Crime, political scandal and murder are running rampant in Baldur’s Gate, a city on the verge of war, in the newest D&D Encounters season beginning today! Murder in Baldur's Gate takes place during The Sundering, a world-shattering event that, for the first time, invites fans to help define the future of the most popular setting in the Dungeons & Dragons universe – the Forgotten Realms.
In this first D&D Encounters season of The Sundering, danger lurks in the city of Baldur’s Gate and the plot of a murdered deity finally comes to fruition, resurrecting the god of assassins. Bhaal will live again. And in the city that once thwarted his rebirth, can the heroes keep Baldur’s Gate from tearing itself apart? And how will these events affect the Forgotten Realms?
Throughout the Murder’s in Baldur’s Gate season, which begins today and extends through November 13, players will be encouraged to use the Sundering Adventurer’s Chronicle, an online tool that will collect and tally their play experiences to ultimately help affect the fate of the Forgotten Realms. In the end, the results from all of the D&D Encounters season of The Sundering will help to provide a landscape for future D&D offerings.
Adventurers can also now play the latest D&D Encounters adventure from anywhere in the world – at the same time as the in-store program! Murder in Baldur's Gate includes a harrowing 32-page adventure in which the player characters defend Baldur's Gate against an ancient evil long thought slain, along with 64-pages containing in-depth information on the city and its inhabitants. It is currently available for a suggested retail price of $34.95.
For more information on all of the products and in-store play programs related to The Sundering, visit www.DungeonsandDragons.com/Sundering.
Following Wizards of the Coast’s recent news at Gen Con of the yearlong Dungeons & Dragons event “The Sundering” in the Forgotten Realm’s setting, DeNA has released the debut trailer for its future mobile game release of Dungeons & Dragons: Arena of War.
Arena of War Trailer
View and embed the Arena of War trailer from this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AdNhczUDKI
Pre-register for Exclusive Bonus Content
Fans can pre-register for the game and upgrade their character with a free Ultra Rare Power CAUSE FEAR. To earn the exclusive pre-registration bonus offer, and to be alerted via email as soon as the game is available for free download, please visit: http://www.dndarenaofwar.com
About Arena of War
Arena of War, the first ever free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons game for mobile, is a 3D battle-RPG developed by DeNA in partnership with Wizards of the Coast. Set in the Forgotten Realms, Arena of War features iconic D&D locations such as Baldur’s Gate and monsters such as the Beholder. The live events in the yearlong Sundering event will evolve in the game giving an ever-changing experience to players.
Arena of War will be available soon for free on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android.
Game News: Lords of Waterdeep
Are you ready for TWO new ways to play Lords of Waterdeep, the award-winning game from Wizards of the Coast?
This last Thursday at Gen Con Indy, Wizards of the Coast announced an all-new way to play Lords of Waterdeep – on iPad! With the upcoming digital version developed by Playdek, players will be able to dive into Lords of Waterdeep anytime, anywhere! This high-quality faithful adaptation of the popular board game is designed for 2-4 players and supports online play asynchronously or in real time, and offline play against others and/or included computer opponents.
In addition, the highly-anticipated Scoundrels of Skullport expansion for the Lords of Waterdeep board game is available beginning today! Scoundrels of Skullport adds not one, but two, complete expansions filled with brand new content for the best-selling Lords of Waterdeep board game, including the sprawling dungeon of Undermountain and the criminal haven of Skullport. Each thrilling location has unique characteristics and offers new play options, including new Lords, Buildings, Intrigue and Quest cards.
Scoundrels of Skullport adds brand new content for the award-winning, bestselling board game, Lords of Waterdeep. It’s not one, but two, complete expansions; the sprawling dungeon of Undermountain and the criminal haven of Skullport. Each thrilling location has unique characteristics and offers new play options, including new Lords, Buildings, Intrigue and Quest cards.
Owners of Lords of Waterdeep can use one or both of these new subterranean locations to add depth to their game experience. There’s also a new faction, the Gray Hands, so now a sixth player can join in the fun!
