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Saturday, 28th January, 2012, 06:55 PM #1
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
Seminar Transcript - Upcoming Products for 2012
Mike Mearls presents upcoming D&D products for 2012, as well as a vision for the future of Dungeons & Dragons. Seminar is followed by a Q&A session. This transcript is paraphrased, with some responses shortened. It is compiled from various tweets (thanks especially to Critical Hits, E. Foley, and Rolling20s for their live tweeting - I suggest you check out their Twitter feeds) plus WotC's live chat feed, and other sources.
Some of these questions were asked in the live chat feed, and didn't make it into the actual seminar, and vice versa. I'm not sure why, and it appeared to be two totally different sets of questions and answers, but I have compiled both into one transcript. So if you were at the seminar, you might see questions here that weren't there, and if you were following along in the live chat you will see questions that weren't there, either. But all of them were at one of the two.
Welcome to the 2012 D&D Products seminar. This seminar does NOT cover products for the next D&D iteration.
First, the Premium 1st Edition Core Rulebooks. All the 1e books based on scans of pristine copies of the original books. Will likely only be in hobby/game stores. A portion of the 1E books goes to the Gygax Memorial fund, so make sure to check that out.After April,, we'll see the theme of Rise of the Underdark. This is the theme for the Summer/Fall Encounters season.
May: Dungeon Survival Handbook: focuses on dungeon campaigns, tips and tricks for DMs as well as ideas for players. Themes with mechanical effects that also tie into the story of the world. The twist is the DM section that shows DMs how to tie the new themes into their adventures.
June: Urban Underdark tile set. D&D Lair Assault: Spiderkiller also in June.
In August we're revisiting the drow city of Menzoberranzan. The twist with this is a different framework for a campaign. Focus is on the possibility of PvP conflic (think how Drow work against each other in the Underdark). The idea with this book if you wanted to adventure down in the underdark you could do that. If you want to play drow or other denizens in the city, working in or for one of the houses, you can have adventure where some of the players are pitted against each other as they vie for their own agenda's or their own houses. Tied in with that we have a Underdark map pack and a drow and treachery themed fortune card set in the following months as well.
Next we have Elminster's Forgotten Realms in Quarter 4. We basically went to Ed and said hey, why don't you take all your campaign notes, all the information you've been putting together for your FR campaign and lets compile it into a book. Show us the realms as you've developed it in your campaign setting and lets get that to everybody. It's our celebration of the Forgotten Realms and pulling back the curtain to show you what the designer of the campaign setting has done.
Now on to board games. Lords of Waterdeep is slated for March. It's basd on the city of Waterdeep in Forgotten Realms. Each player takes on a lord of the city and competes for influence and prestige by recruiting adventurer's and sending them on quests. Euro style game. You'll be hearing more about this too as we go forward.
July: Dungeon Command. Mini battles. 12 minis per pack. 2 factions: Cormyr and Lolth. Each faction comes with twelve minis. We'll have the drow set, Sting of Lolth, and the hero set, Heart of Cormyr. You can player a two player game with one set, or you can get both sets and pit one against the other. It's a diceless, card-driven game that really focuses on tactics and strategy with a lot of the random elements removed. Each box comes with a tile set that locks together as well, providing a limited battlefield to play on. Designed by the same folks who designed Lords of Waterdeep. Euro design approach.
That pretty much wraps up our products for the summer. We're really busy on the D&D Next stuff, but we're excited about these products and the 4E support that we'll be having in Dungeon and Dragon. There's a whole year of releases for DDI planned as well. We're going to go ahead and queue up for questions now.
Dungeon Command: Does it come with adventure style cards?
Yes, minis will come with adventure stat cards for the minis.
Do we have anything coming up that deals with fey monsters?
We have several articles on fey support. One is ecology on the wee fey, from Steve Townsend. Has Sylphs, griggs, pixies and some others.
Will Dungeon Command have resculpts, repaints or something else?
There will be new sculpts, and there will be repaints. One of the primary focuses for the warbands is that they have a unified feel. So they will look like they belong together.
Do you have a price point for Dungeon Command?
$40 is the MSRP.
Will tokens continue to be included in products?
If we have the option to do so where it makes sense, we will.
Is Ed's Forgotten Realms edition neutral?
It focuses on his specific campaign, so his individual stories might mention mechanics from different editions, the stories and lore should apply to all editions.
Do you have any Ravenloft suport planned?
We do have some Ravenloft stuff planned for DDI later this year. Surprises in store (something about Dragonlance? Didn't catch it).
Any more "Collectors" sets? ala dragons - beholders?
