D&D 5E Dragons of Stormwreck Isle: $19.99, Digital Onboarding, Interactive Demo, D&D Curriculum

The three biggest pieces of information from the D&D Direct event were announcements for Spelljammer, Dragonlance, and a title for the D&D movie (Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves) hitting theaters March 2023, but a lot of other information was provided during Q&A sessions for the press afterward. That includes a few new ways to bring first-time players and DMs to the world of Dungeons & Dungeons.

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Natalie Egan and Shelly Mazzanoble answered questions about the newest D&D Starter Set, which contains the adventure Dungeons & Dragons: Dragons of Stormwreck Isle. Why do a third beginner set? To add more tools and digital on-boarding for beginning players and DMs to make it even easier than ever for the D&D curious to try the game.

To go with the new Starter Set, the D&D team is relaunching the new player hub on the Wizards website with new tools to “onboard new players and DMs to get people started in their D&D journey” said Mazzanoble. QR codes in the Starter Set will help people find the information need quickly. New video tutorials will explain how to roleplay.

The goal for this newest Starter Set is was to use feedback from the prior set and the Essentials Set to really streamline and make this one even easier for brand new players and DMs. An interactive demo experience will teach D&D fundamentals in just 15 minutes.


Other tools and videos will help players try DMing for the first time, such as tutorials for how to read a stat block, guide DMs through what an encounter looks like using the new Dragons of Stormwreck Isle adventure so they can watch and follow along with the adventure before running it for players. Stormwreck Isle was also written with new DMs in mind so very little prep time will be required.

Early information released by Hasbro about this set had a higher price. At the event the list price for this was confirmed as $19.99, similar to the prior sets.

The box art hints at the 1980s cartoon characters aged up a bit. The team wanted to create fun nostalgia feels. It also has “lots of dragons” because as Mazzanoble said, “Players always want dragons.”

Speaking of digital tools, a new digital library is coming to the Wizards website, including a new digital Monstrous Compendium, accessible to all players with a free Wizards or D&D Beyond account. Volume 1 will have 10 creatures, both new and old, including an eldritch lich and a 10-legged asteroid spider.

Mazzanoble then announced a D&D Curriculum to create the next generation of storytellers, which will roll out this fall. That means relaunching the D&D After School Club Kits. Those kits will be for grades 4-6 and grades 7-12 and will have “everything needed to get the club going and sustained” as well as posters to advertise it, etc. so kids can get the education and emotional benefits of cooperative play and storytelling.


A European reporter asked if the after school kits will be available there. Mazzanoble said that the program is starting in the U.S. Then they'll look for opportunities to launch it elsewhere. The new Starter Set will also be available internationally in French, Italian, German, and Spanish with the digital tools also localized for those languages. Additionally, Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, Mordenkainen's Monsters of the Multiverse, and Curse of Strahd will be getting editions in those languages.

D&D's audience is growing, in part, due to streaming. A new streaming Actual Play called Legends of the Multiverse will launch on April 27 on the D&D YouTube and Twitch channels.

When asked if the new Starter Set will be compatible with the 2024 revisions the D&D team said that “The Starter Set and all the products we're coming out with should play nice with those 2024 revisions.”

We also got a little more information on Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel, which is arriving June 21, 2022. In addition to the new setting the book contains adventures for characters 1st through 14th level. The adventure writers shared their notes with each other so seeds would be planted in one adventure for aspects of another.

The book features 13 new adventures, 16 new locations, and new monsters. Project leaders F. Wesley Schneider and Ajit George predicted that one monster, the whistler, will terrify players, but the Radiant Citadel isn't a dark and dreary setting.

The two briefly showed some artwork from the 5th level adventure Wages of Vice. The bright pastels evoke Caribbean adventure. Field of the Hollow Mind is a 4th level adventure that takes place during the holiday Night of the Remembered. Orchids of the Invisible Mountain is a 14th level adventure that crosses the Feywild and travels to the Inscrutable Far Realm..

For D&D groups perhaps returning or planning to return to in-person play the new Terrain Case and Campaign Token Case bring new accessories for easier play and to help visualize the setting better. The stickers for conditions and terrain obstacles are reusable.

The recurring theme to the day was exciting the existing base and expanding the number of people who play D&D. Several of the upcoming tools and products definitely sound promising for that goal.

“D&D is for EVERYONE,” said Egan, “and this Starter Set will spread the love to the masses.”
 
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Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels


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aco175

Legend
I see Wizard's site is saying it is coming out 8.1.22 at Target only (again), and 10.4.22 for open release. Target's website is saying 7.31.22, but that is just nit-picking now.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
WotC and its spokespeople do this a lot, right down to putting “A D&D Product” on the front cover of some of their books. I too find it off-putting. The glimpses provided to the general public into the company’s internal corporate culture make it seem a lot more MBA-ish than any other tabletop hobby gaming company I can think of. Which, I suppose, may have something to do with the fact that they’re currently the most profitable tabletop hobby gaming company on earth.
Nothing wrong with knowing what one is doing.
 

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