· The Skullport Module
The Skullport module includes a new resource: Corruption. Unlike Adventurers and Gold, having Corruption in your tavern penalizes you at the end of the game. Each Corruption token in your Tavern at the end of the game is worth negative Victory Points. The exact negative value depends on how much Corruption has been collected throughout the game; the more corrupt you and your fellow Lords are, the more Corruption hurts your score
· The Undermountain Module
The rumored wealth of Undermountain entices adventurers to brave the mysteries and monsters beneath the City of Splendors. The risks and the rewards are greater for undertaking Quests that require more Gold and Adventurers.
Magic Item Compendium Premium Reprint (Dungeons & Dragons 3.5)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Page Count: 286
Cost: $49.95 ($33.41 at Amazon.com)
Release Date: 07/16/2013 (Originally 3/13/2007)
Wizards of the Coast has done a great job with the premium reprints of Dungeons & Dragons books from past editions. I’ve been especially happy with the adventure collections and the reprints of AD&D 2.5. Having it in my hands now, I have to admit, it’s a wonderful resource for any person who likes to run a Dungeons & Dragons game using 3.0/3.5 rules. Is it necessary? No. After all, it’s missing a lot of basic items, so if you just have the big Compendiums from 3.5 (Rules and Spells) you’re going to be missing out on the common items of all, ranging from simple staves to the mighty vorpal sword or Holy Avenger. So unfortunately, while a fine resource, the Magic Item Compendium is missing a few item and isn’t as complete as I would like it to be.
I have to admit, I was surprised when I saw the Magic Item Compendium on the docket for a premium reprinting back when it first came out. After all, it originally was released in March of 2007 – a little over six years ago. You can find the original quite easily still, and for a fraction of the premium reprint, so unlike a lot of the other premium reprints which were out of print for at least a decade and a half, the Magic Item Compendium reprint feels like it will be a hard sell.
When you first take a look at the premium reprint of the Magic Item Compendium, you can instantly tell the difference between this and the original printing. The original had greenish-blue cover and the art featured a long haired, one-eyed Paladin with a red scroll in one hand and a magic sword in the other. The art and cover design was not very appealing. The premium reprint, however is so much better, it’s hard to put it into words. The cover is bone white with gold lettering and it both looks and feels like a mystical tome. The cover art is simple but amazingly effective. You have a potion with a red stopper and a gold dragon curled around it. The cover also features both etching and embossing, which just makes the book fun to just rub your fingertips across. Had I seen the original Magic Item Compendium back in 2007, I would have derided the cover and not even bothered to look at the contents. With the premium reprint however, I wanted to rip open the shrink wrap and read what lay between the hardcover binding, simply from the cover design. It’s hard to justify paying for just a swanky cover, but if you’re a 3.5 fan and have yet to pick up the Magic Item Compendium, this is definitely the version you want.
The book is divided into six chapters: Armor, Weapons, Clothing, Tools, Magic Item Sets and Using Magic Items. Each chapter gives you a list of qualities or effects to the chapter’s item for a magic effect. Then the chapter moves into specific premade items, for those of you who don’t want to build and calculate your own magic items. Oddly enough, a lot of key, almost iconic powers are missing from these chapters. For example, with weapons you’ll find there is no way to build a Defender, Flame Tongue, Frostbrand and the like, yet you CAN make a permanently blessed weapon. This, to me, is a perfect example of why I didn’t care for Edition 3.5, as it tries too hard to come up with “wacky” or overpowered unbalanced options, but then forgets the core and/or simple ones that made D&D popular and memorable to begin with. I understand they are easily found in the DMG, but the Magic Item Compendium really needed to include some of those iconic powers in the same manner they list all the new ones. This needed to be a one-stop shop, rather than just another weighty tome you carry around just IN CASE you might have a use for it at some point. Most D&D fans would rather be able to have, say, a sword of sharpness and know that, with a certain roll of the die, a limb gets lopped off, rather than to have to keep track of the fact their sword is a desiccating, fleshgrinding mindfeeder with Ghost Strike, and all the different rules, DCs and rolls that go along with it. In an attempt to include every possibility for a magic item, the Magic Item Compendium forgets the most basic and important magic weapons, and also overcomplicated the entire concept of magic items to the point where it feels like all the fun is sucked out of them by this process. I know some people must find having to have a separate piece of paper just to keep track of how to use your weapon fun, but I sure do not fall under that category.
