This week Wizards of the Coast gives you excellent options for rituals, some sneak peeks at all the evil that is The Book of Vile Darkness, and a whole lot more. We have some incredible stuff coming up in the next few weeks and I look forwarding to sharing it with you. Well here is how it broke down this week.
  • Robert J. Schwalb takes a look at Heroic Tier Rituals in Dragon 405. I think rituals are under used and maligned a lot of the time and am excited to see a great article supporting them with feats like Creation Mastery, as well as a whole lot more to choose from.

  • Monte Cook brings you Out of Bounds in his Legends and Lore column this week. Solving problems with more than what is on your character sheet is the focus. How often do we look to a rule for the answer, and have the rules taken the game in a direction that limits creative thinking?

  • Villains and Monsters a Book of Vile Darkness Excerpt by Bart Carroll gives you another taste of what to expect in the upcoming accessory and it is delicious. You can check out some sample powers and the Moilian Dead theme, a people cursed by Orcus. Sounds to me like great build-up for an epic level game.

  • Want to talk Epic Level? Chris Perkins did in Event Horizon in the Dungeon Master Experience. He also shows you how he prepares for an evening of gaming in his Iomandra campaign and how he doesn't prepare. Don't be confused it will all make sense after you read it.

  • Aaron Williams unleashes Epic Campaign 14 and 15. If you haven't been following this hilarious comic you really are missing out. Krozat is great and I love a dead hero. That didn't sound like something I want to hear a DM say.

  • Design & Development by Chris Sims looks at Beyond the Crystal Cave, the new D & D Encounters adventure. I loved the original adventure when I was a kid and was excited to read this and get some back story into the new adventure being played at your local game store every Wednesday night.

  • Rich Baker tackles your questions again in his Rule of Three article once again. This week he answers your questions about monster design, monster themes, and fluff options for characters. I wonder if the gamers out there want more or less fluff for 4E?

  • More Book of Vile Darkness Excerpts await you in Creating Vile Encounters by Bart Carroll. We get a sneak peek at curses, diseases, traps, and hazards. The werewolf curse works for me, it really turns werewolves back into dangerous opponents and will make you fear lycanthropy again. Well then again, some of us might be happy howling at the moon three nights a month.

  • The Nine Swords of Tyr by Rodney Thompson in Eye on Dark Sun for Dungeon 196 will make you want to put down the craghammer and executioner's axe and pick up the sword again. This is a great article detailing a collection of magic items that can be the theme of a whole campaign all the way into epic tier. Dark Sun rarely disappoints in the toughness category.

  • The Monster Manual Update by Logan Bonner gives the Choker, Satyr, and Shambling Mound the Monster Manual 3 treatment as well as giving you some more background for these three classic monsters. The shambling mound is so cool I can't stand it.

  • The fey are the focus in D&D Alumni: Fey by Bart Carroll in Dragon 405. Take a stroll in the Feywild and back in time to the beginning of Dungeons & Dragons to find out how the fey have changed over time with each edition.