Here at Last, But What's Next?
So, if you're like me, you're probably still tearing into booster packs from the Aberrations expansion to the D&D Miniatures Game that hit shelves last month. (I still want more Kobold Sorcerers, Kobold Champions, and Sahuagin Rangers.) You're probably also relieved that the wait for Sharn: City of Towers (and that soundtrack CD) is finally over. Of course, if you're like me, you're also wondering if you can survive until that next minis expansion comes out, and you are absolutely certain that you need Complete Arcane or Races of Destiny on-hand to build your next character or just to level up one you're already playing. While it's satisfying to pick up a much-anticipated book or pocketful of minis, something can be said for the excitement of always wanting something that's on the horizon or around the corner. It gives you something to save up for, put on a wish list, and look forward to. And that's what this little article is all about. Check it out:
- Complete Arcane: A Player's Guide to Arcane Magic for All Classes -- 192-page D&D hardcover for arcane magic-wielding characters of all classes with new and updated core classes and arcane-related monsters (with information on fighting, joining, and summoning them).
- Sharn: City of Towers -- 192-page Eberron hardcover; the first in a series of sourcebooks detailing the exciting world of Eberron; filled with descriptions of locations, new organizations, fully developed NPCs, lots of maps and illustrations, adventure hooks for exploring within the city and beyond; includes a bonus soundtrack CD.
- Black Wizards -- Forgotten Realms Moonshae trilogy, Book Two; one of the first Forgotten Realms novels ever published, finally reprinted with new cover art (paperback).
- Dragons in the Archives: The Best of Weis & Hickman -- Dragonlance; a collection of the best Dragonlance short stories written by Margaret and Tracy over the past 20 years (paperback).
- The Kinslayer Wars -- Dragonlance Elven Nations Trilogy, Volume Two (re-released paperback).
- Return of the Sorceress -- Dragonlance: The New Adventures series, Volume Three, an all-new Young Readers series for ages 10 and up (paperback).
- The Ruby Guardian -- Forgotten Realms The Scions of Arrabar, Book II (paperback).
- Test of the Twins -- Dragonlance Legends trilogy, Volume Three (first time in hardcover).
- D&D Map Folio 3-D -- Third in the series; 32 pages of ready-to-cut, fold, and glue cardstock structures (originally designed for the Fold-Up Paper Models web feature) for use in your roleplaying and miniatures games.
- Races of Destiny -- 192-page hardcover that details the highly adaptive races that inhabit virtually every corner of the D&D world, with a focus on humans, half-elves, half-orcs, and an all-new race: illumians.
- Darkwell -- Forgotten Realms Moonshae trilogy, Book Three; one of the first Forgotten Realms novel ever published, finally reprinted with new cover art (paperback).
- Exile -- Forgotten Realms Legend of Drizzt series, Book Three(this is the third book in a deluxe, annotated, hardcover series of all of the Drizzt books by R.A. Salvatore) (hardcover).
- Eye of Fortune -- Knights of the Silver Dragon series, Volume Four, part of an all-new Young Readers series for ages 8 and up (paperback).
- Galen Benighted -- Dragonlance Heroes series, Volume Six (all-new cover -- paperback).
- A Hero's Justice -- Dragonlance Ergoth trilogy, Volume Three (paperback).
- The Qualinesti -- Dragonlance Elven Nations Trilogy, Volume Three (re-released paperback).
- Realms of the Dragons -- Forgotten Realms anthology of all-new stories (written by Ed Greenwood, R.A. Salvatore, Elaine Cunningham, and the authors of R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen series) showcasing the dragons of the Forgotten Realms world (paperback).
- Complete Adventurer: A Player's Guide to Stealth and Subterfuge for All Classes -- 192-page D&D hardcover for highly skilled and talented characters of all classes with new and updated core classes, prestige classes, and new uses for skills. Designed by Jesse Decker.
- Grasp of the Emerald Claw -- 32-page Eberron softcover; the third adventure for the new Eberron Campaign Setting. Designed by Bruce R. Cordell.
- Dragon Sword -- Dragonlance: The New Adventures series, Volume Five, an all-new Young Readers series for ages 10 and up (paperback). Written by Ree Soesbee.
