There's been a lot in the news recently about the current economic crisis. Whether or not government intervention is justified, you can't deny that we're all in a tight spot. I'm talking, of course, about Thursday's announcement that Wizards of the Coast will be releasing D&D(R) version 4. Millions of table-top role-players around the globe are bemoaning the fact that their libraries of D&D 3.5 books are now valueless, and that they'll have to buy all new books. The burden this places upon the geek economy is crushing. Me? I'm looking forward to it. When 3.0 and 3.5 released, I was skeptical. I treasured my old AD&D books. Then I got into the new game, and found that it really was much better than it had been. I loved the fact that skills had been fleshed out beyond a quirky, DM's-discretion 1d6 mechanic, and that's just the most obvious of the changes. Granted, I only have a few books that will need to be replaced, but WoTC has a good enough track record (in my opinion) that I'm not afraid to start picking up the 4.0 editions when they release. Speaking of "release," I've put the official press release behind the cut. If you play table-top games, this is worth the read.
Official Release - August 16, 2007 (Renton, WA) – Whether you storm a mad wizard’s tower every week or haven’t delved into a dungeon since you had a mullet and a mean pair of parachute pants, one thing is certain, millions of D&D® players worldwide have anticipated the coming of 4th Edition for many years. Today Wizards of the Coast confirms that the new edition will launch in May 2008 with the release of the D&D Player’s Handbook®. A pop culture icon, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is the #1 tabletop roleplaying game in the world and is revered by legions of gamers of all ages. The 4th Edition DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game includes elements familiar to current D&D players, including illustrated rulebooks and pre-painted plastic miniatures. Also releasing next year will be new Web-based tools and online community forums through the brand new DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Insider (D&D Insider™) digital offering. D&D Insider lowers the barriers of entry for new players while simultaneously offering the depth of play that appeals to veteran players. The 4th Edition rules emphasize faster game play, offer exciting new character options, and reduce the amount of “prep time” needed to run the game. D&D Insider includes a character creator that lets players design and equip their D&D characters, dungeon- and adventure-building tools for Dungeon Masters, online magazine content, and a digital game table that lets you play 24/7 on the Internet — the perfect option for anyone who can’t find time to get together. “We’ve been gathering player feedback for eight years,” said Bill Slavicsek, R&D Director of Roleplaying and Miniatures Games at Wizards of the Coast. “Fourth Edition streamlines parts of the D&D game that are too complex while enhancing the overall play experience. At its heart, it’s still a tabletop game experience. However, D&D Insider makes it easier for players to create characters, run their games, and interact with the rest of the D&D community.” Wizards of the Coast will release two 4th Edition preview books in December and January—Wizards Presents: Classes and Races™ and Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters™. The first live demos of 4th Edition will happen at the D&D EXPERIENCE™ gaming convention in Washington D.C. in February 2008. The full scope of 4th Edition books, miniatures, and adventures will be available in the spring and summer of 2008. Since its first release in 1974, the fantasy roleplaying game DUNGEONS & DRAGONS has taken millions of players on imaginary adventures of epic scale. Today, D&D is universally regarded as the original game that created the roleplaying game category, and the inspiration for generations of game designers. D&D is enjoyed by millions of players worldwide, while countless more remember it with fond nostalgia. For more information, visit our digital newsroom at www.wizards.com/gencon2007. Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS), is a worldwide leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories, and a leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products. Wizards is also a publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times bestsellers D&D Insider Fact Sheet - DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, the industry leader in roleplaying games, is forging its first true path into the digital age with D&D InsiderTM. D&D Insider (www.dndinsider.com) enhances the D&D® tabletop gaming experience with magazine-style editorial content, a suite of exciting online tools, and community pages powered by GleemaxTM. Prepare to experience D&D the way it was meant to be: maximum imagination, scintillating strategy, and full-throttle fun. • Character Creator: Your character is the most important part of the game. D&DI allows you to create a 3D visual representation of your character that you can save and print. Create, update, and save your character sheets and images with a click of the mouse. • DM Tools: D&DI makes Dungeon Mastering easy with ready-to-use maps and stat blocks, a groundbreaking dungeon map builder, instant encounter and adventure builders, libraries of virtual miniatures and virtual dungeon tiles, and online tools to help you create and organize your D&D campaigns. • D&D Anytime: Can’t get the gaming group together on Saturday night? The D&DI game table allows you to play with friends 24/7, with a special online forum that allows DMs to find players and players to join games on the fly. • Dragon® and Dungeon® Magazines Online: D&D Insider is the place to receive news about upcoming releases, errata and rules clarifications, previews of future 4th edition products, exclusive game content, and D&D adventures for all levels of play. Dragon and Dungeon magazines bring you the fun every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday — with collected “issues” at the end of each month. • One Community To Rule Them All: Get behind-the- scenes glimpses into the making of the D&D game, player rewards for participation in games, and quality time with the R&D team on D&D Insider’s new community forums. • Free Preview: Check out D&D Insider for free starting in August 2007 (paid subscription service begins in 2008). Keep on the Shadowfell - Get a jump on 4th Edition with Keep on the Shadowfell, a D&D® adventure for characters of levels 1–3. This adventure includes a quick-start rulebook, an adventure booklet, a players’ booklet, 3 poster maps, and pre-generated characters. Additional adventure content will be presented on D&D Insider. 96 paages, available April 2008