenloft adventure set in the domain of Invidia and featuring the Vistani prominently.
September – Elminster’s Ecologies Appendix II: The High Moor/The Serpent Hills. A Forgotten Realms supplement “written” by Elminster, providing details of two separate regions.
September – Player’s Option: Skills and Powers. A hardcover volume with the same cover style as the revised core books, this entry in the Player’s Option series provides a point-based character creation system allowing for the customization of ability scores, race, class, and proficiencies. It also presents five new schools of magic and an alternate system for psionics.
September – Player’s Secrets of Tuornen. A Birthright player supplement for the treacherous domain of Tuornen.
September – Sword and Crown. A Birthright adventure in which a celebration held every five years is held in the player characters’ domain, but complicated by the kidnapping of a princess.
September – The Iron Throne. A Birthright novel telling the tale of the heir to the throne of the Empire of Anuirean.
September – The Nobles, Volume 2: War in Tethyr. A Forgotten Realms novel set during a war in the nation of Tethyr.
September – The Return of Randal Morn. Conclusion of a trilogy of Forgotten Realms adventures that began with Sword of the Dales in which the player characters, armed with the Sword, must rescue Randal Morn from the Zhentarim.
September – Shadow of the Avatar, Volume 3: All Shadows Fled. A Forgotten Realms novel in which Elminster fends off an invasion by the Shadowmasters as the Time of Troubles draws to a close.
September – The Twilight Giants, Volume 3: The Titan of Twilight. A Forgotten Realms novel in which an imprisoned titan is freed by the birth of a new king.
October – Country Sites. A non-setting specific supplement providing 11 potential adventure sites.
October – Dark Knight of Karameikos. A Mystara novel in which a falsely imprisoned knight and a lowly thief must defeat the dreaded Dark Knight.
October – Dark Sun Campaign Setting: Expanded and Revised. A boxed set that advances the Dark Sun setting by 10 years, taking into account events from the Prism Pentad series of novels.
October – Dungeon Master Screen and Master Index. A new DM screen product, also containing an index to the core rulebooks and the Options series of hardcover books.
October – The Lost Histories, Volume 3: The Dargonesti. A Dragonlance novel exploring the history of Krynn’s sea elves.
October – Pages from the Mages. A Forgotten Realms supplement covering spells and spellcasters in Faerun.
October – Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II. Another collection of planar monsters for the Planescape setting. It also introduces the aasimar as a player character race.
October – Player’s Secrets of Ilien. A Birthright player supplement for a magically inclined domain.
October – The Nightmare Lands. A Ravenloft boxed detailing a dream and nightmare based domain.
October – Warriors, Volume 3: Knights of the Sword. A Dragonlance novel exploring the second tier of the Knights of Solamnia.
November – Dragons of Summer Flame. A Dragonlance novel that chronicles the Summer of Chaos, a second cataclysm in which the entity known as Chaos causes widespread destruction while the offspring of the Heroes of the Lance introduced in the Second Generation short stories attempt to stop it or at least survive it. The novel seems to effectively end the Dragonlance world, though TSR would instead use it as a launching point for the Fifth Age, an entirely new RPG set in the post Summer of Chaos Dragonlance world.
November – Encyclopedia Magica, Volume IV. The final collector’s edition faux leather bound volume containing every magic item in the D&D game up until this point. This volume covers s – z and includes an index and a series of tables for random treasure determination.
November – First Quest: The Summerhill Hounds. A First Quest Mystara novel for young adults in which the dogs of a keep must rescue their masters from a band of ogres.
November – Joshuan’s Almanac and Book of Facts. Fourth in the Mystara almanac series, covering the year 1013, with a revised, more “in character” format. This would also be the last roleplaying game supplement for the Mystara setting.
November – Night Below. A boxed set providing a full campaign set in the underdark.
November – Shaman. A supplement providing three shamanic based spellcasting classes, as well as details on the spirits they interact with.
November – The Gothic Earth Gazetteer. A supplement for Ravenloft: Masque of the Red Death, providing an overview of Victorian era Earth from the years 1890 to 1899, as well as stats and background for major NPCs, most based on major historical or fictional characters.
November – The Harpers, Volume 11: Curse of the Shadowmage. A Forgotten Realms novel and sequel to Crypt of the Shadowking.