Basically, what I took away from the Magic Item Compendium is that it is for gamers that want to roll-play instead of role-play. It’s for munchkin min/maxing gamers who would rather spend more time looking up precisely how and what to roll (and when) rather than trying to tell a fun story with friends. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not the type of gaming I enjoy. The second edition AD&D DMG has pretty much all the rules you need to make magic items, and it takes up, what, one-thirtieth of the space and works just as well? As does the regular DMG for both 3.0 and 3.5. Now, if you like to design magic items or are looking to supplement a previous list of magic weapons with the sheer myriad of options that the Magic Item Compendium offers, then knock yourself out, as this book works wonderfully as a detailed supplement that is nothing but “100% crunch”, as they say. However, it just doesn’t work as a standalone compendium (which is what the name implies), as it’s missing too much stuff. When you think of a compendium like the rules, spells or Monstrous ones, it implies a book you can just pick up and be the only one you will need for that specific niche. Unfortunately, it’s just not true in this case. I hate to be so negative in this review, as I’ve loved all the premium edition reprints Wizards of the Coast has put out so far, but the Magic Item Compendium just seems to be a mish-mash of well meaning ideas without the necessary common sense to make them stand on their own. I guess when you advertise a book as quote, “collecting the most popular magic items in the D&D game and presents them in one easy-to-reference tome” and its not all there as NONE of the most popular magic items from D&D are in this book AT ALL, I get a little disappointed.
Wizards of the Coast is celebrating two new digital releases this week: Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara, which released on June 18th, and today’s launch of the critically-acclaimed Neverwinter MMORPG. These releases are just two of several exciting Dungeons & Dragons digital games scheduled for release in 2013.
Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara from Capcom features up to four players battling against mythical beasts from the D&D universe with a mix of melee, range and magic attacks. The game is available as a digital download on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PC.
Neverwinter is an action RPG set in an immersive massively multiplayer world that lets players explore and defend one of the most beloved cities in the Forgotten Realms. The MMORPG is free-to-play and can be downloaded at http://nw.perfectworld.com/.
The release of Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara and Neverwinter join many other partnerships and digital releases in the works, establishing D&D as a major force in the digital space. Other upcoming releases include Arena of War, a mobile game for Android, iPhone and iPad devices from DeNA available later this year; Shadowfell Conspiracy, the second expansion pack to the Dungeons & Dragons Online MMORPG releasing on August 19; the upcoming release of Baldur’s Gate on Android followed by Baldur’s Gate II Enhanced Edition; and a yet-to-be-announced game from Playdek.
The fun and versatility of the Dungeon Command series has made Flagoon and Revan huge fans of the game. Not only is the game wonderfully fun, but the good folks at Wizards of the Coast have included monster cards for each of the twelve monsters in each kit so you can repurpose them as foes in D&D Adventure System games like Wrath of Ashardalon and Castle Ravenloft. Also these great looking minis can be used in your table top, pencil & paper game as well!!
But with all those choices, the straight Dungeon Command game is quickly becoming one of our favorites. In Dungeon Command you don’t have to worry about the luck of dice rolling in your favor, It comes down to pure strategy when going up against another commander’s mind. The action is quick and bloody and there is plenty of attrition. In Blood of Gruumsh, there are a half dozen types of Orcs to choose from – druids, chieftains, drudges, archers, clerics, and barbarians – as well as a boar, wereboar, an owlbear, and a big, mean, and nasty Ogre.
Read our previous posts about Dungeon Command to get a better understanding of the game play and keep in mind that, while you can play the game with a single faction pack, Dungeon Command is intended to be played with a faction pack for each of the suggested two to four players. Blood of Gruumsh is in stores now so go pick up your copy today!
Curse of Undeath is yet another installment in the wonderful miniature-skirmish-card game from Wizards of the Coast. Readers of the DCR blog know that I have a lot of love for this game, and it comes as no surprise that I'm doing another review for this. November and December have been crazy months for me and so this review is coming out a little late with my apologies. I barely had time to sit down and play with this new box until recently and what I’ve seen so far pleases me.