We may do more collectors sets, and if/when we do - you'll see it on the website first.
Will 4e get a new Monster Manual or DMG? Epic tier support would be especially appreciated.
The 2012 products that run through summer don't have another MM or DMG in in the works for that time period.
More boxed sets coming?
If it makes sense for the product, yes. Boxes are great, we're looking at it as far as what the product does/value, etc. Happy with them.
What's with the Amazon listings of minis?
It's just a placeholder/outdated listing for Dungeon Command.
Can we expect to see more sets and warbands for Dungeon Command?
This is definitely something we'd like to continue, different sets and warbands that cover different heroes and monsters.
New sculpts vs old in the future for minis?
Definitely a possibility. Dungeon Commander should be a line. Looking at keeping warbands unified in looks means there might be new sculpts to help them look similar.
More exclusive game/hobby store content?
Definitely. We love supporting hobby stores. Anything we can do to encourage players to support retailers, we will do so.
Any plans to rerelease the other products for 1E and 2E and other editions, either in print or electronically?
We are looking at making a lot of that older material available to you, but we want to make sure we do it right for you guys and for Wizards. We'll have more news on that.
Any plans for organized play for Dungeon Command?
We're doing a Dungeon Command game day which will be fairly casual. It will be your first chance for an organized play for Dungeon Command. It will also be our first foray into OP for the game. We'll be giving some tournament support so that the framework is in place for stores, and we'll be seeing what you guys think of it and how you want to expand it.
Plans for new settings?
We don't have the resources to look at new setting content right now, with D&D Next planning.
Does the Dungeon Survival Handbook contain new sub-classes, paragon paths, feats, powers, etc?
The Dungeon Survival Guide contains primary underdark themed powers and new playable races. Some of these racers have been given NPC stats, but now they have full blown PC information. One example would be the goblin.
Following up timelines in printed material from licensed material?
Case-by-case basis. Somewhat ad-hoc, thus far. If/when we look at Ravenloft as a setting, we'll look at squaring up our timeline with all previously printed material.
Are you planning to sell electronic versions of D&D game products, just as you have embraced that option with novels?
We're definitely looking into the digital options and we want to find ways to get that product to people, but we need to make sure we find what what's best for you and for Wizards. When we have more information we'll be sharing it.
DCI integrations with Dungeon Command?
No a ranking system, but DCI sanctionable, and different tourney formats. No ELO system established at the beginning. We'll see what fan feedback brings.
Do you have any player support for Kobolds in the near future?
Yes, we have Kobolds as a player race in the Underdark book.
Resetting of timelines for the Realms?
I can't give a specific answer to that. We know there are things that people like and dislike about different timelines in the various settings. If there's information that's part of the canon, it still happened. We won't tell people in what time period to play in.
Greyhawk also mentioned. We want to support all timelines of all settings going forward.
Is there any new Digital D&D games info?
DDO still going. We announced the Neverwinter game that is upcoming. No release date yet. Also, Daggerdale. No new info to be announced yet.
More DM support for Feywild?
There's the Fey theme on DDI in November. Continued DDI support is possible.
For 2012, we are synching with product releases. Elder Elemental Eye Encounters Feb-May, then Rise of the Underdark season.
New Adventure System boardgames?
Currently we have no new info or news about other adventure board games.
We don't have any futher products planned for GW at this time. It was a limited release. At this point, we see the game as complete on our end.
Can we expect other super adventures like Gardmore Abbey from Wizards in the future?
We're really happy with the response and it's definitely a model we're looking at. A lot of it is making sure we get the balance right between the module, the other features like tokens, and the price point.
Dungeon Command VTT plans?
Too early to say. Would be a separate product.
Ways to access Dragon/Dungeon content?
We're looking at collections vs individual articles. Looking at supporting current tech. the current DDI tools will likely remain in Silverlight for the forseeable future. No news on what future tools may be like yet.
Submission info with D&D Next coming?
Most of this year is planned. 4e support until said otherwise.
Encounters all Underdark themed/progress through multiple season?
Yes. No ongoing character narrative.
D&D on mobile devices?
We're aware, and are looking at options.
Release of old Encounters content?
We're looking at retail exclusivity vs later content releases. Exploring options.
Grand History of the Realms was sweet, any other products like that for Greyhawk?
We're looking at our back catalogue, but no announcements yet.
Any chance of print Dungeon or Dragon mags?
Looking at possibilities.
Are the 1E reprint the exact same as old books?
They're identical except for the old ads at back.
How do you see the modularity being sold in different products in D&D Next.
It's really important that we include core and modules that you think are really important to D&D in the core books.