November – Wizards and Rogues of the Realms. A Forgotten Realms supplement with a cover style similar to the “brown book” series of player supplements, providing kits specific to the Realms for Wizard and Rogue characters.
December – Cities of the Sun. A boxed set Birthright supplement detailing the coastal Khinasi region.
December – Cleric’s Challenge II. A solo adventure for a single cleric player character, who must deal with corruption in a town who’s temple burned down ten years ago.
December – Monstrous Compendium Annual, Volume Two. A collection of monsters from Dragon Magazine and other sources from 1994.
December – Neither Man Nor Beast. A Ravenloft adventure based on the Island of Dr. Moreau.
December – Planes of Conflict. A Planescape boxed set detailing the “neutral” planes, both good and evil; the Beastlands, Bytopia, Elysium, Carceri, Gehenna, and the Gray Waste.
December – Player’s Secrets of Ariya. A Birthright player supplement detailing the ancient and enlightened domain of Ariya.
December – Player’s Secrets of Talinie. A Birthright player supplement detailing the pastoral but dangerous domain of Talinie.
December – Realms of Magic. A Forgotten Realms anthology featuring short stories focused on magic and magic users.
December – Scholar of Decay. A Ravenloft novel in which a man travels to the wererat infested land of Richemulot to find a cure for his petrified wife.
December – The Wanderer’s Chronicle: Windriders of the Jagged Cliffs. A Dark Sun supplement detailing the Jagged Cliffs region.
December – Warlock of the Stonecrowns. A Birthright adventure in which player characters must thwart an evil warlock who is draining the magic of regents.
Thursday, December 6, 2012, 3:19 PM
A History of Dungeons & Dragons
Part 21: 1994
1994 saw RPG companies scrambling to meet the competition offered by Wizards of the Coast and their new collectible trading card game model. TSR’s initial foray into this arena was Spellfire: Master the Magic. The game featured art and characters from many of D&D’s well known worlds, including the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Dark Sun, and others. Spellfire never reached Magic: The Gathering’s level of success and, by 2000, had been turned over to the fans.
The Letter/Number code that most non-hardcover, non-boxed set products had carried since D&D’s beginnings was officially retired in 1994. Several series that had carried the codes continued on without them, resulting in, for example, PHBR11: The Complete Ranger’s Handbook being followed by The Complete Paladin’s Handbook (without the code).
The cycle of new campaign settings started back up again after a lull the previous year. Planescape took the “Great Wheel” of the outer planes, introduced in the 1st Edition Manual of the Planes, and turned it into a full-fledged setting. The core of the setting was the city of Sigil, a ring situated at the top of a spire in the Outlands. Sigil had a unique aesthetic with a culture modeled loosely on Victorian London, a slang “cant” that influenced all of the “in character” material of the Planescape line, and a truly exotic mix of sentient beings wandering its streets. Like Dark Sun’s relationship with Brom, artist Tony DiTerlizzi provided the visual identity of the setting.
Also in 1994 came a revision of the Ravenloft Campaign Setting, a spinoff of Ravenloft called Masque of the Red Death set in a gothic 1890s Earth, and a stand-alone boxed set, Council of Wyrms, that provided rules for playing the game’s most iconic monsters, dragons, with a setting designed specifically for dragon-based campaigns.
1994 D&D video games included Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager, Slayer, Ravenloft: Strahd’s Possession, Al-Qadim: The Genie’s Curse, and Menzoberranzan (based partially on R.A. Salvatore’s novels).
Meanwhile, Wizards of the Coast experienced massive success with Magic: The Gathering and began funneling much of their creative and financial resources into it. Their RPG lines, which now included Ars Magicka, began to suffer. This would result, ironically, in a decision to drop RPGs from their game lines entirely in the next year, as we will see in the next installment.
1994 D&D Products
January – Cormyr. A Forgotten Realms supplement detailing the kingdom of Cormyr.
January – Deck of Encounters, Set One. An encounter building resource in card form.
January – DLT2: Book of Lairs. A Dragonlance adventure featuring several short adventures based around monster lairs.
January – The Dwarven Nations Trilogy, Volume 3: The Swordsheath Scroll. Third Dragonlance novel covering the history of the dwarven peoples of Krynn.
