Has ADVENTURER'S HANDBOOK Been Cancelled?
  • [UPDATED] Has ADVENTURER'S HANDBOOK Been Cancelled?


    Today's official announcement about the Elemental Evil storyline mentioned Princes of the Apocalypse, a new DM screen, miniatures, video games... but not the Adventurer's Handbook! This could mean nothing, of course. The book was first announced last year, back in August; but the below screenshot from Edelweiss shows it as cancelled. The mystery deepens!

    UPDATE: WotC's Mike Mearls answers "We can't cancel a book we never announced!" So that sounds like the Adventurer's Handbook will definitely not be appearing. WotC certainly wrote ad copy and designed a cover for the book (see below). Mike added "we've played things close to the vest is that it's a huge, open question on what support for the RPG should look like... we do a lot of stuff that may or may not end up as a released product. For instance, we now know that the high volume release schedule for 3e and 4e turned out to be bad for D&D. It wasn't too many settings that hurt TSR, but too many D&D books of any kind. lots of experiments ahead..."

    Here's the cancellation screenshot. Now, that could mean a number of things - maybe it's been pushed back, maybe it's been renamed, or maybe it's just an admin error. Princes of the Apolocaypse has been pushed back from March 17 to April 7.



    What do we know about the book? We have a description from August 2014 and a more recent cover image. Right now, anything could be true; I haven't heard anything about a cancellation or a pushed back release date. If I do, I'll be sure to report it.




    Adventurer's Handbook (March 17, 2015; hardcover; $39.95) -- A Dungeons & Dragons Accessory.

    Create Heroic Characters to Conquer the Elements in this Accessory for the World’s Greatest Roleplaying Game

    Not inherently evil, elemental power can be mastered by those with both malevolent and benign intentions. The Elemental Evil Adventurer’s Handbook provides everything that players need to build a character that is tied directly into the Elemental Evil story arc, with skills, abilities, and spells meant to augment their play experience throughout the campaign. Additionally, valuable background and story information provides greater depth and immersion.

    An accessory that expands the number of options available for character creation for the Elemental Evil story arc, providing expanded backgrounds, class builds, and races meant specifically for this campaign.

    Provides background and setting information critical to having the greatest chance of success.

    Accessory design and development by Sasquatch Game Studio LLC.


    Comments 262 Comments
    1. variant's Avatar
      variant -
      I hope someone at WotC will address this. Maybe they've changed the name. Adventurer's Handbook isn't the best name for something that only has elemental themed content.
    1. Nebulous's Avatar
      Nebulous -
      I cannot imagine that a product so far along into the development process would be cancelled. I suppose it is possible. Weird.
    1. GlassJaw's Avatar
      GlassJaw -
      Maybe they are addressing the branding and naming. From what I've seen so far, I'm really confused about what this book is. Is it stand-alone? Is it required for the new Elemental Evil module? Both?

      I'm also not a fan of bringing the EE story to Forgotten Realms, not am I a fan of WotC having an outside developer write "core" books so early in the 5E lifespan.
    1. Kramodlog's Avatar
      Kramodlog -
      It hasn't been pushed back? Seems like the release date of the adventure was originally march 17 and now it is april the 7th.

      This was probably too a big an order for the small Sasquatch Games. Not really surprising. Paizo releases that kind of adventure over 6 months and the team of designers doesn't have to write a splat that is almost as big as the adventure and release at the same time. I guess they are learning the limites of their new business model. One 3PP can only do one book at a time.
    1. Barantor's Avatar
      Barantor -
      I think they are rolling it into the main book and also having most of the items that affect players be in a free download. This backs up their 'no splatbook' type system it seems.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      UPDATE: Mike Mearls answers "We can't cancel a book we never announced!" So that sounds like the Adventurer's Handbook will definitely not be appearing.
    1. roadtoad's Avatar
      roadtoad -
      "Princes of the Apocalypse is available on April 7, 2015 and includes an epic adventure for characters levels 1–15 as well as new elemental spells and the element-touched genasi as a new playable race. In addition, a free download will be available in mid-March that includes more new races plus the player content available in Princes of the Apocalypse,"

      The new spells and race in the adventure sounds to me like they combined it into one book, with an online component.
    1. Zaukrie's Avatar
      Zaukrie -
      They suck at managing our expectations. Apparently they plan to release almost nothing for the rpg
    1. Loki-lie-Smith's Avatar
      Loki-lie-Smith -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      UPDATE: Mike Mearls answers "We can't cancel a book we never announced!" So that sounds like the Adventurer's Handbook will definitely not be appearing.
      I mentioned this in the other thread: the first mention of the books was from a posting on FRPGames. I don't know from where the covers came from but I think it wasn't from WotC.