- The Rite -- Forgotten Realms The Year of the Rogue Dragons trilogy, book two. Written by Richard Lee Byers (paperback).
- Silverfall: Stories of the Seven Sisters -- Forgotten Realms (first time in paperback). Written by Ed Greenwood.
- Ancient Empires -- 192-page hardcover that delves into the ruins and remnants of many of the fallen kingdoms that once held sway over the Forgotten Realms. Designed by Edward Bonny and Travis Stout.
- Races of the Wild -- 192-page hardcover that details the tenacious races that inhabit the "uncivilized" regions of the D&D world, with a focus on elves, halflings, and an all-new race: raptorans. Designed by Skip Williams.
- City of Towers -- Eberron The Dreaming Dark, Book One (paperback). Written by Keith Baker.
- Extinction -- Forgotten Realms The War of the Spider Queen series; the New York Times best-seller (first time in paperback). Written by Lisa Smedman.
- Figure in the Frost -- Knights of the Silver Dragon series, Volume Five, part of a Young Readers series for ages 8 and up (paperback). Written by Lana Perez.
- The Magic of Krynn -- Dragonlance Tales, Volume One (paperback). Anthology edited by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.
- Return of the Exile -- Dragonlance Linsha Trilogy, Volume Three (paperback). Written by Mary H. Herbert.
- Spellfire -- Forgotten Realms Shandril's Saga, Book I (paperback). Expanded edition of Ed Greenwood's first Forgotten Realms novel.
November: Sharn: City of Towers
Last month, toured you through the University District, introduced you to one of the residents you might bump into whilst wandering around Morgrave University, and gave you an idea of how the "law and order" in Sharn could impact your characters as you travel throughout the City of Towers. (If you haven't downloaded the three-track sample from the bonus soundtrack CD you'll find inside the first printing of Sharn: City of Towers, check it out.)
This month, this exciting 192-page hardcover goes on sale, taking its place next to your Eberron Campaign Setting as the first major supplement for our exciting, new, fully supported campaign world. So, while the best way for you to decide how invaluable this book will be for your Eberron campaign is to go to your FLGS, pick it up, and flip through the pages, a close second might be one last online peek at the innards, courtesy of this excerpt -- a sizeable chunk from the opening chapter of the book, which describes, in detail, a huge variety of the sundry reasons adventurers might have for traveling to the City of Towers.
November: Complete Arcane: A Player's Guide to Arcane Magic for All Classes
Also hitting shelves this month is Complete Arcane: A Player's Guide to Arcane Magic for All Classes -- the 192-page hardcover companion to Complete Warrior and Complete Divine.
Last month, I gave you a look at the back cover copy and a couple of the new spells you'll discover inside.
This month, while you'll have the chance to flip through the book on your own, I thought I'd show you one other bit. Back in Chapter Seven, Arcane Campaigns, you'll find information about a sample college of wizardry (the Arcane Order) along with a sidebar listing a couple feats that will make just about any aspiring arcane caster want to take out a student loan:
Mages who have trained in a dedicated college or academy or at the side of an experienced wizard often begin their careers with a significant edge over other spellcasters. If you want to reflect this sort of background for a mage character, consider making the following feats available in your campaign.
You have undergone extensive training in a formal school for wizards.
Prerequisites: Int 13, wizard level 1
Benefit: You begin play with knowledge of six 1st-level spells, plus 1 per point of Intelligence bonus. Each time you gain a wizard level, you may add four spells to your spellbook. You gain a +2 bonus on all Knowledge (arcana) checks.
Normal: 1st-level wizards begin play with knowledge of three 1st-level spells, and add two spells per level to their spellbook.
Special: You can take this feat only as a 1st-level character.
Your master has shown you the basics of a spell beyond the normal limits of your experience and training.
Prerequisites: Int 15 or Cha 15, arcane spellcaster level 1
Benefit: Choose one 2nd-level spell from a school that is not barred to you. You can cast that spell once per day. In effect, you have an extra 2nd-level spell slot that must be used to cast the chosen spell, and cannot be used for any other purpose. If you cannot cast 2nd-level spells yet, you must succeed on a caster level check (DC 8) to successfully cast the spell; if you fail, you miscast the spell to no effect. Your caster level with the chosen spell is your normal caster level, even if this is insufficient to cast the spell under normal circumstances.