January – The Harpers, Volume 8: Elfsong. A Forgotten Realms novel by Elaine Cunningham and sequel to Elfshadow, in which the memories of bards are being magically manipulated, thus changing their stories and songs and rewriting history.
January – Van Richten’s Guide to the Created. A Ravenloft supplement that takes a look at golems, with a particular focus on flesh golems.
January – Dragonlance Villains, Volume 4: Hederick, The Theocrat. A Dragonlance novel telling the story of one of the primary leaders of the Seeker movement just prior to the War of the Lance.
February – Black Spine. A Dark Sun adventure in which player characters must stop an invasion from another plane of existence.
February – Ruined Kingdoms. An Al-Qadim boxed set detailing several ruins and their inhabitants.
February – The Enemy Within. A Ravenloft novel that explores the dual nature of a darklord inspired by the story of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde.
February – The Ruins of Undermountain II: The Deep Levels. A Forgotten Realms boxed set adventure that explores more of the labyrinthine dungeon beneath the city of Waterdeep.
February – The Second Generation. An anthology of Dragonlance short stories, all by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, about the children of the Heroes of the Lance. Most of the stories previously appeared in the Dragonlance Tales anthologies.
February – Treasure Chest. An anthology of 16 non-world specific adventures, most based around treasure hunts of various sorts.
March – Adam’s Wrath. A Ravenloft adventure in which player characters are shipwrecked in the domain of Lamordia and must face the flesh golem known as Adam and his mysterious creator.
March – Age of Heroes Campaign Sourcebook. A historical reference accessory in the “green book” series (previous titles had the “HR” code) detailing ancient Greece in AD&D 2nd Edition terms.
March – Fighter’s Challenge II. An adventure for a single fighter player character in which the PC must brave a haunted forest and deal with intrigues and discord in the throne room of a dying kingdom.
March – Elves of Evermeet. A Forgotten Realms sourcebook detailing the elven homeland of Evermeet.
March – The Dragons of Krynn. A Dragonlance anthology of short stories focused on the setting’s dragons.
March – The Harpers, Volume 9: Crown of Fire. A Forgotten Realms novel by Ed Greenwood, continuing the story of Shandril from the novel, Spellfire.
April – Defenders of Magic, Volume 1: Night of the Eye. A Dragonlance novel set during the rare convergence of all three of Krynn’s moons.
April – First Quest. A new introductory product for AD&D 2nd Edition, which included an audio CD to augment the adventure.
April – Forest Maker. A Dark Sun adventure in which player characters investigate rumors of a magical forest in the middle of a desert wasteland.
April – Planescape Campaign Setting. A boxed set that took the material from the 1st Edition Manual of the Planes and expanded it into a full campaign setting, accessible from 1st level on. A central element of the setting was the factions, based around the various alignments and outer planes, often described as “philosophers with clubs.” Central to the setting is the city of Sigil, the City of Doors, with portals leading to most of the other planes of existence.
April – The Complete Book of Villains. A “blue book” supplement for DMs (previous books in the series bore the DMGR code) that provides a guide to creating in-depth and detailed villains.
April – The Complete Sha’ir’s Handbook. An Al-Qadim supplement similar in scope and purpose to the “brown book” player supplements, providing options for the Sha’ir Wizard class.
April – Tribe of One, Volume 2: The Seeker. Second in a trilogy of Dark Sun novels focusing on a character with multiple personalities.
May – Council of Wyrms. A boxed set providing rules for playing dragons. The set also includes a full setting, the Io’s Blood Islands, ruled by a draconic council. Elves, dwarves, and gnomes have symbiotic relationships with the dragons and a player character dragon may have a secondary character of one of these races (almost like a familiar). Humans in this setting are the villains, feared as dragon slayers from another continent across the ocean. 15 dragon types are presented (metallic, chromatic, and gem dragons, five of each type) with four class options (standard dragon, dragon wizard, dragon priest, and dragon psionicist).
May – Marco Volo: Departure. A Forgotten Realms adventure in which player characters get caught up in the misadventures and misdeeds of a rogue named Marco Volo (sometimes confused with the Volo of Volo’s Guides…which is intentional on the part of Marco).
May – Mordenheim. Inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this Ravenloft novel expores the story of mad scientist Victor Mordenheim, who creates a monster in his quest to find a way to revive his dead wife.