      I don't know how FRPGAMES got hold of the books name so early but truth is until is officially announced it is speculation and rumors.
    1. ExploderWizard's Avatar
      ExploderWizard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zaukrie View Post
      They suck at managing our expectations. Apparently they plan to release almost nothing for the rpg
      The material that was going to be sold in a hardback book for $40.00 is now going to be included in the adventure materials it was designed to support and/or available online free of charge. Nothing less is being released. The only difference now is that if you buy the adventure you will get more for your money. How does that suck?
    1. I'm A Banana's Avatar
      I'm A Banana -
      Quote Originally Posted by roadtoad View Post
      "Princes of the Apocalypse is available on April 7, 2015 and includes an epic adventure for characters levels 1–15 as well as new elemental spells and the element-touched genasi as a new playable race. In addition, a free download will be available in mid-March that includes more new races plus the player content available in Princes of the Apocalypse,"

      The new spells and race in the adventure sounds to me like they combined it into one book, with an online component.
      So it's like we're getting the meaty part of the "adventurer's handbook" for free?

      I'm pretty cool with this.

      I'm slightly less enthusiastic about the adventure. I honestly don't know what would appeal to me in an adventure. Most of the time, I get so much joy out of the DIY aspects of making an adventure, that I don't care to pay money to have WotC do it for me. The big epic arc seems cool, but...eh.

      Quote Originally Posted by Mike Mearls View Post
      Mike added "we've played things close to the vest is that it's a huge, open question on what support for the RPG should look like... we do a lot of stuff that may or may not end up as a released product. For instance, we now know that the high volume release schedule for 3e and 4e turned out to be bad for D&D"
      This is an interesting statement because it implies that the question of what "support for the RPG should look like" is a more fundamental question at WotC than it is among the fandom (which makes a certain amount of sense). Possibly they're not just contemplating a "slower" splat schedule, but re-evaluating the practice of splatbooks altogether.

      At any rate, I'll be interested in seeing the genasi! They'll be tired to the Elemental Evil plotline, m'sure, but fluff aside...
    1. variant's Avatar
      variant -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      UPDATE: Mike Mearls answers "We can't cancel a book we never announced!" So that sounds like the Adventurer's Handbook will definitely not be appearing.
      It was announced though...
    1. DND_Chris's Avatar
      DND_Chris -
      Quote Originally Posted by variant View Post
      It was announced though...
      Not officially
    1. Nebulous's Avatar
      Nebulous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      UPDATE: Mike Mearls answers "We can't cancel a book we never announced!" So that sounds like the Adventurer's Handbook will definitely not be appearing.
      I don't understand, why is there a cover and a title if it wasn't announced? Is that just placeholder fan art? I don't care really if this product doesn't come, i'm just confused.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by ExploderWizard View Post
      The material that was going to be sold in a hardback book for $40.00 is now going to be included in the adventure materials it was designed to support and/or available online free of charge. Nothing less is being released.
      That's a heck of a supposition! Are you sure nothing less is being released?
    1. Wolfskin's Avatar
      Wolfskin -
      Well, I'll grant WocT that THEY didn't announce the product- somewhere along the way, both books were merged into one and it was decided the player content would be up for free. I'm really cool with this.

      PS: Also, Genasi FTW!
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nebulous View Post
      I don't understand, why is there a cover and a title if it wasn't announced? Is that just placeholder fan art? I don't care really if this product doesn't come, i'm just confused.
      Sounds like it was planned, but not "announced"; "announced" being the technicality, because the info was certainly out there and it's not like we managed to invent it whole cloth.
    1. doctorhook's Avatar
      doctorhook -
      This is definitely mysterious, and a bit disappointing, but it's heartening to know that we'll be getting new free content online!

      Hey, weren't we supposed to be getting Warforged for free online too?
    1. Zaukrie's Avatar
      Zaukrie -
      It is about managing our expectations. ....which I am pretty sure is what I typed. Also, they have announced one book for the year....so it is probably ok for me to say they don't plan to release much. More free is good. One book a year, not good. YMMV.
    1. TwoSix -
      Quote Originally Posted by ExploderWizard View Post
      The material that was going to be sold in a hardback book for $40.00 is now going to be included in the adventure materials it was designed to support and/or available online free of charge. Nothing less is being released. The only difference now is that if you buy the adventure you will get more for your money. How does that suck?
      For me, I know I wasn't going to buy the adventure anyway, so the inclusion of the material is a moot point. And it seems unlikely they developed a full 160 or 192 page book full of crunch, but decided to suddenly release it all online. More likely, the amount of solid crunch material developed was far less than necessary to fill a book.

      Now, while I'm not unhappy that they aren't releasing a $40 book that's mostly filler, I was looking forward to some new subclasses, at the very least (which would seem to be a minimum standard in releasing a book of player options). New races and spells are fine, but don't really scratch that "new shiny" itch like a new class or subclass would.
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