D&D General Dungeons & Dragons Sneak Peek at Gameholecon: 50th Anniversary Adventure, Rod of Seven Parts, The Endless Stair, Tsojcanth, Barrier Peaks?

I was leaving a panel at GameHoleCon when Chris Perkins walked in and then Justice and Bill and then quite a few other WotC folk! So I stayed.

Justice Arman, Bill Benham, Amanda Hamon, LaTia Jacquise, Chris Lindsay, Ron Lundeen, Chris Perkins.


I'm glad I did because what started as a very funny trivia game challenge to the WotC folk and some of the audience soon turned into a discussion about things they are working on. Cool things. Oh and some of those questions were by Jon Peterson and were hard! I pride myself in getting a couple correct! Iron Rations for the win! Chris Lindsay talked about the DMSGuild too, and strongly hinted to me about the Manual of the Planes. I just wasn't on the same plane.

Anyway they discussed things that have already been covered, but I think with a bit more detail on particular things. This was more of a conversation than a presentation after all.

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  • Ron Lundeen discussed the internal playtests and that he liked it when he would see similar things discussed in the same ways in both public and private testing.
  • Bill Benham discussed Jaquaysing the maps and adventures and how they are taking that more to heart. I think she was on everyone's mind at the panel, see this thread if you would, she could use our help.
  • Ron also dicussed how he learned that scrolls are a secret magic item table of power and rarity for magic items generally. That's a nice hint I'll have to take a closer look at.
And then Chris talked about how their adventures take this fine line of between having too much and overwhelming new people yet also having to satisfy old hats like myself.
  • The new core books will have an update to format and art like the more recent books.
  • Gateway to new players was a term they kept using for the new PHB and even the DMG.
  • Oh and they mentioned Tasha’s Bubbling Cauldron as a new spell, which Hollie will be delighted with.
  • All three books will have mostly new art from new artists too, like from two concept artists from Obi Wan and the Avatar shows.
Then they went on to the DMG and how it'll talk about what a DM does, what are the parts of the game, the books and even how to use the DM Screen in play.
  • It'll have handouts and tools to help you organize and build your notes and show you a campaign setting designed to be customized as a tutorial to make it your own and eventually build one from scratch.
  • There will be new magic items to fill in more rarity niches and more cool common ones too.
  • And finally we'll get the 1980 cartoon series magic items, something Chris seemed almost giddy about.
The Monster Manual will have more high level creatures and they noted things they'll put in stat blocks that were missing before, like proficiency bonus.

'Romp around the multiverse', I don't think that's a new book title, but it's a new kind of anthology book that revisits all the things they've done in D&D, a '50th anniversary book'. Chris Perkins actually ran the Ravenloft adventure at the convention, I wish I'd captured the events he ran because I'm guessing the title and a few details are in that entry. Anyone here play in his games? Care to share?

And then Chris started to display cool secrets. I'm not sure if any of these are separate books or part of the above mentioned book, but I think they are separate books the way Chris was hinting. I must also offer an apology. There was no way I could get all of these images. I was caught off guard and in a bit of awe. The last one especially is just killing me, it was wonderful and Chris refused to show me after the panel with that wry smile of his.

So here is the only clear image I got. What do you see? Give me your guesses and I'll later give you what the jokes were they made. I even got a laugh out of the crew with one!


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However the missing last image was my biggest regret. It was a cute fluffy bunny on a stump...... Oh the agony! I got a selfie with Chris as a consolation prize!

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OK I’ll spill more. I’m not sure but they indeed seemed to be talking about multiple books and this new book for the 50th. I think they intentionally obfuscated things.
  • The key to me is that the 50th book is a visit to all the 5e adventures and the stuff that isn’t from those are either for the story to tie them together or are from other books
  • The bunny was undead, a Sheep in Wolfs clothing. It was a brand new painting and I didn’t recognize the artist.
  • My joke was that the Rod would fall apart way to easily, as they tried to hint what it was.
So from what they were taking about I think.
  • A D&D 50th Anniversary book
  • An Endless Stair book
  • A Rod of Seven parts book
  • And Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
  • Oh and Tsojcanth
Please note those are all guesses by me. Oh and Tsojcanth.

Chris did say that the D&D 50th book had been announced but I can’t find anything on it.
 