May – Ravenloft Campaign Setting. A revision and expansion of the first Ravenloft boxed set, including details of how the domains of dread have changed after the Grand Conjunction.
May – Temple, Tower, and Tomb. A non-setting specific adventure in which the player character are sent after three artifacts to save a kingdom on the brink of war.
May – The Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game. A slightly revised and repackaged version of the “black box” introductory set for the BECMI version of D&D. It would also be the final BECMI D&D product.
May – The Complete Paladin’s Handbook. A “brown book” player’s supplement in what was the PHBR line, providing kits and other character options for paladins.
June – Cities of Bone. An Al-Qadim boxed set describing three ruined cities rumored to hold fabled treasures.
June – Deck of Encounters, Set Two. A second card-based resource for encounter building.
June – Fighter’s Screen. A cardboard screen similar to a DM’s screen with charts and tables useful for fighter characters.
June – Priest’s Screen – Similar to the Fighter’s Screen but with charts and tables useful for priest characters.
June – The Cleric Quintet, Volume 5: The Chaos Curse. Final book in the saga of the cleric Cadderly by R.A. Salvatore in which Cadderly returns home, only to face one final challenge.
June – The Eternal Boundary. A Planescape adventure in which player characters investigate why dead souls have been returning to Sigil after they die.
June – The Will and the Way. A Dark Sun supplement covering psionics.
June – Thief’s Screen – Similar to the Fighter’s Screen but with charts and tables useful for thief characters.
June – Wizard’s Screen – Similar to the Fighter’s Screen but with charts and tables useful for wizard characters.
July – Chronicles of Athas, Volume 1: The Brazen Gambit. A Dark Sun novel telling the story of a rogue templar in the city of Urik.
July – City of Splendors. A Forgotten Realms boxed set detailing the city of Waterdeep.
July – Dragonlord of Mystara. A novel set in Mystara, specifically in the era prior to the establishment of many of the major nations in the “Known World” region.
July – Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure. A boxed set updating the Mystara setting to the AD&D 2nd Edition rules as well as updating the nation of Karameikos to the post Wrath of the Immortals time period. The set included an audio CD meant to be used as an adventure aid.
July – Marco Volo: Journey. Second in a trilogy of Forgotten Realms adventures involving the rogue Marco Volo.
July – Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix. A softcover book (unlike the previous loose-leaf binder Monstrous Compendium appendices) updating a variety of Mystara monsters to AD&D 2nd Edition. All Monstrous Compendium volumes from here forward were softcovers.
July – Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix. A collection of planar monsters for the Planescape setting.
July – Van Richten’s Guide to the Ancient Dead. A Ravenloft accessory detailing mummies and other forms of “ancient” undead.
July – Dragonlance Villains, Volume 5: Lord Toede. A Dragonlance novel telling a story of the slovenly hobgoblin Toede.
August – City by the Silt Sea. A Dark Sun boxed set adventures in which player characters investigate a lost city.
August – Corsairs of the Great Sea. An Al-Qadim boxed set detailing the Corsair Domains and the pirates of the Great Sea.
August – Siege of Darkness. A Forgotten Realms Drizzt novel that covers the Time of Troubles era for Drizzt and his companions, specifically the arrival of Lolth in Menzoberranzan and a full scale assault by the drow on Mithril Hall.
August – Planes of Chaos. A Planescape boxed set detailing the Chaotic aligned planes of the Great Wheel: Arborea, Ysgard, Limbo, Pandemonium, and the Abyss.
August – The Awakening. A Ravenloft adventure set in the domain of Nova Vassa.
August – The Complete Druid’s Handbook. What would have been PHRB13, a “brown book” player supplement providing kits and other character options for druids.
September – DLC3: Dragonlance Classics, Volume III. A Dragonlance adventure anthology, compiling and updating the original Dragonlance adventures Dragons of Dreams, Dragons of Faith, Dragons of Truth, and Dragons of Triumph.
September – Elminster’s Ecologies. A Forgotten Realms boxed set providing geographical guides to eight different regions of the world.
September – Fighter Player’s Pack. A sturdy black plastic carrying case containing booklets, minis, stickers, a pencil, dice and other goodies for players of fighters.