Whoops! Missed product that wasn't on the slides!
Hall of the Undermountain! Continues the plotline from Elemental Eye Encounters season. Sandbox-style adventure with a lot of setting detail. Good adventure resource.
Halls of Undermountains is a sandbox-style adventure that targets a level 1-5 experience. It is going to be tied moderately to the D&D Encounters season, and possibly also LFR (I provided some of the admins with the text).
Halls of Undermountain does have some minis adventures within it, as well as many of the iconic encounters and rooms from the original box set. About 1/3 of the rooms from the first level of the dungeon are detailed.
1E adventure republishing?
Nothing we can talk about now.
3rd party publisher support for D&D Next?
Nothing we can talk about now.
Lots of errata has happened, making old books "worthless." Will it be better for D&D Next?
We're working on a better process for errata, and we hope very much to not have as much errata in D&D Next.
Simple rules explanations like those that come with Magic expansions?
No specific announcements.
What did you learn from the Dungeon command playtest? Is the final version the same one we playtested?
Lots of feedback was useful and shaped Dungeon Command. You should definitely recognize some elements from that playtesting.
Breaks in Encounters to match holidays, big con events?
Life happens. Running catch-up sessions is the answer. It's up to individual stores to handle those issues for their local players.
When do you plan to release D&D Next? Or has this already been answered?
We're not ready to start talking about dates yet. We're still in the early stages of playtesting. I can tell you it won't be this year for sure.
Dark Sun in print? Also, Dark Sun DDI support.
Not in print. May look at reprinting. Re. DDI support - Eye on Dark Sun also will be a monthly theme eventually.
Ed's Forgotten Realms system neutral?
As system neutral as possible.
Is there any plan to bring back Oerth and Greyhawk?
The stories and worlds of past editions of D&D are just as important to our development and ideas for D&D Next as the rules and other information is. I don't have any more information to share at this time, but we're definitely exploring and excited about what we have planned.
Can modules have more maps?
We try when we can, it depends on retail price. Tactically driven adventures mean more maps.
What did WotC learn from Essentials?
Do the ground-floor, entry-level stuff first. Start with the starter set, then add complexity. If we'd released Essentials first then PBH 1 as an Advanced PHB, we wouldn't have had the same problems.
Any comments on book format of choice for D&D Next? How do you feel about the Essentials experiment vs. traditional, larger hard-back books?
We're not at the point where we can talk about what those D&D Next products/books will or should look like quite yet.
Will there be another Lair Assault after Umberlee? That series has been very popular at my FLGS.
There is another Lair Assault planned for the summer -Spiderkiller.
On stories and narrative vs. settings.
As designers, we don't want to tell you a story. We want to give you the tools to tell your own story. That's the goal of D&D Next. With settings, that's when we as designers tell the story somewhat. The focus is still on groups telling stories.
What are you guys playing that's not D&D?
Call of Duty, Skyrim, Trail of Cthulhu, Lord of the Rings Confrontation.
In the run-up to D&D Next we played every edition of D&D and Pathfinder.
Monte Cook mentioned previously that you plan to balance characters between the three pillars, not independently within each. Does this mean the team endorses "shining in the spotlight" balancing, where each player shines in a simple gameplay aspect above the rest of his party, or was this miscontrued and classes will be balanced to have appropriate skills for each of the three pillars to keep everyone engaged in all aspects?
Each character/player should be able to shine, but that doesn't mean that others fall to the wayside. Also keep in mind that when they shine is important. We're not talking about one class shining in combat, and another not shining in combat, or one class shining in social situation and another not shining. We're talking about classes shining in different ways in combat, or in different ways in social and RP, or in different ways when exploring.
What's the goal for the art in D&D Next?
Art should tell the story of D&D. Show you a scene that looks like it's an adventure.
More mechanically-enforced roleplay (like FATE points, etc) in D&D?
D&D can support all ideas like that with modules, and group can add it in as they want. It should not be forced on the players.
Will character builder still support 4E for those still playing 4E campaigns?
At this point our plans are to continue to provide support to 4E characters in the character builder.
Alright all. That wraps up the Q&A and the seminar on products. Thanks much to everyone for joining us and getting those questions in. If you didn't see your question asked, we are still collecting them all and will be sitting down with R&D to see which ones we can answer in the future. There will also be some video from @Dread gazeebo and make sure to check out the other coverage from the many bloggers and twitterers out there.
We have one more seminar for D&D XP that focuses on reimagining ability scores as the window into shaping your character. Join us again tomorrow at 12:30 Eastern time for that.
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