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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Now that is interesting, because while I love the Forgotten Realms hodge-podge (and yeah, the names are better), I think this is specifically something that Gygax did well (in the 1983 set, I know thst from PDF, cNnot speak to the Folio they donevem actually sell it). Gygax spends a lot of energy on establishing politoes of different types, different scales, and different Alignments and explicitly states in the text that thisnis to allow a DM to pick a spot for the kind of campaign they want: go here for knights and chivalry, go here.tl be Rovin Hood, go here for Lankhmar, go here for swashbuckling piracy, go here for viking shenanigans, go here for court intrigue, etc, etc.
You came in later, after a lot of stuff was added. My knowledge of Greyhawk is largely based on the 1980 folder (which was the first D&D product I bought that I was actively disappointed with). It really felt like it was designed more as a setting for a kingdom building war/politics game, (like the modern computer game Crusader Kings) rather than heroic fantasy adventures.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
You came in later, after a lot of stuff was added. My knowledge of Greyhawk is largely based on the 1980 folder (which was the first D&D product I bought that I was actively disappointed with). It really felt like it was designed more as a setting for a kingdom building war/politics game, (like the modern computer game Crusader Kings) rather than heroic fantasy adventures.
I can see thst, having been going over the '83 box set. Very concerned with troop dispositions, etc.
 

Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
You came in later, after a lot of stuff was added. My knowledge of Greyhawk is largely based on the 1980 folder (which was the first D&D product I bought that I was actively disappointed with). It really felt like it was designed more as a setting for a kingdom building war/politics game, (like the modern computer game Crusader Kings) rather than heroic fantasy adventures.
I can see thst, having been going over the '83 box set. Very concerned with troop dispositions, etc.
D&D may have grown out of wargaming, but I don't think Gygax ever did. By the time the Greyhawk folio was written, Gygax had been wargaming over 25 years, and elements of that hobby understandably permeated his RPG work. I can understand that it is not everyone's cup of tea -- it certainly isn't mine. I was unfamiliar with wargaming when I got into D&D, so I thought the obsession with troops and how many had halberds versus how many had pikes was too much detail for my tastes. That being said, I found the 1983 Greyhawk set to be an open framework that was inspiring to a new DM.
 

Epic Meepo

Adventurer
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.
I've never really followed Greyhawk, but based on your description, it sounds like a perfect framework for creating a diverse setting written by a diverse group of authors. The way you describe it, it sounds like Gygax created a world with both European and non-European influences, then left all the non-European areas undefined so future authors with non-European sensibilities and perspectives could fill in all the details.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
D&D may have grown out of wargaming, but I don't think Gygax ever did. By the time the Greyhawk folio was written, Gygax had been wargaming over 25 years, and elements of that hobby understandably permeated his RPG work. I can understand that it is not everyone's cup of tea -- it certainly isn't mine. I was unfamiliar with wargaming when I got into D&D, so I thought the obsession with troops and how many had halberds versus how many had pikes was too much detail for my tastes. That being said, I found the 1983 Greyhawk set to be an open framework that was inspiring to a new DM.
Fully agreed: I line the color thst it adds. Rather suspect that part won't make the transition.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I've never really followed Greyhawk, but based on your description, it sounds like a perfect framework for creating a diverse setting written by a diverse group of authors. The way you describe it, it sounds like Gygax created a world with both European and non-European influences, then left all the non-European areas undefined so future authors with non-European sensibilities and perspectives could fill in all the details.
Notably, many of the Radiant Citadel Adventures have suggested Greyhawk locations.
 


I've never really followed Greyhawk, but based on your description, it sounds like a perfect framework for creating a diverse setting written by a diverse group of authors. The way you describe it, it sounds like Gygax created a world with both European and non-European influences, then left all the non-European areas undefined so future authors with non-European sensibilities and perspectives could fill in all the details.
Except from what been described to me most of the details in Oerth take place in the Flanaess, which is where I assume the Indigenous North American resembling Flan come from. So the Flanaess would be like North America, with Scandinavians (Suel), Turks/Arabs (Baklunish) and Mongols?/Scythians? (Oeridians) migrating there too.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
It simply wasn't something anyone would have thought about in 1980
"Anyone" meaning straight White dudes from the Midwest, maybe. Plenty of other people were thinking about diversity at that point.
But that goes back to the big question: which version of Greyhawk gets revived?
The way to bet is on none of them, but I think, if it were revived, it would be like every other 5E setting revival -- it's a brand new continuity, bringing forward whatever they liked from previous versions, but otherwise remaking things that they think need to be changed. (There is no "continuity" connecting the 5E Planescape to the 2E version -- it's its own thing that picks and chooses, which is something WotC has been explicit about in the last few years.)
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Notably, many of the Radiant Citadel Adventures have suggested Greyhawk locations.
They don't really make a lot of sense, though. If anything, a stronger argument could be made that all or most of the locations are on a single new prime world. A bunch of the settings share culture and history with the others, but don't have -- as written -- any connections with other worlds.
 

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