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the Jester

Legend
I've suggested this before and I'll do it again: Greyhawk could be a fantastic example of how to use limitations and rules variations to strengthen a setting. Classic races only. Lean into alignment (which, dammit, Planescape was the real opportunity for this one). Have an alternate "gp as xp" advancement system. Etc. Have sidebars for the DM detailing how to relax those restrictions if you want, and other sidebars detailing how to increase them- for instance, limiting race/class choices or limiting the classes to the classics, too. Greyhawk could showcase how you can use limitation to build a world with a stronger identity. You could even have a product that was something like Greyhawk: A Campaign Building Guide, that was advice on making a strongly flavored setting with a 5e treatment of Greyhawk as the example alongside that advice.
 

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Some names of places are in honor of nobles or kings. For example Philipines is in honor of the king Felipe de España, and New Amsterdan was renamed New York for the duke of York, if my memory doesn't fail. Colombia for Christopher Columbus. America for Americo Vespucio.
Indeed. But they use formal names, not short forms and nicknames.
 


billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Indeed. But they use formal names, not short forms and nicknames.
Taking someone's first name for a pair of continents seems less formal than familiar and informal. It's more "Hey, Amerigo, how you doin'?" than "Hello, Signore Vespucci. I hope you are well."
But on the subject of 'not short forms', Antioch is named for Antiochus. And while that isn't the same as Bob for Robert (as far as I can tell), it's strictly a short(er) form based on a formal name.

I'm thinking your rules of appropriate place names is more idiosyncratic than universal.
 


Quickleaf

Legend
About Greyhawk! I’ve mentioned this idea before but seems pertinent to this conversation… Greyhawk was a great outline with lots of blank spaces on the map that IIRC Gary meant for the GM to fill in. To date there isn’t been a 5e WotC product focused mainly on homebrew campaigns - Something like a “Greyhawk Worldbuilders Guide” (awful name I know) as part of the DMG, it’s own book, or part of a slipcase/box might be a good way to go - you have the barebones essence of Greyhawk setting as an example & touchstone for all the stuff they’ve been plundering and dragging into FR, and then you give resources to worldbuilding GMs to either make their own worlds or fill in blanks on Greyhawk map.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
About Greyhawk! I’ve mentioned this idea before but seems pertinent to this conversation… Greyhawk was a great outline with lots of blank spaces on the map that IIRC Gary meant for the GM to fill in. To date there isn’t been a 5e WotC product focused mainly on homebrew campaigns - Something like a “Greyhawk Worldbuilders Guide” (awful name I know) as part of the DMG, it’s own book, or part of a slipcase/box might be a good way to go - you have the barebones essence of Greyhawk setting as an example & touchstone for all the stuff they’ve been plundering and dragging into FR, and then you give resources to worldbuilding GMs to either make their own worlds or fill in blanks on Greyhawk map.
Whether it is Greyhawk or something else, that is what Perkins has laid down is coming in the DMG: a guide to building a Setting with a minimalist example that can be used or modified as well.

Greyhawk would fit for that, and be a fun anniversary nod.
 

This. I've already called out the lousy place names. It also has an understanding of history based on 1950s Hollywood, a lack of diversity (in all respects), little thought given to adventure hooks, and it is simply far too big an area. Number One advice for world building: start small. What's over the next hill doesn't matter until the players get there.

Grand Duchy of Geoff? Where are the Grand Duchies of Zippy, Bungle and George? I remember an article in White Dwarf in the 1980s discussing avoiding bad proper names. Thinking back, I wonder if it was inspired by Greyhawk.
Geoff(-rey) just means "protected by god" and doesn't seem too outlandish an etymology, especially in a world where the following exist:

Georgia
America
Philippines
Umayyad Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
Saudi Arabia (Effectively the Arabic equivalent of "Bob's America")
Victoria (multiple examples)
Alexandria
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
a lack of diversity (in all respects)
What's weird is that it gets halfway there, with painfully detailed charts about the migration of ethnic groups fleeing various magical catastrophes, discusses how those populations blend and change over time, mentions that most of them aren't the lily white pseudo-Europeans seen in most 1970s fantasy ... and then forgets all of that when it comes time to depict any of these characters or to make the cultures relevant after the migrations are discussed.

It all smacks of typical Gygax getting hyper-focused on an idea and then forgetting about it once it's done.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
What's weird is that it gets halfway there, with painfully detailed charts about the migration of ethnic groups fleeing various magical catastrophes, discusses how those populations blend and change over time, mentions that most of them aren't the lily white pseudo-Europeans seen in most 1970s fantasy ... and then forgets all of that when it comes time to depict any of these characters or to make the cultures relevant after the migrations are discussed.

It all smacks of typical Gygax getting hyper-focused on an idea and then forgetting about it once it's done.
Yeah, pretty weird and dated: but addressed somewhat in the Aughts, and fixable since it is so lightly detailed to begin with.
 

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