This week Wizards of the Coast had a little something for every type of gamer. New themes, domains, and powers for the fans of crunch and ancient disgraced Cormyrian families for fluff. Boardgames and DDNext received their fair share of attention as well.
  • Mike Mearls presents The One-Hour D&D Game in Legends and Lore this week. I remember playing at lunch in junior high and I think the game should play quickly but I am not sure most gamers play their D&D this way most of the time. It seems that Wizards of the Coast are looking at the next iteration from lots of different angles, so be active on the boards and polls to make sure the final game reflects what you like. The readers here at EN World are already talking about this here.

  • Bruce Cordell talks Iconic D&D Clerics on his blog and also includes a poll which is a dead heat right now. The cleric is iconic D&D and the fans have been very vocal about this blog post and you can read more about their opinions here.

  • Rule of Three by Rodney Thompson this week covers the future of critical fumbles and injuries, reaction and interrupt, and 0 level characters in the next iteration. Things like fumbles and injury charts are obviously module pieces to be added in to the game if you like them. That is the beauty of the next iteration being designed to have a basic rules set and then modular pieces which can then increase the realism, complexity, and simulation ability to a level which works in your group.

  • Character Themes: Citizens of Splendor by Andrew G. Schneider delivers three new themes for the Forgotten Realms but a creative player or DM can figure out how to use these in other campaigns. The Blackstaff Apprentice, Halaster’s Clone, and Masked Lord are the three new themes presented. When I saw the themes I seriously questioned the Masked Lord but the DM Notes helped me to see how I could use this in a campaign.

  • The Merendil Gold in Eye on the Realms by Ed Greenwood gives some excellent backstory on the disgraced Cormyrian family and the legends of their hidden wealth. There are some great adventure ideas presented here to help you use this article in your game.

  • Save or Die II: Die and Die Again! by Mike Mearls on his blog continues to look out the venerable mechanic and whether or not it should be included in the new edition. I don’t know a single gamer that doesn’t have a strong opinion about this topic.

  • Chris Perkins delivered the +5 Crossword of Slaying, Pt. 7. These are always an excellent diversion and memory challenge for my brain. The phrasing of 5 Across made me really laugh. Do not discount the utility of that spoon to help an adventurer survive when things go horribly wrong.

  • Evolution: Lords of Waterdeep by Peter Lee in Design & Development shows you even more of the thought, planning, detail, and work that goes into the game design. I haven’t had a chance to play this yet but these articles have me extremely curious to see how it plays. You can check out a video by Rodney Thompson showing you how to play here.

  • Path to Conquest: A New Domain and New Powers for the Cleric by Robert J. Schwalb provides you all that the title promises. The Domination Domain, what gods would have access to the domain, and powers associated with the domain are detailed. For those readers demanding more crunch this article has lots of it for you to chew on.

  • Consume, Engage, Cherish by Jon Schindehette in Dragon’s-Eye View paints a clear picture of what considerations must be made with the artwork in the new iteration. I think that the artwork used to set the look of that edition is extremely important. I chose Engage in the poll because that is what I feel a core book should provide to the reader. More in-depth conversation can be found here.

  • Chris Perkins gives A Lesson in Mediocrity to readers of The Dungeon Master Experience. It is good to know that other DMs have off nights and that as long as the players are having fun the game was a success. I have seen a DM have an off night and just scrap a game much to the shock of the players so any advice to keep that sort of thing from happening is greatly appreciated.