September – Hour of the Knife. A Ravenloft adventure set in the city of Paridon in which the player characters witness a murder and must find the murderer before he finds them and makes them his next victims.
September – Priest Player’s Pack. Similar to the Fighter Player’s Pack but with the contents specific to priest players.
September – Tales of Ravenloft. An anthology of short stories set in Ravenloft.
September – The Twilight Giants, Volume 1: The Ogre’s Pact. First book in a Forgotten Realms trilogy focusing on giants.
September – Thief Player’s Pack. Similar to the Fighter Player’s Pack but with contents specific to thief players.
September – Wizard’s Challenge II. An adventure for a single wizard character, who is called on to save farmers from a beast which cannot be harmed by normal weapons.
September – Wizard Player’s Pack. Similar to the Fighter Player’s pack but with contents specific to wizard players.
October – Deck of Psionic Powers. A card-based resource with every power from The Complete Psionics Handbook, plus the Dark Sun books Dragon Kings and The Will and the Way.
October – Defenders of Magic, Volume 2: The Medusa Plague. A Dragonlance novel in which a young villager sets out to find his wizard uncle to help cure a mysterious plague.
October – Hail the Heroes. A boxed set adventure set in Mystara that includes an audio CD to supplement and augment the adventure.
October – Masque of the Red Death and Other Tales. A Ravenloft expansion that takes the feel and rules of the Ravenloft setting and transplants them to 1890s Gothic Earth, a fictional version of Earth inspired by the works of Stoker, Shelley, Poe, and others.
October – Night of the Vampire. A Mystara boxed set adventure with an audio CD included to supplement and augment the adventure.
October – Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium Appendix III: Creatures of Darkness. Another collection of Ravenloft monsters.
October – Red Steel. A boxed set expansion of the Mystara setting for AD&D 2nd Edition detailing the Savage Coast, an Age of Exploration style setting afflicted with the Red Curse, a sort of magical radiation poisoning from the red steel in the area. Includes an audio CD.
October – The Crusades Campaign Sourcebook. A “green book” historical reference supplement detailing the Crusades era of Earth’s history in AD&D 2nd Edition terms.
October – Tribe of One, Volume 3: The Nomad. Conclusion of a Dark Sun trilogy in which the main character seeks to separate his multiple personalities into separate entities.
October – Volo’s Guide to the Sword Coast. An “in character” travel guide to the sword coast region of the Forgotten Realms.
October – Well of Worlds. An anthology of Planescape adventures.
November – Caravans. An Al-Qadim boxed set detailing the High Desert and featuring a sentient magic carpet.
November – Encyclopedia Magica, Volume I. First of a four volume set of faux leather-bound collector’s books containing every magic item ever printed for D&D and AD&D up to that point, updated to 2nd Edition.
November – In the Abyss. A Planescape adventure in which player characters seek to salvage a lost ship from the Abyss.
November – Marco Volo: Arrival. Final adventure in a trilogy of Forgotten Realms adventures in which the player characters are caught up in the misdeeds and misadventures of Marcus “Marco” Volo.
November – Poor Wizard’s Almanac III & Book of Facts. A digest sized supplement for Mystara detailing the world as it stands in the year AC 1012, with game stats updated to AD&D 2nd Edition.
November – Tower of Doom. A Ravenloft novel inspired partially by the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
December – Book of Lairs. A Forgotten Realms anthology of short adventures based around monster lairs.
December – City Sites. A collection of floor plans and details of various places in a fantasy city.
December – Elminster: The Making of a Mage. First in a long running series of Forgotten Realms novels by Ed Greenwood focusing on the iconic character of Elminster. This book tells the story of Elminster’s childhood and his first encounter with the Goddess, Mystra.
December – Howls in the Night. A Ravenloft adventure in which player characters must solve a hundred year old murder mystery.
December – Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume 1. A compilation of monsters published in the last year in modules and Dragon and Dungeon Magazines.
December – Realms of Infamy. An anthology of Forgotten Realms short stories focusing on many of the setting’s more notorious villains.
December – The Deva Spark. A Planescape adventure that puts player characters in the middle of a conflict between a deva and a bebilith.
December – Dragonlance Villains, Volume 6: The Dark Queen. A Dragonlance novel focusing on Takhisis, the Dark Queen herself.