All of the boxes we’ve seen have been thematic and I expect this trend to continue. The theme extends into the art, card mechanics and inbuilt strategy all the way to what’s depicted on the tiles. The set oozes undeath and that’s how it should be. Flagoon pointed out earlier when we spoke with peter Lee and Laura Tommervik on the show that when the game will definitely feature some sort of a re-animation mechanic and he was spot on – zombies can come back from the figuratively dead. Although if I were honest, I was really wishing for an order card that would let you resurrect any miniature. This sort of card would be very powerful but there can always be drawbacks.
The miniatures are, as usual, lovely. I think in terms of sculpt quality, cool factor and paint job, these are easily the best out of the four sets. The skeletons come carrying axes but otherwise look exactly like the ones from Lords of Madness, which I think is a really cool touch. It’s a model that everyone liked but they’ve added a little variety to it and now your DnD game can feature an army of skeletons with different weapons. And to spruce up that army you also get another skeleton – with four arms and four swords and also a skeletal lancer on a horse. The other miniatures round out the undead theme with zombies, vampires, spirits and necromancers. Oh and let’s not forget the Dracolich!!
The set focuses on Constitution as the main attribute. The undead are hardy and tough to kill – just as they should be. Every monster is iconically represented in the rules – a vampire will sap life, a zombie will come back from the dead, and a spirit will phase through walls. There is enough variety in the box to bring out various strategies and plenty of ideas for unique custom warbands.
Many have drawn similarities to this game with Magic: the Gathering and I have to agree. Just looking at making custom warbands makes you realize that you probably have to quickly abandon the idea of a ragtag army of various miniatures and if you really want to play this game competitively – invest in some multiples. Whether it’s buying a second (or third, or fourth) box, or just getting singles from eBay, the fact of the matter is – it has to be done. One box is just not enough. Of course, if you’re not planning to play competitively and just want to play this game with some friends on your kitchen table – that’s fine. One box is probably all you need.
I remember the day I picked up my very first Forgotten Realms boxed reference set. It included some game materials, a really awesome map and a bit of background information to start your own campaigns. But never did I think I would ever see such an in depth look as Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster’s Forgotten Realms. It really is a masterpiece of Ed Greenwood‘s imagination.
Taken from Greenwood’s original notes from the late sixties, the Forgotten Realms were adapted in the seventies for game play with the original Dungeons & Dragons and finalized in the eighties for release with the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game books. By far the most popular and well known of all the official settings, the Realms are packed with well developed and powerful non-player characters (known as NPCs). This tome gives gamers a plethora of formerly unknown information, thereby not just amplifying our collective knowledge of Faerun but also expanding the possibilities in a campaign setting.
And when I say it is full of information, I’m not kidding. This book includes everything from typical foods to economics to everyday entertainments. Covering specifics such as how to become a noble at court and individual alliances between kingdoms, it also speaks to the more mundane things like education, local judiciary systems, and clothing differences by area. There really is something here for everyone. Whether you are a DM running a campaign in this setting or a player just wanting more reference material while reading the scores of novels set there, this is the most comprehensive compendium I have seen on the subject.
I wish I could detail every section of this book, but to do so would take far more time than if I just tell you it’s more than worth the price and your time to read it. Never before have I seen a section in a D&D reference book that described the variety of woods, children’s toys or types of rope and chain available. If you use the Forgotten Realms as a game setting or even just plan on writing a story or two based on it, this is the epitome of Faerunian information. My favorite parts are the scribblings of Greenwood from his original notes; it’s amazing to see how far this world has come in the past four decades since he first imagined it.
I really urge you to pick this up. As I said before, it’s the ultimate reference piece for the Realms and one that I think could be a crucial piece to any dungeon master. I love this book for the detailed look into this long lasting world. I hope you find it as appealing as I do. And to end this review, I quote Elminster: “Behold the Realms, from its lightless nether depths to the stars that twinkle down upon it. Make it thine.”