When you become able to cast 2nd-level spells, you lose the previous benefit described above. Instead, you simply have an extra 2nd-level spell slot, which you may use to prepare (or spontaneously cast, if you are a spontaneous caster) 2nd-level or lower spells as you normally would.
You also gain a +2 bonus on all Spellcraft checks.
Special: You can only take this feat as a 1st-level character.
December: Races of Destiny
If you've taken a look through Races of Stone, you've got a great idea of what you're going to find inside Races of Destiny. This new 192-page hardcover details the highly adaptive races that inhabit virtually every corner of the D&D world, focusing on humans, half-elves, half-orcs, and an all-new race: illumians.
Last month, you got a look at the back cover copy. This month, I thought I'd jump right into an overview: illumians.
In addition to the illumians, humans, half-elves, and half-orcs (which are the primary focus of the book), you'll also get monster class information for playing characters of other interesting races of destiny -- half ogres and doppelgangers, for instance. A handful of prestige classes, alternate uses for skills, new feats, racial substitution levels, and new spells offer more character-building options. You'll also find a chapter that focuses on some of the intricacies of running a campaign of destiny -- one that often finds the characters traveling to, from, and within communities and settlements with great frequency (or even exclusively). Next month, I'll pull out a few more bits to show you.
December: Map Folio 3-D
Last month, I passed along the back cover copy from this latest (and third) addition to the Map Folio line of accessories crafted by master cartographers extraordinaire, Rob Lazzaretti, Dennis Kauth, and Todd Gamble. If you want to take a look at the sorts of things you'll find inside (ready to be cut, folded, and assembled for service on your gaming table and display shelves).
January: Complete Adventurer: A Player's Guide to Stealth and Subterfuge for All Classes
Following hot on the heels of Complete Arcane is fourth book in the "Complete _______" series: Complete Adventurer -- a 192-page hardcover focused on highly skilled and talented characters of all classes with new and updated core classes, prestige classes, and new uses for skills. Check out the back cover copy:
Sharpen Your Survival Skills
Taverns are filled with tales of talented heroes and their breathtaking exploits. The prowess and ingenuity of these remarkable characters gives them the edge to succeed where others cannot.
This supplement for the D&D game provides everything you need to sharpen the skills and enhance the abilities of characters of any class. Along with new base classes, prestige classes, feats, spells, monsters, and magic items, Complete Adventurer provides alternate uses for skills and other options that expand the capabilities of the most versatile heroes.
Next month, I'll probably have laid my hands on a galley so I can show off some of the nifty things you know are lurking in there.
January: Grasp of the Emerald Claw
If you've played (or are playing) through Shadows of the Last War and/or Whispers of the Vampire's Blade, you're really going to be ready for this, the third adventure for the new Eberron Campaign Setting. (Even if you've not played through the first two adventures in the series, you can collect your party of 6th-level heroes and leap into action.) Written by Bruce R. Cordell, Grasp of the Emerald Claw is a fun adventure to just read through -- you can really imagine how exciting the action will be when you're throwing this 32-page challenge at your players. As always, when it comes to adventures, I don't want to tell you any more than I need to in order to give you a sense of what you're looking at and to interest you in picking it up to take a look. (Nobody wants to have the surprises inside spoiled for them.) If I thought I could wait until next month, I would, but I've got to pass along the back cover copy now:
Scramble to Claim a Key to Untold Power
Deep in the jungles of Xen'drik, a relic of great power has lain hidden for thousands of years. Now, determined adventurers race against time and the nefarious agents of the Order of the Emerald Claw to locate the relic, overcome unimagined obstacles, and unlock its ancient secret.
Grasp of the Emerald Claw may be used as the conclusion to the storyline from Shadows of the Last War and Whispers of the Vampire's Blade or as a stand-alone adventure for the Dungeons & Dragons game that will immerse your characters in the Eberron campaign setting. Designed to challenge 6th-level D&D heroes, it sends them on a perilous journey to the heart of the mysterious and uncharted continent of Xen'drik.
There it is.
About the Author
Mat Smith is a copywriter who's been playing roleplaying games for a disturbing number of years, and now gets to spend an astonishing amount of time thinking about clever ways to get more people to do the same.