Lots to Look Forward To: The Future D&D Products Announced at GenCon 2011

If you’re like me, you’re gnawing your lip in frustration at the fact that you weren’t able to attend GenCon.  I would’ve loved to be there, but I was beyond swamped this year, so it didn’t manifest.  Maybe next year!

Luckily, lots of people that were in attendance were kind enough to let us all know what went down.  Particular to my own personal interest every year is hearing what they announce for new products coming out in the year or so ahead.  While this list isn’t always perfect (there’s a noticeable lack of the Ravenloft RPG, for example, which was announced last year), it’s a way to get an idea of what direction Wizards of the Coast wants to take things in the D&D line.

So let’s have a look, shall we?

No 5th Edition

Firstly, despite a zillion rumors to the contrary, there was no announcement of D&D 5th Edition.  Thank goodness.  I think that 4E is a great game with lots of life left in it; I would’ve been rather upset if they were abandoning it already.

Board Games

It was announced that Dungeon of Dread, a boardgame in the style of Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon, has been dropped.  Now, however, they’ve announced a March 2012 release called Lords of Waterdeep, a game of intrigue and resource management.  They describe it as a “Euro-style” boardgame, which suits me fine, as there have been fantastic resource games coming out of Europe for years.  I’m very curious to see this when it comes around.  Since my hubby loves those kinds of games, I imagine we’ll be investing in a copy.

RPG Stuff We Already Knew About

They confirmed that Madness at Gardmore Abbey is still planned for release.  This boxed set adventure prominently features the classic Deck of Many Things in what’s being described as a much more sandbox-ish and roleplaying focused adventure.  Sounds like a very interesting piece – I’m looking forward to it.

Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporium had been announced last year, was canceled from the catalog, and has now returned.  Thank goodness!  With the addition of a rarity system for magic-items, D&D is over-run with uncommon items and desperately in need of more commons and rares.  I hope there’ll be plenty more in this book.

Player’s Option: Heroes of the Feywild is coming – none too soon for my tastes, given that my own campaign has a significant Feywild adventure coming shortly.  There are new player races, including Hamadryad, Satyr, and Pixie, a race which can fly starting at 1st level!  There’s also a new dual-role Barbarian build coming: Striker while raging, Defender when not.  Curious idea.  I’ll look forward to seeing how that looks.

The Book of Vile Darkness, presumably to coincide with the movie of the same name, will be out in December.  Much to my surprise, it’s been announced that this book will be about running a campaign with evil PCs.  Now that I think about it, a lot of the 3rd Edition BoVD was on that theme as well, so maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked.  Curious to see what they update.

RPG Stuff We Didn’t Know About

There’s a limited edition set of 5 dragon figures, which I’m excited for, coming in October.  This will include brand new sculpts for the white and green dragons.  I love dragon figures, so I’ll look forward to it.

More Dungeon Tiles are coming.  New sets include Shadowghast Manor, with a haunted house theme, and Cathedral of Chaos, which will have more diagonal tiles and was described as allowing one to make “Gygaxian chambers.”  Heheh.  Nice reference to some of the bizarre rooms Mr. Gygax put into his adventures.

More Fortune Cards are coming, including Fury of the Feywild and Spiral of Tharizdun.  As before, these will coincide to some degree with the campaigns of D&D Encounters that will be released for in-store play.  Apparently, the Feywild one will be based on Beyond the Crystal Cave, a module from 1st edition that I loved that had fey, Shakespearean romance, and a curiously ambiguous happy ending.  It was one of the more thoughtful mods I remember from the old days, so I may have to look into playing that.

A new series of products called Lair Assault is coming.  These books are challenging adventures made in the Dungeon Delve style.  The announced adventures include Forge of the Dawn Titan (a fiery dungeon adventure), Talon of Umberlee (pirate-themed adventure), and Attack of the Tyrant Claw (defending a tower against dinosaurs).

Map Packs are going to start coming out in January.  I am thrilled with this idea, as I love the well-illustrated poster maps WotC has been putting out, and I enjoy theming adventures around them, rather than making my own.  Some are from previous adventures, so I’ll keep an eye on this.

April will bring us an as-yet-untitled adventure set in Undermountain.  This is an absolutely classic adventure setting, so I’m looking forward to some good old dungeon delving goodness.

It was hinted that there’s a new setting planned for August 2012 that will not just be a new location but a new way to play the game.  It was stated outright that it won’t be Dragonlance, but it was agreed that there are dragons in the setting (big surprise).  It was stated that it’ll be something D&D hasn’t tried before and that “Twist” was a good word to use for it.  My first thought was that it might be something similar to Council of Wyrms, where PCs played dragons, but that has been done before, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.


This was the announcement I’d personally been waiting for: They are reviving the minis line, but they’re going to get away from randomization and collectability.  Instead, they will put out sets of 12 or so figures for monster themes like Drow, Orcs, or Goblins, including large figures.

I think this is a fantastic idea, and it’s what a lot of people pushed for from day one.  If you need goblins, you don’t want to buy a bunch of random figures hoping to get a few goblins; you want to buy 12 goblins and move on with your day.

The only trouble I see is that there’s a lot of player races with limited or no support yet.  For example, there’s only 1 Shardmind figure and no Wilden figures.  I’m hoping they might put out a big set of player character types that’ll include common concepts, such as human fighters, elf rangers, etc., and slip in some oddballs like Shardminds and Wilden.  Fingers crossed.

Your Turn

So that wraps up most of what I’ve heard.  Is there anything you’re disappointed with?  Anything you’re looking forward to now?  Let us all know!

About GGG

Andy/GGG is a gay geek guy for sure. He's been playing D&D since he was 10, and he equates reading Tolkien with religion to some degree. He's a writer/developer for a Live Action RPG called The Isles, and he writes a comic called Circles, a gay, furry slice-of-life piece that comes out way too infrequently.

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